May The Farce Be With You

The Guardian reported that Britain’s largest food chain, Tesco’s had been accused of religious discrimination following an incident where Daniel Jones, founder of the religion Jediism was ejected from a store in Bangor, North Wales for failing to remove his Jedi hood. The 23-year-old Jones who founded the religion based on the Star War movies said that he felt humilated and victimized and is considering legal action against Tesco’s.

StarwarsHe has a point. Over 400,000 people listed Jediism as their religion on the 2001 UK census making it more popular as a religion than Scientology. However, Tesco’s hit back saying that Jones, also known by his Jedi name, “Morda Hehol,” had not been banned and that “Jedis are very welcome to shop in our stores although we would ask them to remove their hoods…Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Luke Skywalker all appeared hoodless without ever going over to the Dark Side and we are only aware of the Emperor as one who never removed his hood…If Jedi walk around our stores with their hoods on, they’ll miss lots of special offers.”

I guess followers of alternative religion, Great Spaghetti Monster in the Sky, would also be directed to aisle 5 where there is currently a special offer on pasta.

UPDATE: As @kateweb has pointed out on Twitter, I may have to support Morda Hehol’s action against Tesco as the store did not specify which Hoods were banned.


Filed under atheism, In the News

12 responses to “May The Farce Be With You

  1. Leigh

    On a completely unrelated topic; I found this little nugget on your ‘Events’ page:
    “Bruce Hood’s new book SuperSense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable will be on sale at the Shop@RMA for $25.99 and the author will be signing.

    Thursday 9th April 2009

    Borders Bookstore: Downtown Boston, MA. US.”

    I couldn’t help but giggle, as the significance of obtaining your autograph should diminish rapidly as your readers progress through the material.
    So, what did you write?

    “To Trish,
    By the time you have finished reading this book you should have come to the conclusion that my autograph itself contains nothing more than the properties of the ink and the paper on which it was was written. Before leaving the bookstore then, you will be asked to surrender your signed copy so that a perfect replica can be made whereupon you will be asked to choose which of the two you would prefer to take home.
    You may well be asking yourself if I was being ironic.”

    Professor Hood
    Jedi Council Department of Mind Control Techniques, Bristol.

    • brucehood

      Very good but I did foresee the signature problem and had ink made up that does contain my DNA. So unlike other autographed books, I was really in the books I signed. Gross eh?

  2. Hopefully, you only spit in the ink.
    Jediism is as popular a religion in the UK as Scientology? I love this story nearly as much as the shapeshifting goat. The goat remains my favorite.

  3. Dear Professor Hood of the Jedi Council Department of Mind Control Techniques,

    Why of course Jediism is more popular than Scientology. Jediism has an intelligent spokesperson and leader: Yoda. I don’t believe that Yoda ever jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch. He would not find that very dignified.

    Personally, I would have no problems in removing my hood as long as they don’t ask me to remove my cape since I wear my cape in the same fashion as Scotsmen wear their kilt………..guffaw.

  4. jacarandamimosifolia

    Go on, share it with the group. How did you get your DNA into the ink? We should be told.

    • brucehood

      Some mysteries are best kept a secret. BTW Have you got your Richard Dawkins’ tickets for Nov? There are not many left.
      He’ll be leaving his essence in a book signing of “The Greatest Show on Earth” Then you can rub the signature for good luck.

  5. I think it has to be said here, that this particular case is very strongly related to a persistent yob culture rife throughout our schools, cities, and towns. The ‘hoody’ culture is one designed to cause social unease and aid crimes ranging from avoiding cameras in petty theft to gunning down rival gang members in broad daylight (should one be in a position to do so). I have seen it, working as a school teacher – i.e. not some terrified urban wet blanket (though one may be both!) – running through comprehensive schools, Pupil Referral Units and to what is unfortunately often the next stop – prison. I use the words ‘social unease’ lightly here – these guys will refer to it as ‘terrorising’, and indeed it does. This much IS serious.

    I agree with Tesco here and think it would be a good idea not entertain this new popular joke of a religion (however much I wish I owned light-sabre) as being on a political par with other sorts of religion, however bizarre those others might be that have social sanctity already. Surely – we should keep on with the real debate – debate about the unjustified social sanctity of the many other areas of our lives, namely, religion proper.

  6. Leigh

    Please excuse me doubly for steering the conversation astray once again but I must say that your Wikipedia entry is not nearly as snazzy as your dress sense Bruce:
    “Bruce Hood is a British experimental psychologist who teaches at Bristol University. He is well known for his ideas on humans being hard-wired for religion[1]”
    Brief? Yes. Precise? Partly.

    As I do love to consolidate my ‘learnings’ I thought I might take a run at creating a new, perhaps even precise entry.

    Should you concur, say aye!
    If so, I will post a draft or seven here and invite other posters to appraise it for me.

    Further, should another poster be interested in doing the same, that would save me from having to learn how ones goes about doing it in the first place.

    What say you?

  7. Bruce

    I am less interested in the supermarket and more in the sad guys who feel the need to don hoods, carry plastic light sticks and ape a sub-standard film such as Star Wars.

    No doubt we will have more guys dressing up as robots and starting Transformerism. Hollywood has a lot to answer for in creating daft memes.

    The phrase ‘get a life’ does drift into my mind, if I worked at the supermarket, beyond the security concerns around these mutant hoodies, I might be giggling into my super noodles.

    • Andrew Atkinson

      Ah, but now… Surely you see, Bruce, that the Jedi thing smacks of those things you talk about in Supersense – i.e. the sense of an unseen ‘force’ in nature. That must be what appeals to these guys in a way that Optimus Prime cannot deliver. That must be what gives the idea memetic momentum, along Boyer’s lines – surely being a Jedi requires a supersense.

      On the other hand, there is a slightly political bent to these neo-jedi’s. I remember talk of the Jedi religion starting off on the premise that if enough people state that it is their religion on some ‘form’ or other I am not aware of, then it has to be officially recognised as one. I understood that move at the time to be one in reaction against traditional religion itself – albeit making a mockery of it. “Go Jedi” I say there.

      But are there really sorts out there that earnestly buy into Jedi values and who believe they have command over this ‘force’ and so feel they see things before they happen and feel they have extra-special command over their abilities to outwit others in many ways? THAT sort would surely be a worry.

      Should I ever meet such an individual, I would have a great time testing their abilities. “Your light-sabre against my brick, Obi Wannabe!”

  8. John

    Will Tescos be asking burkha wearers to de-robe, and on what grounds will they base their decision?

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