Fact Check

Idaho Televangelist Ran Off with Congregants' Money After Telling Them Eclipse Would Bring Rapture?

This story appeared online two days after the total solar eclipse of April 8, 2024.

Published April 17, 2024

 (Getty Images and NASA/GRC/Jordan Salkin)
Image courtesy of Getty Images and NASA/GRC/Jordan Salkin
Claim:
A televangelist from Idaho ran off with his congregants' money after convincing them the 2024 total solar eclipse would bring about the rapture.

In April 2024, numerous Facebook users shared a bit of "breaking" news claiming an Idaho televangelist had run off with his congregants' money. According to the story, the televangelist had convinced his?parishioners the total solar eclipse on April 8 would bring about the rapture.

The rumor was copied and pasted as follows:

BREAKING: The televangelist from Idaho who convinced his followers to sell all their belongings because the eclipse was going to bring about the Rapture appears to have ran away with all his congregants' money.

In response,?one Facebook user said, "It's ok to question authority, especially religious authority." Another person remarked, "Our society is in a very sad state." In another post, a user only commented "Idaho" with a woman-facepalming emoji.

However, this story about the unnamed Idaho televangelist was not true. This rumor originated from a humor account on X known as The Halfway Post (@HalfwayPost). It was posted on April 10, 2024:

The bio for The Halfway Post says it publishes "halfway true comedy and satire [from] Dash MacIntyre," adding, "I don't report the facts. I improve them."

For background, here is?why?we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources

@HalfwayPost. "BREAKING: The Televangelist from Idaho Who Convinced His Followers to Sell All Their Belongings Because the Eclipse Was Going to Bring about the Rapture Appears to Have Ran Away with All His Congregants' Money." X, 10 Apr. 2024, https://twitter.com/HalfwayPost/status/1778212866811662692.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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