Hey, parents! Worried that your child is spending too little time basking in the divine glow of Christ and too much time basking in the divine glow of frisky me-time? Check out this “anti-masturbation cross,” a papoose-like contraption for children ages 5 and up that trended on Twitter last night along with the hashtag #StopSatan2014.
— Ellen Ripley (@koolaid_47) June 27, 2014
Stop Satan 2014 😂 pic.twitter.com/S11sp4oLZR
— iLikeGirlsDaily (@iLGDaily) June 27, 2014
But is the “anti-masturbation cross,” with its complicated-sounding “papoose cross and arm immobilizer” combo intended to “safely secure a self-raping child,” actually real? Nah.
The photo is from the Facebook page Stop Masturbation Now, a tongue-in-cheek, parody anti-masturbation group that was apparently formed back in 2013 by professional prankster “Lonnie Childs,” who previously duped the media with a press release for the fake anti-masturbation mascot Fappy the Dolphin. Back then, Childs was quoted as telling CNN: “What our organization does is designed to help make children and parents aware of the dangers of masturbation in and outside of the home. God willing, one day masturbation will be illegal.”
Although anyone who took the time to Google Stop Masturbation Now would come up with Childs’ hoaxster history, apparently many took the “anti-masturbation cross” seriously:
— tarangela (@tarangeluh) June 27, 2014
— salLGD (@sal_bulone) June 27, 2014
— Jenn (@Boobearwuvsyou) June 27, 2014
— Zinho De Costa (@StormTheBlock) June 27, 2014
Eventually, the hashtag started taking on a life of its own, with people tweeting other examples of why Satan needed to be stopped, all of which were far more ominous than the evils of masturbation:
I’ve gotten this sudden craving for Costco Pizza and I don’t think I can cope with life until this need is fulfilled. #stopsatan2014
— micky (@mickywelther) June 27, 2014
People who mow their lawns at 8am on friday mornings #StopSatan2014
— Sam Koirala (@samkoi) June 27, 2014
MY SISTER RUINED MY CAKE POPS #stopsatan2014
— nora (@nora_k13) March 11, 2014
So let #StopSatan2014 serve as yet another reminder of one of the guiding principles of the Internet: If a meme seems too bizarre to be true, it probably is.
Photo via Stop Masturbation Now