The Church of The SubGenius
and Rev. Ivan Stang, Night Club Preacher
A Primer for the Uninitiated -- Real Facts & Figures
For the Unsaved News Reporter, Radio Producer, Club Owner or other Media
OVER 100,000 BOOKS IN PRINT
SYNDICATED RADIO SHOW IN 15 MARKETS
HUNDREDS OF SUCCESSFUL LIVE NIGHT CLUB SHOWS
NATIONALLY DISTRIBUTED VIDEO (Polygram)
AS SEEN ON MTV, JON STEWART, CURRENT AFFAIR, CNN, NIGHT FLIGHT and NIGHTLINE
POPULAR INTERNET PRESENCE SINCE 1987
ENDORSED BY MOST MAJOR COUNTERCULTURE HEROES
SUBJECT TO COUNTLESS WANNA-BEs, IMITATORS and RIP-OFFS
BOOK OF THE SUBGENIUS IN ITS 11th PRINTING -- JAPANESE EDITION COMING SOON
18 JILLION CONTACTS IN THE UNDERGROUND & INDIE MARKETS
JUST TOO DAMN "HIP" FOR WORDS SINCE 1980
"Bob" Dobbs is the god of the SubGeniuses. Unfortunately, he's not
available for public appearances. He's too busy channelling aliens and
brokering souls. His most visible evangelist is Rev. Ivan Stang, the
crazed Texas hippie preacher who headlines the devivals, produces the main
radio show, edits the books and dictates who in the cult will live and who
will die. Although the Church is headquartered is in Dallas, "Bob's" army
of zombie-like followers encircles the globe, and a huge network of
artists, musicians, actors and side show freaks are engaged in spreading
the subversion. Almost every major city boasts a local SubGenius Pope,
"doktorband," and experienced Devival preacher. In this respect, it is
like an alternative Masons.
Attending a SubGenius live show or "Devival" can be a disturbing
experience, because it's more like a habit-forming drug than a rock and
roll show. It's like a tent-show revival in Hell. The preachers act more
like wrestlers and encourage sinning, ranting to a rock music soundtrack,
and the crazed tirades are punctuated by violent side show routines and a
constant psychedelic video backdrop. Healings. Sickenings. Miracles and
And the audience that the Church draws is one of the best parts of the
show. When Devivals occur in trendy night clubs, the most brazenly
weird-looking trendoids-with-nose-rings find themselves AGOG WITH
DISBELIEF at people who are EVEN WEIRDER than THEM.
What happens at a SubGenius "Devival"?
Firstly, the unexpected. Besides frenzied, shocking, and sometimes even
touching rants on the Word of "Bob," Rev. Stang and other SubGenius
Apostles deliver action-packed healings, sickenings, sacrifices, Public
Confessionals, Short Duration Mass Marriages, Time Control Ceremonies (in
which the preacher smashes the wristwatches of volunteers from the
audience), and more. You don't know what audience participation is until
you've experienced the Record Burnings, Doktormusic, chronic parties,
street demonstrations, and Head Launchings. Especially the Head
"The room literally exploded in ecstacy... these people (the audience) are
willing to sink everything, their last penny and their last ounce of
energy, into an idea that isn't even theirs. "
REV. IVAN STANG
Everybody's mad as hell, and they're not gonna take it any more. Except
that when push comes to shove, they still take it. The Rev. Ivan Stang is
an exception. He's so anti-establishment that he offends even the most
pissed-off, disenfranchised, anti-establishment youth, but he's an
equal-opportunity offender. You may not like what he has to say about you,
but you'll probably LOVE what he says about those you HATE.
"Some truly fabulous ranting... Stang's dogged brilliance rolls
prolifically and coherently off his pen and tongue."
Some of the larger Devival sites have been:
The Ritz, NYC
evolution, London, England
Psychedelic Solution Gallery, NYC
World Science Fiction Convention, New Orleans
The Stone, San Francisco
Danceteria, New York City
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
First Avenue, Minneapolis
Club Metro, Chicago (twice)
Victoria Theater, San Francisco
University of Washington, Seattle
Alexandria Hotel, Los Angeles
Caravan of Dreams, Fort Worth
Massachussets College of Art, Boston
The Twilite Room, Dallas (6 shows)
The Icon, Buffalo
Dallas Fantasy Fairs (yearly)
The Smart Bar, Cleveland (3 times)
Club No, Dallas
Dragon Con, Atlanta (3 years)
Eye of Horus, Pittsburgh
Winterstar festivals since 1990
Starwood festivals since 1990
Dallas Video Festival
Chicago Underground Film Festival
Flying Lemur (Kulas Auditorium), Cleveland
Peabody's Down Under, Cleveland
Portland Pilgrimage, Portland OR
SubGenius Revulval, Oddfellow's Temple, Seattle
Bennington College, Vermont
Columbia University, NYC
Phenomicon, Atlanta 91 & 92
Prop Theater, Chicago
Main preachers are Rev. Ivan Stang, Dr. K'taden Legume, Rev. Susie the
Floozy, Father Joe Mama, Pope David Meyer, St. Janor Hypercleats, Dr.
Sterno Keckhaver, and Dr. Howll Robins.
ASSOCIATED BANDS/ACTS who jam with the Church when in proximity:
THE RUDY SCHWARTZ PROJECT
THE SWINGING LOVE CORPSES
KINGS OF FEEDBACK/O.B.E.
JEFF MCBRIDE/MAGNUS THE MAGICIAN
INDIAN ROPE BURN
EINSTEIN'S SECRET ORCHESTRA
CHURCH OF NEW FAITH
THE FUNKY BARDOS
The Church of the SubGenius has been featured in:
THE NEW YORKER
SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
LOS ANGELES TIMES
NEW YORK TIMES
U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT
THE MET, Dallas
PLAIN DEALER, Clevelend
SCENE magazine, Cleveland
CITY REPORTS, Cleveland
WHOLE EARTH REVIEW
DALLAS MORNING NEWS
NEW MUSIC REVIEW
PAPER Magazine, NYC
THE HOUR OF SLACK
-- "BOB'S" RADIO OUTREACH
Each week, The SubGenius Foundation releases THE HOUR OF SLACK for radio
airplay or home listening. The Hour of Slack is an incredible compendium
of the best from all the other SubGenius shows, bands, ranters, Media
Barrages and collage artists, tied together by Stang's maniacal tirades.
The tapes are breakneck-paced, highly edited audio collages which combine
original Church "rants," music and ear-ripping sound effects with short
illustrative sound clips lifted from such "found" sources as low budget
monster movies and radio preachers.
"Truly a somic assault, a kaleidoscopic re-education camp of SubGenius
mythology. The editing is simply astonishing... underneath it all, I
suspect these guys understand something most of us never gave thought to.
Send them money and there shall be Slack."
Scott Becker, OPtion Magazine
"Up there with Monty Python, The Firesign Theater, Ken Nordine, Lenny
Irwin Chusid, WFMU (E.Orange, NJ)
"The Media Barrage tape series is earwax-melting... absolutely
stark-raving, foaming-at-the-mouth GREAT!"
Pete Scott, Zigzag (England)
"Sound collages with a tone so consistently wacky it amounts to
brilliance... transports you to the furthest realms of graffiti wisdom,
pop-culturism, advertising and religion."
Fortnightly College Radio Report
"Beware the SubGenii! They speak with forked tongues that can pierce the
thickest skull, rattling the brainpan with seductive wordplay and narcotic
mindfuck. The complex language/thought patterns of the text may keep you
glued to the toilet seat for a suspiciously long time. Its dense layers
of possible meaning can (and should) be referred to for revisionary
guidance...Glory Be to "Bob"!"
David Keeps, CREEM
THE HOUR OF SLACK currently airs on:
WFMU East Orange, NJ (& NYC)
WITR Rochester, NY
WARG Summit, IL
WORT Madison, WI
WESU Middletown CT
WMPG Portland, Maine
CIUT Toronto, Canada
The Puzzling Evidence/Dr. Howl Robins SHOW is still heard over most of
Northern California. (KPFA in Berkeley, 94.1 FM, now on at 3 am Friday
mornings following Over The Edge)
There's also "Bob"'s Slacktime Funhouse on WREK 91.1FM Atlanta GA
Aliens. Cultists. The end of the world. The breakdown of civilization.
Mind control. The utter stupidity of modern humankind. The insanity of
politics. The war between normals and weirdos, between the sex-negatives
and the sex-positives. The quest for slack amidst ALL OUT PLANETARY
FREAK-OUT. These are the recurring themes of The Church of the SubGenius.
The Church of the SubGenius (also refered to as the Church of "Bob") is a
weird, dangerous cult, just like the Branch Davidians, Jim Jones' Peoples
Temple, the AUM Supreme Temple in Japan, or the Southern Baptists. The
only difference is, it's EVEN FUNNIER than THEY are.
The Church of the SubGenius calls itself "an order of Scoffers and
Blasphemers, dedicated to Total Slack, delving in Mockery Science,
Sadofuturistics, Megaphysics, Schizophreniatrics, Scatalography,
Morealism, Sarcastrophy, Cynisacreligion, HypnoPediatrics,
Sardonicology, Subliminimalism, Satyriology, and Miscellatheistic
Theology." It exists to spread the Word of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs: guru, High
Epopt, and Saint of Sales -- that grinning man with the pipe that The
Conspiracy would claim doesn't even exist. Dobbs set out to create the
world's first industrial church, complete with a full line of disposable,
throw-away saviors suitable for today's hectic pace.
Unless you live in a cave, you have run into "Bob" Dobbs or his followers.
Some people stumble upon the SubGenius radio show. Some find the SubGenius
books in the humor sections of bookstores. Some read about it in magazines
or newspapers, or catch glimpses on MTV or talk shows. Many discover it
while surfing the Net. The smiling face of "Bob" -- that guy with the pipe
-- is ubiquitous in fanzines, as a tattoo, and as spray-painted grafitti
in the weirder parts of town.
Some run into hardcore SubGenius fans and are instantly disgusted by their
level of fanaticism. Some BECOME hardcore SubGenius fans because they
learn their counterculture heroes are into it.
There are more than 7,000 dues-paying, ordained Ministers in the Church,
and 100,000 bookstore customers. The Official High Priest/Priestess I.D.
card that comes with Membership encourages the new SubGenius to twist the
Church for his own ends. Once they've bought the Indulgences, Doctorates,
Papalships, hypnosis tapes, etc., they are encouraged to dispense
blessings & forgiveness -- or to mete out Divine Retribution -- according
to their own personal beliefs. Needless to say, they are given loads of
tools with which to spread advertising for the Church -- for free.
Sales Figures on SubGenius books published by Simon & Schuster:
THE BOOK OF THE SUBGENIUS: 60,000 copies
REVELATION X: 30,000
HIGH WEIRDNESS BY MAIL: 40,000
3 FISTED TALES OF "BOB": 15,000
"Bob" Dobbs has been 'borrowed' as a character in dozens of underground
and commercial comic books. There is a bar named after him in Tucson.
One frequently spots "Campus Crusades for Dobbs" booths on college
campuses right next to the Christians and Krishnoids. The mighty face has
been tatooed on people around the country. Church buzz-words like "SLACK!"
are seen repeated in spray paint on mile after mile of highway overpasses.
"Bob" has made cameo appearances on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, David Letterman,
PEE WEE'S PLAYHOUSE and numerous movies; we have heard of people selling
LSD in California which was emblazoned with his image. Fly-by-night button
and T-shirt manufacturers are having a heyday with the unauthorized face
of Dobbs. Unauthorized translations of the pamphlets are appearing in
Portugal, Brazil, Sweden, France and Japan. Church lawyers are gearing up
for a busy year.
The Church sometimes leaps out screaming at you. Its p.r. arm, The
SubGenius Foundation, Inc., produces books, radio programs, videotapes,
magazines, and rabble-rousing, pulpit pounding tent-show revivals (held in
nightclubs rather than tents). Besides the dozen or so key perpetrators,
there are literally thousands of active supporters,
sometimes-contributors, fanatics and addicts, making it, quite literally,
one of the fastest growing "cults" in the U.S. It also lurches into
rampaging life in such forms as full-tilt parties, adventuresome
merchandising schemes, and small armies of weird, laughing people marching
through uncomprehending neighborhoods. It includes the strangest people
in the world, the proudly eccentric: performers, artists, writers,
musicians, film makers, and wild-eyed rogue entrepreneurs.
Groups of SubGeniuses, called "Clenches," are grabbing for Slack all over
the U.S.: throwing parties and revivals, setting up food co-ops,
plastering their towns with SubGenius propaganda, etc. Photocopied
SubGenius flyers and pamphlets are plastered on campuses, car windshields,
and bar restrooms by zealous young "Bobbies." At least 10 persons have
actually been arrested for putting up Church posters in huge quantities
without a permit.
SubGeniuses lurk in every large country in the world. Many consider
themselves "missionaries" after a fashion, and we are seeing a recent
upsurge of SubGenius activity in England, Australia, Japan, South America,
Holland and Canada.
Some call the Church of the SubGenius the Greatest Joke Ever Told -- if
Earth can make it to the punchline. The parables, proverbs and allegories
work on many levels... some funny, some not-so-funny, but almost all
sick. Often described by timid newspapers as "an irreverent take-off on
fundamentalism," it is actually a fanatical all-out attack on fanaticism.
For The Slackmaster Dobbs cribbed some of his best lines from the world's
least great religions.
What "Bob" offers is SLACK. The Church sells a skillfully orchestrated
form of packaged chaos, dense with punchlines that hit like nuclear
strikes at the frontal lobes. Not always easy on its audience, it's a
hedonistic celebration of the unusual and the impossible, a worldwide
flaunting of Abnormality Power.
The "secret formula" used by "Bob" in creating his Church makes it the
only viciously anti-establishment property than can be marketed
successfully within the establishment, without being watered down.
Eventually, the "Bob" face-logo will become as universally profitable as
the Smile Face. And it will do so while simultaneously standing as a
symbol against such mindless "cutesy" drivel. First we sell them on
"Bob"; then they find out what he has to say... and his is a message that
the consumer stomach does not digest easily.
NAMES TO DROP
Some of the more illustrious Church Members and/or "SubSymps" include:
ROBERT ANTON WILSON
THE FIRESIGN THEATER
PEE WEE HERMAN
Science fiction authors John Steakley, John Shirley, Lewis Shiner and Rudy
"ARISE" -- THE OFFICIAL SUBGENIUS VIDEO, co-directed by Ivan Stang and
Cordt Holland, is a fast-paced extravaganza featuring short clips from the
most beloved Church Devival footage, interwoven with TV interviews,
SubGenius music videos, badfilm collages, and ELECTRONIC ANIMATION OF THE
GODS, all in one eyeball-slamming 2-hour video... an editing tour-de-force
of PROPAGANDA for "BOB." Narrator Dr. Hal Robins takes the initiate on a
soul-wrenching journey deep into the bowels of the Church. YOU WILL
ACTUALLY WITNESS the Head Launchings, the debauchery -- EVEN THE
ASSASSINATION OF "BOB!" Includes the infamous "BOB" IS A SEX GOD
sequence -- plus "THE LIFE OF "BOB," a perfect introduction to the Church
for illiterates, who'll also enjoy the video collages of SubGenius art and
illustrative film clips from our collection of bizarre trash. Includes
the X-rated rap-video, "WELCOME TO THE END TIMES" by Slackmaster Cleve and
the Spurious Jive. Stereo sound; music by DK Jones, Mark Mothersbaugh, Dr.
Onan's Wotan Band, Negativland, Drs. 4 "Bob," & others.
Rev. Ivan Stang also produced a one-minute "commercial" for the Church for
MTV's on-air promotions dept., as part of their "In Your Eye" art break
For more information, demo tapes, or local SubGenius contacts, fax Rev.
Ivan Stang at (214) 320-1561...
... or write
The SubGenius Foundation
Dallas, Texas 75214.
"Let us have a choice in HOW we're being screwed. Some ways are fun."
St. G. Gordon Gordon
CAN YOU AFFORD NOT TO CONFRONT THE LIVING MYSTERY THAT IS
J.R. "BOB" DOBBS ??
THE CHURCH has come; checks and souls float upwards to "Bob's" Heavenly
Bank Vault and Garden of Unearthly Slack.
"For He Cometh, the Prophet who smileth and puffeth; and the Chosen, who
art diseased of mind yet stout of soul, shall be Chang'd and Made
PreScriptures 6:14, The Economicon, Book of Urinomics
) 1995 by The SubGenius Foundation, Inc.
HERE'S WHAT JUST A FEW AVERAGE, ORDINARY PEOPLE SAY about "BOB" DOBBS and
his mighty CHURCH OF THE SUBGENIUS!
"This is the best of all the One True Religions. Praise "Bob!"
Robert Anton Wilson
"Finally, a religion even I can believe in."
America's Favorite Cartoonist
"Since I found "Bob," I'm my own hero -- and hers, too!"
David Ossman, THE FIRESIGN THEATER
"Bob" is an enema for a constipated society. "Bob" has come to help a
constipated society blow it out their ass."
Mark Mothersbaugh, DEVO
"I used to be able to read the word of "Bob" in a few minutes in the
bathroom... now it takes me months to read the damned thing! But do you
think that stops me? Hell no! I just stay in the bathroom longer! This is
some of the best stuff I've read in 10 years. You want a testimonial? Look
-- put any words in my mouth you want. No praise could be too lavish."
"A rare knack for masking genuine wisdom in the guise of utter bullshit."
Jay Kinney, COEVOLUTION QUARTERLY
"A sick masterpiece... arch arcana for those who can still laugh at the
fact that nothing is funny anymore."
"This is the damn'dest thing I ever seen."
some old nobody
"A ten thousand volt joy-buzzer for the brain... makes more sense than my
The Seattle Rocket
"It's downright impossible to describe the brilliance, depravity,
consciousness, imagination and hopefully the ability to reform history
before we are all turned into toadstools, that is the bent of The
SubGenius Foundation. Passed off as humor in order to get passed on,
there is much more here than meets the Third Eye."
Mike Golden, Smoke Signals
"This is the most authentic American humor, spouted by riverboat men and
tough-talking women, enriched by black and ethnic humor... passed down
from Ambrose Bierce, Mark Twain, the Marx Brothers, Ishmael Reed and Lenny
Bruce. The SubGeniuses have made the last, best joke about the pathology
of our young civilization."
Paul Buhle, THE VILLAGE VOICE
"The Book of the SubGenius has undergone Con-spiracy censorship, but what
They overlooked is more insidious than what most so-called avant garde
revolutionary upchuckings had to show for themselves in the first place."
Bob Black, Appeal to Reason
"No one is better attuned to millenarian symptoms... takes apart
Falwellism in the most effective way possible. Good news for anybody with
an unblinkered mind."
Copyright 1995 by Rev. Ivan Stang / 1st Orthodox Stangian
MegaFisTemple Lodge of People's Covenant Church of the
Wrath of Dobbs Yeti, Resurrected / The SubGenius Foundation,Inc.
PO Box 140306 Dallas TX 75214 / Fax 214-320-1561 / PRABOB