Sister Hellen's class on Intermediate Comparative Religious Theory

Alternative Religions 202


As many of you know, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence is not a religious order.  In fact, we pride ourselves of being non-denominational in the strictest sense of the word.  That is to say we do not discriminate based on perceived race, ethnicity, age, economic advantage, nationality, sex, sexuality, perceived gender, creed or religion.  Yes that's right, we don't care what a Sister's religion is and just as important isn't.  SPI has members who are Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Faerie, Wicca, Agnostic, Atheist, Taoist, Buddhist, Cree, undecided as well as many many others.  But for Hellen, even these religions are boring,  "Been there, believed that! Time to move on kiddies." 


So let me share some lesser known religions with the general unwashed masses (yes, that would be you.)  I'm not talking about Greek Orthodox or even Cabala here, but true radical-bleeding-bloody-cutting-edge beliefs.  Some of these adventurous religious systems have roots in a more pedestrian ho-hum doctrines like Zoroastrianism or Mythraism, but have long since diverged in a direction that takes them not on just a different path, but into a different dimension.  Below are some brief synopses of the more esoteric and for that matter more believable creeds out there.  If you don't know which one you should convert to, write the name of each one on a slip of paper and draw one out of a hat.  Trust me, you will be way better converting to one these than continuing to follow "whatever" it is you believe now.

In seemingly no particular order, Sister Hellen explains what it is to be a...

 

Geneshuist
Workshipers of the All Powerful Geneshoo

(See Pink Elephant God)








Heretaowican
A Heretaowican is an person that genersally of believes some humans are capable of limited some sort of magic (or perhaps not) that may or may not vaguely resemble Wicca.  Whatever the case regarding magic, Heretaowicans definitely enjoy religious rituals despite not necessarily believing the methods and steps produce any quantifiable results.  They openly steal ceremonies from the lesser religions; co-opting the mannerisms while ignoring the underlying dull superstitions.  Dressing up in flowing robes, gaudy capes, ornate hats that come to a points and carrying wands, scepters, crooks, staffs etc while wearing waaaay too much jewelry defiantly puts them in touch with the divine.  The more candles burnt, the more likely the divine spirits will come around to see what's on fire.  Besides, it keeps candle makers in business.  Heretaowicans follow a somewhat ambivalently Zen approach when it comes to worrying about what happens after death.  Once freed from the body, as one sage Heretaowican put it, "My soul will go wherever it bloody well pleases!  I'll worry about it after I'm dead."  Heretaowicans especially enjoy making others uncomfortable by discussing the subject of death whenever possible.  A Bris is a great place to bring up the fact that more than ten thousand American males die from urinary tract infections every day.  Mind you, Heretaowicans are not specifically morbid, it's just that death is so wonderfully taboo.  Talking about sex was as much fun in the 60's, but the Internet sucked all the fun out of that taboo topic.  And lets face it, taboo topics are so amusing to dwell upon while being forced to pass the time with unbelievers.  ...which frankly is practically everyone on Earth!  Still, deep down Geretaowicans don't take any religious philosophy too serious including their own. Their primary creed
What I believe in tomorrow may be different than what I belive today.  But regardless of whatever I believe in today, your religion is still stupid!  To quote the founder, "I was a hedonistic non-believer, but then I was born again!  Now I've turned my life around 360 degrees."

Hypermaterialist
Hypermaterialism is a direct response to the hippy-fairy "no job, no worldly goods, no fun" existence of Buddhism.  I mean, do you seriously think not owning a TV is a blessing!?  Exactly!  Possessions may be the root of unhappiness, but I'd rather die than have miss the last season of LOST!  That's why the Hypermaterialists dedicate their life to spending money and acquiring things.  Not to be confused with hoarders, Hypermaterialists or "Hypers" actually (intend to) use everything they get their sticky little fingers on.  They will not keep anything that does not give physical pleasure, enhance their perceived net value or is at least worth bragging about.   To a Hyper, a huge bank account is pointless, but a wall full of mint in-the-box Star Wars figures is nirvana!  Hypers believe that God is not some intangible, metaphysical, philosophical or transcendental concept.  Rather God is quite knowable and is everything; emphasis on everyTHING and can only be know though the acquisition of said stuff.  The more stuff you own, the closer to God. Their primary creed: He who dies with the most goodies wins!

Secondbasian
The followers of Seondbasism believe to know the will of the Gods requires physical pleasure.  Lots and lots of physical pleasure.  So, I hear you say, "there's already one of those religions thingies; the Karmin Suiter or something like that."  and you'd be right if the story ended there.  This particular religion has its root in Georgian times as just another offshoot of Tantric sex.  Unverified church documents reputedly claim it began in at Bethel's Boreding Hous And Fine Ladys Finishin Skool in sunny downtown Moldgreen England.  It would have followed a similar Karmasutra-ey path if it hadn't been castrated by the Victorian era. To put it succinctly; despite craving carnal sensation, Secondbasians became unabashed prudes.  They find the the concept of having an orgasm in the presence of another person to be so offensive as to be sacrilegious.  Still, the followers of this obscure cult spend much of their time seducing the opposite sex, the same sex, dressing up like women to lure sailors, dressing up as sailors to lure women or cruising dark alley dressed as women sailors.  They can spend hours in the pursuit of Heavenly Petting, Nippilingua and religiously participating Barei Botomus Spankei.  In short; the pursuit of sex is divine, but the act of actual sex is evil.  They shun all forms of orgasm or intercourse, even the kinds of sex former President Clinton said he didn't have with Monica.  They believe getting there is not half the journey, it is the whole journey.  Needless to say, Secondbasians are not even remotely welcome on singles chat forums and there are there is simply no such thing as a second generation Secondbasian because "procreation is an abomination." Their primary creed: Intereo a virgo, intereo gauisus.  Si vos vado usque, peto abyssus!
Translation=Die a virgin, die happy.  If you go all the way, go to hell!

Vogonomist
Now here we have a truly avaunt guard religion!  A Vorgonomist is a person wishing to pursue the most mind-numbingly boring form of religious observance.  The Vogonomic Philosophy is based on the numerous convolutedly arcane rules of Vorgon Economics from the Vogsphere home world.  Although not necessarily popular, Vogonomy is at least universally recognized as the the most rapid path to "unenlightenment" for those intent on that sort of vocation.  Interestingly, they have no official church building or meeting place, but rather preferring to ague the various merits of specific dusty rooms in large gray buildings filled with hundreds of sharp-edged metal desks and uncomfortable squeaking chairs that are lighted by an excessive number of second grade bare fluorescent tubes or the equivalent.  The reality is they rarely meet for services as the paperwork required to approve a meeting place takes far too long to fill out and even the most devotees give up before they have finished checking the boxes on the 675th page.  Besides, the service usually consists of days of procedural argument resulting in a decision that the chosen location is inadequate for their needs.  Their simplest creed:
The summation of the processing of financial, social (not including clothing items unless that which is used in the standard business practice for normalized barristers during the course of a standard work-week not including religious holidays including state sponsored or personal) when not primarily observed by the general public when not observed in public generally or though other means of communications whether publicly know, surveillanced or generally accessed by anyone in general shall be bliss. Unless the net result of the summation heretofore contains, is contracted to or may generally result in enjoyment or knowledge in which case said "bliss" shall be rendered null and void and the individual(s) severely fined.

Puppeteerist
Yet another offshoot of Hinduism.  However, the flavor of the religion is altered significantly by the last step to "Brahma".  The Hindu believe that the highest form of incarnation on Earth is a cow.  Yes, a flatulent, greenhouse gas emitting, cud chewing meadow pie making Big Mac on the hoof. Yuk!  Worse the don't do anything, they don't preach, serve god or even follow instructions.  This just can't be right...  Many years ago, deity fearing people decided this interpretation needed correction.  The sat down (probably crosslegged) and thought about the issue.  "Let's see, the steps to Brahma are woman, man, priest then ...."  Well, it became obvious that the closer to the deity you were, the more you bent yourself to their will.  So the logical conclusion was the the highest form a soul could take was that of something that had surrendered complete control to the maker's creation.  In short a puppet.  The Pupeteerian's believe that that we are all under the deity's control to a greater or lesser degree; the more you are controlled, the more God loves you.  Being that puppets are the epitome of controlled entities, they became revered as the pinnacle of reincarnation, the equivalent of the Brahma Bull.  Pupeteerians rituals start Friday night in the Great Hall.  The hall has 2 rooms.  First, participants begin in dimly light smaller room seated on small uncomfortable stools.  There they prepare for the ritual by fortify themselves with the spirit Pupetui; a distilled essence of of grains and fruits that is scented with jasmine and honeysuckle prepared by virgin girls of age 13-16 years.  It should be noted the final brew is typically about 60 proof.  The wealthier member also partake in a white highly caffeinated powder which is inhaled through the nose.  Once the congregation is sufficiently "spirited", the doors are flung open to the main hall.  The hall is even more dimly light; illuminated only by bright colorful spinning lights, mirrored walls and a shinny ball suspended from the ceiling.  There the Puppeteerians tie strings to their limbs; the more fanatic members have even been known to have surgical implanted eye-hooks attached to major joints and their skull so that they can literally be control like puppets during rituals.  The strings are gathered to a set of catwalks where the younger members of the religion pull and manipulate the strings of the adult followers in a frenetic dance that even John Travolta would disapprove of.  A 5 piece combo replete with high pitched male vocalist turn out fast paced, repetitively mindless music that ads to the frenzy of flailing limbs.  The ritual inevitably comes to an end when the strings become hopelessly tangled and the participants end up on top of each other in a writhing mass of sweaty flesh, torn clothing and a miasma of halitosis.  Puppeteerians are notorious for taking no responsibility for their own actions. Their primary creed; Don't blame me, God made me do it!

Preincarnationist
The Hindu, Buddhists and Native Americans had it partially right when they realized that people are reborn to this Earth when they die.  However, when it comes to the most enlightened members of a society they all got the order wrong.  Wrong wrong wrong!!  Think about it.  What is the point of being reincarnated if forget everything you leaned.  You can't change events, because that would be cheating.  The only way it makes any sense is if you can create the events that you know must happen because you've already experienced them.  In short, you have to be reborn the second time before you were born the first time.  That way, you already know what happened and it makes you life so much easier!  If you you are born a Kennedy, then you know you have to become a womanizer.  If your reborn a   If you're reborn to People's Temple parents then you'd better learn to like Cool-aid or come up with a believable allergy to Guyana pretty quick!   Obviously, Einstein would have been reborn as someone like Edison which would go a long way to explain how one man could come up with so many pattens in one lifetime; he knew what he had to invent when he was born.


Televoodooist
Televoodoo is the manipulation of other people by convincing them to watch endless reruns of McHale's Navy, Friends or Full House.  Once you have hooked your victim on such banal mind anesthetizing broadcasts as Three's Company or Survivor, you can easily get them to believe your opinions of why 'Brenda should have been voted off the island' is genius (whereas normally your monosyllabic diatribes wouldn't get you the time of day with anyone owning an IQ much above their shoe size.)  Once a victim has succumbed to brainwashing by a Televoodooist, it is difficult to bring them back to normal thinking.  Just taking away their TV is not enough; they must be cut off from the internet, smartphones and the giles of AM radio in order to affect a true rehabilitation.  Some victims have been successfully treated with 50 to 70 hours of Masterpiece Theatre, Nova and The Mclear New Hour.  The practice of Televoodoo appeals to many of the spiritually and emotionally cripples. Many of Britney Spears' fans are reputed to either be practicers or victims.  The hold on the victim can be made more powerful by casting spells cast over Twitter.  Their primary creed:
Bob Saget is funny, Bob Saget is funny, Bob Sag...


Textatarian
All the one can know about God is in the letters.  Written words are infallible.  Spoken words can be forgotten or misinterpreted.  There is no reason to have to remember what people tell you when you can make them put it in writing.  Nothing is worth saying if you aren't willing to put pen to paper.  Numerous people of the city find that the world rightly revolves around the writer word. All communications with their fellow humans is in the form of letter input into

Hawkingsian
Hawkins as elder son of God.
May Gods are born as men but show their godlike powers later in life.  So it is with the great God Stephen Hawkins.  Besides simply outliving a devastating illness that kills most people in the 20's, the Hawkings has actually flourished.  Granted not all find his prowess with astrophysics to be that impressive, but he certainly serves a beacon of hope to the nerdier cast of humans.  After all, how many physicists can claim to have written 2 all time best sellers, held the most coveted professorship in the world (the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics) for 30 years, discovered the most awesome and destructive objects in the universe actually leak, guest stared on Star Trek, Red Dwarf, The Simpson and Futurama, the first quadriplegic to experience weightlessness and did it all from a wheel chair!  The Hawkingsian bible is naturally written in Cobal.

 This page is a work in progress.  Last updated July 2010.