‘Miracle water’ commercial just cost a broadcaster £25,000

‘Miracle water’ commercial just cost a broadcaster £25,000 October 17, 2019
Peter Popoff. Image via YouTube.

TELEVANGELIST Peter Popoff – once exposed by religious fraud-buster James Randi as a complete charlatan – claims in a series of videos that his ‘miracle water’ has ‘supernatural’ properties that can free people of anything from debt to cancer.

But when one of his videos was screened by satellite TV channel BEN TV  – “Europe 1st Ethnic Oriented Television Channel” –  the UK’s Office of Communications (Ofcom), sprang into action and imposed a £25,000 fine on Greener Technology Limited, which owns the channel.

The video below, or one similar, was aired by BEN TV on January 28, 2018.

In an October 15 statement, Ofcom, said that Greener Technology Limited was found to have  broken three of Ofcom’s broadcasting rules:

On 28 January 2018, BEN TV broadcast Peter Popoff Ministries, a programme featuring footage from televangelist Peter Popoff’s religious services. The programme contained frequent invitations for viewers to order ‘free miracle spring water’ and a number of testimonies from individuals who claimed, or strongly implied, using the water had cured serious illnesses, including cancer.

As set out in Ofcom’s Decision published on 3 December 2018 in issue 367 of the Broadcast and On Demand Bulletin, Ofcom considered that the claims made in the programme had the potential to cause harm to members of the audience who may have been led to believe that the ‘miracle spring water’ alone was sufficient to cure their health conditions and that it was unnecessary to rely on, or continue receiving, conventional medical treatment.

Ofcom concluded that Greener Technology Limited did not take steps to provide adequate protection for such viewers and there was a material risk that susceptible members of the audience may have been improperly exploited by the programme.

Ofcom also concluded that the programme promoted a product – the ‘miracle spring water’ in breach of the Broadcasting Code.

Ofcom has imposed a sanction on the Licensee of a financial penalty of £25,000. Ofcom has also directed the Licensee to not repeat the programme and to broadcast a statement of Ofcom’s findings on dates and in a form to be determined by Ofcom.

According to this report, BEN TV’s programming is designed to:

Empower, transform and challenge the conventional perception of Africa, Caribbean and African-descendants in the Diaspora.

The wealth-attracting, disease-curing water has been marketed through Popoff’s website and early morning and late night broadcasts on popular Cable TV channels, such as Black Entertainment Television in the US, despite a wealth of evidence his miracle ministry “reeks of chicanery.”

Popoff’s videos say the water is sent “absolutely free” to anyone who wants it, but on his website a “seed faith donation” of $17.99 is suggested.

Popoff is also senior pastor for an outfit called People United for Christ. This is what he has on his Linkedin profile:

The Better Business Bureau, which gave Popoff’s People United for Christ an F rating in the past, does not have a current rating for the huckster’s organisation.

The BBB says its website:

This charitable organisation either has not responded to written BBB requests for information or has declined to be evaluated in relation to BBB Standards for Charity Accountability. Charity participation in BBB review is voluntary. However, without the requested information, it is not possible to determine whether this charity adheres to all of the BBB Standards for Charity Accountability.

The BBB encourages charities to disclose accountability information beyond that typically included in financial statements and government filings, in order to demonstrate transparency and strengthen public trust in the charitable sector.


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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • barriejohn

    Is this Man of God fraudster still going? I thought he was dead!

    Wikipedia calls him a “con man”. Shome mishtake, shurely?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Popoff

  • CoastalMaineBird

    He is risen.

  • Broga

    This religious pustule has written a book about his seven hours in heaven and one about guaranteed answered prayers. I pluck these from other titles which are equally bizarre. This guy knows his readership: the poor, the ignorant, the desperate and those who find him a confident answer to their sufferings. That he is the least likely of the human garbage that preys on the gullible, and utterly pitiless, make a rare toxic mix and not something that will trouble them.

    He has the magic ingredient that solves all problems: religion.

  • Rational Human

    Why don’t all these bogus claims fall under some consumer protection laws in this country?

  • Jezebel’sOlderSister

    $$$$$$$$$$$ and the first amendment.

  • barriejohn

    I think his hair’s been given new life!

  • barriejohn

    I’m amazed that they didn’t keep him in Heaven. What an asset he would have been!

  • Jim Jones

    You can get away with anything under cover of religion. Look at Scientology, as an example.

  • Tawreos

    I seem to recall that the “miracle water” is bought in bulk at Costco.

  • Wisdom, Justice, Love

    How is Miracle Water different “biblically” from Holy Water? Is Holy Water not blessed enough? Does Miracle Water have more divinity than the leading brand?

  • Broga

    I watched the video and we need to get the Spring Water available, and fast, on the National Health Service. While the UK government is trying to get people to exercise, lose weight, control their cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and cut down on their debts The Popoff Ministry already has the answers. One woman used the Spring Water to remove $50,000 debts and she was one happy bunny speaking to the camera.

    No more problems with Big Pharma rip offs on drugs. Just buy tankers of Spring Water and Petey is offering it for free. The Health Minister has taken his eye off the ball with all the Brexit chaos or he would have been on to this miracle cure.

  • barriejohn

    At least Greener Technology was fined in this case. I wonder whether they passed that on to Popoff. I don’t suppose they’ll be touting for more of his business in future!

  • Broga

    It depends on which attracts more money for the seller. The most profitable is the leading brand. But fair play, credit where credit is due and all that, there is one very nice touch. “This message has been brought to you by Peter Popoff Ministries.” So Peter Poffoff is bringing the message to himself and while the PPM is coining it, the suckers think PPM is doing them a favour.

    I think it was Einstein who said that only two things were infinite: the cosmos and human stupidity and he wasn’t sure about the former.

  • barriejohn

    I always wondered why the detergent manufacturers didn’t offer refunds to the millions who had bough their unparalleled products when they brought out the “new, improved” versions. How does one improve upon perfection? Were they lying, by any chance?

    Still, at least Popoff can say in all honesty: “No Holy Water works better than mine”!

  • WallofSleep

    “Europe 1st Ethnic Oriented Television Channel”

    https://media.giphy.com/media/QajHhLKW3VRcs/giphy.gif

  • 1A doesn’t protect fraud.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    You remember the part where Jesus talked about laying up one’s treasures in heaven? Well, Popoff already checked that box off, and so felt free to return to earth for extra credit.

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Should I use it to cook my Miracle Noodles, or would that be redundant?

  • TheBookOfDavid

    Popoff likely gets Miracle Water from a filtered source, either a commercial bottler or the municipal tap. If there’s one advantage over holy water, it’s got to be sanitation.

  • otrame

    What few consumer protection laws we had were gutted during the Reagan administration. It is not actually illegal to claim pretty much anything on a commercial as long as you have a “not intended for medical use (or words to the effect)” in very tiny print somewhere during the commercial. Just like the “for entertainment purposes only” small print on psychic commercials.

    Both Australia and the UK have different rules. You can’t make fraudulent claims no matter what the fine print says. Which just means they have to word things more carefully. I’m sure the media company has learned a lesson and Popoff and his type will be forced to use much more cautious language, language not needed in the US.

  • otrame

    Not technical, no, but if you make the legal definition of fraud carefully enough…

  • barriejohn

    Don’t worry; when Boorish has led his people out of captivity, the UK will be as free of regulation as the USA. We mustn’t place restrictions on the “wealth creators”, must we?

  • Well, he’s promising his widget will perform miracles. It clearly doesn’t. It’s fraud.