James Randi Debunks Peter Popoff Faith Healer
Peter Popoff Proved Fake on 39.17Mhz
|James Randi Debunks Peter Popoff Faith Healer
Peter Popoff Proved Fake on 39.17Mhz
James Randi, best known as a skeptic of pseudoscience. The second in the
series of clips shows him blowing the lid off Peter Popoff Ministries
and their so-called "faith healing."
Although Peter Popoff has been caught lying to the public and in all truth stealing from the public, he has reappeared back into his ministry. Recent IRS documents indicate that Popoff took in $23.5 million
and paid himself and his immediate family more than $1 million in one
Proverbs 19:9 - A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who breathes out lies will perish.
Peter Popoff (born July 2nd, 1946) is a German-born American. He claims to be a faith healer, and performs revival meetings on national television which include laying on of hands.
His ministry is based in Upland, California, and is funded through donations.
A widely popular minister in the 1980s, he went bankrupt in 1987 after skeptics James Randi and Alexander Jason (Alec Jason) exposed his method of receiving information about revival attendees from his wife via an in-ear receiver.
He has since returned to his ministry.
Popoff was born in Germany. In a message entitled "10,000 Miles of Miracles", Popoff claimed he had been born in "the bomb shelters of Berlin at the end of World War II".
Other sources indicate he was born in Hamburg in 1946. During his appearances at church conventions in the 1970s, Popoff routinely and accurately stated the home addresses and specific illnesses of his audience members, a feat he allowed them to believe was due to divine revelation and "God given ability".
In 1986 when members of CSICOP reported that Popoff was using a radio to receive messages, Popoff denied it and said the messages came from God.
At the time of his popularity, skeptic groups across the United States printed and handed out pamphlets explaining how Popoff's feats could be done. Popoff would tell his audience that the pamphlets were "tools of the devil".
Popoff's earlier claims were debunked in 1983 when noted skeptic James Randi and his assistant, Steve Shaw, researched Popoff by attending shows across the country for months.
Randi asked investigator and crime scene analyst Alexander Jason for technical assistance and he was able to use a high-tech (at the time) computerized scanner during a Popoff appearance in San Francisco.
Jason identified and intercepted the radio transmissions that were being sent by Peter's wife, Elizabeth Popoff, who was backstage reading information which she and her aides (Reeford Sherrill) had gathered from earlier conversations with members of the audience.
The scanner zeroed in on frequency 39.17 Megahertz (MHz). The feminine voice boomed loud and clear over their private earphones, "Hello, Petey. I love you! I'm talking to you. Can you hear me? If you can't, you're in trouble, 'cause I'm talking as well as I can!" (Her voice suddenly becomes business like.)
"I'm looking up names right now." Jason knew that they had struck pay dirt! God spoke on frequency 39.17 MHz (in a band width normally used only by police and fire departments).
In 1991, NOVA's episode Secrets of the Psychics aired footage of Popoff with his wife's radio transmission dubbed in.
Since then, that episode was released on video to teach critical thinking.
Popoff would simply listen to these promptings with his in-ear receiver and repeat what he heard to the crowd.
Jason produced video segments showing several Popoff "healings" which included the previously secret audio.
After these were shown on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Popoff's popularity and viewing audiences declined sharply, and his ministry declared bankruptcy later that year.
In September 1987, sixteen months after the Carson airing, Popoff declared bankruptcy with more than 790 creditors having claims against him.
As of May 2011, Popoff has late night commercials on US channels advertising Miracle Water and Supernatural Debt Elimination. Popoff was designated the 2011 JREF Performer Pigasus Award.
Among his newer methods is relief for victims of the economic recession. In paid infomercials on BET, Popoff preaches “supernatural debt relief” and continues to write partners who request it, donation or not.
Recent IRS documents, Popoff took in $23.5 million and paid himself and his immediate family more than $1 million in one year alone.