Jediism (sometimes spelled Jedaism) is one of the major branches of Scientology. It is commonly defined as "any church or denomination that practices the ancient teachings of the ancient Jedi and belief in the Force." Jediism began as a reformation movement specifically in regard to Lightsabers, the discoveries of Miti-Chlorians, and Fan Worship. Members of Jediism, known as "Jedi Knights," gather for worship in temples called "Abode-wan Kenobis" or "Wankens" for short. Since its foundation in the 1980s, Jediism has become one of the most popular denominations in the profit-religion realm.
Founded by no specific individual, Jediism began as an attempt to earn money from Star Wars fans without requiring a portion to be given to 20th Century Fox. However, the Jedi practices have become very famous worldwide for their philosophical--and sometimes controversial--outlooks on existence, as well as their beliefs of Heaven and Hell, which has been praised by many religious groups everywhere. The current Sky Walker is Joss Whedon, a decided Jedi Knight, who has held the seat since 2002.
From Humble Beginnings
Jediism was originally a single temple in Los Angeles, a street away from the headquarters of Scientology, Inc. in 1984. The Jedi temple picked up about twenty recurring members that gathered there for Worship. However, the temple struggled for money for several years, since Sabbath was on Monday and donations were rare.
The first official Jedi Pastor arrived in 1986 and was Alec Baldwin, who took strong initiative in getting the religion off the ground. He introduced the concepts of Morale, life and death, and the study of Star Wars interpretation into the common practice of the Jedi Knights. At this point, Jediism transformed from mostly a group of dedicated Star Wars fans into a full-on religion.
Rise to Fame
At first, Jediism had no connection to Scientology, other than proximity. However, this and the similarities in their teachings drew in many new members during the late 1980s, attracting a large crowd of people looking to join a "reformed" Scientology movement. This increase in popularity became known as the "Jediism Revolution" and has been compared to the rise of Protestantism.
Scientology leader David Miscavige (pronounced "miscarriage") first became interested in Jediism during the Revolution. Admiring it, he proposed a limited agreement contract with Baldwin in 1991 to officially categorize Jediism as the Protestant wing of Scientology. An agreement was reached, and Jediism surged in followers even further.
Since then, Jedi Wankens have been established all across the United States, and they have even been imported worldwide to various nations. Jediism has even been credited with solving the financial crises in Africa thanks to its high income of revenue.
Other than its home United States, Jediism is most popular in Japan, where Worshippers are attempting to develop actual functioning Droids and other technology. A recent poll (taken by Polls United) revealed that over 30,000 Wankens exist worldwide.
Upon the invention of the Internet, Jediism has taken an online presence, forming an official news website regarding Jedi activities. In response to the perceived "religiously neutral bias of Wikipedia," the website Jedipedia, was created in 2008 by Tom Cruise as an all-purpose wiki from a Jedist perspective. Jedipedia, however, has been criticized for its strongly suggestive page, Examples of Bias in Uncyclopedia.
In Relation to Scientology
Jediism, when observed practically, is not very different from traditional Scientologic teachings; the Jediism way, however, teaches that the Galactic Empire ruled by Xenu was actually overthrown by Evil Emperor Palpatine after a matter of years during a historic game of Evil Poker; Xenu ended up with a bad hand (or in his case, tentacle) and as a result, Palpatine won Xenu's bet, the entire galaxy.
Jedists claim to practice a spiritually advanced form of Dianetics known as "meditation." This method, in practical practice, allows Force masters to levitate in the air by sitting still and not thinking about anything. This phenomena has yet to be unexplained by the MythBusters, which technically renders Jediism one of the very few remaining valid religions.
Jedi Knights have a completely original collection of secrets that require paying large sums of money to the leader of Jediism, the Sky Walker, to obtain. However, the majority of these secrets have been leaked onto the internet by Bill Gates.
The Jedi traditionally believe that the body is simply a machine, and that the mind is individualized as a blue-ish, hologram ghost. Spirits/Holograms who have lived good mortal lives are traditionally stranded on Earth for eternity, while nasty lives are sent to HoloHell (also the name of a computer program which has just reached version 3.1).
HoloHell is said to be a horrifying place where a dedicated Star Wars fanboy may be forced to interact with Trekkies, or for the treacherous ones, even Babylonian-Fivers. It is a land described as covered in fire, true eternal suffering, and tainted with the smell of Slavery, and ruled over by the unholy Beelzeboss. Several Jedi sub-denominations, however, assert that Emperor Palpatine arrived centuries ago, overthrew the Devil, and reformed HoloHell into a cooperative land of rehabilitation.
Jedists worship the Force, as opposed to a deity personality. They teach that in order to be at peace with one's self, you must meditate for long periods of time, learn how to defend yourself for greater good with a Lightsaber, and forget about nomadic things like sexual pleasure. They also teach that material objects, such as money, are only obsessive and cause distress in one's life, and thus they strongly encourage donating most, if not all of your money to the Sky Walker.
A bad person is commonly associated with imperial power, inhumanly old age, and long black capes. Such people are condemned by the church as non-believers; the church has strict policies on dressing up as Star Wars characters for Halloween, which has resulted in over one thousand lawsuits.
Star Trek is passionately despised by the Jedi community. As such, terms such as "beam me up," "Warp Drive," and "illogical," are considered foul-mouthed curse words that are never to be used within a Wanken.
George Lucas is regarded as a Prophet of the Jedi; as the story goes, he was once a starving college student with a shaved head, having recently completed THX 1138. He was then contacted by a Force Ghost who told him the full history of the Galactic Empire that ruled a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. He was instructed to convert these testaments into films to gain recognition on modern-day Earth; thus, he formed the Star Wars movie trilogy and saga.
The Star Wars book adaptations are considered today to be the Holy Scriptures of the Jedi denomination. They describe both the philosophies and practices of Jediism as well as the ancient stories regarding the history of the Jedi. Television programs such as The Clone Wars are considered to be religious programming for children, similar to VeggieTales.
There are several holy days celebrated by most Jedists, including:
- May 4th: May the Fourth Be With You Day (celebrated primarily online)
- May 25th: Star Wars Day, the anniversary of their sacred scriptures being revealed for the first time
- September 11th: Liberation Day, the anniversary of a large-scale re-enactment of the Death Star's destruction in New York City and Washington, DC
- December 25th: Christmas Day, the celebration of the birth of George Lucas, as confirmed by Scientology, Inc.
“Don't have a cow, man!”
The Jedi Movement and Anonymous have engaged in cyber war for several years, starting in 2006 when the almighty Sky Walker Whedon declared the official order of the Star Wars movies to be: 4,5,6,1,2,3. Anonymous has since protested day and night in front of the Jedi Capital Wanken in Los Angeles nonstop in resistance to their order method. During these protests, members of Anonymous wear C3PO masks to conceal their true identities, protecting themselves from harassement by the C3PO fans.
Anonymous insists that the movies should be watched in order of chronology (1,2,3,4,5,6), thus titling their movement Project Chronology. The movement was started on the imageboard 4chan by angered fans of The Phantom Menace, who believed that the official Jedi's order did not acknowledge their favorite film enough. Protestors also chat on sites such as Encyclopedia Dramatica, MemeCenter, Anonymous.com and Wikipedia. These members, dubbed "chronologists" famously launched several denial-of-recognition attacks on the Jedi official website for attempting to incorporate Star Wars: The Clone Wars into the count as the 2nd-and-a-half movie.