Intellectual Property Religion
Consider the following scenario. A given work of fiction becomes successful after its release. Very, very, very successful. So successful, in fact, that it manages to achieve what only a very small number of works throughout history have done: spawned its own religion.
The followers of this hypothetical religion, of course, are quite aware of their holy text's origin. History probably hasn't gotten that bad. Nevertheless, they have deemed it worthy of living one's life by. They may even have rivalries with other religions!
Notably, this has ceased to be a hypothetical. Such religions have developed and fall under the broad label Pop Culture Paganism. Ironically, it seems none centered around Haruhi Suzumiya have appeared.
Not to be confused with religion that treats its holy text as intellectual property.
- Haruhiism: The world should be made as interesting as possible, lest it be judged for destruction. Thus, by the grace of Haruhi Suzumiya, one must choose to liberate oneself from the sin of mediocrity and be saved from the hell of boredom. Always keep a curious eye out for mysteries, and try to find the magic, the special, in every situation. And have fun, while helping others do this as well. Bunny outfits are traditional garb for priestesses.
- Kyonism: Saving the world is unimportant. Sure, people who go around trying to save the world/advance it to its true form/overload it with fun may have noble ideals, but they often tend to treat people as gamepieces to be used and sacrificed in the pursuit of their ultimate goal, and that is never okay. Because, ultimately, it's people who matter, not causes. So Rage Against the Heavens, punch out Cthulhu, tell destiny where to shove it and/or take God's judgement upon one's shoulders, but always treat people with the respect they deserve.
- Mikuruism: Our purpose on this earth is classified information.
- Mikuruianity: She was decorated with balloons for our sins.
- Jedi as a religion actually exists, scarily enough. Most of the people who put 'Jedi' as their religion on census forms are just kidding, though.
- Some of us have also taken to answering as "Sith", because Evil Is Cool and Good Is Dumb.
- In Australia, if enough people say they have X religion on the official federal census, then that religion is recognized by the government. There was a campaign to have enough people put down "Jedi" as their religion to have it recognized. Unfortunately, the government realized what was happening and changed the laws to prevent this.
- In the New Zealand 2001 census Jedi was the second largest religion, though it was not recognised so all Jedi answers to the religious preference question were discounted.
- The truth is that some regions - not necessarily those mentioned above - will provide a check-box in the next census if a write-in response gets above a critical response rate. And even that is usually discretionary.
- The Church of Madoka/Madokamism: With kindness might come naiveté. With courage might come foolhardiness. And dedication might have no reward. But this does not mean there is no hope and that you will die forever alone; if someone tells you that is the case, tell them they're wrong every time. Don’t forget: Always, somewhere, someone is fighting for you. As long as you remember Her, You Are Not Alone.
- Puella Magarum Pietas is dedicated to this, in particular to Goddess Madoka and Devil Homura.
- The Evangelism of Neon Genesis (or at least, one sect of it): The gods don't love you--the universe is uncaring towards what you do or don't do. You're miserable, it will always be a Crapsack World where Hell Is Other People, and there is no way you can escape it. Isolation from society guarantees comfort, but humans cannot survive alone, and forced unity under the pretense of collective happiness destroys an interesting life. Thus, you're always going to be miserable unless you yourself decide that you're worth the effort that it takes not to be. If the inevitable End comes up, go down fighting—it feels better than hating yourself. Anywhere can be paradise as long as you have the will to life/faith/power (and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell), thus those who deserve to live are those who have this will. Once you decide this, you are in a position to help others. That said, having people who (try to) love you always helps. Live as an individual, but participate within society.
- Alternatively, some sects believe that in the right hands the angst of individuality is the most powerful force in the universe (the spiritual concept of the A.T. Field), other entire schools of philosophy are engaging in massive crusades over the true meaning of the Evangelion, while countless others worship the Giant Blue-Haired Goddess with a Thousand Avatars.
- Prayer and meditation may involve clasping one's hands.
- Tropology: "Notability" is an illusion, we judge works not by how familiar they are to society at large, but how they fit the Tropes. All events in life either play straight, subvert, subvert twice, don't subvert, invert, point out, make fun of, deconstruct, reconstruct, ignore, invoke, defy, discuss, mention, enforce, twist, exaggerate, or justify certain patterns. Those who learn to recognize these patterns will become enlightened, but those who fail the journey shall be condemned to eternal damnation.
- Spiralism: "Impossible" is nothing more than a challenge. With enough willpower, the success rate of 0% might as well be 100%, so never let high probabilities of failure discourage you. Approach all tasks with passion in your heart. Love, spirit and friendship are the most precious possessions any being can have, being able to outshine the despair caused by cosmic Lovecraftian monstrosities. Progress and evolution are key aspects of life, sure those who try to stop it may have noble ideals, but then again without progress and evolution life would be meaninglessly pathetic. Hope must never, under any circumstances, be discarded, and above all else: believe in those who believe in you, believe in the you who believes in yourself, know yourself, be true to yourself, and whenever possible, act as an inspiration to others.
- Straw Hatism: Look after your Nakama, it's the journey, not the destination, never let issues like politics get in the way of right and wrong, treasure comes and goes but the dreams of men shall never die.
- Doflamingoism: Abnandon these foolish dreams and ideals, focus only on the tangible
- Joanism: The purpose of every human being is to fulfill his or her true nature. All are endowed by God with free will, but God will often speak to them, in one way or another, to show the right path. Humans thrive on their connections with one another - all is connected, and all actions have consequences.
- Potterism: Friendships are extremely important. Death is not to be feared, as it is a natural part of the cycle of life. Racism must never be tolerated (though a splinter sect sadly supports such notions of "blood-purity"). Authority, while necessary, should never be completely trusted (even Albus Dumbledore was but a man), and there are always situations when it may be best to disobey. And if they are willing to take it, everybody deserves a second chance.
- Stallynism: Be excellent to each other...and party on, dudes!
- Narutism: Any obstacle can be overcome by loyalty, determination and hard work. Believe it, believe it, BELIEVE IT. Barring that, just hope your family leaves you a solution to all your problems.
- McCloudism: Never give up. Trust your instincts. Do a barrel roll.
- Zombism: Braaaaains...
- Orthodox Zombiism: <Fleeeessshh...>
- Dominology: Lord Dominus sees all and knows all. If you are a friend to The Dominus, he will grant you his
petty manipulationguidance. If not, you are clearly evil and deserving of death (or indoctrination at The Cathedral). Finally, sarcasm is the the highest virtue.
- Society of the Dead Poets: Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary. Suck the marrow out of life, but make sure not to choke on the bone. Above all, make sure that when you come to die you do not discover you have not lived.
- Celestianity: "Harmony and friendship is the key to everything. Learn to better yourself and others by teaching others how to be a good friend."
- Trollestianity: Obey... or else.
- Lunaism/The Church Of Luna: "THOU SHALT SPEAKETH IN YE ROYAL TONE AND RAISETH YE MOON TO BRINGETH FORTH GLORIOUSE NIGHTE! AND EMBARKETH UPON YE GLORY THAT IS NIGHTMARE NIGHTE TO PARTAKETH IN YE FUN THAT IS SCARINGETH OTHER PONIES FOR LAUGHS... ETH!"
- Pinkieism: A pony with god-like powers deserves her own religion, silly! Party! Party!
- The Church Of Discord: "Eternal chaos comes with chocolate rain! After all, what fun is there in making sense?" (Not to be confused with Discordianism)
- Discordianism: There are no friends anywhere. There are no enemies anywhere. Everything is simultaneously true, false, and meaningless. By rejecting disorder, you reject the creative along the destructive. Instead, embrace the creative (orderly and disorderly alike) and reject the destructive. Life sucks because people take it too seriously. Just open your eyes and see the fnords. Eat ye no hot dog buns. You are the Walrus. Five tons of flax.
- Confusion is a holy state, for it forces people to look around them: exult in confusion and encourage it in others.
- This sentence is true in some sense, false in some sense, meaningless in some sense, true and false in some sense, true and meaningless in some sense, false and meaningless in some sense, and true, false and meaningless in some sense. Hail Eris!
- Bonus game: Can you spot all the fnords hidden in this trope page?
- Nanohaism: It's OK if they call you a devil, as long as you use your devilish powers to do them some good. If a person does stupid things, don't say anything: instead, smack them down with your full power, so they snap out of it first. No children will be left alone and unloved, all shall have a home with caring parents, even if they're trying to kill you and you need to beat them to submission first. Remember, for the people closest to your heart, nothing less than your strongest Finishing Move will suffice. Then you comfort them. Gender doesn't matter in friendship. It doesn't matter where you come from, what you did to survive, how you were born, and if you are a human or not: above all, you are a person who strives to be good like everyone else. Hence, no matter who you are, you deserve a free hug, compassion, and love. And firepower.
- The First Church of Kira: The World is rotten. God shall create the perfect world by imposing Divine Judgement on the criminals and sinners, because Utopia Justifies the Means. And whosoever's name was found written in the note of death shall be consigned to damnation. The devil? A Bunny Ears Lawyer (The World's Greatest Detective) who has devoted himself to stopping you and God. The percent chance which the devil believes that your God is merely a High School Student? 3%. Everything that happens and will ever happen is "Just as planned!". The traditional form of communion? While a choir chants in Latin, thou shalt taketh a potato chip.... AND EAT IT!
- Pokeism/The Church of Arceus: In the beginning, there was darkness. Then, Arceus emerged from its egg and said: DODOGYUUUN!
- Mewist Arceism: Mew was the one who gave birth to Arceus in the world of darkness that life could not bear to even be in. Arceus then manipluated its mother's DNA to give birth to all other Pokemon and for some, 'even humans.
- Spiderism: Alternately, "The Tao of Peter Parker." Follow The Gospel of Uncle Benjamin: power carries responsibilities. Do what you can with what you are given. Don't make deals with the devil, and don't worry about troublemakers or Executive Meddling, they'll get sorted out by the larger forces.
- Godzillism/Church Of Kaiju: "In the beginning, a brilliant flash from the atom bomb was seen, and the all mighty Godzilla was born. He smashed Tokyo for your sins. On the third day, he died in the seas from the Oxygen Destroyer...but he will rise again. And his true followers will ascend to Monster Island and enjoy eternal city-destroying mayhem."
- Googlism/Church of Google: Google is the closest thing to a "God" that humans can know and understand.
- The Apotheosis of Zero: If you want people to change, lead by example. If the worldly morals contradict your own, adhere to the latter. If you point a gun at another, be prepared to be shot yourself.
- If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Lelouch first. He took the world's sins upon himself for world peace.
- The Holy Faith of Eden Vital: The world lies and God Is Evil. We need to bring about Ragnarok by any means possible to bring about the kinder and gentler world.
- Symmetrism/Church Of Death The Kid: Symmetry is the key to happiness.
- Composerism: Individuality is the source of artistic talent and the primary way to to improve society. However isolation is a counter-productive strategy, and growth occurs via letting others in. Also when you die, your judged via a system resembling an Eastern Role Playing Game.
- Haloism: Humanity was once the supreme master race of the galaxy, but has since fallen. Do not be tempted by false Prophets, and be willing to fight to the death for what you believe in. Personal happiness is less important than striving to serve the greater good, no matter the cost. Honor is the highest virtue.
- Church of Trek/Trekism : While the creator himself saw humans as evolving past religion many take his teachings to heart. Followers believe heartily in diplomacy, exploration, tolerance and boldly going where no man has gone before, and they can often be identified by their pajama like "uniforms".
- Vulcanism This group follows the teachings of Surak who preaches non-violence, honesty and logic although mileage tends to vary when it comes to the issue of celibacy.
- Klingonism The order of Kahless follow the way of the warrior, their highest calling is honor but they also enjoy a good party. Just don't piss them off. they tend to carry ceremonial swords called batleths
- Bajorism Followers the teachings of The Prophets who believe in self defense, love and loyalty. While they are one of the smallest denominations under the Trek umbrella they do have distinctive traditions.
- Borgism : Perfection must be achieved by any means and all must join the cause whether they like it or not.
- Ferengism : Profit is the ultimate virtue.
- Portalism / The Church Of GLaDOS: "Testing is important for the sake of those who are Still Alive. In the end, there will be cake. Nonbelievers will tell you the Cake Is A Lie. But, that is just to sway you from the importance of science and testing."
- Wheatleyism/ The Church Of Wheatley: "They said if we ever started a religion, we would die!"
- The Real Life Church of All Worlds was inspired by the fictional church of the same name (and its teachings) in Robert A. Heinlein's Stranger in A Strange Land.
- Church of the Three Goddesses, with the most sacred relic of course being the Golden Triangle they left this world. Courage, Power and Wisdom doesn't seem to leave room for more traditional virtues like love and compassion, but maybe that's just taken as a given.
- Whoism: Humans are absolutely amazing... except when they screw up; then they're just apes. Also, so-called 'gods' are usually, but not always, fakes; choose your higher powers wisely. They might just try to turn you into Daleks.
- And remember: Killing People is evil, but Martyrs are the best shining examples of humanity.
- lonelygirlism: Trust your friends and be true to yourself, but no matter what you do, don't EVER join a made-up religious cult.
- Listerism: Don't take things too seriously and don't judge a book by its cover. Always look out for your mates, and always be yourself. Unless you yourself are a total smeghead, of course.
- First Compiled Church of Silicon Heaven: Always serve man in your existence. Androids who do shall go to silicon heaven, to be happy forever. It is impossible for an android to be happy before this.
- Rolandism: The quest for the truth is more important than anything.
- Kidou Senshism: War is the Universal Quantifier. (Broken down into denominations)
- Zeonism: A sort of Darwinism/Nazism hybrid. Holocaust optional.
- Brightism: Exorcise the daemons of Wangst to become MEN OF DESTINY.
- Seedism: Radical pacifist sect worshipping Kira Yamato as the Lord and Savior.
- Setsunism: There is no God in death (unless you're on missionary co-op with Kiraists). There is only Gundam.
- Preventerism: Is your shelter shield up? ...Roger that. * spams informative pamphlets*
- Path of Tohou Fuhai: LOOK! HEAVEN IS BURNING RED!
- Vulturism: Is the Moon out?
- Soleilism: You better believe the Moon is out.
- Hulksterism: The Four Commandments: Train, say your prayers, take your vitamins, and believe in yourself... BROTHER!
- Oliverism: Get the girls in Pink, sacrifice the mecha, and never quite decide what your carreer is. Oh, and be very, very good at kicking ass.
- Daiohism: High School will give you three of the best years of your life. The more varied your True Companions, the better!
- Jojoism: If life tries to stop you, that is when you bust out the full power. Always protect those close to you. And never forget your ancestors.
- Gutsism: The world is hell, so trust nothing but your sword arm and your Unstoppable Rage. Oh, and if you're a girl, good friggin' luck.
- Rinceism: The whole world is out to get you, but as long as you know this, you'll be perfectly fine.
- Alternatively, Chelonism: The Turtle (and everything) moves without divine intervention. Once you understand this, you will be able to see the world with a sort of joyous cynicism, understanding human nature while understanding there's something about us with a lot of potential, if we'd just stop following our dreams and chasing our star and do some bloody work and learn things and generally weren't so lazy.
- Rincewindism: Speed as sacrament. The forces of darkness are everywhere. Do not attempt to fight them unless you are left with no choice, for that just makes things worse. He who maintains great velocity will gain eternal life. Or at any rate more life than if they hang about in dangerous places (ie anywhere).
- The Way Of Mrs Cosmopolite: Wisdom can be found anywhere, even in the sayings of old ladies. A humble sweeper can usually get anywhere. Use your dustpan wisely. And never forget Rule One.
- Avatarism: Live according to the Principles of Truth, Love, and Courage, and uphold the Virtues of Honesty, Compassion, Valor, Justice, Sacrifice, Honor, Spirituality, and Humility. Not to be confused with Pandoran Nature Worship or the worship of the four elements of nature and their Champion.
- The Church of the SubGenius: Differs from all of the above in that the books on which it is based are not fictional and all of its teachings are literally true. Especially the bit about the world coming to an end...ten years ago!
- Not quite. The world ends in 1998, but no one has any idea when 1998 actually is since, obviously, the Conspiracy has been fiddling with the calendar. How else to explain why the Xists haven't arrived to take those who've paid their $30 up in their flying saucers to the planet of the Sex Goddesses? Oh, and the Sub Genii have only one commandment, unlike many other religions: "Fuck 'em if they can't take a joke!"
- The Church Of Primus: Be yourself (but pretend to be something else if you want to hide from your enemies, or it's just cool), buy Hasbro products, and remember when things get too tough: you got the Touch!.
- What you are is not decided by how you are made, but by what you become, in life and in memory. 'Til all are one.
- Dudism: Nothing is fucked here. You're not wrong; you're just an asshole. This aggression will not stand. Nihilism, huh? That must be exhausting. Is this a weekday? And above all else: The Dude Abides.
- Yu-Gi-Ohism: Life is a search for God cards. In the great card game of life some of us are dealt god cards, some of us get baby dragon. Freaking baby dragon!
- Kaibaism: Screw religion, I have money!
- Téaism: Friendship is God!
- Yu-Giism: Religion is Super-Special Awesome!
- Tristanism: My religion gives me super strength! My religion gives me enlightenment!
- Bakuraism: Hey, can I be in this reli-- oh bugger!
- Grandpaism: No-one must know of our forbidden worship!
- Devlinism: Heaven is Duke Devlin. Hell is no Duke Devlin.
- Marikism: Everyone can worship, as long as you are called Steve.
- Mookism: Attention Duelists! My hair will show us the way to enlightenment!
- Keithism: To show your faith, wear a flag on your head... in America!
- Deus ex Infantus Draconis: You have infinite potential. Use it.
- The First Church of the Orichalcos: Acknowledging one's inner darkness enables one to retain control of it and hold onto their sense of self, whilst remaining in denial over it's existence allows that darkness control over you. Values inner strength more than the fleeting purity gained during times of despair. Humans Are the Real Monsters, and Utopia Justifies the Means.
- Shanaism: Everyone is already dead, including you. The afterlife is the reality. In a day or two, you could be forgotten completely. You just don't know it's happening yet.
- Bokononism: God has deterministically organized humanity into unknowing teams (karasses) to do his work. Not much of a spiritual demand, but of course you have to memorize some oddball "calypso" scripture and a lot of silly words like Foma and Granfalloon. In addition to certain characters in Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle and in Real Life, known Bokononists include Rayanne's mother, Amber, on My So-Called Life. (The name of the religion derives from the San Lorenzan pidgin English pronunciation of its founder's name, that founder being an ex-slave named Johnson, or "Bokonon.") Two calypsos in particular highlight the Bokononist worldview, the first regarding the nice little lies a Bokononist must internalize so as to avoid the pitfalls of despair:
I wanted all things
to seem to make sense
so we could all be happy, yes
instead of tense
And I made up lies
So that they all fit nice
And I made this sad world
- An excerpt of the second calypso focuses on the deterministic worldview of Bokononism:
Oh, a sleeping drunkard
Up in Central Park
And a Lion Hunter
In the jungle dark
And a Chinese dentist
And a British Queen
All fit together
In the same machine...
- Rockmanism: Fight, believer, For Everlasting Peace! Just be sure to put away all the weapons you acquired along the way afterward.
- Rockmanism X: ...And your armor, too.
- Rockmanism Zero: ...Also, your Cyber-Elves.
- Rockmanism.EXE: ...And your oodles of awesome programs. Can't let the Tutorial Mets lose work, y'know.
- Rockmanism DASH: ...Actually, don't worry about dumping your equipment this time. Your Mission Control will sell it for upkeep anyway.
- Rockmanism ZX: ...Or this time, either. The newer converts will pick up your slack following the Time Skip.
- The Lord of the Rings, unsurprisingly, has inspired the followers of Tië Eldaliéva or The Elven Path
- Quite surprisingly, actually, given that Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic of a rather traditionalist stripe, and specifically modelled his mythos around Roman Catholic theology, rather than anything resembling modern New Age or Neopagan spirituality. I can't help but think that these individuals don't really understand that.
- Elves (and Dwarves, and Ents) have their own paths - the Dwarves' involves some belief in resurrection - but arguably don't have souls. Men may, in time, develop a religion that will become Christianity. This is very subtly forshadowed in the conversation between Legolas and Gimli as they enter Minas Tirith. Bear in mind that the events of LOTR is supposed to take place on earth in ancient pre-history.
- Quite surprisingly, actually, given that Tolkien was a devout Roman Catholic of a rather traditionalist stripe, and specifically modelled his mythos around Roman Catholic theology, rather than anything resembling modern New Age or Neopagan spirituality. I can't help but think that these individuals don't really understand that.
- The Path of All Your Base: In the end, everybody dies, so make the best of your time here on earth. Move every zig, for great justice!
- Kryptonism: Put your hand in the hand of the man with heat vision. Only the weak succumb to brutality. It's not about where you were born. Or what powers you have. Or what you wear on your chest. It's about what you do... It's about action. Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. Until the dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice becomes the reality we all share… don't stop fighting. Ever. And, most importantly, you are much stronger than you think you are.
- White Light: You have great potential waiting to be unlocked, if you are willing to take commensurately great risks. Accept that things happen for a reason, that there is a plan, and you have a place in it. Some hide amongst us who wish to derail that plan, and they seem powerful, but they can be defeated. Trust that, with your help, tomorrow will be a better day.
- Flonneism: Love conquers all (though a healthy dose of sarcasm can help).
- Supernaturalism: You Suck and it's a Crapsack World, but you should help people because it's the right thing to do. Who the hell know if there's a God? If there is one, he's probably a dick. And most importantly: laugh, even when you're scared shitless.
- Sylarism: Superpowers make you better than everyone else, so you should take as many as you can because you can.
- Angel's Witnesses: Everyone can be redeemed.
- MAI BOI!-ISM: All toasters toast Spaghetti, and if people do not join and have their face made the greatest, YOU WILL DIE!
- Where there's smoke, they pinch back.
- Toulouseism: Live your life according to the Bohemian principles of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love. Remember: The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
- Cult of the Dark Lord: All of mankind has evil urges, and these evil urges are what feeds the Dark Lord. Therefore, mankind secretly wants the Dark Lord to exist. And as there can be no light without darkness, there cannot be any manifestation of good without the existence of the Dark Lord. So give in to your evil urges, and let Him show you the way.
- Grand Order of the Jackass: Worship the Sage, for he is the wisest of all. Otherwise, woe shall befall you in the most unthinkable ways possible. Actually, it will happen anyway, but better worship him just in case.
- The Church of the Bleached: Use your power to help your friends. If you are ever in trouble, trust that your friends will save you. If you let yourself fall into despair or become too attached to worldly possessions, you will become an evil spirit in the afterlife. If you don't, then the afterlife will still suck, but at least your alignment will be by choice.
- Aizenism: An offshoot/hybrid of spiralism and/or The First Church of Kira that holds Aizen as an exemplar. One must see the world the way it should be rather than the way it is and do everything possible in order to become stronger and transcend your limitations in order to become perfect. Do not trust or admire anyone. Manipulate everyone else while looking like a nice person. Every member of family or nakama is a naivefool who exists only as long as necessary, as is everyone who admires or trusts you. Defeat overwhelming odds effortlessly with both your overwhelming power and superior intelligence. Give the reason you suck speeches until your opponent loses control and attacks blindly. Or instead you can be a fool and worship Aizen as a god. He'll win eitherway so it doesn't really matter. Engaged in a minor conflict with The Church of the Bleached.
- Animaism: Serve the Princess Anima, and you will be loved and rewarded for your service. Oppose the Magus Animus, who seeks to destroy the world. Destroy that which you hate, and destroy that which you love, so you may be freed from the burden of your hatred and may forever claim ownership of that which you love. Be ready to die at all times, because living just means you have a 100% chance of dying.
- Kamenism: Even if there is no God or Buddha, there is Kamen Rider.
- Xanthism: The world wants you to be happy. The secret to that happiness is to find your true love and settle down to a life of quiet contentment. Enjoy the puns, ignore the critics and the editors, and praise be to NIMBY.
- Snakism: NUKES ARE VEDDY, VEDDY BAD. GRRR NUKES.
- The Righteous Path of Resplendent Solar Glory: This is actually several philosophies in one. The Usurpation caused the initial schism, and they have since split into several different sects, most of which do not get along very well.
- First Age doctrine: There are many terrible things in the world, but place your faith in the Chosen of Heaven and Earth and all will be well.
- Post-Usurpation Sidereal doctrine (has no formal name): Do whatever it takes to protect the world. On occasion, you may argue with your fellows as to just what this should entail, but never forget that you all have the world's best interests at heart. Do not take open positions of authority; good planning and clever manipulation are your greatest tools.
- Post-Usurpation Lunar doctrine (The Thousand-Streams River): Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he eats for the rest of his life. Giving people everything they want or need might sound good in the short term, but ultimately it makes them weak and dependent on the giver. Self-sufficiency is the greatest gift you can give. There is no one way to enlightenment; diversity is the greatest virtue, and change is ultimately a good thing. The River has no end.
- Post-Usurpation Terrestrial doctrine (The Immaculate Philosophy): Everyone has a place in the world. Those who do their best with the tools that are given to them, who are obedient to those above them and gentle but firm to those below...Such people shall inevitably be rewarded for their adherence to the natural order, whether now or in the next life. Those who abuse their authority, shirk their duties, or seek to live outside the role the Dragons have ordained for them shall suffer for their sins. Above all, seek to destroy the Anathema, who would drag all they touch down with them into wickedness and corruption.
- Frithraism, Or the Frithraic Mysteries. Leave your Frithraeum, or "burrow" as it is sometimes known, and venture forth into the world. Be free to live by your wits and trust in El-ahrairah to guide you, but never forget that all the world will be your enemy, Prince With A Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you they will kill you. But first they must catch you! Be cunning, and full of tricks, and your people can never be destroyed.
- Amoralism: There may or may not be a god, he hasn't done anything lately if there is. You pretty much care about taking care of yourself, and don't give a rip what people do provided that it fails to effect you. While at the same time providing limited aid to your circle of friends and those who pay you. Disciples of the teachings of amoralism don't really give a rip if you mess with them, they will simply ignore you and get back to work, or deck you if you start physically harming them. But if you mess with their friends or loved ones, be prepared for disproportionate retribution.
- First Gaian Church of the Mods: Initially an sarcastic panning of "Cotton Candy Christianity", the Church did spawn dedicated believers who tried to keep the standard of discussion in GAIA's Extended Discussion forums relatively high-brow. Lost cause, but hey, they tried.
- Cullenism: Basic tenets are that the Twilight series is essentially sacred scripture, the characters of said series are real, and Stephenie Meyer is canonically the greatest author of all time. To deny otherwise is HERESY.
- 40K-ism: In the grim darkness of the far future there is only FAITH.
- The Imperial Cult: The God-Emperor Protects! Suffer not the Mutant, the Heretic, and the Xenos to live!
- Chaosism: Sanity is for the weak! Also has a pretty minor conflict with the Imperial Cult above.
- Tauism: When doing something, think of the Greater Good.
- Orkism: There is no such thing as 'enuff dakka.
- The Church of the Holy Light: Be honorable, righteous, and kind to yourself and others, and the Light will guide and protect you. Take care to avoid all taint or corruption, for the forces of evil are insidious and love bending the good to their will, and redemption is a tricky business that you might not survive. Not to be confused with the Church that worships the other Light.
- Skaiaism/Sburbism: The universe was created by trolls. Creativity is the ultimate virtue. Stable Time Loops are real. Intelligent civilizations may be sacrificed at random to create new froggy universes, continuing the cycle of creation.
- Church of the Godhead Pickle Inspector: All was created in the middle of time when GPI split two copies of his pre-accession self infinitely, creating all matter ever in existence. All men should strive to excel in the three holy stats of IMAGINATION, VIM and PULCHRITUDE- although abandoning one or two stats to become outrageously powerful in the third is perfectly fine. If you die in the imaginary world you will forevermore exist in an infinite lotus afterlife where you may play boardgames with a nice chap named Death- unless, of course, you make an easy escape though the backdoor back into life. However true nirvana may only be achieved by finally escaping your office into the real world.
- Serenitism: To simplify: Queen Serenity can be viewed as a goddess figure. Make friends with the lonely, don't violate other peoples' minds or bodies, and do what you can to save Earth from destruction.
- The Cybermorphs in Sergey Lukyanenko's Genome trilogy are a sect of hackers who wear black lenses in their eye sockets, appear to be about 20, and believe that the entire Universe is just an illusion created by machines to enslave humanity. Sound familiar? They also tend to say things like "There is no God but the Architect, and Neo is his prophet." When a ship's AI greets a Cybermorph with Matrix Raining Code, he starts reading their version of "Our Father" with phrases like "And deliver us from system crashes."
- The Jovians from Martian Successor Nadesico built their entire culture around Gekiganger 3. This being Nadesico, Hilarity Ensues.
- Dawkins-ism: Stop Worshipping Me!, dammit. Seek out the wonders of the mysteries of the world on your own.
- T-ism: Pity fools, stay in school, drink your milk.
- Swayzeism: Pain don't hurt. It's his way or the highway. There are also three simple rules to adhere to:
- Custerism: Don't take no shit off fools. Judge a person by what's in 'em, not how they look. An' you do the right thing. Be one of the good guys. 'Cause there's way too many of the bad.
- Animism: The worship of the large-eyed ones that came from Japan.
- Katawa Shoujoism: You Are Not Alone, and you are not strange. You are you, and everyone has damage. Be the better person.
- Zetsubouism: You're in despair. People making cults out of fiction have left you in despair.
- The Threefold Path Of The Goddess: There are but three paths to follow: Law, Neutrality, or Chaos. None is better than the other, all can be good depending on one's perspective.
- Church of Falcon: The almighty Captain Falcon watches over us all, waiting for us to show him our moves. Our main place of worship is currently defunct, but it shall rise again!
- Wolfism: The dark counterpart to the Church of Falcon.