Supernatural debt relief! God will pay your bills!
Flipping through the channels last night, I came across an informercial from this fellow:
According to a post on the blog (TheProphetSpeaks.com) of the good Rev. Ripoff, oops, I mean Popoff:
"God wants you to be debt-free. That was the message that Elizabeth and I proclaimed during the latest series of telecasts that we made. I felt in my heart that the body of Christ is going to witness many mighty miracles, but one of the greatest miracles we will see is supernatural debt cancellation."
I was floored. How do people get away with this?
So I did some research this morning, and found that this guy has been around for a while, and doing quite well. From his entry on Wikipedia:
"According to Charity Navigator, in FY2004, Peter Popoff received $548,167 as president of his organization and the Peter Popoff Ministries raised $16,220,066 in revenue in FYE 2004. Then in FY2005, Popoff received $628,732, his wife Elizabeth received $203,029, his son received $182,166, and daughter received $176,290 with $23,556,469 in revenue."
I also found this older video of dedicated skeptic James Randi exposing Popoff:
In case you want even more (including how he makes his money):
I saw the infomercial on BET, but I've read they run elsewhere, too (internationally, in fact). So 1) how can reputable networks actually air this stuff, and 2) how can people actually believe it?
Robert Brokamp, CFP®, is the senior advisor for the Fool's Rule Your Retirement service.