Normally, a celebrity's greatest enemy comes in the form of a particularly scathing critic. But some famous people have the misfortune of becoming the target of a shadowy cabal that's willing to suspend their world-dominance campaign to simply harass that guy from that piece-of-shit movie about the talking dog/car/chimpanzee with a doctorate.
At that point, these famous people suddenly find themselves in their very own personal crime thriller, but without the mandatory topless scene halfway through. We're talking about real incidents like ...
5Scientology Sent Detectives And Spies To The South Park Offices
Comedy Central Productions
When we think of spycraft, we conjure images of trench-coated men smoking cigarettes in the rain while taking pictures of diplomats banging escorts. It's a dirty, exciting business that can destroy marriages, businesses, and even nations. Unless you work for Scientology's Office of Special Affairs, where the delicate skill of subterfuge is used not to topple tyrants but to harass two sarcastic Gen-Xers who made a cartoon mocking the guy from Cocktail.
Comedy Central Productions
One hundred percent accurate, apparently.
Back in 2005, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone made headlines by using their show to attack an organization previously considered untouchable: Scientology. They did so by attacking its most famous acolyte, Tom Cruise, in an episode entitled "Trapped In The Closet" (we'll let you figure out what angle of attack they chose to go with). The episode caused quite a stir, especially when noted Scientologist and sexiest-voice-haver Isaac Hayes quit the show because of it.
Comedy Central Productions
Serenading grade-schoolers with songs about scrotal fellatio: Totally down.
Co-workers joking about Xenu: BURN IT TO THE GROUND.
But after a brief media battle, Scientology seemingly backed down and went back to bad-mouthing mental-health care. However, in 2011 a high-level defector started leaking Scientologist reports, some of which revealed that the organization hadn't stopped waging war on South Park at all -- they had just gone cold.
Scientology's second-favorite way of dealing with detractors, next to suing the pants off people and then going back for the socks, is digging up dirt. Literally, as first Scientology hired a bunch of private investigators to go to the South Park offices and go through their trash. Not only that, these PIs also wrote down license plates, logged employee lunch habits, and reported on which offices were vulnerable enough for a "special collection." Next, they started profiling Parker and Stone's employees to find out who would be vulnerable enough to "interview," trying to get their close friends and colleagues to reveal anything that would embarrass two guys who make puppets 69 for a living.
However, it seems South Park employees are as fiercely loyal as most Soviet sleeper cells, so the Scientology dicks (detectives) came up short. This triggered the next phase of the Scientologists' plan: inserting a mole into Parker and Stone's inner circle. A convert, who was also a film student, was to be used to infiltrate South Park and establish communications with the OSA. That never happened, of course, not in the very least because Hollywood internships are really, really hard to get -- even if you know Tom Cruise. The documented stalking dries up after those botched attempts, which probably means they stopped trying. That's somehow more embarrassing than actually spying on the most celebrated makers of animated dick jokes in the first place.
4Stalin Wanted To Assassinate John Wayne
Warner Brothers Pictures
Back in the day, all men were intimidated by John Wayne. He was the epitome of Tinseltown manliness: a languid, gun-slinging American hot shot who looked pretty good in chaps. Despite those accolades, the Duke wasn't exactly someone you'd expect to be dangerous enough to become the target of a communist dictator's assassination plot, yet that's exactly what happened. Because Joseph Stalin might have been a monster, but he was also a man.
And both those sides were insecure dicks.
Stalin had heard of Wayne's staunchly anti-communist beliefs and began to worry that Wayne's influential Hollywood glory and galvanizing man-stubble would eventually pose a problem to his regime. He, of course, decided the only way to deal with this kind of opposition was to order the KGB to assassinate Wayne. When the FBI came and warned him of the plot, the actor had only one thing to say: Let them come.
Duke wanted to solve this problem himself, the Hollywood way. He brought in a screenwriter and started spitballing scenarios to scare the Soviet killers straight. There are still stories of Wayne kidnapping the assassins, driving them to the coast, and staging such a frightening mock execution they actually changed allegiances so as to never be on Wayne's bad side again. Those are just rumors, of course. But c'mon, just look at this guy.
How could you not defect for a forehead like that?
Then, like a true frontiersman, Wayne decided to take the fight to the enemy. Creating his own small anti-communist cabal of muscle-bulging stuntmen, Wayne proceeded to organize raids on communist cells to find out if his life was still in danger. Just to be sure, he also moved his family to a mansion behind a huge wall. At this point, we're starting to feel bad for those Soviet assassins, who probably thought they had caught a break getting to kill an actor instead of the president.
"Our opponents punch John Wayne as hard as they can and live to talk about it.
Let's just go home and bathe in vodka."
Luckily, after Stalin's death in 1953, his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, called off the hit, describing it as a result of Stalin's "mad last five years." However, Soviet Russia wasn't the only communist superpower with a grudge. When Wayne went to entertain the troops in 1966, a Vietnamese sniper was caught claiming Chinese red leader Mao Zedong had put a bounty on the aging movie star's head. Probably a good thing he never went to Cuba, then.