Suicide, abortion, cannibalism and sodomy: The four pillars of the Church of Euthanasia
By Katherine Lofthouse, for Planet Ivy, December 9, 2013
We talk to the founder of the cult which believes people should kill themselves to save the planet
“It’s a suicide cult! Of course people killed themselves. Sometimes we helped them. Get over it.” – Rev. Chris Korda, Founder, Church of Euthanasia
As every commuter in London knows, the world could do with being a little less peopled. But the Church of Euthanasia has taken the idea to a whole new level – they want you to save the planet by killing yourself. While I can’t deny harbouring murderous thoughts toward every single person on the 8:30am train to Kings Cross, this is possibly a little extreme. However, having investigated the principles behind the church a little more, it’s not all Kool-Aid and crazy.
I don’t mean I’m going to sign up for the quarterly magazine, Snuff It, and start flyering for CoE outside Chicken Cottage (they’re vegetarian, believing that if you’re going to eat flesh it should be human). The basic principle though – that we treat the earth like it’s our bitch and it would be better off without us – is a well worn but undeniable argument, wrapped in shiny new shock-tactics.
So how does CoE plan on saving the planet from us? The answer is written in the church’s single commandment, “Thou shalt not procreate” (something that the cast of Made in Chelsea should arguably put some serious thought into). This is supported by the four pillars that the church teeters above: suicide, abortion, cannibalism (but only on the already dead) and sodomy (any act of sex that wouldn’t result in pregnancy). However they insist all population limiting must be voluntary, so war or murder is a no-no. Graciously, they do say you don’t have to commit suicide, but can offer tips if you’re feeling zealous. Pay the monthly subscription fee first though, because then you automatically become a saint, “without additional paperwork”.
Clearly, the tone is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, and the church has a penchant for satire: they once went to a sperm bank demanding that the sperm be ‘released’ and have been known to squirt opposition with penis-shaped water pistols. Korda’s interviews are often equally provocative: when Etcetera asked if the church had any physical symbology she responded, “I suppose you could hang a lemming from your neck, if you could find one, but it might start to smell after a while.” Another high-ranking member of the clergy, Vermin Supreme – his actual name – is running for Presidential candidate 2016, promising free ponies for every American. It’s maybe unsurprising then, that some find it hard to take the church seriously, yet Korda insists it’s not a “sick joke”. And, considering allegations that the church has played a part in inciting suicides, we should probably believe her.
Continuing their work (and to piss people off), the church sometimes hosts foetus barbecues at pro-life rallies, and Korda – also a DJ – records songs: I Like to Watch, about getting off to footage of the Twin Towers attack, has over 26,000 hits on YouTube.
And yet, despite many horrified reactions to the church, we’re not upset enough, says Korda. “I can tell because you’re still playing with your toys, jetting about and shopping.” (Actually, I currently couldn’t fund a trip to Bognor, but that probably isn’t the point). The seed for the church was planted when Korda, aged 10, saw the headline, “Scientists predict global warming irreversible.” And now, some 40 years and one suicide cult later, she clearly knows her shit, talking of Dada, metaphysics and antihumanist philosophy alongside climate change and ecology. She told me, “There isn’t time for a next step. You personally are deciding the fate of human civilization, right now… The remaining fossil fuels need to be left in the ground forever. Drastic changes to our entire way of life are urgently required.”
The message seems like a more reasonable request than suicide, but the Reverend isn’t convinced. “Humans may be an intelligent species. We’ll soon find out… If you decide to hose the future, don’t expect your precious offspring to remember you fondly.” Personally, my dream is to be remembered as a cranky alcoholic, but on this score, I hope that our species ends up surprising Korda.
We’d better start hiding the Kool-Aid.
This article is based on an interview with Rev. Chris Korda.