Gatlinburg, Tennessee Overrun by Immigrants-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:


This is a forwarded email that alleged that the town of Gatlinburg, Tennessee has experienced an influx of  foreigners setting up shops in the community.  The email said mostly Indians and Pakistanis have moved there and now Ukrainians are coming to Gatlinburg.

The Truth:


This is a fictional conspiracy theory from anonymous sources according to an official statement by the City Manager of Gatlin, TN.

Image of official statement from the Gatlin City Manager
posted 06/10/13

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Goodbye Gatlinburg

I’m returning now from being in Gatlinburg. I was shocked to notice that many of the shops are replaced by new ones. The owners have foreign accents.

I would guess 80% are now run by Indians, Pakistanis and now Ukrainians! I asked one lady where she was from and she said Ukraine . I asked 2 other shop owners where they were from: Ukraine . I jokingly asked ” did you folks buy up the whole left side of Gatlinburg? She with barely veiled hatred and distain said” Yeah, pretty much”. I tried to ask a vendor whom I asked first if he was American, about what was happening with all the foreigners. He refused to even talk about it. I asked another group and they seemed afraid but one woman spoke up with an attitude of careless determination and told us that the chamber of commerce was Iranians. That there was nothing they could do but try to stand. The others looked at her and each other nervously. I spoke to a young lady in a in busy shop and she carefully began to open up

a little. She said the town was being bought up by a rich lawyer called Joe Baker and that he is renting the shops out to foreigners because they can afford higher rent since they don’t have to pay taxes for 5 years. She said the foreigners change the business name and sell it to a relative and it continues tax free for 5 more years. It’s destroying Gatlinburg. It feels creepy. I asked what the religious affiliation of most of the foreigners was–they said: MUSLIM!!!! A Muslim foothold in the mountains of Tennessee !

Very scary and poignant!