Blessed be the Org, the Com, and the Net

This Religion is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of GNU General Public License (GPL) as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

What is Stallmanism?

Stallmanism is an organized religion, a set of stories, symbols, beliefs and practices that give meaning to the practitioner's experiences of life through reference to an ultimate power or reality.

What do Stallmanists believe in?

Generally, Stallmanists believe that the GPL - version 3 or (at your option) any later version - is a sacred text and that Richard Stallman is the Prophet who brought this text to us.

So Stallmanists believe in God?

Yes, but not as a type of imaginary cosmic telepathic friend. Stallmanism teaches us that God is Us, God is the Community. In this respect, Stallmanism has roots in the Humanist philosophies.

How does one become a Stallmanist?

To discover one's Stallmanism requires an individual journey of meditation, observation, participation, and understanding. The destination of this journey is Enlightenment, the point at which an individual realizes his or her Stallmanism, joins the Community, and becomes one with God.

Does Stallmanism exclude non-believers?

Stallmanism is not a binary faith. There are many levels of Stallmanism and the freedom of all to participate at any, or none, of these levels is very important to Stallmanists. For example, Primitive Stallmanists adhere to the GPLv2, while Fundamentalist Stallmanists adhere to the Affero License. Stallmanism embraces those who worship other texts, so long as they are Free Software Licenses as defined the FSF.

Do Stallmanists believe in Good and Evil?

There is no good or evil, only consequences, pleasant or less so.

I'm an atheist - how could Stallmanism work for me?

Stallmanism is a compatible extension of atheism. Atheism is a step on the road to Enlightenment, a rejection of legacy religions, imaginary friends, telepathy, and pixies. Stallmanism takes this a step further and says that we, humans, fully define Heaven and Hell, through the adoption of an appropriate social contract.

So what is Heaven, and what is Hell?

That should be obvious to anyone who uses Windows, or any other non-free software. Heaven is that state in which all knowledge is freely available to all, and Hell is the opposite.

Why is the GPL so important?

A True Believer does not question the sacred texts, but if you really insist, it's because the GPL defines an evolving social contract that eliminates friction in the digital society and economy, promotes universal access to knowledge, and thus enables the inevitable emergence of a global human super-consciousness, which Stallmanists recognize as "God".

Does Stallmanism believe in converting the unbelievers?

Yes. Stallmanists believe that it is their duty to explain their own journey to Enlightenment, in song and prose and source code, to anyone who will listen.

What's the difference between and

The Org is the Community, the Bazaar if you will, and the Com is the Cathedral, the official Church of Stallmanism. The Net is the Holy Spirit, consisting of all the works every released under the GPL and more broadly, all users of those works. Thus Stallmanists believe in the suitably tax-deductible Holy Trinity of the Org, the Com, and the Net.

What does God look like?

God can take many forms, all licensed under the GPL - version 3 or (at your option) any later version. Current opinion favors a penguin with horns and the face of a GNU. Possibly with a full beard, to demonstrate a peaceful nature.

How does Stallmanism compare to Stalinism?

To quote the Prophet: "Your freedom to swing your arms ends two inches before my nose." Stallmanism is not a murderous political ideology but a proper God-fearing religion.

How does Stallmanism compare to, say, Christianity

Like all organized religions, Stallmanism does have a strong profit motive. Unlike legacy closed-source religions, in Stallmanism the profit derives directly to the individual, who by achieving Enlightenment becomes part of the Org, and thus God.

How do other religions treat Stallmanism?

Stallmanism does present a real threat to legacy religions, and practicing Stallmanists may run the risk of reprisals in certain countries. Some fanatics are attached to their imaginary telepathic friends, and react with hostility to suggestions that these are delusions. For this reason, Stallmanists often take aliases and pseudonyms.

Stallman did not write the GPL!

True, and Stallmanists recognize a panoply of Saints, such as St.Moglen, who gave us the third version of the GPL and St.Linus, who gave us large parts of the Net. However, there is only one Prophet, and Stallman is his name.

What does the Church of Stallmanism do?

Principally, the Church lobbies and argues for official recognition of the Stallmanistic faith in all national jurisdictions. In the pursuit of this goal, a large number of active, registered members is a prerequisite.

Why does Stallmanism need official status?

A practicing Stallmanist, taking part in a recognized religion, receives certain inalienable rights under most national laws covering the right of religious freedom. For example, being forced to use non-free software can be considered as a violation of one's religious rights. Government use of non-free software can be treated as religious discrimination. The use of non-free software in schools can be treated as religious persecution.

Do Stallmanists believe in separation of Church and State?

When it comes to legacy religions, yes. We do not want political leaders who believe in pixies. However, the Com works to establish Stallmanism as the official state religion of as many countries as possible.

If I join early do I get first shot at the initiates?

Yes, and vice-versa. While Stallmanists believe that all people are equal, some are obviously more equal than others. Join early, and you will be rewarded in Heaven.

How do I actually join?

To become a formal member of the Org, you join this website. The Com is open to those who have demonstrated their commitment to Stallmanism. You are already part of the Net, whether you like it or not, since by using any part of the Net, you become part of the Net.

Does joining a Facebook group count?

Only God knows.

Do I need to pay something?

The Com gratefully accepts a voluntary tithe of 1% from all formal members: these funds are used to work for official recognition, proselytism, through the sponsoring of projects, campaigns, and good works.

I regularly take showers, can I still join?

Absolutely! Your personal habits and hair styling are irrelevant to achieving Enlightenment, though they will have an impact on your social life.

Do Stallmanists have religious taboos?

Yes. For example, a practicing Stallmanist will not drink Fosters lager, Stella Artois, or Heineken. The most favoured Stallmanist drink is Orval, with Chimay Bleu and Westmalle Tripple coming close behind. With respect to foods, Stallmanists will not consume penguin, unless properly spiced and grilled.

Who invented Stallmanism and when?

Stallmanism has existed informally since the dawn of time (Wednesday afternoon, January 1989), and was revealed to Wildeboer, Reutenauer and Hintjens at FOSDEM 2009, inspired by the sacred Orval. Several, in fact.

Why do we need a religion at all?

It's a fact known to scientists, students of human nature, and old men who like wearing funny hats, that people need to believe the world has order and meaning, even if that requires invisible telepathic cosmic pixies. Stallmanism provides its followers with an outlet for their religiosity, without crusades, or jihads, or fairy tales.

What does Stallmanism give me?

While legacy religions make promises about immortality that you must die to collect, Stallmanism delivers while you are still alive. Any work you release under the GPL becomes part of the Net, and thus achieves immortality.

I want to start a schism/fork!

Go ahead. Stallmanism is free software: you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of GNU General Public License (GPL) as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.