The Museum of Hoaxes
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Script of Casablanca rejected, 1982
The Hoaxing Hitchhiker, 1941
The Instant Color TV Hoax, 1962
Fake Photos of Very Large Animals
The Nazi Air Marker Hoax, 1942
The Diaphote, a television hoax, 1880
Eccentric's last prank, 66 years after his death, 1900
Jean Gauntt, the Immortal Baby, 1939
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
Mencken's fake history of the bathtub, 1917
Ralph Napierski, Fake Bishop
On Monday, a man calling himself "Basilius," wearing a cassock, black fedora and purple sash, tried to gain access to the pre-conclave meeting of cardinals at the Vatican. He made it through one level of security before being stopped by the Swiss Guard. Spiegel Online has a profile of the guy, whose real name is Ralph Napierski. Apparently Napierski has a history of posing as a Catholic bishop, though Spiegel isn't quite sure what to make of him, debating whether he's "a joker, a church critic or simply an eccentric with strong leanings toward esotericism."

Napierski's history includes: Claiming to be the leader of the "Catholic Order Corpus Dei" (a non-existent order, but perhaps a play on the real "Opus Dei"); conducting a fake auction on eBay that "drove the price of a small digital photo to €10 million" (he said he did it to highlight a security loophole); and attending Berlin's "Venus" erotic trade fair, dressed as a priest, in order, so he said, to promote the use of sex toys by Catholics.

In the thumbnail below, Napierski is the guy on the left. You can also check out Napierski's website.

Famous Fake Bishop: Germany's Mysterious Vatican Gatecrasher
spiegel.de

In Rome, Napierski looked almost convincing in his smart black trilby, violet sash, and crucifix on a chain. Maybe the sneakers gave him away. He strode up to various eminences, shaking hands and smiling into cameras, telling people his name was "Basilius" and he was a member of the "Italian Orthodox Church" -- which doesn't actually exist.
Categories: Identity/Imposters, Religion
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 07, 2013
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