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X-Day

From Academic Kids

X-Day was the term used by the Japanese Imperial General Headquarters for the day that they would begin the Greater East Asia War, a part of World War II.


X-Day is the name for July 5th, 1998, the scheduled "end of the world" in the Church of the SubGenius. Since its inception in 1980, the Church prophesied that an army of extraterrestrial alien invaders would land on the planet Earth and destroy the world of "normals" and "glorps," while the members of the Church of the SubGenius would be rescued by the aliens and taken away into space.

When July 5th, 1998 arrived and no alien fleet appeared in the sky, members of the Church began citing a large number of conspiracy theories to explain why the predicted end of the world did not take place. The ddate program claims that the Church "declared that it had got the year upside down" and that X-Day will actually take place in AD 8661. The most popular explanation for the failure of the prophecy in the Church is usually summarized with the statement, "the calendar is wrong and July 5th, 1998 has not really arrived yet." Because of this, the Church has held annual gatherings around July 5th of each year since 1998 to celebrate X-day and greet the arrival of the anticipated alien "Sex Goddesses." No flying saucers rendezvous has been confirmed as of 2004, but members of the Church have been undaunted.

The SubGenius X-Day celebration has become well known in underground culture circles, especially in pagan communities. Of the various X-Day celebrations taking place, the largest and most popular each year has been held at the Brushwood Center in Sherman, New York (which also hosts the annual Starwood festival). Many underground rock bands have performed at X-Day in New York, and the event has evolved into a festival similar to Burning Man (except it doesn't take place in the desert) lasting for three to five days, with rock concerts, artistic events, bonfires, and blasphemous parties taking place day and night.

Regular events at X-Day include a symbolic effigy burning of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs (the mythological founder of the Church of the SubGenius); a baptism where participants have their sins washed away "and receive new ones in return;" concerts and performances by underground rock bands and performance artists; theme camps; and an auction where participants are encouraged to donate strange, unusual, and offensive items of all sorts (including themselves).

"Burners" familiar with the Burning Man event have been upset by the fact that X-Day is not a commerce-free event in the fashion of Burning Man -- the bands and participants at X-Day are, in fact, encouraged to sell their own items, music CDs and albums, and other paraphernalia. The Church of the SubGenius has responded to these complaints with the statement that it is not a non-profit church: "We're for-profit, we want profit, and we want to cast out false profits." However, the Church's status as an independent corporation with no corporate affiliations has ensured that large, mainstream companies have avoided the X-Day celebration, allowing independent artists and underground performers to flourish. The Church claims to be the only religious organization that pays its taxes.

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