Transcript for The Man Behind the Joel Osteen Hoax
And now the news about the most famous and arguably magnetic tell evangelist in the tun, joel osteen. He has seven million followers on sundays alone. Tonight there's a hoax that sent out word everywhere he was denouncing his faith. Abc news tracked down the man who claimed to be responsible. Why does he say he did it? Here's abc's david wright. Chains are being broken. Reporter: One of america's best-known televangelists calls it quits, rejecting his faith. Big news it would seem. It was certainly news to joel osteen. My phone started buzzing. And, you know, calls started coming in, and I thought, "i better go check that." Reporter: Turns out, there was a twitter account linked to a facebook page and a website. An elaborate internet hoax. To be crystal clear, it's not true. No, all is well. I still have my faith. Nothing has changed. Reporter: Abc news followed the trail of digital clues to the man now claiming responsibility. My name is justin tribble. I'm in minneapolis, st. Paul. Reporter: And how do we know justin tribl and how do we know this is not a hoax? Well, you don't. No, I'm kidding, you do. Reporter: To prove it, tribble exchanged messages with he also showed us what he said was the receipt for securing the phony website address. I don't agree with the term, "hoax." It is a ruse. It is playful. Reporter: He told us he did this because he admires osteen's skills as a preacher. Father give them bonuses, raises, inheritances. That prosperity gospel I find odeeious. His sermons, it's a lot of I really don't think that the person that did it is an enemy. I think they just had too much time on their hands and wanted to create some kind of stir. I didn't want to hurt god, i didn't want to defame him. I just wanted a message to get through. Reporter: Tribl says he'd love to meet osteen and pray with him, but he'll be lucky if osteen doesn't sue him. The hazards of the new
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