Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic

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Community
Name: The Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic (OBSSE)
Date(s): 1995 - present
Moderator: Autumn Tysko
Type: mailing list, website, social identifier, community
Fandom: The X-Files
URL: OBSSE Abbey: Home of the Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic, Archived version
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Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic was an X-Files website.

The adjective "enigmatic" was provided by the Season 1episode "Fallen Angel," in which purported alien abductee Max Fenig calls the character "the enigmatic Agent Scully."

"OBSSE" was also a social identifier and community.

The primary basis for affiliation was an appreciation for Dana Scully, and in accordance with her background, the group used joking references to Roman Catholic religious orders. For example, see the group's name; also, members called one another "sistren," playing off "brethren" as used among societies of monks.

It had a monthly online newsletter called News for the OBSSEsed which ran from 1997-2001.

It sponsored a series of four cons called OBSSEsed Fest in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

The club also had a mailing list called OBSSEsed Mailing List, as well as a directory of members: OBSSE Yearbook.

About OBSSE

Welcome:
Welcome! You've successfully found the OBSSE Abbey, the virtual home of fun loving Scully fans worldwide. Our Brothers and Sisters are known to take a break from their work every so often and enjoy some quality time in the lounge, pool, or screening room. Visit us often for a laugh or to commune with your fellow Sisters and Brothers of The Blessed One.
Disclaimer:
DISCLAIMER: From time to time the OBSSE uses religious symbols and allusions. The Order, however, does not promote or subscribe to any particular religious faith or denomination (We leave that to the discretion of our individual members) nor is it the Order's intent to demean or challenge any particular religion or faith. The X-Files is owned by FOX. No copyright infringement is intended. In other words, it's a joke folks.
About the Elders:
The Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic (OBSSE) was founded in 1995 by fans of the FOX television show, "The X-Files" who enjoyed the wonderful and enigmatic character of FBI Special Agent Dana Scully. These avowed "Scullyists" led by Nancy (no clever sig) always knew that Agent Scully was virtually perfect, however, it wasn't until the Revelation of Saint Scully in the episode, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," that the Blessed One's divinity was truly revealed. From the Holy Words of St. Scully, we quote: Saint Scully: "So how do I die?" Clyde Bruckman: "You don't" A-HA!

Her divine nature was made known to X-Philekind! This, combined with her cosmic intelligence, strength of character, high moral standards (well... usually), unrelenting dedication to truth and justice, opposition to evil, loyalty, faith, compassion, professional dress and demeanor, and inexplicable unwavering friendship for one Fox Mulder has made her an exemplary role model for all.

Nancy (No Clever Sig) soon became known as the RevMa and the Order was born. Aided by co-leader Sister Autumn the OBSSE thrived and grew to encompass many websites, an active mailing list, and a chat room and now stands at well over 2000 Sisters and Brothers in over 25 different nations. Nancy Cotton retired from the Order in 1999. [1]
Some main OBSSE-ers:

OBSSE Leader

Name: Autumn Tysko
Duties: Admit new members, oversee and organize official chats, oversee and maintain mailing list, contribute to newsletter as needed.

Elder of Projects & Graphic Design

Name: Sister La..Dee..Da..
Duties: Lead and/or organizes OBSSE special projects (fundraisers, marathons, etc.), lead web site designer, maintains the Abbey library, contributes graphics to the newsletter, assists with chats and the mailing list administration.

Elder of the Newsletter

Name: Sister Paula
Duties: Newsletter editor for "News for the OBSSEsed", assists with chats and the mailing list administration.

Elder of Minion Relations

Name: Sister Lens-of-Science
Duties: Assists with membership issues, chats and the mailing list administration.

Elder at Large (aka Abbey Handyman)

Name: Brother Colin
Duties: Maintains the OBSSE Rules and Information site, makes one bad decision a year for the Abbey, and assists with chats and the mailing list administration.

Elderette of the Mailing List

Name: Sister Mary Greten
Duties: Keeper of the OBSSE Mailing List Rules and Official List Greeter. [2]

Source of Glossary and In-Jokes

A great many in-jokes from OBSSE found their way into the general parlance of the fandom, by way of signature files appended to alt.tv.x-files and alt.tv.x-files.creative.

This community also had many words and phrases that did not see wider use: some examples: "prancy" (reference to Mulder's running style), "trout slapped" (fan discipline), "plastic incarnations," "Scullyritas (margaritas served at fan gatherings)," and many more.

Pronunciation

"How do you pronounce “OBSSE”? Any gosh-durn way you like. Autumn calls us “the obsess”, Rev Ma spells it out. The official answer is that you can say it either way and be correct. On the other hand, some Sisters and Brothers of the Order say it “OB-see” (“ob” like in “knob”, and “see” like, well.... “see”). Say it however you like to make yourself understood." [3]

Spin-Offs

The Rogue OBSSE, or Rogues, were the black ops arm of the OBSSE. A radical splinter group, they were sometimes referred to as "the kitchen crew." Originally led by MYRKE, Punk M, never an official member of the OBSSE, took over leadership in June 1997.

The Rules

THE OBSSE BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER by Sister AutumnT.

NOTE: With the OBSSE gaining members daily, Sister Autumn offers up a worthy "Book of Common Prayer" that should be of help to both Postulants and Novices. (This info will be archived in April to the Rules of the Order section of the site.)

Congratulations on your admittance into our Order celebrating the Blessed St. Scully!

If you've gotten this far you obviously did quite well on THE TEST, but admittance to the Order is only the beginning of your Spiritual Journey to Enigmatic Enlightenment, not the end. As an OBSSE member, you are uniquely responsible for upholding the good name of St. Scully. And as with any religious order worth its salt, your faith will be tested--constantly.

If you wish to maintain your place in the Order, you must meet these tests with courage and vigillance. To assist you, the OBSSE offers the following guidelines to help you in your continuing pilgramage to glorify St. Scully:

As a member of the OBSSE, you may proudly use the affiliation in your sig line.You should not, however, EVER use this in a post where you are not representing the fundamental faith of the Order. OBSSE is not against freedom of speech, but, if you ever for some odd and frightening reason feel compelled to post comments that are unflattering to St. Scully or against OBSSE doctrines, do not use the Order in your sig (and you may want to pray really, really hard as well). Remember, you must ALWAYS defend St. Scully - even when the cards are stacked against you. If Our Dear Dana thinks that contaminated groundwater made a book spontaneously combust, then so be it. Fangs *must* be calcium deposits despite what others may say. Photographic howlers can be created by old film and a heater - really! That snake tattoo is downright charming. This can be difficult for even the most devout, but remember, it is OK to laugh (with her - not ever at her), before taking up her defense. Despite your personal leanings on the great Scully/Mulder relationship debate you must always remember that St. Scully is much too good for Mulder. We aren't saying that she couldn't have a weak moment sometime in the future or that Mulder can't change (strike that - Mulder can't change), but even if you entertain romantic notions about them, be firm in your resolve. Remember, if and when Scully and Mulder ever should get together, it will be because St. Scully saw fit, in her infinite wisdom, to do so. And of course, Agent Mulder would be damn lucky! (St. Scully can certainly be forgiven her weak moments, as they happen so rarely.)

If you follow these three simple guidelines, we can assure you a successful journey from postulant, to novice, to...(may you be so blessed)...Full and Professed Member in the OBSSE!

Community FAQs

FAQ, Archived version

Some examples:

There's homework on this list? What are you, nuts?

It all started during a bout of Rampant Pissiness on the list. As an expression of (good-natured) frustration, Autumn threatened to hand out extra homework as punishment if we didn't all pipe down and play nice. Homework assignments soon became a useful way of distracting us from tense or unpleasant exchanges. Soon, they became an Abbey staple, with or without preceding Rampant Pissiness. Homework assignments are always creative writing challenges, and are more like mini-fanfics than anything else. A topic or theme is announced, and the talented members of the mailing list do their best to top one another in crafting the most creative, bizarre, or funniest piece. Often, the assignments related to some element of an upcoming episode. Past topics have included: "Explain how Mulder could have forgotten he was a trained psychologist", "For some reason, Mulder swats Scully on the rear. Please tell the class why, and what her reaction is.", and "Explain why Scully calls Mulder 'Spookdaddy'. Extra credit if she's wearing capri pants". There's an archive of our answers to past homework assignments, if you're interested. [4]

Do the Rogues exist?

The Rogues of the OBSSE are rumored to be a militant offshoot of the Order. They allegedly demand a quality storyline for St. Scully, and are willing to take take up arms for the cause. They supposedly congregate in the kitchen at the Abbey, disguised as workers on the Kitchen Crew. I have heard, again it's only a rumor, that their combat boots and kevlar wimples are a dead giveaway. If you're really curious, I'd suggest doing a power search on Deja News for the ATX thread called "On the trail of the elusive Rogue OBSSE", written by the original Rogue Leader Myrke. If you're browser-impaired, just email me and I can try to dig up a copy to send you.

Where did "!Scully" come from?

This is a sort of shorthand for describing our favorite characters, depending on what they were doing (such as Action!Scully or Kickass!Scully). It's sort of a designation for hypothetical action figures. For more information on some of the Order's favorite hypothetical action figures, see the October 1997 OBSSE Newsletter Poll. [5]

Charitable Works

The Order's charitable work was for "NF, Inc.":
Our first NF fundraiser was held in December of 1997. It was a simple donation effort for the then fledgling Abbey, but we still managed to raise $2,175.36 with our efforts.

Then we got really serious. Every May, during Neurofibromatosis Awareness Month, we of the OBSSE now host Scully Marathons to benefit NF, Inc as our way of honoring Gillian Anderson for her wonderful work on The X-Files. These "Scullythons" as we call them are open to the public and held all over the world. They consist of watching as a group in most cases, between 10-12 "Scullycentric" episodes of The X-Files. People who attend are encouraged to make a donation themselves as well as getting others to "sponsor" them for the day.

In May of 1999 we had our first event of this kind. We held 16 events in four different countries and raised a total of $13,207.

In 1999, the OBSSE joined GAWS in their fundraising and NF awareness efforts by hosting and participating in "Scully Marathons".[6]

The Mailing List

See more at OBSSEsed Mailing List.

MAILING LIST NOW CLOSED: With 600 members and the end of the X-Files approaching the OBSSE mailing list is now closed to new members....

The OBSSE has a large and busy mailing list that has been in existence for about three years. Before you join our list in addition to reading the OBSSE FAQ you should read the mailing list rules. Since we have been around a while and many of us have even met each other in person, it is a good idea to spend a little time lurking and learning our ways before jumping into the fray. We think you'll enjoy it once you get the hang of it. It's a popular list at over 500 members and a list that prides itself on its humor and respectful behavior towards others. The mailing list is only open to those over the age of 18. If you are not over 18, do not join the list - after all we all know what The Blessed One thinks about liars, right? Our younger members are welcome in the Abbey (as long as you stick to the virgin Scullyritas in the lounge), but the mailing list is only for adults.

The list is a Scully list, not a Gillian Anderson list (though we do from time to time discuss her other acting projects) or a shipper/noromo/whatever list. It is used for general discussion of the X-files and Dana Scully, distribution of OBSSE news and information, and discussion of interest to the OBSSE community. It is administered by Sister Autumn (assisted in a technical capacity by Sister DanaMax) with the help of the other Elders. [7]

Fan Comments

If not for Scully, I would not have met my best friends here, and I wouldn¹t have shared many treasured moments with them. My circle of close friends, the group of women with whom I spent the evening of the great snow fall, is made of members of a group call the OBSSE, or the Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic. Contrary to popular belief, we are not a cult. We are, however, an Internet-based, tongue-planted-firmly-in-cheek pseudo-religious order, dedicated to all things Scully. The OBSSE is a classic example of the Internet bringing people together. We truly are a community of incredibly varied individuals who have gathered because of a special interest. We have a web site, http://www.obsse.com, where we go for information, reference materials, links to other important X-Files sites, and the monthly OBSSE newsletter. In the OBSSE chat room, people gather on Friday and Sunday nights to discuss everything from television, to sports, to theater, to politics, to individual achievements and problems. Sometimes we even discuss Scully.

The main focus of the OBSSE is the mailing list. The list, which has approximately 600 members, exists to discuss Scully and the X-Files. When good episodes air, the discussion is fascinating and intelligent, as the majority of people on list are either in college or are college graduates; many have advanced degrees. We have medical doctors, scientists in various fields of study, lawyers and law students, teachers, computer technicians, actors, writers, and a whole lot of current or former English majors. Discussions touch on character and characterization, mythology, religion, dramatic techniques, science, feminism, even music. We complain about what we don't like, praise what we do. We also spend an inordinate amount of time discussing the CHarc (the Clothing and Hair Arc, which makes more sense at this point than the show's mythology, or Mytharc), and creating ever more elaborate in-jokes and jargon. We are an incredibly diverse community. Demographically, the OBSSE mailing list consists primarily of women, but our male members are well respected, and we represent a wide variety of sexual orientations, religions, races, and geographic regions. The list tends towards liberal political views, but Democrats, Republicans, Socialists, Greens, not to mention many non-American political parties, and other view points are all represented. The one thing we all have in common is admiration of Scully and respect for each other.

In its earliest days, the Internet was a way for people all over the world to exchange ideas and knowledge. Recently, Internet critics have said that instead of connecting people, the Net has led to people holing up in front of their computers and not communicating with the "real world." The OBSSE is a wonderful case of the Net bringing people together. All over the world, members of OBSSE have grown beyond the bounds of mere Internet acquaintances and into "real life" friends. Groups of OBSSEers, such as my friends here in Chicagoland, get together to watch episodes, go out to dinner, see movies, and do all the other things a group of friends do. Once we met in person, the Chicago-area membership quickly became a fairly close-knit quasi-family, and nearly all of what we do now falls outside of anything related to OBSSE, or even Scully or X-Files. We throw each other birthday parties. We advise each other in affairs of love. We attend special events that one of the members is involved in. Yes, we do watch the show together most Sundays and chat over Instant Messenger, but our friendship is dependent neither on the television show nor on the Internet. Scully is, however, the reason we met in the first place, and we express our gratitude by volunteering for one of Gillian Anderson¹s favorite charities, Neurofibromatosis, Inc. It is the most fitting way we can imagine to thank Ms. Anderson for bringing us together, and for providing a role model in Scully. Earlier this year, we designed a new logo for the local chapter of NF, Inc., and printed and sold tee-shirts at a conference to raise money for the organization. The OBSSE as a whole also contributes to NF, Inc., fundraising and awareness through annual Scully Marathons held in May. These "Scullythons," which are generally held in May, involve watching twelve episodes of X-Files, as well as raffles and auctions of memorabilia. Last year, Scullythons were held in 27 US cities, two cities in Canada, one city in Australia, and one in England, and a total of $22,759 was donated to local NF, Inc., chapters.

As in international organization, the OBSSE doesn't meet just on local levels. This summer was host to the Third Annual OBSSE Fest. Fest '00, "Summer Camp for Mean Adults," was a four-day event held in Mille Lacs, Minnesota, which I attended with the rest of the Chicago group, and about 90 other members of OBSSE. Over the course of the four days, I joined fellow OBSSEers in Scully-themed camp songs around a bonfire, went kayaking, ate lots of ribs, watched videos, sang in a talent show, and talked with people from all over North America, and even Germany. [8]

References

  1. OBSSE Abbey: Home of the Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic, Archived version
  2. OBSSE Abbey: Home of the Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic, Archived version
  3. FAQ, Archived version
  4. Similar to Senad.
  5. Actually, it was a poll in the September 1997 issue.
  6. OBSSE Scully Marathon 2001 FAQ
  7. OBSSE Abbey: Home of the Order of the Blessed Saint Scully the Enigmatic, Archived version
  8. from the 2001 essay How a bit of plastic can unite the world