|“||We had a re-birthing ceremony in my friend's hot tub. I am now a Level Five Laser Lotus in my Buddhist community||”|
|“||Um, that does not sound like Buddhism. Are you sure you're not in a cult?||”|
Pierce currently practices a religion called Reformed Neo Buddhism. Despite the fact that the study group believes it to be a cult, Pierce remains a devout follower of its teachings and has obtained the rank of a Level Five Laser Lotus. Pierce's mom was also a member of the "church" but unlike her son did not really believe in its teachings. It is first mentioned in the Season One episode "Comparative Religion" and then explained in more detail in "The Science of Illusion". It is further explored in the Season Two episode "The Psychology of Letting Go".
Being indoctrinated into the religion requires a "re-birthing" ceremony where the inductee is submerged in water. The members are divided into separate communities called "hives". A promotion system is used to rank each member with numbers corresponding to a level they have attained so far. A ceremony is held annually where prospective members can be promoted to the next level. Those members are required to fast and detoxify before the ceremony. According to Pierce, a Level Six Laser Lotus gains special powers after being promoted including immunity to germs, heightened psychic ability, and improved night vision. Followers wear formal attire consisting of a teal Nehru jacket and matching pants. Members with a level over five are given special robes to wear. The followers await the return of Buddha and believe that when he reappears people will turn into a shimmering ocean of knowledge that tastes like Hawaiian Punch.
Life after corporeal deathEditWhen Pierce's mother dies, he explains to the study group his religion's process of death/rebirth through a chart:
- The first step is becoming a Level 5 Laser Lotus.
- The corporeal body dies.
- It is vaporized in the Temple of Renewal.
- The vapors are stored in an Energon pod.
- Once the technology catches up, the vapors will be restored to human form to live again.
Pierce elaborates that energon cultivated by super bees in a Buddhist meteor crator was used to power the Temple of Renewel which vaporized his mothers remains.
- The religion can be seen as a satire of the popular and similarly sci-fi oriented religion The Church of Scientology founded by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard.
- Energon is a reference to the energy/fuel used by The Transformers.
- The belief that the return of Buddha results in humans turning into liquid form is a reference to "The End of Evangelion", an alternate ending to the anime series "Neon Genesis Evangelion". In the movie, humanity is returned to the Primordial soup and their souls are merged into one consummate being.