Church of the SubGenius

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The Church of the SubGenius is a parody religion THE ONE TRUE RELIGION described by some of its own members as an "insane bogus UFO mind-control cult". SubGenius doctrine combines the worst elements of self-help groups, UFO cults, Scientology, and apocalyptic Christianity with utterly shameless money-grubbing antics.

The organization was founded in 1979 when Rev. Ivan Stang and Philo Drummond (both pseudonyms) published a clip-art pamphlet entitled The World Ends Tomorrow And You May Die!, a clip-art extravaganza that described the basic SubGenius philosophy and introduced J.R. "Bob" Dobbs. The pamphlet found its way into the 1980s underground artist and rock-and-roll culture, as it was endorsed by comix artist R. Crumb in the pages of Weirdo magazine. This caused the SubGenius meme to spread into a graffiti and clip-art movement for several years. "Bob's" smiling face made cameo appearances all over the United States and several other countries (in a manner later echoed by Obey and other graffiti-art campaigns), and the membership of the Church of the SubGenius swelled to several dozen hardcore members, a few thousand "paid-up SubGenius ministers" (people who sent $20 to the group for official "ordainment"), and many unofficial vocal supporters (including Frank Zappa, Pee-Wee Herman, David Byrne, and a few other celebrities).

The Church of the SubGenius expanded in the 1980s with the publication of The Book of the SubGenius, High Weirdness by Mail, Three-Fisted Tales of "Bob," and Revelation X: The "Bob" Apocryphon. However, the movement died down by the early 1990s, as other "wacky" pop culture groups made their own imprints on society. The underground zine movement which fueled the Church faded out and was replaced by the Internet and the World Wide Web, and the Church of the SubGenius moved online to sustain itself.

During the 1990s and even 2000s the Church of the SubGenius continued to attract followers, as it attached itself to ongoing cultural and Internet memes; however, it didn't find the "viral" popularity seen online by other parody religion figures such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, and Anonymous. SubGenius members continue to pop up amid the latest "rebel" fads of the moment (such as the Occupy Wall Street protests), though the movement never moved past its hardcore membership of several hundred SubGenius "ministers" (and many hundreds or thousands of paid-up ministers worldwide giving lip service to the movement).

Contents

[edit] Doctrine

The central doctrine of the Church is that certain portions of humanity are actually superior mutants known as Yetinsyn, the result of crossbreeding between humans and the superior Yeti, or "Atlanteans". Novice SubGenii must prove their worthiness by sending thirty dollars to Church headquarters. By unleashing their Abnormality Potential, they seek to unlock dormant psychic abilities, gain the mystical quality of Slack, and defy the Conspiracy that secretly controls the world and makes all humans dance like puppets.

[edit] End of the World: X-Day

JR "Bob" Dobbs

The ultimate goal of all SubGeniuses is to survive until X-Day, when the godlike aliens known as the Men From Planet X will arrive and Rupture all the dues-paying SubGenii to a never-ending tour of the universe, while converting Planet Earth into the intergalactic equivalent of a greasy-spoon truck-stop. This will result in unending torment for any surviving Normals (and non-paid-up SubGenii), as human pain is apparently a very high-priced drug among the various gods, demons, and alien beings of the complex and ever-growing SubGenius Pantheon.

X-Day is prophesied to occur on July 5th, 1998, at 7 AM. The fact that that date apparently passed without the arrival of the Alien Fleet has forced SubGenii to come up with a multitude of excuses--some of the more popular ones being:

  • "Bob" has interceded with the Xists on behalf of the Earth, and persuaded them to wait until a better 'crop' of souls can be raised.
  • The Conspiracy has tampered with the calendar, and 1998 hasn't occurred yet.
  • "Bob"'s memo was misread (due to being torn in half and taped back together ineptly), and it's actually scheduled for July 5th, 8661.
  • The aliens did destroy Earth, but this planet is actually Mars.

The SubGenii celebrate the impending doom of humanity with a large party/religious devival on the weekend of July 5th, every year. At the (alleged) 1998 devival, the failure of prophecy to come true was marked by the Church's chief preacher, Reverend Ivan Stang, being stripped naked, covered in motor oil and feathers, and tossed in a nearby pond. (When was the last time the Baptists provided that kind of entertainment value?)

[edit] Pantheon

SubGenii are polytheistic, with new gods, demons, and alien monsters constantly being added as Shordurpersavs as old ones wear out. Some of the more persistent of these include G'BroagFran, the Elder Space Bankers, JHVH-1, Eris, the Yacatisma, and the Fightin' Jesus.

The Church's Messiah, if you can call him that, is J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, a drilling-equipment salesman of dubious but possibly divine heritage who was contacted by the space-god JHVH-1 in 1958, and commanded to sell his religion to all the world, or at least the parts willing to pay for it.

[edit] ShorDurPerSav

"ShorDurPerSav" is an unwieldy abbreviation for Short Duration Personal Savior. It's a SubGenius term for any person, object, idea, or other entity that is, at the moment, enormously influential or inspiring to you. The main difference between ShorDurPerSavs and more traditional Personal Saviors is that you are explicitly allowed to discard them once the initial rush wears off, rather than feeling obligated to keep them around forever. (See also Barack Obama.)

[edit] Money-Back Guarantee

The Church of the SubGenius offers a guarantee that no other religion dares to offer: Eternal Salvation, or TRIPLE Your Money Back! Should eternal damnation result from any SubGenius product or service, "Bob" will meet you at the gates of Hell, with a $90.00 check in one hand and a copy of his bestselling book, "Hell on Five Cents an Eternity" (only $89.96, including tax) in the other!

[edit] Publications

  • The Book of the SubGenius
  • Three Fisted Tales of "Bob" (fiction)
  • High Weirdness by Mail (non fiction)
  • Revelation X: The "Bob" Apocryphon
  • The Bobliographon

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

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