The Museum of Hoaxes
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Bonsai Kittens, 2000
Cat that walked 3000 miles to find its owners, 1951
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
The Sandpaper Test, 1960
Prankster causes volcano to erupt, 1974
The Case of the Vanishing Belly Button, 1964
The Crown Prince Regent of Thulia, 1954
Swiss peasants harvest spaghetti from trees, 1957
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper Hoax, 1998
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 ambitions."
Septimus: "a divorced returned missionary with social anxiety and sweaty hands"
Aaron: "a wannabe prophet who sees God's hand in everything"
and Greg: "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."
Categories: Religion, Websites
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 23, 2005
Comments (9)
greg just hangs around with mormons? thats a werid describition of someone, to me it describes a closet mormon
Posted by joeodd  on  Wed Nov 23, 2005  at  03:59 AM
How Ironic! Serves those weak minded morons right!
Posted by KJ  in  Beijing, China  on  Wed Nov 23, 2005  at  08:41 PM
Even though it's all fake, the list of people sounds like a whos-who of the world of EXTREMELY devout geeks. No offence to religion.
Posted by Lady Hedoniste  in  Chilling with 14 other tiny people in your head.  on  Sun Nov 27, 2005  at  02:54 PM
Wow "to me it describes a closet mormon" ... "those weak minded morons" ... Just goes to show you don't have to go too far to find hate speech on the Internet.
Posted by ...Is this thing on? TAP TAP TAP  in  Fort Worth, TX  on  Mon Nov 28, 2005  at  07:11 PM
"Just goes to show you don't have to go too far to find hate speech on the Internet."

You're an idiot.
Posted by J  on  Wed Nov 30, 2005  at  03:10 PM
Best hoax ever. Tons of fun. These guys ROCK!!!
Posted by diet coke  on  Wed Nov 30, 2005  at  07:54 PM
Wasn't the founder of the church arrested, jailed and murdered by an angry mob, because some people back then didn't like what he was saying?

Hopefully things have cooled down since then and hate speech is the only kind of actions ignorant people can rise to.

I'd take hate speech over a hate beat-down anyday.
Posted by Big Jugs  in  Kansas City  on  Fri Dec 30, 2005  at  02:55 AM
I'm actually Wiccan, and since I've joined a coven, it's sometimes hard to keep up with the others.
Posted by Meerkat  on  Wed Aug 09, 2006  at  08:51 PM
Okay, that sounded dumb. Sorry.
Posted by Meerkat  on  Thu Aug 10, 2006  at  11:05 PM
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