The U.K.'s Office of Communications, also known as Ofcom, has slapped a satellite television service provider with a fine of over $32,000 for airing a religious program featuring controversial televangelist Peter Popoff hawking miracle spring water that promises to cure cancer and other diseases.
Ofcom, which is the regulatory and competition authority for the broadcasting, telecommunications and postal industries, announced in a decision on Greener Technology Limited Tuesday that it fined the TV provider after its satellite TV channel BEN TV was found to have broken three of Ofcom’s broadcasting rules by airing a controversial episode from Popoff’s show on Jan. 28, 2018.
“Ben TV broadcast Peter Popoff Ministries, a program featuring footage from televangelist Peter Popoff’s religious services. The program 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,” Ofcom said.
“Ofcom considered that the claims made in the program 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,” the authority continued.
BEN TV is describes itself as Europe’s first ethnic oriented television channel. Its programming is designed to “empower, transform and challenge the conventional perception of Africa, Caribbean and African-descendants in the Diaspora.”
In their assessment of the Popoff episode, the regulatory body concluded that “Greener Technology Limited did not take steps to provide adequate protection” to vulnerable viewers from exploitation.
“There was a material risk that susceptible members of the audience may have been improperly exploited by the program. Ofcom also concluded that the program promoted a product — the ‘miracle spring water’ in breach of the Broadcasting Code,” Ofcom added.
In addition to the fine, Greener Technology Limited was also directed not to repeat the program again and broadcast a statement on Ofcom’s findings.
Popoff, previously amassed millions from a "prophetic anointing" that was later revealed to have come, at least in part, from information fed to him over a radio by his wife, Elizabeth.
About six years ago he resurfaced with the "miracle spring water" show that promises to rid its drinkers from debt and disease.
The wealth-attracting 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 U.S., despite a wealth of evidence, including a report by noted skeptic James Randi, that his miracle ministry reeks of chicanery.
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 his organization.
"This charitable organization 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," noted the BBB on its website.
"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," it said.