12 Out-Of-Control Faith Healers
What Really Happened
These are not miracle workers. They aren't prophets, deities, snake charmers, or the reincarnation of Jesus. Each of these 12 preachers (who are, for whatever reason, mostly men) claims or claimed to have healed the sick through nothing more than faith. But what proof is there that any of them told the truth? As you will see, their real stories are much more terrifying than what you'd expect...
1. Larry Maxwell
Perhaps Larry Maxwell's healing powers don't extend to clairvoyance. In 1991, the former TV repairman was sentenced to 90 days in jail after being convicted of theft by deception when an undercover state trooper posing as an AIDS victim gave Maxwell a $500 down payment on a $5,000 fee to cure the cop of AIDS.
When sentenced, Maxwell swore he was a faith healer and this was his first time charging a fee, adding, "Maybe I needed the money."
2. Peter Popoff
In the 1980s, German-born Peter Popoff had a nationally televised show and was receiving large donations for his campaign to smuggle bibles into the Soviet Union via a hot air balloon. The bible drop never happened, but Popoff's nationally televised shows of extraordinary faith healing continued, making him a national icon. That is until James Randi attended one of Popoff's faith healing events. Randi brought a radio receiver with him.
While the audience saw Popoff magically call out details of the audience he couldn't have known, Randi found an audio channel in which he could hear Popoff's wife telling Popoff details from audience Q&A cards she had collected before the show.
(start at 2:50)
Popoff declared bankruptcy a few years after the fraud was exposed, but his decline was brief. Despite many news programs consistently running exposés on Popoff's practices, he was able to gain a Federal tax-exempt religious organization status in 2006. In 2007, he purchased a $4.5 million California home.