An article claiming that Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps–who died Thursday–made a “deathbed confession” is fake.
The article was published on the National Report, a satire news website.
“This shocking proclamation is likely to throw a permanent monkey wrench in the works of the already scandalous Kansas church. The 84-year-old preacher established the small Kansas chapel in 1955 and made it a household name by picketing funerals,” the fake article reads.
It also includes fake quotes from family members.
However, according to the National Report’s disclaimer, it doesn’t publish real news.
“National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental,” the disclaimer reads.
It adds: “Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help (and you may be if you are on this page), please consult a professional.”
The Phelps “confession” article generated more than 100,000 shares on Facebook in recent days. A number of people commented on the article, apparently believing it’s real.
On Thursday, The Associated Press and local newspaper The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Phelps died.
Shirley Phelps-Roper confirmed to the Journal that he died, saying politely that it’s “none of your business” to the reporter if family members were present upon his death.