Spoof-religion formed in 1980 by Ivan Stang (b. circa 1953), a conspiracy-minded Texas filmmaker, and Philo Drummond, a rock-musician friend. The Church of the SubGenius was first manifested in a series of mysteriously worded pamphlets whose central tenet was “slack,” a commodity Stang has translated as “perfect luck, effortless achievement.”
The SubGenius icon is J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, a handsome, pipe-smoking cartoon character drawn in the style of ’50s advertising; aliens (X-ists) and a “Space God” (Jehovah-1) also figure prominently. (The self-explanatory “Normals” are considered enemies.) Ministers of the church (who have mailed the church $30) reportedly number over 6,000, and tens of thousands more have read the scripture or participated in the live “devivals” staged around the nation.
The SubGenius literary canon began with Book of the SubGenius (1983), the first of four books; there is now an occasional magazine, The Stark Fist of Removal, as well as a syndicated… Continue reading