How to become a Discordian Pope

Hail eris discordia

Definition: A Discordian Pope is every person on this Earth. But it helps if you sign forms in triplicate.

Included in the Principia Discordia there is an “official =POPE= card” (on page 00036) that may be reproduced and distributed freely to anyone and everyone. Papacy, however, is not granted through possession of this card – it is merely to inform people that they are a genuine and authorized Pope of Discordia.

The very best way to become a Discordian Pope is to first decide on your pope name, which must ideally be long, or at the very least confusing, and very importantly, it must entertain you.

Examples of Pope names:

Malaclypse the Younger

Her lovely ladyness Kandice III, Keeper of the ring on God’s right hand and general humble servant of the Octarine Army

Once you’ve decided on your pope name, send a letter in triplicate to yourself and two other organisations, with the addresses of yourself and said two organisations very clearly printed at the top of the page.

In most formal language, the letter should state that you are a Discordian Pope.

Organisations can be: Small Italian restaurants, Disney Head offices, Foreign Embassies… thanks to thousands of years of beaurocracy, there are so, so many organisations to choose from.

While the powers of a Pope are not necessarily enumerated in the Principia Discordia, we are given some idea from a note under your included Discordian Pope card which states, “A =POPE= is someone who is not under the authority of the authorities.” Some Discordians have also taken it upon themselves to further elaborate upon the powers of a Pope. On the back of some Pope cards, the following message can be found:

“The rights of a =POPE= include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • 1. To invoke infallibility at any time, including retroactively.
  • 2. To completely rework the Erisian church.
  • 3. To baptise, bury, and marry (with the permission of the deceased in the latter two cases).
  • 4. To ex-communicate, de-ex-communicate, re-ex-communicate, and de-re-ex-communicate (no backsies!) both his-/her-/it-/them-/your-/our- /His-/Her-/It-/Them-/Your-/Our -self/selves and others (if any).
  • 5. To perform all rites and functions deemed inappropriate for a Pope of Discordia.”

The third right (requiring permission from the deceased in cases of burying or marriage, but not baptism) may be a reference to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practice of baptism for the dead, or it may just be a witty conflation of marriage and death.

This understanding of the notion of Pope has far reaching consequences in Discordianism. For example, the introduction to Principia Discordia says, “Only a Pope may canonize a Saint. .So you can ordain yourself – and anyone or anything else – a Saint.” The last enumerated right of a POPE may be an allusion to the necessary and proper clause.

A female version, with the word Mome substituted for Pope, has also been promulgated; however, the neuter version, which uses the word None, has yet to be written. Other genders will require further modification of the immalleable rules.

  • Read Principia Discordia (as close to a Discordian bible as you will get)
  • Read The Illuminatus!: Trilogy. If you don’t wade through cosmic psychedelia with golden submarines and anarcho-capitalists and Aleister Crowley you’ll never reach the last fifty pages which make sense of everything in the world ever.
  • Learn more about Discordia