Two magicians, a private investigator and an actor team up to bring down a double dealing scumbag raking in millions. It reads George Clooney and Brad Pitt short of a Vegas heist flick. In reality, it’s the story of the crew, lead by The Amazing James Randi, that successfully embarrassed vile huckster Peter Popoff.

A television preacher, Popoff made millions with a traveling road show where he “interpreted the word of God” to find victims of Earthly ailments and “healed” them by with “God’s power.” In reality, as was sussed out by Randi, Banachek and others, he listened to his wife read a list of names she’d gathered from prayer cards with ailments on them then yelled.

peter popoff prat-1.jpg

In his opinion column on Wired.com Randi goes over some of the behind the scenes details for those that haven’t read his opus on the subject The Faith Healers.

My team then — the mentalist Banachek, private investigator Alec Jason, postman-turned-actor Don Henvick, and several others — visited Popoff “revivals” in several cities. The clincher came when Henvick disguised as a woman named Bernice, was “called out” (The Holy Spirit had notified Popoff of her need for healing, you see) and was cured of uterine cancer, even though he lacked a uterus.

Now, that is a miracle.

It’s an incredibly sad tale made sadder by the fact that Popoff is still making a living. Which only means you are doing a good service by continuing to pass along Randi’s findings.

  • HAL

    Excellent choice of things to post. I have seen this video many times, they should run it on TV every day. Before Poppoff used the wireless ear piece, he had a clearly visible hearing aid, and still pulled off his scam. Amazing people still fall for this. I called Poppoff’s number, a recording asks for name & address to send you his ‘Miracle spring water’. You’re then asked to send $27.00  The miracle doesn’t work unless you follow all the directions.

    We still have Benny Hinn with his great healing powers, and W. V. Grant, who I haven’t seen for a long time.

    I may contact Peter, my uterus hasn’t been doing too well lately.

  • HAL

    Sorry for the stupid error..it’s Popoff.

  • Neofitos_ch

    Randi is a pathetic failed magician

  • HAL

     Were you, by chance healed by Popoff? He does wonders with mental disorders too. Maybe you failed the ‘Million Dollar Challenge’? Take some of your “Homeopathic” medicine, bend a few spoons, and lay down for a while.

    For someone with his own Educational Foundation and a successful career in magic, doesn’t sound like anything near a failure,

    Randi is brilliant. If people had half his intelligence, we wouldn’t have these clowns hearing from the dead, and making you well with a slap on the head.

  • Snow White

    I’m not seeing your point. The mere sequencing of the words Randi, pathetic, failed and magician formed within the same sentence and spoken from a mouth suggests idiot…or sock puppet.

  • HAL

     Hey Snow: I like watching Popoff’s shows. I would like to produce them. I’d add a laugh track when his wife reads the letters from satisfied healed customers. Have the ‘Miracle Spring Water’ become an energy drink (something with bull in the name). When he smacks the sick people on the head, don’t catch them, just let them get a concussion when they hit the floor.

  • Banester

    Well he doesn’t have uterine cancer does he, see he is cured!  LOL

  • Snow White

    Typical homicidal computer thought processes..aka…HAL lol. I get the feeling you miss me when I don’t comment for awhile. Hey, doesn’t that happen in the movie as well…eeekk!! ;-)  

  • HAL

     Of course I miss you, too bad you don’t trust anybody. Your comments always reflect intelligence.

    And Banester: I just had a Mamogram, no breast cancer, guess I’m healed too. Popoff did cure my wife, she had a vasectomy.

  • Snow White

    Thanks. I can’t believe I pass your intelligence test! Maybe the problem is I’m ‘too’ smart for Andrew lol ;-) …Oh, and it’s a new Canon SLR.

  • Snow White

    ….though my guess is, you would advise me to stop being so ‘stupid’!! and give up lol

  • HAL

     Are you doing stills now? I saw some great new Canon video cameras.

    I never thought you were in any way stupid. My problem is, if I had any more intelligence, I’d need a bigger head.

  • Snow White

    I have always done both photography and videography. Hard to believe we are only using a tenth of your brain’s ability. What a pain in the @ss you’d be if you were capable of using all of it lol.  I find it pretty interesting that our minds are capable of remembering everything, just really bad at recalling it.

  • HAL

     Best one I’ve heard, my wife agrees with you, I’m a big pain already. I could make the Guiness book.

    I just took the ‘Krell’ IQ test (if you’re a sci-fi fan) I’m now using 80% of my brain. Of course, 80% of nothing….

  • Snow White

    1. How long would you say it’s been since you last watched that film?2. How popular is this film among scifi fans?
    I’ll explain after you answer lol

  • HAL

     Actually, I watched it about 2 weeks ago. I guess it’s very popular, a classic.
    Cost 4.5 million to make, made 23.5 mil. Richard Anderson might be the only cast member still alive. Leslie Neilson and Anne Francis died recently. Another favorite is ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’, watched that at least 50 times. Like so many, the re-make was a joke. I have a great interest in special effects and how they’re done.

  • HAL

     Snow: Waiting for your explanation. Hope you’re not out shooting another WWE disaster. First they were WWF, not they’re WWE, next they’ll be WTF?

  • Snow White

    I don’t see what makes this film so popular among scifi fans. The effects are brutal from the clips I’ve seen. I haven’t seen it. Is it the story? Good story telling will make you tolerate just about anything shy of the actor looking a the camera…though that brings Wayne’s World to mind which got away with that even.

  • HAL

     Well, it was made in 1966. Check it out on Wikipedia. They used matte paintings, animation, etc. The Krell tunnel traveling cars was a 30 foot model shot from above. The wide outdoor shots were all done in a studio. Robbie the Robot cost $125,000 I thought the story was OK. If you want really bad effects, try “Attack of the 50 Foot Woman” or “Plan 9 from Outer Space”.

    You make a good point about scripts. I hated Star Wars, they took the better effects at that time and IMO,  put them to this ridiculous story about a space traveler named  Puke Skywalker. (oops, I mean Luke) To me, this was a children’s Saturday morning show. I know many disagree with this.
     Another is Star Trek. I liked the original, but then we went to Whoopi Goldberg on a starship, and a Shakespeare actor as the Captain. “Taketh us to warp 5 Mr. Poe”.

    What scifi movies do you think are good?

  • http://iTricks.com/news JustinRYoung

    You hate Star Wars AND Star Trek? Your troll range is pretty legit, Hal.

  • HAL

     I’ll bet you’re a BIG Star Wars fan. But liking Pro Wrestling might explain that. (Just kidding)

    I said I like the original Star Trek. Also liked the movies, except for saving the whales, because the story was on Earth, that’s not where no man has gone before.

    The problem with today’s movies is, IMO, we have these great special effects, there’s really nothing you can’t do. They take this technology, and use it for some ridiculous story line, such as Star Wars. Luke Skywalker, Princess Lea, Chewbacca, comedian robots? This is Marvel comic book material, not scifi.

    And then, the re-make problem. They should give up on this. They take a successful movie, and destroy it.
    “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. Professor Barnhardt is replaced by Kathy Bates. Gort is in the movie for 3 minutes and totally different. The kid is now adopted.

    “The Fugitive”. Richard Kimble is no longer a Pediatrician, he escapes jumping from a moving bus, jumps in the river, really amazing for a family Doctor, maybe he’s in the Olympics too? The one-armed man now has a prosthetic arm, guess it was being repaired when he committed the murder.

  • Snow White

    lol…Puke Skywalker and the Whoopi ship, you always crack me up Hal. E.T, Close Encounters, Alien, Predator and yes …Star Wars ;-) I thought effects and story were really good for the time.

  • HAL

     Maybe we can make ‘Puke Skywalker and the Whoopi Cushion’? It would be a gas. By now, Princes Lea is probably wearing Depends.

    Little known facts:
    Mr. Spock had pierced ears.
    Scotty and Sulu were secretly married.
    The ‘Enterprise’ was powered by 4000 9volt batteries.
    The ‘Klingons’ had a toilet paper shortage.
    Dr. McCoy was a proctologist.
    The Transporter causes sterility.
    The ‘Vulcan Mind Meld’ left permanent finger prints on your face.