Dateline: NEW YORK CITY—Unveiling his legal team’s strategy at NY State Supreme Court, Lance Hyrdgun, lead defense lawyer for the retail firm Evil Industries, which is being sued by the Justice Department for fraud, said that the defendant “operates well within the boundaries established in the name of evil by Scientology, a malevolent cult which is evidently just fine and dandy in America.”
“Nothing in this nation is currently more evil than Scientology,” said Mr. Hyrdgun in his opening statement. “Just as some comedians push the envelope for free speech, Scientology shows all profit-maximizing businesspeople how to scam the public and get away scot-free. So watch us do the same.”
According to the defense team, Evil Industries has imitated Scientology’s corporate structure and brand, which allow Scientology to get away with murder.
“Scientologists are allowed to rampage across the face of the earth like a pack of demons straight out of hell,” said Evil Industries VP Brenda Heartless on the witness stand. “This is because that corporation calls itself a religion. They thus pay no taxes and hide behind both the modern deference to science and America’s lame taboo against criticizing religion. It’s brilliant what that heinous organization has done.”
Ms. Heartless added, “Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard ripped off Sumerian astrotheology, Gnosticism, and the Jain interpretation of karma, put a sci-fi spin on them and pretended his plain-as-day cult of personality is actually a science to rival psychiatry, complete with technology that can solve all your personal problems and even give you superpowers.
“Meanwhile, you’ve given over the cult hundreds of thousands of your dollars, had your access to the internet removed, and been physically abused at the Sea Org or denied access to your parents and siblings because the cult has condemned them as heretics. Maybe you even end up killing yourself when you realize you’ve wasted decades of your life on Scientologist nonsense. But it’s all perfectly legal, thanks to the genius of that con.”
The defense team contends that Evil Industries likewise operates as a religion: the religion of Business.
“If Scientology can make a religion out of using bogus technology to make you happy,” said Mr. Hyrdgun, “Evil Industries can make one out of selling schlock to satisfy ignorant consumers’ weakness for impulse purchases. The blueprint laid out by Scientology is ingenious: you just pick your wide-as-can-be aspect of human life and make a religion that corners the market on it, by inventing some nonsensical jargon, pseudo-theological balderdash, and creepy religious branding. Then you’re legally entitled in the freedom-loving USA to set up a tyrannical business empire that funnels millions of dollars from the desperate and exploited masses to the grossly-cynical managers.”
Roderick Moustache-Twiddler, CEO of Evil Industries and Chairman of the Board of the Evil Business Center, took the witness stand to counter the prosecutor’s case for fraud, saying, “The government has no case. Does the Justice Department think fraud is always illegal? It isn’t, not if it’s done in the name of a religion. Sure, we at Evil Industries sell insect goo as fancy cheese, and goat piss as white wine. So what?
“In 1993 the IRS bowed to pressure, saving Scientology from bankruptcy by allowing that malevolent organization to call itself a religion. Any old business now can follow suit just by dressing up its nefarious activities in the trappings of a church. Again, fraud is okay in the USA if it’s done in the guise of a religion! But religions are a dime a dozen now, so you all can kiss my Texan ass!”
Asked why his organization is called “Evil Industries,” Mr. Moustache-Twiddler said, “We call ourselves evil, because that’s what’s at the heart of capitalism. We’re as selfish as can be to make a quick buck. We don’t exchange goods that are equally valuable, as in bartering. No, we maximize profit, which is possible only by lying and conning, by committing fraud. So fraud is essential to sales and thus to capitalism, but it’s illegal in business because of feel-good foolishness about how if everyone’s as selfish and ruthless as possible, an invisible hand will make everything alright in the end. Competition will make everyone happy even as the wickedness that’s unleashed destroys the planet.
“We admit we’re evil, but we follow the lead of the demons over at the Church of Scientology, so we’re all good.”
At a press conference, the American president commented on the trial. “Businesses don’t have to be evil and religions don’t have to be villainous cults,” said the president.
When asked why Scientology is allowed to operate within the United States, without being leveled to the ground by a hydrogen bomb blast, the president said, “We can’t be expected to annihilate every form of evil that takes root. You take the good with the bad.”
Legal insiders expect Evil Industries to prevail at trial.