It’s long been known that the “Church” of Scientology doesn’t take kindly to jokes that the organization is a for-profit cult based on a work of science fiction, but it’s a little more obvious than usual today, as a former Scientologist has revealed that the church investigated “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone after 2005’s classic “Trapped in the Closet” episode. Marty Rathbun, a former executive at Corporate Scientology, has leaked documents that show the church’s Office of Special Affairs — “the harassment and terror network of Corporate Scientology” — tried to bring down Parker and Stone through various means.
The whole thing is kind of long and lacking in anything revelatory or surprising, but here’s the AV Club’s summation:
According to those documents, Scientology operatives staked out the South Park production offices to compile personal information on the staff, and even concocted schemes to infiltrate the writers’ room using a Church plant who’d worked for Troma Entertainment’s Lloyd Kaufman. Through that mole, the Church established “leads” on several friends of Parker and Stone—including then-married couple John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn—whom they also targeted for “PRCs” (public records checks) and “special collections,” which Rathbun explains to the Village Voice is a Scientology code word for digging in the trash and looking for anything they can use against you, be it phone records and bank statements or even empty bottles of liquor and food containers that could help them “figure out your diet.” Unfortunately for the Church of Scientology, they were apparently thwarted in their attempts to dig through Parker and Stone’s trash.
C’mon, Scientology, step up your game. Enough with the covert intelligence-gathering and low-level intimidation stuff. Hire some hitmen already, give me some headlines I can work with.