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  So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but...
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   Author  Topic: So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but...  (Read 910 times)

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So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but...
« on: 2006-03-18 22:20:18 »
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Everyone's in a Stew Over 'South Park' Chef

[Hermit] Anyone who knows anything much about the scatologistsscientologists probably knows that they are a nasty bunch of acquisitive, litigious, soul-eating and life-destroying (as in sometimes homicidal) purveyors of jingoistic claptrap and mummery - and well worth staying away from. Except sometimes to laugh at their antics from a safe distance. Which is what, it seems, South Park did. And then we got this obtuse article in the Washington Post dropping hints in all directions.

Source: Washington Post (Toasties)
Authors: Lisa de Moraes
Dated: 2006-03-18

Comedy Central, the allegedly irreverent, testosterone-fueled, take-no-prisoners basic cable network, looks more like a Vertical Integration Sissy Girl after yanking an episode of "South Park" that lampoons Scientology and Tom Cruise.

The cave-in occurred this week, just a couple of days after Isaac Hayes, who has provided the voice of Chef for the edgy animated series since 1997, asked to be let out of his contract because he had just noticed that the cartoon, about four precocious potty-mouthed fourth-graders in South Park, Colo., makes fun of religious groups.

Hayes, who is a Scientologist, said it's part of what he sees as a "growing insensitivity toward personal spiritual beliefs" in the media.

"Religious beliefs are sacred to people and at all times should be respected and honored," the R&B musician and actor said Monday, according to news reports.

"As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

Series co-creator Matt Stone understandably wondered why it took Hayes nearly a full decade to figure out that "South Park" pokes fun at, among other things, religions.

"This is 100 percent having to do with his faith of Scientology," Stone said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Stone noted in interviews that "in 10 years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslims, Mormons or Jews," and added, "He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show."

Even more mysterious, Hayes did not quit the show when Comedy Central first ran the episode, called "Trapped in the Closet," last November.

In the episode, fourth-grader Stan scores so high on a Scientology test that followers decide he is the reincarnation of its founder, sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Scientologists show up at Stan's house in droves. Stan finds celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise in his bedroom; Cruise asks Stan what he thinks of Cruise's acting work. Stan pronounces him not as good as Leonardo DiCaprio, Gene Hackman or "that guy who played Napoleon Dynamite." Cruise, crushed, hides in Stan's closet. John Travolta, another celeb Scientologist, and R&B artist R. Kelly each try to get Cruise to come out of the closet. For the rest of the episode, "Tom Cruise" and "come out of the closet" are said in the same sentence. Like 39 times.

(Back in November, a rep for Hayes said her client hadn't heard about the story line and she did not think his character was in it, according to a report on the Web site of Mort Zuckerman's now defunct political, pop culture and style magazine, Radar. The site also has Cruise's rep saying they had "no knowledge of" the episode.)

So Hayes very publicly quits "South Park" on Monday, the media gloms on to this story and hangs on for dear life for a couple of days.

CNN's "Showbiz Tonight" files a report noting that in a recent interview on their very own show, Hayes said he had no beef with the Scientology episode. "I didn't see it but I was told about it. But they lampoon everybody and if you believe them, you got a problem," Hayes says in a clip.

Stone and co-creator Trey Parker go on David Letterman's CBS late-night show and joke that Hayes's character hasn't been a large part of the show for about five years anyway, and when they did the show about Scientology, "we were like, boy, Isaac might quit over this, and sure enough he did."

And by Wednesday, about 100 times as many people know that the "Trapped in the Closet" episode is going to run on Comedy Central that night.

Only when people tune in, the episode isn't there. Instead it's another episode, called "Chef's Salty Chocolate Balls," and an additional episode also prominently featuring Hayes's advice-dispensing school cook character.

Called for comment the next day, Comedy Central, a division of Viacom, issued a statement explaining 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."

Really, they did. And not in some neoironic way. They were being serious.

And all this is going on while Tom Cruise is busy promoting his upcoming "Mission: Impossible III," which hits theaters on May 5, for Paramount, another division of Viacom.

I'm just sayin'.

Cruise's publicist yesterday said, "Tom had nothing to do with this matter. He's been promoting 'Mission: Impossible III' for the last six months. We have no clue where this came from."

Stone and Parker obviously have their theory about the abrupt episode switcheroo:

"So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!" the two said in a statement sent to trade paper Variety.

"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!!!"

They signed the statement, "Trey Parker and Matt Stone, servants of the dark lord Xenu."

In November, when the episode was first scheduled to run on Comedy Central, network spokesman Tony Fox was asked by Radar whether taking swipes at Cruise and Scientology was smart. Fox responded that the network has Stone and Parker's back.

"If you know 'South Park,' they are free, and have been, to satirize anybody and anything they want to. They've made fun of MTV, they've made fun of Viacom, they've made fun of Comedy Central, and we've never interfered with them."

Oh, well.

[Hermit] Fortunately not everyone in the world is muzzled by a fear of law suits. For the story behind the story, read the piece at The Independent which says,
Tom Cruise is the culprit. According to several Hollywood websites, he used his considerable Tinseltown influence to muzzle the show. ... for the epic battle, Cruise has a secret weapon. It is alleged that he threatened to withdraw from any promotional activity for his next film, Mission: Impossible III, out on 5 May. The movie has been made by Paramount, which is owned by Viacom. And Viacom owns Comedy Central.


He asks Stan what he thinks of his acting. Stan is not kind, and a deeply offended Cruise hides in the bedroom closet. Then the episode veers into the territory of Cruise's sexuality. Stan begs him to come out of the closet. About 40 times.


Everyone involved is denying everything, of course. Comedy Central says it pulled the episode so it could run two episodes featuring Chef as a tribute to Hayes. Paramount says Cruise never made threats. And Cruise, through a spokesman, said the same.

And no one believes a word of it. The Los Angeles Times dubbed the flap Closetgate. "For Stone and Parker, Closetgate will be the gift that keeps on giving," it said.

So now you know why Tom Cruise and other prominent scatologistsscientologists appear to be falling out of their closets tied up in their own shoelaces with their feet in their mouths*. And in this case, with Tom Cruise looking like the centerpiece of a bukakke shoot belatedly realising that his face was still sticky after addressing a news briefing where he had denied any knowledge of such.

*For the record, I suggest that (rightly or wrongly) attempting to "out" anyone about whatever is hardly polite or fair. Nonetheless, while I have no idea and less interest in Cruise's sexual orientation or lack of it, but know that he has vociferously (and litigiously) denied being gay;  still I consider his somewhat lunatic extolling of scatologyscientology, which is extremely homophobic (e.g. "The sexual pervert (and by this term Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all forms of deviation in dynamic two such as homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual sadism, etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically."), makes him at least a legitimate target for some pointed humor.
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999

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Re:So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but...
« Reply #1 on: 2006-03-23 21:12:08 »
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South Park has last word in row over Scientology

Source: The Times
Authors: James Bone in New York
Dated: 2006-03-24

REVENGE is sweet for the creators of South Park. They hit back at the soul singer Isaac Hayes for walking out on their TV cartoon series over his Scientologist beliefs by mocking his character as the brainwashed victim of a child-molesting cult.

The hastily assembled episode was broadcast in America as South Park fans called on the internet for a boycott of Tom Cruise’s new film, Mission: Impossible III, over the Scientology row.

Hayes, 63, who won an Oscar for the theme music to Shaft, quit South Park last week after a decade as the voice of Jerome “Chef” McElroy, the oversexed school cook who is a confidant of the show’s foul-mouthed preteen heroes. He was apparently offended by an episode that lampooned his Scientologist faith.

In the episode, which was shown in America in November but never seen in Britain, Scientologists become convinced that Stan is the reincarnation of the religion’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and Tom Cruise, probably the world’s most famous Scientologist, ends up locked in a cupboard.

Two days after Hayes quit, the Comedy Central cable channel abruptly cancelled a rerun of the episode. Cruise denied reports that he had flexed his muscle to get the show pulled by threatening to stop promoting Mission: Impossible III for Paramount Studios. Both Paramount and Comedy Central are owned by Viacom.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the South Park creators, got their promised revenge at the start of the show’s new season on Wednesday. Despite Hayes’s departure, Chef appears, with a voice apparently assembled from tapes of the soul singer’s previous contributions.

The children are thrilled by his return from the “Super Adventure Club”, but it quickly becomes clear that something is wrong as the womanising Chef starts to proposition the pre-teen boys for sex.

The friends take him to a psychologist who declares that Chef is the worst case of brainwashing he has ever seen. They discover that the Super Adventure Club is a group that travels the world for under-age sex.

The boys reprogramme Chef by taking him to a strip club, but he is then recaptured by the Super-Adventure Club. In the end, Chef dies a grisly death. But the adventurers try to revive and reprogramme him — so it is not clear if he is really dead.

“A lot of us don’t agree with the choices the Chef has made in the last few days,” the character Kyle says in a eulogy at Chef’s funeral. “Some of us feel hurt and confused that he seemed to turn his back on us. But we can’t let the events of the past few weeks take away the memories of how Chef made us smile . . . We shouldn’t be mad at Chef for leaving us. We should be mad at that fruity little club for scrambling his brains.”
« Last Edit: 2006-03-23 21:14:27 by Hermit » Report to moderator   Logged

With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999

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Re:So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but...
« Reply #2 on: 2006-03-23 21:27:32 »
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What Scientology needs most is to be ridiculed

Source: The Times
Authors: Michael Gove
Dated: 2006-03-22

I suppose if you want a champion of broadcasting decency, a soul star whose biggest hit invited listeners to
suck on my chocolate, salty balls.
(Put ’em in your mouth!)
Put ’em in your mouth and suck ’em . . .

wouldn’t automatically be your first choice.

Isaac Hayes, the wonderfully gifted singer who sang the theme from Shaft, reached No1 with Chocolate Salty Balls in 1999. The song was one of a number that Hayes performed while playing the school Chef in the US cartoon series South Park. Among the other Chef tunes, the Christmas song stands out, with its seductive lyrics, which I believe ran:

I’m gonna lay you down by the Yule log
I’m gonna love you right
Baby, I’m gonna deck your halls
And silence your nights
You’ll hear the herald angels sing
When I’m sliding off your bra
I just can’t wait to jingle your bells
and falala your love . . .

But now the soul sinner appears to have repented. Hayes has resigned from South Park claiming that the show was “insensitive to personal religious beliefs”.

He has a point. The writers of South Park have, inter alia, depicted Jesus and Santa Claus fighting a martial arts contest over the true meaning of Christmas, had one of their characters sing “I’m a lonely Jew at Christmas” and given an extra twist to Chef’s lasciviousness by making him a convert to Islam. In an episode first screened in 2000, Chef changes his name from Jerome McElroy to Abdul Mohammed Jabbar-Raof Kareem Ali.

And there’s the rub. Isaac Hayes has been happy to collaborate with the South Park team over the past decade while they merrily subverted, parodied, trashed, mocked and ridiculed a variety of faiths. But now he’s walked after the screening of an episode in which his own “faith”, Scientology, received the full SP treatment.

The episode in question, entitled Trapped in the Closet, features an animated version of the world’s most famous Scientologist, Tom Cruise. And while some of you may be thinking that the most interesting thing about the show would be seeing Tom Cruise animated, a state he certainly hasn’t been in for any of his previous screen appearances, the episode has become controversial for other reasons. It depicts Scientologists as gullible souls, with the cartoon Tom believing that one of the South Park regulars, Stan, is a reincarnation of Scientology’s founding father, L. Ron Hubbard.

The episode was first screened in the US in November but has never been seen in the UK, for legal reasons. And then, last week, hot on the heels of Isaac Hayes’s walkout, the US channel Comedy Central suddenly pulled a repeat of the episode from its schedules.

After the decision to dump the show, the Hollywood newspaper Daily Variety reported rumours that Cruise had made an ultimatum — drop the episode or he would decline to do any interviews or promotions for his forthcoming film Mission Impossible 3. The film is made by Paramount, which is owned by the company that oversees Comedy Central.

Tom Cruise’s people, it must be said, flatly deny the insinuation. But then Cruise need not have said anything for someone to conclude that perhaps it wasn’t a good idea to mock his “faith” in this way. Because a lot has changed since the episode was first screened, and I don’t just mean Isaac Hayes hanging up his Chef’s hat.

The whole climate in which religion is discussed has chilled notably in the past few months. After the Danish cartoon controversy, the momentum is with those people who use their particular, narrow faith to silence other voices. If you doubt that’s so, just ask why no British newspaper felt that it could reproduce those cartoons. And reflect on why the British and American governments had to apologise for the offence caused. What were governments doing saying sorry for the independent actions of free citizens? Bending before a very ill wind.

When the House of Commons debated the Religious Hatred Bill, the argument was made that criminalising what one said about faith would have a chilling effect on debate overall. And, even without the law having been passed, one section of our community has succeeded in just that aim.

I’m sure that Trapped in the Closet is wildly offensive. I certainly hope so, anyway. Because the one thing that Scientologists need more than anything else is ridicule. A religion founded by a science-fiction writer in the 1950s which invites its followers to believe in an inter-galactic tyrant called Xenu and offers them the chance to control time itself by becoming “Operating Thetans” deserves nothing less.

Recently in the House of Commons I reminded the House that “Scientology is an evil cult founded by an individual purely in the interests of enriching himself and sustained by those who are either wicked or wayward”.

But perhaps after everything that’s happened in the past week I should just have said that
it’s so much transparent, sugary, balls.
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With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. - Steven Weinberg, 1999
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