The Making of the Church of the SubGenius

From: (Lou Duchez)
Date: 13 Aug 1995

Didja ever see one of those "The Making of Raiders of the Lost Ark"
specials a decade ago? Welp, I was inspired recently to compose a
brief treatment of "The Making of the Church of the SubGenius". It
is my hope that someone can run with this baby someday. Obviously
it needs more work but it's a start.


Our story opens with industrious (industrial?) sounding music, sort of
upbeat. Vox pops with man on street, SubGenii hierarchites commenting
on the Church. Shouldn't be made too obvious what they're talking
about; a reference to "head launchings" would be great.

Next, we have have shots of a crowd at a Devival (Stang at podium?
Maybe Legume) and a narrator's voice is heard (think PBS, maybe
British or maybe not, but sounds fairly intelligent). Gives brief
overview of Church in terms of vital statistics: number of followers,
years in existence, nuclear warheads, etc.

Cut to narrator (someone famous?) walking slowly down grassy path
towards camera, expounding upon what a breathtaking achievement the
Church is, and tonight we're going to explore the Making of the
Church of the SubGenius.

Title screen now: "The Making of the Church of the SubGenius", overlaid
on ... what? A couple fornicating? Ideas? Whatever it is, it's gotta
be PG so that we can show this baby to children.

Narrator voice-over again: at the heart of this undertaking is Ivan
Stang, a long-time film producer with a vision. Brief interview
with Stang as to what this vision is. First industrial Church to
"recreate society" or some such bullshit. Narrator gushes about Stang's
artistic skills as he works in film room or in tape room.

(Note: I know Philo should be in here somewhere. Doing what, I
don't know. Perhaps *he* had the vision and Stang is the one who
realized it?)

Explore technological advances of Church, leading up to the crowning
achievement: the construction of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs. Think "Making
of Star Wars" films here, showing head on table while artistic
genius works on him (I envision a little balding guy with bifocals
and a wise mien). Joe Riley rubbery mask would look great here.
Interview genius who talks about what inspired him to give him that
hair, those eyes, etc.

Narrator: perhaps the greatest technological advance in the Church of
the SubGenius was the construction of the pipe (image: pipe slowly
rotating in front of dark background). Go into mumbo-jumbo
about how the pipe is a high-tech device that employs experimental
probability-influencing technologies. Attached to a power coupling
in "Bob"'s mouth it alters quantum probabilities eyadayadayada.
(This tech part needs to be reworked so it sounds more 20th century.)
Scene at this point: "Bob" robot lying on table, twitching a
bit, pipe is inserted into "Bob"'s mouth and "Bob"'s twitch pattern
alters. Lab assistant's pants drop.

Show scenes of "Bob" robot walking down street, waving, shaking hands,
being general feckless self. Narrator explains in voice over that one
great difficulty in making the "Bob" bot was that artificial
intelligence was not appropriate to the task at hand -- artificial
intelligence might give the robot too great a range of potentials and
combined with the pipe it could be unstoppable. So a team of
computer researchers (show big computer lab here) was employed to
develop a new science: artificial stupidity. Show scene of "Bob" bot
wired up to computer by lab boys; "Bob" is engaged in some silly
repetitive behavior (gesturing masturbatorily?).

Narrator: now that the figurehead of the Church was complete, it was
necessary to attract followers. More gush about Stang and how he
realized that a new kind of messiah was needed. Thus it was necessary
to equip "Bob" bot with functioning genitalia of a few different
kinds. Shot of "Bob" in bed with chick, with blankets tastefully
covering body parts. (Hey, if it's an infomercial, we want it to
be able to show on TV.) She's moaning post-coitally. Narrator
continues that it was necessary to attract media adepts from all
walks of life, while the "Bob" bot wormed his way into the heart of
American and international politics, both overt and covert.

Of course, continues narrator, even a sophisticated machine like
"Bob" is prone to design flaws and developmental obstacles. Show
film of "Bob" malfunctioning on stage (Frisco '84) and pipe blowing
up. (If actual explosion can't be shown, just show "Bob" with blown-
up pipe in mouth and blast marks on face, slightly Wile E. Coyote-esque.)
"Bob" could be shown to be running amuck on stage, pretty harmlessly
but sparks and wires are a dead giveaway that the machinery is busted.
Narrator tells how it was decided that, until "Bob"'s power couplings
could be shored up to handle the power requirements of the Pipe, he would
have to be retired. But the big problem (back to narrator on grassy path)
was dealing with the aftermath of this very public embarrassment: how
to continue to convince the masses that their messiah is anything but a
robot. Cut to diorama of Frisco stage with miniature clay figures of
"Bob", Stang, etc. as narrator tells how it was necessary to pass off
"Bob"'s malfunction and retirement as an assassination. Film was
created to depict assassination through claymation. Show stop action
claymation footage of Wellman (or whoever it was) going on stage with
gun and shooting "Bob". (Incidentally, the clay figures look slightly
malformed and misshapen, so any alert viewer would say: Naaaaaahhhh.)

Talk about founding of Dobbstown here, and how it was advertised to the
masses even before it even existed, so that the masses thought they were
buying tickets to Dobbstown when in fact they were funding its construction.
A promotional tour guide to Dobbstown was made even before the city
existed, and explore the techniques used to pull this off. Clever
combination of matte paintings and sets in an old Dallas warehouse,
along with some film editing. Dobbstown itself should look like some
futuristic city (think NAMCity).

Explain how the proper P. O. Box was chosen to be THE Sacred P. O.
Box: EM resonance within black body cavity of POBox matched Pipe's
spectrum perhaps. Show the complete address very prominently here
so that people will send lots of money. This would be a great time to
sneak in Will's video of Nickie doing something slightly illegal with
the box.

Two more steps cemented the Church's standing, narrator continues.
First was the discovery of an abandoned genetic experiment in a
university scientific greenhouse, this was a drug that in humans
gives the *illusion* of "Bob"-like luck powers. "Flora, Recombinant,
Order Psychedelia" or some other such gov't wording was found on the
experiment. F.R.O.P. was found to be an excellent means of control
of the masses, narrator explains. Cut to interview with Stang, who
is acting just the tiniest bit defensive as he explains the healthful
benefits of F.R.O.P. (euphoria, lack of stress, healthy mental outlook,
untroubledness, not worrying, joy, absence of anxiety, etc.).

The second measure, the narrator explains, was a stroke of luck that
even "Bob" would marvel at. Interview with one media adept or other
who found himself at a top-secret military SETI-type base, getting
directions or something, when he found a communique regarding an
alien warning of invasion on July 5, 1998. Media adept hid communique
behind a large mirror and then later on concealed it in a paint can
and snuck it off base. (This is an homage to Rene Duchez so it must
be preserved at all costs.) Cut to narrator walking along path
again, telling how Stang saw the communique and realized the missing
element in his Church: the End of the World so necessary to scare
people into donating. With this, the final piece in place, the
Church was finally complete.

Narrator should be going in sort of wrap-up mode now. Today, the
Church has so many zillion followers and a university has even been
established in Kuala Lampur to train ministers under "Bob". (A
shot of Dobbstown University required here -- use one of the shots
from the earlier promotional video to imply, ever so subtly, that
it still hasn't been built.) Stang is one of wealthiest men on
planet (Stang surrounded by half-nekkid women in office setting)
and "Bob" continues functioning as ever (show "Bob" with head stuck
between rails of staircase but using the opportunity to look up
woman's skirt). And it's still growing, with Zombies for "Bob" at
airports and Bob Evans restaurants. Public rallies as the worshipers
push their party, Patriopsychotic Anarchomaterialism, into Congress.
Infusion into the arts and media. Yes, clearly the Church of the
SubGenius is on the move, preparing to face the world of tommorow.
Music swells and the end.

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