The Church of the SubGenius is a popular organization often seen as a “parody” of religious cults, including Scientology, the Raelians, the Unification Church, and racist hate groups such as Christian Identity. The organization is widely seen as a satire that mocks organized religion, or as the church describes itself, “a cynisacreligion.”
Since its inception in 1953, Church founder J.R. “Bob” Dobbs has predicted that a fleet of flying saucers will arrive at the beginning of July to destroy the worldwide Conspiracy against the Church of the SubGenius, while all ordained SubGenius ministers will be rescued by escape vessels piloted by the Alien Sex Goddesses, also known as the Xists.
The Church is inviting all of its members worldwide to gather together for the final hours in Sherman, New York from Thursday, June 28 to Thursday, July 5, at a clothing-optional outdoor campground called Brushwood Folklore Center. The first gathering at this compound took place in 1996, and the event has increased in size and participants each following year. 1998 was designated the first true “X-Day,” and each successive year has added one to the total. This year’s celebration in 2007 is X-Day 10, or X-Day X.
The Church is seeking performers and producers from the adult entertainment industry in particular, because sexual freedom has been an important part of Church doctrine from the start. X-Day will be a celebration of free expression, performance art, rock and roll, pornography, and adult entertainment; and certain parts of the event will be restricted to adults only. Only ordained ministers of the Church of the SubGenius are allowed at the event, but the Church is accepting memberships at its standard rate of $30 up until the final hours of July 4.
The Church of the SubGenius has been no stranger to controversy since its foundation, and the upcoming X-Day celebration promises to be no different. In the late 1980s, members of the Church were accused of spreading a virus in Macintosh computers known as the “Peace Virus.” Numerous articles have been written on the Church in such noteworthy publications as the New York Times, Washington Post, Wired Online, Boston Globe, U.S. News and World Report; and broadcast reports have been produced by CNN and NPR. In April 1999, officials of the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts shut down an official SubGenius Devival gathering in the belief that the Church was affiliated with the Trenchcoat Mafia (the organization blamed for the Columbine high school shootings), though authorities later realized the association was mistaken. In its January 1, 2000 issue, a Time magazine poll declared J.R. “Bob” Dobbs the biggest fraud of the 20th century.
The Church received additional media attention in 2006 when one of its high-ranking members, known in SubGenius circles as Reverend Mary Magdalen, became involved in a legal battle for custody of her son due to her membership in the Church. This case has been covered in such popular online sites as Boing Boing, Fark, and Wikinews (Wikipedia’s news reporting service). Reverend Magdalen is being represented by the law firm of Lipsitz Green Fahringer Roll Salisbury & Cambria, LLP.