Someone with a lot of time on their hands and a burning desire to -- what? embarrass Joel Osteen? -- has put together several Web sites advancing the idea that the rich megachurch preacher is quitting.
The hoax includes Web pages, fake news stories, a YouTube video and a Twitter account.
To a tweeter who actually doubted @PastorJoelOsteen, he (or she) replied: "Nothing fake here. The church controls almost all the accts in my name. They've cut off and seized my accts. Theyre panicking".
The YouTube video says in his retirement announcement, Osteen "cites 'lack of faith,' doubts 'Christ,' says he will start 'new religion'."
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The church has informed reporters it is aware of the hoax, that it is indeed a hoax and that it doesn't know what's going on.
We can only assume the hoaxsters planned this for April Fool's Day but their IT and Web people couldn't meet the deadline.