A faith healer has been accused of “exploiting” people’s anxiety about the coronavirus crisis by selling a “plague protection kit” for £91.
Bishop Climate Wiseman, head of the Kingdom Church in Camberwell, south London, has promised his followers the small bottle of oil and piece of red yarn will protect them from Covid-19.
In a blog post, Bishop Wiseman claimed his concoction of cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet yarn acts as “an invisible barrier to the powers of darkness”.
He wrote: “It is by faith that you can be saved from the coronavirus pandemic by covering yourself with the divine plague protection oil and wearing the scarlet yarn on your body.
“That is why I want to encourage you, if you haven’t done so already, to get your divine plague protection kit today!”
He said that the remedy was based on a passage from chapter 14 of the Old Testament Book of Leviticus.
It reads: “Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times.
“In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”
It is wrong for anyone to exploit people’s fears at this time of high anxiety and we encourage people to report any issues like this to London Trading Standards
The kit was originally priced at £91, according to media reports, but the link to buy the kit has since been deactivated following criticism from Southwark Council.
Victoria Mills, Southwark Council cabinet member for finance, performance and Brexit, said: “It is wrong for anyone to exploit people’s fears at this time of high anxiety and we encourage people to report any issues like this to London Trading Standards.
“This particular issue is already under investigation by our teams.
“There are many scams relating to Covid-19 and the council will be working hard to support consumers to be on guard for bogus test kits, cures and treatments and other financial scams.”
Bishop Wiseman told the PA news agency the church had sold more than 1,000 of the kits.
“This is based on the Bible – I’m a Christian and there is a way that the Bible says to protect us from plagues.”
He insisted that the church is not selling the kits, and that the price tag was just to cover the cost of the ingredients, yarn and postage and packaging.
Bishop Wiseman added that his church was not telling people to ignore the Government’s advice.
“I have not told anybody to get out of your house, go anywhere or whatever.”
He said: “I can’t just sit down as a religious leader and do nothing, every one of us here is trying and when we go back again in the Bible you begin to realise there is a way of God of protecting his people from plagues.
“What is so wrong about putting into practice what the Bible says?”
Public Health England’s advice on stopping the spread of coronavirus is to maintain social distancing, frequently wash your hands and avoid touching your face.
Those with symptoms are asked to self-isolate at home for seven days, while other members of the same household should self-isolate for 14 days to take into account the virus’ incubation period.
The plague protection kit is one of many anointing oils sold by Bishop Wiseman for a range of problems, including oil for peace, unlimited success oil and anointing oil for good marriages.
One can also buy miracle money house blessing oil and anointed oil for court cases.
On the Kingdom Church’s website, it claims thousands of people have been healed from “all sorts” of sickness and disease since it was founded in 2005.