“Little-Known” Attractions of Lynchburg and Central Virginia

Ξ February 5th, 2006 | → 0 Comments | ∇ Politics and Society |

"The Spock"
(The World's Only Church of Star Trek)

A few miles south of Lynchburg in Campbell County sits a large and attractive octagonal building which is home to one of most unique churches in the world. Founded in 1977, "The Spock," as the church is called, is the world's only church of Star Trek, a religion centered on the popular 1960's television series featuring the adventures of a crew of interstellar explorers. "The Spock" promotes beliefs associated with one of the popular characters in the TV series, Mr. Spock, who was from a peace-loving race of aliens known as "Vulcans." The ideology of the church is centered on so-called Vulcan philosophy which includes the belief in pure "logic" and which emphasizes a lifestyle devoid of emotion. A huge stained-glass likeness of the church's namesake is featured in the sanctuary, where churchgoers recite sequences of dialogue from the series and participate in what they call a "Holy Mind Meld." Many church members wear stick-on pointed ears (mimicking those of the TV character) during services and at other church functions (in one case of excessive dedication to the "faith," one member attempted to have his ears surgically altered but with disastrous results, requiring extensive corrective surgery). "The Spock" is not without controversy, as reportedly in the late 1980's disagreement arose within the church over the lengths to which members should go in emulating the purely logical and emotionless Vulcan approach to life. Some members advocated a reasonable degree of emotion (citing Mr. Spock's half-human side), but a core group of hard-line members insisted on a rigid adherence to Vulcan ideology. The stricter view won out, and as a result, several members left the church and publicly denounced its practices. One resentful former member went so far as to publish a science fiction story based on his rigid and stifling upbringing in the faith, a story which concludes with the destruction of the Campbell County sanctuary by a "phaser" blast from an orbiting "starship" at his command. Despite the dissent, "The Spock" boasts a membership today of over 120, and actively campaigns for new members at area fan conventions and at Star Trek movie showings in local theatres. Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played Mr. Spock in Star Trek, has refused comment on "The Spock."

From : "Little-Known" Attractions of Lynchburg and Central Virginia


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