Church of Scientology allegedly ran background checks on friends of 'South Park' creators

Matt-Trey

Image Credit: Michael Yarish/Comedy Central

A former Church of Scientology member has alleged the organization ran background checks on people it believed to be friends of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The investigations followed the 2005 screening of the South Park episode ‘Trapped in the Closet,” which lampooned both the church and, specifically, Scientology follower Tom Cruise.

Yesterday, former church executive Mark “Marty” Rathburn published on his website a report allegedly written by Scientology’s Commanding Officer, Office of Special Affairs, which, according to Rathburn, reveals the organization investigated the public records of non-Scientologists the church thought might help in getting a “direct line” to Stone and Parker. These included John Stamos, his ex-wife Rebecca Romijn, and South Park consultant Matt Prager.

Both Trey Parker and Matt Stone declined to comment on the subject. The Church of Scientology failed to respond to requests for a reaction to Rathburn’s allegations.

Comments (210 total) Add your comment
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  • NedPepper

    Can we bomb this cult already?

    • veronica

      I guess there’s something really unusual about finding a direct line to the show–like 99% of the business conducted in Hollywood isn’t based on knowing someone. So what?

      • Jennissa

        Interesting thing is Cruise took the heat for a hard line against Paxil which GlaxoSmithKline quit manufacturing cuz they lost their shirts from people suing for damages. So after all the broohaha turns out he was right. So I guess he saved lives by warning people about the drug. Parker and Stone are good at taking the piss out of people, but I never saw them do anything of social benefit.

      • LoyalOfficer

        That isn’t true. Cruise took a hard line against RITALIN. $cientology whackos are against ALL psychiatric medications and the very practice of psychiatry. People have DIED under the care of $cientology when their medications have been removed. People have also KILLED others when, under $Sciloontology’s care, their medications were removed.

      • Greg

        A church doing background checks? Who ever heard of such nonsense?

      • Jenny

        Another pathetic non-story from that sicko Clark Collis. When he’s not slobbering over Human Centipede, he just puts out old trash nobody cares about. Total joke of a writer.

      • Realist

        These boys (ahem) men seem to can’t stop getting themselves in trouble with other people.

      • lala

        My best friend has just announced her wedding with a great man who is a cele+brity!
        They met-via { millionaireluv.сσм }
        It is nice club for rich men or pretty girls mate.
        You do not need to be wealthy or famous, but you can meet your true love, it’s worthy a try.

      • playjojo

        Oh please, Cruise mouthed off on ALL meds, AND therapy. He called it for the weak. Sorry, the guys a loser.

      • Papandiaw

        Just a note to tell you guys that anonymous mvmeoent is super awesome and yay!!! Keep it up!!! Just be careful when you are out and about picketing or taking part I know from some very reliable sources that the scientology camp has hired its own PI’s to pose as anonymous members to try to get any info that they can for their usual try to sue people and slander scare tactics. So hey just be anonymous and don’t give out any of your personal info to anyone but PLEASE keep it up .and again Yay for anonymous!!

    • Pope Benny

      What are you, a Muslim? Wanting to bomb other religions. Didn’t your mother teach you any better manners than that? You’re nothing but a #*#*@) camel jockey that’s what. #!*@($ Muslim.

      • Jennissa

        Loyal Officer, it was Paxil that started this off–giving it to pregnant women, as a matter of fact. Pregnant women “share” their drugs with their unborn kids and provide them to the in their milk. The black box label on Paxil, ordered by the FDA AFTER this episode, states: “”Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in short-term studies in children and adolescents with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders. Anyone considering the use of [Drug Name] or any other antidepressant in a child or adolescent must balance this risk with the clinical need. Patients who are started on therapy should be observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, or unusual changes in behavior.” So let’s check out the real issues. How many billion did they lose because of this. Who pays the Comedy Central bills is what I think would be an interesting question. How much of a share in the investment does Big Pharma or Big Pharma front groups cover?

      • veronica

        It’s true. According to Wikipedia, Brooke Shields was taking Paxil, and it was Cruise speaking out about her promoting for pregnant women to take Paxil that touched this all off. He didn’t even tell her not to take it herself–just not to promote it as a cureall to pregnant women and those with babies. And based on these warnings, he was right.

      • Greg

        It reminds me of the end of the original beneath the planet of the apes movie.

      • SLB

        I think it’s a joke to call Scientology a religion.

      • JD

        Brooke Shields took the anti-depressants for Post-Partum depression. She encouraged all mothers who experienced PP Depression to get help, not to suffer in silence. Again – POST Partum, ie, AFTER the baby was born.

      • W69

        Anyone who takes medical advice from Tom Cruise (or Brooke Shields for that matter) needs far stronger drugs than Paxil to being them back to reality. Come on, why does anyone really care what either of them says?

    • House

      yes lets bomb it! its a clut…ever notice how the worst ctors are includein this?? crusie & hair club in the closet john travoltra!! tthese people make me sick!

      • Ian

        Learn how to spell and type correctly before attempting any sort of rant.

      • John

        Another uneducated (“clut” “ctors”, includein”?) advocator of terrorism. Someone needs to be both taught how to spell and cleared by the FBI.

    • A_Watcher

      Sure, if you want them to sue you and make you’re life a living Hell.

    • Cygnus

      Sounds like Matt and Trey now have more ammo for another episode lampooning Scientology again.

    • asdf

      What cult’s bible is under copyright? Oh thats right one founded by a failed sci fi writer to fund his retirement.

      • muldo

        I agree Scientology should not be classified as a religion but you realize a couple of the translations of the Christian bible are protected by copyright laws? Specifically two of the most common the NIV and NAS.

      • rc

        ALL published translations of the Bible are done so with copyright protection. Even King James Versions, which are public domain, are still published under copyright, which protects the work of the publishing house, which adds such things as concordances, footnotes, sidenotes, maps, photos, pictures, etc. The copyright is intended to limit the reproduction of the work (usually applied to photocopies, but also applied to direct quotes) to some percentage of any given passage, usually 10%, without the express written permission of the copyright holder/publisher. This is nothing new, copyright laws have existed well over a hundred years. Technically copyright laws existed back in Shakespeare’s time, just not anywhere near as robust as they are today in their design of protecting the labor of the translators, printers, and distributors.

      • James

        Failed?

      • Derangedcowbrain

        The whole scientology thing is nutcasey–but Hubbard did write one hell of a sci-fi farce. The book _Battlefield Earth_ is actually good, believe it or not. In a campy, silly, overly overt way.

    • saganhill

      Only if we can also bomb the cult of christianity and all the other cults in this world.

    • John

      Advocating terrorism online? Wow. That’s smart.

      • Jessica

        Wow, I was thinking the same thing when I saw the clip of her mafrorpence. (All these whack reality shows way too much and I do not watch). I was thinking all this back story if unnecessary especially when this is about singing. She incriminated herself and put herself out there to be revealed as being untruthful. I wish she would have let the talent she has carry her and not stoop to trying to win people over with lies. Why, you ask? She ended marriage#3 to baby daddy #1 recently. She has made him out to be a not there kind of dad and that is NOT true. Baby #2 is has a different father who may not be active but think how does a story play out when you married and going through a divorce and wam you pop up preggo? She is into Scientology like Tom Cruise hence their linkage. She was a victim of abuse. No one wants to discredit her, but to want to win by spinning and selling your life story as a pitfall of disasters is not accurate. She may not be a mega star but she has accomplished more than what real struggling artist have not. Who can say they were in a female R&B group, made 2 albums, did Broadway, toured, etc. She is even known for being in Friends and Lovers Stage play <<< (look it up). But hey if her celeb friends Tisha Campbell Martin, Shaun Robinson & Shari Headley promote her to the top I guess we will know how much of a non-factor she is on having celeb endorsement and not talent. NEXT!

    • Damion

      LOL, totally! But only if we can include Catholics in there as well!

  • JaySin420

    Oh come on now, even Uncle Jesse is a scientologist?

    • YODA1201

      No… Uncle Jesse is a freind of South Park who they ran a background check on.

    • Jennissa

      Ooooh a background check. Call in the National Guard. Stone and Parker can trash everyone, but anyone trying to engage them on it is off limits. Well I don’t agree with that

      • Carherine

        But why would they even run background checks?

      • Ralphie

        Sounds like someone’s trapped in the closet! Poor deluded Jennissa.

        Trey and Matt are geniuses who can do what they do bc they’re equal opportunity satirists who welcome critics.

      • LoyalOfficer

        And digging through their trash and doing the same to other employees of the show! SCILOONS Those cult members sure are crazy! The federal government needs to heavily investigate them for their human rights abuses. You know, like Jan Eastgate a prominent sciloontologist in Australia for covering up pedophilia in the cult of $cientology?

      • Misha Lauenstein

        @Catherine
        Well it wouldn’t be very fun to work in the Office of Special Affairs if all they did is fold napkins.

      • Ian

        Jennissa, where did Parker and Stone say they are off-limits? They didn’t comment at all. All of this is coming from a former scientologist and is being reported by EW. Parker & Stone haven’t said a word, and I’m sure they have no care if people attempt to slam them. They do their talking through their show.

      • Mike

        They didn’t do just background checks, they also looked in their garbadge and tried to sneek into their personal lives to get some dirt. Now that’s playing really dirty.

      • LK

        Hi “Jennissa.” Nice to know a Scientologist was one of the first to weigh in on this comment board. Keep it creepy, yo.

    • Pope Benny

      “the organization investigated the public records of NON-Scientologists… These included John Stamos…”

  • LOL

    Religions are just cults with more members.

    • LoyalOfficer

      And without the attacking of critics, mind control, forced abortions, use of slave labor, financial defrauding of members and other various immoral and criminal acts that the cult of $cientology engages in.

      • ash

        can’t tell… if… sarcastic or not…

      • JasonLinMT

        LOL! Are you kidding me? Name one “religion” that doesn’t engage in mind control? Most use slave labor, and financially defraud their members and engage in other immoral and criminal acts, namely child m0lestation. The ONLY thing you are right about is forced abortions, since most accepted religions are against abortion.

        It is a FACT that one definition of a cult is simply a religion that is less popular than the accepted religions within a given geographic area, so LOL’s comment that “Religions are just cults with more members.” is technically correct. In some parts of the world, christianity, mainstream christianity, such as Catholicism, would be considered a cult, by definition.

      • Eric Cartman

        In the immortal words of Eric Cartman:

        “Join us…yes…join us…”

  • Stacie

    John Stamos?

    • Pope Benny

      To quote the article “the organization investigated the public records of non-Scientologists… These included John Stamos…”

  • Erin

    John Stamos is a Sceintologist??

    • Jane

      Could you people learn how to read & then properly understand what you read? The article clearly states that the “church” ran background checks on people whom it believed to have a “direct line” to the Southpark creators. NOT Scientology members. THEREFORE- “Uncle Jesse” – according to this article which is not confusing in any way- is not a scientologist but perhaps a “Southpark supporter”. Sheesh PEOPLE!!! Go back to school!

      • benjamin gerstein

        Well, at the risk of having my literacy attacked, I am going to say that I found the article unclear about if the background checks were on their own members or merely friends of Parker and Stone. Either way, it’s shameful and paranoid.

      • SJ

        So what you’re saying Jane is that Uncle Jesse was definitely a founding member of Scientology, the son of L.Ron and the Olsen twins are Theta 7s rivaling Tom Cruise. Got it.

      • Jane

        LOL @SJ.

      • wes

        Jane is right, I don’t know who anyone could possible interpret the article incorrectly. State of education I guess. It will only get worse with all the students “occupying”.

      • Pope Benny

        Thank you Jane, people don’t seem to be able to read the shortest of articles or know their civic history. John Stamos was chosen because he’s been known to bridge across religious and political boundaries in Hollywood and bring people together. Nixon in China, Carter in the Middle East, Reagan in the USSR, and Stamos in Hollywood. Stamos’ most famous character was Uncle Jesse named after peace-activist Jesse Jackson. People know your history.

    • H. Jentz

      No. Stamos is not a scientologist. He’s way too smart.

      • Stacie

        I guess I’m more surprised at his friendship with the show. Have mercy!

    • Pope Benny

      Can’t you read? to quote the article “the organization investigated the public records of non-Scientologists… These included John Stamos…”

  • bigmac

    These Scientology b@$t@rd$ also killed Kenny…

    • veronica

      Oh c’mon. You can’t possibly believe that b*lsh@t

      • bigmac

        I do, because their alien god said so and he’d never lie…

    • Pope Benny

      Only because he was a Muslim.

    • Charles Byrde

      You Bastards !!!!

  • t@rd

    it just proves they cannot take a joke. next time they get mentioned they will probably just send kirstie alley and john travolta to eat the people they are paranoid about.

    • JayNYC

      They ARE a joke, which is precisely why they can’t take one.

      • Carherine

        I don’t think you know much about Scientology, or you wouldn’t call it a joke. Oops, I might get myself a backgroud check too.

      • SLB

        A religion created from a science fiction novel isn’t a joke?

  • V_Mathison

    So what kind of church hires PIs and various thugs to harass its critics and dig through their trash?
    Answer: no kind of real church.
    Religion is free – Scientology is neither.

    • Ralphie

      Well said!

      I’ve always held the theory Scientology is just a fancy bank that lets celebs hide their money from the government. “Donate” and it’s tax deductible!

    • bhm1304

      What religion is free? Don’t all these cults, Scientology, Mormonism, Catholicism, etc. make all of their members tithe a percentage of their wealth? Have you ever seen all of the gold and jewelry littering Vatican City? Atheism is the only choice that is free and sane.

      • A_Watcher

        Reality check; Catholicism does NOT force you to hand over money so you can learn the story of Christ or have ‘fixed price lists’.

      • justsayin™

        true watcher, they dont force you but dont quite a few churches pass around a collection plate during services? Where it’s public and if ya dont donate you may get looked down upon by fellow church goers. Granted its not like scientologists do but they do still beg ya for your cash. If im wrong sorry but that was my understanding of how things went at church.

      • V_Mathison

        No church MAKES its members tithe money just to attend or receive knowledge (with the one possible exception being the Mormons, who have to be 10% tithe payers to go to their temples). Scientology not only does this, but has a sliding fee rate and uses hard-sell and bait-and-switch to keep increasing amounts of money coming for its pseudoscience.

      • puddinman

        You are partially correct. All religions ask their followers to support them with voluntary donations. I don’t think there is anything wrong with this practice; how would they survive otherwise?

        However, Scientology goes far beyond “voluntary donations.” Everything you do in Scientology costs money. “Auditing,” the core practice of the religion, costs around $320 per hour last I checked. Of course, you could decide to train as an auditor and get your auditing for free, but the courses are not cheap: the Auditor Basics Course is >$5000. Or you could decide to join staff to get your auditing and courses at a significant discount, but you’ll basically end up working for free. And we haven’t even touched on the cost of the required books, lectures, e-meter ($4500 by itself), etc.

        So, while it’s true that all religions ask their followers to give them money, Scientology is clearly a very different animal.

      • @justsayin

        Yes, they pass around collection – the people in the church get paid salaries, the church needs a new roof, it does more charity work than any other church in Seattle, etc etc… some people like helping out.
        I’ve never donated in that way (in the public collection basket) and no, nobody looks down on you if you don’t donate. I rarely sit next to someone I know anyway.

  • BobDecker

    Funny that people believe so much in something that was created by someone who, on record, essentially stated that he could easily make up a religion just to make money off of and people would do it. He was right…sadly.

  • tim

    how much would I have to give to meet our alien overlords.

    • SJ

      This is a good question, Tim. The problem with Scientologists is you have to go all in before you get to the good stuff. You spend a lot of time sweeping floors and buying Caribou Coffee (they are adamantly against Starbucks) before you even get to see the special Xerox copies.

    • Charles Byrde

      All of it

  • aleksa

    Dum dum dum dum dumb…. (Okay, different episode, but it still fits).

    • jul

      yes!!

  • Jaime

    Considering they announced they ran background checks, yet don’t say anything specific, I’m guessing they didn’t find any dirt on these two. So what exactly is the point of this?

    • rosie

      To show the creepy abusive stuff that this cult does which includes stalking critics, going through their garbage, following them around, putting friends next to them to get info on them in addition to all kinds of other crimes and abuses from forced abortions to human trafficking.

  • Tom Travolta

    Scientology is no more far fetched than any other religion. Just because it’s infused with sci-fi and was written by a hack author who was also a pedophile, doesn’t make it not real. All hail Xenu! lol

    • A_Watcher

      I suggest you do your research then. Because NO WHERE were beliefs discussed. We are talking about ACTIONS and BEHAVIOR.

      xenu.net

      • Tom Travolta

        I know plenty about scientology and religions in general and I know they are all a sham. I’m just trying to point out that they get a bad rap because of the whole alien thing. It’s no more far fetched than say, a virgin birth or walking on water. And as far as actions and behavior are concerned they are no worse overall than the catholic church.
        And I actually find this whole thing to be quite amusing and can’t wait to see Matt and Trey put it into an episode. Maybe the scientologists can try and take down The Super Best Friends. It writes itself!

      • Chipperkeet

        The crucial difference is, the founder of Scientology stated, outright, that he wanted to start a religion because that’s where the money is… the other religions may have started for the same reasons, but the founders weren’t recorded saying it, at least…

      • Bratt

        You are right. If you saw the episode it was more about TC sneeking into Stans room and staying in the closet. “Come out of the closet TC” Scientology then took a back seat.
        But because they deared to make fun of its member and mention their name in an unflattering light they took it upon themselves to try to retalate behind Matt and Treys backs instead of face to face.

  • Louise

    This is no ordinary religion. I was raised Baptist and when I turned 18, I stopped going to church. No one shunned me, investigated me or tried to get me to pay money. That is the difference.

    • rosie

      -Everything costs in scientology, thousands of dollars
      -You are not told initially about the space aliens, you only find out much later after thousands of dollars-bait and switch fraud
      -forced abortion of some staff
      -human trafficking
      -slave labor
      -child labor
      -child abuse
      -governmental spying
      etc etc etc.

      A lot more far fetched, I think.

    • SJ

      Louise, that is legit. The Baptists may be mad at you or say you’re “backslidden” but the stories of former Scientologists are chilling. There’s a great Rolling Stone article in the archives from around 2005 that’s excellent. Gives other resources to those interested.

    • Pope Benny

      Yeah, but are you hot?

      • SJ

        Pope Benny: we are hot, and off limits ‘cuz Popes don’t get play.

  • Esox

    No one’s backing Scientology yet? I mean I know what side of this argument I’m on, but I was sure there’d be someone railing about South Park’s content.

    Yay America!

    • Ramubay

      I hate South Park. But I hate Scientology even more. And Jay Leno even more. Worst would be Rosie O’Donnell. I love Holly Madison. Love Vanessa Hudgens, Jennette McCurdy, Araina Grande, Sammi Hanratty. Down with hate, up with love!

      • Cris

        “Down with hate”, yet you start off your post by listing the things you hate, and the things you hate “even more.” I hate hypocrites. How’s that. So go back to loving your teenybopper jailbait Nickelodeon actresses, moron.

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