The Jedi Religion

I wrote in my book about the burgeoning Jedi movement throughout the world. For instance, when the 2001 census was taken in Britain, tens of thousands of people listed 'Jedi Knight' as their religious affiliation on the census forms. I've actually heard from a source in the Office of National Statistics that when the figures were all counted, there ended up being more Jedis than Jews in Britain. Now we have more proof of the growing stature of 'Jediism': the quasi-official website of the Jedi Religion.


Posted on Wed Nov 19, 2003


The census data can be found at the link.
Posted by Steve  on  Sun Aug 22, 2004  at  09:28 AM
OK,I get it, click on the Steve in the post above.
Posted by Steve  on  Sun Aug 22, 2004  at  09:30 AM
Most of them don't even act like Jedi... *grumbles* :D ICECREAM!!!! *Runs after after sister for icecream* :D
Posted by Liyina  on  Sat Oct 08, 2005  at  09:12 PM
This didn't make the cecus like the jedi knight religion but there's also a new religion based on the movie franchise The Matrix. It's called Matrixism or alternately The Path of the One.

I wonder if this is going to be a trend?
Posted by MalcolmTent  on  Tue Jul 11, 2006  at  05:53 PM
I think its cool, Freedom of religon.Rock ON!!!!!
Posted by Mike  on  Mon Oct 30, 2006  at  04:43 PM
Topic: International Jedi Growth

Since the 2001 census phenomenon, Jediism has grown into a large religious community. There are members from all around the world: Australia / New Zealand, Canada, Brittain, & The United States have been the most recent countries with a large growth. Jediism is believed too be the next level of religion and is showing the world its presence.

I have come in contact with a group known as "The Temple of the Jedi Order". They are believed to be the first offical Jedi religious community. This Jedi Order is based in the State of Texas and has all legal rights of a religion within the State of Texas. The fast and rapid growth of this diverse religion is striking the world with its briliant philosophy. This religious group is based off the teachings of Joesph Campbell and ancient religions, which Lucas himself designed the Jedi Order from.

The Jedi community is growing dramatically in the last few months and is looking as if its growth isn't going to stop. The "Temple of the Jedi Order" has been around for roughly a year and its master-apprentice relationships are making them certainly noticed.

I am unsure where Jediism is going to be in the future of our world religions but I am all for it. It shows us what we truly desire and teaches us to control our negative emotions. As they say: "Fear leads to anger, anger leads to agression, agression leads to hatred, hatred leads to suffering."

All in all I believe Jediism is the next generation in world religions. The fact they accept members of any faith to to join their order is truly astonnishing. The Jedi believe in equality and each other, I believe this will be the next major religion to stand beside: The Christian, Buddhism, and Moslem communities.

Temple of the Jedi Order:
Posted by Steven Rush  on  Mon Nov 06, 2006  at  09:10 PM
Unless and until the federal government recognizes it, and grants all the benefits so earned (such as tax exemption from the IRS), Jedi is not a legal religion in the US. The State of Texas does not have the power to grant federal tax exemption.

Regardless, I'll still feel free to ridicule them. Admittedly all religions are based on works of fiction, but it's not everyday you can screen the actual source material for your friends.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Tue Nov 07, 2006  at  09:10 AM
I have to disagree about the US government's tax status being the litmus test as to wether something is a real religion. According to their process a religion first needs to be registered as a confessional group and then they have to live in community for some twenty years. Many religions are neither confessional communities nor will they ever be living in a contained community. For these and other reasons many religions have decided to not comply with the US governments requirements. The Jehovah's Witness are a prime example.

I think the real litmus test for the Jedi religion and matrixism is gaining a large enough following that is serious about their beliefs. This seems to be the only real requirement.
Posted by Terrance  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  05:25 AM
I never intended to convey the idea that Jediism wasn't a 'real' religion until accepted by the federal government. Rather, I stated that it was not granted tax exempt status in the US as hinted at in the previous post.

Any religion is as equally valid as any other. It's just that some (Jedi) are sillier than others. It's not truly a religion being so provably based on a work of fiction and not on a true belief system 〈valid or not〉. It's really more of a LARPing thing. And sadly, as in any other aspect of fiction, there are people who slip over the edge of sanity and start believing it's real.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Fri Nov 10, 2006  at  08:30 AM
What about Matrixism? It seems to be a little more serious in nature than the jedi.
Posted by Terrance  on  Sat Nov 11, 2006  at  07:25 AM
I welcome any criticism as long as a person reads our doctrine and creed first. Our Temple is based on the philosophy of Joseph Campbell and the teachings from many religions. We use the Star Wars movies as a teaching tool.

What would you, Gentle Reader, think about a person who says, "That book is crap and not even worth not reading" and then tells you s/he has not read the book?

I thought so.

We ARE tax exempt under sec. 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue code and donations to us are US income tax deductible. Our ministers can legally conduct marriages anywhere in the United States.

Anyone can visit our site and read our Doctrine and Creed without registering. If you do that and still want to ridicule us, Br. John will bless you and your opinion whatever that may be.

May The Living Force Be With You & God Bless,

Br. John Henry Phelan
Posted by Br. John Henry Phelan  on  Fri Jan 19, 2007  at  11:56 AM
Um, the Jedis specifically didn't revere a deity. Such worship would have been anathema to the Jedi and akin to flirting with the Dark side. God should have no place in your 'religion'.

So not only are you taking a fictitious organization (not a religion in the movies, though it was mistaken as such by others), but you're also changing it to suit your desires by including a god figure.

Remind me again, which part of this isn't ludicrous?
Posted by Charybdis  on  Mon Jan 22, 2007  at  12:13 PM
501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue code 1986

(a) Exemption from taxation

An organization described in subsection (c) or (d) or section 401(a) shall be exempt from taxation under this subtitle unless such exemption is denied under section 502 or 503.

(b) Tax on unrelated business income and certain other activities

An organization exempt from taxation under subsection (a) shall be subject to tax to the extent provided in parts II, III, and VI of this subchapter, but (notwithstanding parts II, III, and VI of this subchapter) shall be considered an organization exempt from income taxes for the purpose of any law which refers to organizations exempt from income taxes.

(c) List of exempt organizations

Skipping over subsection 1 and subsection 2

3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.

You might very well be tax exempt under this rule, but that in no way imparts the aura of 'Legally Recognized Religion' upon you nor does it enable your ministers to conduct legal marriage ceremonies. If indeed your claims are authentic then these would be covered under different laws, not tax exempt ones.

Perhaps you could link to the government list of recognized religions that includes Jedi. I couldn't find one.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Mon Jan 22, 2007  at  12:31 PM
Have you read our Code and Creed? Our Ministers have conducted marriages in several different states - legally.

There is no such thing in the United States as a 'recognized religion' because it would violate the First Amendment.

Buddhists', for example, do not have a deity and nobody says they are not a religion.

Some states say a minister is anyone a couple recognizes as a minister while others only require that one say they are a minister. Other states require a letter from the home office of the Church to allow ministers to conduct weddings and they issue a registration card.

Since we are real Jedi and not fictional Jedi like the one's in the movies; we can believe whatever we wish.

Br. John does not have the power to cram a college level class on US constitutional law into a brief post so perhaps this quote from a United States District Court Judge in a ruling will help.

That decision is Civil No. S-1964 Filed March 1st, 1974 and signed by the honorable Federal Judge James F. Battin on February 27th, 1974. The most important paragraph has been the law of the land since 1974 and read this well and understand it fully as it applies to all religions old and new.....

"Neither this Court, nor any branch of this Government, will consider the merits or fallacies of a religion. Nor will the Court compare the beliefs, dogmas, and practices of a newly organized religion with those of an older, more established religion. Nor will the Court praise or condemn a religion, however excellent or fanatical o preposterous it may seem. Were the Court to do so, it would impinge upon the guarantees of the First Amendment......"

That one portion of the ruling opens the world to new ideas and frees the mind from oppression of old ideas if one so chooses. It is one of the foundational cases in religion of the century and applies to storefront churches or home churches equally. Of course, albeit not mentioned it is accepted as a given that no religion can be established as a guise to engage in an illegal activity.

In the United States most individuals believe we have the freedom of religion, but they do not understand fully what they are stating. Our U.S. Constitution guarantees us the right of total religious belief of our choice, but our actions are still restrained by established law.


Br. John Henry Phelan
Beaumont, Texas
Posted by Br. John Henry Phelan  on  Mon Jan 22, 2007  at  06:08 PM
Actually the US does recognize religions for such purposes as religious icons on national cemetery gravesites and for protection from religious discrimination. However, I get your point about separation of Church and State, though that's often only in theory. The power to preside over a marriage ceremony isn't necessarily tied to a religion. Your statements above seemed to indicate that your religion was more valid because you have ministers capable of this, and that's simply not the case.

I never made a claim about a religion requiring a deity, I said that Jedi (as commonly understood from their media presentation) would not worship a deity.

Your claim to be 'real' Jedi is rather confusing. 'Real' Jedi (as in, those people from the movies who used the Force and wielded lightsabers) don't exist. That's what everyone who has ever heard of Jedi thinks of first. You are real in the sense that you are a group of people who have taken the name Jedi for your religion without any affiliation to the Jedi from the Star Wars movies. I can call myself Spiderman but that hardly imparts an air of authenticity upon my person, and people are free to consider me a loony.

I never intended to convey the impression that I feel you're not entitled to whatever religion, by whatever name, you wish. I do think that your decision to name yourself after such an iconic group as the Jedi opens you up to ridicule and disbelief. Many people, I feel (and I don't exempt myself from this), will simply view you as fanboys who are perhaps a tad too obsessed with Star Wars. That's your right, just as it's my right to question your intentions and sanity.
Posted by Charybdis  on  Tue Jan 23, 2007  at  08:55 AM
Thank you for a constructive debate. I appreciate that and respect your rights to believe as you wish and speak your mind as you wish.

You are correct that the US recognized that people do have religion.

As for my sanity, here is a direct quote from my psychiatrist (well one of my psychiatrists), "Johnny, there is a thin line between genius and insanity; you have erased that line".

Here is our Doctrine and Creed since most folks don't know what we actually believe:

Faithfully yours,

Br. John
Posted by Br. John Henry Phelan  on  Tue Jan 23, 2007  at  09:25 AM
"The Bible", as it were, was written by over 150 contributing authors using "inspiration from God", not recorded fact. So, to get technical, there are elements of the Jedi Faith that debunk several others. We don't tell people that they are going to rot in a lake of fire for eternity if they don't give up 30% of their income and say prescribed prayers. We *ask* for nothing. We accept all walks of faith, and treat everyone equally, asking only to try and make ourselves better people. If anyone can fault us for that,so be it, I think we will be able to survive!

I am a PROUD, prominent member of the Temple. I am a Council Member, a Master Knight of the Order, and am also a respected member of my community. I am a senior officer on a Search and Rescue Team in some of the harshest territory the US offers. I am a veteran of two branches of US Military service. I have a wife, and a great many friends that respect my dedication. And I was first, a Jedi!

I am FULLY versed on Jedi protocol, and would be happy to entertain all inquiries about the nature of our faith. We accept people of ALL walks of faith, regardless of what "deity" they worship. The world would be a better place if perhaps we tried to accept and help one another, rather than let hate, anger, and avarice grip our souls...

There was a post earlier about Jedi not worshipping a deity. The Jedi of Mr. Lucas' movies(Lucasfilm tm) came from thousands of different backgrounds and worlds, and thus, faiths. They were allowed to practice their own personal culture, so long as it did not violate the Code. One of the seated Council Members had SEVERAL wives...(Ki Adi Mundi, Lucasfilm tm), and was still permitted onto the Council, so you see, people do not research before they attack us with hate and anger, so, does the problem lie with us for practicing our faith? Or with people that come out, sling unpleasantries our way, and then sink back into the fray? That's OK, we are kinda used to it now, but I am not changing who I am because there are people that don't understand it. Those people *should* come by and give it a go before they might give their opinions more validity, and not just look like an assault.

The Jedi path and religion, were based on the works of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell, world renowned author of "Hero Wears 1,000 Faces". This was but a fraction of the inspiration used to form the framework of our faith. There are classes, services, and gatherings...I have forged rock-solid friendships, made virtually new family members, and I am proud to call myself Jedi, and I am proud to stand by my Jedi family everyday!

May the Living Force guide, protect, and educate us all, that we may all live together in peace, understanding and harmony...

Keyan Flamecloud (mka Mike H. )
Jedi Knight Master
Posted by Michael Hollingsworth  on  Wed Jan 24, 2007  at  01:00 PM
..., so you see, people do not research before they attack us with hate and anger, so, does the problem lie with us for practicing our faith?

I based all my comments on the Jedi as portrayed in the movies. Since George Lucas is the creator of the Jedi he's the only one who can decide what is or isn't canon. He has specifically stated that he feels free to contradict all fan fiction, authorized or not, and has done so many times in his new trilogy. As such I discounted books, games, etc when stating my understanding of the Jedi. That doesn't mean that you are not entitled to alter that fiction for your own, non-infringing purposes and create an actual existing religion out of his work. But at its very core you can't deny that your entire religion is still basically a work of fan-fiction. That doesn't make it any less 'real', but as a true fan of his work (at least his original trilogy) I don't have to buy into it and I feel free to point out where your work contradicts his.

As for my sinking back into the fray, I hardly seem to have done that. What was this comment based on?

You can feel proud to call yourself a Jedi, and more power to you - it's your right. But just like every other religion in existence, I still feel you're wrong and perhaps even a bit odder than most. While I am aware of Joseph Campbell's work, he wasn't afraid to point out that most, if not all religious beliefs are based on myths. Fiction, in other words. Most just don't have the benefit of an attributable original source that is still enjoyed by millions (not to mention still under copyright).
Posted by Charybdis  on  Thu Jan 25, 2007  at  08:42 AM
Please understand...that particualar comment was not intended for you. It was intended for the person who chose to sling aspersions with poor spelling and then offer nothing constructive.

You may feel free to view things as you will, as that is everyone's right as a human being. I will agree that you are VERY correct. I feel that every religion IS based on myth, it's FAITH that is what is important. I choose to believe in something better than a future of a world being destroyed in an inevitable Armageddon...that is just plain dismal and bleak, if you ask me.

I *personally* feel that Christians are odder than most for following the pieces of a religion that King James altered and manipulated, then threatened the very scholars that translated the Bible for him...They are not *true* Christians. *TRUE* Christianity was stolen and plagarized from the Jewish people. That is where it all took place...and the Jewish, I am told, DO NOT feel that Jesus Christ was the Messiah.

So, feel as you will, my's healthy. But, I have chosen my side based on a myth and a story. I choose light over dark, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance. No one is saying that we wave our hands and force others to think things. We just follow the path of the Spiritual Warrior.

Jedi is as Jedi is comprised of parts of many myths and faiths. And copyrights can copyright a story, but you cannot copyright a faith...Lucas knows we are out here...and he's cool with it...Maybe everyone else should be, too...There are worse things to be...
Posted by Michael Hollingsworth  on  Fri Jan 26, 2007  at  03:41 AM
A little off topic I guess. The whole Census thing reminded me a cool site that I just found. It uses Census data to create your own charts using population and housing data. I think people here would enjoy it.
Posted by Joe Redmond  on  Fri May 02, 2008  at  10:14 AM
As I eluded to before it seems to me that Matrixism (based on the movie the Matrix) has more substance as far as fiction based religions go (Yes, I know all religion are to a greater or lesser extent fiction based).

Some of the things that Matrixism has that the jedi religion doesn't are:

1. It's own unique sacrament.
2. A history embedded in world religion.
3. Martyrs.

Matrixism also has a religio-philosophical history within the realm of popular culture via the works of Aldous Huxley. Historically and structurally speaking Matrixism is a much mire substantial religion than Jediism and actually on these levels it is just as robust as Christianity, Islam or Buddhism.
Posted by Becky  on  Sat May 10, 2008  at  10:46 AM
The Jedi religion: A faith that recognises that there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together, accepts all races and species from all over the universe as potential members of the religion. What is the problem? Sounds like a winner to me.
Posted by Fug  on  Fri Apr 24, 2009  at  04:16 PM
I think the focal point of mainstream religion has changed - .That's part of the "see the world in black and white" that the fundamentalists find so important about their "my way or the highway to hell". Its far easier to use religion as the label for making oneself feel better or more important than someone else. I don't murder, so I'm better/God loves me more than someone who does.
Posted by bollt  on  Mon Jun 15, 2009  at  08:52 AM
I agree with Terrance Matrixism seems much more serious and thus legitimate than Jediism.
Posted by Mary  on  Fri Jul 03, 2009  at  01:27 PM
the jeidi religion is just a bunch of f**ken bull Sh*t. its a disgrace to all other religions, almost as bad as satanism. its only a bunch of people obsessed with the Star Wars movies, which aren't even that good
Posted by fred kushikakanobie  on  Tue Sep 08, 2009  at  05:15 PM
I say that Jedi should not be a religion necessarily, but more of a belief system. I think it should get a tax exempt status because it is an interesting belief and it may prove to be an improvement.

I am Wiccan and thinking about combining traditions. It's nice to see some good fanboyism turn to be good.

At least it's not Scientology.
Posted by Jetra  on  Fri Jul 16, 2010  at  02:10 PM
The Temple of the Jedi Order is a scam for fool's donations, and the king of that scam, John Phelan, is a cyberbully when you respectfully discuss views alternative to his own. Avoid it like the plague, don't give that con man John Phelan your personal information and especially not your money. He doesn't believe a word he preaches.
Posted by Harman  on  Sun Nov 04, 2012  at  12:59 PM
Plus.....he refers to himself in the third person. Always a red flag! LOL
Posted by Robby D. Duncan  on  Thu May 30, 2013  at  12:54 AM
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