Where does FSM fit in with the other religions?

Published May 22nd, 2007 by Bobby Henderson


Adherents.com has ranked the major religions of the world. What surprises me is that there are only around 500 thousand Scientologists, and that there are more – 600 thousand – Rastafarians in the world. Note that I said Rastafarians, not Pastafarians. Pastafarianism did not make the list, unfortunately.

Now I’m wondering how many Pastafarians there are in the world, and how we’d go about quantifying that. The FSM website has received well over 10 million unique visitors in the last two years. I’m guessing that the number of people vaguely familiar with FSM is in the millions, but that those who consider themselves Pastafarians number only in the tens of thousands. And of those people, I’m guessing that only some of them consider this a legit religion. For others it’s a joke, satire, entertainment, whatever.

I’m wondering how the mainstream religions count members. Do they count only those who truly follow the core beliefs, and disregard those who are there mainly for the social benefits? Or do they count everyone who’s signed up, or possibly those who pay dues?

Is FSM all that different than the other religions? How many Christians Truly Believe the Bible is the Infallible Word of God, and how many are members because they enjoy the social network and lifestyle that being Christian affords them? It seems to me that many Pastafarians enjoy this community, even if they don’t actually believe there is a Flying Spaghetti Monster controlling events around us at will. Of course, many of us do.

The Church of the FSM has no organized registration process – I’ve never liked the idea of it; it seemed too close to what the major religions do… tracking, asking for money – which I’m strongly against. But maybe it’s time for FSM to become more organized. What do you think? What do you want out of FSM?


unexpectedly captured His Noodliness

Published May 21st, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

I’ve unexpectedly captured His Noodliness, who has made the flowers in his own image! Find the picture attached.




NASA drawing resembles FSM

Published May 21st, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

From Phil Plait‘s Bad Astronomy Blog :


I only glanced at it, and I thought, “NASA is building the Flying Spaghetti Monster!”

Phil’s full post is here.


cutty sark burns

Published May 21st, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

Sad news. The 19th century clipper The Cutty Sark caught fire and burned out of control.  Police are treating the fire as “suspicious”.
0greenwichcuttysarkfront.jpg 0_cutty_fire.jpg

Read it here


The National Association of State Boards of Education will elect officers in July, and for one office, president-elect, there is only one candidate: a member of the Kansas school board who supported its efforts against the teaching of evolution.

The candidate is Kenneth R. Willard, a Kansas Republican who voted with the conservative majority in 2005 when the school board changed the state’s science standards to allow inclusion of intelligent design, an ideological cousin of creationism.

Read it in the NY Times here.

It’s unclear what this will mean for Pastafarians. My guess is that it will help our cause if Mr. Willard is elected.


Update on the burglary

Published May 18th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

We think it was probably our neighbor’s daughter’s friends.  Some of our other neighbors were around when it happened, and saw them sitting on the stairs, hanging out.  We’re thinking it’s unlikely that someone else walked up the stairs – past them, took a bunch of stuff and walked out.   They (the neighbor’s friends) said that they didn’t see anything, and then immediately took off. We know what school they go to, and the police lifted some fingerprints… so there’s hope.


Someone broke into my apartment today

Published May 17th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

Someone broke in while we were gone for 30 minutes and stole a bunch of stuff. It could have been much worse, but these things I will miss:

  • IBM Thinkpad T43 Laptop – with a giant black pirate-fish decal on it. This had a LOT of FSM-related stuff that was in progress. I had a lot of stuff backed up, but it’s all older versions.
  • Nkon D200 DSLR Camera with Nikkor 18-200mm VR Lens. It was less than 2 weeks old. Any pictures taken with it will have my name and email in the exif metadata.

If anyone comes across the above items by some chance, let me know please. I have the serial numbers.
Remember to back up your work frequently, and keep the backup somewhere else.


I was tricked by Jehovah’s Witnessess!

Published May 16th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

I almost got shot. kinda.

A few days ago, as I was leaving my apartment, a car sped across the parking lot to intercept me. I had just about reached my car when I noticed the driver stopping directly behind my car, blocking me. The two passengers jumped out of the car and came straight at me.

I get a lot of hate-mail and I’ve had more than a few death threats. I keep my address a secret, but I’ve had people track me down in the past. So, when I saw a car speed up and two people jump out, it freaked me out.

One of them asked me if I valued the mind and body benefits of exercise. I said yes and that I needed to get going. They assured me that they’d move the car, but perhaps I wanted to take some reading material with me to look over when I had more time.

So I took their pamphlet. My only excuse is that I thought I was going to get stabbed or something, and I just wanted to get out of there. It wasn’t until later that I looked at the pamphlet. It slowly went from exercise to Jesus. It turned out to be disguised Jehovah’s Witness propaganda, the Watchtower. I figured that they tricked me fair and square, so I felt obligated to read it.


What I learned by this experience

The pamphlet, itself, was kind of Jesusy. But it gave me some fantastic ideas for expanding the Pastafarian congregation. Clearly, the way to get more members is to trick them; make them think they’re signing up for one thing and then – bam – all the sudden you hit them with the gospel-speak, and you’ve got them.

So, I’ve decided that we’re going to do a similar campaign to trick people into joining FSM, specifically, members of other religions, especially the religions who propagandize. I figure that we’ve already got the open-minded people, now we need the gullible ones.

Internet advertising – like magic, but nerdier

You can target advertisements to specific categories of websites. We’re going to be targeting competing religious websites. Any religion who hands out pamphlets is fair game. Lots of religious websites sell ad-space through 3rd parties, and we’ll be able to place OUR ads on their pages, and steal their members.

It’ll work like this: their members will go to the church websites as usual, and they’ll see a small ad suggesting that there is more to their religion. Some of them will click the ad and be brought to a specific catch page, where they’ll hear fantastic arguments on why they should convert.

I need your help with any of the following:

1) Specific strategies for each religion. For example, for Jehovah’s Witnesses, we could push that we, also, reject Orthodox Christianity. And the strategies don’t need to be that on-topic. The Jehovah’s Witnesses got me with an exercise pamphlet, we could just as easily have a pirate angle or something. We’ll have different strategies for the other religions – Mormons, Young Earth Christians, Scientologists, etc. Let’s brainstorm. Either post in the comments or send me an email at [email protected]

2) Nich text ads. We need short, catchy text ads that will appeal to each of the target religions. The content of these ads will be more clear once we’ve established our strategies for each religion.

3) Small Image Ads. People with art skills, get creative. Same deal with the text ads, we’re going to know more once we know what our angle is. We’ll need ads in the following dimensions:

4)Individual Catch Pages. Once they click the ad, they’ll be brought to a page on the FSM site which will expand on the idea presented in the ad and slowly make the argument that they should convert to Pastafarianism. I need help with this.

5) Money. I’ve put aside a few thousand for this. Ads cost between $0.25 and upwards of $5 per thousand views. I’m hoping for a budget of at least $5k. If you want to help, you can either donate, or buy some FSM merchandise.

So, that’s my idea. What do you think?


New chart

Published May 16th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

I made a newer, shinier, Temperature Vs. Pirates chart. It’s being printed in the college text “The Presence of Others“.

Tuned in to your FSM page today on a “tip” from a friend

Published May 15th, 2007 by Bobby Henderson

Tuned in to your FSM page today on a “tip” from a friend. Then I read through all the bullshit you could deliver…hmmm..

I have to admit it’s very clever copy, very tempting–but for a target audience I can’t imagine. Who? Middle-aged, overweight, and divorced heterophylls?

Physics major, huh? You should’ve gone into ceramics…you know…or advanced welding design, or maybe a sausage making class might help you get over it.

But you’re a good comic, for sure! It’s pure Vaudville! Burns & Allen couldn’t do it better! Saturday Night Live is no competition to your act. Wow! It’s all bullshit, of course, and everybody, I hope, knows it. But you’re quite the comedian and you’ve been able to pull it off!

Are you making any money off this? You must be…you’re no fool!!

I might be able to round up some charitable donations for you…you know, the same kind of folks who eagerly respond to telemarketers selling phone card machines

But, Bobby, Bobby, what you fail to understand, you poor fool, is that what you really need to do, for your deepest self-of-selfs is to…find yourself a new bitch, asshole!!!!

P.S. Do you have you enough information to process & respond to this…?


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An elaborate spoof on Intelligent Design, The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is neither too elaborate nor too spoofy to succeed in nailing the fallacies of ID. It's even wackier than Jonathan Swift's suggestion that the Irish eat their children as a way to keep them from being a burden, and it may offend just as many people, but Henderson puts satire to the same serious use that Swift did. Oh, yes, it is very funny. -- Scientific American.


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