In late January 2019, an article appearing to report that a man spent $200,000 on surgery to look more like Jesus Christ began circulating on Facebook:
A 30-year old man from Kentucky underwent some radical plastic surgery in order to physically resemble Jesus Christ.
According to the Lexington Daily Tribune, Mark Emery has already been following Jesus’ footsteps in many different ways for several years, becoming a carpenter himself, as well as studying ancient Jewish law and religious texts.
He went so far as to spend more than $215,000 on two years worth of plastic surgery to change his physical appearance to resemble Jesus.
After undergoing a total of 21 surgical interventions, he claims to be “almost satisfied” with the results.
“Some people buy fancy cars or fancy mansions.. I use my money to show my love for Jesus by getting surgery to look more like him,” says Mr. Emery. “I try to live by his example and to be as much like him as I can. For me, acting like Jesus wasn’t enough, I really wanted to be like him and look like him.”
On January 25 2019, hoax-busting site Lead Stories examined the viral claim, reporting that it is several years old:
Did 30-year-old Mark Emery from Lexington, Kentucky undergo $200,000 worth of plastic surgery to resemble Jesus Christ? No, that’s not true: the story was made up by a Canadian entertainment website that makes a living by publishing fictional stories often involving weird crimes, bizarre sex acts or strange accidents. It is not real. The story recently enjoyed a renewed burst of popularity after it was posted to several Facebook groups after having intially been published in 2015.
The story originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on September 22, 2015[.]
Although the origin of the image of a man posing alongside a painting of Jesus was not known, it was at least two years older than the article and appeared on the internet as early as 2013.
As noted by Lead Stories, World News Daily Report (WNDR) deals solely in falsehoods (most of which are titillating or shocking in some way.) Each page bears the following disclaimer, leaving no doubt about whether any of its claims are intended to be taken seriously:
World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.