So, how DO I create a parody religion?

I was going to say “spoof religion” in the title, but since so many people here have filthy minds, half the thread would be taken up with people making off-colour comments and hijacking the thread. :wink:

Anyhoo, In a period of what I call Around lunchtime-ish on your day off (unless work calls), Ive been trawling through Wikipedia and reading up on things like the Invisible Pink Unicorn, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and J.R. “Bob” Dobbs.

Turns out there’s quite a few spoof religions out there, some of which are taken quite seriously by people- I know, it’s ironic- and that’s got me thinking.

sound of chairs scraping as people at the back of the room try and sneak out before the terrifying revelation that must surely follow

Let’s say I decided to start my own spoof religion- say, The Imperial Order Of Holy Armaments.

Since I have no Mad Web Skillz™, I can’t just publish a humorous website and wait for the followers and tithes to roll in.

Writing a Book of Armaments would take a very long time, and I doubt any publisher would touch it with a 60ft pole unless the IOHA was already an established Internet Parody Religion. Which brings us back to square one.

So, anyway, how would someone (anyone?) go about creating a spoof religion?

Answers on the back of a postcard…

Google two prime examples of parody religions:

$cientology and

Church of the Subgenius.

If you really want to get serious about it, think about writing parody “Jack Chick”-style tracts about your fake religion.

You’ll need:

a fake deity(ies);

fake prophet(s) and/or avatar(s);

fake divine artifacts: arks, plates, things like that;

fake creation mythology;

fake apocalyptic/end of the world as we know it dogma;

fake rites/ceremonies/symbols;

The most obvious is Landover Baptist Church. The entire site is a parody of everything the is wrong and right with religion.

Don’t forget holidays. You could have something like the feast of the maximum occupancy.

Oh, creating a spoof religion is easy. All it takes is, well, creativity. My personal favorite is the Principia Discordia. For information on how it was written, see the introductions to the Fourth and Fifth editions and the Fourth edition afterword, all linked on the page just given. Basically, they created it by cut-and-paste and it distributed by word of mouth. In other words, creating is “easy.” It’s marketing that’s tough. The PD found an audience. Maybe the IOHA will too, if it’s clever enough. If you don’t wanna do the internet, Lulu makes self-publishing easier (and cheaper) than it used to be.

Definitely not a General Question. Moved to MPSIMS.

samclem GQ moderator

First, you get a prophet.

I second the Principia as an excellent model. It took years and contributions from many, many clever people, but it made quite an impression on me (I’ve even gone on to read some of Robert Wilson’s books). It’s a very good little book. I’ve got a copy I’ve worn out over several years that I still read periodically.

Check it out for lots of good ideas. It’s a lot of wordplay.

Just out of curiousity, why is “spoof” filthy and “parody” not?

Anyway, it’s kind of an odd question… It’s not like there’s a registry of joke religions that you need to contact. Just make something up and figure out how to expose as many people as possible to it. A web site would make sense but if you don’t want to do that… I don’t know, just start locally - post flyers in your town and hold meetings. If you can interest people in it they will tell their friends, start their own websites, etc.

“Spoof” (pronounced something like “Spouf”) is a slang term for ejaculatory fluid, at least in some places…

I see… the closest I’ve heard is “spooge.”

Scientology isn’t a parody, at least not intentionally. It was created as part of a scam, and the group running the scam is one of the worst cults in the world. However, some people do practice the core tenets of the original Scientology religion outside of the cult that created it, and are harassed by that cult for doing so.

This would be extremely amusing if it weren’t both tragic and eerily reminiscent of every other relgion.

Ok, it’s still extremely amusing. Bwahaha!

As for creating your own religion… I’ve heard the best way is to go about for 30-odd years preaching peace, performing miracles, healing people, and then get nailed to a tree for it. That one seems to have made an impression.

Good ol’ L. Ron Hubbard started Scientology as a way to get rich and avoid paying taxes. His famous quote on the subject came while he was addressing a science fiction group in the late 1940s:

It really helps when you then convince your dejected disillusioned followers that you then rose from the dead & they risk their lives spreading that message.

Wabbit once posted an OP in which he described how he introduced religion to a group of captive silverfish, in the form of a Mr. Potato Head.

The whole post is hilarious but regrettably I can’t find it.

pssst! Someone forgot to tell the Hubbardites!

It was sea monkeys

Open your eyes for the first time and truly see the world?
Who made it?
What is its history?
Who controls it today?

Now, write what you have seen. Sprinkle the text with new words.

Now, preach the word. Go ye to anywhere geeks hang out and preach. Some will become thy disciples and spread the Truth.

I once spent a few hours on the streets of Philly preaching Jews For Cthulhu.