Joel Osteen Hoax

April 9, 2013 by  

Joel Osteen Hoax, Famed televangelist Joel Osteen may not be losing his religion, but he is the target of an elaborate hoax attempting to discredit the powerful megachurch leader and “motivate him to talk about more serious subjects.”

The plan was put into motion on April 1, NPR reports. The scheme included a fake church website,, which looks almost identical to the real website but misspells Osteen’s last name as “Osten.” A fake Twitter account (now suspended) and a YouTube video for the (fictional) Christianity News service also surfaced.

The video clip includes images of fake headlines from news sites such as CNN, Drudge Report, The Christian Broadcasting Network and Yahoo! All the articles in the video include headlines with messages like, “Pastor resigns, cites ‘doubt about Christ.”

A fake statement released on reads in part:

[…] For a number of years now, I have been questioning the faith, Christianity and whether Jesus Christ is really my, or anyone’s, ‘savior’.

I believe now that the Bible is a fallible, flawed, highly inconsistent history book that has been altered hundreds of times. There is zero evidence the Bible is the holy word of God. In fact, there is zero evidence “God” even exists.

Within days, Osteen’s “announcement” had attracted a huge amount of attention, and as NPR reports, many people appeared to believe the news.

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