If you’ve ever read The Handmaid’s Tale or watched the hit show inspired by it, you’d know Margaret Atwood doesn’t put forward a particularly rosy view of religious institutions, especially the more controlling ones. So how does she reconcile the anti-theocratic themes of The Handmaid’s Tale with its show’s star, the lifelong Scientologist Elisabeth Moss? Atwood gave a particularly edgelord answer to that question in a New Yorker profile of Moss published Friday. “I don’t think it’s a question of a religion as such,” Atwood said. “I think it’s a question of who’s running it, and what are they using it for. What kind of power are they exerting over other people, benign or not? As far as I can tell, there’s a Hollywood version of Scientology. I mean, the origins are just batty, but compared to what?” Then the interviewer says she spoke “about the Pastafarians, a satirical religious group that worships a spaghetti god and whose members have sued for the right to wear colanders on their heads in government-I.D. photos.” The comparison is extremely generous to the Church of Scientology.
Moss also addressed how a viewer could reconcile Scientology with the image of religious abuse on the show, saying, “I would just encourage people to find out for themselves” several times. “I’ve certainly been guilty of reading an article or watching something and taking that as gospel,” she added. The profile includes the fact that the fathers of Moss and David Miscavige, the leader of the Church of Scientology, once played in the same jazz band. No word on Miscavige’s missing wife, however.