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The Church of the SubGenius
The Church of the Subgenius (also known as The Subgenius Foundation, Inc.) is a satire religion created in the mid to late 1970's on an MIT-hosted BBS server. The Church of the Subgenius had varying influences in the development of Slackware and Atari products. The primary concept of The Church of the Subgenius is to follow the prophet J. R. "Bob" Dobbs (the world's most successful salesman who has died multiple times), who in 1953 saw Jehovah 1 (God) on a television set he built. The goal of every member is to gain "Slack" to avoid being "Pink" (normie) in time for the highly-pornographic "X-Day" (Armageddon) that they have both predicted and celebrated multiple times since 1995. X-Day was a satire of another Internet-centric religion that was gaining popularity at the time, Heaven's Gate. X-Day is predicted to occur on July 5, 1998. When the Earth year 1998 brought none of the "X-ians", they made the appifany that the Earth calendar was wrong. A basic belief is that an alien race known as "The Subgenius" created the human race (and golf), their biggest mistake. They believe themselves to be this spices/race.
A large number of the practices and prophecies of the church are adapted from Ivan Stang's student films from the 1960's. For example, the X-ians are described as an alien clown race of "bozos". This is an adaption of the Clown Leaders called "Bozos" in his dystopian film Let's Visit the World of the Future. "Pinko" was the name of one of these clown leaders, an influence for the concept of being "pink". (It should also be noted that "Pinko" was commonplace slang for a homosexual or a homosexual sympathizer at the time). His films are frequently reused in Church of the Subgenius films.
They gained the most members in the late 1980's and early 1990's with the emergence of the MTV Lifestyle that was attracted to the weirdness of them.
Their website is hard to follow, and best described as a maze. There are rarely 404'd links, but confusion and redirects are common. This is done on purpose.
Followers of the religion rarely "break character" to reveal it as a satire, causing many to believe that it is an actual cult. This is more or less the point of the group, causing confusion and disorder in a manner that can be called Culture Jamming.
- Official Site
- Old, archived site (one of them)
- Television commercial for MTV in 1991
- Text-Files archive of their independent BBS (now defunct)
Pirated VHS tape explaining the satire religon, made by Reverend Ivan StingConfiscated cult initiation tape found on a member of the church who is now in the custody of the ATF