Movementarianism is a spoof of multiple cults, one being Scientology with the appearance of the Leader being based on that of L. Ron Hubbard. Another cult spoofed was the "Moonies" of Sun Myung Moon, whereby new members would enter training camps with banners and balloons that read "Welcome Home Brothers & Sisters". Training would be intensive, where sessions would last for several hours and privacy was nonexistent. Moonies were also known for "mass marriages", as shown by the Movementarians. Another cult leader spoofed was Bahagwan Shree Rajneesh (also called "Osho"). Like The Leader, Osho was infamous for driving in a Rolls-Royce while his followers lined the side of the road to watch him go by.
When Marge attempts to leave the compound, she is chased by the Rover guard "balloon" from the 1967 television program The Prisoner.
The song "I Love You, You Love Me" from Barney and Friends is used to brainwash babies. The Barney the Dinosaur knock-off used here is the same one from Rosebud that kept saying, "2+2 is four" before Mr. Burns interrupted all programming in Springfield. He was singing:
"We love him
He loves we
We're the leader's family"
The symbols Mr. Burns attempts to use in his religion are The K from the Kellogs brand cereal and the Ears of Mickey Mouse from Disney.
A radio station in Sacramento uses Barney's quote after Moe uses a voodoo doll on him "Whoa, I need a drink!".
Previous Episode References
Willie, Lovejoy, and Marge are all unable to knock out Homer by hitting him with bats - this is a reference to the episode "The Homer They Fall", which reveals Homer has a protective layer around his brain which gives him a great deal of protection.
In this episode Homer says the phrase "jerkass", this was the first time and what initially gave way to the phrase "jerkass homer" which is what fans have dubbed him seasons 12-14 due to his actions of acting like a jerk.
Despite having died, Bleeding Gums Murphy still appears in this episode, though that might be a lookalike.
Mr. Burns' head is seen in the first row from behind as people are watching the film about "Bilsstonia", but when the camera changes in front of the people, he is not seen.
As Homer and Bart walk past the people advertising religion, the initial side-view shows two men who are gone when the camera changes angles and pans to the side: a man sitting down with a drum and another man in an orange suit jacket.
Lisa's dress briefly appears with sleeves while she, Homer, Bart and Maggie are held in Ned's rumpus room.
How did The Leader's fake spaceship feature elaborate blinking lights if it was merely made of wood and had no visible power source seen when it fell apart?
When the "spaceship" initially powers up near the end of the episode, it emits a low-pitched hum. But after it breaks apart and reveals the Leader's pedal-powered craft, the humming (done by the Leader using a comb and wax paper) is now mid-toned.
Ned Flanders is dispensing beer in his rumpus room, but in "Hurricane Neddy" Ned mentions that he doesn't drink, dance or swear. Ned has been shown to drink in other early episodes, so it's possible he quit drinking and keeps the beer in his rumpus room for guests or he simply never had it removed or replaced with a non-alcoholic beverage.
↑Mirkin, David. (2006). The Simpsons season 9 DVD commentary for the episode "The Joy of Sect" [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.