Joel Osteen the Victim of an Elaborate Resignation Hoax

Mega-church pastor Joel Osteen was the victim of an elaborate hoax that led some to believe he was leaving his Houston congregation. Last week, a fake website (that was made to look like Osteen’s real ministry homepage) posted a made-up “letter” from the evangelist in which he said he no longer believed the Bible, was renouncing his faith and leaving his church. The people behind the site, also set up a fake Twitter account they used to perpetuate the lies. Though Osteen hasn’t ruled out taking some sort of legal action, in an interview with ABC News, he seemed to take it all in stride. “I’m really not angry. I don’t feel like a victim” …

Update: In an email exchange with NPR, the person claiming to be behind the hoax said that his motivation was not to defame Joel Osteen, but to rather “stage, for a moment, a plausible scenario of his hypothetical resignation". He said that he has received an enormous amount of email through an address provided on the fake site. “About 60 percent of literally thousands of comments and emails have been positive, affirming messages from Christians praying for me." He said the rest of the feedback was either from "very angry, upset Christians" or "atheists and freethinkers and 'back slid' Christians". Another motivation for the prank: “to somehow appear on The Daily Show so I can make one of my good friends jealous."




TJ commented…

My question is did this prank cause any real harm. Joel Osteen, as a pastor of a mega-church knows of the attacks he and the congregation will come under. This was a harmless prank, no attempt to do harm that we can see here, so why take legal action and go out side of scripture?

Esther Aspling


Esther Aspling commented…

"to somehow appear on The Daily Show so I can make one of my good friends jealous"
What better motivation could there be?



Adam commented…

while osteen's validity as a true christian and a speaker of the bible and the christian faith has been in question, he always seemed to be a fairly legit guy who trys his hardest to reach and motivate people to push through stuff in life and to uplift spirits.. .hate to see something ignorant like this happen to him

while he may not present the most compelling arguments, get to deep into scripture and the fact he will not stand against homos*xuality (he acts indifferent about it when asked), his messages work well for what they're meant for. .

this goes to show you the enemy at work, trying to sabotage or stir up controversy with a man of God. .i don't understand why he "wouldn't" take legal action. .someone defamed him and used his name to make a fake statement, which affected lots of people apparently. .i believe the term is called "libel"



Kory commented…

"I don't feel like a victim" but "haven't ruled out legal action." Classic Joel.

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