Freaky Friday: Damn it Peter!

By Ash Pryce

A short while ago my curiosity got the better of me.  I was sat awake one night watching Sky, flicking through the channels until I found Peter and his wife presenting an infomercial.  Now as we’re aware Popoff has been caught out for being a cheater before so I was intrigued to see what he was up to this time.

Miracle Holy Water!  Free Give away!  Become Debt Free!

Hmm, free give away you say?  All I need to do is go to his website and fill in a form and get my free miracle water?  Why not, let’s see what whacky hi jinx he’s up to this time.  I filled in the form and waited patiently for several weeks until my Miracle water arrived.

TWO envelopes soon arrived and I quickly tore away at the first one to find a long letter, half of which was written using a “False” handwriting effect and the other was half typed.  I skim read the letter and its mentions of,  Saving my soul, damnation. and strangely how to become debt free!

All I had to do to save my soul and improve my bank balance was sleep with al tiny zip lock bag of water containing a drop of water by my bed. Looking at this there was no way to know if it had truly been “blessed” by a man of the cloth or just released via  a pipette into the bag.  So, I decided to sleep with it by my bed that night. Much to your shock and surprise dear readers I have to sadly report that nothing happened!

But Peter expects such things as in order to get it to work I need to sent him a cheque for at least £25.

So disappointed that I would not be able to have my miracle come true without giving Popoff any money I decided to open the second envelope.  This one contained another envelope I was told not to open, instead, in order to help with my debts I should return the envelope unopened.

With a cheque for £20…

No dice Peter.  As I now had no intention of returning the item I opened it and found a small eraser in the shape of a dollar bill (It’s not even a useful eraser, it’s too flimsy).

But I understand the joke- erase debt.  Ho ho!

I am a little sickened that in order to help clear your debts you need to send Popoff and his formerly bankrupt ministry almost £50.

To encourage you to do this there are testimonials.  People in his video at his recitals scream and applaud claiming that after they went through the mineral water plan they received cheques for thousands of dollars.  Their background is not elaborated on and it’s important to realise that these are all post miracle miracles.  There is no way to know if that money would or would not have come through in some cases.  Others we’d need to sit down with the person and find out more about them- did they receive the money at the end of a tax year, did they play the lottery, were they going for a new job anyway?  What was going on in their lives.

Sadly people use this kind of evidence all the time to support miracles and psychics but there is not one instance of a premonition coming true in a way that could not be explained rationally by chance or similar.

After my two envelopes I thought I’d heard the last of Popoff, but no.  A few weeks ago I received ANOTHER letter this time containing a purple piece of fabric and a  “gold” safety pin (It wasn’t gold, it wasn’t even particularly gold coloured!).  Again, I could use the fabric and pin to help me get out of debt and again all I had to do was send Popoff money – another £20.  I’ve now decided not to cancel the letters and even go as far as to inform them of my change of address when I move as I get quite excited when these letters arrive, wondering what my new gift of salvation will be and how much Popoff needs me to give him this time.  And lo and behold, in front of me at this moment is my most recent letter, having dropped through the letter box mere minutes ago.  What is inside?  Well, we shall find out together!

*heads off to open letter*

*returns*

WOAH NELLY!

He’s stepping up his game here!  Several sheets of paper were enclosed with an envelope.  No real gift this time sadly, clearly my inability to send him money means he has to resort to simply paper presents.

So, first off we have a  letter, a rather general one a preacher or psychic may send or speak.  “go to your quiet place”  “I can see multiplied thousands of dollars beyond your greatest imagination” (Yes I know you can Peter, careful not to go bankrupt this time!).  “God has shown me the reason behind the problems you’ve endured”

Popoff also refers to me as his “Partner”, and I can tell you that there is absolutely no definition of that word that makes me feel comfortable with his using it in relation to me.  He also goes on about 40 days of miracles, and constantly going on about my potential to have thousands or millions of dollars.  Sure, we ALL have the potential to have thousands or millions of dollars.  We all have the potential to find gold or strike oil.  But realistically we’re unlikely to do it.

So, onto the next two slips of paper.  One contains three triangles I need to cut out, rub them (what does this man want of me!?!?)  and send them back to him, he’ll then place them around his his house and…. Well, that’s not clear.  I assume it means I’ll get my money.  Along with the three triangles there is also a questionnaire to help him with his prayers for me.  Questions include:

Do you ever get the impression your home is under demonic possession?

  • Do you have health issues?
  • Do you feel nervous or Stressed? (Well actually, nervous is about right considering Popoff’s use of the word “partner” and asking me to rub things)
  • Do you think other people are the cause of your failures?  (No, but I think Randi caused your downfall once)

And several more.  One other thing I have forgotten to mention.  Along with my pre-rubbed paper triangles I need to send Popoff a Sacrificial Seed Gift.  What is this seed gift I need to enclose?  Why, a cheque for £75 of course.

I then have to sign and check a statement which reads: “YES! Prophet Popoff, I humbly accept the prayerful, prophetic help you are so graciously offering me.  Enclosed is my Sacrificial SEED Gift of £75.00 or other £_____.  And I thank you for the FREE FAITH TOOL from the Holy Spirit that you have so generously offered me” (His emphasis)

He then goes on to ask for my birthdate and write down my greatest need.

How this isn’t illegal is beyond me.  But I am concerned at how vulnerable people may react.  We already know that people are willing to pay hundreds of thousands for nonsense medical treatment at places like the Burzynski Clinic.  We know people give generously to churches and donate to alt med quacks who do “free sessions” in return for large donations.  So far Peter Popoff has asked me for  £140 so far.  If people really are in debt then he is potentially causing them greater damage and harm.  £140 to someone in serious debt is a lot of money.  It’s a months food and travel.  It’s paying off a months council tax.  It’s clearing some bills.  This man is low.  He has been exposed before, but now he has shifted into something that is difficult to fight against because it is all based on people’s own free will.  He says he prays, we can’t criticise and prosecute people for prayer.  We live in a society that allows freedom of expression and freedom of belief.  Sadly, it means some people can use their beliefs to make a very nice profit.

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