The King & the Churches of Elvis
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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 96 14:36:48 -0700
Subject: The King & the Churches of Elvis
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Forwarded-by: Jeff Needle <jeff.needle@GIFFY.COM>
From: "Good News, Etc." of San Diego, a throw-away Christian paper:
CYBERSPACE CHURCH DEVOTED TO ELVIS
It had to happen sooner or later. A pop singer known to followers as
"The King" and frequently "sighted" after his death was bound to inspire a
religion. After decades of informal worship, devotees of the late Elvis
Presley have formed a new religious organization, the First Presleyterian
Church of Elvis the Divine.
The tongue-in-cheek group holds weekly services in cyberspace, and
boasts about 200 members. These prophets of Presley are urged to face Las
Vegas once a day, make a pilgrimage to Graceland, eat six meals a day (plus
frequent snacks), and fight the forces of the evil anti-Elvis, Michael
Jackson (who at one time was married to Presley's daughter). The church
was founded as a joke in 1988, but has taken off with popularization of the
Internet's World Wde Web. It recently got a boost from Lehigh University
in Bethlehem, PA, where religion professor Norman Giradot teaches a class
titled "Jesus, Buddah, Confucius and Elvis."
The founders of the church sell T-shirts and plan to publish the "New
and Improved Testament of Elvis," which predicts that Elvis will descend
from heaven in a pink Cadillac and throw high-fat snacks to his believers.
[I hope these guys are giving due reverence to saint/prophet Stephanie
Pierce who established the original Church of Elvis in Portland, Oregon.
See "Visiting the Artomat" 2/27/95 in the Fun_People archive
(moved to <http://www.langston.com/Fun_People/> in 9/98)
or just read these diary notes from the "Slacking in Oregon" web page at
More notes on Oregon
24 Hour Church of Elvis
Portland is a diverse town with much to see. But, the most memorable thing
is the "24 Hour Church of Elvis." On a side street, a store front filled
with pictures, cutouts, and television screens flash. This collage can
only be described as a low-tech "virtual reality multi-media" experience.
Pictures of Elvis spin as one witnesses the "Miracle of the Spinning
A cheap computer walks a user through a menu of options like: "Get married,
find redemption, find out about a past life." Each of these paths branch
off into other screens. Each offers a toy surprise at the end.
For example, the past life option asks you what you thought you were in
a past life. Then it goes off to make a prediction of your past. A sticker
and a piece of paper appear in a dispenser. The sticker reads: "Hello my
name was: Leroy." The paper describes the life an anonymous mechanic.
Each one of the options are so damn clever. This person obviously
understands Elvis' role in the psyche of America.
"Share the Elvis"
© 1996 Peter Langston