Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pop off already

Peter Popoff. Do you know who that is? His website is definitely something worth gawking at; go ahead and take a peek if you like. If you haven't heard of him, I'm sure you've heard about one of his colleagues in the profession - the profession of faith healing.

There are a few very twisted characters who have claimed to be faith healers: Benny Hinn, Oral Roberts, and (my personal favorite) Pat Robertson. Books have been written about the swindling these scumbags have carried out on poor, simple-minded folk. They claim to heal the sick using divine powers. Usually it's cases of arthritis or fatigue ... or interestingly cancer - these are either subjective pain symptoms which can be temporarily ameliorated by adrenaline rushes, or they can't be seen and causative effect be established. Instead of trying to write at great length about it, I'd rather share with you some of the story of Peter Popoff.

James Randi (one of my heroes) fought the good fight and exposed Peter Popoff for the charlatan that he was back in the 1980s. Take a look here:

Now, you might watch this and think about how great the world is that we have protectors who can dispel the archaic mysticism of witch doctors. But you'll be sorry to see what 'Rev.' Popoff is up to these days.

Who can use protectors (like James Randi) when people are foolish enough to get involved with the snake oil salesman all over again? And why is Entertainment Tonight doing the current expose? Where is the FTC?

And people say that nothing bad can come from believing in a god. All evidence is to the contrary. When your worldview is not based on evidence, but on feelings, then you use feelings to justify all sorts of things, and other people will use your feelings against you.

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