In a ‘Cruel’ Trick, Man Tests His Friends and Family and Makes Them Attend His Fake Funeral | “Felt Unappreciated”
Social media is full of content creators pulling questionable stunts for the sake of views and followers and this man who faked his death just joined the league of annoying pranksters. A Belgian TikTok user named David Baerten, 45, set up an elaborate stunt along with his wife and children to trick the rest of his family members and friends who thought Baerten has passed away. According to reports, the creator did all of this to teach his near and dear ones a lesson about staying in touch.
"What I see in my family often hurts me," Baerten told The Times. "I never get invited to anything. Nobody sees me. We all grew apart. I felt unappreciated. That's why I wanted to give them a life lesson and show them that you shouldn't wait until someone is dead to meet up with them." His daughter joined in the ruse and shared a Facebook tribute for Baerten writing: “Rest in peace, Daddy. I will never stop thinking about you. Why is life so unfair? Why you? You were going to be a grandfather and you still had your whole life ahead of you. I love you! We love you! We will never forget you.”
This post announced the fake news of Baerten’s death and his so-called funeral was organized in June 2023 near Liege, Belgium. But the guests were in to receive the greatest shock of their lives at Baerten’s fake funeral when the man himself made a grand entrance along with a film crew in a helicopter. Looking very much alive, the TikTok user was crowded by many funeral attendees as they hugged and greeted him emotionally. A man is even seen breaking down on the shoulder of Baerten in a viral video posted by @el.tiktokeur2.
Baerten, who goes by the handle @ragnar_le_fou on TikTok, further shared to Daily Mail that only half his family showed up and the stunt proved who ‘really cared about him’. "Those who didn't come did contact me to meet up. So in a way, I did win,” he added. But the Belgian TikTok user’s prank has faced some criticism from the netizens as most of them considered this a “cruel” act. One person wrote that “the fallout from this kind of ‘prank’ should've resulted in him actually needing a funeral.”
Another person threw in a reference from the hit TV show Succession and wrote: “This is what some thought Logan Roy was going to do in Succession.” Others condemned his actions and said that “this is probably why his friends and family weren’t in touch with him." It is not uncommon to see friends and families drift away from one another at different stages of life but only someone like Baerten could come up with the idea that his fake funeral will mend the broken bonds.