Church of Happyology
There's a certain established religion founded by a science-fiction author which is very protective of its image, with a rather disquieting habit of breaking out the lawyers (or worse) whenever they feel said image is threatened.
Due to said watchdogs, lampooning the religion directly (or even uttering their name and a word against them) appears to be some form of illegal. Therefore, fiction has the Church of Happyology — a thinly-veiled reference to said religion.
No real life examples, please; this trope is specifically about fictional organizations.
- Ultimate Marvel has the Church of Shi'Ar Enlightenment, a Happyologist-like religion with many rich and famous members. They assist the Ultimate X-Men. Turns out they, and their offshoot sect the Hellfire Club, actually believe that Jean Grey is the reincarnation of their alien Phoenix God. Gee, what are the odds?
- The Path of Prosperity from Witchblade bears some suspicious resemblances to happyology.
- The E-Man comic had the "Church of Technolography," led by Elrod Flummox, who talks almost entirely in bizarre psychological jargon. See for yourself.
- The Superman Elseworlds story Last Family of Krypton features a positive portrayal of a Church of Happyology; Raology, founded by Kal-El's mother Lara. The positivity of the portrayal is helped by the fact that kryptonians have been worshipping Rao for thousands of years, so it isn't a newly-designed-by-one-man phenomenon like most other churches of happyology, but rather an immigrant bringing their old religion to their new home and then going for converts.
- The Triune Understanding cult in Kurt Busiek's run on The Avengers was clearly supposed to represent this.
- The 2006 volume of Mystery In Space had the "Eternal Light Corporation," a profit-driven religion. As the Weird notes after throwing off their brainwashing, "any religion that insists you sign a non-disclosure agreement should be considered suspect".
- The French comic Sky Doll has one of these.
- In Bless the Child we have The New Dawn. Pretends to be a Self-help organization, but is really a religion? Check. At the same time, it pretends to be a honest religion but is really an evil scam? Check. Leader-worship? Check. The cult secretly hates Christianity? Check. Harasses defectors? Check. Has an army of lawyers? Check.
- Mindhead from Bowfinger.
- Eventualism from Steven Soderbergh's Schizopolis: "Eventualism isn't designed to answer all questions. It's designed to question all answers. It's not about healing pain. It's about the pain of healing." Also, the book is written by T. Azimuth Schwitters and features a volcano on the cover. The creators are adamant that It's not a parody of the religion this page is talking about.
- Dioretix: The Science of Matter over Mind from Repo Man.
- Rock Slyde has the Church of Bartology. Its leader, Bart, has taken over or infiltrated many businesses and office buildings, brainwashing his followers with mind controlling cookies and fast food. His cult involves a lot of pyramid-themed imagery, fitness programs, and pilfering your bank account. Doesn't recruit people off the streets because the Average Joe can't afford his "religion".
- Children of the Revolution from the short story collection Zombies vs. Unicorns features a cult/religion similar in many ways to Happyology... but with zombies.
- "Diarrhetics," in a Damon Knight short story.
- In Greg Bear's Heads, one of the titular frozen heads is that of none other than K. D. Thierry, the founder of a creepy Space Opera religion called Logology. At the end of the novel, the protagonist ends up being infused with the frozen final thoughts of the heads, Thierry's being an acute knowledge of the hoax he created and abject terror in the face of the hell he believes awaits him.
- In Stranger in A Strange Land, both the Fosterites and the religion founded by Valentine Michael Smith carry strong Happyology overtones.
- The Philip K. Dick short story "The Turning Wheel" included a religion whose messiah was known as The Bard Elron Hu. At no point is he ever referred to as Elron Hu, Bard. This is a particularly early reference, as it was originally published just a few years after Dianetics.
- In Snow Crash, business magnate L. Bob Rife has founded a church of this kind to literally take over the world.
- Repairman Jack takes on one of these that is not even really thinly' veiled, though the text makes a pointed reference to that other church as a distraction for the cyber ninja lawyers.
- Kim Newman's Anno Dracula short story "Castle In The Desert" has L. Keith Winton, the vampric author of Plasmatics: The New Communion, and founder of the Church of Immortology.
- Norman Spinrad's novel The Mind Game is about Transformationalism, another example of a not-so-thinly veiled reference.
- In the young adult novel Godless, a teen frustrated with having to conform to the Christian norms creates a God out of his town watertower. His friend ends up taking this very seriously indeed, creating an entire Bible out of watertowers the world over.
- Nanoism in And Another Thing has elements of this. So does Tyromancy, except that the Tyromancers' leader is a true believer.
- The fifth book in Robert Muchamore's CHERUB Series, Divine Madness, is about a mission to investigate a religious cult called the Survivors. They live in an "Ark" in the Australian outback, persuade people to give them money, believe that they are "Angels" and all non-followers are "Devils" and have pretty sadistic customs in the Ark which include punishing children by whacking them with paddles.
- The Dan Gutman novel Return of the Homework Machine includes a subplot where a group of sixth-graders create a cult that worships the Grand Canyon and believes the world is going to end on Mother's Day, just to see how many idiots take it seriously. Answer: lots.
- In Michael Moorcock's The Winds of Limbo (a.k.a. The Fireclown) there is a visit to an orbiting monastery that sounds very like a parody of this, if I remember correctly.
- CESSNAB, the Church of Eternal Satisfaction and Snack And Bowl, from Libba Bray's Going Bovine
- Clive Cussler's Plague Ship has Responsivists, the big bad organization of the novel. While they don't worship any aliens, they go to great lengths to preserve their public image, react violently to members leaving their movement and have a lot of Hollywood celebrity endorsement.
- In Peep Show, Jeremy and Super Hans briefly join a cult at the end of series 5. The mythology revolves around "negative orgones" that cause human unhappiness. The cult takes personality tests and forbids thinking.
- 30 Rock:
- Frequently makes reference to the "Church of Practicology," which was supposedly created by Stan Lee. Or, as its members believe, an "alien king living inside Stan Lee".
- One obscure reference (for those that have pursued the History of Happyology) is when Jenna, talking about school reunions, says "I would have gone to my school reunion, but the boat I was educated on sank".
- In the same vein, she makes several references to owning a house in Clearwater, Florida. A certain religion is not just headquartered there, but may have pretty much taken over the local government.
- At one point, Tracy Jordan wants to switch religions, and is shown being interviewed by a Church of Happyology. But his ramblings are so insane, even they won't have him.
- In season 4 of Ugly Betty, Daniel Meade joins "The Community of the Phoenix," which recruits high-profile followers and has several similar parallels to Happyology. After allowing the Church to make decisions in his personal and professional life, he's saved by Betty just as he reaches Level 7.
- Selfosophy from the Millennium episode "Jose Chung's Doomsday Defense." Chung (Charles Nelson Reilly) had actually been a friend of the founder.
- The Upright Citizen's Brigade made fun of both Happyology and Battlefield Earth in a sketch called "Psychotonomy."
- Neighbours had a Happyology-like cult a few years ago.
- Dinosaurs has the book Dinonetics, by L. Mother Hubbard.
- In "The Greatest Story Ever Sold" after Baby starts asking life's ultimate questions that no one has answers to, The Council of Elders create a new cult to provide cheap easy answers. The cult: Potatoism.
- In season 2 of The 4400, the "4400 Center" was a thinly veiled takeoff of Happyology. Members were charged more and more money, with the promise of gaining an ability. In the 4th season, Jordan actually starts giving them out.
- Wild Palms prominently features a thinly disguised Hubbard figure, accompanied by thinly disguised Sea Org members in naval uniforms, and "Synthiotics," at the center of its plot.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus had an early (if broad) reference in the "Crackpot Religions Ltd." sketch. (Happyology was run from England in the 1960s.)
- Nip/Tuck mentions it by name when a character joins the Church of Happyology.
- Stephen Colbert is more likely to just call it what it is, but did once start his very own Church of Happyology: The Faith-Based Faith of Stephen with a PH . Colbert has declared himself the religion's New Galactic Overlord. He wears a shiny cape.
- A very thinly veiled version of Happyology appears in Law and Order, complete with extensive member files, celebrity members, and stalkers, who are accused of driving a woman to suicide.
- Played with in the Law & Order episode "Bogeyman". In this case, while the group in question is paranoid and does keep dossiers on their critics, it turns out that they're not actually guilty of any crime, and that the murder under investigation was committed by one of their critics to set them up.
- In one episode of Law and Order SVU A mentally unstable girl was advised to stop taking psychiatric meds by a very famous rock star who rails against psychiatry on TV (sounds very familiar?). She proceeds to falsely accuse two boys of rape and then mow down a bunch of people in the car. Then said rock star uses her as a soap box to preach against psychiatric drugs.
- The Law and Order: Criminal Intent episode "Con-Text" features Happyology-esque self-help group called "GraceNote". Members of GraceNote fork over tons of cash to take classes and spout psychobabble like "transforming your context" and "optimizing your psychic drive".
- UK kids' show Byker Grove had the Psychandrics, a cult crossed with a pyramid scheme; the goal was to try to convert as many new members as they could. Main character Duncan (Declan Donnelly) was ensnared when he fell for one of the girls already in the cult, and almost got dragged away to their main compound in Mexico, never to return. He escaped (with the girl), but they returned a couple of years later, saying that they had ditched their old Leader and reformed (though they still behaved like cult members), and dragged the girl ended up going off with them anyway.
- An episode of Boy Meets World dealt with a suspicious person who was gathering teens into his cult of personality:
Cult leader: We're all equal here.
- An episode of Monk featured an otherwise standard cult whose would disseminate their leader's literature on the street while wearing distinctive uniforms. Monk's friends are worried that the constantly-depressed Monk will be susceptible to the cult, and they're right (though he gets over it).
- Pierce on Community thinks he's some sort of Christian Buddhist, but apparently he's really in this trope.
- A Running Gag on Drake and Josh is a student in their class whose family repeatedly joins cults that forbid him to enjoy various things.
- The IT Crowd now has Beth Gaga Shaggy's Spaceology, though this seems to be a parody of the book The Secret.
- The Mentalist:
- An episode involves a cult called Visualize that threatens legal trouble if any of their secrets get out.
- Visualize has been taking a more important role in the plot in recent episodes. The leader might even know how to catch the Big Bad.
- One episode of Everybody Loves Raymond started off with Robert joining something similar to a Church of Happyology group, and acting like he was lobotomized. Then he invited Raymond, and it was accidentally revealed that the only reason that Robert was invited in the first place was to get to Ray. Robert, naturally, was crushed. However, both of them used the group to stage an intervention in order to get Marie and Debra back on speaking terms.
- A Diagnosis: Murder episode has Earthonomy, a cult with ridiculous mafia-like connections. They kill a reporter who was investigating them and attempt to kill another reporter. One suspect is even a closeted gay actor obviously based on... a certain actor. It turns out the killer was a hitman hired by the head of Earthonomy, who was having a homosexual affair with the gay actor.
- And this discussion from Arrested Development:
Lucille: Well, apparently, mood-altering medication leads to street drugs. That's what this very handsome, young doctor said on The Today Show.
- Seinfeld had a cult who masqueraded as a carpet-cleaning business so they could get into your house and try to recruit you. George hires them just because they're cheap, braces himself for a big brainwashing speech afterwards, and then gets offended when they just take his money and leave without even trying to recruit him.
- Lie to Me: "Beyond Belief" features a self-help phenomenon/cult called Scientific RePatterning, or SPR. Among other less-than-friendly aspects of the organization, an initiate of SPR spies on Lightman's house and members break into Lightman's locked house while his daughter is home to deliver a pamphlet for their organization. Also, a fairly large part of the plot revolves around sexual misconduct with younger initiates.
- The church of Spirentology in Made in Canada. The cult claims their goal is to help their members become "transparent", but they seem more interested in making money.
- Reasonablism in Parks and Recreation. The founder started by writing a book to help people organize their offices, called "Organize It." Then he had another interesting thought. Maybe there was a twenty-eight foot tall lizard with a volcano for a mouth, who controlled the universe.
Chris: Why does the cult call themselves the Reasonablists?
- Demon Hunter's Science of Lies''
- Frank Zappa had the Church of Appliantology led by L. Ron Hoover in Joe's Garage.
- Played with in Flyentology.
- This song at The FuMP.
- Averted by Midnight Oil, who cheerfully sing the line "L. Ron Hubbard can't save your life" in "U.S. Forces."
- As well as Tool, whose song "Ænema", contains the lyric "Fuck L. Ron Hubbard and fuck all his clones".
- Emilie Autumn and her Bloody Crumpets have Contessaology ology...ology...ology. It's devoted to praying for Veronica's remaining virtue. And cannibalism. That too.
- In The Far Side, a door-to-door proselytizing cow hands another cow a "Cowentology" pamphlet and suggests she ask herself, "Am I a happy cow?"
- The Assassins expansion to Illuminati New World Order includes a card for the "Church of Violentology".
- Mage: The Awakening has "Panography," a church full of Banishers (mages whose Awakenings went very wrong and who view other mages as evil sorcerers) dedicated to hunting down the "alien entities" that possess certain people (that is, mages). It's essentially a straight name switch - their slightly unbalanced movie star member "John Maverick" even looks like Tom Cruise. The fact that the abbreviation for the specific group that contains the Banishers is M.A.D (Militant Auditing Division), only adds to the hilarity. Though Happyology appears to exist in the WoD as well, it's mentioned in Ht V: Compacts and Conspiracies.
- The climactic adventure in the Call of Cthulhu (tabletop game) sourcebook "Delta Green" is ... unsubtle.
- Wizards of the Coast decided to cut out the middle man and make (a sect of) the Church of Happyology an evil conspiracy in D20 Modern led by a psychic alien.
- Inverted in the Shadowrun game's Universal Brotherhood, a cultish movement that did not warn its members against evil alien entities that could manipulate or possess them, because that's precisely who was running the cult.
- Warhammer 40,000 the Imperium of Man practices "heterodoxy" - it accepts pretty much any local teachings as long as they have the God-Emperor in some way as the main venerated figure ("The Sky-Father is the one you call Emperor" "Okay") and don't worship Ruinous Powers or make troubles for the Imperium. Simply because Imperium is far too big to unify to a greater degree than this and obviously won't survive a major attempt to do so. In particular, cults of the saints are pretty much omnipresent. Which allows the existence of uncountable minor (on the scale from one town or spaceship to one planet) local sects and cults, covering every possible type, including this. In particular, "Xenos are out there and want to get you" is not something a right-thinking Imperial official will ever contradict without a compelling reason.
- And in such environment, of course, it follows that all sorts of criminal or unambiguously heretical groups try to masquerade as legitimate sects of the Imperial cult all the time - and may hide anything from plain fraud to sedition conspiracy to daemon worship or alien mind control.
- One Dark Heresy adventure features a religious cult named the Joyous Choir, which subjects its followers to tests of spiritual and mental functioning using "Harmony Meters" until they become "true," as in this pamphlet.
- Prismatologist Hugh Bliss from the episodic adventure game Sam and Max: Season 1 peddles a book called 'Emetics', pictured above. Then it turns out Bliss is actually a sentient bacteria colony that feeds on endorphins, and is plotting to turn everyone on Earth into blissed-out drones so he'll have an unlimited food supply. Therefore, in order to "save" the world, Max has to personally punch everyone in the face.
- In Sam And Max Hit The Road, Lee-Harvey, the aide of a country-western singer, reads a book called Dialenics, by Elrod Hubbel, which he says is changing his life. Since he's in the entertainment industry, it makes sense.
- In Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, there's a book in the Phatt Library called Dynanetics, by L. Ron Gilbert (Ron Gilbert being the creator of the series). Guybrush's comment: "Who does this guy think he is, anyway?"
- The Chzo Mythos series has Optimology, a religious organization which serves as a front for cultists who worship a pain elemental.
- The "Hubologists" from Fallout. This series actually went so far as to having the Hubologist 'celebrity spokespeople' "Juan Cruz" and "Vikki Goldman" tell you that their religion was not, in fact, connected or based in any way, shape or form upon any group in the real world.
- The Church of Unitology in Dead Space enlists wealthy and high-ranking members of society and one's standing in the church is directly proportional to how much money and power they give to the church. They're extremely secretive about their methods and often described as cultish. This should start to sound familiar about now.
- Prequel comics feature the Church (several times referred to as a "cult") as a major plot point. They are directly responsible for unleashing the alien threat featured in the game by transporting a mysterious "marker" they believe is directly related to their beliefs to a human colony then the mining ship where the game takes place and are hinted to have been aware of its effects all along.
- The most confusing thing, though, is that Unitology is, according to the background information you can collect throughout the game, the only major religion to survive the expansion of humanity beyond Earth. In other words, the cult seemed less fake than other established religions when space travel was perfected. This may be slightly justified, though, as it turns out the cult was right in a lot of their tenets. This is partly the result of the church's massive movement to undermine and infiltrate the Earth Government after their leader was assassinated. They now have enough pull to have anti-Unitology books officially banned on Earth and her colonies. You only learn this from a log you get by beating the game (i.e., not found in the game).
- Part of the reason the faith is so successful may be because it's kind of hard to have your tenets be "wrong" when they're basically painting a shiny coat on the instruction manual for the Eldritch Abominations that your founder was a part in discovering and translating. Of course, a lot of people would consider an "afterlife" as becoming a mutilated corpse being controlled by alien/genetically-engineered parasites that are connected to a Hive Mind that exists only to kill and absorb all other living creatures to be worse than mere nonexistence.
- According to the developers, Unitology is not explicitly based on Happyology, but rather religious cults in general.
- Ultima VII: Oooooh boy, where to start here. Practically every singleof the Fellowship mirrors Happyology in some form or other. Batlin is a spitting image of L. Ron. The Fellowship have practices similar to Fair Game and Disconnection. Hell, The Avatar is given a bloody Personality Test early on, which is obviously rigged against him. See where this is going? As if Electronic Arts wasn't painted evil enough by The Fellowship.
- The Epsilon Program in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. In the words of their leader, Cris Fromage, they "tithe money in exchange for salvation and merit badges," and their success may be partially attributed to their leader's charismatic, James Earl Jones-esque voice. Oh, and their holy text, the Epsilon Tract, has never even been written. Kifflom!
- Some of Brandon Roberts's ranting on PLR in GTA IV was a parody of Tom Cruise's incoherent interviews. He tosses in a subtle San Andreas Continuity Nod, despite the fact that Rockstar says there isn't a continuity between the two; he never mentions the Epsilon Group by name, but he tosses out a "Kifflom."
- Seeing as how it's a shameless ripoff of GTA (and proud of it), Saints Row 2 features an even more blatant parody of Happyology: the Church of Philosotology, run by an "R. Lon Hibbard," whose beliefs are almost carbon copies of various Happyology tenets. They also run the Forgive and Forget stations, which let you lose any unwanted heat from police or gangs, for a price (in true Happyology tradition).
- The particularly crass MMORPG Forum Warz gives us a two-for-one deal with the Church of Saiyantology - and that's just the sixth or seventh of all the bizarre subcultures they've declared Acceptable Targets.
- The Order from Deus Ex Invisible War.
- EarthBound has the Happy Happyists, KKK look-alikes who believe the color blue is the color of peace, so they paint everything blue. (Houses, clothing, cows...) Though it only came to exist because Carpainter found a Mani-Mani Statue. On a darker note, Happy-Happyists pursue this endeavor to the exclusion of all else—in the nearby town where the cult's been recruiting, you'll find abandoned spouses, irritated bosses, and neglected children, all wondering what the in the world happened.
- Retrospectively not that out of place in the world of Earthbound.
- One of the monuments spouting INKT propaganda in De Blob is the Church of Inktology.
- Kel'Thuzad's Stop Poking Me quotes from Warcraft III are rife with this.
Kel'Thuzad: I always wanted to start my own religion... So I did!
- The Star Org / Endless from Last Res0rt take it from a different angle, running with a starfaring naval branch that's curiously powerful for something that's just supposed to be part of a church (especially compared to their real life parallel). At least two of the players (White Noise and Xanatos) are ex-Star Org soldiers; White was left for dead after he was caught hacking into a space station's life support (supposedly on orders) and has since become a "heretic" and renounced his faith, while Xanatos is implied to have mutinied. Xanatos still talks in some of the Star Org's slang though, regularly calling the fans "cogs" among other things.
- Subnormality, amazingly, hits this one out of the park in three words.
- Jack devotes an arc to this. The name of the arc is a give-away.
- In Insecticomics, A priest of Unicron starts his own religious show, "The Hour Of Devour," which presents worshipping the Chaos Bringer as this. Fallen finds out, and is pissed because he actually has some respect for his job as Unicron's herald, and sees the priest's show as a mockery of service to the forces of chaos. Eventually, he mellows out and lets the priest go on as he pleases.
- In Penny and Aggie, the crazed Cloudcuckoolander Xena is a devotee of this religion. Although the comic avoids mentioning the church by name, she's been known to slam the field of psychology (including parroting Tom Cruise's denial of chemical imbalances), make reference to engrams and souls imprisoned in volcanoes, and note that her name is similar to that of a certain galactic dictator central to the religion's foundational myth. She's even been known to moan "Mr. Hubbard" in her sleep.
- Nodwick once featured an "Elrond Hubbard" in a Lord of the Rings parody. He was said to have written a book called Dianelfics. It was a best-seller in the "Elf-help" genre.
- The Hymn of One from Lonelygirl15. A religion that posts several vague happy-sounding YouTube videos to the internet while being rumored to be much more terrifying behind the scenes.
- In Kate Modern, Gavin even refers to the Hymn of Oner Steve as "L. Ron" at one point.
- Hackles had the Squidentologists.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Abridged Series just came right out and said it.
- P.S.I. - Paranormal Security Institution alleges that L. Ron Hubbard was an intergalactic performance artist who wanted to see if anyone would buy into the most idiotic religion ever devised. And he found that it worked too well. 
- Although the Church of the Immortal Robot Reagan is more or less an outright parody of the aforementioned sect, its creators claim that it's just a "more honest" version, since it's a cult that's really a moneymaking scam that openly admits it's a moneymaking scam.
- The somewhat infamous ScientLOLojyuuichi, a Happyology-themed version of a very popular Animutation called Hyakugojyuuichi.
- One of the fan songs on the Dr. Horrible DVD mentions them by name. "That was a joke: I'm evil, not crazy!"
- Smosh has "Religiotology"
- In a side short of the Parle Productions series The Marauders, James Potter convinces Peter Pettigrew that there is a "Church of Potter," then renamed to "Pottertology".
- Despite the name, the Church of Robotology is more a loose (very loose) parody of Christianity: you promise to be good, and if you don't the Robot Devil takes you to Robot Hell, however this didn't stop "concerned citizens who weren't Happyologists" from complaining. In the DVD Commentary Matt Groening says he received a call from a Happyologist about it; he apparently just decided to say it was the 'church', not the 'temple' rather than point out there are no other similarities.
- In "Where No Fan Has Gone Before," there is also the Church of Trek, with a sign saying 'The sci-fi religion that doesn't take all your money.'
- An episode of Rex the Runt had the "Church of Chemicalology," preached by celebrity talking sausage Johnny Saveloy. He lures in converts with promises of fame and fortune, then sucks out their life force to prolong his own life.
- Sealab 2021 has a meta-episode where the actor who plays Sparks is asked why he took the part:
Sparks: "I think the main impetus was... my Gundam told me to."
- South Park:
- The trope is played straight with the Season 5 episode "Super Best Friends". Their depiction of "The Church Of Blaintology," though obviously making fun of David Blaine, has a few very accurate jabs at Happyology, in addition to sneaking a visual representation of The Prophet onto the screen. However, in Season 9, they very notably averted the trope in the episode "Trapped in the Closet," which openly took the Church's beliefs and ridiculed them in one of the most effective manners possible: by portraying them (roughly) accurately and saying "THIS IS WHAT [HAPPY]OGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE". The episode ends with Happyologists threatening to sue Stan, to which he defiantly screams, "Fine! Sue me!" Cue credits, where every name is replaced with John or Jane Smith.
- Several episodes later, after Isaac Hayes said he was quitting (not because of the Happyology episode, he claimed), they did an episode where Chef was brainwashed by the "Super Adventure Club" - a child-molesting group who travel the world to do so, and parody the episode mentioned above. Then he was promptly McLeaned.
- Inevitably, the South Park episode spawned a new meme on The Imageboard That Must Not Be Named, in which all manner of bizarre photos are captioned with "THIS IS WHAT [HAPPY]OLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE."
- So (in)famous was that episode that a Rolling Stone magazine article on Parker and Stone featured a picture of them painting graffiti on a Happyology center sign (sadly it was Photoshopped).
- Also averted in an episode of Boston Legal when Alan Shore has a clam on the stand and does what South Park did: simply state what their beliefs were.
- Superjail devoted an entire episode, "Negatron," to a space cult that looked suspiciously like Happyology. Many of the references though were just obscure enough that only those familiar with Happyology would get the joke.
- The Simpsons
- The Movementarians. Devote all your money and labor to them and they will (eventually) take you to Blisstonia, noted for its high level of bliss. It ends with a double subversion. Plus "the Leader" is the spitting image of LRH, and laments "I should have stayed with the Promise Keepers" after the whole cult falls apart. However, the Movementarians also drew from other controversial religious groups, such as the Unification Church (the mass wedding), Osho (the leader driving around in a Rolls Royce), and Heaven's Gate (riding on a spaceship to another planet).
- Likely also an example of Getting Crap Past the Radar, at least Nancy Cartwright's, voice of Bart Simpson and a Happyologist.
- The Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers episode "Case of the Cola Cult", which features a cult centered around the worship of soda, could be a critique of Happyology, or of religion in general. There certainly are eerie parallels to Happyology in the episode (such as very rich mice giving all of their riches to a phony religion, only to have those riches embezzled by the cult leader's corrupt second-in-command). It's unclear what the writers were really going for, but it was certainly something pretty deep for a television cartoon made by Disney. All of which was likely to shoot right over the heads of the target audience.
- Ugly Americans had Randall join a Zombieology cult. He left because they wanted him to pay to join.
- The Flame Keepers Circle from Ben 10 started as this, but the nature of their god Dagon and their relationship with him makes them more like a Cult of Chuthulu.