The Big One

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Protestor Dressed as Bishop Ousted from Papal Conclave Meeting

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Filed under: Creative Activism, The Big One

Phony Bishop: German Imposter Sneaks into Vatican
Spiegel Online
March 4, 2013

German church officials on Tuesday distanced themselves from the man who infiltrated a meeting of cardinals at the Vatican by masquerading as a bishop, saying he can’t be trusted. This isn’t the first time the self-proclaimed bishop and “Jesus yoga” proponent has caused a kerfuffle.

He called himself “Basilius” and showed up wearing a cassock that was too short, a strange-looking chain with a crucifix and a purple shawl instead of the traditional sash. The man who managed to slip into the Vatican on Monday and mingle with cardinals was not a bishop as he claimed. He was German Ralph Napierski, who is known among German clerics as something of a troublemaker.

The fake bishop snuck into the Vatican along with dozens of cardinals who were there making preparations to elect a new pope later this month, according to Italian news agency ANSA. Though he managed to go unnoticed for a time, even posing for a photo with Cardinal Sergio Sebiastiana, he was “eventually identified and kicked out to the visible amusement of journalists nearby,” ANSA reported. (more…)

Priest Opposes Creationism Taught in Schools, But…

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…isn’t the pot calling the kettle black?

Original: By The Big Questions. You can watch the complete episode here: Part 1, Part 2.


“Almighty God” Arrested Preparing for the End

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Filed under: The Big One, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

Almost 1,000 doomsday cult members arrested in China
BBC News China
December 20, 2012

The BBC’s Damian Grammaticas says police are likely to detain suspected cult members for several days

Police in China have carried out further arrests of members of a doomsday cult for spreading rumours about the imminent end of the world, state media say.

Almost 1,000 members of Christian group Almighty God have now been detained.

Read more here

image: Huffington Post

Jesus Christ!

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Doubts over Harvard claim of ‘Jesus’ Wife’ papyrus
by Nicole Winfield
AP News
September 19, 2012

ROME (AP) – Is a scrap of papyrus suggesting that Jesus had a wife authentic?

Scholars on Wednesday questioned the much-publicized discovery by a Harvard scholar that a 4th century fragment of papyrus provided the first evidence that some early Christians believed Jesus was married.

And experts in the illicit antiquities trade also wondered about the motive of the fragment’s anonymous owner, noting that the document’s value has likely increased amid the publicity of the still-unproven find.

Karen King, a professor of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School, announced the finding Tuesday at an international congress on Coptic studies in Rome. The text, written in Coptic and probably translated from a 2nd century Greek text, contains a dialogue in which Jesus refers to “my wife,” whom he identifies as Mary.

King’s paper, and the front-page attention it received in some U.S. newspapers that got advance word about it, was a hot topic of conversation Wednesday at the conference.

Christian tradition has long held that Jesus was unmarried, although there is no reliable historical evidence to support that, King said. Any evidence pointing to whether Jesus was married or had a female disciple could have ripple effects in current debates over the role of women in the church.

Stephen Emmel, a professor of Coptology at the University of Muenster who was on the international advisory panel that reviewed the 2006 discovery of the Gospel of Judas, said the text accurately quotes Jesus as saying “my wife.” But he questioned whether the document was authentic. (more…)

Virgin Mary Comes Alive Prank

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Filed under: Practical Jokes and Mischief, The Big One

From Wil:

A presentation of JustForLaughsTV, the official Just For Laughs Gags YouTube channel:

Kumaré: The True Story of a False Prophet

Filed under: Pranksters, Sociology and Psychology of Pranks, The Big One

Submitted by Emerson Dameron:

American filmmaker Vikram Gandhi examines gurus and gullibility. In the process, he goes undercover as Kumaré, an enlightened spiritual leader from the East who develops a following in the West. His documentary The True Story of a False Prophet premiers in the US this summer. Read more here.

Movie Trailer:


Florida Family Association Brands April Fools’ Day Parade “Progressive Liberals”

Filed under: Satire, The Big One, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

From Joey Skaggs: Based on the hate-mail I received, apparently because the Florida Family Association featured the April Fools’ Day Parade on their website, I expect to see the FFA protesting at the parade. If so, I’m sure the crowd will elect them hands-down winner as this year’s collective King of Fools. They seem to confuse satire with Satan.

From the Florida Family Association:

Liberal New York April Fools day parade to mock Florida Family Association for public opposition to TLC”™s All-American Muslim.

The progressive liberals in New York have added Florida Family Association leader David Caton to a list of people to mock in their April Fools day parade because of the organization”™s public opposition to TLC”™s All-American Muslim.

The PRNewswire reports in part:

The 27th Annual April Fools’ Day Parade will begin at Fifth Avenue and 59th Street at 12 noon, Sunday, April 1, 2012. Rain or shine, the parade will march down Fifth Avenue to Washington Square Park for the climactic selection of the King or Queen of Fools from the costumed marching look-alikes.

The marching celebrity look-alikes will include M.I.A. and Adele flipping the bird; Rush Limbaugh yelling “You slut!”; Arizona Governor Jan Brewer wagging her finger; Sara Palin citing Paul Revere revisionist history; Florida Family Association leader David Caton protesting anything Muslim; Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour bound to his pardoned prisoners as he sings Sam Cook’s “Chain Gang.” Following the parade down to Washington Square Park will be a brigade of New York City’s Finest led by Officer Anthony Bologna, pepper spraying the crowd.

Here’s a sampling of the hate mail:


Christopher Hitchens, R.I.P.

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Christopher Hitchens Dead: Legendary Writer Dies At 62
by Jade Walker
The Huffington Post
December 16, 2011

Christopher Hitchens died Thursday in Houston. He was 62. The legendary writer was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in 2010.

His death was announced by Vanity Fair.

Hitchens was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1949. His father, Ernest, a commander in the British Royal Navy, and his mother, Yvonne, a bookkeeper, scrimped and saved so that he could attend the independent Leys School in Cambridge, and later Balliol College, Oxford. They were determined that he would receive a top-notch education and join the upper class, The Guardian reported.

During his time at university, Hitchens studied philosophy, politics and economics, but the more he learned, the angrier he became. Hitchens’ disgust with racism and opposition to the Vietnam War led him to the political left. He would eventually join the International Socialists, a faction of the anti-Stalinist left, and participate in political protests against the war.


Artist Mideo Cruz on Art & Exorcism

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Filed under: First Amendment Issues, The Big One

Editor’s note: This article from ARTINFO brings to mind Joey Skaggs’ Crucifixion Performance.
As a young artist living on the Lower East Side of New York City, Skaggs created a two hundred pound sculpture depicting a naked rotting skeletal corpse with a human skull, barbed wire crown of thorns, long human hair, and a metal penis dangling between the legs to protest the hypocrisy of the Church and man’s inhumanity to man. From 1966 to 1969, on Easter Sunday, Skaggs dragged the crucifix to various locations in New York City causing a range of violent reactions and police actions. The crucifix was destroyed by the public.

“You Might End Up in a Casket”: A Q&A With Mideo Cruz on His Controversial Dildo Jesus Sculpture and the Perils of Political Art in the Philippines
August 16, 2011

What is Philippines-based artist Mideo Cruz going to do now that his native country’s former first lady Imelda Marcos personally demanded that an exhibition of his work to be closed? Cruz’s installation “Poleteismo” at the Cultural Center of the Philippines plastered the walls with a dense assortment of political and religious imagery “” as well as reliquary-like boxes and a large crucifix affixed with a dildo. It sparked the largest uproar over free speech of recent memory in the country, making international headlines, and leading the show to be shuttered amid rage from offended Catholics. Such was the uproar that even shutting the show wasn’t enough: an exorcist was called in to cleanse the space of “Poleteismo”‘s taint.

Cruz’s work has been branded little more than “shock art,” but the artist “” who says he lived in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a time in 2009, incidentally, at the PointB Worklodge “” has a different take. Following the closure of the show, Cruz talked to ARTINFO about the meaning of “Poleteismo,” explained his take on the country’s political climate, and laughed at death threats from “people who call themselves Christians.”

Can you describe your piece and your inspiration for creating the artwork that has caused so much controversy? (more…)

House Haunted? There’s an App for That.

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Paranormal Phone Apps Like Ghost Radar Help Smartphone Users Seek Spirits
Huffington Post
August 13, 2011

Three “mists” appear at a reportedly haunted Revolutionary War fort in Stamford, CT. Eyewitnesses have often reported ghostly phenomena here. Also, Kodak Labs said the photo was not the result of bad exposure, film or camera problems.

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, if there’s something weird and it don’t look good, who ya gonna call — on your smartphone?

When modern technology combines with good old-fashioned ghostbusting, the result is a series of paranormal phone apps that might help tech-savvy ghost hunters detect other-worldly presences without the need for costly equipment. (more…)

Chain World Videogame – Holy Performance Art

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Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking, The Big One

Bigger Than Jesus
by Jason Fagone
July 15, 2011

When Jason Rohrer created his Chain World videogame, he intended it to be a religion. He just didn’t expect a hold war.

Jason Rohrer is known as much for his eccentric lifestyle as for the brilliant, unusual games he designs. He lives mostly off the grid in the desert town of Las Cruces, New Mexico. He doesn”™t own a car or believe in vaccination. The 33-year-old works out of a home office, typing code in a duct-taped chair. He takes his son Mez to gymnastics and acting class on his lime-green recumbent bicycle, and on weekends he paints with his son Ayza. (He got Mez”™s name from a license plate, and Ayza”™s by mixing up Scrabble tiles.)

On the morning of February 24, Rohrer took a break from coding and pedaled to the local Best Buy. He paid $19.99 for a 4-gigabyte USB memory stick sheathed in black plastic. The next day he sanded off the memory stick”™s logos, giving it a brushed-metal texture that reminded him of something out of Mad Max. Then, using his kids”™ acrylics, he painted a unique pattern on both sides, a chain of dots that resembled a piece of Aboriginal art he had seen.

The stick would soon hold a videogame unlike any other ever created. It would exist on the memory stick and nowhere else. According to a set of rules defined by Rohrer, only one person on earth could play the game at a time. The player would modify the game”™s environment as they moved through it. Then, after the player died in the game, they would pass the memory stick to the next person, who would play in the digital terrain altered by their predecessor””and on and on for years, decades, generations, epochs. In Rohrer”™s mind, his game would share many qualities with religion””a holy ark, a set of commandments, a sense of secrecy and mortality and mystical anticipation. This was the idea, anyway, before things started to get weird. Before Chain World, like religion itself, mutated out of control. (more…)

Pastafarian Al Dente

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Filed under: Parody, The Big One

Update submitted by Chris V., July 15, 2011:

  • Austrian Pastafarian: License Photo Was A Win For Freedom From Religion

  • Submitted by Don B., July 13, 2011

    Austrian Man Wins Right To Wear Pasta Strainer In License Photo
    by Eyder Peralta
    July 13, 2011

    In Austria one of the strangest fights for religious freedom has come to an end: Niko Alm, a self-described “Pastafarian,” fought for three years for the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driver’s license photo.

    His argument? Alm claimed he belonged to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and wearing the strainer was part of his religion.

    The BBC reports:

    Mr Alm’s pastafarian-style application for a driving licence was a response to the Austrian recognition of confessional headgear in official photographs.

    The licence took three years to come through and, according to Mr. Alm, he was asked to submit to a medical interview to check on his mental fitness to drive but – straining credulity – his efforts have finally paid off.

    It is the police who issue driving licences in Austria, and they have duly issued a laminated card showing Mr. Alm in his unorthodox item of religious headgear.

    The AFP reports that Alm now wants to apply for “Pastafarianism to become an officially recognised faith in Austria.”

    If you want more, Alm detailed his fight on his blog. (We’ve linked to Google’s English translation of it.)

    Related posts:

  • Madison Police Play Along with Rapture Prank

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    Rapture or prank? Clothing with burn marks found at Olin-Turville Park
    State Journal, Capital Times
    May 26, 2011

    Did the Rapture happen in Madison after all?

    Do we finally have evidence of alien abduction?

    Or was it the work of a clever band of artistic pranksters?

    Clothing with apparent burn marks along with such personal effects as wallets, watches and keys was found Sunday on the largest hill of Olin-Turville Park, according to a Madison police report that quickly gained attention Thursday, circulating on Facebook, Twitter and media websites.

    But a simple Google search revealed that people across the world undertook similar actions in response to the declaration by a fringe California preacher that last Saturday certain Christians would be transported to heaven.

    Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain played along, writing an uncharacteristically long and descriptive report that he posted to the Internet on Thursday afternoon. (more…)

    Portofess Goes High Tech

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    Filed under: The Big One, Truth that's Stranger than Fiction

    Moderator’s note: Joey Skaggs brought “Religion on the move for people on the go” with his mobile confessional booth, Portofess, in 1992. Now confessing has gone high tech.

    Submitted by Alex Case:

    Just when you think it can’t get any weirder… I think we should counter with I-dulgence: a new way to pay for your sins, as a small amount of money is regularly deducted from your credit card or bank account…

    Catholic church gives blessing to iPhone app
    BBC News
    8 February 2011

    The Catholic Church has approved an iPhone app that helps guide worshippers through confession.

    The Confession program has gone on sale through iTunes for £1.19 ($1.99).

    Described as “the perfect aid for every penitent”, it offers users tips and guidelines to help them with the sacrament.

    Now senior church officials in both the UK and US have given it their seal of approval, in what is thought to be a first.

    The app takes users through the sacrament – in which Catholics admit their wrongdoings – and allows them to keep track of their sins.

    It also allows them to examine their conscience based on personalised factors such as age, sex and marital status – but it is not intended to replace traditional confession entirely.

    Instead, it encourages users to understand their actions and then visit their priest for absolution.

    Read the rest of this article here.

    Not Sure What to Believe? It’s Time for a Refresher Flow Chart

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    Filed under: Satire, The Big One

    Created by

    thanks Erin