"...he says can turn a phone on or off"
I call bullshit, it's easily provable that when off a phone isn't transmitting.
It could well be recieving, ie it wasn't off but in a deep sleep, and there was a mechanism like wake-on-lan. Even then that would be problematic, as it would require all cell towers to broadcast the message, in the hope that the target device is within range (it's not broadcasting, so only the last connected tower is known).
The other 'smurfs' he describes are possible, of course, basic spy-ware. Though I find it unlikely that the capability is present in un hacked phones, this would require far too great a level of compliance (and secrecy) from all phone manufacturers.