The person behind the elaborate online hoax in which a fake website and Twitter feed falsely proclaimed Pastor Joel Osteen's intent to renounce Christianity and shut down his influential Houston ministry says that his goal wasn't to attack Osteen personally.
"I would like to state unequivocally my intent was not to defame Mr. Osteen," the person behind the hoax wrote in an email, adding that "he seems like an infectiously nice and genial character."
April Fool's Day was one week ago — but an elaborate hoax targeting Pastor Joel Osteen gained wide attention Monday, after those behind the hoax used Twitter, YouTube, and other social media to spread spurious claims that the pastor had renounced his faith and would close his huge Texas church.
Two county prosecutors fatally shot in Texas. Colorado's top prison official gunned down. And a dozen more members of the U.S. justice community — ranging from police to judges — victims of targeted killings since the beginning of the decade.