Scientology Targeted South Park's Parker and Stone in Investigation (UPDATED)

ParkerStone.jpg
Stone (left) and Parker
UPDATE: New Scientology internal documents about the investigation of Parker and Stone leaked. See our new story here. Also, Scientology responds to this story, and we decode their response for you.

NEW: filmmaker Lloyd Kaufman confirms that he was asked about Trey Parker and Matt Stone by Scientology's Eric Sherman in 2006. And Mark Ebner adds more confirmation that OSA followed people who worked on the 2005 South Park episode. Also, a private investigator describes sifting trash for the Church of Scientology.

Another interesting revelation at Marty Rathbun's blog this morning: Rathbun released what he said was an internal Scientology document which suggests that the church targeted Trey Parker and Matt Stone for a classic OSA investigation in retaliation for the infamous South Park episode that exposed the religion's bizarre upper-level teachings.

Rathbun tells me this initial document is just the beginning of a trove that describes how Scientology investigated Parker and Stone over a significant period after the duo deeply embarrassed the church with its 2005 episode, "Trapped in the Closet."

Marty Rathbun himself was once a powerful executive in Scientology who defected in 2004, and since 2009 has been criticizing church leader David Miscavige at his blog. At various times this year, Rathbun has made public similar documents which reveal the covert operations of Scientology's Office of Special Affairs.

The document he revealed today suggests that Scientology had identified Parker and Stone's close friends, and was examining public records on those people, looking for a vulnerability.

"To find a direct line into Stone and Parker some of their friends have been identified," reads the document, which reads like a typical OSA report on an ongoing investigation. The church's information allegedly was coming from Eric Sherman, a film consultant who Rathbun identifies as a Scientologist (the Voice is attempting to reach him), and who had talked with Troma Studio's Lloyd Kaufman for information about Parker and Stone.

Several friends to the South Park duo are then identified: writer Matthew Prager (That's My Bush), actor John Stamos, actress Rebecca Romijn, and writer David Goodman.

"These connections are being PRC'd," reads the document, and Rathbun explains that the acronym stands for "public records check." Scientology's standard procedure would be to put its private eyes on a complete check of these people and their property, legal, and other public records. If they owed taxes, or had been in messy divorces, or had been arrested, Scientology would soon know about it.

"There are some strings that will be pulled on the PRC on Stone," the document reads, suggesting that investigators had already found something about Matt Stone in public records that would make him vulnerable.

"Otherwise the special collections will be debugged in order to get some viable strings that can be pulled," the document then reads, and Rathbun explains that "special collections" is Scientology's code for trash digging.

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 document. But additional documents show that the investigation did get going in a big way, and we'll have more about that soon.



The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#6: Anonymous
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] | [Commenters of the Week] [Thursday 2pm Stats!]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]
[Scientology High School, Dating and Super Powers!]


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111 comments
lalato
lalato

Tony Ortega, Village Voice editor, tries to protect prostitution ad revenue, denigrates anti-child trafficking activists and tries to manipulate statistics on child sex trafficking to create an image of a minor problem.  See here: http://villagevoicepimp.com/to...

lalato
lalato

Tony Ortega, Village Voice editor, tries to protect prostitution ad revenue, denigrates anti-child trafficking activists and tries to manipulate statistics on child sex trafficking to create an image of a minor problem.  See here: http://villagevoicepimp.com/to...

LocalSP1
LocalSP1

Just a quick tip Tony. When mentioning Rebecca Romijn in an article it would good to post a really hot picture of her. I'm sure it would help grab your readers attention. I know it would grab mine.

Tom Tucker
Tom Tucker

F*U*C*K the Church of Scientology, the best way to achieve perfection is to skull*f*u*c*k Hubbard's corpse.

Asian Dude
Asian Dude

Dear Scientology PR Machine.

Please continue to provide us with so much footbullets that it will keep us laughing all night long (and bonus if you could keep us laughing in our sleep).

SignedAsian Dude.

Alistair
Alistair

Well, I don't think L. Ron would be very pleased with the lack of persistence the OSA demonstrated in fair-gaming the South Park guys. Pretty shoddy work, especially compared to what the Guardian's Office might have done back in the 1970s! Why didn't they plant something on Matt or Trey or get them arrested like they did poor Paulette Cooper?

mike
mike

Amazing that you guys believe Marty when he is against the Church but villify him whenever he says anything positive about the tech.  This is an article about absolutely nothing.  Please tell me what law was broken?  Where is the document?  Can you really trust Marty's integrity? 

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

This story got picked up by EW / Entertainment Weekly magazine online. Thumbs up! :D

ajweberman
ajweberman

THAT IS AWFUL SPYING ON SOMEONE THROUGH THEIR TRASH. THEY SHOULD  BE ARRESTED.

MarkStark
MarkStark

This story has wings!

It's a universal story, of how Scientology operates against all critics, and in this case the "jokers & degraders" happen to be popular figures in our culture right now.

No matter how many horrendous injustices happen, like what the cult did to Paulette Cooper (or other writers and critics) or Lisa McPherson (and countless other members who get abused, used, or ripped off) the fact remains that relating a cult activity to someone popular gets people's attention, just as Tom Cruise's video and appearance on Lauer got my attention.

Good job to Marty/Mike and Tony.

shag11
shag11

 Nothing but a damned cult.

Torychristman
Torychristman

Imagine me laughing...and then 10X it, OSA! You losers are too great for words.Keep up the *excellent* work, PLEASE. We (out) couldn't possibly show the worldhow evil/bad you are------they'd never believe what you do. But YOU showing them?Ah! A million dollar script. Thank you Davey boy...and keep in mind, please:Tick Tock, Tick Tock....Time is on *our* side! :) Love to ALL Tory/Magoo

Green Fields
Green Fields

I think only LRH coming back now and speaking publicly can handle this flap. That and a few Clears and OTs backing him up. If there were any.

Green Fields
Green Fields

Who knew the cartoon will assist in bringing the mighty cult down...

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Well, this is not surprising at all, since this is what they do,  but it's good to see it confirmed and reported by the media. I'm really glad Marty is publishing this stuff but I do wish he'd post the original documents.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Religion = Superstitious Nonsense for Ignorant Imbeciles

Period.

Richard wiseman
Richard wiseman

I wouldn't worry about Scientology or any of these groups. They're a sideshow, has beens, already beaten, bt don't know it; the living dead. There is only one God who has any power and His 'power was made perfect in weakness' and He requires his followers to accept the sin sacrifice of Christ, live by the example set by Christ in order to commune with Him, God that is. These Scientology people and their organised religious activities have nothing to offer mankind, along with most organised religions, which have moved too far away from God and his message for mankind. Let the Scientologists, Illuminati, organised religions of all creeds and even the Satanists get on with what they are doing, it won't do them any good in the end. Money is pointless and a false god, along with most human creations and a full life in spirit can only be achieved by communing with the guiding mind/ intelligent designer behind all of this; God.

GarryS
GarryS

Pure silliness at the hands of a cult that has continually put their foot in their mouth & choked on it. Parker & Stone have always taken a "take no prisoners" approach in their satire which has earned them plenty of insults & controversy for years.. On Wednesday's 'South Park' episode, Eric Cartman compels his teachers to beat up Disney star Selena Gomez because she's annoying... now members of the Latino community are whining. Parker & Stone live for these reactions.  For a destructive cult to take this silliness so seriously shows how utterly retarded and out of touch with reality they are.

Pete Griffiths
Pete Griffiths

How dare OSA behave as they do?  They think they are above the law. The police should raid every single Scientology org and mission right now and seize all files, including Gold Base.

Marcotai
Marcotai

The natural law below could be easily changed as: "Beware individuals who fights a pro-human rights group, for those individuals are too scared to be exposed for their crimes and dirty interests"

The proof of the law above can be easily demonstrated by the mere observation of  their pro-drugging of children (psychiatry), their pro-pedophilia, their pro-prostitution advertising. theirpro- religious bigotry in the name of "free speech", etc...etc...   

Marcotai
Marcotai

"BEWARE THE PERSON OR GROUP WHO FIGHTS SCIENTOLOGY, FOR THAT PERSON FIGHTS TRUTH...NOT THE TRUTH OF NATURAL LAWS BUT THE TRUTH ABOUT HIMSELF"

Anna Asks
Anna Asks

Hey, Tony - I use Google News alerts so that I know when you've posted a new article, but this one and your last one (Commenters of the Week) don't appear on Google News searches/alerts - just a heads-up!

Endscientologynow
Endscientologynow

I don't see an actual document.  All I see is text that could have been written by Rathbun.  Dox or gtfo.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Although this isn't surprising news... I always thought that aside from the fuss kicked up by Tom Cruise trying to stop the episode from airing & Isaac Hayes leaving the show, the fact they never launched a bigger attack or smear campaign on the show's creators was one of the earliest signs that Scientology was loosing it fangs.

PattyMoher
PattyMoher

Rest assured, there's a very similar program, written by OSA, for you Tony.  And that only means one thing.  You're exposing the con and they hate you for it. Per the "tech" by L. Ron Hubbard your crimes must be found and exposed so you will just Shut the Fuck Up.   If they can't find any crimes, the policy states that they should 'manufacture" them. 

You are one courageous bastard and I so appreciate your blog.   

Hugs,

P

Miles Biondo
Miles Biondo

Sometimes being the Most Ethical Organization on the Planet means going through people's garbage in an effort to utterly ruin them. It's complicated, and difficult for the wog mind to grasp. Just keep reminding yourself: There's no way Tom Cruise would be up to his eyelids in this stuff if it wasn't ultimately for the benefit of mankind. 

LRH! We Stand Tall! And sometimes We Bend Over to Go Through Your Garbage! But we do so in a way that is, nonetheless, Tall! 

nickie
nickie

Please sign the petition to get the numbers up.

1. Have a working email ready.2. Go to this short link: http://wh.gov/4Os3. Click on the blue button that says "Create an Account".4. When you do that, it will ask you to fill in a first and last name, and the email. You can optionally fill in a zip code but it is not required. You can even just put initials, doesn't even have to be a full name. 5. It will then tell you to check your email.6. Check your email, and click on the link that they provide for the confirmation of your account creation.7. That will send you back to the petition page. Click on the button that is now green that says "sign petition".

MarkStark
MarkStark

"Special Collections" can also refer to Marty's collection of Hubbard books. That it is Scilonese for going through people's trash to find their vulnerabilities just makes it more fitting.

Hubbard would have respected the South Park episode and used only his super powerz to shatter any suppression. Not!

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Mike Rinder ought write the book on Office of Special Affairs history.  

Official Scientology could turn around its horrendous image so quickly, since it is such a top-down organization, all it takes is switch out the top man, and reform about 5 major issues:

a) Cease their extremist excommunication practice and un-excommunicate ALL who've been excommunicated in the movement's entire history

b) Disband their Office of Special Affairs, fire all their PIs and de-fund all their intelligence gathering teams/volunteers everywhere, maybe even make public their "enemies list" of who they've targeted these past 30 or so years

c) Reduce their "fixed donations"

d) Survey their followers and then reform the next major changes most wanted by the membership.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

Fabulous Footbullets, as always.

KSW till the machine self-destructs, as it is designed to do.

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