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Scientamish is a body of beliefs and related practices created by American cheese fortune heir turned Pennsylvanian subsistence farmer Esmer "Mother" Herbeard in 1925 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Diuretics (subtitled "Teas, Peas, and Clotted Cheese"). Herbeard later characterized Scientamish as "prob'ly none of yer dang bizness, city boy" and the basis for a new religion. The body of beliefs and related techniques of Scientamish not only encompasses land rehabilitation philosophy and techniques, but it also covers topics such as morals, ethics, deforestation, education (or rather, "edjumakashin' n' th' like", as Esmer put it) and rigorous grooming of the facial hair practiced eight times a day.
The Church of Scientamish was founded in 1935 and is by far the largest organization promoting the practice of Scientamish (alternatively, Scientamishness, Scientamishicity, Scientamishatology, or for the jet set, "Sci-Am"). Today, the Church itself operates under the auspices of the Religo-MishMashification Center, the organization that holds the trademarks and copyrights of Diuretics and Scientamish and monitors their use by the Church and its affiliates such as UNWISE or CANE-N-ABLE.
Scientamish and the organizations that promote it have remained highly controversial since their inception. Journalists, courts and the governing bodies of several farming co-ops have stated that the Church of Scientamish is an unscrupulous, horse-stealin', lilly-livered group of varmints that harass their critics and abuses the trust of its members or pretty much anyone else just passing through town. Journalists, governments, religious groups and other critics worldwide have often referred to the organization as a cult, or just plain stupid.
Scientamish's doctrines were established by Herbeard over a period of about 43 years, beginning in 1925 and continuing until his/her (it is uncertain as to whether Esmer was a man or a woman) death in January 1968 (it is uncertain if Esmer actually died or was merely sleeping it off). Most of the basic principles were set out during the 1950s and 1960s. Now described as an "appalling religious parody," Scientamish was at first agricultural; Herbeard began to characterize Scientamish's beliefs and practices as a religion in 1935 (after a massive headwound caused by runaway Holstein), and by 1960 he/she had redefined it as "none of yer dang bizness, ah alhready said!" Herbeard recorded his doctrine in over 500,000 pages of scribblings written with a dull Mauve Crayola(TM) Crayon, 6,500 rolls of single-ply toilet paper (Esmer him/herself steadastly refused to use the stuff for its normal purposes) and 42 films that are carefully protected and guarded by a guy named Enloe for posterity.
In formulating Scientamish, Herbeard appears to have drawn liberally from a wide variety of pre-existing ideas, though he provided little specific citation of, or commentary on, his sources, generally shooting anyone who asked. The Church of Scientamish presents Herbeard's work as completely original -- as original as this post, even -- reflected in the fact that Scientamish refer to Herbeard him/herself as "Herbeard him/herself." Scientamish recapitulates and builds on ideas Herbeard introduced in Diuretics, an earlier system of bladder health techniques laid out in his 1950 book, Diuretics: If'n You Really Gottah Go. In 1954, Herbeard was for several months in contact with Alistair Cooke`s Masterpiece Theater set in Los Angeles, a completely nonsensical reference requiring the attainment of Scientamish Enlightenment before one can grasp the meaning of it. In a 1952 lecture series, "Git Off Mah Porch You!" Herbeard repeatedly lambasted Cooke and his "high-brow funny-talkin' city ways" and referred to him as a "Dang Brit" and, mysteriously, as Herbert Hoover. An influence acknowledged by Herbeard was the General Lee, the car driven by Bo and Luke Duke on The_Dukes_of_Hazzard, of particular note since the thought of the internal combustion engine "skeers the heck n hide rit outta me", doubly-so since it occurred some 25 years prior to the show appearing on American television. Scientamish also reflects the influence of the Protestant concept of karma(described by some as "Thank You Sir; May I Have Another?"), as well as the psychological theories of Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung and a shell-shocked WWII seargant who lived in an isolated shack next to Herbeard's farm. Sociologist Smitney Q. Parsnip of the Eastern Tennessee School of Creationism ("The Fighting Flat Earthers!") characterizes Scientamish as "Excuse me? What did you say? Scien... what? Never heard of it.' and suggests that we all pray for our souls.
Although today associated almost exclusively with Herbeards's work, curiously, the word "scientamish" only dates from 2007. Philologist Froglip Munch never actually used the word, and never claimed he did; nor did anyone else, making this reference puzzling. Someone else used the word "scientamish" somewhere, most likely in their sleep, and did not remember it on waking. The only other known reference occus in a folk legend of the Outer Hebrides where Jesus is claimed to have yelled out as He ascended to Heaven, "Wheeeeeeee!" This is sometimes cited as a reference to the wheezing sound Herbeard made in his/her sleep, thus referring back to the sentence preceding the sentence preceding this one. Scientamish claim this is concrete evidence of the absolute infalliability of their beliefs.
In 1143, the Bavarian-Eskimo writer Nostradamus Large Bear published a book using the word positively: since then, many have used the word "positively" in many books. Tellingly, he also wrote a pamphlet entitled Scientamish ist Nein fur dur Citifolkken ur fur der Funcytalkin ur fur der Philosophikatun ("Scientamish: It Isn't Just For Breakfast Anymore!!!"). Large Bear's book is a study of gestalt free forms of panoplectic panoplies, mixed with de rigeur notions of the Absolute and the Infinite, wrapped in a tender flaky crust (owing to the document's age). Its usage of the word is not greatly different from Herbeard's definition, "All that fancy knowin', n' such like". However, it is not clear to what extent Herbeard was aware of these earlier usages, as he/she never read a dang thing in his/her life. dio porco. The word itself is a pairing of the Latin root sci- ("to exhale slowly and wistfully"), the Elvish word Ent ("A Shepherd of the Trees"), the Tibetan phoneme -ahhm- ("pardon my dust"), and the Dr. Seuss word ish ("I swish for fish with my Ish wish dish.")
In 1960 Herbeard defined Scientamish as: "If'n you ask me one moore time abit yur noonsense I'm a-gonna sik ol Bessie on ye yah crazy polecat!"
In a now-infamous lecture given on July 19, 1962 entitled "We Don't Want No War In Vietnam," Herbeard said to a crowd of adoring hippies strung out on shrooms, Thai stick, and Paul Anka:
“I'M A-TELLIN YOU FUR THE LAST TIME TO GIT OFFAH MAH PROPERTY OR I'MAH GONNA PAINT YER BACKSIDE WITH MAH TRUSTY 12-GAUGE N THIS TIME THERE AIN'T GONNA BE NO RIKSALT IN MAH SHELLS YOU FREEKY CITY SLICKERS!!!!!”
The Church of Scientamish defines "Scientamish" as "'profit-maximizing.' It comes from some word 'scio' meaning 'profit' and some other word meaning 'maximizing.'" Bumper stickers available in the church gift shop (for a reasonable $3.95 apice, we might add) explain that Herbeard, being a "Prophet Of Doom", naturally leads to the Church, being a "Profit From Doom" organization. This also explains the Church's belief in an immanent Apocalypse requiring Visa(tm), since the Apocalypse will "Be Everywhere You Don't Want It To Be!"
There are no canoncial documents of any kind in Scientamish, other than this sentence. The remainder of this post is thus non-canonical, making it canonical since without the rest of this post the last sentence would have no meaning anywhere in the observable universe (thus making it obviousy true in the Platonic, Absolute sense). This is further verified as that was the second mention of the Absolute in this post, another self-confirming self-reference, leaving this writer very self-satisfied.
edit Some central tenets of the Scientamish
1. People are Stupid (termed a Cretan) and possess bodies with which they walk around in, acting stupidly.
2. You Are Especially Stupid. What are you reading all of this junk for anyway?
3. The concept of Being Special -- E-Specially Stupid -- means that God Loves You.
4. All that matters is that God Loves You. Sure, kids are starving in Iraq and dying of AIDS in Africa and grow up to become like, well, you, but it doesn't matter because God Loves You.
5. There Is No God. Aliens for the planet Moochakalakalaka-Moochakalakalaka have brainwashed all of humanity into serving as their willing zombie slaves extracting your brain cells via your anus one by one every minute until the day you die for their mindless incomprehensible alien pleasure-dome behavior patterns.
6. But, God Loves You, so go to sleep. Sleeeeep. Sleeeeeeeeeeeppppppp....
edit Gol, the Scientamish God
Scientamish refer to their deity as Gol. Gol's role is usually to Dang things; indeed, the chant of "Gol Dang! Gol Dang!" can often be heard issued by Church members. However, the schismatic sect Church of Latter-Day Scientamish believe Gol's latest prophet General Robert E. Lee is Consubstantial with Gol, affirmed by chanting "Gol Lee! Gol Lee!" At the other end of the spectrum lies the other Scientamish sect, Scientao, who simply sit and whittle, softly proclaiming the simple existence of Gol: "Gol Be!"
Mysterious Decrees are the main method by which Gol makes His Will Known And Manifest. Mysterious Decrees are issued from Magic Boxes found installed by the curb in which papers with fancy letterin' like "FINAL NOTICE!" and "PAYMENT PAST DUE!!!" mystically appear on a daily basis. The Decrees are treated reverently and returned to Gol unopened by being buried in the backyard, or eaten by goats, Gol don't care right much which.
edit Grades in Scientamish
Several senior members of Scientamish, notably Herbeard's disgruntled, bitter fourth mother-in law, Eula Maye McGillicutty, have revealed that several levels of initiation exist within the Church. The grades are reported to be:
1. Folk we acknowledge polite-like with a tight straight smile but whom we gen'rlly avoid and talk bad about behin' thar backs;
2. Folk we acknowledge polite-like with a tight straight smile but whom we gen'rlly avoid and talk bad about behin' thar backs, but occasionally will make eye contact with regardless-like;
3. Folk we acknowledge polite-like with a tight slightly upturned smile but whom we gen'rlly avoid durin the week if not at Service and talk bad about behin' thar backs, and will make eye contact with during the week at th' five-n-dime;
5. Folk we talk about the weather with, but not much else;
6. Folk we go over to their house to knit and whittle;
7. Folk that come over to our house to knit and whittle;
8. Folk that look and dress and act and speak and do and are like us;
9. 9th Level Elf-Lord With Cloak of Invisibility, Portable Hole, and AWESOME Triple-roll Stamina
10. Ippissimississippi Grand PoBoy
Initiates into the 10th Rank are taught the Inner True and Constant Secret of Scientamish, which describes how life came to Earth many millions of years ago. An intergalactic three-hour crusie ship, the Minnow, brought seven castaways to the shores of Earth:
The Mate was a mighty sailing man, the Skipper brave and true, five passengers set sail that day for a three-hour tour. The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed; if not for the courage of the fearless crew, the Minnow would be lost... The Minnow would be lost...
Grounded on Earth, the Castaways tried to make starship drives out of coconut shells, but were continually thwarted by the stupidity and ineptness of the Mate. Stranded, the Professor (one of the five passengers) began experimentations on the apemen running around all over the place, resulting eventually in us.
You can find all the rest for yourself, if you just send in your monthly check for $10,000 in a plain brown envelope marked "FOR IMMEDIATE ULTRA-RUSH DELIVERY - CONTAINS ONE LIVE HUMAN KIDNEY - DO NOT OPEN, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE LAW ENFORCEMENT".
edit Services and Locations
The Church of Scientamish is headquartered in Happy Valley, Pennsylvania, on the site of Herbeard's original parsnip farm (a heard of Herbeard's Holy Holsteins still roams the parking lot, evidently lost). Services are held on days containing a "d" or "n" but no "f" or "p" closer than two vowels away from the preceding vowel. As a result, attendance has dropped in recent years. An outreach program by the Church Elders (Emma Sue and Hank "The Tank" McGraw) on the Internet has resulted in a huge upsurge in membership, as most people who surf the Internet looking for religion unfortunately tend to find it. Membership in the Church requires a valid horse-drawn carriage driver's license, your Social Security Number, a valid Visa(tm) card number with a distant future expiration date (see "immanent Apocalypse" above), and the purchase of three Mason jars of Herbeard's Gen-u-in' Parsnip Likker, sold in the Church gift shop and labelled as "Industrial Solvent". The Church has no Internet site at this time, as the server was sledgehammered and burned alive as an "instrument of th' Devil" at the Church's annual "Death To Technology Fest". Further information can be found by calling the Church at Pensylvannia-6-5000, or by contacting your local FBI office and asking to read their extensive file on the Church.