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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for alt.brother-jed


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Archive-Name: personalities/brother-jed
Posting-Frequency: Every two months or so

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
      Here is the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the
      alt.brother-jed Usenet newsgroup. This FAQ is regularly posted to
alt.brother-jed, alt.answers, and news.answers . Its master copy is
available on the Web at http://www.eilertech.com/faqs/jedfaq.htm . Web
links are included there to home pages for everyone in the newsgroup who
has them, including Brother Jed himself.

The picture of Jed is from 1983, but it still looks remarkably accurate. At
least, compared to the picture he posts himself at http://www.brojed.org/.

If you have comments, either post to alt.brother-jed, or e-mail me, or
both. My address is seiler@eilertech.com.

Thanks, Scott
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

       Brother Jed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) List

  1. Who is Brother Jed?
  2. Is this the same Brother Jed who was preaching on the campus of the
     school I attended years ago?
  3. Are Brother Jed's wife and kids brainwashed?
  4. Where does Brother Jed get his money?
  5. What is alt.brother-jed about?
  6. Why is this group called alt.brother-jed if there isn't anything
     posted here about Brother Jed?
  7. Does Brother Jed ever post to this group?
  8. Who is Lawyer Jim, and is he related to Brother Jed?
  9. Who are the rest of these bozos who post here?
 10. What is a "fundy?"
 11. I practice a particular religion faithfully. Will I be offended if I
     read this group?
 12. Would you like to learn how to MAKE MONEY FAST???
 13. Can I post about any religion on this group?
 14. I heard that this was a group for making fun of fundamentalist
     Christians. What the hell happened?
 15. I've noticed that some of the people posting to this group seem to
     believe in a Being who created the universe. Oh yeah? Can you prove
     it?
 16. I've noticed that some of the people posting to this group seem to
     believe that there is no Being who created the universe. Oh yeah? Can
     you prove it?
 17. I've noticed some people on this newsgroup accusing other people of
     being Pagans. I've even noticed some who claim to be Pagans. What the
     heck is Paganism?
 18. Are you all a bunch of wankers or what?
 19. Why are there two FAQs for this group?
 20. If the group were stranded on Gilligan's Island, what would the theme
     song be?

Links

Disclaimer: The information in this document has been taken from reputable
sources (such as Jed's own books) and is considered as accurate as
possible. However, nobody's perfect. As such, nobody here takes
responsibility for incorrect or inaccurate information in this document,
beyond correcting the error.
  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

  1. Who is Brother Jed?

     Brother Jed (George Edward Smock) was born in Brookings, South Dakota,
     in 1943. His father was a Ph.D. in English from Cornell University,
     and his mother was A.B. magna cum laude from Syracuse University. In
     1946 the family moved to Terre Haute, Indiana, when his father became
     chair of the English department at Indiana State University (ISU).

     In 1960 Jed went to Indiana University and joined Delta Upsilon, which
     held a well-deserved reputation as a hard-partying fraternity. After a
     year and a half Jed dropped out and made a brief visit to southern
     California, where poor success as an encyclopedia salesman convinced
     him to return to Indiana to complete his education, this time at ISU
     majoring in social studies and minoring in English.

     In 1965 he got a job teaching U.S. history at Highland High School,
     and in the next 2 years earned an M.A. in history from ISU. In 1967 he
     made another visit to California, this time working as a junior high
     school teacher in Berkeley-- it was here that Jed was first introduced
     to marijuana and LSD.

     As the "summer of love" drew to a close Jed returned briefly to
     Indiana, but soon got a position as a professor of history at the
     University of Wisconsin. In 1970 Jed returned again to Indiana, this
     time to take a position as research assistant in a psychology
     institute at ISU, where he studied drug use.

     In 1971 he left on a journey to North Africa where he joined a commune
     on the beach of Morocco, living a life of hedonism and depravity. In
     the spring of 1972 he began to seriously read the Bible, and in March
     of that year returned once again to Indiana. In August he met an old
     high school friend Clyde Swalls, who had become a preacher. It was at
     that point that Jed "met the King of Kings at Burger King" (became
     fully converted to Christianity).

     Since that time Jed has travelled the nation's college campuses
     spreading the word to students. His early companions in that task were
     "Holy Hubert" Lindsay, a quick-witted evangelist whom Jed had
     encountered at Berkeley, and "Brother Max" Lynch, an ISU
     mathematics-professor-turned-preacher. In 1977 while preaching at
     Arizona State, Jed coined the nickname of that group, "the
     Destroyers", in honor of the way they destroyed the complacency of
     Christian churches around ASU.

     In the following years Jed has been featured in _Newsweek_ and
     _Rolling_Stone_, and has appeared on both Sally Jesse Raphael and
     Donahue. Jed has written several books including an autobiographical
     work, _Who_Will_Rise_Up?_ which was the source of most of the
     information in this short bio. -- N.E.

  2. Is this the same Brother Jed who was preaching on the campus of the
     school I attended years ago?

     Yes, although it's a good idea to make sure the person you remember
     was really Jed since he's subsequently been joined by many regional
     preachers. His first recruit, Sister Cindy Lasseter, later became his
     wife in 1983 and has since borne them 5 daughters. Other additions to
     the fold include Brother Jim Giles, Sister Pat Noordewier, and Brother
     Paul Stamm (who is pictured in _Who_Will_Rise_Up?_ wearing a "Sodomy
     Free Zone" sign on his backside). -- N.E.

     For those currently on campus who want to keep an eye out for the
     "real" Brother Jed: He is a dark-haired man in his early fifties who
     wears glasses, and usually a dress shirt and dark pants. He is almost
     always accompanied with at least two of his daughters, who all have
     long hair and wear long skirts, but are otherwise pretty
     normal-looking children. The last time I saw Brother Jed, he was also
     joined by a young college-age woman named Sister Elizabeth (never got
     her last name). -- E.G.

  3. Are Brother Jed's wife and kids brainwashed?

     In the spring of 1996 I was upset to be told by Evangeline "I hate
     you, you're going to hell!". She was visibly upset by attempts of
     several people to gently open her mind to the possibility that other
     opinions were valid. Although I hesitate to use the word
     "brainwashed", I believe that her parents have sealed off her mind to
     any original thoughts or differing opinions. -- V.C.

     I can't speak about the kids, but I met his wife (Sister Cindy) in
     1983 before they married. She was preaching on the Michigan State
     University campus, with Brother Jed also on campus but not present.
     Sister Cindy presented her own beliefs forcefully, and stood up to
     popular pressure (almost to the point of being forcibly unbaptized in
     the Red Cedar River). In my opinion, she may be one of the few people
     who agrees with Jed on every single topic, but she's not brainwashed.
     -- S.E.

     Jed and Cindy's girls are home-schooled with strong emphasis on
     scriptural subjects. Many crowds have been amazed at the girls'
     ability to recite Bible verses, and whenever possible Jed and Cindy
     like to take their daughters along on their travels. While many
     onlookers have expressed concern for the welfare of the children,
     personally I think it's significant that the girls are usually
     better-behaved and more articulate than most of the college students
     they meet at their parents' very unusual job-sites. -- N.E.

     Except for the extremely conservative dress, all of the girls seem
     like pretty normal kids to me. When they accompany their parents to
     campus, the older ones often help their Dad by passing out tracts and
     buttons to the crowd. Little Evangeline often carries around a big
     sandwich-board type sign which expresses succinctly her parents
     religious philosophies. The ones who aren't helping out are usually
     reading or playing nearby. The last time I saw the family on the Oval
     at Ohio State in the spring of 1996, I was rather amazed at the girls
     ability to rollerblade in ankle-length dresses. -- E.G.

  4. Where does Brother Jed get his money?

     Brother Jed heads an umbrella organization called Campus Ministries
     USA, which attempts to defray the costs of the various members of the
     old Destroyers. In addition to donations and sales of books and
     videos, Jed also receives honoraria from speaking at churches and
     conferences. If anyone is interested in helping, Jed can be reached
     at:

     Campus Ministries USA

     922 W. Village Dr

     Newark, OH 43055

     This organization has a web page: http://www.brojed.org.

     Obligatory Adverblurb: Copies of Brother Jed's books and videos are
     available. The suggested donation for "Who Will Rise Up?" is $10, $5
     for the shorter works ("Grieve Not the Spirit" and "Walking in the
     Spirit"), and $35 for the video. -- N.E.

  5. What is alt.brother-jed about?

     Originally alt.brother-jed was dominated by critics who ridiculed him
     on-line in much the same way as they did during his appearances on
     their campuses. At this point the group has evolved into a more
     serious discussion group focused on various issues raised by Jed and
     his Destroyers.

     Nowadays, discussion of all sorts of religions and religious
     philosophies appears on alt.brother-jed. This occasionally does
     include Jed-bashing and news of Jed-sightings, but it is no longer
     limited to such. Common discussion topics have included the existence
     of God, the nature of evil, Biblical literalism, whether or not
     homosexual acts are sinful, whether Christianity is harmful, whether
     the Old Testament God was just, and whether proselytizing is good or
     bad. -- N.E. and E.G.

  6. Why is this group called alt.brother-jed if there isn't anything
     posted here about Brother Jed?

     The group's name is mostly an honorary title, in respect to the man by
     whom we have been touched and whose passion brings us all together,
     Christians and non-Christians alike. -- N.E.

     Also, discussions often center on the topic of confrontational
     evangelism and whether it is effective. Brother Jed exemplifies this
     type of evangelism, in a flashy way which gets people talking about
     him and his beliefs. -- S.E.

  7. Does Brother Jed ever post to this group?

     Brother Jed has made occasional-but-infrequent forays online, much
     less frequent in recent months, just enough to tell people where he'd
     be preaching in the next few weeks and to slip in the occasional
     e-sermon. His e-mail address is brojed@aol.com; if he ever wants to
     change it, he'll have to move his own web page first. -- N.E and S.E.

  8. Who is Lawyer Jim, and is he related to Brother Jed?

     Lawyer Jim, real name James Elsman, is a fundamentalist who once
     frequently posted to alt.brother-jed and claims to have "street
     preached". As far as we know, he and Brother Jed are not related.
     Except, of course, that they are both brothers in Christ. And it is
     believed that they sometimes preach together, and that Lawyer Jim acts
     as a legal consultant to Brother Jed. His e-mail address is
     elsmanlaw@aol.com. -- E.G. and S.E.

  9. Who are the rest of these bozos who post here?

     Quick introductions all around, so's everyone will know who's who the
     next time Lawyer Jim starts slinging invectives around:
        o Scott Eiler: Deluded Protestant Christian who's going to Hell
          because he refuses to condemn everyone who's not a Christian here
        o Nathan Engle: Incredibly annoying Taoist who never gets pissed
          off no matter how much you threaten him with eternal hellfire
        o Erin Glaser: Utterly hopeless demon Papist whose brain is
          controlled by the Pope
        o Frenchy: Even more hopeless Satanic Pagan with a history of
          unknown numbers of lovers, STDs, abortions, and illegitimate
          children
        o Louis Lomasky: Incredibly well-read and knowledgeable but stupid
          Hasidic guy who doesn't know a damn thing about Judaism despite a
          lifetime of study, knowledge of multiple Biblical languages and
          time spent in the Holy Land because he's not saved by the blood
          of Jesus
        o Rhonda Rubin: Self-proclaimed Jewish Smartass and eeeeeeevulll
          lesbian
        o Marlene: A third more evil than the average abj'er, because he
          wants to be a girl
        o Doug Berry: Another stupid Discordian doofus and ordained ULC
          minister unsaved by the blood of Our Lord Jesus
        o Ralphus: Whining baby-eating apostate who's gonna burn burn burn
        o BeYontRy: Hellbound wiseacre who's old enough to know better
        o Vince Conaway: Oh, why bother cataloging this one, he's just
          going to Hell anyway like the rest of these sinners
     Sorry if I missed anyone. ;) (F)

     As the above summary shows, not everyone who posts here agrees with
     Brother Jed's theology. We just post and argue here because we can.
     B{D> (SE)

 10. What is a "fundy?"

     This term, occurring often in AB-J, is shorthand for "fundamentalist"
     and is not necessarily intended to be derogatory, although some people
     may mean it that way. When used alone, it generally refers to
     fundamentalist Christians, but may be combined with other faiths to
     mean anyone who is fundamentalist. It can be combined with
     non-religious philosophies and with non-mainstream religions quite
     easily as well.

     The Microsoft Encarta 95* definition of "fundamentalism" is as
     follows:

     1. A Protestant movement holding the Bible to be the sole authority.

     2. A movement marked by rigid adherence to basic principles.
     ----------------------------------------------------------------------
     *The American Heritage(R) Concise Dictionary, 3rd ed. Copyright (c)
     1994 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from and
     portions copyright (c) 1994 by InfoSoft International, Inc. All rights
     reserved.
     ----------------------------------------------------------------------

     Fundamentalist Christians believe that the Bible should be taken as
     literally as possible. For example, many fundamentalist Christians
     believe that the world actually was created during a six-day period on
     or about 4001 BC (a date arrived at by summing up the ages of the
     Biblical patriarchs).

     To contrast, typical mainstream Christians believe that the spiritual
     aspects of the Bible, especially the teachings of Jesus, should be
     taken literally, and that other aspects of the Bible may be treated
     the same way as any other ancient book of source material. For
     example, many mainstream Christians believe that the entire earth was
     not actually covered with water at the height of the Great Flood.
     Other mainstream Christians interpret the Bible even less literally,
     taking its moral truths literally but accepting much of the rest of it
     as symbolic or allegorical ways of expressing those moral truths.

     As you can imagine, fundamentalist and mainstream Christians often
     disagree and argue. Extreme proponents on either side of these
     arguments sometimes say that their opponents are not truly Christians.
     Moderates on either side try to avoid such statements.

     Brother Jed falls in the "fundamentalist" category, somewhere near the
     line between extreme and moderate. -- S.E. and E.G.

 11. I practice a particular religion faithfully. Will I be offended if I
     read this group?

     Yes. But that shouldn't keep you away. And you need not fear offending
     others. -- N.E., E.G., and V.C.

     And bear in mind that nobody who posts here speaks authoritatively for
     their entire religion. In particular, neither Brother Jed nor Lawyer
     Jim represents all Christians, or all Protestants, or even all
     fundamentalists. So don't use them as examples of "All Christians are
     assholes". -- S.E.

 12. Would you like to learn how to MAKE MONEY FAST???

     No. If you try to tell us how, we'll send e-mail to your postmaster
     and have your account cancelled. -- E.G.

 13. Can I post about any religion on this group?

     As long as the gist of the post has even an indirect relevance to
     Jed's ministry the sky's the limit. -- N.E.

     Or any other kind of ministry, for that matter. I'd say the majority
     of posts relate in some way to Christianity-- either expressing
     Christian beliefs, debunking Christian beliefs, or offering
     alternatives to traditional Christian beliefs. But we've touched quite
     a bit on Islam, Judaism, Taoism, modern and historical Paganism,
     various Eastern religions, and of course a healthy dose of atheism as
     well. -- E.G.

     To the extent you can call atheism healthy, of course. -- S.E.

 14. I heard that this was a group for making fun of fundamentalist
     Christians. What the hell happened?

     Sorry to disappoint you. You can still make fun of fundamentalist
     Christians-- it's just that we talk about other stuff too. What
     happened was that people started responding seriously to sarcasm. This
     phenomenon snowballed, until most people who post to alt.brother-jed
     actually take their posts seriously (even when they use humor).

     Newsgroups are what we make them. Whenever anyone feels that the
     group's sarcasm level has fallen too low they're cordially welcome to
     correct the deficiency. -- E.G., S.E., N.E

 15. I've noticed that some of the people posting to this group seem to
     believe in a Being who created the universe. Oh yeah? Can you prove
     it?

     No. Religion consists of a set of personal beliefs which cannot be
     proven. Many of us who have this belief try to support it, but we
     can't prove it. -- S.E.

 16. I've noticed that some of the people posting to this group seem to
     believe that there is no Being who created the universe. Oh yeah? Can
     you prove it?

     See previous answer. -- S.E.

 17. I've noticed some people on this newsgroup accusing other people of
     being Pagans. I've even noticed some who claim to be Pagans. What the
     heck is Paganism?

     Paganism is, in general, the belief in the Supreme Being embodied in
     the God and Goddess. We believe in the sanctity of nature, that the
     God and Goddess are everywhere embodied in Mother Earth and Father
     Sky. We have no sacred texts, no revealed guidance from the Gods-- the
     Pagan path is a gnostic one, you must seek the truth for yourself. We
     believe in the Wiccan Rede, "And if it hurt none, do what thou wilt."
     This means that whatever action you do, so long as you are hurting no
     one, no living animal, the environment, or even yourself, it is an
     acceptable action. This also means you have to take serious
     responsibility for the consequences of your actions-- harsh words, for
     example, hurt others, as well as actions that don't take into account
     the welfare and well-being of others.

     The general Pagan idea of the afterlife is reincarnation. We believe
     in a Heaven-like place called the Summerland, where it is always warm
     and beautiful, although we consider it more of a "pit stop" until we
     go on to our next incarnation as opposed to a permanent home for our
     souls. We don't believe in Hell per se; we believe that if you led an
     evil life you will be reincarnated in much more difficult
     circumstances, to receive the lessons you obviously didn't learn in
     your previous life and to pay back the negative karma.

     There are many diverse sects and branches of Paganism, all with
     different beliefs. Some honor just the Goddess; others just the God;
     others give equal attention to both. Some are vegetarian, some are
     not; some believe in reincarnation, some do not; some consider the
     various gods and goddesses of each pantheon (Celtic, Greco-Roman,
     Norse, Latin American, and Egyptian among others) to be all separate
     beings, and some who believe in the "Unified Deity Theory" that all
     gods and goddesses are merely separate manifestations of the One
     Creative Supreme Being. It's as difficult to pigeonhole Pagans as it
     is to do the same to Christians. -- F.

 18. Are you all a bunch of wankers or what?

     Questions like this are best addressed to the alleged wanker via
     private e-mail. -- E.G.

 19. Why are there two FAQs for this group?

     This is the second FAQ to be created for alt.brother-jed. The other
     one was created by Wayne Head (a.k.a. Pope Bongophelius Zed I), back
     when AB-J was a forum for making fun of fundamentalists. You may want
     to check http://www.eilertech.com/faqs/oldjed.txt to see the kind of
     spirit that first made AB-J famous. That document reproduces the group
     FAQ, as posted in February 1996.

     In July 1996, one of the regular posters jokingly suggested renaming
     the group to reflect its new emphasis. While most responses were in
     favor of retaining the group's name, some of the rest of us decided to
     write a new FAQ list which was more representative of the opinions
     generally expressed therein.

     In other words, you can think of the original FAQ as a "Heckler's
     Guide" and this one as a "Discussion Guide." -- E.G. and S.E.

 20. If the group were stranded on Gilligan's Island, what would the theme
     song be?



             "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
             A tale from Brother Jed,
             Some religious types and some alien dorks
             The latters' brains were dead.
             The mate was an anal preacher dude
             The skipper anal too
             The rest were a dirty heathen lot
             A rotten hellbound crew!
             The language started getting rough
             The small N.G. was tossed
             They argued all religious points
             Like the man who'd once been Crossed.
             The group's adrift in the midst of this uncharted cyberspace,
             With Brother Jed
             And Lawyer Jim
             The alien dork
             Disco Queen
             The psycho witch
             The Juggler and Erin too
             Here on Brother Jed's grooooooup!  ;)"


     -- F.

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Links:

   * There's a Brother Jed web forum, at
     http://pub4.ezboard.com/ffreedomofspeechthecampusministryforum.
     They're actually much more focused on Jed than we are.

  ------------------------------------------------------------------------

Primary authors of this FAQ are:

   * E.G. Erin Glaser Arlinghaus, Roman Catholic Christian. Original editor
     of this FAQ.
   * N.E. Nathan Engle, computer support staff for Indiana University
     Bloomington Psych department. Electron Juggler, Mad Scientist, Taoist.
   * V.C. Vince Conaway, Vince Conaway, a born-again pagan (eclectic) and a
     Celtic musician trying to lose his day job.
   * S.E. Scott Eiler. Renegade Hoosier resident in Massachusetts and/or
     anywhere for a buck, computer programmer, Protestant Christian, and
     freelance Bible scholar. Maintainer of this FAQ.
   * F. Frenchy, Eclectic Pagan (and a girl, goshdurnit!), Internet
     reporter, belly dancer from Hel, feminist extraordinaire but
     egalitaire, annoyer of fundies, advocate of science and skepticism,
     snickerer of $cientologists, Netnerd and general all-around Monty
     Python addict.

Copyright  2002, by the primary authors mentioned above.

-------- Scott Eiler  B{D> -------- http://www.eilertech.com/ --------

"No, no, MONSTERS on the prowl, CREATURES on the loose.  Creatures 
just rampage around and get drunk and rowdy when they don't have 
anything better to do.  Monsters cruise for chicks."

-- Kurt Busiek, comic book professional, responding to a fan inquiry
about "Creatures On The Prowl".

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