Did Isaac Hayes actually quit South Park, or did the star that does voiceover for the character “chef” have someone at Scientology doing voiceover for him.

Did Isaac Hayes get the 'shaft'?“Isaac Hayes did not quit ‘South Park.’ My sources say that someone quit it for him, says Roger Friedman of Fox News. According to Friedman “Hayes is in no position to have quit anything. Contrary to news reports, the great writer, singer and musician suffered a stroke on Jan. 17.”

The voice of “chef” has not been heard from live in some time and his resignation from South Park was done through a prepared statement.

But who prepared it?

In his last interview on the subject of South Park’s send up of Scientology and Tom Cruise titled “Trapped in the Closet” Hayes indicated no intention of leaving the show and said that he understood what the co-creators of the hit Comedy Central show were doing and laughed about it.

Somehow since, even though the show represents a significant income, Hayes has supposedly changed his mind.

The 63-year-old Isaac Hayes, is no longer the sensational singer and songwriter that won an Oscar for the movie theme “Shaft,” so can he really afford this?

Or did his beloved Church of Scientology become the star’s surrogate to make this business decision for him?

Scientology has certainly been sparring with South Park and seemingly and Hayes resignation statement offered another punch. The controversial church, which has been called a “cult,” apparently used its star power to put pressure on Comedy Central and its owner Viacom.

However, it looks like all the church accomplished was a media bonanza for Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Friedman reports “The Comedy Central Web site has four clips from the 21-minute show. And it also says that ‘Trapped in the Closet’ will air this Wednesday at 10 p.m.”

This may be one of the most humiliating public defeats of Scientology on record. After all the effort seemingly spent to end up only delaying the repeat of their ridicule by one week.

Perhaps the biggest loser is Isaac Hayes who has lost his gig at South Park just as he is expecting a child with his new wife.

It appears Hayes may have gotten the “shaft” from Scientology.

Ad space has been bought to protest the “advice on mental health” doled out by Tom Cruise and Scientology (see the ad copy here). This seems timely given Scientology’s nationwide battle against the mental-health industry.

Jeremy Perkins and his mother ElliThe Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), which is closely tied to Scientology, has been the force behind more than two dozen bills in Arizona in recent years, including measures to restrict prescriptions of Ritalin.

Arizona legislators met John Travolta and other Scientology celebs in an effort to influence thier votes. Scientology ran a similar campaign in Florida that ultimately failed.

Of course the highest profile celeb in Scientology is Tom Cruise. And the star and his church routinely recommend that everyone should refuse and/or abstain from any drugs prescribed by psychiatrists. And also reject any suggested care or counseling offered by mental health professionals.

This belief apparently led to tragedy when a Scientologist’s 28-year-old son stabbed his mother to death. The young man Jeremy Perkins is deeply disturbed and now is being held within the Rochester Psychiatric Center. He was found not responsible for the murder of his mother due to mental defect.

Perkins was the schizophrenic son of Elli Perkins a senior auditor (counselor) at the Buffalo Scientology branch in New York.

Consistent with his mother’s beliefs Jeremy Perkins never received treatment from mental health professionals, but instead was cared for according to Scientology’s guidelines and practices. He received vitamins.

Scientology’s solution for mental health failed Jeremy Perkins and the young man’s family, deeply involved in the church, has reportedly cut him off since his incarceration.

Without a psychiatric diagnosis of mental defect Perkins might now be on death row.

This seemingly needless death of a 54-year-old mother of two has prompted Scientology critics to run protests in newspapers regarding the church’s ongoing war against psychiatry and/or any mental health professionals and the treatment and/or counseling they can provide.

The protests are being run in The Buffalo Beast (a weekly paper in Buffalo, NY, where Elli lived), the Spectrum (student newspaper of SUNY Buffalo (Scientology has an office on its campus in a non-university-owned building), and the Jackson Hole Daily, in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

The text of the protest cites actor Tom Cruise by name, due to his hi-profile support and continuing promotion of Scientology. And specifically because of his repeated opposition to mental health professionals and related medications that they can provide.

Cruise once told Today Show host Matt Lauer, “I know that psychiatry is a pseudo-science.”

Later the American Psychiatric Association (APA) called the star’s comments “irresponsible” pointing out that “rigorous, published, peer-reviewed research clearly demonstrates that treatment (of mental illness) works.”

But it’s too late for Elli Perkins, who appears to be a Scientology causality.

A Web site “Perkins Tragedy.org” details the case includes an archive of related articles and court files.

Most Americans continue to believe in the supernatural such as ghosts and spirits, now a BBC show makes fun of this preoccupation and the gullibility of “true believers.”

Marc Wootton as 'Shirley Ghostman'The BBC series called “High Spirits” brings a new “spirit medium” to the medium of television just for laughs.

‘Shirley Ghostman’ is a blast of fresh air and hilarity in an arena that is ripe for satire,” says the Hollywood Reporter.

For example, in one segment of “High Spirits” Ghostman played in drag by Marc Woottonn sends her “special paranormal investigator,” to check out claims made by an apparent competitor that by looking at someone’s ass the future can be predicted.

The British are far more likely to make such paranormal claims the butt of jokes than Americans.

A Harris Poll found that half of all adults in the United States believe in ghosts.

Witness John Edward and James Van Praagh, two “mediums” who have made big bucks supposedly talking to the dead and popular TV shows like “Medium” and “Ghost Whisperer,” spook shows that have successfully sold their sponsors commercial slots.

'Investigator' looks into butt claimsCritics of the spirit medium business say that all this supposed paranormal communication most often boils down to what is commonly called the “cold reading.” This is a technique through which the alleged psychic or medium may depend more upon the response given to probing questions by believers rather than any messages from “beyond.”

James Randi, a long-time debunker of supernatural claims has offered $1 million dollars for years as a reward “to anyone who can show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power.”

But Americans apparently want to believe despite the lack of evidence and the ghost business has become big business in the US.

No doubt that as preposterous as Wootton’s character might seem, Shirley Ghostman could earn quite a good living doling out her insights for a fee in America.

Scientology may have won a battle with South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, but they appear likely to loose the war.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone still standingThe episode “Trapped in the Closet,” which ridiculed Scientology and Tom Cruise, apparently was pulled Wednesday on orders from Viacom executives. Rumor has it that Tom Cruise exercised his star power to kill the re-run.

Scientology’s “Top Gun” may have scored a hit, but it looks like Cruise and his church have picked up two diehard enemies with a “cult following” of their own.

Even though Parker and Stone were apparently told to keep quiet the two have broken their silence to send a message to Scientology.

“So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!…Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies,” reports the BBC.

This is a rather rude “South Park style” allusion to the preposterous story concocted by L. Ron Hubbard the founder of Scientology, that claims humanity’s problems are largely linked to an event that occurred 75 million years ago involving space aliens.

So where does this past week of harsh exchanges before the press, squeeze plays and spin leave South Park, Tom Cruise, Viacom, Scientology and Isaac Hayes?

Well, Matt Stone and Trey Parker come off pretty good. They did their best, but in the end apparently had no choice, other than to go along with the media bosses over at Viacom who control Comedy Central

Viacom comes across as rather gutless and willing to do almost anything to please one of its stars.

South Park has its own 'cult following'Tom Cruise has further hurt his already suffering public image and arguably alienated the younger audience he hopes to sell Mission Impossible III tickets to that watch South Park.

Scientology comes off somewhat nasty and possibly punitive without any sense of humor.

Scientology also unintentionally makes Mormons look good. After all, they didn’t go after South Park like it was some “War of the Worlds” when it was their church getting lampooned.

So it seems “Latter Day Saints” can take a joke better than Scientologists.

Isaac Hayes is unemployed.

Those expecting to see the South Park episode “Trapped in the Closet” that ridiculed Scientology and Tom Cruise Wednesday night were disappointed.Scientology's 'Top Gun'Scientology’s “Top Gun” Tom Cruise succeeded after his fellow Hubbardite Isaac Hayes had failed to persuade anyone, especially South Park co-creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, to pull the show.

Unlike Hayes Cruise went to the top at Viacom, which owns Comedy Central the cable network that carries South Park, warning that if he didn’t get his way he would reportedly “boycott the promotion for Mission Impossible III.

Viacom it seems caved to Cruise and the star got his way.

Interestingly, Sources at Wenner Media, which publishes Rolling Stone, may also have been pressured by Mr. Cruise over their “Inside Scientology” feature article. He was to appear on the cover of Men’s Journal another Wenner Media publication. According to insiders Cruise wanted the Rolling Stone story killed and when the publisher said no, “Cruise bailed on Men’s Journal’s May cover” reports New York Magazine

Meanwhile Matt Stone and Trey Parker may wish they were owned by Wenner instead of Viacom. They have reportedly been told not to discuss the matter reports the New York Post. It seems this is not the first time a Scientologist celebrity has gone to Viacom with threats over a “cult” show.

In 1995 MTV News produced a special titled “New Religons: The Cult Question” hosted by Kurt Loder. And Scientology was prominently featured as part of the program.

Purportedly Lisa Marie Presley threatened that if MTV owned by Viacom did not pull that show her then husband Michael Jackson would exact consequences through his soon to be released album “History.”

MTV News went ahead and ran the show though insiders at the network said they seriously considered pulling it, when the show ran it seemed to many substantially softened regarding Scientology.

Needless to say the Presley/Jackson union is “History” and his much-touted 1995 album didn’t prove to be a “Thriller” or even “Bad.”

But this time Viacom is directly invested in the product itself. Unlike the situation with Michael Jackson they are counting on Cruise and his movie to pay them off through Paramount, which is producing “Mission Impossible III.” 

Viacom owns Paramount.

Sadly after all the strong statements Stone and Parker made in response to the Isaac Hayes walkout, all South Park’s co-creators have to say now is that they “wanted to give Chef [Hayes character] an appropriate tribute by airing two episodes he is most known for” instead of “Trapped in the Closet.”


Sorry guys, but guts and business often just don’t mix. Welcome to the brave new world of media conglomerates.

Meanwhile Cruise better hope that his latest installment of the Mission Impossible series does a lot better then the less than expected take for “War of the Worlds.”

Hollywood may tolerate a demanding star with issues, but not if they don’t deliver at the box office.

Steven Speilberg was rumored to be unhappy about the way Cruise bungled the promotion for what he hoped would be last summer’s top blockbuster, often shifting the focus from the film to Scientology.

Tom Cruise may be Scientology’s biggest name, but that doesn’t sell tickets.

It is possible that like Michael Jackson the now middle-aged star of Mission Impossible may end up with no muscle at Viacom. And payback for tyranical stars with attitude in Hollywood can be humbling.

Note: Variety received a note from Matt Stone and Trey Parker, which read in part: “So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!” reports ABC News.

Dahn Hak, once a relatively obscure but growing presence in the United States is garnering increased attention. The most recent news reports were published by the Albuquerque Tribune one is titled “Dahn Yoga stretches into controversy.”

'Grand Master Lee'Another article published yesterday by the same newspaper offers the history of the company and its founder Seung Heun Lee, who claims that enlightenment he received on a mountain led him to establish his global “yoga empire.”

Dahn has steadily expanded in the United States and now has 147 centers across the country and claims 50,000 American members. An official spokesperson also said the business has about 400 branches and 150,000 more members in other nations.

The Dahn organization, which is set up through various corporations began in South Korea and has been called a “cult.” And various aspects of its structure, dynamics and practices seem to reflect a religious/philosophical movement rather than a for-profit company.

The Ross Institute (sponsor of CultNews) first began to archive information about Seung Heun Lee and his Dahn Hak studios during 1998 after a man in Mesa, Arizona complained about how the group had recruited his wife to become one of its “little masters.” These devotees are often celibate and serve as a low-cost labor force for Lee, whose followers frequently call “Grand Master Lee.”

Many complaints have come to the attention of the Ross Institute regarding Dahn Hak from across the United States and internationally; these complaints can essentially be broken down into two categories.

First, paying clients complaining that Dahn Hak has charged excessive fees for classes, uniforms and retreats and uses high pressure tactics to persuade people to sign long term contracts for its services.

Exercising at Dahn HakSecond, even more serious complaints about the methods used by Dahn Hak to influence and recruit new full time workers or “little masters” to serve the “Grand Master Lee.” And closely related family complaints about how those workers often become increasingly isolated and difficult to contact.

Personal stories, such as the one featured within Now Magazine of Toronto about Dahn’s so-called “brain respiration,” make the group’s practices sound more like “brainwashing” than physical exercise.

The Journal News of Westchester, New York also reported about interventions or “deprogrmming” undertaken by families to get people out of Dahn Hak.

All of this conjures up images of another South Korean led group the Unification Church, commonly called the “Moonies,” which has also been criticized for the tactics it used to recruit and retain members. A man who also claimed to have received “enlightenment” from a higher power, Rev. Sun Myung Moon, led that organization.

The media has been taking a harder look lately at Dahn Hak since the tragic and untimely death of 41-year-old Dr. Julia M. Siverls. Dr. Siverls was a respected professor within the Department of Social Sciences at Queens Community College of the City University of New York. She died under strange circumstances while attending a Dahn Hak retreat in Sedona, Arizona.

CultNews first reported about Dr. Siverls death during August of 2003 and since then her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Dahn Hak and Seung Heun Lee.

The recent report from New Mexico and an earlier articles published by the Journal News of Westchester and the New York Post further detailed about this tragedy.

CBS News affiliates in several cities including both Boston and Phoenix also have recently run investigative reports about Dahn Hak.

More legal woes have entangled Lee, who is also facing court action for patent infringement concerning “colour breathing,” a technique apparently first developed by Allison Bourne of Energy Press in England and allegedly later copied by Lee.

Was that somehow part of the “enlightenment” the “Grand Master” downloaded from a higher power on a mountaintop?

What is Dahn Hak?

Is it a chain of exercise studios featuring “yoga,” “martial arts” and other forms of eastern exercise?

Or is it a new religious movement with a latter-day messiah following in the footsteps of Rev. Moon?

Perhaps the grieving family of Julia Siverls will find out through the discovery process in their ongoing lawsuit.

Meanwhile the mainstream press and media seem to be increasingly interested in Seung Heun Lee and his “yoga empire”

It’s very likely that whatever wedding and baby plans Tom Cruise is making he is thinking Scientology venues with minimum exposure and maximum control.

'Cruise Control' for Kate Holmes?This is likely to mean either “Gold Base,” a tightly controlled 500-acre Scientology compound near the town of Hemet, California or the “Freewinds,” Scientology’s 440-foot cruise ship based in Curacao in the Caribbean.

Cruise has already taken Holmes to the ship once to celebrate his 43rd birthday, where it is rumored he may have actually married her there already reports the New York Daily News.

Having a baby at sea might seem odd, but Scientology’s “Top Gun” known for his “Cruise control” could keep an airtight grip on the expectant mother’s environment, shutting out the media and paparazzi. And an intrusive fly-over by prying eyes would be quite difficult.

Gold Base is a former resort bought by Scientology when Hubbard was alive. It includes a mansion known as “The Castle” with a carriage house for VIPs. It is relatively isolated, heavily secured with surveillance cameras and regular patrols.

Both Gold and the Freewinds are virtually totally inhabited by loyal Sea Org members, described in a 1998 Italian government report as “a community with both monastic and military characteristics,” which makes up Scientology’s permanent, full-time hardcore staff.

Whether at sea or embedded within the church’s compound out in the California desert, Katie may have her baby not only silently, but insulated and isolated from her family, old friends and anyone else outside of Scientology.

Scientologist Isaac HayesScientologist Isaac Hayes has quit the Comedy Central show South Park where he did voiceover for the character of “Chef” for a decade. Hayes claims it’s because of “intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs” reports the New York Daily News.

The creators of South Park are not strangers to such controversy and were quick to dispute Hayes’s claims.

“This has nothing to do with intolerance and bigotry and everything to do with the fact that Isaac Hayes is a Scientologist and that we recently featured Scientology in an episode of ‘South Park,’ In 10 years and over 150 episodes…Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslims, Mormons and Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show,” South Park co-creator Matt Stone said in a prepared statement.

However the timing of Hayes announcement seems just a little too convenient.

He chose to come out against “intolerance and bigotry” just before the episode “Trapped in the Closet,” which blasts Scientology and ridicules its leading celebrities Tom Cruise and John Travolta is scheduled to repeat tomorrow night.

It seems that Scientology and/or Tom Cruise have apparently managed to keep the show from airing in some venues internationally through threats of litigation.

Were there talks to keep it from repeating in the United States this week?

Is Scientology and Hayes now striking back preemptively through the press because they failed to get the show pulled?

South Park made its reputation from the start featuring parody of religious icons, such as its send-up of Jesus and Santa locked in a Christmas “death match.”

Stone says that Hayes had “no problem ” and he’s cashed plenty of checks ” with our show making fun of Christians” reported Fox News.

The irreverent hit show has lampooned virtually anyone and everyone, but Isaac Hayes suddenly had enough when it gored his “sacred cow.”

South Park co-creator Trey Parker said “never heard a peep out of Isaac in any way until we did Scientology. He wants a different standard for religions other than his own, and to me, that is where intolerance and bigotry begin” reported Associated Press.

Scientology has a history of seemingly using its stars in such situations like pawns in press games when it feels attacked. And it appears that Scientology feels attacked by almost anything less than an infomercial.

South Park's 'Trapped in the Closet'South Park joked about Scientology beliefs within its top rated episode, including an article of faith about aliens from outer space, which is supposedly one cause of humanity’s problems according to its founder L. Ron Hubbard.

The church has no sense of humor when it comes to Hubbard and its members are expected to pay for such revelations that are offered at a price through its “religious services.” Scientology probably didn’t like South Park giving away its sacred secrets for free.

Isaac Hayes was bankrupted and his glory days as a star in Hollywood were well behind him when he became a believer in Scientology. An Oscar-winner for the musical theme of “Shaft” in the 1970s he took up residence for a time within Scientology’s Celebrity Center in Los Angeles. Since then Hayes experienced something of a career resurrection and South Park played a pivotal role in his comeback. 

Apparently now it’s payback time and Hayes seems more concerned about his perceived debt to Scientology than whatever career success he owes to Parker, Stone and Comedy Central, who provided him with paychecks for so many years. 

Maybe the 63-year-old voice of “Chef” thinks he has gotten enough out of South Park, after all he probably still has residuals for his retirement.

But it seems very unlikely that Isaac Hayes will ever get another gig that good again.

“Of course, we will release Isaac from his contract and we wish him well,” said Matt Stone.

If the first installment of “Big Love” is an example of what HBO has planned for its new series, it has very little to do with the modern practice of polygamy in America and is instead something silly spun in Hollywood.

Papa Paxton and his wivesUnlike other HBO series such as Deadwood, Six Feet Under or The Sopranos, which at times take audiences on a trip to an otherwise unknown world, the world of “Big Love” is simply unknown and does not exist.

HBO’s contrived creation is inhabited by polygamists living in suburbia driving around in a shiny expensive SUV. This fictional family lives in three modern tract homes and has a pool. Their personal struggles include excessive shopping and viagra.

Viewers get an almost totally fictional world of polygamy that could only exist in the active imagination of a Hollywood writer.

What viewers got last night was not the often desperate existence of American polygamists living in Arizona, Utah and Montana, but something more like Desperate Housewives.

Real polygamists are frequently impoverished and subsist on welfare programs, largely subsidized by federal and state poverty programs.

In “Big Love” its star Bill Paxton has three wives and one spends $3,000.00 just for some home decorating. She is depicted as a shopping freak that shuffles through her credit cards like she’s playing a hand of poker.

However, real polygamist wives are more likely to be shuffling through their food stamps inside a trailer.

HBO’s fantasy world is similar to a network soap, something like Melrose Place, where you find out which woman Billy decides to sleep with each week and perhaps there will be a pool party.

There was a brief glimpse of a gritty poor polygamist community that Papa Paxton supposedly comes from, but viewers are asked to believe that he somehow left all that behind to become a very successful businessman who owns home improvement stores.

The audience is also expected to believe that Salt Lake City Mormons are oblivious to what is going on in their neighborhood and somehow either don’t know or don’t care. 

But the axiom “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not a Mormon doctrine.

Maybe HBO thinks this is somehow supposed to be 7th Heaven on steroids with a lot more of everything?

As Tony Soprano might say, “fogedaboutit”

HBO has created a polygamist Land of Oz “somewhere over the rainbow,” where the children are all well-fed and clothed and the only thing daddy has to worry about is essentially his business deals, weird wives, household budgets and erection.

It is hard to understand why someone as gifted and respected, as Tom Hanks would agree to produce such nonsense. It’s so ridiculous that “Big Love” could be a comedy if it wasn’t so insulting and disrespectful to those who have suffered through polygamy and its painful realities.

Mr. Hanks should know this was no television event like Band of Brothers.

HBO should be ashamed of its mess, which makes the NBC bomb the Book of Daniel look a lot better.

Bangle for sixty bucksThe Kabbalah Center (KC), which includes Madonna, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Roseanne and other celebrity members, has marketed another product that may soon catch on as a practical replacement for its often touted “Red String.”

The “authentic Red String from Jerusalem” is now embedded in a resin bracelet.

Potential buyers are being told the bracelet “is meant to show devotion to the mystical practice and to offer protection from negative energy” says Deidre Woollard at Luxist.

However, the new wrist wear/ware will be sold for twice the price of the old model. The regular “Red String” is $26.00, but those that want the new “bangle” will need to cough up sixty bucks.

This is yet one more product to add to the ever-growing list of retail merchandise marketed by the KC that includes candles, incense, soap, bath oil, an energy drink and of course that very special “Kabbalah Water.”

Mr. and Mrs. Philip Berg and their two sons Yehuda and Michael run the KC and it seems like they never stop coming up with new things for the faithful to buy.

Get ready to see the Hollywood celebs flashing their nifty new Berg bracelets soon. The bangles come in an assortment of resin colors, making them potentially a “mystical” match like other accessories such as shoes or a purse. Think of it, color coordinated celebrity outfits that can purportedly “repel negative energy.”47-year-old MadonnaMeanwhile Madonna has unwittingly helped to promote someone else’s products. A woman that owns a house in Israel, reportedly sought by the former “Material Girl,” has managed to milk that story to help the US launch of her line of skin care products reports Israel 21 c.org.

Shiri Havkin, owner of “Havkin Herbal Cosmetics,” previously “grabbed international headlines” over a phone call from Madonna’s representative hoping to buy her house for a KC project. Now the savvy entrepreneur wants everyone to know that like the KC she has something to sell too. “The dry, clean, crisp mountain air and pure water of the region are ‘special ingredients’ in the Havkin line of 100% natural skin care products” the businesswoman claims.

Well, Shiri may be shilling, but at least she’s not trying to tell the public there’s something “mystical” or supernatural about her water.

Maybe Madonna should go for Havkin’s line?

Shiri says that her “skin care products…enrich as well as heal” and includes a “moisturizing facial oil, a natural serum, for tired, worn out skin.” The 47-year-old diva might do better buying what Havkin has to sell rather than the KC. And maybe the Israeli will throw in her house? That is, if the star is willing to pay twice the market price as Havkin has told the press.

Perhaps that wouldn’t bother Madonna given what she has already bought from the Bergs.