|José Chung's Doomsday Defense||Credits||Gallery|
As a series of still photographs pass into view, author Jose Chung describes the life of Juggernaut Onan Goopta, who went to college hoping to become a famous neuroscientist and instead was overcome by dementia and institutionalized. During his hospital stay, Goopta decided to become a writer. His first literary works were so incompetent they were mistaken for "brilliant parodies." Chung met Goopta when his stories were published in a detective magazine.
When that publication folded, a desperate Goopta "changed the course of human history" when he published the first in a series of highly successful self-help books and founded the "Institute of Selfosophy," which taught members how to shed negative thoughts. It was an enormous success. Anyone responsible for internal criticism of the organization was reprogrammed, and if that failed, dubbed a "Ratfinkovitch" and excommunicated from the institute.
While performing research on "the newly arising belief systems at the end of the millennium," Chung encountered Joseph Ratfinkovitch, who was excommunicated for reading Chung's most recent fiction. Ratfinkovitch's body is discovered inside his apartment, the victim of an electrocution. Giebelhouse contacts Frank, hoping he can shed some light on the case. As the group examines the crime scene, Chung steps forward and claims that he is responsible for Ratfinkovitch's death. He explains that when Playpen magazine ran an excerpt from his short story, the Selfosophist Institute grew offended. They instructed members to buy up all existing copies. However, Ratfinkovitch read, and enjoyed, the story.
Ratfinkovitch was then approached by Mr. Smooth, a fellow Selfosophist. Using a device called an Onan-o-Graph, Smooth attempted to recounsel Ratfinkovitch. According to Chung's version of events, the device malfunctioned and Ratfinkovitch was inadvertently electrocuted. When Chung admits he made the whole thing up, Frank and Giebelhouse meet with a Selfosophist spokesman, Robbinski, who insists his fellow members are incapable of murder. Despite this, Mr. Smooth attempts to control his homicidal rage after reading — and being offended by — Chung's story. He sends Chung a clown doll impaled with a variety of knives. Chung contacts Frank with the news. He explains that the antagonist in his story sends similar threats before committing murder. At the conclusion of the story, Chung states, the "Selfosophist Psycho" confronts and kills the author.
Chung accompanies Frank to the scene of a (seemingly unrelated) murder on a college campus. The victim is Professor Amos Randi, a Nostradamus scholar. Frank concludes that the perpetrator is targeting victims he considers to be Nostradamus' Three Anti-Christs — and will attack two more authority figures. But Chung does some profiling of his own. He determines that the killer, who was fulfilling self-interpreted prophecies, targeted his ex-girlfriend's teacher. The trail, Chung believes, leads to a Hollywood movie theater. The next victim, it turns out, is a ticket girl at a Hollywood movie theater. Frank realizes that Chung's profile predicted the murder, and later concludes that Chung is the killer's third Anti-Christ. He, Watts and Geibelhouse race to Chung's hotel. Smooth, however, arrives first. He pulls out a gun and berates Chung for ridiculing the institute's beliefs.
Frank suddenly bursts through the door. Smooth takes a shot at Chung, misses, then sprints from the room. Frank follows Smooth onto the rooftop. Smooth convinces himself he can leap onto a neighboring building and escape. But all the positive thoughts in the world cannot save him, and he plummets downward to his death. Meanwhile, the "Nostradamus Nutball" surprises Chung and murders him with a pick axe. Later, Frank begins reading one of Chung's books, entitled Doomsday Defense. In it, Chung predicts the millennium will bring forth "one thousand years of the same old crap."
- Selfosophy is most likely a parody of Scientology. The focus on self-help, the boasting of having Hollywood stars as members, and the use of a device to measure a persons emotional state are all similar. The Onan-O-Graph is similar to the E-Meter used by Scientology. Both groups have similar founders; men who began as largely unsuccessful fiction writers, who later went on to found religious/elf help movements.
Cast and Characters
- Dan Zukovic (Robbinski) previously played Agent in The X-Files episode "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man".
- Charles Nelson Reilly as José Chung
- Richard Steinmetz as Mr. Smooth
- Patrick Fabian as Ratfinkovich
- Dan Zukovic as Robbinski
- Sandy Steier as The Feminist
- Scott Owen as Nostradamus Nutball
- Murrey Rabinovitch as Juggernaut Onan Goopta
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