Friday, March 17, 2006 - Inside Move: 'South Park' feeling some celeb heat? - Inside Move: 'South Park' feeling some celeb heat?

I am not a South Park fan. It's not that I object to what little I've seen of its content, just that it doesn't tickle my funny bone. If I happen to land on South Park I just keep going after a few seconds.

When Isaac Hayes drew attention to South Park and scientology by quitting the show after nine years over an episode aimed at scientology (apparently after participating in plenty of episodes blasting other religions), I had to have a look.

So I programmed the Tivo to catch the rebroadcast this weekend, only to see this morning that someone had apparently flexed some muscle to have the rebroadcast pulled. When I checked the Tivo, sure enough, the episode was gone.

This is really annoying. Maybe we need 12 cartoons about scientology.

A little searching turned up FactNet, an anti-cult outfit, saluting South Park and offering the South Park episode for download. Here is a not recently maintained page with information and links chronicling scientology vs. FactNet. I'm not going to try to verify anything. Caveat lector.

I think I'd rather see pissed off muslims in the streets than sneaky scientologists pulling strings, but to hell with them all.


Publius said...

The South Park episode was actually pulled because Tom Cruise, who is the butt of the jokes in the episode and a supporter of Scientology, informed Comedy Central’s parent company that if the episode aired he would not do any publicity for his upcoming movie Mission Impossible III. It seems making fun of other religions is fine by Scientologists, but when it comes to their own form or religion they get up in arms, maybe they just don’t want people to know how bogus their beliefs are.

Steve said...

It doesn't seem possible to know the truth about anything these day. Maybe it never has been possible.

Cruise's people deny it was him. Comedy Central says that the "Trapped in the Closet" episode was yanked because "in light of the events of earlier this week, we wanted to give Chef an appropriate tribute by airing two episodes he is most known for."

I might come to believe Comedy Central's two-shows-for-Isaac spin if they put the scientology episode back on the schedule soon. In the meantime, accusations about Viacom / Comedy Central having caved to pressure from Cruise or the scientology organization seem equally credible to me.

For some reason I'm now curious what ever became of that case from a few years back, where the German government apparently forced Microsoft to remove DiskKeeper from Windows distributed in Germany because DiskKeeper's boss was a scientologist and the Germans considered scientology to be a dangerous cult.

jj mollo said...

I'd really like to see that episode, but I can't get the download to work. Technical ineptitude again I suppose.

At any rate, BBC says that SouthPark is getting revenge with Scientology and with Isaac Hayes, the Chef, in an upcoming episode describing Chef's brainwashing. This battle is not over. Scientology is more dogmatic and defensive than most religions I think. Probably because the faith is based on such ridiculous premises, and because a lot of the adherents are rich enough to push people around. You have to have big money just to move up the ranks.

My personal opinion is that the real source of Hubbard's thinking is an older space opera called the Lensman series, about an infinitely perfectable family of self-made geniuses.

Steve said...

I suppose there's been a deluge of downloads challenging their bandwidth and servers. Check your email for a message from YouSendIt with a link to download the episode. It's 55 megabytes or so, uploading as I type.