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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Religion
Baby Jesus in the manger watched over by 2 T-rexes — It took me a while to see it, but once you see it, you can't unsee it. The question is: is this a purposeful illusion, or an accidental one? As far as I can tell, it's an accidental illusion. In other words, the scene wasn't designed to look like 2 T-rexes in a manger. The photo comes from redditor "professor_doom" who posted it to reddit.com/r/funny back on Jan 12, 2014. He says that he was driving along when he noticed the nativity scene and quickly hopped out of his car to take the photo. It was actually the back of the scene that he photographed, although he didn't realize… Continue…
Posted: Mon Nov 24, 2014.   Comments (1)

The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife — There's been a lot of news coverage recently about a fragment of ancient papyrus that contains language suggesting Jesus was married. Specifically, it contains the phrase, "Jesus said to them, 'My wife...'" So it's been called the "Gospel of Jesus's Wife." A study published in the April issue of the Harvard Theological Review concluded that the papyrus fragment was an authentic ancient artifact. But now the tide is turning, and evidence is mounting that it's actually a fake. From the Washington Post: Last week, an American researcher named Christian Askeland published findings that… Continue…
Posted: Wed May 07, 2014.   Comments (0)

Pilgrims Flock to Manoppello’s Shrine — Promoters of the Manoppello Image are hoping that it's soon going to be as popular as the Shroud of Turin. Like the Shroud, it's supposedly the actual face of Jesus miraculously imprinted onto a piece of cloth. But I see a problem with their plan. The Shroud of Turin, say what you will about it, genuinely looks mysterious and creepy. But the Manoppello Image just looks like a bad painting. U.S. Pilgrims Flock to Manoppello’s Shrine After Benedict XVI Visit National Catholic…
Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014.   Comments (2)

Pastor drowns trying to walk on water — A news story has been circulating recently about a west African preacher, Franck Kabele, who drowned while trying to show his congregation that he could walk on water just like Jesus Christ. source: ReportGhanaNews.com This story is almost certainly a hoax that media outlets are repeating as real news. The Christian Post notes that this story about Franck Kabele was first reported in British papers back in August 2006. They say it first appeared in the Scottish Daily Record, but I…
Posted: Wed Jan 15, 2014.   Comments (0)


A 9-year-old student was NOT suspended for wishing his atheist teacher a Merry Christmas — The War on Christmas! Looks like some people are taking seriously this spoof National Report article about a 9-year-old kid being suspended for wishing his atheist teacher a Merry Christmas. National Report is one of the many satirical news sites that are now online. Although you have to search its site for a while before finding its disclaimer ("National Report is a news and political satire web publication"), because they don't post it on the bottom of every page, which can easily…
Posted: Mon Dec 16, 2013.   Comments (1)

Dove Debate — As Bishop Bhekibandla was receiving an Honorary Doctorate Certificate at Moses Bible College of South Africa, a dove appeared out of nowhere inside the assembly hall and started flying around his head. Some people in the audience — most of whom were members of the Jericho Church — started crying, weeping hysterically, shouting amen, and calling out that it was a sign from God showing them who their rightful leader was. Not so, says rival Bishop Khanyakwezwe, who insists that the sudden…
Posted: Wed Oct 02, 2013.   Comments (0)

No pony-killing satanists in Devon — Glad they got this cleared up. Satanists on the loose might have scared away the tourists. Pony 'killed by Satanists' died of natural causes Plymouth Herald A pony found mutilated on Dartmoor in what was claimed could be a Pagan ritual died of natural causes, according to Devon and Cornwall police. A pony was found near Plymouth with organs and features missing or placed outside its body in July this year - leading to fears it could have been deliberately killed and arranged as part of…
Posted: Thu Aug 22, 2013.   Comments (0)

Ralph Napierski, Fake Bishop — On Monday, a man calling himself "Basilius," wearing a cassock, black fedora and purple sash, tried to gain access to the pre-conclave meeting of cardinals at the Vatican. He made it through one level of security before being stopped by the Swiss Guard. Spiegel Online has a profile of the guy, whose real name is Ralph Napierski. Apparently Napierski has a history of posing as a Catholic bishop, though Spiegel isn't quite sure what to make of him, debating whether he's "a joker, a church…
Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2013.   Comments (0)

Prisoners request kosher meals — Columbian.com reports that there appears to have been a dramatic increase in Jewish prisoners at Washington State prisons, based on food requests at these institutions. The evidence: in 2011 approximately 1 percent of the inmates requested special kosher meals. But now, 2 years later, almost 11 percent of inmates are requesting them. Federal law requires that the state honors religious dietary requests. The problem is that the kosher meals are more expensive than normal meals — $6.80…
Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2013.   Comments (2)

Magic Log Found in Cambodia — Thousands of people in Cambodia are flocking to see a "magic log" that was found at the bottom of a pond earlier this month. It's a big log (42 feet long). But what makes it magical, in the eyes of the people journeying to see it, is that it appears so well preserved for a log that's been underwater for a while. From Sky News: Battambang province local, Nem Nay, explained to Reuters why he believed the log was magical: 'What I think is, why does this log not rot, even though it stayed…
Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2012.   Comments (7)

Myth-Busters of Mohali — Interesting article in tehelka.com about Tarksheel, the Punjab Rationalist Society, which is a chapter of the larger Indian Rationalist Society. Its members try to combat superstition by using logic and skeptical inquiry. After reading the article, it sounds like they have an uphill struggle ahead of them. Some highlights: The head of the Indian Rationalist Association, Sanal Edamaruku, spent close to 23 hours in a studio in New Delhi last year, while a sadhu invited by the news…
Posted: Fri Apr 20, 2012.   Comments (2)

The Saint of Rice Excrements — Back in ninth-century Japan, there was a religious charlatan who earned the title bei-fun-hijiri or "saint of rice excrements". Before telling how he acquired this title, I should relate how I came across his story, which was in a rather roundabout way. First, I came across a post on the Of Small Wonders & Great Wanders blog about the ancient art of self-mummification, developed by ascetic monks of the Shingon sect in northern Japan: It was initiated by Kobo Daishi (774-835), who took…
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2012.   Comments (0)

How To Make A Psychic Omelette — E.J. Gold describes himself as a "psychic cook". Or, at least, he briefly kept a blog on which he described himself in this way and offered various psychic recipes. His recipe for a psychic omelette starts off in a pretty standard way, but once the eggs have begun to harden in the frying pan, the psychic part kicks in: 8. It's at this point that you begin chanting "OM MANI PADME HUM" until the omelette has cooked to your satisfaction on the topside. Then with a deft scoop of the…
Posted: Sat Apr 07, 2012.   Comments (0)

Burnt Toast With Image Of Romney Shaking Hands With Satan — This auction managed to generate some attention from the internet — enough to get it pulled from eBay. Try as anyone might, no one could see the image the seller claimed was there. And the guy wanted $88.40 just for shipping. Apparently the auction was really just a thinly veiled anti-Mormon diatribe. Link: gawker.com.
Posted: Mon Mar 19, 2012.   Comments (1)

Post-Rapture Pet Adoption — For over three years, Eternal Earth-Bound Pets has been offering peace of mind to Rapture believers. Should the Rapture come, and the devout are whisked away up to Heaven, this service will take care of their pets that are left behind — for a small fee of $135 per pet. But now Bloomberg News is reporting that the business was all just a hoax concocted by Bart Centre, a retired retail executive in New Hampshire, in order to promote his book, The Atheist Camel Chronicles. Bloomberg…
Posted: Sat Mar 17, 2012.   Comments (2)

TV Screen Jesus — This might be in the running for the stupidest pareidolia ever. Floridian Guerda Maurice was watching the Bachelor on TV when she saw a design she wanted to take a picture of. (A design? I have no idea what she means by that.) So she picks up her phone and takes a picture of the TV screen. Later she looks at the picture she took and sees "Jesus picture". That is, there was a reflection on the screen that she thought looked like Jesus. She was so excited that she made a locket out of TV…
Posted: Thu Mar 15, 2012.   Comments (2)

Virgin Mary seen in condom — (via reddit)
Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2012.   Comments (4)

Pareidolia Round: September 2011 — Virgin Mary Sea ShellFelicia Avila of Rio Grande Valley found a sea shell that she says bears the image of the Virgin Mary and Baby Jesus. valleycentral.com Virgin Mary RockTammy Tollett was vacationing in Lake Tahoe when she found a rock that she believes looks like the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus. She says this is the real deal (unlike, presumably, all those other phony pareidolia). orlandosentinel.com Concrete Jesus FaceThe face of Jesus materialized on Mary Vasquez's concrete…
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2011.   Comments (2)

Krispy Kreme sponsors creation science? — I was walking through La Mesa last night (La Mesa, where I live, is a suburb of San Diego), when I came across a flyer for the Creation & Earth History Museum, which is down the road in Santee. At the bottom of the flyer, as you can see, is a list of sponsors. Scantibodies, NOTW, 1:1, Christian Examiner, and KSDW didn't surprise me. They're all christian organizations. (The founders of the Creation Museum were also the founders of Scantibodies. KSDW is a bible radio station, and I…
Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2011.   Comments (22)

Ancient shroud casts doubt on Shroud of Turin — Archaeologists have found a burial shroud sealed within a 2000-year-old tomb in Jerusalem. Comparing the newly found shroud to the Shroud of Turin adds to the evidence that the Shroud of Turin is a fake. From nationalgeographic.com: The newfound shroud was something of a patchwork of simply woven linen and wool textiles, the study found. The Shroud of Turin, by contrast, is made of a single textile woven in a complex twill pattern, a type of cloth not known to have been available in…
Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2009.   Comments (44)

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