Preacher sold bogus £91 kits to ward off and cure Covid-19, court heard
He claimed his mixture, made from cedarwood, hyssop oil and olive oil had cured at least 10 people who had the bug.
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A preacher sold bogus £91 kits to ward off and cure coronavirus and warned his flock they might drop dead if they didn’t buy them, a court heard.
The faith healer has gone on trial accused of one count of fraud and two counts of engaging in unfair commercial practice over a year between March 23, 2020, and March 24, 2021.
He claimed his mixture, made from cedarwood, hyssop oil and olive oil had cured at least 10 people who had the bug and that investigators probing him were “the antichrist”.
Jurors were told the faithful could purchase the kits through the bishopclimateblog.com, prophet-climate.com and prophetclimate.net by signing a Prayer Agreement Form.
Bishop Wiseman said in a blog that by using the mixture, which had sat upon the altar for seven days alongside a scarlet yarn, the ingredients would “act like an invisible barrier” and that “coronavirus and any other deadly thing” would pass over the user, prosecutors said.
Inner London Crown Court heard the kits were considerably more expensive than other items he was selling and his sales pitches were all motivated by money.
In an instructional video, he said people with the bug should put their head under a towel over which some boiling water imbued with the oil had been poured.
He said his creation kills the virus which “can’t stand the power of the oil” and claimed after inhalation the bug is coughed out of the body and “just dies.”
He urged faithful viewers not to do nothing and buy the kits as soon as possible or they “may end up dropping dead.”
Testimonial videos claimed a woman with no sense of taste and high temperature was left feeling “much better” after drinking some of it.
Trading standards from Southwark Council were first made aware of the so-called cure on 24 March 2020, the first full day of the first lockdown, which was advertised on his blog.
Some claims were removed but he still claimed the kits offered “divine protection”.
Material about the oils were still found online when trading standards probed again in January 2021.
Wiseman, from Camberwell, appeared in the dock wearing bishop’s regalia and showed little emotion as the case against him was read out.
Richard Heller, for the prosecution, told jurors the case dates back to “a time I imagine most of us would prefer to forget.”
He added: “The defendant may seek to portray this trial as a challenge to his right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, but I want to make clear from the outset that it is no such thing.
“To be clear, the prosecution says the promotion of the oil sold by the defendant, under whatever name he chose to give it, was little more than exploitative commercial opportunism disguised as an article of faith.
“The claims made both by the defendant and in his name can’t possibly have been true.
“Whatever beliefs the defendant may hold, it doesn’t confer the right to sell bogus cures to fatal illnesses. He is not above the law and his faith isn’t exempt from its prohibitions.”
The court heard a disclaimer was later added to videos where he said he had never claimed he could cure people with the illness. He also claims he did not make a profit from the kits.
No treatments for coronavirus were approved by UK medical regulators until June 2020 and only a handful of vaccines and medicines are in use today.
Bishop Wiseman denies all three charges.
The trial continues and is expected to last until the middle of next week.