Those looking to become real life Jedi may have to wait longer, as The Charity Commission in the U.K. has revoked The Temple of the Jedi Order’s charitable status. Perhaps their Jedi mind tricks did not work on members of the British bureaucracy.
Followers of The Temple of the Jedi Order (TOTJO) base their faith on the mythology of the Star Wars films. Based out of Beaumont, Texas, the group’s official website said it promotes spirituality, much like the Jedi Knights of Star Wars lore, saying: “We are a group of individuals coming together in a community to promote goodwill, understanding, compassion and serenity. We pursue a spiritual and human awareness so we may serve the world.”
Even with the monstrous debut of Rogue One, the group wasn’t doing too shabby in terms of membership. As reported by The Guardian in 2011, nearly 177,000 wrote “Jedi” in the religious identification section of the U.K. Census. It’s even recognized as a charitable group by the IRS, although that has frustrated some. Apparently, that was not enough to convince The Charity Commission (which registers and regulates charities in England and Wales) to give them the same distinction saying the group “lacks the necessary spiritual or non-secular element.” However they did commended them for their message:
“Although Jediism and the Jedi Doctrine as promoted by TOTJO includes the promotion of spirituality, there is insufficient evidence that moral improvement is central to the beliefs and practices of TOTJO. Particularly, as the Jedi Doctrine can be accepted, rejected and interpreted by individuals as they see fit.”
Kenneth Dibble, the Charity Commission’s chief legal adviser, noted the evolving definition of religion played a part in their decision, saying: “The decisions which the commission makes on the extent of this meaning can be difficult and complex, but are important in maintaining clarity on what is and is not charitable.”
It’s a hurdle for other Jedi, but patience they must have.