When I first watched the Scientology episode of South Park called “Trapped In The Closet” back in 2005, I was simultaneously amused at what Scientologists believe, and frightened for Matt Stone and Trey Parker. You see, the church has a history of going after the people it deems its enemies, both by suing them in court and by more sinister means, and this episode was practically begging for retaliation. Sure enough, documents leaked in the past few days by former church official Mark Rathbun show that the church spied on the funny men for a whole year after that episode aired, trying to dig up information that could be used against them. It also spied on their friends and the writers who worked for them.
According to The Village Voice, the leaked documents contain detailed information on the church’s surveillance activities, which included “public record checks” and “special collections,” the latter of which basically means digging through someone’s trash for incriminating stuff. The people they did this to included Matt and Trey’s famous friends John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn, who were married at the time.
Via The Village Voice:
I asked Rathbun what kind of things OSA’s operatives would be looking for in the trash of Parker and Stone and their friends.
“Phone records. Bank records. Personal letters that expose some kind of vulnerability. They’ll read stuff into the kind of alcohol you’re drinking and how much. Prescriptions. They’ll figure out your diet. They can find out a lot about you through your trash,” he told me this morning by phone from his home in South Texas.
“You can see that the commanding officer is pissed off and not enough is getting done,” he says about the final lines from the OSA [Office Of Special Affairs] document. But additional documents show that the investigation did get going in a big way, and we’ll have more about that soon.
“Figure out your diet”? That’s some serious wackness, right there. “Breaking: Uncle Jesse eats Lucky Charms for breakfast!” Way to break a scandal, guys.
The church also tried to plant a mole of theirs in the writers room so as to get inside intel on Stone and Parker. It’s not yet known whether any of this proved fruitful, but the show seems to have continued on its merry, funny way, so I’m guessing they failed spectacularly. But even if they had gotten something on them, I’m not sure how it would have improved the image of Scientology. I mean, wasn’t the whole point of the episode that Scientologists are crazy, pissy, alien-worshippers who lash out at anyone who threatens their stranglehold on the rubes who fund their pseudo-church? Hiding in Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s bushes is sort of just proving their point.
UPDATE: And now they have issued a half-baked denial. Cool.
(Via Runnin Scared)