The Religion Of Dudeism
Dudes are recognised in a new religion which is going head to head with the Jedi church as the second Hollywood-inspired faith. Despite sounding like a joke, The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, is battling to become an officially-recognised faith based on the cult film The Big Lebowski. More than 100,000 members of the church have been ordained as ‘Dudeist Priests’, in theory giving them the authority to preside over weddings, funerals and other religious events. American, Oliver Benjamin, 43, started the world’s first online religion in 2005 after watching the hit Coen brothers movie, starring Jeff Bridges as Jeff Lebowski, a surreal, ironic, dope-smoking 40-something character nicknamed ‘the Dude’. Based in the Thai hippy city of Chiang Mai, 500 miles north of Bangkok, Oliver, who now calls himself the Dudely Lama, claims to have ordained over 120,000 Dudeist priests worldwide. Oliver, a graphic designer from California, travelled the world for ten years, first watched the film in 2000 and then set up a website (www.dudeism.com) in 2005. Oliver hopes that Dudeism will form congregations all over the world in the coming years.