Update: The Chicago Tribune has picked up on the whole April's Mom blog scam, and now I feel more sorry for Beccah Beaushausen, who said she really did lose a baby boy shortly after he was born in 2005 -- and I feel bad I was so quick to pull out the "terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Lord" Bible quote in the original piece below. Then again, I wasn't one of the folks following the fake April Rose blog for months -- and praying and likely sending gifts and such. I just hope Beccah ends up healed and okay.
I'd never heard of April Rose or read the blog dedicated to the baby until I started seeing people searching for April Rose fake and April Rose hoax and April Rose scam today.
Now, I've read tons of blogs that are talking about the April Rose saga. Basically, a woman people are calling Beccah Rose Beushausen allegedly created a blog, reeling people in with a story of how she was expecting "April Rose" -- a child whom she wrote was afflicted with serious medical issues.
People prayed, offered help, updated the dark photos of April Rose that were posted on the blog, now widely believed to be one of those life-like dolls.
The April Rose blog has been deleted, but you can still read the posts by clicking on the "cached" link below these posts still on Google.
Was the April Rose scam done for money?
Maybe. I don't know. Probably. The more comments I get, the more I'm thinking that yes, it was done for money. Curiously, the cached pages of the April Rose hoax blog show no Google Adsense ads, at least from what I've seen so far -- but they do show BlogHer ads (whom I'm sure had no idea of the April Rose scam) as well as ads from a couple of other sites that I don't see affiliate programs for:
One of the cached pages on the April Rose blog says she wasn't taking money, but led readers to a link where they could donate money to various places -- I didn't research where those places were, or if they went to a PayPal account or something. (People have updated info below in the comments with more info about PASS donations for April Rose.)
The April Rose website probably received donations and gifts by P.O. box mail:
One of my readers also just commented that the fake April Rose blog probably took donations thru a P.O. box, and I went back and pulled this screen pic of the cached fake April Rose blog that indeed shows where people could email the "mother" and get her address to send cards or letters -- no doubt knowing people would stick a 20 dollar bill in there:
The April Rose Scam Played on the Sympathy of Christians...but Believers are Praying for Forgiveness and His Will Wednesdays
The April Rose blog author wrote about God a lot, and posturing herself as a young, single woman. Perhaps she knew of the Lord's edict to give to the poor or those in need, and thought that not asking for money outright as she spilled her detailed-yet-kinda-purple-prose-ish story online would naturally garner empathy and donations.
Any believers who gave to the plight of April Rose, don't feel bad -- you did it out of the kindness of your heart to help, and God will honor that I believe.
The cool thing is that one blog author at Wind Beneath My Wings wants to continue the His Will Wednesdays -- see her post here:
I love that, making light out of the dark.
But woe (and whoa!) to those who dare steal in the name of Jesus Christ and think they've gotten over. I'd say repent quickly, because as that Bible verse goes, "It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Hebrews 10:31
April Rose Blog is Not the First Online Scam
We've seen scams before online, like the "couple" who threatened to abort their baby if they didn't get a certain amount of money. I believe that guy was found and arrested.
Then there was one "girl" who claimed to have a certain amount of time to live before she killed herself. I think that one was a scam. (Of course, there was that real case where that young black man killed himself in actuality on Justin.TV, so we can't assume everyone is scamming.)
But for April Rose -- follow the money trail. Was money involved? If so, this might be one for the FBI Internet Crime people.
If no money was involved, the April Rose scam might spell a person behind it who created a story or drama for deep-seated emotional issues.
Either way, the mastermind behind the April Rose hoax needs a whole lotta Jesus right now. For real.