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Urban Legends

The Jedi Religion

The Legend

As you know, there is a census coming up on August 7. This census is a means by which the government collects general information about the population, such as how many people live where, how much money people makes, and how willing citizens are to answer prying personal questions. One of the questions on the census asks you to identify your religion, and with a bit of research we've discovered that if 10,000 or more people choose the same religion, then the government is forced to recognize it as a legitimate one. That's why we're asking everyone to put down their religion as "Jedi" during the coming census.

May the Force be with you.

Sincerely,
George Lucas


Behind the Legend

This note, although still in circulation, is both inaccurate and out of date.

The largest inaccuracy is the notion that the government needs 10,000 people to say that they follow the Jedi religion in order for it to be recognized by the government. In fact, the government already recognizes the Jedi religion -- they were faced to in the late 1990s when millions of ultra-devoted Star Wars fans worldwide threatened to camp out in a big line outside government buildings for months, discussing film and film-tie-in minutia in loud voices for months on end, if their movement was not given official status. Noting the group's ability to carry out their threat, the government had no choice but to give in.

After Jedi became a respected institution, George Lucas was granted tax exempt status and a number of faith-based grants were given to Sir Alec Guiness and to this day continue to be granted to his estate.

It is interesting to note that, even though it was not necessary for the Jedi, the method of establishing a religion by having 10,000 people put it on their census form actually does work. It is in this way that LDS, Scientology, and Oprah first gained recognition.


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