Televangelist Joel Osteen target of online hoax

Joel Osteen, senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, has become the target of an elaborate online hoax in which he ostensible claims that he has left the Christian faith.

The claim is made at a fake website, Osteen’s own website is at

Joel Osteen Hoax website

The hoax site says Osteen conducted an interview with Christianity News Texas, a blog hosted at, to explain his decision.

That site in turn claims to quote a CNN story on Osteen’s move.

Joel Osteen Hoax

The hoax included a fake Twitter feed, since suspended, as well as a YouTube video.

ABC News says

True to form, Osteen is turning the other cheek and spinning this bit of adversity as part of his core message.

“You can’t stop everything from happening, but you can choose to say, ‘God, it’s in your hands’. I’m going to move forward. I’m going stay full of joy and I’m going enjoy this day,” Osteen told ABC News.

While the leader of the 45,000 member church is adopting a forgiving attitude, he did not rule out taking some sort of legal action.

The website’s domain was registered to a group called BMG Enterprises in Milwaukee and it went live on April Fools’ Day.

Hoaxter Explains Motives

According to NPR

the man behind the hoax says he wants the pastor to “do away with the soft ‘positivity’ and cliche-peppered Sunday messages and use his high visibility to address more serious social issues.” […]

As for his motivation, the man, who says he hasn’t made any money from the Osteen project, says that his “intent was to stage, for a moment, a plausible scenario of his hypothetical resignation” and to “test viral media markets,” in addition to sending a message to Osteen.

Meanwhile, Joel Osteen remains a controversial figure, with many Christians claiming that he preaches a version of the gospel known as ‘Christanity Lite.’

Vacation? Short break? Day trip? Get Skip-the-line tickets at GetYourGuide.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)

Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday April 9, 2013.
Last updated if a date shows here:


More About This Subject



Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission -- at no additional cost to you -- for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate, Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this research service free of charge.

Speaking of which: One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at