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.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair