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'South Park' Creators Targeted in Scientology Investigation?

The Church of Scientology was allegedly planning to plant a mole in South Park Studios in an effort to find some dirt on the creators of the popular cartoon known to mock the religious movement, as the church has been allegedly investigating the show's creators since 2005, it emerged over the weekend.

The information leaked from a disillusioned former scientologist, Mark "Marty" Rathbun, who wrote on his blog Sunday that the church's Office of Special Affairs (OSA) – which he called "the harassment and terror network of Corporate Scientology" – has been investigating Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of "South Park," and their friends, in order to find the men's vulnerable points.

Parker and Stone are known to have mocked the Church quite famously in their classic satirical cartoon on several occasions, most notably in a 2005 episode called “Trapped in the Closet," where the filmmakers mock Scientologistss beliefs.

The church has been allegedly using the services of private investigators, and was even looking to plant a spy in the South Park offices. On his blog, Rathbun published what he says are OSA documents proving his allegations.

"To this day OSA operates mainly on Cold War era intelligence and propaganda techniques much like those of the CIA, the FBI, the KGB, and STASI of the fifties and sixties," Rathbun wrote. "Their main activity entails stifling criticism by an escalating gradient of techniques beginning with quiet investigation and moving up to infiltration, identification of and use of influential friends and contacts of the target, loud investigation, threats, attempts to harm the target financially, intense propaganda to discredit and ultimately, if all else fails, utter destruction of the target through overt harassment."

One such alleged report gives an account received on Parker and Stone, their views and plans and information about who their friends are. The account was reportedly given by an independent filmmaker, Lloyd Kaufman, who was apparently questioned by a well-connected member of the organization. The post does not mention whether the filmmaker knew or knows how the information was going to be used or whether he is a member of the church.

"He [Kaufman] said that they [Parker and Stone] 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," the alleged OSA report reads. "They love it when they get some reaction."

Rathbun also claims that the Scientology organization was trying to plant a different young filmmaker as a spy in the studios.

The story was publicized by The Village Voice Sunday. According to the publication, Rathbun was once a powerful executive in the Scientology organization. He reportedly defected in 2004, and since 2009 has been an outspoken critic of Scientology, and especially its leader, David Miscavige.

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