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:
"a perky, 20-something Mormon, seeking an eternal mate in the Big Apple"
"the shyest character, got her neighbor's package by mistake and was afraid to deliver it to him in case he got mad"
"the feminist who is disappointed in her husband's ambitions."
"a divorced returned missionary with social anxiety and sweaty hands"
"a wannabe prophet who sees God's hand in everything"
"who isn't Mormon but hangs out with them."
The blog attracted quite a following in the Mormon community, but as an article in the Salt Lake Tribune
reveals, it was a hoax. All the characters were fictional:
The storytellers were planning to out themselves by Thanksgiving. But two weeks ago, a group of readers got suspicious. Folks at ninemoons.com offered a free T-shirt to anyone who correctly identified the real people behind Banner's six characters. On Oct. 28, Gibson, Evans and the rest of the Banner gang came clean, publishing groveling mea culpas, apologizing to readers, acknowledging they got carried away. They are sorry for tricking and hurting people or fueling opponents of the LDS Church... Some critics of the LDS Church grabbed onto the Banner of Heaven episode as a parallel for the church's own founding, saying that it was like founder Joseph Smith claiming invented revelations. That is most upsetting to Banner creators who are all believing Mormons, Evans says. "Religion is more than telling a beautiful story, it's about truth."