Their strange story must be told and it appears that no one has done it yet. I was there when it was happening, and took an interest in it, collecting a full set of their Tsunami! newsletters and miscellaneous materials.
According to their vision—inscribed in the Revelations of St. Eddie—an unbelievably large tsunami will carry all the faithful surfers to the new Surf City in Utah. Faithful surfers are those who don’t get caught with their boards down: they go on surfari regularly, and keep their boards waxed and ready.
The Three Sisters, dormant volcanoes in the Cascade Range, will erupt, while the One True Wave crests, forms a righteous tube which, even a surfer as naieve as a babe will be able surf all the way to Surf City, with strong enough faith. A holiday greeting card from 1978 expresses their vision:
It would be easy to point out the inconsistencies and outright impossibilities in this cult's beliefs. However, such simplistic analysis could be applied to any religion or myth, and would overlook deeper social and cultural meanings. We may gain new insights into the broader culture's values by examining an exemplary aspect.
Before presenting my analysis, I'll share their newsletters so you may draw your own conclusions.
Mural of Saint Eddie Aikau
BadAss coffee house Medford, Oregon.
Although Jo "Captain" Cook was the president, Norman Howard seems to have done all the work: editing Tsunami!. organizing Surfaris, hosting the Swell News media ministries, and spreading dogma in the streets. Captain Cook was gone surfing most of the time.
Norman Howard impressing citizens of Bend with hot dogma
It was said of Norm he could compute converging wave sets—note slide rule in pocket—so he knew when big waves would come in, but he didn't actually know how to surf them.
There’s much more to share, including the Swell News media ministries, and it will be included here eventually. If you have anything to add please contact me.