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Jedi == Religion In NZ 213

An unnamed correspondent writes: "It's census night tomorrow in New Zealand, and an email is doing the rounds asking all Star Wars fans to enter their religion as JEDI :) Should be an interesting experiment to what sort of momentum email can make over just a couple of days. It will take a few months to garner the results though." As the story says, though, "this could land potential Jedi in hot water as those who record false information, don't fill out census forms, or destroy them, can be prosecuted."
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Jedi == Religion In NZ

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  • As a NZer, I don't really see a point to all this. If by some chance it does make it as an official religion, i'm guessing most people would be like: "Wow, cool, that's nice..." and then go off and do whatever they were doing beforehand. I don't see what's the big deal.
  • ROFLMAO! So are you Monkey or Jedi? Or a Monkey-Jedi hybrid? :-)
  • No, fear mine. Please.
  • by Chas ( 5144 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @12:54AM (#384612) Homepage Journal

    "Do you seriously expect us to believe you're a Jedi? Do you know the kind of trouble you can get in for falsifyin....ggggghhhh"

    "Minister, I find your lack of faith....disturbing."

    Chas - The one, the only.
    THANK GOD!!!

  • A full on religion needs lots more than some vague outline of mysticism.

    Oh, like a god that won't reveal himself to the world or explain to his children the mysteries of the universe? One who communicates through ineffective (read: stupid) representitives and through 4000-2000 year old books? hell, at least the Jedi have movies.


  • I was using Priest and such as an example. My point is both Jedi and Sith believe and study the samething. "The Force" So it is still incorrect to say your religion is Jedi or jedism, since Jedi/Sith are the people mastering "The Force" I guess thats what I am trying to say. Just believing it is not enough.. I mean Luke had to train to become a Jedi, And to teach it you must become a Jedi Master. Much like many of the people who lead institutes of whatever religion must master thiers. I also don't understand how it is unfair to compare a Jedi/Sith to lets say a Priest. They Both Instruct thier charges on the "religon"
    to my knowledge at any rate, there is no Jedi god
    no there is no Jedi/Sith gods but they had explained it, albit poorly that the force was Medechloriens or Tiny organisms in EPI
  • Course, you can see what it looked like in a now multiply acadamied (well, nominated) Chinese film. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is entirely based on this...
  • just because there is just one religion there.. and all the maories (?) are dead.

    New Zealand is far from on Religion. Disregarding the variuos forms of Christainity, Muslim and Hindu are also have a sinficant fraction of the overall. the Jedi religon will most likly show up on the 'resualt' as just an unlisted compent of the 'Other' catagory.

    FYI its Maori boths sigualur and plural

  • Which do you think will reach more, the email mentioned in the article or the Slashdot story that covers it? :-)

    The article says this "is an experiment in the power of email" but if Slashdot reaches even one more than the email, the experiment has been poisoned. Somehow I doubt the reason was true anyway.

    Will the Kiwi census have an equivalent to the US census' "long form"? Are there corresponding complaints regarding privacy? Does NZ have laws prohibiting the use of census data by other government agencies? (I'm thinking of the assurances US census workers gave about the privacy of the data given, and then the public admission months later that those assurances were inaccurate.) Will there be or have there been objections to the census by privacy groups in NZ?

    For that matter, will potential creditors see your religion is Jedi if you applly for a student or car loan? :-) Are the census recrods public information there (as personal income tax figures are in Finland)?

    Finally, the linked article closes by stating there could be legal reprecussions from reporting your religion as Jedi. How exactly would they prove you are not a Jedi? Trick/bully you into "confessing"?

  • by Skynet ( 37427 )
    What a bunch of geeks!

    Oh wait, I'm a geek.

  • So if Jedi is a legitimate religion does that mean I could start a Jedi Temple anti-drug program and get Federal aid in the US as a "Faith-based organization?"

  • I see nothing wrong with this. Why should the government care what one's religion is?

    In any case, here are a few other possible choices:

    The Eight Virtues
    Moon Crystal Magic
    The Great Meowth of Bounty

  • In response to a lot of people questioning the validity/purpose of such an action - Well one can't speak for anyone but offhand I'd say it's a valid response to an invalid question. There is no reasonable purpose for the government of a free and democratic nation to collect information on the religious beliefs of its inhabitants. Providing a nonsense answer is a valid response in the spirit of non-violent resistance. In response to the issue of whether respondents could face legal repercussions to their response... isn't religion one of the basic issues of free choice? What makes espousing a religious belief fraudulent? That you aren't REALLY serious about that belief? Better start lining up the Christians for prosecution, then... plenty of people only practice that belief on Sunday morning, which doesn't strike me a particulalry serious. And this is coming from a practicing Christian, mind you. Anyone should have the right to claim whatever belief system they like. Wouldn't you think?
  • Yes, um, New Zealand thanks you:) It's nice to know we're so well thought of, but please don't make out like we've got no imaginations.

    Anyhow, the email I saw was that we were all to list ourselves as "Seekers of Punani."

  • YOU Insult MY RELIGION? Now, DIE.
  • All hail Cowboy Neal: Glory be onto the Empire!
    This message was encrypted with rot-26 cryptography.
  • ...as will most of my friends.

    We hate to be asked- What religion are you? What ethnic background are you?

    Those of you who are slamming this miss understand the NZ psyche. Many americans and europeans don't know where NZ is let alone know how we think. In California I was asked in New Zealand is Florida. In London I was asked if we ever drive to Australia for the weekend (5hr plane flight away).

    I live in NZ. Having been to about 35 countries. I went to school in the US for a year. I have worked in Italy and Thialand, travlled through the rest of north america (1yr), europe (5mnth), SE+S asia (9mtnhs). I feel I can comment a little on how NZers compare to these cultures.

    We are a very liberal country and a mish mash of cultures. Our current and last prime ministers are/were women. Our last deputy PM was a Maori. We were the first country in the world to let women vote. We were one of the first to introduce state welfare. We are nuclear free and have almost no army ecxcept for peace keeping and civil emergencies. Certainly unlike America, you don't have to be white male and christian become the prime minister.

    We are one of the most secular countries in the world.And the religions we have are wide and varied.

    Our cultrual background is a mish mash of dozens of cultures. It started with the Maori who arrived around 1000 yrs ago. Then europeans came 250 yrs ago (dutch, english, french, scotish mostly). This was followed by a large influx of chinese around the gold rush days (150 yrs ago). The 1st half of the 20cent was east eurpoens (Dalmatians, Polish etc). The latter half has been from SE asia (Malaysia, Vietnam, Thialand, Cambodia) and the Pacific Islands. More recently we seemed to have more Africans (I live by a Somali family) and ongoing Pacific Island immigration.

    Our country has a population of 3.6million. Last year we had 1.8million tourists. We are used to cultural and religious diversity.

    People I went to school and varsity with in NZ come from a wider ethinic range than I have encountered in any country I visited in the world.

    These people often considern themselves New Zealander first and original culture second. If your parent moved here from Malaysia 35yrs ago and you were born here you probably consider you self 100% New Zealander, with malaysian overtones. Compare this with some Amercians I've meet who are 4th gen American but call themselves Irish.

    Most New Zealanders are non-practicing of thier partents religion. These people (like me) hate having to state what their cultrual background and religion is.

    This is a good oportunity to "do the finger" to those who would like to classify us into groups we don't feel we belong to. On most forms where I have to specify ethnic background I've ticked [other] and then written New Zealander. Ofcourse this makes almost no difference as not enough people do it.

    I and most of my friends intend to be JEDI this census. Hopefully at some stage in the future the religious question will be removed from our census forms.

    Elvis (elivs@zdnetonebox.com)

    PS - I'm not saying NZ does not have sexist, racist, Rednecks etc. It certainly does. However for those of us who hate to be grouped on religion its a great opporunity to protest as a group.
  • This story [idg.net.nz] mentions the other religion seeking status from the census.
    As the story goes:
    The word "punani", West Indian slang for the female genitalia, has been popularised recently by the British TV comic Ali G.
  • As I recall, from just a couple days ago, there is a drive to make forwarding email without explicit permission illegal.

    For the other geographically chalanged, New Zealand!=Australia

    If I aimed for Florida, and ended up in in the Panama cannel, I would be a lot closer than New Zealand to Australia. Is Moscow close to London? It's closer than the Auckland is to Melbourne.

  • If God longs for a personal relationship with me, why doesn't It return Its phone calls? It's not like I don't have an answering machine, either. I even tried writing letters, e-mailing, and faxing. Ok, so the fax didn't go through... But I tried!

    You know, you just try, and try, and TRY to get in touch with someone...

    Hmm, by that criterion, God is James Kennedy from Cleveland.

  • > If you could quantify the effect the nightly local news has on the U.S. general public; I bet you just might find more often than not; the "nightly news group" are subjected to so many false facts, that when it does come time for them to declare/decide SOMEthings, they end up living a lie. Atleast the "Jedi" are choosing to lie.
  • You mean that if I started my own Star Wars fan club here in the U.S. I could potentially get some kind of religious tax break for it? Well, in that case... "Our Yoda, who art on Coruscant"
  • I just have to wonder if anyone will take this one step further and put Sith instead. After all, you can't have one without the other.
  • by MikeyLikesIt! ( 313421 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @01:03AM (#384633) Homepage

    What's the point?

    Is this supposed to be some sort of practical joke? It's just like a bunch of kids ordering 20 pizzas for a false address and laughing with their friends. "Ha ha - some dumbass is gonna have to pay for all those pizzas", but of course they never find out what happens because they're not there! To which the response "uh, let's not and say we did" usually makes the instigator feel like the dumbass.

    Or is it to be rebellious?
    Geek 1 (overly-excited): "Hey, let's say were JEDI!"
    Geek 2 (grinning): "Yeah, we can really stick it to The Man. All those years of invading our privacy..."
    Geek 1 (ready to piss his pants): "Oh my GOD! That would be SWEET! Just imagine the look on the clerk's face she has to enter it into the database!"
    Geek 2 (suddenly serious): "I'm imagining it now: anarchy! The government would collapse! The country would be ours for the taking!"
    Geek 1 (bouncing off the walls): "Let's send out a mass email! Everybody always does everything an email tells them to do, especially when breaking the chain will bring seven years of bad luck!"

    The rest is history.

    If only someone had been there to say "uh, lets not and say we did"...

  • This can't be a good indicator of the influence of e-mail because it's been all over the news here in NZ and on the Internet. So the results gathered would be flawed as people find out about this from other sources (eg. TV, newspapers, internet etc.).
  • Whenever I am asked my race on any kind of form, I always put "human".
  • You know this IS a chain letter: an emaili containing an unusual idea/story, in this case pick Jedi as your reglion, then it ask you to forward it to as many people as possible. Whoever wrote the original message, I salute you! Your chain letter just went on /.

    Midichlorians my @$$...


  • Jedi is a trademark, _but_...

    1) Census data is confidential under the Statistics Act. Therefore, it will be impossible to sue anyone, if such a suit was possible.

    2) George Lucas, if he has a sense of humour, would probably laugh his arse off at the whole thing.

    3) DMCA is an Amerikan law, and does not apply in other countries!

    Can introduce another moderation category? Something like "-5: Stupid Ethnocentric American"

  • ...points this post out to his Muslim and Jewsih friends...

    Maori make up more than 10% of the population, they are far from dead.
  • I thought most all religions were based on some kind of science fiction or legend. Then over time the folklore just becomes fact when a better explination fails to come along.

    In any event, Jedi seems like a better religion then any that Star Trek have come up with.

  • I have been reading a book that I will be reviewing : "IBM and the Holocaust : The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation."

    In Germany and Nazi-occupied countries, census data and Hollerith technology was used to very efficiently produce sorts on the populations; obviously, sorts based on "race" / religion were among the most common

    Also, in the USA during WW II, census data and Hollerith technology were used to identify Japanese Americans who were to be interred.

    I don't believe that there is a true need for religion to be listed among census data, and that only truly essential items should be incorporated into any census.

    Sam Nitzberg sam@iamsam.com http://www.iamsam.com

  • Story says, "this could land potential Jedi in hot water as those who record false information, don't fill out census forms, or destroy them, can be prosecuted."

    How could they consider the Jedi thing "false information"? Reading your mind to prove you're actually Buddhist or something?

  • Why not? It has something like 2 million "followers"! :)

  • Well, it all depends how you define religion. A quick search on dictionary.com [dictionary.com] reveals several definitions from different sources. Here are two:

    religion (r-ljn)
    1. a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
    2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
    3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
    4. A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
    religion n 1: a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny;

    I don't think it's correct to compare a Jedi to a priest or rabbi. "Jedaism" (for want of a better word, and please note that no slur or insult is intended to Jews) isn't a hierarchical, Supreme Being/Creator-centric religion in the same way as Christianity or Judaism are, because, to my knowledge at any rate, there is no Jedi god.

    However, because Jedaism provides a cosmological explanation for Good and Evil, there is no reason why it should be rejected as a religion, especially as it provides an alternative to what we regard as traditional religions such as Christianity and Judaism. In place of the normal religious hierarchical structure (e.g. in Roman-Catholicism, the ranking is God, Pope, Cardinals, Arch-Bishops, etc.) in which power is delegated from the Supreme Being, Jedaism has a meritocratic (and, possibly, democratic) hierarchy based upon the natural ability, experience, wisdom and skills of the Jedi.

    I admire that sort of structure.


  • The concept of "the force" closely resembles that
    of Qi (pronounced "chee", also spelled chi, ji, ki, prana in various dialects).
    The Qi permeates our bodies and the environment.
    In proper harmony it can be very powerful.
    QiQong, TaiChi, Akido, Falun Dafa, FengShui
    is a shortl ist of some of the movements that
    harmonize Qi.
  • . . .as I marked my ethnicity as Other, and filled in the blank with "Human". They actually sent somebody around afterwards for more detail. My wife told them "Human", and dared them to prove otherwise.

    If they wanted a sub-ethnic group, we had "Geek-American" already planned. . .

  • I've seen an interview (on BookTV) with the author(s) of that book. It seemed lacking.

    Did IBM actually make the punch cards?

    Were any of them smoking guns? The ones that were called such during the interview looked pretty much normal. These were tax forms (with religion as an option) and ID cards listing nationality, cause of death, religion, method of capture...

    Did the pres. of IBM know that the holocaust was taking place? The earliest America found out about it was after the taking of Berlin...

    If so, did he have reason to believe that IBM technology was used for anything more than regular accounting?
  • Jedi's probably more of a religion than "Scientology".

    - A.P.

    * CmdrTaco is an idiot.

  • religion n 1: a strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny;

    I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but I've never seen anything to make me believe there's one all-powerful force controlling everything. There's no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.
  • Why do you think Liam Neeson's character in Episode 1 was named for one of those martial arts?
  • It's not often I say this. But some people REALLY needs to get out more. And coming from me, that's serious :).
  • by jon_c ( 100593 )
    so is the "Dark-side" liberal and the"Light-Side" conservative or what?


    Streamripper [sourceforge.net]

  • Countries like America?

    We record race, religion, nationality, income, education, criminal background, and in many cases if a gun is owned.

    There was some objection to this a while back. Lawmakers tried to calm everyone by saying that it is used to help minorities--and it is.

    But it reminds me, and many others, of Nazi Germany. To fund a church, you had to list your religion and earmark money on your tax form for it. This was *not* used to help people.

    No one in America expects mass killings, but since most programs that use this data, while intended to help--hurt (such as the inner city housing programs), it might just be better to assume everyone is the same and treat them that way.
  • To see the political (representative) repercussions from the kiwi population declaring themselves Jedi. I'm glad they are aiming high.
  • by Cplus ( 79286 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @05:19AM (#384655) Homepage Journal
    I understand what you're saying, but The Force is probably the closest thing that my life comes to religion. I don't believe any of the others and the I have icons of the Jedi religion (read : action figures), I worship regularly (vhs), and I talk about it excitedly with my peers.

    Therefore, where I asked, my answer might be the same. I'm a lot more Jedi than I am Christian or Muslim.

  • by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @01:09AM (#384656) Homepage

    You can't just put "Jedi", that's as meaningless as "Jehovist". You have to pick a sect, dammit!

    Midichlorist - Old Republic conservative, based on solid scientific principles and prone to much sitting around looking grim and warning about Prophesies.

    Immaculatist - Believer in the Immaculate Conception of Anakin Skywalker, marking the end of Midichlorianism rationalism and the beginning of a New Age of "anything goes" psuedo-mystical twaddle.

    Intuitist - Imperial period Jedi, eschewing all knowledge of earlier abominations such as Midichlorians and Immaculate Conceptions; a much purer, simpler religion.

  • Now thats tempting.... if only we could get more than 8000 of each....

  • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @05:13PM (#384663) Journal
    It's sure really useful to tell the government your religion and race - how else will they find the Jews when they want to round them up again? Or the Japanese-Americans? Or Guatemalans ?

    I refused to tell the US government more than how many people live in my place - even the short form census package had a large number of privacy act violations and highly deceptive material with it (like talking about how they've done a great job of protecting privacy of census data for the last 50 years, conveniently starting their self-congratulation period just a few years after they'd illegally given the US Army data on where to find Japanese-Americans to round up.) It was clearly done in bad faith. The US Constitutional provisions against self-incrimination make it easy to deal with the problem, and if they send census takers around to count, I'll ask them to repeat the Miranda warnings ("You have the right to remain silent" "OK, good. Bye!").

  • I tend to screw up the census in Australia when it happens every five years. I can't help it. I was born in the same week of August on which the census is usually taken in Australia. So some years, I'm 4 years older than the last census, and some years I'm 6 years older.

    On two of the last three censuses, census night fell on my birthday. I wish I had taken the opportunity to make life interesting for the census staff by going out and getting drunk or something, then not coming home that night.

  • Many US states do something similar. For example, California has an initiative process [cainitiative.org] that requires 5% or 8% of voters to sign the petition, depending on whether normal laws or the constitution are being updated. There are additional restrictions (beyond the percent of voters), such as neutral but useful editing by the Secretary of State [ca.gov], but the idea is basically the same.

    (1) Article II, [section] 8:

    (a) The initiative is the power of the electors to propose statutes and amendments to the Constitution and to adopt or reject them.

    (b) An initiative measure may be proposed by presenting to the Secretary of State a petition that sets forth the text of the proposed statute or amendment to the Constitution and is certified to have been signed by electors equal in number to 5 percent in the case of a statute, and 8 percent in the case of an amendment to the Constitution, of the votes for all candidates for Governor at the last gubernatorial election.

    (c) The Secretary of State shall then submit the measure at the next general election held at least 131 days after it qualifies or any special statewide election held prior to that general election. The Governor may call a special statewide election for the measure.

    (d) An initiative measure embracing more than one subject may not be submitted to the electors or have any effect.
  • Do you not think that the Jedi are above the silliness of our political system. I wish a lot more people were. A lot of ridiculous things are done by toeing the party line, on both sides.

  • Yes, it seems to be some kind of practical joke... So what? A large part of the population (a majority in some countries) does not believe in god, so "Jedi" seems to be as good as anything else. Furthermore a "religion" is something pretty vague and an "official" religion is just a religion who has enough adepts, so I do not see why "Jedi" would be somehow inferior to any other religion...
  • If it WERE a real religion, we'd probably all be dissing it as much as we are enjoying it now. I've done some reading up on the subject and the first thing that turned me off was the chastity involved.
  • by psergiu ( 67614 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @05:45AM (#384679)
    ... someone eager to adhere to this BRAND NEW religion i just made up ?
    There are four simple rules:
    • Who whom uses free software (esp unix oriented) is blessed.
    • Who whom uses a Micro$oft product commits a sin.
    • Help others with your Un*X and free software knowledge.
    • All other beliefs/holydays/whatever will be those of whatever other religion you use/like/want.
    You can be an Un*Xolog Atheus, Un*Xolog Christian, Un*Xolog musulman, whatever...
    But the cool part is when your PHB asks you to "edit this .doc file in Word" or "install NT on this server" you can say without lying: "I cannot, my religion prohibits it. Or do this company has something against my religion ???!!?!"

    So, Linux, *BSD, Un*X fans, at the next census write Un*Xology in the forms.
  • by Steve B ( 42864 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @05:56AM (#384680)
    Which would have been sad for democracy.

    No, it's an illustration of why a constitutional elected government works better than pure democracy.

    A mandatory referendum with a 3% trigger is a mechanism that virtually guarantees that the majority will run roughshod over the rights of unpopular minorities. The general record of the Canadian Alliance Party implies that this was a feature, not a bug, in the proposal.

  • Religion isn't a big issue in NZ. From here it appears that the US is much more religious than we are, I think.

    I've seen the census statistics for the last hundred years on this question and it's actually really interesting reading, changing from 99% claiming some form of 'christian' through to the current day, when fewer than 50% do, and of those who do, around 80% are pretty vague about what that means.

    My girlfriend always used to put "Aztec Sun-Worshiper" down on her census forms. I'm sure Jedi will slip through with a laugh or two from the collaters.

    I'm afraid I'm a boring old atheist, so they won't bat an eyelid at that :-)

  • by 0xA ( 71424 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @01:25AM (#384682)
    E-mail is proably the best way to spread stuff like this I can think of.

    A few months ago in Canada we had a really good example. During our last election, Stockwell Day (leader of the Canadian Alliance Party) said that if his party formed the government they would enact legislation wich would put any petition wich was signed by 3% of the electorate (about 350,000 people) to a referendum.

    The nice people at This Hour Has 22 Minutes [22minutes.com], a TV show on CBC that does political satire, put a petition on the web. It stated "We demand that the government of Canada force Stockwell Day to change his first name to Doris."

    By 9:30 the next morning I had at least 5 e-mails from friends asking me to go and sign the petition, mnay of which had been forwarded 4 or 5 times. I know that I also sent this on to at least 10 people my self. If I rember correctly the petition was at well over 350,000 names by that afternoon, and well over a million in 4 days. It was really funny, his party didn't win, thank god, but it would have been great to see him run away from that promise.

    I don't think the people behind this idea will have any problems getting to word out, its' so easy to forward a message like this to a ton of people. I understand they only need 8000 to actually do it, and I hope they pull it off. Man that would be sweet.
  • Just as you can't say I practice Priest or Rabbi. Jedi is the the person who trains in the way of the force. If anything "The Force" would be your religion Since the Sith also train with the same "religion", just the darkside of it. I can see it now.. people reconize it as a religion and in EpIII the Sith can sue for religious persecution
  • by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john.lamar @ g m ail.com> on Monday March 05, 2001 @01:28AM (#384686) Homepage Journal
    Two people came to my house taking the census - the first was - well - eh - screwed up. It's nice to know that the Census ppl hire ex-crackheads.

    But the funny thing was she took the long form and then quit her job sometime later. So some other lady came, who seemed to have it all together, but she took the short form.

    And the whole time I'm thinking - some crackhead knows that I'm a Swiss Jew without a high school diploma or a job. What did she do with the info - sell it on the net?

    Is this who is behind those 'find out anything about anyone' e-mails?
  • Facetious? Absolutely not!

    God loved the world so much that He sent His son to come and die for all the sins of mankind.
  • As opposed to Hubbard, who created and pushed Sci.. on a bet with another sci-fi author (Heinlein, IIRC), Lucas doesn't have anything do with the Jedi religon here - he created something that this group of people are taking seriously, but he's not coaxing them into doing it, and will probably distance himself from them (such as the way with Trekkies).

  • by Steve B ( 42864 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @06:06AM (#384703)
    Seriously, I'm not sure I'd want to mislead the census takers; it was considered important enough to put in the US Constitution, but maybe people elsewhere take it less seriously.

    The Founders of the American Republic put into the Constitution that the government was to count people to allocate Congressional representation. It did not put in anything about the government tallying up how many toilets you have in your house, how far you commute to work, or any of the other stuff that market research experts should go get for themselves if they want it.

    I got the 1990 long form. In retrospect, though I had never heard of Bill Clinton at the time, I managed to come up with some truly Clintonian "legally accurate" answers, e.g.:

    Question: Do you live on more than 10 acres of land?

    Answer (written): Yes
    Answer (mental): Yes (it's called "North America")
    Personally, I'm all in favor of "creative" answers to the nosy questions that the government really has no business asking.
  • > In place of the normal religious hierarchical structure (e.g. in Roman-Catholicism, the ranking is God, Pope, Cardinals, Arch-Bishops, etc.) in which power is delegated from the Supreme Being, Jedaism has a meritocratic (and, possibly, democratic) hierarchy based upon the natural ability, experience, wisdom and skills of the Jedi.

    I suspect many religions start off as meritocracies (albeit with a strong seasoning of nepotism).

    The question is, what will Jedianity be like in 400 years? Will there be a leadership hierarchy?[1] Will there be a creed? An inquisition?

    [1] For those who don't know, the hier- in hierarchy means "priest". It probably isn't an accident that the paradigm for hierarchies was the way priesthoods were organized.

  • is that 'what your personal beliefs are' is NOT THE GOVERNMENTS, OR ANYONE ELSES BUSINESS unless you want to make them their business.
  • my senior year in high school a group of the more cynical students with whom I comisserated (sp?) and I were rather disheartened by the choices given as the song we were to march to to pick up our diploma's. It was the usual pop crap.

    Realizing that we must seize the moment before some overly dramatic future marketing major totured us for one last time, we nominated star wars as a song... with some hefty promises, and a little ballot stuffing, we managed to emerge victorious. The song chosen to march to by the administration was The Imperial March... a personal favorite of mine...

    Getting my diploma while picturing the administration as the Emporer and Darth made it almost enjoyable... till I realized the idiots probably wouldn't have made it beyond standard cannon fodder storm troopers... then I could barley contain myself.

    Sitting through the mind numbing experience of a high school graduation was almost worthwhile....

    Maybe this will make religious debate in NZ worthwhile? Definately couldn't hurt...

    Moral of this story: It's always good to force your personal tastes on some on else before they do it to you.
  • by s390 ( 33540 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @02:04AM (#384715) Homepage
    What's the Jedi religion? Belief in a mystical paranormal "force" of good versus evil? With a "dark side" mirror-image, don't forget it! What's this "force" anyway?

    Sorry, this ain't a religion, folks. A full on religion needs lots more than some vague outline of mysticism. Sure, mysticism plays a role, but there have to be some ways to connect that to the psychological makeups of the intended converts.

    An effective religion has to engage people within their lives, offering ways to address their real issues, not just a bunch of supernatural garbage that they can't relate to (light sabers? where?).

    George Lucas' myth-spinning Star Wars exploitation of mass love of recast Arthurian sword-and-sorcery tales doesn't begin to come up to the threshold of a religion. It's just a slick, hyped, and very crass commercial scam, complete with cheap molded plastic action figures in Kmart stores near you.

    But someone thinks New Zealand will fall for it.

    I've been to NZ. Nice clean place. Lots of level headed, interesting, and fun people live there. I don't think many of them will be signing up for a dumb Jedi "religion."

    Besides, the NZ yobbos are all off grokking up the Lord of the Rings books (lips moving as they form the words), not realizing that their parents read them 30 years ago.

    Don't mistake my attitude about NZ though. They have more productive folks than Britain. Reasons for this are large questons, though. Let's not go there right now.

    Children practicing on fairy tales is appropriate, but when they grow up, they should attend to real issues, not obsess on mind-control abominations like Scientology, EST, Mindspring (that former "human potential" scam is now recast as a national ISP that is run by a Scientology member), vacant TV series, exploitive commercial retellings of old stories (like Star Wars and Star Trek too}.

    I could go on, but I suspect you all get my drift.

  • Let me guess, you don't see what's so interesting about hacking, either.

    Consider this a social hack. Which to some, is indistiguishable from a prank, such as putting a whoope cushion on someone's chair or putting a bucket of water on top of an ajar door. Though these things are not quite in the same league with managing to get the government of New Zealand to recognize a fictitious sci-fi knightly order as a religion.

    Of course, Heinlein readers already turned a fictitious religion [grok.com] into a reality (temporarily anyway), so this one loses some originality points.
  • Have a loot at www.toolofsatan.org [toolofsatan.org]

    It explains everything.



  • I marked my ethnicity as Other, and filled in the blank with "Human". They actually sent somebody around afterwards for more detail.

    That's what I did. I was really hoping that the Census people would dispute it so that I could sell the story to the Weekly World News [weeklyworldnews.com] (US Government Discovers SPACE ALIEN Living In America!!).

  • Actually, it blacks didn't count as 3/8s of a person. All other persons counted as 3/5s of a person, which meant any non-person person. Free Blacks were a full person, slave blacks were 3/5s. After the Civil War, the northern states freaked (hence reconstruction) when they realized that with all blacks counting as full persons, the south would become a dominate force in the House.
  • > Race shouldn't relly enter into the position at
    > all. If the Constitution says anything about
    > race, it's because at the time it was written,
    > blacks only counted as 3/8 of a person.

    Not quite; *slaves* counted as *3/5* of a person,
    and are referred to only as "other Persons" (i.e.,
    not free, indentured or Indians not taxed).
    All slaves were black, but not all blacks were
    slaves; the ones that weren't counted as a full
    person. The only actual mention of a race in the
    original Constitution was in fact Indians, who
    didn't get to count at all.

    Chris Mattern

  • And I suppose some Christian, Muslim, or Jew has a religion less worthy of scorn simply because it was made up a longer time ago?

    Not saying religion is deserving of scorn, just that yours is rather misplaced.

  • by Salsaman ( 141471 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @02:08AM (#384741) Homepage
    Or even better: 'GNAR' - GNAR is Not A Religion.


  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld.gmail@com> on Monday March 05, 2001 @03:34AM (#384745) Homepage
    I haven't decided on my ethnicity yet, I'll come up with something.


    Seriously, I'm not sure I'd want to mislead the census takers; it was considered important enough to put in the US Constitution, but maybe people elsewhere take it less seriously. The government takes it seriously because it's in the Constitution; I take it seriously because it determines my congressional district.
  • I guess they will have to put away the fava beans and chiantia if they actually want to answer.
  • Census Guy: "You're a Jedi? HAH! Prove it!"

    Jedi: *waves hand* "You don't need me to prove anything."

    Census Guy: "You have nothing to prove to me."

    Jedi: "You owe me $20"

    Census Guy: *reaches into wallet* "Here is the $20 I owe you."

    Jedi: "Hey cool it worked."

  • Well here in the US when I got the census forms to fill out I decided to be a little different and funny. When the field asked what race I was I said and individual =) Nothing wrong about that, because I wasn't lying. I know of at least 200 people I've convinced to fill out the next census with the race of Individual.
  • by dayeight ( 21335 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @12:17AM (#384759) Homepage Journal
    If Lucas does an Hubbard on this whole thing.... scientology with the force?! Actually, looking at the IMDB the word Jedi came from some zen/buddhist thing originally. Hmm. Has it all been a plan? Will there soon be malinourshed people at the skywalker ranch? then onto airports chanting "join us you will!"?!?!?
    Bratwurst Orange [mp3.com] the band that loves to sing to bacon.
  • So long as they take the word of the person who gives the information. My airhead tenant, who took the long form, has me down as a white, atheist, computer programmer who rents a house. I am a Native American, Buddhist, computer network engineer, who owns the house she is living in. Anyone know if there is anyway to correct this after the fact?
  • by clinko ( 232501 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @12:18AM (#384761) Journal
    I had A census guy come to my house while I was sleeping, so i invited him in and I laid back on my couch. He asked me all the questions and I'd answer them wrong because I had sleep giddiness.

    guy - "how many people are in your household"

    me - "2, me and you"

    Then I'd proceed to laugh at myself. It was fun :)
  • Some trivia from http://www.deadrabbit.org/movievault/starwars.htm [deadrabbit.org]
    "Star Wars" was modeled after a Japanese movie called "Kakushi Toride No San Akunin". Obi Wan was modeled after a Samuri warrior from the movie, and R2-D2 and C-3PO were modelded after a few petty crooks chosen to help rescue the princess.
    Jidai Geki is the Japanese term that Lucas derived Jedi from. Jidai Geki means period drama, or a Japanese soap opera. Lucas had heard the word while staying in Japan and liked it.
    Chewbacca was modeled after Lucas' dog, Indianna. [PB: In "Indiana Jones 3", we know that Indy got his nickname form his dog Indiana.]

  • Don't be an infidel. Every geek should join Open Source Religion [sourceforge.net] (at SourceForge).
  • by Aerolith_alpha ( 85503 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @12:21AM (#384766) Homepage
    I don't think the government could get away with listing any sort of religion as 'false information'--because if they do, they can be accused of religious persecution.

    mov ax, 13h
    int 10h
  • Thank you, Codeala... 48 posts went by before somebody pointed out that the Emperor has no clothes. If I had mod points to offer, I would be throwing a "+1, Insightful" your way.
  • by Richy_T ( 111409 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @06:36AM (#384768) Homepage
    Question: Do you live on more than 10 acres of land?
    Answer (written): Yes
    Answer (mental): Yes (it's called "North America")

    Or: (For those that have large amounts of land)

    Question: Do you live on more than 10 acres of land?
    Answer (written): No
    Answer (mental): No, about two square feet at a time. Except when I'm lying down


  • OF COURSE it's not a religion! That's the whole point!

    If it WERE a real religion, this wouldn't be so nearly satisfying to us geeks. It's the fact that it's completely fabricated that makes it so exquisite.

    Then there's the sci-fi connection, what geek wouldn't want an element of everyone's favorite sci-fi flick as part of some country's official census results?

  • Simply wave your hand and say, "You have no need count my household."
  • I used to be a born-again Jedi. After three failed marriages and an addiction to correction fluid, I saw the light and joined the Holy Apestolic Church of Jedi.


    People say the Church of Jedi is bad because we permit polygamy and such. But brother believe me, they're just denying the all-encompasing truth of The Force.

    Can I get an 'amen?' [ridiculopathy.com]

    Have a Forceful day.

    Local preist gives up Catholicism for Lent [ridiculopathy.com]

  • I say we should do this in Australia, too.

    Better yet, lets make JEDI an actual religion ;)

    Next time its census time in australia, someone remember to spread this 'round and make it on slashdot :)

  • All religions are made up. They are all products of a human imagination. It doesn't make them any less valid IMHO, just a poor thing to use as a reference manual for the physical universe. They may make excellent moral and spiritual guides, but that's a totally different matter.

    The alternative to my assertion would be deciding that one of them is true in some physical sense. That's kind of a silly basis when some random scientist can go and disprove your entire religion with a few experiments.

  • by anomaly ( 15035 ) <tom.cooper3NO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday March 05, 2001 @07:06AM (#384799)
    I saw a PBS interview with Lucas where he claimed to have embraced the mystical belief systems of multiple religions so that he could appeal to the deeply ingrained sociological need for mysticism/spirituality (or something like that - it HAS been a while since I saw the show.)

    At any rate, even though GL says it's just a fantasy thing, is sounds an awful lot like the currently popular so-called "New Age" spirituality.

    From about.com [about.com]
    Right now the New Age label describes an interest in relaxed lifestyles, spiritual exploration, holistic health, advanced technologies, multiculturalism, environmental consciousness, global peace, and an unearthing of the ancient mysteries. What it will be in the future, who knows?

    Let's look at that list for a minute and compare it to StarWars:
    Spiritual exploration (The "Force") and Ben Kenobi as a spirit-guide
    Advanced technologies - Death Star, AT ATs, X-wings, Personal Robots, Land Speeders, Light Sabres, robotic appendages
    Multiculturalism - how much more multicultural can you get than the Galactic Senate?
    and Speaking of the Galactic Senate - Global (universal) peace it's the home of 'just government and freedom for thousands of years'
    ancient mysteries - What do you call Yoda and the whole study process to become a Jedi?

    As far as 'religion' [dictionary.com] is concerned:
    (I'll admit that it's definition #4), but that says: "A cause, a principle, or an activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion."
    Star Wars embraces new age philosophy, and "Jedi" seems to meet the criteria for a reliigon (in my opinion, anyway.)
    So, if you want to report your religion as Jedi, go ahead.


    BTW - there is a real, personal God, and He longs for relationship with you.
    If you want to know more about Him, please contact me at tom_cooper at bigfoot dot com
  • by peccary ( 161168 ) on Monday March 05, 2001 @07:09AM (#384800)
    The US census questions asked for each member of the household "what race does he consider himself?"

    So I asked my wife what race she consider herself, and checked of "white".

    Then I thought about what race I consider myself, and checked off some variant of mixed, I forget which.

    Then I asked my three-year-old son what race he considers himself. Then I asked him to spell it, which he did, and I dutifully wrote in "BRLZMB", just like he said. It's pronounced bwerrlich, I think.
  • You need to pay more attention.

    I didn't claim that The Force was my religion, just that I felt more incommon with the ideals of it than that of Christianity or the rest of the organized religions.

    I also didn't say anything about how often I "get out". I'm a club kid, I get out too often. It's almost detrimental.

    Am I supposed to apologize for having thought of this? Am I to apologize for being a fan of these films?
  • There's actually a fairly big culture along with Jedi Creed. Another main one is Force Academy [forceacademy.com]. While you can call it fiction, the ideas are taken seriously by a lot of people. A tree is a tree, but if you come up with a religion while sitting under it, it's immortal. It's all the people and ideas, using what they see and what it prompts them to think. I'm not surprised that it takes on the trappings of a religion.
  • First of all, he wouldn't have to "run from it", forcing a name change on a citizen is not something the federal government has the power to do. They have practically unbounded power when they can convince the supreme court that what they do is necessary to running the state, but such arbitrary idiocy is not supported.

    I think this was just a pack of idiots attacking a good idea because it came from a source they disliked. There are a lot of things wrong with the Canadian Alliance Party. That doesn't mean every idea they promote is a bad one.

    "Oo, look: bad man say 'Ask people, do what they say.', so me know never ask people."
  • ...the word Jedi came from some zen/buddhist thing originally.

    Taoist, to be specific. There was an entire sect of Taoists who believed themselves to be superhuman, possessing several force-like abilities, the most amusing of which was flight.

    Needless to say, the trend didn't last long ; )

  • those darn punch-hole voter cards... I've had my lifetime's share of pregnant chads....
  • Interestingly, this has already shown how powerful email is. I not received the email myself, but was told from icq, heard about it on the radio after some happy jedi faxed them, and have seen it on the evening [TV] news.
    It's really funny. And since only 8000 people need to right 'Jedi' to have an affect, it's probably going to happen.

    Bow to Yoda!

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong