A preacher who claims to have performed miracles has been found guilty of fraud after he sold ‘plague protection oil’ as a bogus cure for Covid-19.
Bishop Climate Wiseman, 47, told his congregation at Kingdom Church in Camberwell, south London, if they did not buy his oil – made of hyssop, cedarwood and olive oil – they may end up ‘dropping dead’.
One vial cost a staggering £91, under names including ‘divine cleansing oil’ and ‘plague protection oil’.
Buyers could also purchase it as part of a ‘divine plague protection kit’, meaning they also got sent a prayer card and scarlet yarn.
In court, Wiseman argued he was inspired to sell the oil after he was visited by God who told him he is a prophet who can cure Covid-19.
He insisted he had performed miracles in the past, including curing the blind.
Wiseman claimed the oil was capable of both curing and preventing Covid-19 for him and members of his church because of their faith.
Members of the congregation, including nurses, testified that the oil did in fact work for them and were prevented from catching the virus.
Ironically, he was also able to offer up an oil which protects buyers during court cases.
He denied fraud and two alternative counts under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations.
However he was found guilty by a jury at Inner London Crown Court on Thursday of the more serious offence of fraud between March 23, 2020 and March 24 last year by a majority of 11 to one.
Judge Nigel Peters KC, who adjourned sentencing, said Wiseman was carrying out the fraud when ‘there was fear amongst the public in this country’.
‘This was being touted at a time when the public in this country were under the most intense pressure as to what would happen tomorrow,’ he said.
Southwark Trading Standards was alerted to the Covid-19 scam on March 24, 2020 – the day after the country was plunged into a nationwide lockdown – while the BBC also carried out an investigation.
Prosecutor Richard Heller earlier told the jury that Wiseman, calling himself ‘Prophet Climate Wiseman’ said his oil mixture, containing ‘cedarwood, hyssop and prayer’ had ‘sat upon the altar for seven days’.
On his blogging site, Wiseman claimed the special ingredients in the oil ‘act like an invisible barrier’ and that ‘coronavirus and any other deadly thing will pass over’.
He claimed that, through its use, together with a scarlet yarn, it killed coronavirus, which ‘can’t stand the power of the oil’ and that by coughing the virus would be expelled from the body and ‘die’.
Wiseman and his church were also investigated in 2016 after they offered oil for sale which they claimed cured cancer.
Southwark councillor Evelyn Akoto, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said after the verdict: ‘There were a lot of vulnerable people at that time who were really scared and didn’t know where to turn.
‘And this was a potential cure, so a lot of people believed in it, unfortunately, and succumbed to pay high costs for something we know doesn’t work.
‘We’re absolutely delighted that we’ve got this guilty verdict.’
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