When Virtuality Shapes Social Reality. Fake Cults and the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Lionel Obadia


Following the “Internet Revolution”, the creation of online religions (religions mainly existing in the virtual world) gave birth to so-called “parody” or fake cults.  One of these “religions”, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has started as a (an atheist) parody mocking (monotheistic) religious institutions, mostly established and spreading in the Informational circuits of the WorldWideWeb. In a few years, it has not only mimicked most of the features of a traditional religion, but the “pirates”-followers of the CFSM also look for the recognition of their cult as “official religion”. Moreover, while online religions and especially “fake cults” are most of the times used by scholars as examples of a shift from “reality” to “virtuality” caused by the Internet, the CFSM exemplifies, quite the reverse, a process of social “materialization” of this previously “virtual” cult.


Internet, religion, fake cults, Church Flying Spaghetti Monster, epistemology, virtuality

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11588/rel.2015.0.20327

URN (PDF): http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:bsz:16-rel-203272