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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Religion
Woman Claims To Be Descendant of Jesus Christ (And Gets Huge Book Deal) — Status: Clever marketing scheme Kathleen McGowan claims to be a descendant of Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. That belief would make her no different than all the other people in this world suffering from delusions of grandeur, except that she's managed to leverage her extraordinary claim of ancestry into a major book deal. Simon & Schuster will soon be publishing her novel, The Expected One, with a print-run of 250,000 copies. The book is a loose fictionalization of her claim. She…
Posted: Fri Jul 21, 2006.   Comments (26)

Religious Devotees Worship Phony Phallic Symbol — Status: Strange News Inside the Amarnath Cave, located in Indian-administered Kashmir, can be found the ice Shiva Linga, one of the holiest objects in the Hindu faith. Basically it's a large, naturally occurring, phallus-shaped ice stalagmite. Hundreds of thousands of Hindus make the pilgrimage to visit it each year, despite a high amount of terrorist activity in that area. (Wikipedia has an entry about it.) But this year the pilgrimage has been marred by allegations that the Shiva…
Posted: Fri Jun 30, 2006.   Comments (3)

Million-Dollar Bill Tracts Seized — Status: Strange News Earlier this month the Secret Service raided the offices of the Great News Network (a Texas ministry) and seized 8300 inspirational tracts. The problem with the tracts? They were printed on million-dollar bills. I would say fake million-dollar bills, but since there's no such thing as real million-dollar bills, there can't exactly be fake ones either. However, the Secret Service felt they looked a little bit too much like real currency for comfort. Reportedly…
Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2006.   Comments (114)

Prince Philip Worshipped As A God — Status: Strange but true Poor Prince Philip never seems to get that much attention, overshadowed as he is by his famous wife, the Queen. But he can console himself with the knowledge that the residents of Tanna, a volcanic island in the Pacific, worship him as a god. UPI reports: Members of the Yaohahnen tribe have developed their own form of cargo cult, belief systems dating to World War II, when U.S. military planes dropped boxes of supplies by parachute that some Pacific islanders…
Posted: Tue Jun 06, 2006.   Comments (12)


BushFish — Status: Undetermined Do you believe God belongs in government? Do you believe President Bush is doing The Lord's Work? If so, then step up and buy a BushFish car magnet. There's been speculation that this is some kind of parody, along the lines of BushIsLord.com. It does seem a little over the top. But I'm guessing that the creator of these things doesn't care whether people interpret them as a parody, or as a serious statement, as long as they buy plenty of them. (And yes, as far as I…
Posted: Thu Jun 01, 2006.   Comments (16)

FEMA Plan to Use Pastors as Pacifiers — Status: Unlikely An article has begun to circulate around the internet warning of a secret government plan to enlist pastors in an evil plan to create a submissive populace: A Pastor has come forward to blow the whistle on a nationwide FEMA program which is training Pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to "obey the government" in preparation for a declaration of martial law, property and firearm seizures, and forced…
Posted: Wed May 31, 2006.   Comments (24)

Monster Truck Church Commercial — Status: Not an official ad An amusing monster-truck-style radio commercial for St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Birmingham is doing the rounds. "This Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! It's a sacramental showdown at St. Andrew's Episcopal..." It's not a real ad, in the sense that it's never been aired. Nor was it created by the church. As Church Marketing Sucks reports, it was created by Mike McKenzie, who's a St. Andrew's parishioner: "It wasn't with the intention of making a commercial--I was…
Posted: Tue May 02, 2006.   Comments (3)

Praying For Peace (for 30 days) — Status: Malarkey If you live in Cincinnati, watch out. Sometime during the next month you may feel a calm sensation wash over you. And that sensation may be caused by the "Maharishi Effect." At least, it might be if you believe tai chi teacher Vince Lasorso. Lasorso is hoping to convince 3000 residents of Cincinnati to pray or meditate for 30 days, starting on April 29th, in order to create a "peaceful field of consciousness" in the city and hopefully reduce its murder rate. As the
Posted: Mon May 01, 2006.   Comments (11)

Jesus Pets — Status: Hoax Jesus Pets points out a serious problem that born-again Christians must face if they own a pet: Many Christians believe that animals do not go to heaven. So when Jesus comes back and you return with him to heaven, will there be somebody to take care of your dog or cat? Happily, they offer a solution: We are assembling a community of heathen pet-lovers to care for pets that are “left-behind.” We are coordinating with feed mills and kennels in preparation for your…
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2006.   Comments (21)

Iran Renames Danish Pastries — Status: Undetermined A news service called AKI (Adnkronos International) is reporting that Iran has decided to rename Danish pastries "Mohammedan" pastries. It notes that "The name change recalls when some Americans started calling French fries, 'Freedom fries' to protest France's opposition to the United States-led invasion of Iraq." I wouldn't put it past the Iranian government to do this, but what I'm not sure about is whether Danish pastries are actually referred to as Danish…
Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2006.   Comments (30)

Fish Spells Allah and Muhammad — Status: Pareidolia Oscar, who's a fish, lives in a tank in Waterfoot, England. He's attracting quite a bit of attention because markings on one side of his body seem to spell out the name Allah in arabic script, while markings on his other side seem to spell out Muhammad. Since I don't know arabic, I'm not in a position to judge how much the markings look like these words. But at least saying that markings spell a word is a bit more cut-and-dry than saying that markings look like…
Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006.   Comments (45)

Healing Power of Prayer Study — Status: Pseudoscience Last night ABC News had a segment about a study being funded by the National Institutes of Health to determine if prayer can help cancer patients heal faster. Or more specifically, whether a stranger's prayers can help a patient heal faster. (The people running the study have invented the bs term 'distant healing' to make what they're studying sound more legitimate.) My jaw was on the floor as I was watching this. I couldn't believe the government had been suckered…
Posted: Mon Jan 09, 2006.   Comments (30)

Extra Virgin Mary — Status: Prank I'm about five days late posting this, but better late than never. An advertisement for an "Extra Virgin Mary Statue" slipped by the editors of the conservative Catholic magazine, America. The advertisement offered "a stunning ... statue of the Virgin Mary standing atop a serpent wearing a delicate veil of latex." The "delicate veil of latex" was a blue condom. America's editors didn't examine the accompanying photo closely enough to realize this. And so the ad ran in the…
Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2005.   Comments (11)

Jesus in a Warming Tray — Status: Pareidolia Shortly before Christmas workers at a Florida restaurant noticed that mineral deposits had created a face-like image on the bottom of one of the warming trays they were using. They knew right away that this had to be the face of Christ. (Who else would appear on a warming tray?) According to this MSNBC article "A spokesman for the Stadium Club says they will not continue to use the pan." In other words, Jesus has ruined a perfectly good warming tray. Thanks a lot,…
Posted: Tue Dec 27, 2005.   Comments (28)

The Three Magi — Status: Fake Yes, that's Tony Blair on the left and President Bush on the right. In the middle is the Duke of Edinburgh. They're dressed up as the three magi. It's pretty obvious that the picture is fake. Bush and Blair didn't really don these costumes. But it's not fake in the sense of being photoshopped. These are actually dummies (wax dummies, specifically) that appeared in a nativity scene at London's Madame Tussauds last Christmas. (Victoria and David Beckham served as Mary and…
Posted: Tue Dec 20, 2005.   Comments (4)

Holy Bottled Water — Status: Real water, but it's not holy This is an odd marketing gimmick. This company is selling Holy Bottled Water. Of course, the label could easily be mistakenly read as Holy Water Bottled. But it's not holy water (in the sense of water that's been blessed by a priest). It's just regular old bottled water. The closest they come to explaining why their water is holy is this cryptic claim: From the River of Living Water flows 'Holy Bottled Water Inc.' Produced by man under the…
Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005.   Comments (4)

Grandma Steals Baby Jesus — Status: True Virginia Voiers, a 70-year-old grandmother, has been charged with stealing baby Jesus from a nativity scene in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. "It was a lark, it wasn't any serious stealing,'' Voiers told the Lovely County Citizen newspaper of Eureka Springs. "My granddaughter commented that no one had taken the baby Jesus this year and said, 'Grandma?' I said, 'Oh, what the heck.''' Usually, the baby Jesus is returned by the thief. Voiers said her Saturday caper was the first…
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2005.   Comments (13)

Banner of Heaven — Status: Hoax website Banner of Heaven is (or rather was) a weblog run by a group of mormons who wrote about their experiences trying to balance the pressures of daily life with the demands of their religion. The cast included: Jenn: "a perky, 20-something Mormon, seeking an eternal mate in the Big Apple" Mari: "the shyest character, got her neighbor's package by mistake and was afraid to deliver it to him in case he got mad" Miranda: "the feminist who is disappointed in her husband's…
Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2005.   Comments (9)

Police Officer Declares Himself Hindu Deity — Status: Impersonating a deity A male police officer in India has declared himself to be the reincarnation of Radha, the female consort of the Hindu god Krishna. Naturally, he dresses the part: Devendra Kumar Panda, a 1971 batch officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS), presents an odd sight draped in female attire - complete with nose ring, lipstick, finger and toe nails painted red - and singing hymns in praise of Lord Krishna and dancing. "Lord Krishna has himself assigned me the…
Posted: Sun Nov 13, 2005.   Comments (12)

Upside-Down Christmas Trees — Status: Real Target.com is was selling an upside-down Christmas tree for $499.99. (Thanks to Travis for the link--which has now gone dead, therefore I removed it) I'm not religious, but my first thought when seeing it was that it would be a perfect holiday decoration for a family of Satanists, to accompany their upside-down crosses and crucified Santa. I know it's not a joke, or some mistake on Target's part, because Hammacher Schlemmer is selling the same thing for $100 more. I…
Posted: Wed Nov 09, 2005.   Comments (84)

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