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17 Celebrities Who Walked Away From Scientology
In order for people to free themselves of limitations, they must re-experience painful or traumatic experiences of the past — at least that’s the doctrine of the Church of Scientology. Some question Scientology’s status as a religion, since members must pay a fee—or what the church calls a “fixed donation”—in order to receive materials and training. Created by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology has been a popular religion attracting some high-profile celebrities. Here are 17 celebrities who walked away from Scientology.
The “Ghost” star once frequented the Los Angeles Celebrity Center for Scientology, and the church pursued her. However, Moore’s ex, Bruce Willis, persuaded Moore to leave the church, not wanting their children to be a part of it.
The “King of Queens” actor was a Scientologist for 30 years, having been brought in by her mother as a child, but in 2013 she left the religion. Most of Remini’s friends in the religion reportedly abandoned her when she said she was leaving, with actor Kirstie Alley going so far as to call the move “repulsive.”
Lisa Marie Presley
The only daughter of Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie was a member of the Church of Scientology for several years but in recent years, lyrics to a new song suggest she left the church. The song, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” contains these versus: “Churches, they don’t have a soul…Soup for sale without a bowl…Religion so corrupt and running lives…” Presley hasn’t openly said she left the church, but she has been quoted in an interview saying she’s recently left a group of people who were limiting her.
Offer is a comedian and actor, but you might know him best as the face of several infomercial housekeeping products including the ShamWow! — an absorbent towel. Offer had been a member of the Church of Scientology since 1982 but in 2014, he sued the church for allegedly conspiring to steal his success of his food-chopper product—the Slap Chop.
Kidman was a member of the Church of Scientology during her marriage to Tom Cruise, and many say the main reason for their split was Kidman’s desire to remove their children from the world of Scientology.
Geldof was a model and journalist who attended the Celebrity Center for Scientology in Los Angeles beginning roughly around 2007. Scientology often boasts about its success in treating drug addicts. Geldof died of a heroine overdose in 2014. However by then, Geldof had ditched Scientology and was involved in another religion, Thelema.
Hayes was a singer, songwriter and Scientologist best known for his song, “Soul Man.” He also did comedic voice work, including the voice of Chef on the show “South Park.” Hayes’ work on “South Park” was reportedly problematic for the church of Scientology—the show openly criticized the religion—and the church cut ties with Hayes.
Haggis is a screenwriter and producer best known for the movies “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash.” He was a member of Scientology for 35 years, until denouncing it in 2009. Haggis calls Scientology a cult and was a large part of a 2011 New Yorker cover story that picked apart the religion.
The “Arrested Development” actor was involved in Scientology for one year, from roughly 2007 to 2008, until leaving the religion — allegedly due to his wife. Tambor has said the extent of his involvement in the church was just taking some classes.
The singer and half of the group “Sonny and Cher” was a Scientologist in the ’80s, having converted from Catholicism. At the time of his involvement in the church, Bono was married to his second wife, congresswoman Mary Bono. Bono’s wife did not join Scientology and Bono himself converted back to Catholicism several years later.
Reports have it that after Tom Cruise split from Katie Holmes, the wife of a Scientology chief was put in charge of finding the actor his next wife. The recruiter set her sites on actress Boniadi. Boniadi joined the church for a while, but allegedly she showed disrespect to the chief, and was made to scrub toilets as punishment. Boniadi eventually left the church.
In an interview with Today the comedian revealed that he took Scientology courses as a young man. Seinfeld explained he was interested in all things self help, like yoga and Aikido and he only “did a little” Scientology.
The actor form “G.I. Jane” (in which he played opposite fellow ex-Scientologist Demi Moore) had no trouble speaking out against the church. Beghe left the church after 14 years of membership and said in a video that the religion is “destructive and a rip-off.”
The late “Dirty Dancing” star told the Tampa Bay Times that following his father’s death he explored Scientology. Swayze said that he tried therapy, Buddhism, Transcendental meditation and Scientology at one time.
During his relationship with current Scientologist Juliette Lewis, Pitt took about two years of Scientology courses. A former high-ranking official in the church wrote a book about her experience with the religion, and mentioned Pitt’s involvement, saying in the end he “didn’t think it was for him and he and Juliette broke up.”
Crowe admitted he was very close to joining the religion but ultimately felt the religion was for “people who feel like they need grounding, who feel like the world has run off with them” and he left it.
“The Rapture” actress Rogers had a long-standing relationship with the religion; she grew up with it and eventually was a Scientology counselor, reportedly responsible for bringing in Tom Cruise. Rogers is allegedly no longer involved with the church, but the church refuses to confirm this.
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