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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Religion
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)

Get GodStopper — Are you tired of religious spam filling up your inbox day after day? Then GodStopper may be what you need. It's the "ultimate in religion blocking software from the company that brought you SimJihad." It works to block faith-promoting messages from all the major religions: christianity, judaism, buddhism, islam, etc. But the real question is, will it work against the Church of SpongeBob Squarepants?
Posted: Tue May 25, 2004.   Comments (1)

Recreated Ark of the Covenant — Since April, at least, a seller has been trying to auction off a recreated Ark of the Covenant on eBay. Apparently no one is willing to take it off his hands because bidding keeps ending without a winner, and he just keeps relisting the thing. This, despite the fact that the recreated Ark possesses some remarkable powers. It gives its owner the power to heal by placing on of hands. It allows the owner to converse directly with God. Oh, and it explodes cameras! (that last feature alone…
Posted: Tue May 18, 2004.   Comments (10)

Bush is Lord — Bush is Lord has collected evidence to prove that "George W. Bush is indeed not only our nation's leader, but our spiritual lighthouse and embodied salvation." Well, if this is true, then does that make Cheney an angel?
Posted: Tue May 18, 2004.   Comments (4)

Way of the Master — Dawn writes in with a question: I was looking at this site: http://www.wayofthemaster.com/ and thinking it was one of these movie/tv promotions that you have been talking about, but it actually seems real. It's very strange. Has Kirk Cameron, the former teen heart throb turned into a Christian preacher or am I being gullible? Yes, Dawn, Way of the Master is very strange, but I'm afraid it's quite real. This is one of those sites that you hope (or pray) for it to be a joke. You sit…
Posted: Sun May 16, 2004.   Comments (24)

Shroud of Turin — BBC News has a good summary of the Shroud of Turin controversy, in light of the second face that was discovered on the backside of it. "Does this mean it is real after all? Or does it mean it's an even better hoax than was previously thought?" The answer: no one really knows. I noted in my book that the debate about the shroud rages on and likely will for the foreseeable future. The emergence of new evidence has simply made that more true than ever.
Posted: Sun Apr 18, 2004.   Comments (24)

Weeping Mary Returns — About a year and a half ago I posted an entry about a statue of the Virgin Mary in Perth that was weeping rose-scented tears. Critics and church officials dismissed it as a hoax created by filling the statue with some kind of oil. Now that same statue is back in the news again, crying even more publicly. The Archbishop of Perth has cautioned people that "the case for a miraculous happening has not been proved."
Posted: Tue Apr 13, 2004.   Comments (0)

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