What are the most ridiculous churches in the world? It is easy to crown Pastafarianism as the king of all ridiculous churches because there surely cannot be a more absurd church. Pastafarianism, or the religion of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, is a church that believes that a literal flying spaghetti monster created the world. If you think that is bizarre, then brace yourself. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Apparently, adherents called Pastafarians also believe that human beings are descendants of pirates, who were the first human beings. Ridiculous, right? In many people’s opinion, this religion is clearly a mockery of Christianity taken too far, but there are those who claim that Pastafarianism is a legitimate religion. Anyway, in the sea of ridiculous churches, Pastafarianism only scratches the surface.
Most Ridiculous Churches: Nuwaubian Nation
Nuwaubian Nation was a church that could only be best described as a cult. Its founder, Dwight Young, started the church in the late 1960s. The church’s beliefs were diverse, ranging from black supremacy to UFOs and conspiracies like the Illuminati to Egyptian worship. In its onset, it bore some similarities to Islam, but gradually, the church’s beliefs began to diverge into the pandemonium it is today. To further solidify its status as a church, Young wrote 450 booklets. He claimed to be a messianic founder-prophet of his religion and would go as far as proclaiming divine status. Consequently, he even created a Savior’s day to honor himself.
His church also bordered on being a movement that went from town to town with only a vague destination in mind. Young had apparently set his sights south for reasons no one knew. However, when they reached New York, he decided it was an appropriate place to settle. There is where they built the Tama-Re and renamed themselves to the “United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors.”
It became clear in New York that the movements were a ploy to escape the police. It turned out that Dwight Young, who had many aliases, was a fugitive. He was desperately wanted by police for numerous counts of child molestation and financing violations. Since his eventual arrest and conviction, the church’s followers have dwindled in number. However, there are still a few people who believe in him and believe that the police arrested the wrong person. While Pastafarianism is indeed a ridiculous church, a child molester founding a church followed by many is even more bizarre.
Most Ridiculous Churches: Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth
This church began in 1989 and its followers believe in magic while striving to create its manifestation. They explore the human brain for the materialization of magic using the tools of art, psychology, and music. The church has a large network of followers in many countries of the world, despite being generally underground. Its beliefs borrow heavily from chaos magic. It is all about the practical use of other belief systems and the creation of fresh and unorthodox methods.
However, this shouldn’t come as surprise, as the group is incidentally all about rebelling against norms. Just look at the unconventional spelling of ‘thee’ and ‘ov’ in its name. Apparently, its controversial, purported leader, Genesis P-Orridge, believed in deconstructing regular communication languages as a way to achieve an understanding of the self. A noted tradition of theirs is to make magic sigils (magical symbols which are a representation of the magician’s wishes) on the 23rd hour (11:00pm) of the 23rd day of each month. Afterwards, they mail the sigil to a central location where they can concentrate and enhance their collective energy. So, there you have it. While Pastafarians do believe in a flying spaghetti monster, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth followers believe they can perform actual magic.
Most Ridiculous Churches: Church of All Worlds
Another bizarre church is the Church of All Worlds (CAW). In this case, a fictional religion in a science fiction novel called Stranger in a Strange Land (1961) by Robert A. Heinlein formed the church’s foundation. A group of friends and lovers started the church by combining the novel with some concepts from Maslow’s hierarchy of self-actualization. While it began with the deep conviction to know one another, their beliefs eventually shifted to developing a bond with nature.
The church has since managed to attract many followers across various states in the US, although as of 2007, the numbers had begun to slowly dwindle. The church considers itself neo-pagan and non-belief-based, in spite of their recognition of Gaea (Earth Mother Goddess). Just like Pastafarianism, you wonder just how such a religion can gain adherents.
Most Ridiculous Churches: Happy Science
This is another church whose founder claims to have divine status. The Happy Science religion bases its beliefs on the existence of El Cantare, the supposed god of the earth. Its believers claim that this god is the creator of the earth, and his desire is to bring salvation to the entire world. He intends to achieve this by bringing together all the world religions. Consequently, he wants to create a new world religion for the development of new civilization.
The followers believe that the religion’s leader, Ryuho Okawa, is a reincarnation of El Cantare himself. Apparently, a manifestation of this is his extraordinarily high IQ. In fact, his IQ is allegedly so high that when he was in second grade, it was equivalent to that of a twenty-year-old. His followers also claim that he has psychic abilities. Unfortunately, due his tremendous humility, he rarely finds cause to use his abilities for frivolous endeavours. Instead, he prefers a life of self-effort with the hope of guiding many to emulate him. He has written a book that serves as the core teachings of Happy Science. Just the name should clue you in that this religion is just as ridiculous as Pastafarianism.
Most Ridiculous Churches: Raëlism
Raëlism is yet another illustration of just how gullible we can be. This curious religion believes not only in the existence of extra-terrestrial beings, but also that they were the creators of the human species. They say the beings made contact with the early humans but misinformed them that they were angels. It further believes that other religious figures like Jesus and Buddha were messengers of the extra-terrestrial beings. In fact, the founder of Raëlism claimed to be a messenger as well.
Strangely, their alleged message from the extra-terrestrial beings was to inform humans that if they are peaceful, they would welcome the aliens back. In spite of this absurd message, Raëlism strongly asserts that they do not believe in the supernatural. They claim that the creation of human beings was done in a scientific way. Just like Pastafarianism, absurd superstition is what remains at the core of Raëlism.
Most Ridiculous Churches: Jediism
Lastly, there is Jediism, another religion rooted in absolute fiction. Jediism, as any Star Wars fan can recognize, is derived from the beliefs of the Jedi in the Star Wars franchise. However, its followers disregard the myths and fiction in Star Wars. Instead, they follow the 16 moral and spiritual teachings of the Jedi and some additional 21 maxims.
It is evident that there is no real definition of what constitutes a religion. It is also clear that there are people who will take any definition in their “search for spiritual truth.” Just like Pastafarianism, Jediism is a case where fan fiction is taken too far.