Sunday 28 January 2024

'Covid-cure' preacher's church stripped of charitable status

Staff sergeant tells court she 'instructed by Holy Spirit' when she tried  to sell fake Covid cure | Daily Mail Online

A preacher who was exposed by the BBC for selling £91 "divine plague protection kits" as a cure for Covid-19 has been sanctioned by the Charity Commission.

Bishop Climate Wiseman, of Kingdom Church, Camberwell, warned people they would "drop dead" if they did not buy the kits.

He was convicted of fraud and given a one-year suspended jail term last year.

The commission has now shut down his Kingdom Church GB charity.

Wiseman, 47, has also been disqualified from being a charity trustee for 15 years.

"The public rightly expects charities to be places of safety," said Helen Earner, director of regulatory services at the commission.

"Trustee Bishop Climate Wiseman fell woefully short of that expectation when he scammed vulnerable people at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The Charity Commission acted robustly to investigate the charity and its governance, and ultimately concluded that the Kingdom Church GB should be wound up and removed from the charity register."

Wiseman offered a package containing a small bottle of hyssop, cedarwood and olive oil along with a prayer card and piece of scarlet yarn.

Undercover researchers for BBC London purchased the items, the sale of which constituted the basis of the resulting fraud investigation by Southwark Council.

Wiseman claimed anyone who purchased the kits would be protected from the virus and would have no need for social distancing. It is thought he sold the kits to thousands of people.

Evidence against him during his trial included secret phone recordings and testimony from the BBC investigation team, who received a confidential tip-off that the church was selling the kits.

Wiseman, who denied fraud and two alternative counts under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations, was found guilty by a jury in December 2022 of the more serious offence of fraud.