HBO late-night star John Oliver has shut down his newly founded religion, Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption, because, he says, they received four packages containing jars of semen.
The shutdown, announced at the end of Sunday night’s Last Week Tonight, comes just one month after Oliver announced the religion’s founding on his program. He’d launched the church to demonstrate the IRS laxness when it comes to policing the tax-exempt nonprofit status of bogus religions. Unveiling his new religion, Oliver had asked viewers to “sow a seed of faith and donate to our church.”
They received “tens of thousands of dollars, mostly in single dollar bills, which was a little annoying,” Oliver said last night. But that’s not why they’re shutting down the operation, he insisted. Nor is it because Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption is breaking any laws by promising followers untold riches in return to sending money, he insisted. What tripped up the gag is the receipt of “four packages containing jars and/or vials of semen. And some looked fake, but others did not.”
“So, we are shutting this shit down and I’ll tell you why: because setting up churches is all fun and games until someone gets sperm in an envelope.”
All money sent in will be sent to Doctors Without Borders, which had been spelled out in the gag’s fine print from the get-go. “If you want to send your money to a fake church, send it to Scientology,” Oliver suggested one night after HBO’s documentary Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief mopped up the Emmy Awards for best documentary special, best nonfiction writing, and best nonfiction directing.