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SNL produced the best parody of Scientology ever — and then hired a Scientologist

[Chloe Fineman]

Our readers are very familiar with Saturday Night Live’s absolutely brilliant 2015 parody of Scientology, the music video “Neurotology.”

A take-off on a 1990 music video produced by Scientology itself, “We Stand Tall,” SNL’s funny vid managed to pack in a ton of great references to Scientology’s many controversies, and we detailed them in this earlier post.

From “Meepthorp,” the Neurotology leader who died of pink eye, to book titles like “Ignoring Your Brain,” to really obscure Easter eggs like a fleeting reference to a big cat, the geniuses at SNL really nailed Scientology in a way that equals or surpasses South Park’s notorious 2005 episode “Trapped in the Closet.”

And the best part was that SNL had managed to poke fun at Scientology while also making reference to its very serious scandals, from missing former executives to litigating people into oblivion.

 

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So imagine our surprise when we learned that just four years after that perfect skewering of Scientology, SNL hired a Scientologist cast member!

On September 12, 2019, NBC announced that comic actress Chloe Fineman was joining the cast, and she’s had a chance to shine during two seasons now.

Fineman has not only been a talented addition to Weekend Update and in SNL’s faux commercials, but she’s also a skilled impersonator. Her Drew Barrymore was so spot-on, Barrymore had her on her show in October and gushed about what a fan she is.

Fineman’s parents are David Fineman, a biotech CEO, and Ellen Gunn, an artist. Both are listed in Scientology’s own publications as Clears.

We have spoken to two former Scientologists who remember David Fineman being an influential wealthy church member and donor.

Joey Chait, for example, tells us he remembers seeing Fineman and Gunn at the Advanced Organization and the American Saint Hill Organization in Los Angeles around the year 2000. When we told him that Scientology records indicate that they are both Scientology Clears, Joey said it was obvious to him that they were beyond that, into the OT levels.

Chloe went to NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts but then in 2011 moved to Los Angeles, and looked for her break in the business.

According to Scientology publications, in 2015 she did two very grueling courses, the Student Hat and the PTS/SP course, which teaches Scientologists how to “shatter suppression” that might be holding them back.

“They’re both a pain in the ass. They’re really long. If she did the new PTS/SP, it’s a really involved, grueling course,” says musician Geoff Levin, who spent decades at Scientology’s Celebrity Centre in Hollywood. “She probably credits those two courses for why she’s doing so well,” he says.

Levin says he’s still getting mail from The Acting Center, a Scientologist-run outfit that works to be a conduit for Scientologists into show business. Chloe Fineman was a student there, and the school has boasted about her getting to SNL.

 

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In February 2020, about halfway into her first season as an SNL cast member, Fineman gave tickets to a taping to her friend Denice Duff, a Scientologist actress who Levin characterizes as “hardcore.”

 

 
When we pointed that out to Levin, that just last year Chloe Fineman had invited hardcore Scientologist Denice Duff to a taping of the show, he told us it suggests to him that Fineman is still a deeply involved church member.

We sent detailed messages to both Chloe and her father David Fineman, asking them for their thoughts on SNL’s treatment of Scientology in the “Neurotology” parody, and we’ll let you know if they get back to us.

UPDATE: At some point after we sent detailed messages to Chloe Fineman asking about Scientology two days ago, she deleted her Twitter account.

 
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Source Code

“Now, if you were to duplicate teeth on a preclear, you just say, ‘All right. Now, let’s duplicate teeth.’ And he starts duplicating teeth, teeth, teeth, teeth, teeth, till he gets lots of teeth, lots of teeth, lots of teeth. First thing you know out of this big pile of teeth which he’s gotten out there, he’ll start to get the emotion ‘Whee! Let’s all be teeth. Let’s fill the whole universe up full of teeth. Everything’s got to be teeth.’ Well, of course this is the central motive as far as teeth are concerned. Everything must duplicate teeth. Any object has this as an obsession. It must be duplicated. If it goes downhill it gets down to a point, finally, where, of course, it must not be duplicated, which is it must hide, withdraw, get very small, be hard, compact.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 2, 1954

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“I hope no desperate casualties resulted from the APRIL FOOL OOD. All Fools Day originated when they changed the Gregorian Calendar in 1564. The first day of the year was April 1st before then. When New Years Day became January 1st, those who persisted in celebrating it as April 1st became targets. It originated in France where they are called APRIL FISH and went to Scotland where they are called APRIL GAWKS. Through the English speaking world it is APRIL FOOLS. All from a PR stunt to teach the new Calendar! So when Al Bornstein, FAO PR wrote up an April Fool OODs with Geoff Barnes and Gorman the Management carried out a reversal even on them. In the Immortal Words of Product Officer FAO Amos Jessup, ‘Anyone who was taken in by that OOD had better review his Data Series!’ So would the FEBCs do a Data Analysis on that April Fools OOD as an exercise. Self preservation demands they be able to recognize real OUT POINTS when they get back to their orgs. People were in stitches over the results of the joke, so I hope no bruised feelings remain.” — The Commodore, April 2, 1971

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“I want to do a Purif but I’ve had soo many drugs pumped into me as a sick child, I’m so scared. I mostly want to do a Purif because of how many psych meds I’ve been on. I actually just got out of a 72-hour psychiatric hold and I still feel weird from all the drugs they pumped into me.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1999: CNET News reported the settlement agreement between Scientology and Factnet in their copyright infringement lawsuit. “The Church of Scientology International has won a long-standing legal battle to repossess about 2,000 unpublished and copyrighted documents and keep them from being accessed by computer users in the future. Under a settlement reached in a U.S. district court earlier this month, a Colorado-based nonprofit group called FACTNet is permanently enjoined to pay the church $1 million if FACTNet is found guilty of future violations of church copyrights. ‘They have to give back all of our illegally copied materials written by L. Ron Hubbard,’ Warren McShane, president of Religious Technology Center, said today. Religious Technology Center is the legal name of the Scientologist church. The settlement would seem to stave off for now one avenue for publishing trademarked church materials on the Net, but the church continues to be scrutinized by online critics. Cases such as this have been widely observed because they pit copyrights and online free speech against one another.”

 
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Random Howdy

“Why would Scientologists feel love for each other? According to Hubbard they are just random thetans occupying random meat bodies. Your children aren’t really ‘your’ children. That’s one of the reasons it seems so easy for some Scientologists to disconnect. Your relatives are merely other pod people.”

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Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Discovery hearing on April 20, prelim set for May 18.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to April 13.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Charged in Brooklyn federal court on Feb 4. Arraigned on Feb 9. Pretrial conference set for Apr 29.>

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition for writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions to compel arbitration. June 7: Status conference.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 24.

Concluded litigation:
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.

 
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SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.

SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

 
Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Scientology is dying to keep you well from the pandemic it doesn’t believe in
[TWO years ago] Thetans in the Jungle: Scientology in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands
[THREE years ago] Mike Rinder: Scientology is ‘disappearing at a consistent unchanging unwavering rate’
[FOUR years ago] Scientology for your plants? In the grand tradition of L. Ron Hubbard, yes!
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s demonology: Where L. Ron Hubbard got the idea for your space cooties
[SIX years ago] Robert Vaughn Young on L. Ron Hubbard’s final days — another ‘Secret Lives’ video outtake
[SEVEN years ago] Florida attorney Ken Dandar hit with $1 million penalty for taking on Scientology
[EIGHT years ago] Why Isn’t Scientology More Open About Its Space Opera Beliefs? It’s the Best Part!

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,259 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,763 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,283 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,303 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,194 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,501 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,369 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,143 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,473 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,947 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,263 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,829 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,748 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,916 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,497 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,758 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,796 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,509 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,034 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 389 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,564 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,115 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,264 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,584 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,439 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,558 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,914 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,217 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,323 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,725 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,597 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,180 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,675 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,929 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,038 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 2, 2021 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 15 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele

 

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