Both the FDA and the FTC have called upon right wing leaders like Jim Bakker to STOP selling fraudulent “cures” for Covid-19. This is common practice among the grifters on the right, but this one has the potential to get people killed. The government is right to step in here, and they need to expand their crackdown to other right wing hucksters selling snake oil to their gullible audiences. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins discusses this.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Once a crook, always a crook, that should be the motto of right wing televangelist Jim Bakker. Jim Bakker, if you’re not familiar, at one point in his life had to spend five years in prison for misusing all of those religious funds that his devout followers sent in to him. Some of them actually used to cover up pretty serious assault allegations from one of his employees. There was embezzlement, there was fraud, there were all kinds of financial crimes happening there and Mr. Bakker spent some time in prison for it. But he immediately re-emerged went back on TV and once again kept scamming people up to, and including this very week when the FDA had to send a cease and desist letter to Jim Bakker and his ministry for selling a fraudulent cure for the Coronavirus. In fact, it wasn’t just one fraudulent cure, it was several. According to Jim Bakker’s ministries website, they offer all kinds of products that they claim can prevent or even cure Coronavirus infection.

These include such medical remedies as teas, essential oils, and of course colloidal silver. You know, those little, little bracelets you wear that’s supposed to rebalance your energy and take away the toxins. And they claimed that these can either prevent or cure Coronavirus and the FDA stepped in and said, yes, none of this is true people. In fact, none of these products will treat any disease known to man. Like, not just do these not work against Coronavirus, they literally don’t work for anything. They are, for lack of a better term, snake oil and Jim Bakker is a modern day snake oil salesman. The federal trade commission also got in on the action and had to send a letter to Mr. Bakker telling him, you cannot sell these things anymore.

Six other companies that were also involved in this also got the same letters. Now here’s the thing though, Bakker’s ministry has been selling things like this, so have other evangelicals in this country for many, many years. They sell these allegedly wonderful miracle products out there that’ll cure everything that ails ya and it never does. Again, this is snake oil. It doesn’t actually do anything for you. So why did it take the FDA so long to step in and issue the cease and desist? These people have been ripping off consumers for decades and they’re not the only ones either. It’s not just limited to the right wing evangelicals. We now also have right wing talking heads out there hawking these products. You know, take this muscle boosting supplement. It’ll make you feel like more of a man to take on the liberals. They sell these things. Like Alex Jones is out there hawking these things. Now you have other, other right wingers coming forward and getting these sponsorships. You even have people who claim to be on the left even though they have nothing left about them, like Tim Pool, selling these prepper kits for Coronavirus.

Folks, for the love of God, do not buy anything from a talking head, ever. I’m sorry, and I don’t mean if they go out and endorse a product, sure. But if they’re trying to sell you something as some kind of cure, don’t buy it. If they’re trying to sell you a cup of coffee, sure, that’s okay. But if they stand a profit by selling these weirdo things through their websites, you can pretty much guarantee that it’s not going to do what it says it’s going to do. There is no cure for the current outbreak. There is no actual treatment yet for this current outbreak, and there is no vaccine for this current outbreak. So any kind of supplement or tea or essential oil or piece of silver that you put on your body is not going to do anything about it. In fact, any illness you have, none of those things will do anything about it. I’m sorry. That’s what science says. So please do not get scammed by these people because they are out there and they see an opportunity and anytime there’s an opportunity, a few easy targets always emerge. So please people again, don’t be that easy target.

Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at He is the co-host / guest host for Ring of Fire Radio. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced