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All of the true things that I am about to tell you are shameless lies.



Bokononism is the fictional religion practiced by many of the characters in Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle. It is based on living by the untruths that make one happy, called foma. The Bokononistic equivalent of sex, boko-maru, is a union of two souls achieved by placing the soles of two people's feet together. Many of the sacred texts of Bokononism were written in the form of calypsos.

Bokonon is the founder of the religion. He was born Lionel Boyd Johnson. "Bokonon" was the way the natives of San Lorenzo, the tropical island where the shipwrecked Johnson started his religion, pronounced his family name. The name bears some resemblance to that of American President Lyndon B. Johnson (also, the middle name "Boyd" sounds similar to "bird", as in Lady Bird Johnson). The pseudonym may be an allusion to Russian anarchist thinker Mikhail Bakunin.


The religion uses several equally fictional technical terms:



Bokonon has also been quoted in Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins.