Fact Check

Emergency Gideon Bibles Rushed to Nepal

Rumor: Gideons International sent 100,000 paperback Bibles to Nepal as a form of earthquake disaster relief.

Published May 4, 2015

Claim:   Gideons International sent 100,000 paperback Bibles to Nepal as a form of earthquake disaster relief.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, April 2015]

I've seen reports that the Gideon Bible society sent a planeload of Bibles to Nepal... you might want to check it out.


Origins:   On 28 April 2015, the web site The Lapine published a (since-deleted) article reporting that the Gideon Society had sent 100,000 paperback Bibles to Nepal (a country that is primarily Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim) as a form of earthquake relief:

More than 100,000 paperback editions of Gideon Bibles have arrived in Nepal to provide relief for the millions of Nepalese desperate for help following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has struck the country. But the jet loaded with skids of boxed Bibles is being called misguided and "dumber-than-dumb-ass" by rescue groups and world governments alike.

"Well, isn’t that just a plane-load full of stupid?" said a shocked and annoyed Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala when told by CNN that the plane taxiing in to Tribhuvan International Airport was full of Gideon Bibles.

"Do they think Nepal is a Motel?"

"We cannot eat Bibles. We cannot use them as shovels."

"Nepal desperately needs food and medicine and equipment and workers ... not best-seller books."

"The people of Nepal were crying out to the world for help," Gideons International Director of Advertising and Marketing Craig Warner said defensively via Skype from his home in Nashville. "We heard them crying out to us in particular, and we are glad for the world-wide media coverage of us rising to the opportunity and feeding their souls."

Soon afterwards links and excerpts referencing that report were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered it mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, the article was just a spoof that originated with The Lapine, a Canadian-based satirical web site whose "About" statement announced:

The Lapine is Canada's Best Satirical Online Newspaper. It satirizes politics, life, media and the human condition, with a special focus on Canada. No Lapine content is intended to hurt even the most delicate of feelings ... but it's bound to happen. Get over it. But if you have concerns, let us know. Did we mention that The Lapine is satire?

(Additional clues to the site's nature are that its name is taken from a language spoken by rabbit characters in the novel Watership Down, and that the site's motto is "Rabbits eat Onions.")

Other fake news stories published by The Lapine include "Atheist Suicide Bomber Kills Eighteen Agnostics," "Dalai Lama Spotted Wearing 'Leave Justin Alone' Button," and "Arizona Gun Buyers Offered Free Flag Tattoo."

Last updated:   4 May 2015

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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