Tuesday, July 3, 2007

BBB sets its sights on -- Peter Popoff

In yet another sign of the end times, the Better Business Bureau has filed a formal complaint against televangelist Peter Popoff -- you know, the guy who gave us "miracle spring water" from Chernobyl and who claimed to hear the voice of God when in fact it was his wife reading off prayer cards.

Not surprisingly, Popoff is not currently a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. Neither are the other usual suspects -- a quick check of their membership as I wrote this article shows Benny Hinn, Robert Tilton, John Hagee, Oral Roberts and Robert Schuller (Sr and Jr) are AWOL. Billy Graham and his kids Franklin and Anne are members of the ECFA and so is Joni Eareckson; as are (oddly) Pat Robertson, James D. Kennedy and Charles Stanley. Also a member is the somewhat inconsistent Hank Hanegraaff (I used to respect him but he can't seem to decide what a cult is anymore, unfortunately).

Ministry Watch broadens its scope and probing to include non-evangelical groups. It gives unusually high marks to groups like Catholic Relief Services and the Salvation Army; while some of the above named telepreachers who refuse to make themselves accountable get red flags from the "watchers" also. Much to my not so big surprise, Popoff isn't even listed. He's so elusive in his financial dealings he can't even be rated one star, let alone five.

I therefore find it disconcerting that it has to be a secular group, such as the BBB, that must call the bluff of these con artists. Clearly the IRS isn't doing its job nor will it as long as Dubya -- whom 99% of the televangelists support -- remains in office.

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