Since starting the JEDICensus website, one of the main goals, maybe even the Holy Grail
of the site, has been to find the origin of the whole JEDI Census idea.
Well, towards the end of he summer of 2002 I received a couple of emails which claim to lay
bare the truth for all to know, and it all begins in a bath...
The following is the history exactly as I received it from Anthony Bremner of New Zealand...
I was in the bath and I had a thought of, if a virus is merely genetic information, could a piece of information behave like a virus? Obviously the information would need to be benign, least humans develop anti-bodies to the information.
Like what I thought. hmm!
In the '96 census I had put JEDI, and I thought, why not tell everyone to put JEDI? Then, when people of the world looked at NZ, they would think of it a land of JEDI, rather than thinking of sheep or whatever is their mind-set. Also, it would be good to create a bit of spiritual activity in society, due to the failure of religion/church and the lack of soul development in today's society.
Then I looked up religion in the census. I saw that the bottom of the table in '86 was the seventh day adventist church, on about 7,700, and in '91 it was the buddadists. So I figured if 8000 people would put JEDI, then this would be greater than the Buddist, so would be listed on the chart as a religion, being number 24 out of the 25 listed.
So I then made up the speel. It went "Hi! How's it going? In 2001 there's going to be a census. How about, if your so inclined, under the quetion of religion, why not put JEDI, in capital letters? Then, if we can get 8000 people, we will beat the seventh day adventist church, and JEDI will be an official listed religion in New Zealand"
In actual fact, the buddists were at the bottom of the table, not the seventh day adventist church, but no one wants to beat buddists, whereas the seventh day adventists disturb you on your weekend, so I used them.
So I went around telling people. Then on February 2001, my good mate Richard who had also coincidently put JEDI independently of myself in '96, forwarded me an email with the above speel. It even had the 8000 number in it! oh my goodness!
From there, it became a craze, which was better than expected.
I did not know who had done the email campaign, but I thought well done them. Until about September 2001, when my good friend Tracey came up from Christchurch and said "Anthony, I hope you don't mind, my flatmates did an email campaign for Jedi."
And that's about it!
Truley awesome on a wide number of levels.