...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

June 15, 2005

My Get Rich Quick Scheme...

...is to invent an outlandish freaky religion that will appeal to gullible mindless celebrities and wacky baby-boomers. Whatever i come up with can't possibly be more stupid than the bullshit Tom Cruise and the rest of his ilk believe in: dinosaurs from outer space or some such shit.

More later, after i've ruminated on the central tenets of my new religion. Any suggestions for a name will be considered, if they are accompanied by a substantial tithe and a pledge to secrecy.

(Secrecy will be a central tenet, i have decided.)

Update: Here are the central tenets of my new religion, which i have decided to call Practology.

1. i am the leader of this new religion. Not a god, but just the leader. Therefore, all donations should go to me. Great favor will be bestowed on anyone who donates to my new religion.

2. This religion takes no position on matters of morality. Basically that means you can do whatever the fuck you want, and it's cool. i discovered that this was one of the main attractions for adherents of the crazy yoga cult that my ex belonged to.

3. Chocolate will play some important role in this new religion, albeit vaguely.

4. The number eight will also have some vague significance.

5. In accordance with tenet four, all adherents to this new religion will be required to utilize the base eight counting system.

6. Also, all adherents to this new religion shall be required to say "utilize," when the verb "use" would do just as well.

7. Secrecy.

10. Singing songs will be encouraged, but only in private.

A word about the name. Practology comes from the Sanskrit root Pract-, which means "to bow down to," and -ology, which is an untranslatable Ojibway phrase meaning "great bird that shits while flying." Thus, Practology, which is distinguished from the unrelated medical specialty by pronounciation and capitalization.

One more thing. All adherents should ignore and deny the fact that i freely admit this is a made up religion. If it doesn't matter to Tom Cruise that his religion's creator was a science fiction writer, it shouldn't matter to anyone that i am sometimes being facetious.

Posted by annika, Jun. 15, 2005 |
Rubric: The Huh? Files


Whatever you come up with, try to keep it rational. No one coming back from the dead, no sexless births, and no eating your god once a week. Some things just won't fly.

Posted by: The Owner's Manual on Jun. 15, 2005

Religious cults started by charismatic leaders all use sex as the glue that holds them together. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Where do I sign up, Holy Goddess of the North?

Posted by: Jake on Jun. 15, 2005

I could be wrong, but I think you may have started something you can't stop Annie.

Posted by: Pursuit on Jun. 15, 2005

"Great favor will be bestowed on anyone who donates to my new religion"

And I thought you were trying to save the world. My advice is to skinny your message down to what Reverend Ike preaches on the radio:

"Send me money ($10 minimum please) and God will return to you ten times your gift. The more money you send me the more money God will give you."

Of course, you can convince more people to send you money if you are a charismatic leader.

Posted by: Jake on Jun. 15, 2005

Correction Jake:

Religious cults started by charismatic leaders all utilize sex. This religion may face an early challenge by the fact that there is no 69 in base eight. In France this might become an huge problem. Could some other number system be utilized?

Posted by: d-rod on Jun. 15, 2005

Yogi Berra was #8 - you should make provision for some to go into training to be Yogis(If they fail the training, they can be Boo-Boos). Leave the Yogi requirements vague, so only you can decide when a lucky learner/trainee has progressed to the exalted Yogi level. Maybe the training should involve raising oodles of money for you, as only a really enlightened Yogi can accomplish such a task.

Also, as a Bible-Belt Christian with some deadly serious tent revivals notched on my belt, I'm taking the liberty of tweaking Jake's terminology just a smidge: "God will return financial blessings: worth ten/twenty/one hundred/two hundred times the amount donated, and/or 'beyond anything you have dreamed of'(b/c God dreams bigger for you than you dream for yourself)."

Posted by: gcotharn on Jun. 15, 2005

Maybe the religion could extol the flexible possibilities of the numeral 88.

Posted by: gcotharn on Jun. 15, 2005


Perhaps "practology" can incorporate some of the methods of prOctology?

Posted by: Mark Practologist on Jun. 15, 2005

Sounds like you've been reading The 48 Laws of Power, A.


Posted by: Kevin Kim on Jun. 15, 2005

I think your religion should also consider the DH to be the Antichrist. Or AntiAnnie. Howzabout AntiAmerican?

(The DH is the Anti-something, for God's sake!)

Making anyone who wears the number 88 (like, say, Eric Lindros) an Antichrist works for me.

Posted by: Victor and his seventeen pet rats on Jun. 16, 2005

You forgot to say how much it costs. A good fake religion has to be high priced to convince the marks it has worth.

Posted by: Wolf on Jun. 16, 2005

This may be apocryphal, but one is reminded that Scientology actually is supposed to have had its actual origins in a bet that L. Ron Hubbard had with Robert Heinlein, namely that he could get insanely rich by making up a new religion. He obviously won.

Posted by: Dave J on Jun. 16, 2005

Dave, that's a new one on me. The Heinlein angle, that is. Where did you hear that?

Posted by: Victor on Jun. 16, 2005

I think chocolate ought to be incorporated into the very heart of the faith, actually. All great religions have communal meals. Practologists ought to practice open table fellowship with Belgian chocolates. Perhaps even the initiation ritual could utilize chocolate effectively?

Posted by: Hugo on Jun. 16, 2005

Victor, I don't know where I first heard it and, as I said, it may not be true, just one of those things that "they" say. A quick Googling of "Heinlein Hubbard bet scientology" brings up disputes over whether or not it's an urban legend, but if so it's still certainly a pretty believable one.

Hugo, add Belgian beer to the Belgian chocolate and I'm ready to convert. ;-)

Posted by: Dave J on Jun. 16, 2005

So when does Annikanetics come out? I can set up a book table in Times Square subway.

And HELLLLLLOOOOOO people. We need a ribbon of some color here? Get with the program. Obviously your cult religion needs a marketing/pr person. I've been toying with the idea of stepping down from the my God role in the ten-year-old faith of Kenism, so I'd be willing to be your marketing director ... as long as I get first dibs on the 17-year-olds.

Posted by: ken on Jun. 16, 2005

i think it better to use some variation of annika in the naming.
i think it better to utilize some variation of annika in the naming.
it is after all, all about you and your worship, after all.
annikanetics is a good one.
annieology would be good.
annology would be good also.
to use sex in some manner......
to utilize sex in some manner is a must. i would propose a total vow of celibacy for any and all members. you heard right. no boinking at all or in any manner.
that way, when you are found out to be a nympho, and have had your way with any/all, the headlines you will get. oh, just think of the headlines.
to use free publicity is a must.
to utilize free publicity is a must.
other than that...........
don't go there.
don't go there.
i'm telling you.......
don't go there.

Posted by: louielouie on Jun. 16, 2005

May I make a motion that we annoint our divine leader a saint. Heck, the French made Joan of Arc a saint. I don't know if annology requires a miracle be performed prior to sainthood.

Posted by: d-rod on Jun. 16, 2005

Something crucial is missing: You need a kick-ass religion creation/origination story, or no one will believe in your religion.

Moses bringing down the tablets.
Jesus rising from the dead.
Muhammed communing with Allah.
Brigham Young hanging with God in the desert.

Maybe you went into a chocolate-induced ecstatic state, and saw a vision of pure light, and it spoke to you about the practical and ologically vague aspects of existence - such as every action being a moral action, but you can't say more b/c its a secret, natch. Maybe you almost went to the desert or the mountains for your ecstatic experience, but doing so was impractical(maybe you were lead by an unseen hand to stay in the city).

Whatever your ecstatic experience was, give serious thought to how you will reveal it. A believable creation/origination story is crucial to Practology's success.

Posted by: gcotharn on Jun. 16, 2005

of course, if this religion was Proctology, you could've just pulled it out of your ass.

Posted by: gcotharn on Jun. 16, 2005

Given tenents #2 and #3, together with the suggestion that chocolate play some role in the initiation ceremony, I can think of a few creative uses for chocolate syrup for said ceremony...

The suggestion about celibacy is a good one, at least for initiates. But sex must be a big part of the priesthood, and the higher one rises in the ranks, the more doors open to wild and uninhibited sexual expression. (Now THERE's an incentive!)

Of course this must necessarily mean that only the innermost circle gets to boink Annika herself. ;)

Posted by: Desert Cat on Jun. 16, 2005

"But sex must be a big part of the priesthood, and the higher one rises in the ranks, the more doors open to wild and uninhibited sexual expression."

The higher one rises is always linked to better sex. Therefore initiation into the priesthood should involve some sort of casting couch, or at the least the mastering of some "8th way" position. But such a thing might involve incredible contortions, so perhaps we could just be encouraged to watch the Simpsons instead. After all, Homer, who I assume was a great influence on our leader, once said that a man must walk down 8 roads to become a man. 8 roads my friends. 8 roads. 8.

Posted by: scof on Jun. 17, 2005

Dave, to me it's unbelievable for one reason: Heinlein had a well-documented intolerance for fools and Hubbard was a fool of the highest order. The more widely accepted story is Hubbard said/wrote it at one time then decided to put it into practice, and that makes more sense to me. No need for a bet (especially since Heinlein probably agreed with the statement, if not the author), and something so simple (and evidently true) has been said by others. George Orwell wrote the same thing at one time--it's well-documented as a preserved personal letter from Orwell.

Heinlein, as well, had a pretty well-documented personal distaste for organized religion and I believe he discussed the religion/money making angle in Stranger in a Strange Land (I concede that book was written well after Dianetics but any coincidence should be taken as such--coincidence. No one has claimed the Steve Martin movie Leap of Faith was based on Hubbard's quote, and it definitely involves religion as a money-making scheme). I suspect the Heinlein/Hubbard bet is an urban legend, and I'm disinclined to believe it.

If you think about it, it has all the hallmarks of an urban legend: Take a fact, exagerate it slightly, optionally throw a celebrity into the mix for good measure. For an example, see the urban legend about Hanoi Jane turning POW notes over to the VC.

Sorry, annie, didn't mean to go all OT on you. Heinlein is one of my hot buttons.

Posted by: Victor on Jun. 17, 2005

I did my part to promote Practology. Heck, I just want to get in on the ground floor of this new religion/Ponzi scheme.

Posted by: Micah on Jun. 17, 2005

You guys have all gone fucking nuts. Annie, what have you done?

I'm pretty sure that law school hasa permantly altered your mind.

Posted by: shelly on Jun. 18, 2005

So is the sacred book is the Annikible, Annikorah, or Annikoran?

Posted by: MarkD on Jun. 18, 2005

lol. the sacred book is called "annika's journal!"

Posted by: annie on Jun. 18, 2005

You guys have all gone fucking nuts.

what do you mean by that?

Posted by: louielouie on Jun. 18, 2005

And bored me to tears. Well, OK, gas pains.

Posted by: Casca on Jun. 18, 2005

O.K. ARE fucking nuts.

Get a life.

Posted by: shelly on Jun. 18, 2005

Shelly is an unbeliever!

So what's the penalty for unbelieving? Their IP gets banned?

Posted by: Victor on Jun. 18, 2005

Purgatory! A life without chocolate OR sex!

Posted by: Desert Cat on Jun. 18, 2005

Desert Cat:

Your post is oxymoronic, which is further proof of my previous post.

Life without sex or chocolate? hell, I'm already there.

On the other hand, Purgatory is just a temporary state; see below:

Definition: Purgatory

According to Roman Catholic doctrine, purgatory is a place or condition of temporary punishment meant to cleanse those destined for heaven but not quite ready for it. According to this doctrine, faith in Christ and acceptance of his saving grace gains one forgiveness for their sins, but not release from the punishment due for them. Thus in purgatory one is purged of their imperfections, much as silver in the fire sheds its impurities.

Posted by: shelly on Jun. 19, 2005

I believe the Annikible would suggest that Shelly, who is a man, may possibly be released from purgatory by asking forgiveness and accepting grace and nector from the divine one. I'm not sure I'm close enough to the inner circle though to be delivering reliable information on the sacred text so maybe hookers are allowed.

Posted by: d-rod on Jun. 19, 2005

On the other hand, Purgatory is just a temporary state; see below:

Nothing says a change of heart can't rectify the situation. Truly though, your state is a pitiable one, as you are living your hell as we speak.

Repent! and be baptized in the font of chocolate syrup, after which the tongues of a thousand angels will lick you clean, and you shall be whiter than snow!

Posted by: Desert Cat on Jun. 19, 2005

The color of any ribbon should be puce.

How can chocolate ever have only a "vague" role in anything?

And re Heinlein/Hubbard: It wasn't a bet. Heinlein used to, at roughly ten year intervals, collect a set of his past writings and commentaries, assemble them into one volume, and publish them with additional, updated commentary. In one of those he recounts discussing organized religion with Hubbard, and saying that an organized religion was the closest thing to a perfect racket: People give you money, and the government can't touch you. Hubbard, reportedly, went, "Hmm." In later years, Hubbard wrote "Dianetics" and Heinlein wrote "Stranger in a Strange Land." For myself, I prefer the later.

(And no, I can't cite the source 'cuz all my books -- Heinlein included -- are in storage. Some day....)

Posted by: bob on Jun. 20, 2005