Sometimes some crimes go slipping through the cracks, but bizarre religious movements never do. Like the one in Russia based on the classic Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers cartoon. More specifically, it’s a religion for Gadget Hackwrench – the mechanically handy mouse who invents most of the tools used by the crime-busting chipmunks.
To be fair, there have been all sorts of modern religions based on pop culture properties from Star Wars to Avatar, but what makes the Gadget Hackwrench following stand out is its fervor for a relatively obscure character from a show that’s been off the air for decades.
Don’t get me wrong, Gadget is my favorite character from the show, too. And I loved the show enough to buy the DVD boxsets when they were first released back when DVDs were relevant. The theme song is still stuck in my head all these years later. But still, a mouse mechanic from the late ’80s is a strange choice for an object of worship.
So why do they do it? Well, it’s a long story, but an interesting one. For starters, their following began as a fan group like any other in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod. However, some members of the fandom didn’t think the group went far enough. They didn’t just want to appreciate Gadget Hackwrench as a character, they wanted to communicate with her directly. To shake her anthropomorphic hand and see her mousy inventions firsthand.
And they have read The Secret because they decided the only way to make that fantasy a reality would be to drop everything and devote their lives to earnestly worshipping Gadget Hackwrench until she manifests herself in our reality. Basically, their thought process is that if enough people wish for some hard enough and long enough, eventually it will become true. Some of them even believe Gadget has already visited other dimensions to bless fans from parallel universes for their faith.
Over time, the small but fervent group of believers spread the gospel of their goddess Gadget Hackwrench throughout all of Russia. Slowly but surely, Gadgetology caught on.
You’re probably thinking they can’t be serious, that this is all one big troll on the rest of mankind. Who knows, you could be right – but if it is a troll, it’s one that they take very seriously. Gadget’s followers regularly meet online and even hold offline events where they pray to effigies of her, celebrate her birthday, serenade her with songs and poetry, give her offerings, the whole nine yards.
Not only that, but there are no less than three denominations of Gadgetology which are not mutually exclusive: Traditional Gadgetology, Progressive Gadgetology, and Apocalyptic Gadgetology .
Thus far, the cult of Gadgetology has produced everything from hymns, to religious texts, to a series of sermons which are exclusively available to different tiers of the following. The higher your tier, the higher clearance you have to access additional insight and knowledge into the mysterious but always loving wats Gadget Hackwrench.
What about you? Would you put your faith in the all-knowing hands of Gadget? For some, it’s a small price to pay for salvation.