It all began on July 9, 2000, back when I used to lurk in the Delphi Forums, mostly on the Atheist/Agnostic threads, putting in my two cents' worth from time to time.
I started an original thread. It said:
This is so simple. It's been right under our noses all the time: a test for the existence of God.
I'm going to do this experiment, and I suggest that EVERYBODY do it, atheists, agnostics, Christians, Zoroastrians: Talk to God and tell him that if he can do anything - create the world in six days, kill his own son for the sins of the world, set the galaxies in motion - then surely he can appear in your living room for five minutes so that you can chat with him.
What a small thing for the God of the universe to do!!! Nothing is too hard for him (Jeremiah 32:27); with God all things are possible (Matt. 19:16). And we're not even asking him for a miracle. We just want him to spend five minutes with us IN PERSON. If he really loves us so much (John 3:16), he should be willing to spend some time with us.
Please try this in your own home, and let me know the results (I'm particularly interested in what he looks like - if he has an elephant's head, for instance, there are going to be lots of disillusioned Moslems).
Well ... people started posting comments in my new thread. Thousands and thousands of them, arguing, discussing, screaming, threatening. In fact, there were so many comments posted that folks decided that they'd try to set a record: make this thread the Most-Posted-To thread in Delphi history. People started posting things like "La la la la la," and the response would be "Yeah ..."
My thread got its own nickname: "Petey O'Gee" (from PTEOG, "Prove the Existence of God").
Unfortunately, the topics discussed went far, far afield. Over 161,000 messages were posted in response to my original thread.