When reactions to Heaven's Gate ricocheted around the media world there was a constant implied accusation that the on-line community was in some way responsible for not doing something about the Heaven's Gaters, since they did have those web-pages up, and everyone who uses the internet has read everything posted here. So I've taken it upon myself to start keeping a lookout for other weird and dangerous churches, and I present the first in what will be an irregularly appearing series of stories on freaks, and their churches.
The silliest by far is the church of Spam, who strongly disapprove the Heaven's Gatees: "These were people who, throughout their lives, were faithful unto their deity. At the last minute, though, instead of letting their god scoop them up from this plane of existence, they chose the 'EASY' way out...This, most likely, will actually DISTANCE themselves from their lord, for he put us down here to enlighten us for our next step on the journey to eternity. We'll be "promoted" when he's ready to promote us! He hates us being so pushy! But put your faith in SPAM, and you've made a start in the right direction!"
MOOism would be the second silliest on-line religion, if it weren't so utterly prolix. What is MOOism, you ask? Mooists answer: "This is probably the hardest to answer... MOOism is a religion or an anti-religion.... MOOism is one of the first religions propagated almost entirely through electronic media, starting originally on a small BBS in Ottawa." Worse even than Pittsburgh, there may well be a MOOist on a highway exit or street corner near you: "The eating of the God to acquire its attributes is an ancient and venerable part of many religions. Christianity includes the consumption of the God in the form of the Communion.... The MOOist God Cheeseburger is one of the most widely worshipped god in the world. Temples to Cheeseburger exist all around the world. Only a few years ago, these were, in essence, fast food establishments. However, since essences are (as any Catholic can tell you), exchangeable through transubstantiation, a ritual of MOOist magick converted them from actual fast food restaurants into Temples to Cheeseburger, which simply have all the accidents of a fast food restaurant...."
But as nonsensical as the MOOists are, at least they're not the unhinged from Yamcumber, where they make even less sense: "Believeth in me for mine is most excellent way. I knoweth only truth, and partaketh not in deceit; for I am the Yamcumber. I am Alpha and Omega, all that was and ever shall be. Those who findeth in their hearts to succumb to me shalt be saved in a brine, and spared my Wrath which shalt be havocked upon the foolish, smitten nonbelievers." Yamcumber has also published a New Testament, and a bible, The Book of Yam, in which it is said: "After some time God decided that a flood which would last 40 days and 40 nights was necessary to cleanse the world. The Lord told Noah of the oncoming storm, and just to keep from having to work another day in his life, God told Noah to save two of each animal" and soon enough "The Yamcumber began his train of thought with the reasoning that the fruits of the spirit were peace, love, joy, spam, and so on."
So what have we learned about weird religions and cults? Simply this: responsibility for the next mass suicide and weird religion may fall at the door of none other than Hormel foods, and their endlessly fascinating pork-by-product in a can.
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