As they often do, a call went up once again today on the infamous 4chan (before you click that link, note that it is indescribably NSFW) to "troll" Mormon chat. Famous for being the origin of almost every internet prank -- they invented Rick-rolling, for example -- the anonymous folks over at 4chan's /b/ board (who call themselves /b/tards) have taken to essentially prank-calling the Mormon.org's chat feature, where you can instant message with a real-live Mormon missionary. Just out of curiosity, we popped over ourselves to chat with such a missionary and find out how the church feels about being repeatedly asked if its refrigerator is running.
But first, here's a little excerpt from a chat between a Mormon and an actual /b/tard:
Welcome to Mormon.org chat.
A representative will be with you shortly.
Agent [Roger] is ready to assist you.
Me: i heard all mormons have to wear top hats is that true?
The chat session has ended.
That's actually a pretty common one, it seems. Others get strung along a little further, as in one where the /b/tard intimated that he was having "spiritual problems" and "going through a hard time." After some coaxing from the hapless missionary, the anon confessed his problem -- in the form of the lyrics to the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Others, of course, are appallingly lewd.
Here's what Bryan, the representative we talked to, had to say about the whole thing:
Welcome to Mormon.org chat. A representative will be with you shortly. Agent [Bryan] is ready to assist you. Bryan: Hi Bryan: What brings you to Mormon.org? Me: Hey Bryan, my name is Jef Otte, and I'm a reporter with Westword, a newspaper in Denver. I actually have a couple of non-religion-related questions, if you have a second. Me: The reason I'm dropping you a line is that your site is currently being "trolled" by 4chan.org. Do you know what that is? Bryan: Yes Me: So somebody anonymous just posted a link directing people to essentially prank call you. Any reactions? Bryan: Not really. It is nothing new. They do it quite often but it doesn't really make that big of an impact. We still find and teach those who sincerely want to learn more. Me: I figured they probably did. Me: What's your policy on handling that? Bryan: We do our best to treat them with respect and kindness but we do not waste time chatting with them when they are crude. We focus on those who actually are real. Me: Sure. Just out of curiosity, how often would you say this happens? Bryan: It varies Me: Does it jam up your servers? Bryan: Jef, I am afraid I am not able to really answer specific questions about our chat system. Bryan: Feel free to contact the churches media and public relations. Me: Fair enough. Have a great day, Bryan. Bryan: You too The chat session has ended.
Well, if there's one thing you can say about Mormons, it's that they certainly don't lack earnestness.