[J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs]

Rev. Stang submitted the following to the Cambridge City Council:

For the City Council of Cambridge, MA

A brief description of The Church of the SubGenius

The Church of the SubGenius is an ambitious collaborative art and humor project started in 1980 by The SubGenius Foundation, Inc., a Texas novelty company run by Ivan Stang. The SubGenius Foundation, with volunteer contributions from around the world, produces satirical and artistic materials and events. Since 1980 the Foundation has produced four trade paperbacks for Simon and Schuster; 15 years of a weekly radio show syndicated to 20 college and indie stations; commercial videos distributed by Polygram; hundreds of comedy stage shows (or "devivals") in nightclubs, colleges and churches; a comic book, a game, a website, some CDs, etc. etc. Its many fans produce the own versions as well.

By taking on the appearance of a crackpot religion, the Church of the SubGenius acts as a framework from which contributors can spin off spoofs on any subject, and using any medium. It does feature some consistent themes that form a sort of philosophy, and which have made the Church guru figurehead, "Bob" Dobbs (actually a clip-art cartoon character) a famous symbol of self expression and "slack," or the freedom to think for one's self. Some of "Bob's" sayings include:

"PULL THE WOOL OVER YOUR OWN EYES, AND RELAX IN THE SAFETY OF YOUR OWN DELUSIONS."

"ACT LIKE A DUMB-ASS, AND THEY'LL TREAT YOU AS AN EQUAL"

"ETERNAL SALVATION, OR TRIPLE YOUR MONEY BACK."

Much of the Church comedic output targets extremism in all forms -- political, religious, and cultural (the Church itself included). By parodying, say, Jonestown-like cults, the SubGeniuses hope to help illuminate the traps used by such groups to twist people into narrow and intolerant viewpoints. There is also an educational, nonfiction side to SubGenius output, such as the popular book, "High Weirdness by Mail," which lambasts its "rival kooks" while making contact information available -- a "know your enemy" approach.

Mistaking the Church of the SubGenius for what it lampoons is akin to Jerry Falwell claiming that "The Teletubbies" is gay recruitment propaganda.

Far from being extremists with a cause, the average SubGenius fans are actually those most likely to question extremists with causes -- and plain ordinary normal people with causes, too.

For more information, contact Ivan Stang <i.stang@subgenius.com> at The SubGenius Foundation, Inc. P.O. Box 140306, Dallas, TX 75214


Up to The SubGenius Pages of Dr Foo.
All the Way Up to The Dr Foo Home Page.