The South Park episode Trapped in the Closet was hilarious, outrageous, in bad taste, and in my opinion, right on target about a number of things.
It certainly caused a lot of controversy, with Tom Cruise reportedly pitching a fit and demanding it never be shown again. It also seems as if South Park creators Matt Parker and Trey Stone were both investigated by the Church of Scientology because of the episode.
According to reports on Entertainment Weekly and the Huffington Post, a former executive at Scientology went to the press with claims the South Park creators were under surveillance by the church, looking for anything that could "exposed [as] some kind of vulnerability," because "they can find out a lot about you through your trash."
And as previously mentioned, when the show was halted per Cruise's request (which the actor denied), the comedic cartoon duo also taunted the Church, by releasing the following statement:
"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun! Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies. Curses and drat! You have obstructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail! Hail Xenu!!!"
The former Scientology executive who came forward, Marty Rathburn, spoke about all this with the Village Voice, and also released documents that claim the Church tried to run PRCs, or public records checks, which they usually do on their enemies to show they're looking into you.
In addition, they tried to analyze vulnerabilities in Matt and Trey by looking into other celebrites who could provide a "direct line" to them, like John Stamos and his then wife Rebecca Romijn.
This is just the latest in a long string of embarrassing reports on Scientology, with Anonymous attacking them; a best-selling book, Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman; a lengthy article in The New Yorker; and Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) making his next movie about a religion called "The Cause," which is based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard.
People are certainly much less afraid of Scientology's bullying than they have been in the past, and after this, it wouldn't surprise me if Matt and Trey decide to rake them over the coals again.