Following requests for transparency from our members, we have decided to make public for the first time the Faith’s official ranking scheme. Unfortunately, the branches of Frodo’s temporal government are so convoluted that not even I, its leader, know the full extent of the system, nor even in fact whether I really am its leader.
Truly, Frodo works in mysterious ways.
Converted atheists start out at the bottom of the pack. As explained in How to Join Frodology Part II this is actually just a portmanteau of Underhill, a common hobbit surname, and halfling, another name for hobbits, and there is nothing sinister about it.
Nothing inherently sinister about it, I should say. Early Faith leaders decided it would be appropriate to retrofit a degree of despicability to Underlings befitting of their name. Thanks to modern human rights standards, however, we’ve left the Dark Ages far behind and can proudly announce that these days, Underlings are allowed to keep six of their favorite fingers. Also, rather than the highly unsafe practice of sewing eyelids shut that prevailed in previous centuries, surgeons now prefer to use hot wax.
Converted Christians and followers from other faiths can skip Underling status and go straight to Cretin. Other than wearing slightly lighter manacles, however, there’s very little difference. Some followers obviously take issue with being called a colloquial synonym for ‘retard’, though I’m sure they would be interested to learn that owing to political correctness, Frodology enforces actual cretinism upon its followers. Though our newest members can never really disguise their enormous goiters, they sure have fun trying!
Banded sea krait
Followers live for several months as a highly venomous sea snake.
By this stage in a Frodologist’s journey of Faith, he has lost all forms of physical restraint and his missing fingers have largely grown back. Thanks to their ability to consume iodine once again in their diet, Couch Jumpers’ goiters have largely receded to barely noticeable grapefruit-sized lumps, easily hidden by a turtleneck or isolated confinement in the home. Of course most outsiders will only have eyes for your unbridled enthusiasm for the Faith at this point, which is frequently demonstrated by inappropriate jumping up and down on couches in public. For those unable to do this on TV talk shows hosted by black women named after musical genres, Ikea is a suitable substitute.
Other evangelical faiths might send their naïve, underprepared young into dangerous parts of the world to proselytize to people who fully resent them, but Frodology is more serious about testing its followers’ mettle. At this stage in their journey, missionaries are expected to journey to the
As much fun as it sounds
Only once you have vanquished the Yeti may you properly enter the Faith as an adult member. This is akin to the Catholic sacrament of Sublimation, though it is generally easier to reach since followers aren’t expected to skip the liquid state entirely.
Polo Shirts are considered iconic by outsiders since they are the face we most frequently show the world. Unsurprisingly, Polo Shirts get their name from their uniform, which includes pleated chinos two sizes two small; the goatee voted ‘Facial Hairstyle of the Decade’ in Gay Times’ August 2001 issue; and polo shirt with PermaButton™ collar. By this stage in their journey, Frodologists’ fingers have grown back sufficiently to clutch a copy of The Lord of the Rings jealously to their breasts.
If you haven’t already, expect to lose all of your outside friends. Since your infatuation with the Faith means that you are unlikely to have seen their eyes rolling in their sockets like those of a bored invalid whenever you mention it, this may come as a surprise. While the lolling tongues of your former friends might tell you that you’ve lost their respect, they are almost certainly jealous.
Of your cool new onesie underwear! I know what you’re thinking, but the coarse linen wasn’t merely chosen for its classic aesthetic appeal. It also chafes like industrial sandpaper! Thanks to its magical properties, which result from a secret manufacturing process, Temple Worthy Frodologists are able to let their spirits wander independently of their bodies. Sound cool? Maybe you’ll be the first to discover a use for it!
Disembodied perambulation may cause birth defects, nausea, loss of appetite, premature baldness, uncontrollable cravings for deep fried sea krait, and in rare cases sudden death. No refunds.
Frodologists this committed to their faith are the stuff of legends. New Frodologists should be warned that it takes levels of devotion that laymen and hospitals might attribute to psychosis to become Katie Holmes. While incarceration – we prefer to call it “staying at holmes” – and/or the sponsorship of a spouse might get you a foot in the door, there really is no substitution for vanquishing your better judgment of your own volition. After all, it’s a matter of faith.