30 most shocking South Park moments ever

South Park - Photo: Comedy Central
South Park - Photo: Comedy Central /
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Image: Comedy Central
Image: Comedy Central /

1. South Park takes on the entire Scientology religion head on

As you’ve been reading here today, South Park enjoys putting all religions on blast. Despite their reputation for suing everyone who talks negatively about them, Scientologists faced the full brunt of this. In the episode “Trapped in the Closet”, the entire show tears apart everything about the religion and the famous faces who support it.

First of all, Tom Cruise— the most well known Scientologist— locks himself in Stan’s closet. Other Scientologists like John Travolta fail to get him out, as does R. Kelly (who ends up joining him in there). But what starts as a riff on rumors of Cruise’s sexuality becomes a complete deconstruction of the entire Scientology religion.

At one point, the Scientologists believe Stan to be the second coming of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. They want him to write more documents to continue Hubbard’s work. To help convince him, the Scientologists explain to him the story of Xenu, straight from the Scientology Operating Thetan III document. Using animation along with a message stating “THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE,” South Park demonstrates just how ridiculous the religion appears to be.

In the end, Stan calls Scientology a money making scam and refuses to help any longer. The celebrities, like Tom Cruise, threaten to sue Stan for making these statements. The final shot is of Stan daring them to do just that. The end credits list every name as either Jane Doe or John Doe, another jab at the church’s tendency to sue.

Although the show isn’t sued, it still creates controversy known as “Closetgate”. Rumors of Cruise threatening the network may have led to the episode being pulled for a short time. This episode is also why Isaac Hayes departs from the series after so many years. The church clearly isn’t happy with it, but South Park seems to have completely shut them down and gotten away with it.