This message, which is circulating rapidly via social media, asks you to help get a prayer chain going for an 18-month-old baby named Dakota Miller who is supposedly in a critical condition after shooting himself with a nail gun.
The message asks that you forward the information to everyone you know, apparently in the hope that the many accumulated prayers will help the little boy recover.
An example of the message:
Hey, can you help me get a prayer chain going for micheal bass’s little boy named Dakota Miller. He’s only an 18mo old baby! He got ahold of a nail gun..😥 They had to life flight him. He shot him self and he’s on life support. Forward this to everyone you can please! It’s really appreciated.this is for a friend. Thank you.
But, in fact, the message is an outdated and mutated combination of at least two other prayer request messages, one of which has been circulating since 2010.
Messages like the following example started circulating back in mid-2010 and have continued circulating in the years since:
URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Posting for a FB friend of a friend: 22 month old son shot himself in the chest with a brad nailer, it went in his heart, he is in critical condition not doing good, neither is mom~ please start a prayer chain. Please copy and repost and pray for them. Thank you!
Details about the brad nailer accident described in this message remain unverified. However, references suggest that the accident took place in Champaign, Illinois in late July 2010 and involved a baby named Hayden. Some versions identify the baby’s mother as a person named Kayla Scott. Later reports indicate that Hayden had fully recovered from his injuries.
So how did the name Dakota Miller become attached to the current version of the message? In 2017, a 13-year-old boy named Dakota Miller accidentally shot himself with his grandfather’s gun. The boy was rushed to a hospital in a critical condition.
He was later moved to another hospital and was reportedly showing some signs of improvement.
To be clear, the gun that young Dakota shot himself with was of the bulleted variety, not a nail gun or a brad nailer. He reportedly shot himself while showing a friend the gun, which he did not realize was loaded. And, another news report about the accident identifies the boy’s father as Chris Miller rather than Micheal Bass.
People of faith may believe that sharing such prayer requests will help the sick or injured people mentioned and will thus pass on messages like the one above with the best of intentions. But, given that the information in the current version of the message is significantly inaccurate and hopelessly outdated, we can perhaps all agree that sharing it is utterly pointless and will help nobody.
Importance NoticeAfter considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.
These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.
Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.
And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.
When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.
I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.
A Big Thank YouI would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.
I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.
Closing DateHoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.
Thank you, one and all!