A Hilarious Scientology Video

I don’t know how to embed the video on Tony Ortega’s website, but you have to go and watch the video. It’s an internal Scientology video encouraging people to donate large sums of money to build “Ideal Orgs” — fancy new buildings in cities around the country that will give the illusion that the “religion” is growing rather than shrinking. The video is breathtakingly lame, featuring really bad sub-Glee level covers of bad pop songs with the lyrics changed. Like this one. I’m sure you can guess the song:

We’re building this city

We’re building this city an Ideal Org

We’re building this city

We’re building this city an Ideal Org

They may never know me or ever see my face

But because I care we build this ideal space

The future will know me because I fought this fight

Heroes and the names of those who made it go right

We all have the honor because we did it on our own

Your kids will remember, you built this city

You built this city an Ideal Org

You’re building this city

You’re building this city an Ideal Org

Built this city

We built this city an Ideal Org

And this terrible rendition of Joan Jett:

I want an Ideal Org,

So put another dime in the war chest, baby

I want an Ideal Org,

So come and take a pen and write a check

I want an Ideal Org,

So put another dime in the war chest, baby

I want an Ideal Org,

So come and take a pen and write a check

Go watch the video, you won’t regret it.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Michael Heath

    Copyright infringement???

  • flyv65

    “Go watch the video, you won’t regret it.”

    I’m pretty sure I will if I go watch it…

  • abb3w

    Parody is generally protected speech.

  • culuriel

    Can we be certain that Hubbard-ism is actually shrinking? I just want to know for sure before I do a victory dance.

  • markr1957

    Is this like the way Mor(m)ons get their suckers followers to pay to build huge temples in towns and cities where their congregations are at best in double digits?

  • tubi

    Is it parody if it’s intended as a fundraiser for the organization?

  • grumpyoldfart

    I saw people promising to donate thousands, and tens of thousands, of dollars and the word “shill” popped into my head.

  • eric

    fancy new buildings in cities around the country that will give the illusion that the “religion” is growing rather than shrinking.

    Sounds like the song they should’ve covered was “Don’t you forget about me.”

  • Kevin Kehres

    @5: Always wondered about that. Jehovah’s Witnesses and 7th Day Adventists, too. HUGE buildings. HUGE.

    It’s religion’s equivalent to a red sports car.

  • http://artk.typepad.com ArtK

    I doubt this would qualify as parody. These are “derived works” and, as such, require licensing. Not that I’d want to get into a legal pissing match with the Scientologists. Then again, “We Built This City” is copyright by Universal and they’ve got a nice legal department. I’d love to see a C&D for this.

  • Joel Grant

    I was able to watch 39 seconds of the video. Anyone beat that time?

  • http://adventuresinzymology.blogspot.com JJ831

    Tubi@6

    We’ll, Weird Al makes parody songs and sells them on albums, and that falls under fair use (or so I believe).

  • Alex

    I’m more of a classical and metal guy, so it’s not my genre by a long shot, but are the Glee productions that bad? They are a bit too saccharine laden, but technically sounded decent to me…

  • http://adventuresinzymology.blogspot.com JJ831

    I should note, I do believe Weird Al has to pay royalties…

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R2XG9CnOj8 Olav

    Ed:

    Go watch the video, you won’t regret it.

    You can’t make me.

  • vaquera

    A parody employes deliberate exaggeration for comic effect. In this video, the organization has modified the words in an effort to make a fund-raising tool used to fill their coffers. They did not intend for the video to be funny or a joke. It’s serious business for the CoS, therefore Universal probably could proceed with legal actions.

  • vereverum

    @ Joel Grant #11

    It looks like the woman on the left at :33-:35 was at the end of her patience too.

  • http://florilegia.wordpress.com Ibis3, Let’s burn some bridges

    Weird Al also always gets permission.

  • John Pieret

    Go watch the video, you won’t regret it.

    Wanna bet?

    Damn, that made me sad about humankind’s future! Replacing already crazy religions with ever crazier ones does not give me hope.

  • abear

    That video was really cheesy. I could only make it to about the half way mark.

    The classic $cientology recruiting video stiil has to be this beauty with Tom Cruise:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4O2_rZIgrQI

  • EigenSprocketUK

    Paying for the rights for derived work doesn’t have to be that expensive, but more expensive if they intended it to be on the ‘net. (Which, I dearly hope, they never did.)

    Anyway, it proves one thing: not everyone uses AutoTune even these days.

  • Moggie

    I’m sure you can guess the song

    Not gonna watch the video, but why did you have to remind me about We built this city, that shamefully crap black mark against the great Grace Slick? Now I’ll have to put Surrealistic Pillow on repeat to cleanse my brain.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Suing the Church of Scientology over an alleged infringement of a 30 year old song in a completely obscure video. What could possibly go wrong?

  • sosw

    @Ibis3 #18

    I believe that he always asks for permission, and usually gets not only permissive, but supportive responses…but I have a vague (definitely could be wrong) recollection that he has on a few occasions proceeded even without permission.

    As for this…it isn’t satire, since they are totally serious, and it might be used as a “pep-talk” kind of tool for those already into scientology, even if it is blatantly ridiculous to us (manipulative as well, which is another reason not to be ok with it). If I were a copyright holder for one of the songs used, I’d probably look at how and to whom the content is generally distributed, and how it appears to be meant to be taken.

    IMHO Weird Al should be ok even without explicit permission – as he is obviously a humorist and no reasonable person would take him seriously nor would he benefit if they did – but for this CoS stuff, they are probably using it as an actual part of their manipulation campaign for their own benefit and profit.

    Awful sentences there, but hey, I had to be drunk enough to actually watch that video before commenting…