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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Religion
He’s Still an Atheist — A flurry of news stories last week announced the news that a famous atheist, 81-year-old Antony Flew, had changed his mind. Apparently he now believed that there was a God, of some sort. Except that it looks like the media jumped the gun a bit. In this article in Rationalist International Flew rebuts the rumors, reassuring everyone that "I'm Still an Atheist!" He then proceeds to explain how all the confusion happened, but unfortunately his explanation succeeded in confusing me even…
Posted: Tue Dec 14, 2004.   Comments (9)

End of World Causes Bank Failure — Numerous bad loans to a polygamist sect that believes the end of the world is nigh has caused the 99-year-old Bank of Ephraim in Utah to go under. The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (a small Mormon sect a small splinter sect of the Mormon church, unaffiliated with the main church) was spending money like the end of the world was around the corner... because they thought the end of the world actually was around the corner. And happily funding this spending…
Posted: Wed Dec 08, 2004.   Comments (5)

Have You Forsaken Baby Jesus? — Lots of people are linking to this floating Baby Jesus head that squeaks plaintively, occasionally moans 'WHY', and constantly demands 'WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?' One look at the URL told me that it was a spoof, because it's part of the Objective: Christian Ministries (O:CM) site, probably the most elaborate anti-fundamentalist parody site on the internet. But apparently not everyone is aware of O:CM, so they're getting creeped out thinking the floating Baby Jesus head is supposed to…
Posted: Tue Dec 07, 2004.   Comments (7)

Crucified Santa — According to urban legend there was once a department store in Japan that, shortly after the war, displayed a smiling crucified Santa at Christmas, mistakenly believing that that was how Santa was supposed to be displayed. In different versions of the legend the crucified Santa was either a small miniature or an 'enormous effigy'. There's no evidence that the Japanese crucified Santa ever existed. But people here in America have, of course, deliberately stuck Santas up on crosses.
Posted: Fri Dec 03, 2004.   Comments (18)


In the Wake of Grilled Cheese Mary — Following the $28,000 sale of that Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich, it seems like it's been loony season on eBay (if it was ever NOT loony season on eBay, that is). Among the more memorable Grilled Cheese Mary Wannabes have been the Jesus Fish Stick, the NutriGrain cereal that looks like ET, and the piece of popcorn that looks like the Virgin Mary holding Baby Jesus. Buck Wolf, in his weekly column on ABC News, points out some miracle foods from years past that have beguiled the…
Posted: Wed Dec 01, 2004.   Comments (12)

Man Lifts Planes, Elephants — Earlier this month 'spiritual teacher' Sri Chinmoy lifted a 5,322lb airplane off the ground. And the guy is 73 years old. I know there's got to be some trick here. How exactly did he lift that much weight? Was he using a lever of some kind? This weight-lifting success follows on the heels of a little 3,100 mile jog he and some of his followers did. Not a cross-country jog, mind you. No, they jogged around a city block in Jamaica, Queens. It took them seven weeks, running for 18 hours a…
Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2004.   Comments (9)

The Church of Tom Jones — This doesn't appear to be a church for those that worship Tom Jones. Instead, it's just a church for those who enjoy listening to Tom Jones music (I think the former would have been slightly more interesting). Also, I don't think it's a joke. Or maybe it is, and I don't get it. Pastor Jack, the guy who runs the church, seems to have been spooking around for quite a while. He boasts that in 1997 he was voted Strangest Person in America. That would be something to put on a resume. (via
Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2004.   Comments (10)

Virgin Mary Sandwich — The auction of a ten-year-old grilled cheese sandwich bearing the image of the Virgin Mary has been pulled from eBay. The sandwich was put up for sale by Diana Duyser who claims that in the ten years since she made the sandwich and took one bite out of it (before noticing the face of the Virgin), it has miraculously never grown any mold. eBay pulled the auction because it claims that it doesn't allow joke listings (that's news to me). Looking at the sandwich, I can definitely see a…
Posted: Tue Nov 16, 2004.   Comments (33)

I’d like a McConfession with Cheese — Sometimes I wonder how much the Ananova news service can be trusted, especially when I come across stories like this. Apparently a new church has opened in a shopping mall in Chile and has forged some unusual ties with local businesses. For instance, confessing your sins at the church will score you a coupon that you can use at the nearby McDonald's (hopefully your sins don't include gluttony). And the person who prays the loudest wins a discount at the Dockers store. It's so weird it…
Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2004.   Comments (2)

The Free Church of Country Sports — The British government's decision to ban hunting is encountering stiff opposition from pro-hunting groups. While I was over there this issue was constantly on the news (especially when a group of hunting advocates managed to disrupt a session of the House of Commons). But now British hunting enthusiasts have adopted a novel defense of their pasttime. They've formed the Free Church of Country Sports, which is an ecumenical group that views hunting as a form of worship. Therefore, they…
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (3)

Fast for George W. — Since I fall into the demographic group of cynical, urban, over-educated, non-church-goers, when I saw this site urging people to 'Fast for George W' I chuckled and assumed it had to be some kind of joke. But no. It doesn't seem to be a joke. The aim of the site is to organize people "to fast and pray for the holiness of President George W. Bush." Okey Dokey. It even urges people to "please take this seriously" (they must get a lot of people like me snickering at them). As weird as the…
Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2004.   Comments (8)

South Africa Hasn’t Cancelled Christmas — Despite what you may have heard, South Africa hasn't cancelled Christmas. The South Africa Sunday Times ran a headline warning that the government was thinking of cancelling Christmas, since there were too many public holidays already and Christmas couldn't be considered off-limits considering the country's numerous religions. But the Home Affairs Minister has reassured the public that such reports are a hoax.
Posted: Wed Aug 11, 2004.   Comments (2)

Become a Minister — Once upon a time it required years of study to become a minister. Then it got a bit easier when all you had to do was respond to an ad in the back of a magazine. But now, thanks to the internet, becoming a minister is dead easy. Just go to the website of the Universal Life Church and in five minutes you'll have the right to be referred to as Reverend. I think I actually became a ULC minister years ago (back when you had to send away for the form) because a friend signed me up as a…
Posted: Tue Jul 27, 2004.   Comments (1)

Give a Kidney for Christ — Most people have probably heard that old urban legend about a guy who shares a drink with a stranger at a bar and then wakes up in a bathtub full of ice the next morning without a kidney... the victim of kidney harvesters. But the following case is almost the exact opposite. Members of the 'Jesus Christians' cult are lying and scheming in order to get rid of their kidneys, even though the medical authorities don't want them. The leader of the cult, Dave McKay, encourages his followers…
Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2004.   Comments (12)

Muslim Messiah Hoax — I suppose this is no different than thinking that the Virgin Mary has appeared in a stain on a hospital window or flocking to see a weeping statue of Mary, but somehow it seems even more bizarre. For the past two weeks hundreds of Muslims have been making a pilgrimage to a West German University Clinic to see the Messiah being breastfed by his dead mother. They've been drawn there by a rumor spread via Turkish websites. According to the rumor, a Muslim woman died while giving birth to…
Posted: Sat Jun 26, 2004.   Comments (0)

The Power of Prayer — Back in October 2001 the prestigious Journal of Reproductive Medicine published an article titled "Does Prayer Influence the Success of in Vitro Fertilization–Embryo Transfer?" (the journal appears to have removed this article from its server). The apparent answer to the question posed in the title was 'Yes!' In other words, empirical research appeared to demonstrate that praying could help infertile women conceive. So tough luck if you were an infertile atheist. But a recent article…
Posted: Fri Jun 11, 2004.   Comments (1)

Fluids for Christ — Just last night I added a new feature to the site: a discussion forum (I'm calling it the Hoax Forum) where people can post questions or info about new hoaxes they've found. I figure this will be better than having everyone email me stuff like this directly, since the email just sits unanswered in my inbox for ages. And already, on the first day of the forum's existence, someone has posted something good. Rachel Hurley found Fluids for Christ, which claims to be a blood bank for…
Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2004.   Comments (1)

Jesus Christ Online Pharmacy — Karl Marx did say that religion is the opium of the masses. Well, now it's also a direct supplier of Prozac, Wellbutrin, and Zoloft. Yes, you can get all this and more over at JesusChristRx.com. You can even order up a whole bunch of cheap Viagra from the Son of God himself, if that's your thing. I really don't know what to make of the site. It appears to be a genuine online pharmacy. The Presurfer (whose site I found the link at) notes that it's some kind of knock-off of
Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2004.   Comments (2)

Christian Debt Removers — I got spammed today by Christian Debt Removers, an organization which advertises itself as a debt elimination service "based on Christian principles." Whatever that means... your guess is as good as mine. The only thing I could figure out was that they've slapped a few proverbs up on their site and this somehow makes them 'Christian.' Of course, the one Christian phrase that's conspicuously absent from their site is the line from the Lord's Prayer: "forgive us our debts, as we also…
Posted: Wed May 26, 2004.   Comments (14)

Spanking and the Christian Parent — Sometimes I really have no clue what to make of a site. Is it serious, or just a joke? That's the puzzle that fatherly.org presents. It bills itself as a forum "made up of fathers who believe in a traditional, conservative, and practical approach to effective parenting and child discipline." Or, as it states more bluntly later on, it's promoting the message that "Christian parents know that the Word of God advises parents to use spanking as a form of punishment with their children."
Posted: Tue May 25, 2004.   Comments (4)

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