By Ruth Carrigan
The angel Gabriel announced Wednesday that cybercriminals had hacked into a divine database and released the names of 26,000 Americans guilty of thus far having lived an entirely selfish and unworthy life. The premature exposure of these corrupt people, though illegal, will not affect God’s intention to judge and punish them immediately following their deaths, said Gabriel.
Posted on the website “soulrot.org,” the stolen files included personal information such as the precise date and time the sinners would die, the exact nature of their immorality and egomania, and jottings pertaining to the judgment God would render against them. Details concerning the nature and intensity of specific punishments appear to have been deleted prior to the theft.
The security breach set off a wave of panic across the United States as people with common names like Steven Johnson — a name appearing six times in the data dump — scrambled to learn if they were among the condemned. William Smith and David Anderson both were listed five times, causing one David Anderson, from Ida Grove, Iowa — innocent, as was later discovered — to drive to northern Canada and go into hiding in hopes of escaping God’s wrath.
People with names like Calvert Nostrilous benefitted from no such confusion of identity.
“Unfortunately there’s only one of me in the country,” said Nostrilous, speaking by smartphone from a shuffleboard court at a retirement villa in Miami. “So when a friend called and told me he’d seen my name on the website, I knew I was the guy God had in mind. To be honest, it’s not as if I didn’t see this coming: I mean, in all my life — and I’m 72 — the only thing I’ve ever really cared about is making a lot of money and then counting it. As far as other people, especially the ones not doing so well — those who prefer flea markets to stock markets — they don’t really do much for me.”
Unlike Nostrilous, others were stunned to learn that God was deeply unhappy with them. Patty Stockwright, an insurance adjuster from Houston, was searching for some of her friends’ names on the list at soulrot.org when she came upon her own name.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Stockwright in an email. “And to see that God had written these phrases next to my name, like: ‘Narcissism beyond fathoming’ and ‘Selfishness so total and comprehensive as to throw into question the entire Creation’ — that really got me. I guess I don’t understand it, I never even think about other people, so how could I have ever hurt anyone?”