For a moment, the world held its breath...
His official Facebook, Twitter and web site accounts legitimized a statement he had posted indicating his defection from Christianity. A convincing YouTube video that quickly received 170,000 views showed screen captures of various media sites, including Drudge and CNN, announcing the news.
He said he it was time for him to "wake up" and that he had been "questioning everything" for some months now.
Justin Tribble (JT): I'm just a regular guy. I'm a freelance writer with a background in business and public relations. I've been recently brushing up on my web design skills.
CNT: I see. I assume that's how this all got started?
JT: Yes, it is. I had been building a few sites recently and I got the idea, "Why not throw one together about Joel Osteen?" I'm a fan of his. I'm familiar with him. The idea grew from there. What if... the site showed him resigning?
CNT: Did you intend to attract this kind of attention, a million hits in one day, so much media attention?
JT: Absolutely not. I spent $12 on this. It took about five hours to get it all up and running, and from there, a few more hours of refining the sites and fixing code, once it all took off. I wasn't even paying attention and I found out along with everyone else this had gone viral. This was not "elaborate", by any means. Anybody can put anything up on the internet. Whether you want something to go viral or not is not in your control, it's in the public's control.
CNT: Tell us more about what you think of Mr. Osteen. Your interview on ABC News suggested strongly you're a fan of his, if not a bit obsessed with him.
JT: Yeah, that interview was unfortunate, because I was somewhat misrepresented. I'm glad I was charitable to him and expressed that I liked him. The last thing I wanted was to continue tarnishing this guy, because I was already in enough hot water as it was! I am genuinely a fan of his, but on another level, I'm also highly critical of some of the things he's doing.
CNT: Do you feel you are going to be in legal trouble?