BY Ella Fleck in One Takes | 18 JUL 19

Lessons from The Church of Euthanasia

The non-profit educational foundation re-released it’s ‘TEACH MASTURBATION’ badges

BY Ella Fleck in One Takes | 18 JUL 19

‘Teach Masturbation’ pin badge. Courtesy: The Church of Euthanasia

Sex is good. Sex for pleasure. Recreation not procreation. Spill that seed. Aim for the chin. Teach masturbation.

Heaven’s Gate Sermon, 1997, The Church of Euthanasia, Reverend Chris Korda 

Now it’s said that selfish people love themselves. I would say that that is really a misunderstanding of the whole thing because yourself is something that is really impossible to love […] one obvious reason is, loving one’s self is as difficult as kissing your own lips.

The Spectrum of Love, 1962, Alan Watts 

Re-released earlier this year in collaboration with artist-run space Goswell Road in Paris, ‘TEACH MASTURBATION’ is one of several sloganed, pin-back badges designed to spread the sermon of The Church of Euthanasia, a non-profit educational foundation. Founded in Boston in 1992 by Reverend Chris Korda – an antihumanist activist, software developer, vegan and musician – The Church of Euthanasia is ‘devoted to restoring balance between Humans and the remaining species on Earth’.

Church members have adopted what they refer to as a dadaist approach to performing and promoting their message. At the height of their activity, they crucified sex dolls at Pro-Life Christian protests, defaced billboards, mailed e-sermons and appeared on The Jerry Springer Show. Their one Commandment: ‘Thou shalt not procreate.’ Their Saints: euthanasia proponent Dr. Jack Kevorkian and birth-control activist Margaret Sanger. Their Four Pillars: ‘Suicide, Abortion, Cannibalism and Sodomy.’ (Sodomy meaning any sexual act not intended for procreation.) For all its gnarly misanthropy, absurdism and gross pranking, The Church of Euthanasia is guided by a sincere, if confusing, concern and love for the Earth, even humanity. ‘Humans will exist for a while yet. / How much should they suffer?’, the Reverend pleaded in his 2012 poem, ‘Less’

I am really too much of a wimp to rock a badge promoting suicide or cannibalism in 2019, but I am down to wear ‘TEACH MASTURBATION’. It’s so romantic, lovey-dovey, even hippy-ish: save the planet, love yourself. Perhaps it most eloquently explains the sentiment behind The Church of Euthanasia – the same sentiment that member Grace Petro expressed on The Jerry Springer Show: ‘If you love people, then you will not make any more people because the world is full of people that need love.’ After all, in the words of RuPaul: ‘If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you going to love somebody else?’

Ella Fleck is a writer, curator based in London, UK. She is co-founder of 650mAh a project space located in MIST Vape Shop in Hove, UK