Guilty verdict for Bishop Climate Wiseman
8 December 2022
Southwark Council wins its case against Bishop Climate Wiseman, for the promotion and sale of an oil mixture that he fraudulently claimed could protect against or cure coronavirus.
Wiseman was found guilty of fraud, at the Inner London Crown Court, on 8 December.
As many will recall, the start of the first lockdown was a time of huge uncertainty and fear. Wiseman’s claims preyed on people when many would have been at their most desperate.
The day after the stay at home order for England was given (24 March 2020), Southwark Council received a complaint that the Kingdom Church in Camberwell was selling a product called ‘Plague Protection Oil’; that was said to protect against or cure coronavirus.
Wiseman sells an assortment of products, which he advertises through various online platforms. This oil cost £91, making it considerably more expensive than other items sold on Wiseman’s blog.
Southwark Trading Standards wrote to Wiseman, asking him to remove all mention of ‘plague/coronavirus prevention’ from his literature and websites and stop making claims about curing coronavirus. They persisted when he didn’t fully comply.
During the same period, the Charity Commission was investigating the church. One of the many organisations that Wiseman was involved with is a registered charity called the Kingdom Church GB. The Charity Commission became aware of the oil being sold as a cure for coronavirus and asked Wiseman to cut all links between the charity and his business, Bishop Climate Ministries, immediately.
Despite Wiseman’s claim that the Kingdom Church had no connection to the sale of the oil, this turned out not to be so. BBC London News investigated of the church, along with Southwark Council and the Charity Commission. Their undercover reporters made test purchases at the Kingdom Church.
A Southwark Council spokesperson said: “We are delighted with this guilty result, it shows that no one is above the law. We hope that it will help to protect people from those who work to take their money, for any product that simply can’t do what they say it will.
”Wiseman’s claims preyed on people from the start of the first lockdown, a time when most of us were scared and worried about coronavirus and what the future held. Wiseman’s behaviour was little more than exploitative commercial opportunism disguised as an article of faith.”
An expert in public health from Imperial College, London, told the court that Wiseman’s claims about his oil mixture were at best misleading and an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, confirmed that in March and April of 2020, no licensed products existed for the treatment of COVID-19.
The claims made both by Wiseman and in his name can’t possibly have been true and form the wrongdoing reflected by the outcome of this trial.
Page last updated: 09 December 2022