Scientology was defeated by South Park in the UK this week, as actor Tom Cruise lost a heated battle to stop an episode of the cult cartoon series from being screened according to reports on the internet movie database.
Cruise, possibly the world’s most vocal Scientologist, had been fighting to ban the South Park episode entitled ‘Trapped in the Closet‘.
The episode featured Stan, South Park’s regular Jewish character, scoring so high in his Scientology test that the church’s followers thought he may well be the next L. Ron Hubbard, who founded the church.
Cruise is shown locking himself in Stan’s closet, refusing requests by various characters to “come out of the closet”, including John Travolta, who eventually joins Cruise in the cupboard.
Cruise’s complaints, however, made their way out of the closet and prevented the episode from being shown on British television in January of this year.
Yet Cruise’s bid to stop a free screening of the episode this week failed.
A free screening of “Trapped in the Closet’ was shown at London’s National Film Theatre on Monday, imdb.com reported. It was accompanied by a discussion with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who said the screening was a “display of free speech”.
“If we were charging there may have been legal problems, but it was a free event, so it should be fine,” a spokesman for Parker and Stone said.
Free copies of ‘Trapped in the Closet’ were handed out after the screening, no doubt fuelling Cruise’s ire and increasing the episode’s cult status.
This is not the first fight over ‘Trapped in the Closet’. US cable channel Comedy Central pulled the episode in March this year.
At that time, Parker and Stone issued a typically satirical quirky statement, solid with Scientology references.
“So, Scientology, you have won this battle, but the million-year war for Earth has just begun,” the pair wrote.
“(This) 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!!!”
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