For privacy and security reasons, this article uses a mix of SubGenius, Discordian, Pagan/Wiccan, and pseudonymous names.
The Gathering at The Grove aka The Grove Gathering is a weekend get-together first held from July 7 - 9, 2017 in Texas. The second annual event was held July 13 - 15 2018 and also called X-Day Underground (X-Day is both a SubGenius and Discordian holiday). The third was called Woodstock on the Moon and was held from June 14 - 16 2019. The fourth, The Slack Gathering, was planned for June 12 - 14 2020 but cancelled due to the pandemic. The fifth, Slack Gathering, is planned for June 11 - 13 2021.
The first was held for Pagans including Wiccans, and for SubGenii, Discordians and Nudists. About 60 people attended the first event, which became annual. (The event should not be confused with The Grove Gathering of The Grove Center for the Arts & Media, the Gathering in the Grove by the Young Single Adult Conference, The Grove Gatherings of Passion City Church, or The Grove Teen Gathering.) Some Spanish-speaking attendees called it La Reunión en la Arboleda. Because of the free level of consensual personal intimacy at the event, some attendees jokingly called it "The Grope Gathering." The second was also called "X-Day Underground."
The event was inspired by three things: The Church of the SubGenius X-Day in Ohio; a pagan esbat in Texas for the full moon and the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love; and a Texas reunion of members , friends and families of the Early Church of the SubGenius (1953 - 1975), all scheduled for early summer of 2017.
The first inspiration was X-Day. The X-Day Drill is an annual event held by the Church of the SubGenius. It is intended to welcome the Pleasure Saucers who would take members off of planet Earth before either the destruction of Earth, or the enslavement of the people left behind. The 2017 event was held from June 29 to July 5. Like the events that came before, it was retroactively named a "drill" when the Pleasure Saucers failed to arrive.
The second inspiration was a pagan esbat. A couple of pagan covens had planned to have a combined esbat, a ceremony for the full moon, on Saturday, July 8, in The Grove. The Grove, located on private land, includes a large cleared area in the midst of trees. This gave participants privacy from public view. The two covens often met there together, usually with guests, on major pagan holidays or sabbats, and sometimes during the summer. Most attended while either topless or "topfree," or in the nude. Because 2017 was the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, they had discussed making it a bigger than usual event.
The third inspiration was an alleged SubGenius reunion. The Early Church of the SubGenius Reunion was announced by Bonnie Dobbs and JoX the Bobtist (and allegedly by Connie Dobbs, first wife of Church founder J.R. "Bob" Dobbs) in association with the Early Church website. It was said to be held at the Austin Hilton in Texas from Friday through Tuesday, June 30 to July 4, 2017. The Church of the SubGenius X-Day in Ohio was scheduled for about the same days, only longer. The Early Church reunion committee reportedly received a number of requests from people wanting to attend, several of whom lived closer to Texas than to Ohio. However, many of them did not qualify as Early Church members.
Several SubGenii were upset about the "competing" event, while others dismissed it as a practical joke or Discordianesque jake. Reverand Peas claimed in a video posted online that there was no such thing as the Early Church, that a SubGenius event would not be held indoors, and the reunion was not a real event. The video, which also disputed Rev. Ivan Stang's claim that the Barbie doll was based on "Bob" and "Connie's" daughter Barbara Dobbs, became an ironic inspiration for The Gathering.
Some members of the pagan covens were also Discordians or members of the Church of the SubGenius. A few of them planned to attend both X-Day and the esbat. They suggested expanding the esbat to cover the weekend of July 7 - 9, and to make it a combined event including some SubGenii who planned to visit relatives and friends in Texas after X-Day, some Discordians who planned to attend the esbat while on vacation, the two pagan covens, and guests. The suggestion was accepted.
Main Article The Grove Gathering I
The first Gathering at the Grove was relatively informal, featuring only a few pre-scheduled activities. It included an esbat full moon ceremony, music and dancing, a paganism workshop, contests, and various games including the Cloved Lemon Kissing Game. The Gathering was open to all ages, and several families attended. While some participants wore masks and/or clothing, a majority of participants were naked for at least part of the event.
2018EditMain article X-Day Underground
Because some "Grovers" had received threats in regard to attending the SubGenius X-Day, the 2018 event was called X-Day Underground. Held from July 13 - 16, it was informal and featured an esbat, music and dancing, contests, and various games including 1000 Blank White Cards, tag, and the Cloved Lemon Kissing Game. It also featured a wedding held off site at Parrot House.
Main article Woodstock on the Moon
In honor of the 50th anniversary of both the Woodstock Music & Art Fair and the first human landing on the moon, the theme for the 2019 event is "Woodstock on the Moon." Because of harassment and threats from Pinks masquerading as SubGeniuses, the dates and place of the event were kept a mystery until after it was over. It featured the 21st century premiere of the "Battle Hymn of the SubGenius" by the newly formed clench The Slack Gathering.
Main article The Slack Gathering (event)
The fourth annual celebration was planned for June 12 - 14, 2020, and was named The Slack Gathering (which is also the name of a clench). Due to the worldwide health crisis, the event was cancelled.
Main article Slack Grove
The fifth annual event, Slack Grove, is planned for June 11 - 13 2021.
- Slack Groveon Facebook (private group made public 23 July 2018; now private)
- Lorien's Diary on X-Day Underground/Grove Gathering 2018
- Harmony's Diary on X-Day Underground/Grove Gathering 2018