Comments about ‘D.C. Temple graffiti prank won't die’

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Published: Tuesday, July 26 2011 1:00 p.m. MDT

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Silly Rabbit
Small Town, USA, UT

What a fun story, it is always fun to read about strange urban history..........

Salt Lake City, UT

This prank will never die. It's too perfect.

Belgrade, Serbia

Too funny. Today, I was talking with a freind here in Serbia and he said all his freinds in DC call the temple the Magic Kingdom, since in his eyes, it looks like the castle from Disneyland. ??? Ehh...??? It certainly is a sight to behold on the freeway heading east.

Provo, UT

I love the part in the Youtube video where the mom says, "Almost home!" and the daughter responds, "Mom, we don't want people knowing where we live." I've been to D.C. once and never had the delight of seeing the temple, but someday I hope to. The description of seeing it while driving on that expressway is enough to give me chills!

The prank reminds me of this spot on University Parkway in Provo where plastic cups are used to spell out messages in an overpass's chainlink fence. My husband commented yesterday on his personal favorite, which appeared right after the takedown of Osama Bin Laden: "Osama Got Jimmered."

Weston Jurney
West Jordan, UT

I always wondered about the witch's syntax. Was she saying, "People of Emerald City, surrender that girl Dorothy that you are harboring?" Or did she mean something like, "Surrender yourself, Dorothy, and maybe I'll only turn you into a newt?"

But any joke ceases to be funny after enough retellings.

Layton, UT

Humor is lost on native Utahns, it's not appropriate to have loud laughter or light-mindedness at such a hysterically FUNNY prank! Good for the pranksters, at least it's POSITIVE actions and not actually on the temple grounds or the temple itself. Take it as a compliment of the highest order.

Michael De Groote

@Weston Jurney | 3:22 p.m.: I think the original message in the script was "Surrender Dorothy or Die. WWW" That seems to imply that they were asking the city or Wizard to give her up.

By the way, somebody submitted a comment identifying someone who possibly could be one of the people who painted "Surrender Dorothy" on the bridge. We can't really put those up here, but if you have a lead, feel free to e-mail it to me at mdegroote@desnews.com.

Also, just to be obvious, although the prank is funny, it probably isn't worth risking your life or committing a crime to do it. Probably.

A voice of Reason
Salt Lake City, UT

"Also, just to be obvious, although the prank is funny, it probably isn't worth risking your life or committing a crime to do it. Probably."

My thoughts exactly!

Why don't they just remove the paint... then have a camera or something and wait until the person returns? I've seen lesser things funded by police than even that.


Although funny to me since I never heard the story before, I have to agree with weston jurney at 3:22. Any joke told often enough, becomes more nuisance than humor.

Sacramento, CA

I have a friend who lives in the area of the Washington D.C Temple (who happens to be Jewish). In our conversations he will frequently remind me that those who live in the area refer to the temple as the 'Emerald City' and do so with fondness.

Camden Wyoming, DE

DC is "my" temple. no matter how many times i travel towards it on the Beltway, i never get over the joy and awe of seeing the temple literally rise up and appear before me. sorta like the joy and gratitude a sailor must feel seeing the beacon of a lighthouse in a raging sea.

Bruce T. Forbes
Kearns, UT

If I am remembering correctly, there was an article in either TIME or NEWSWEEK at the time of the temple dedication in which the temple was referred to as a "marbled OZ". It is an impressive sight; one I always enjoyed for the 5 years we lived in the D.C. area.

Mount Pleasant, UT

I don't appreciate the supposed humor that is being used to denograte the Temple. There will always be human beings who have nothing to do but discolor the good and beautiful to draw attention to themselves. Those I feel sorry for.


When I have visited the area, it is absolutely breathtaking to see how the temple rises up and you go along. Brilliant selection of real estate, I must say! And yes, we can take a joke!

Burlington, CT

Please enlighten me. the title of the news article is "D.C. Temple graffiti...". but this sentence in the article, That graffito (singular of graffiti) was on a CSX railway bridge..."

so when did this CSX railway bridge become part of the Washington D.C. Temple?


As a DC area mormon, I find the graffitti quite amusing and charming even. I think the Church should get permission from the city to put up a permanent, well painted mural-like "Surrender Dorothy" on that bridge.

Growing up I loved to see that message as we passed by.

Santa Fe, NM

I used to live in the D.C. area. No matter how many time I drove that stretch of the beltway, I was always awed by the sight of the temple suddenly looming over the trees and always smiled at the "Surrender Dorothy" scrawled on the overpass. Definitely one of the most inspired pranks of all time.

Michael De Groote

@ Gosh-DUH | 8:10 a.m. July 27, 2011
"Please enlighten me."

The graffiti is not isolated on the bridge. It is a graffiti on the whole panoramic view of the Temple, greenery and the experience of coming around the bend and seeing it all before you. Think of it like a caption on a photograph.

Hope this enlightens. :-)

P.S. Besides "Graffiti on CSX railway bridge done as a prank to comment on the Washington D.C. Temple won't die" is just too long for a headline.

Clint Gardner

As to the Wicked Witch of the West's skywriting diction, she is actually quite correct in her use of "SURRENDER DOROTHY" in that she is obviously commanding the citizens of the Emerald City to turn Dorothy over to her, thus using a mandative verb form. Given her propensity to boss her flying monkeys around, it fits her character quite well.

Denton, MD

Approaching the DC Temple from the east is indeed a breathtaking experience. If your view isn't obstructed by a high-profile vehicle, the temple literally appears to rise up out of the roadway ahead. The first time I saw it, I was simply awestruck. My friend who was driving said, "I think that guy you have crush on belongs to that church." Within two years, I was inside that beautiful temple being sealed to that very man. We used to make the nearly two-hour drive for FHE every couple of years to show our kids how the temple rises up out of the Beltway. One of our favorite family photos was taken by a helpful passerby at the little wall in front of the Visitor's Center w/ the gleaming temple in the background - tiny kids now all grown up. In about two weeks we'll be taking our daughter there to receive her own endowment and be sealed to her own special guy. But I've got to say that in all these 25 years, I've only seen "Surrender Dorothy" maybe twice. It's not as chronic as one might suppose from reading this article.

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