Corpus Christi Hoax Mail

Bill B. forwarded an interesting hoax mail to my "hoaxchecker" account (hoaxchecker [at] gmail [dot] com.

The hoax isn't so interesting in itself, in that it's been around quite a while, as is described at the ever-dependable hoax resource But I do find interesting the fact that this particular variant includes some wrinkles that may well be intended to increase its spam potential as a chain letter.

Here's what it looks like, with some brief notes on its more interesting tweaks: I've included more information in another blog here, and I'll return to it in a longer paper in due course.

Subject: FW: Going Beyond Disrespect

When you forward this make sure you send it BCC to avoid hackers getting everyone's e mail.

[This is a spurious argument: you might just find addresses leaking to spammers and scammers, but a list of email addresses isn't much use to a hacker. However, the real motivation behind this suggestion is probably to make it more dificult to remediate the spread of a chain letter.]

Subject: Fw: Going Beyond Disrepect

The movie "Corpus Christi" is due to be released this June to August. A disgusting film set to appear in America later this year depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals! As a play, this has already been in theatres for a while. It's called "Corpus Christi" which means "The Body of Christ". It's revolting mockery of our Lord. But we can make a difference. That's why I am sending this e-mail to you.. If you do send this around, we just might be able to prevent this film from showing in America. Let's stand for what we believe in and stop the mockery of Jesus Christ our Savior. Where do we stand as Christians? At the risk of a bit of inconvenience, I'm forwarding this to all I think would appreciate it, too. Please help us prevent such offenses against our Lord. There is no petition to sign, no time limit, or minimum number of people to send this to.. It will take you less than 2 minutes! If you are not interested and do not have the 2 minutes it will take to do this, please don't complain when God does not have time for you because He is far busier than we are. Hey, it's worth a shot! Apparently, some regions in Europe have already banned the film. All we need is a lot of prayer and a lot of e-mails. JUST GET THE WORD OUT

[There are some other hoax-friendly suggestions in here, too, apart from the bullying tone of moral blackmail. Notably, the suggestion that it doesn't matter that you can't tell from this how long the mail has circulated. If I told you the hoax has been around (not in this exact form) since 1984, would that make you wonder about how effective it's likely to be?]

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  • Capri

    Gah! So that stupid stinky old-shoe hoax is still going around? Sheesh! As a Christian, I really get offended when hoaxters exploit religion to get their stupid junk passed on, and so many Christians just eat it right up blindly without question!

    • David Harley

      I think that’s the point. Hoaxers know that one of the ways to get maximum mileage out of a chain letter is to make the topic something that people will feel strongly about. Most people are less likely to think logically about a topic that engages them emotionally. Otherwise, fewer people would forward chain mail, at least without checking its validity.

  • David Hawthorne

    What you are doing is rather similar to the actions of one Adolf Hitler or Joseph Stalin. Dont you understand; it is not up to you to commit the final judgement! Trying to supress different viewpoints on the life of which the world is always in debt for is not you're responsibility. A homosexual myself has the sure foundations that God loves me just as much as a murderer, a drug addict, a minister or indeed his own Son. You people discust me but infact put the name of God and the Holy Trinity to shame. You are not the SS or Gestapo, you cannot tell other people what is right or wrong. What ''Christians'' base their veiws on homosexuality on is from the Old Testiment. If were were to base other acts such as sodomy or blaspheme on this we would all be stoned to death or have to gouge our eyes out. The Jesus that I know loves each and everyone of us on this mortal world; not just you self-righteous ''Christians''

    • David Harley

      David, you’re ranting at the wrong guy. Even if I was sympathetic to the homophobic views that seem to be expressed in this chain letter, it would be quite inappropriate for me to express them in this blog. The point of the postwas to illustrate the way that hoaxers distort reality and manipulate their victims psychologically and emotionally. If you’ve drawn any conclusions about my own religious sympathies and sexual orientation or even my views on the sexual orientation of others from this article, you’ve misunderstood it. If I feel the need to comment specifically on Christianity, homosexuality or homophobia, it’s unlikely to be in the context of this blog page.

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