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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Religion
Fake Holy Water Warning — Health officers in Britain have issued a warning to consumers to be on the lookout for fake holy water. From the BBC: The water is advertised as coming from the sacred well of Zam Zam in Mecca, the most holy city in Islam, and demand increases during Ramadan. The warning does not cover genuine Zam Zam, which is sourced from the Well of Zam Zam, located within the Masjid al Haram in Mecca. Councillor Audrey Lewis was concerned Muslims may be exploited into buying counterfeit Zam Zam…
Posted: Wed Sep 12, 2007.   Comments (7)

New From Elliot: Church of the SubGenius — In his new article in the hoaxipedia, Elliot gives some background info on the Church of the SubGenius -- the church which may represent a genuine religious movement, or may be just an elaborate joke. The Church of the SubGenius is affiliated with the Universal Life Church, "an organization that has been legally (in some states) offering tax-exempt ministerships to all who apply regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation." Years ago I sent away to become a Universal Life…
Posted: Wed Sep 05, 2007.   Comments (16)

More Faces in Trees — At least two or three faces seen in trees seem to get reported a month, and I faithfully note them here. Here are the latest: Lodi, California: Emily West was doing some meditating over the weekend in her sister's backyard in central Lodi when something caught her eye. "I looked up and saw the face of Christ in the fence and I said, "Whoa," West said. She called her sister Ana over to ask what she saw. She too agreed, it was the Son of God. Cranky Media Guy forwarded me this story…
Posted: Sat Sep 01, 2007.   Comments (16)

Best of the Forum - 24th August 07 — Due to personal circumstances, this week's Best of the Forum post is brought to you by guest writer and board moderator Madmouse. Unauthorised Reincarnation Banned in Tibet (MadCarlotta) China has banned Buddhists from reincarnating without permission, in an apparent attempt to have the next Dalai Lama chosen by the Chinese government. From the news article: "According to a statement issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, the law, which goes into effect next month…
Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2007.   Comments (11)


Angel Wings in a Texas Tree — A Texas woman thinks a pattern in the trunk of a tree in the parking lot of her local supermarket looks like a pair of angel wings. And, for good measure, she also thinks she might see Jesus there too. The woman, Gayle Griffin, says: "I was drawn to this tree. Something compelled me to take pictures. Something kept telling me to go back." Maybe that something was her need to buy groceries. So this is another tree to add to my growing list of images in trees. The wing pattern is…
Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2007.   Comments (16)

Jesus appears in yet another tree — Here's yet another image of Jesus on a tree to add to my collection. Irma Lopez, of Moorpark, CA, was watering her front yard when, she says, "I noticed an area on the tree that resembles Jesus. I threw down the hose and told my daughter Lisa to come outside." Lisa happens to be pregnant, and neighbors are suggesting that the image and her pregnancy might somehow be related... i.e. that the sudden appearance of the image is a "sign of God," "a true blessing for her and her family."…
Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007.   Comments (14)

New Last Supper Theory — An Italian scholar, Slavisa Pesci, claims to have uncovered new secret images hidden in Da Vinci's Last Supper by superimposing the painting on to its mirror image. When you do this you can supposedly see a woman holding a child, as well as a goblet in front of Jesus. Personally, I can't see anything at all. It all looks like a blurry mess. But Pesci seems to feel that Da Vinci intended for his painting to be viewed this way. He says, "from some of the details you can infer that we are…
Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007.   Comments (9)

Is that the real Buddha’s tooth? — In a Buddhist temple in Singapore, stored inside a solid gold stupa, lies a tooth. The monks who run the temple claim that it's the Buddha's tooth. But others are not so sure. Apparently, "some experts have reportedly questioned whether the tooth is from the Buddha himself." Wow! It's hard to imagine something like this would be fake. The problem seems to be that the tooth looks suspiciously like the tooth of a herbivore, such as a horse or a buffalo. Apparently vendors in places such…
Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2007.   Comments (5)

Speaking of urban legends in the Third World… — A young Indian boy is claiming to be the reincarnation of an American scientist. According to the article linked below, he speaks mostly gibberish with a few "scientific" words mixed in. Proof enough for me! I especially like the next-to-last paragraph of the article. [Thanks to the reader who submitted this story] Indian boy claims to be reincarnation of American scientist
Posted: Tue Jul 17, 2007.   Comments (18)

Paris Hilton — Like with the iPhone (story below), I sincerely doubt I have to tell you who Paris Hilton is. I'm not sure, however, any of us could say what exactly it is she does for a living. Well, I've read that she charges Big Bucks to appear at people's parties, but what do you write on your tax forms in the box that says "Occupation" if that's what you do? The "hoax" I'm referring to here, though, is her alleged conversion to--what? Christianity? Zoroastrianism? Scientology? Whatever sect…
Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2007.   Comments (16)

Face of God in Ceiling — Memphis church-goers claim that the face of God has appeared in the ceiling of their church. The story of the image's first appearance is quite dramatic: Pastor Reginald Lowery of Miracle Crusade Bible Church Holiness said it all started one Friday night at his church, located near 6th and Looney. "I was preaching on 'God Knows Where We Are,' and all of a sudden a big bang hit the church," he said. With that, Lowery said, alarms all over the neighborhood started going off, including…
Posted: Thu Jun 21, 2007.   Comments (13)

Faces in Trees — I was inspired by the news story about the mayor's face in a tree to search out other examples of faces in trees. I knew that stories about faces in trees pop up regularly in the news, but to my knowledge no one had ever collected these stories together in one place. So it seemed like an appropriate thing to waste a couple of hours doing. I posted the results in the hoaxipedia. It's more faces in trees than you can shake a stick at.
Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2007.   Comments (0)

Quick Links: Jesus on Google Maps, etc. — Jesus on Google Maps Brian Martin claims that he saw the shape of Jesus in the clouds above Mount Sinai. (Thanks, Madmouse.) Cat Gives Birth to 'Puppy' Following on from the Japanese poodle scam hoax, this made me laugh. A cat in Zhengzhou, China has supposedly given birth to a litter of four, one of which looks like a poodle. There are no pictures to accompany the article, however. (Thanks, Robert.) Sexism in Tetris It seems a lot of people didn't realise the April 1st post on this…
Posted: Wed May 02, 2007.   Comments (6)

Quick Links: Honesty, Graffiti, Hindu Goddess, and Mozart — Brits flunk honesty test A credit-card protection firm, Affinion International, conducted an experiment in which they left items such as mobile phones, key, and wallets in city centres (Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, London, and Manchester). All the items were clearly marked with the owner's contact number, but most were never returned. Not surprising. Obscene messages end graffiti experiment Officials in Louisville tried to give graffiti artists a legal place to practice their…
Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2007.   Comments (5)

Yemeni Man Grows Horns from Head — 102-year-old Saleh Talib Saleh says he had had dreams when he was younger of growing horns from his head. At the age of 77, he started noticing a hard patch on his scalp. It wasn’t really bothering him and, since at the time there were no local medical facilities, he just ignored it. Gradually, the hard patch grew into what looked like a horn. The growth reached 1.6 feet before the stress on it, due to everyday life, caused it to weaken and fall off. Almost immediately, a second…
Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2007.   Comments (23)

Quick Links: Statue of Jesus Shoots Sparks, etc. — Statue of Jesus Shoots Sparks Visitors to the Liverpool Academy of Art have claimed that a sculpture of Jesus has shot sparks from its eyes. 'Cleansing of the Temple' by Brian Burgess is a steel and bronze statue. Some visitors have also apparently gone into a trance whilst kneeling at the base of the sculpture. The artist says: "I worked on the piece for about a year but I never saw any sparks apart from those coming from the welding torch." Forum thread here. (Thanks, Madmouse.)
Posted: Tue Feb 13, 2007.   Comments (7)

Quick Links: Chicken Born With Duck Feet, etc. — Chicken Born With Duck Feet A chicken in Columbia has surprised everyone by being born with webbed feet and legs like a duck. Vetinary experts say that the chicken is not a result of cross-species breeding, and is just a genetic mishap. (Thanks, Adam.) Divine Or Delusional? wcbstv.com has a gallery of images showing items on which religious icons have allegedly been found. We've covered a few of them here, but some of the images were new to me. I found I could generally make out the…
Posted: Sun Feb 11, 2007.   Comments (15)

Quick Links: Holy Spatula, etc. — Holy Spatula A spatula used to flip a pancake that supposedly had the image of Jesus on it is now up for sale on ebay. The pancake itself was eaten. The seller says: ”Look closely at the middle photo, and you can see that it bears some mysterious symbols, possibly some kind of sacred message. I'm no religious scholar, but I'm sure this had some kind of spiritual significance.” Art as Prank A ‘Your Ad Here’ illuminated sign on the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angeles proved to be the…
Posted: Tue Jan 16, 2007.   Comments (13)

Traveling Baby Jesus Prank — Last year a plastic baby Jesus was stolen from the nativity scene outside the home of the Leising family in Buffalo, New York. The Leisings were devestated, feeling that Jesus should have been off-limit from pranks. But recently Baby Jesus reappeared on their doorstep, along with a book titled "Baby Jesus Chronicles" that showed all the adventures he had been on during the past year. He had been camping, made brownies, went on a bike ride, had a few drinks, etc. Mrs. Leising commented,…
Posted: Thu Dec 21, 2006.   Comments (6)

Quick Links: The Apostles of O’Neill, etc. — The Apostles of O'Neill A group of college kids living in a Washington DC house were informed that they were violating zoning laws that allowed only six people to live in one house. But they did some homework and discovered that 15 people are allowed per house, if it's a residence for a "religious community." Therefore, they've filed paperwork incorporating themselves as a nonprofit religious organization. They call themselves the Apostles of O'Neill. Nessie could not have been a…
Posted: Mon Nov 13, 2006.   Comments (17)

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