In its most recent episode, Saturday Night Live put a darkly humorous, and musical, spin on many of the allegations laid out in HBO’s much-discussed Scientology documentary, Going Clear.
The skit is an apparent riff on the real-life songs authored by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and it is presented as an annotated 1990 music video for the “Church of Neurotology.” Cast members Aidy Bryant, Kate McKinnon, Kenan Thompson and others play various members, in assorted vintage clothing.
As members sing and smile, on-screen graphics pop-up with notes for many of them, such as “Chained to toilet as punishment” and “Hiding in desert as woman.”
Sample song lyrics include “Our brain machines can fix our minds/ Our brain machines can save mankind.”
The video makes repeated references to some of the blockbuster accusations laid out in Going Clear by several former Scientologists, including allegations of emotional and physical abuse and an alleged practice of forcing members to “disconnect,” or estrange themselves permanently, from family members and friends who leave the Church.
The Church has described the documentary as “insidious religious persecution by bullies toting cameras” and the ex-Scientologists who participated as “the usual collection of obsessive, disgruntled former Church members.”
The last 30 seconds of the skit include one surprising note: a Neurotology member in the video later “switched to Scientology.”