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Banananarian ban debated. February 27, 2004

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Odd icon.

At a public meeting on Thursday night, Plymouth residents expressed their views to City councillors regarding the proposed ban of what some have termed “odd religious representations of dubious taste.”

The ban would specifically prohibit members of the Join Us (Or Else) Cult from wearing or displaying in public a picture of their leader, Monkeyboy.

Some Plymouth residents have also expressed dismay at the tendency of cult members to, without warning, drop to their knees in public places, press their leader’s photograph to their foreheads, and scream, “Yes!”

But there has been strong opposition to the ban from Plymouth�s Banananarian cult members, who number roughly 2,000.

Bianca Bowen, a 14-year-old Banananarian convert who attended the meeting with her family who are also cult members, spoke first.

After complaining that the practice of holding public meetings on Thursday was “evil,” Bowen read a poem:

An Ode to Monkeyboy

So if your life is going bad —
If teacher keeps you after school —

Store’s got no nanners they once had —
Flat’s cold ’cause Dad di’n’t pay for fuel —

And then your mom nags at your dad —
Dad’s boss is negative ‘n’cruel —

Are you always so frus-tra-ted?
Join us! Or else! You’ll be uncool.

Though some may think you raving mad —
Wear his picture like a jew-el �

He’ll keep your heart from feeling sad �
I say HURRAH! For My Guru!

“I didn�t know what iambic quadrameter was, until I met Monkeyboy,” Bowen added at the end of her reading.

“Reason enough!” Said a man in support of the ban.

Unable to elicit any further comments from those assembled, Council leader Ham Ward ended the meeting two hours early.

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Get your Conspicuous Religious Display here. February 20, 2004

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Plymouth to consider “conspicuous religious display” ban. February 20, 2004

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Odd icon.

A majority of Plymouth City councillors on Thursday endorsed proposed legislation that would prohibit “conspicuous religious displays”, particularly of “odd icons.”

The measure echoes recent European bans of Islamic head scarves and contradicts statements by Foreign Office Minister Mike O’Brien that the British government supports the right of all people to display religious symbols.

“Previously I said that the British are comfortable with the symbolic expression of religion,” Mr O’Brien said in a statement. “It was not my intent to include unconventional imagery which exceeds the bounds of common decency and good taste.”

The offending symbol, a large photograph of a hairy man in yellow robes surrounded by bananas, is worn by members of the Join Us (Or Else) Cult on yellow strings tied around their necks.

Cult members, also known as Banananarians, believe that all life originated in West Cornwall, and that they are “sympathetically attuned” to their spiritual leader, Monkeyboy.

Very little documentation exists about Banananarianism because adherents believe a supernatural understanding of the faith’s tenets can be gained simply by standing in close proximity to their guru’s photograph, which is available on the Banananarian website.

Fiona Pfillingsley, a cult member who offers spiritual and nutritional advice from the Banananarian Learning Centre recently opened on Union Street in Plymouth, confirmed that she received her education in the faith primarily from “channeling Monkeyboy�s intense animalistic aura.”

Plymouth has roughly 1,000 recent converts to Banananarianism, most of them teens.

This trend has contributed to both an increase in reports of school truancy on Thursdays and a paradoxical improvement in converts’ overall scholastic performance.

Jimmy Combes, a 17-year-old Plymouth boy who recently embraced Banananarianism, believes that the faith has “saved” his life.

“My grades are up, I�m not getting into fights anymore, and I haven�t been before the magistrate in over a month.”

Combes’ mother, while agreeing that her son’s behaviour has improved, has mixed feelings about Banananarianism.

Said Mrs Combes: “He ate nothing but chips before, and layed about. Now he lays about on Thursdays, eats nothing but nanners. Says he has to wear his strange yellow clothes and nothing else will do. Mounds of yellow laundry! And you can’t mix it with other colours, can you? Or everything turns orange and green. A big pain in the arse is what it is.”