THE BOOK OF AETH
The Origins of Aethism
These are now lost in the mists of time, as the original posts appeared over four weeks ago and have now expired from the server. Legend has it that, in the course of a thread which had branched off into a theological discussion (as so many do), the term "aethists" came to be mentioned. Sceptics have dismissed this as a mere misspelling of the word "atheists", but this disregards the obvious fact that the poster would surely have employed his spell checker to verify any words of which he was uncertain. To one man, however, the message was clear: this was surely the will of Aeth manifesting itself. He immediately converted to Aethism and proclaimed himself the High Priest of Aeth - reasoning that he was entitled to first pick.
Since that time the High Priest of Aeth has worked tirelessly (for at least 5 minutes a day, well, he does have to get some software engineering work done too) to promote the cause of Aethism. The Book of Aeth is periodically updated whenever Aeth sends a revelation.
In the first few days of Aethism, the number of Aethists worldwide has grown to at least two. This represents an increase of 100% in just a few days, a rate that few other major religions can match. Obviously that's assuming that G Hunter was serious about becoming one - but who would joke about such a serious matter as one's religion?
"I have converted to Aethism. What do I do next?"
What about missionary work?
What about following another diety as well as Aeth?
My God floats on water and has a certain way with fish and bread. What does Aeth have to say about this?
"According to a Rosy Cross pamphlet, above the "Rosicrucian Fraternity " is the Priesthood of Aeth - an advanced training phase within the Rosicrucian Fraternity. Members have access to the study of special manuscripts and high instructions. Only those who reject personal presumptions and tastes, bias, prejudice, and selfishness can enter the Aeth Priesthood. Is Aethism in any way associated with this?"
What are "The Tablets of Aeth"? Are they really a record of the soul's experiences upon the material plane and the Aether?
Are you conversant with the Evianite Heresy?
According to the web, Aeth is a genus of Tasmanian millipedes.
"How can I hear the voice of Aeth when the little voices never stop? They are with us all the time. They say: Listen to the little voices, trust the little voices, obey the little voices. The little voices are your friends."
You've used that instalment of the Aethist scripture more than once in your pronouncements! I demand a refund!
When is Aethmas and how should it be celebrated?
What is the Aethist version of midwinter festival?
What foods are traditional on Aethmas and/or Aethist midwinter? Apart from Edam that is (refer to the First Book of Aeth: The Creation).
Would there be "12 Days of Aethmas" and if so, what gifts would one's true love be obliged to give?
What about Aethster?
Do you get Aethster chocolate?
My colleagues say Aethism is a religion for geeks.
Is Aethism like other monotheistic faiths where you have a single God who changes the rules for changing conditions? If so, do the old rules apply until a later prophet changes them? Or are all the old rules no longer valid when one or more new rules arrive?
The whole process is so longwinded and tortuous, that any prophet (they are generally quite impatient) is likely to create a new product straight away and avoid the hassle of updating the original version. Aeth reserves the right to smite those that breach his copyright.
Quality Assurance and Customer Feedback does not seem to be involved in the process. Sales and Marketing then have to sell the resulting version, whether changed or not, to an increasingly cynical public or risk them going to a competing product created by a different prophet.
Theoretically we could have Orthodox Aethism, Orthodox Aethism 2.0 in parallel with Reform Aethism, Reform Aethism 2.0 etc. Aeth takes a dim view of this as it makes his administrative task harder.
The First Book of Aeth: The Creation
Aeth said: "Let there be light". And there followed a lengthy discussion over the colour and intensity of the light, the number of sources, and so on, and eventually the whole thing ended up being subcontracted to Jehovah instead.
On the second day, Aeth divided the land from the waters and wondered whether to place a value on the land such that it may be taxed annually through LVT. Aeth decided that he would not, since the value of the land is determined by the value of that which is built upon it and a 5 bed luxury detached house with replacement windows, central heating and cavity wall insulation was worth more than next door's 3 bed semi with back boiler even though they were built upon identical sized plots.
Aeth then retired to his abode (swimming pool, conservatory, 3 receps, 5 bedrms, loft conversion, planning permission for annexe, coastal views) from which he admired his creation and wondered where to put the decking.
Then Aeth looked upon what he had created, and lo, it contained several major design flaws. And Aeth spake, saying: "B*gger it, this'll never make it through Acceptance Testing".
On the sixth day, due to inadequate proof reading, Aeth created Ada and Eve. And they went forth, but for some strange reason completely failed to multiply.
Then Ada and Eve dwelt in that earthly paradise that is called the Garden of Edam, and it was filled with all manner of good things to eat.
One day as Eve sat in the Garden of Edam, admiring the decking, and wondering how to keep the unicorns from scuffing it, the serpent came unto her with many vexing questions. First the serpent said: "When was the day of thy birth?" And Eve answered: "Day 6. Except I wasn't 'born' exactly, so I'm not sure it really counts... Gosh, I hope that doesn't disqualify me from getting birthday presents."
Then the serpent said: "What is thy favourite cheese?" And Eve thought to herself "Where on earth is this going?", but answered: "I like Jarlsberg a lot, but the bush it grows on is only little and it keeps running out." Then the serpent played his trump card, saying: "What is thy shoe size?" And Eve was sore troubled, and said: "What is this 'shoe' of which thou speakest?
Due to transcription errors, Aeth branded the serpent "the sporran of Beelzebub", to be kilt forthwith. He charged this task unto Ada and Eve and lo! they made for themselves snakeskin boots. Aeth asked why they had not made for themselves kilts, but Ada and Eve had discovered "shoes" and were unrepentent.
And Aeth spoke to them of the tenets of faith. Ada and Eve erected a dozen portable canvas habitations in the Garden of Edam and invented the camping stove. "What are the tenets of Aethism" he asked them. "Oh," they said, "We thought you said tents of Aeth. WOuld you like some cheese on toast?"
Theological Notes on The Creation
There is a theory that the total energy of the Universe is zero, because gravitational potential energy is negative.
As far as its origins are concerned, the mighty Aeth informs me that He was out of the office all that week, so it wasn't His fault. And in fact He gave His team a good telling off when He got back and discovered they had gone ahead and built it in His absence, even though there were still several actions outstanding from the design reviews. It took Him about 70 billion god-hours of work to clear off the worst of the non-conformances, which just goes to show how much more expensive it is to correct defects in the maintenance phase of the project. I think we can all learn a valuable lesson from that.
As Aeth created the world (albeit with some subcontracting) and presumably divided the land from the waters, has he anything to say on LVT?
He had this to say about the Creation: "Dividing the land from the waters - whose bright idea was that? Oh yes, it was Mine. Creating it all mixed up together, then trying to separate it out - what a mess! In future I'll know to make the land first and leave it to set, then just pour the water in afterwards. And only then create the dinosaurs, and maybe this time they'll survive the process."
On LVT: It is a little known fact that Noah actually conspired with Aeth to arrange the Flood in order to get out of paying his LVT, sea bed property of course being exempt. Needless to say, this would not have endeared him to his neighbours had they found out, which is why he cooked up the cover story we know today.
The Second Book of Aeth: The Arch
Due to a misunderstanding, Noah built an arch fifty cubits wide and three hundred cubits tall.
And the animals went under the arch two by two.
And Noah said to Aeth, "I have two of each animal. Where is this food you are sending?"
The Commandments of Aeth.
No. 1: Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Unless Their followers are more numerous and/or better armed, in which case don't make a big thing of it.
No. 2: Thou shalt not worship graven images, nor post them to the binaries newsgroup. Work related files only, please. And don't get Me started on setting follow-ups!
No. 3: Thou shalt not take My name in vain. I'm not against it in principle, but I'm fed up with people mispronouncing it all the time.
No. 4: Thou shalt not work upon the Sabbath day. In fact, why not take Saturdays off too. And Friday afternoons, but only if thou hast made up thy hours for the week.
No. 5: Honour thy father and mother, and also thy line manager, and thou wouldst do well not to get on the wrong side of the HR department if thou know'st what's good for thee.
No. 6: Thou shalt not kill. Except, obviously, to defend thyself against thieving scum who wouldst break into thy house to nick thy nice new wide screen TV.
No. 7: If thou wishest to commit adultery, that's fine by Me; after all, the gods are hardly blameless on that score. Especially the Greeks.
No. 8: Thou shalt not steal. Well, paperclips are OK, and I'll turn a blind eye to the odd Post-It Pad. But Laptops are right out.
No. 9: Thou shalt not bear false witness. Unless thou hast just cracked a burglar's head open with a six iron, in which case I'd advise thee to say he attacked thee first. And put a kitchen knife in his hand to make it look good.
No. 10: Thou shalt not covet. Who am I kidding? I mean, in the days when thy neighbour lived in a mud hut, and had an ox, an ass and a wife who bore more than a passing resemblance to said livestock, it was easy enough not to covet those things. But nowadays, what with wide screen TVs, PlayStations and video photo e-mail arcade game internet mobile phones, what chance dost thou have? Covet away!
No. 10b: And, er, brush thy teeth every day. Or else.
a) Expansion requirements: The mighty Aeth reserves the right to issue further commandments at a future epoch, so thou'dst better keep a few blank tablets handy.
b) Warranty: Observance of these commandments is guaranteed to protect the worshipper against acts of Aeth including, but not limited to, plague, war, famine, terrorist attacks and punctures  Other deities excluded.
Proverbs of Aeth
It is harder to enter heaven than to pass a needle through the eye of a rich man's camel. [Translation disputed]
The followers of Aeth built the tower of bagels. [Translation disputed, some Aethists claim a more accurate translation is "doughnuts"]
And so the High Priest gave himself to Aeth. And after a pregnant pause, Aeth said "okay".
Discourses From the Lessons of Aeth
Now that we have reached the end of the cycle of commandments of Aeth, I propose that they are adopted by the collective and inscribed on the cover of the year book. And a lone voice said "But we didn't write them down! We must lobby His High Priest, wailing and gnashing teeth until He relents and repeats the way to His glory. Or something."
The High Priest respondeth: You're just assuming that there are only ten of them. Even the Old Testament doesn't have just ten - there are ten grouped together, but most of Leviticus is commandments. Even the Old Testament was prone to requirements-creep.
I thought the usual method was tablets of stone. But nowadays it would probably be CD-ROM. Or would Aeth just send out an e-mail saying they were available on the web-site?
The High Priest respondeth: If you're reading this on the web, you already have your answer. Aeth informs me that he needs more paid up Aethists before Aethism can afford the services of a monumental mason.
Perhaps we should wait to see if there are any more in preparation first?
The High Priest respondeth: I prayed unto Aeth to ask if He had more commandments for His faithful servants. But He was out of the office so I had to leave a message asking Him to call me back. He probably won't get it though, half the time you're lucky if the angel at the call centre has even heard of Him, let alone knows His number. Anyway, I'd advise you not to go rushing off to do all the things He hasn't prohibited yet, just in case.
We have also had the beginning of the Aethist cannon, and I, for one, look forward to seeing the whole of the rest of the cannon.
The High Priest respondeth: You seem to be confusing the commandments with the Iraqi "Super Gun".
According to The First Book of Aeth, 'Eve was sore troubled, and said: "What is this 'shoe' of which thou speakest?" ' A woman who doesn't know what shoes are? You're going to cause a lot of people to question their fai(e)th now.
The High Priest respondeth: Of course not - it's obviously a story from before time (as we measure it) began, when the world was innocent and women didn't know about shoes. I think she'll be tempted by the serpent and get the world's first pair of snakeskin boots. Doubt not the word of Aeth. All will become clear in time.
To be an aethist, doesn't one need to know a great deal about all the "Actual" religions, in order to dispute them, thus making aetheists the most theologically educated of all?
A false prophet respondeth: No, one merely needs to study the writings if the almighty Aeth, and to contribute to His charities by sending donations via his one True Prophet (C/O PD Rieden, Farnborough Site, Ground Floor).
The High Priest respondeth: I ought to excommunicate you for falsifying prophets, but it really isn't worth the effort, as you'll realise for yourself as the cash flow starts to build towards an occasional trickle. Actually I'm quite excited by this little schism - I see it as a sign that Aethism is maturing nicely. All the best religions have them.
But surely there can only be one true Aeth? I'll be writing down the conflicts and paradoxes inherent in your claims and nailing them to the door of the National Secular Society head office...
The High Priest respondeth: They are not my claims, I'm merely passing on the words of Aeth, who is of course both omnidirectional and inflatable. No, hold on, He says I should correct that to "infallible".
Does Aethism having anything analagous to the Holy Grail or Da Vinci Code?
There is the Mug of Aeth, from which Aeth drank coffee while working on the plans for Earth. Some Aethist scholars claim the shape of the continents and oceans was due to coffee spills on the blueprints. Aeth claimed his favourite coffee mug was then cleansed of stain and hidden by Mrs Aeth. Its whereabouts are allegedly encoded in a pre-Ansi #include library file of the C Programming Language by Kernighan & Ritchie.
Is the High Priest aware of a wargamer also claiming to be Aeth? Isn't this another false prophet?
The High Priest Respondeth: many people hear the voice of Aeth, however, the omnidirectional Aeth has made me aware of propheteering in his name and informs me there is to be smiting any day (Aeth's busy schedule permitting). The wargamer is not associated with the Book of Aeth. In fact, according to the Holy Books (double entry), he isn't even a paid up Aethist.
I was wondering if Aeth is aware of the recent "typo-squatting" court cases that have been going on recently? I.e. atheism/aethism
The High Priest Respondeth: I'm sure He is, being omnivorous, but He hasn't bothered to tell me.
I found this: "Even if YOU don't know what faith you are, Belief-O-Matic™ knows. Answer 20 questions about your concept of God, the afterlife, human nature, and more, and Belief-O-Matic™ will tell you what religion (if any) you practice...or ought to consider practising."
The High Priest Respondeth: I'm very disturbed that they don't mention Aeth. perhaps I'll drop him an email and ask him to do a bit of smiting... I found "Nontheist" and I believe Nonth (who is the anti-Aeth) has done a deal with the creators of the Belief-O-Matic; something along the lines of "Substitute my name for Aeth's and I'll guarantee you freedom from plagues of darkness during daylight hours, eclipses and heavy cloud excepted." Aeth says to keep Nonth and all your other false gods to yourself, you heretic (unless it's your round of course, Aeth gives dispensation for that sort of thing). Aeth will protect us against these infidels.....
With the High Priest of Aeth temporarily standing in as team leader, is there a requirement that followers of Aeth (Aeth being mighty, you don't need to actively follow, just, sort of come along if you feel like it, OK?) be in the same team and non-Aethists expelled? Surely it's desirable to have adherents of Aeth in several teams, otherwise the Aethletics competition would have to be cancelled.
The High Priest Respondeth: If only all Aethists were that dedicated! My religious and secular roles are completely independent. However as Head Boy I have decided to make Aethism the official team religion, and as High Priest I urge all my followers to give their full support to the team. Aethists in other teams have special dispensation to adopt whatever tactics they see fit. Please note that the Temple of Aeth is open for business as normal throughout my tenure as team leader and all donations will be gratefully received.
Most religions have symbols or logos; Christianity has the cross, Satanism has the pentagram. Does Aethism have any symbols or fancy robes?
There are no official symbols of Aethism, but Aeth informs me that he is not opposed to them, though he prefers snare drums and wouldn't say no to a whole drum kit, lead and bass guitars and a good riff. He informs me that has nothing against robes either, but it you want to wear skin-tight spandex you should make sure you have the figure for it.
A note from the High Priest of Aeth
The Book of Aeth as it currently stands is a very slim volume, as I'm^H^H^H Aeth is kind of making it up as He goes along. There are a few more commandments drafted, but nothing else as yet. And although no man can claim to know the mind of Aeth, I have a feeling that these and many of His further pronouncements could well be relevant only to users of certain newsgroups and would only confuse the uninitiated.
The "mists of time" began as a discussion on whether devout Christians who burnt the supposedly occult-oriented Harry Potter books were unwittingly performing a Pagan act. The answer was "no" because the burning was not accompanied by Pagan rituals nor conducted by a Pagan "official" and that burning of an object is not of itself a religious act. On the way to "no" the thread discussed several major belief systems and gave rise to the Book of Aeth.
So ...stop believing in your current deity right now! There is only one true deity and His name is Aeth. Some of the benefits of Aethism are:
In fact all that's required of an Aethist is to believe in Aeth. And pay a nominal administration fee, which can be done by a convenient Direct Debit.
The High Priest of Aeth asked: Why is it that L Ron Hubbard had no trouble making money when he founded his own religion, but I've still not made a single penny out of mine? Join the Temple of Aeth now! Nothing to pay until January 2004! This offer is for a limited period only, and closes soon!
Question: "What does it cost after January? I quite like my soul where it is.
Answer: Twice as much.
More Discourses From the Lessons of Aeth
The High Priest of Aeth declared: Here's an update: I still haven't made a single penny... in fact I've now made two! The first arrived in the internal post courtesy of Mr Howard, and Kathy at the next desk was so moved by his generosity that she immediately contributed another one. Both are now official members of the Temple of Aeth. So things are looking up for Aethism.
Notice: The bad news is that as you are now an established religion you need to pay the £200 annual levy to OFDEIT (the official regulatory organisation for religions and organised belief promoters).
High Priest's Response to Notice: The mighty Aeth informs me that He has now miraculously transferred the money directly to your wallet. But He also said He hopes you are now fully recovered after that nasty crash, so I think He may be mistaking you for someone else.Four Apostles of Aeth
Due to the High Priest losing computer access ("you're employed here as a software engineer, not a prophet"), Aeth's word will henceforth be spread by his followers, including the Four Apostles of Aeth: Sarah, Gavin, Peter (the "Anti-Bike") and Doug.
Schisms among Aethists have resulted in the Evolutians and the Armamentarians.
THE BOOK OF ARMAMENTS
Book of Armaments, Chapter 8, Verses 7 to 15
7. And he decreed: Yea you shall carry the weapons against of crucifix, stake and the garlic, the odd socks and the seeds, the holy water and the holy scriptures and you shall be armed against the foul blood-feasting fiend.
8. And silver burns vampyres abominably, causing sores and blisters, but silver bullets are for werewolves - confuse these at your peril.
9. And to repel the blood-sucking creatures of the night you shall carry garlic and holy water and mine scripture.
10. And you shall sprinkle about his daytime resting place odd socks for unmatched items are abhorrent to him.
11. And you shall sprinkle about his grave those seeds for uncounted seeds are anathema to him.
12. And when said vampyre is laid low matching odd socks and counting seeds and sickened by the stench of garlic in his nostrils, you shall sprinkle him with holy water for it burns his loathsome skin.
13. You shall then hold the scripture before you and recite from it while holding the crucifix before you and with your third hand you shall drive the stake through his heart, after which you must cut his head from his body and expose all parts to sunlight until they turn unto dust.
14. And if the vampyre is Jewish you shall perform all of the above but with a Star of David and with Torah and Talmud; if he be of the Islamic persuasion you shall use Koran and Crescent.
15. And if he be atheist or agnostic, you shall take your pick of holy symbols but basically you're stuffed.
THE BOOK OF EVOLUTUS