Home / News / Scientology's Office of Special Affairs targets South Park creators Parker and Stone for 2005 episode Trapped in the Closet
Scientology's Office of Special Affairs targets South Park creators Parker and Stone for 2005 episode Trapped in the Closet

Scientology's Office of Special Affairs targets South Park creators Parker and Stone for 2005 episode Trapped in the Closet

Scientology, like the FBI, likes to investigate those who anger or embarrass them.   The latest famous targets have been the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, for the episode on Scientology that gave away all the bizarre higher teachings  entitled "Trapped in the Closet:"

Mark "Marty" Rathbun's blog was the first to break the story and produce a memo from the OSA detailing their efforts to find out who knows Parker and Stone, who their friends are, and how they can get close to Parker and Stone, including going through their trash, hacking into airline ticket records, and, according to the Village Voice, putting a "mole" into the studio to track them. 

Here is the detail of the OSA memo from Rathbun's blog:

In ’06 the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, became targets of Corporate Scientology’s OSA. Operations were run in an attempt to silence Parker and Stone.  While Corporate Scientology was ultimately unsuccessful, left behind an instructive data trail during their efforts.

16 April 2006 Report by Commanding Officer Office of Special Affairs (Corporate Scientology harassment agency, also known as OSA)(Parenthetical notations added)

Re: South Park

Eric Sherman (then-corporate Scientologist writer), who is good friends with Lloyd Kaufman (independent film maker), contacted him about South Park. Kaufman knows Trey Parker and Matt Stone and has been friends with them for years. As regards their attack on Scientology, Kaufman felt that this is the same thing they do to everyone. He said that they consider that what they do is satire and that they attack anyone or any group without any regard for who they are or what they are. They love it when they get some reaction. This week they created a new flap when they were going to show a picture of the prophet Mohammed but were censored from doing so by Comedy Central. (This  was covered in the press – Comedy Central was criticized for being hypocritical, i.e., they allowed South Park to show Jesus defecating on an American flag and George Bush, but not to show an image of Mohammed. This upset Christians in particular the Catholic League.)

To find a direct line into Stone and Parker some of their friends have been identified. One is Matthew Prager, who has been a friend since 1991. He worked with them as a writer on a show called, “That’s My Bush” which Parker and Stone created. Prager said he worked in executive positions at Disney, MTV and finally, at HBO, before shedding his tie for blue jeans at “That’s My Bush.”

Another is John Stamos who is best friends with Matt Stone. Apparently               his ex-wife, Rebecca Romijn, is also good friends with Stone. Rebecca is a former supermodel and currently has her own TV show.  In 2000’s X-Men, she had her first major movie role as Mystique and returned to the role in the 2003 sequel. 

David Goodman is another friend of Parker and Stone. He was in college with them and has co-written some of the South Park episodes with them.

These connections are being PRC’d.  (PRC = Public Records Check –an intense collection of every public record available on the target)

There are some strings that will be pulled on the PRC on Stone. Otherwise the special collections (covert information gathering such as trash collection, purchased phone records, hacked airline reservations, purchased bank records) will be debugged in order to get some viable strings that can be pulled.

It is clear that this investigation is not going anywhere and DCOE (D/Commanding Officer External OSA) is getting it debugged.

The Village Voice adds in a follow up article that spying on former members or people that offend Scientologists isn't a new thing, and indeed, it is frightening how much information they got on Parker and Stone:

Today, we have more leaked OSA documents which give some idea of the extent of the spying operation on the South Park offices and the people who worked there.

They suggest that after traditional approaches with private investigators had stalled, OSA turned to film consultant Eric Sherman, a Scientologist, to help them find a young filmmaker who would make an effective mole at the South Park offices.

For decades, Scientology has earned a reputation for severe retaliation against perceived enemies and carrying on "noisy investigations" that involve private investigators and intimidation squads. We've been documenting many examples of that this year as Scientology goes through perhaps its most difficult period.

The defection of former high ranking officials Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder has been a nightmare for the church. As Scientology expends enormous resources to surveill and harass each of them, Rathbun continues to leak formerly secret OSA documents at his blog.

Not on his blog, however, is a document which he supplied to Marc Headley, a man we have written about frequently here at the Voice, and who was subject to his own retaliation and spying operations by the church. Rathbun gave Headley extensive OSA documents which showed how the church attempted to turn his Scientologist friends into spies.

These documents are in the forms of reports made by operatives to OSA executives. Rathbun and Rinder say these reports would also have been read by church leader David Miscavige who, they say, watches carefully over all of Scientology's covert operations.

The article goes on to detail memos from the OSA showing just how much information the Church of Scientology had dug up on Parker and Stone, including what their office space looks like, if workers for South Park go out for lunch or not, what the name of the catering service is, what Parker and Stone's license plate numbers are, and other chilling details.  It seems fitting for an organization in which L. Ron Hubbard, their founder, said:

  • THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN CONTROL PEOPLE IS TO LIE TO THEM. You can write that down in your book in great big letters. The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.
    • Lecture: "Off the Time Track" (June 1952) as quoted in Journal of Scientology issue 18-G, reprinted in Technical Volumes of Dianetics & Scientology Vol. 1, p. 418

About Dakota O'Leary

Dakota O'Leary is a freethinker, and often sassy, scholar of theology and literature. She got her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Theology from the State University of New York College at Buffalo, and her Master of Arts degree in Theology and Literature from Antioch University-Midwest. She is a contributing writer focusing on eschatology, biblical prophecy, and general religious news. Dakota is a co-host of the God Discussion radio show, offering insight to the news stories of the week. We like to call her "our in-house Biblical prophecy expert" as her articles on eschatology have received over 200,000 views on God Discussion.
  • This complete invasion of privacy is disturbing, at best. Regardless of whatever showed up, I can't help but think of the phrase, "My freedom begins where yours ends."

    During our GodDiscussion show with Janet Reitman, there were a number of Scientologists who called who struck me as very sincere, good people who were receiving some kind of benefit from Scientology. Of course, there were some very dark and disturbing stories, too. It is a shame that the top administration behaves in this nasty manner.


  • It is important to understand that those who called into the show were likely "managed". As you noted at the time, for example, the area code of at least one of the callers was Glendale-most likely meaning CoS staff. Scientologists are generally discouraged from randomly contacting media and commenting on the CoS. Part of OSA responsibility is to "astroturf" any criticism whether it be in comment threads, or on radio shows. They had lots of time to prepare.

    That said, obviously, there are certainly some very sincere and good people involved in the CoS, and that there are some who receive a benefit.

    But it isn't just "top administration" that behaves in this nasty manner. It is part of doctrine and policy which originated with Hubbard, which every Scientologist is taught, that the most important thing is to Keep Scientology Working. You are “homo novis”-new, superior man- as opposed to “wogs”, those outside Scientology with "wog" law. It is more important to than anything, including your friends or family. That means each Scientologist is asked(read:demanded) to adhere this, or lose “their eternity”. You can see this from Louanne, to the Squirrel Busters who chase Marty Rathbun and Karen De La Carriere.

    But also you can see this in so many examples of the everyday life of the ordinary Scientologist. The “reg” who is required to make the public member sign up for whatever course he can get the member on, to meet his stats, making the member max out his credit cards and mortgage and lose his home. The policy that you should never report any internal problems to the police for example, because that will make Scientology look bad. That has resulted in numerous cases of sexual assault or child abuse not being reported(Google Jan Eastgate to see a case currently being prosecuted in Australia, of a child sexual abuse case covered up by the CoS) and the cover up of things such as the circumstances behind the death of Lisa McPherson.

    Perhaps the worst is the policy of disconnection that has been talked about where you are required to ‘disconnect’ from anyone that is critical of Scientology (even if the person is a friend or family). Husbands are required to divorce wives, sons to cut off their mothers, etc. The Village Voice recently ran a story on the case of Lori Hodgson, a mother who was being prevented from talking to her son involved in a motorcycle accident because her 18 year old son had been told by the CoS to disconnect from her or he would “lose his eternity”. Indeed, Issac Hayes, “Chef” didn’t “quit” south Park, he was required to “disconnect” from Matt and Trey. He loved the show, and had had a stroke; his “handlers” quit for him.

    It isn’t just the top administration- it is inherent in the system and every individual working to hold that system up.

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