Dialogue Ireland Logo Resources Services Information about Dialogue Ireland
A to Z index

A New Religion

When you promise happiness and fellowship, you’d better be able to fulfill your pledge. So a third-level religion class in a Risskov, Denmark gymnasium learned when they created, as a youth culture study project, a new faith--Apialketisme. Sounding slogans such as "Apialketisme against egotism," "Use your taupsi (both a fictitious area in the brain that controls love and a term for universal principle) and become happy," and "Apialketisme creates happiness,, the clean-cut, conservatively dressed students handed out leaflets to passersby in downtown Aarhus (pop. 250,000) and invited those interested to an introductory lecture and/or worship service. During the ceremony (a parody of TM’s initiation rite), participants would sit in a semicircle before burning candles and incense and strips of aluminum foil to sing, listen to music, meditate, and hear readings from the teachings of the movement’s fabricated founder Lillith H. Atkinson.

The students’ thoroughness was apparent in the elaborate history they wrote about Atkinson and the scheme of words, symbols, special greetings, liturgy, hymns, and group hierarchy (including prophet, priest, practitioner, and pupil status). Interested persons were tested on a computer which printed a bar graph showing their potential for use of their individual taupsi. That test parodied Scientology’s E-meter testing.
But people didn’t recognize the practical joking. Many were looking for answers to momentary problems which the ideals and language of Apialketisme satisfactorily promised them. To the surprise, and ultimate chagrin, of the class, people were convinced of the truth and power inherent in Apialketisme and felt misused and betrayed when they learned it was all a sham. Said the religion instructor who supervised the project, the public reactions show "the tendencies of our time." That is, people are shopping for fast beliefs.

--Morten Aagaard