Scientology is a much loved but controversial religion that has some celebrities running for the hills, and others praising its creator L. Ron Hubbard for providing them with a sanctuary where they can be individuals, comfortable and confident. However when something has the popularity, money, loyalty and influential followers behind it like Scientology does, there is always someone (or in this case several people) who do not agree with their teaching for some reason or another. Scientology has long been a controversial religion that has a very famous following; actresses like Laura Prepon and Demi Moore, actors like Ashton Kutcher, Tom Cruise and John Travolta, and even athletes like Jason Lee and Kenton Gray. Unfortunately that following generally drops in and out on a regular basis for various reasons. Some did not feel the religion was beneficial to them; others thought that their beliefs were too far out there and some just felt as though the allure of the religion or the purpose they joined for in the first place has worn off. Just like every other religion, people fall out of love or lose their passion. Scientology has had stories of greed, corruption and cult-like behavior attached to its name, and the controversy around it is astounding yet fascinating, and we all want to know more. So when celebrities leave, we are chomping at the bit to get the “dirt” however, we usually end up with crack pot theories and tight-lipped ex-Scientologists.
Have you ever fallen out of love with your religion? Have you dabbled in Scientology? Tell us about your experience below.
10. Jerry Seinfeld
The star of Seinfeld admitted to dabbling in Scientology in his early twenties; he does not speak about the experience much, but has said that he was in a phase of figuring out his identity. He took a few courses and truly believes that their teaching contributed to some of his success because it helped with his communication as an actor but clearly not enough for him to hang in there. He does admit that he was enamored with their technology, and credits it for his interest in the religion; it’s not faith-based, it’s all technology.
9. Jeffrey Tambor
Still riding high off of the success of his hit show Arrested Development, actor Jeffrey Tambor tried his hand at Scientology; he did not even last a year. Tambor has stated that while he had nothing against the popular religion, it was just not for him. He detailed that he took a couple of classes but it looks like he was just not feeling it; he has not been very vocal about his brief time as a Scientologist but if one had to guess, it could be the reason why everyone else leaves. Hopefully he found a new religion that he feels comfortable in.
8. Russell Crowe
Like fellow actor Jeffrey Tambor, Russell Crowe revealed in spring 2015 that he dabbled in a bit of Scientology. Crowe stated in an interview with People magazine that he has always been interested in religion so he watched a video about Scientology and while he found it informative, he felt he needed more information so he read L. Ron Hubbard’s book Dianetic’s. After perusing the book, Crowe quickly realized that Scientology did not suite his lifestyle. Telling People that it is kind of cool and if it is something that you are into, then you should pursue it. That is an interesting response.
7. Katherine McPhee
During an interview with Salon.com, American Idol sweetheart Katherine McPhee stated that she began getting involved with Scientology. She took a couple of courses and it was rumored that she completed a mandatory introductory detox called “purification rundown”. McPhee stated that once she knew more about the religion she realized that “it was really all about a guy” she continued on to say: “you know, guys and girls can do that to our lives and make us think we’re into something that we’re not”. Is that confirmation that she will not be returning? Those couple of courses and detox that she took must have had a weird affect on her.
6. Patrick Swayze
The late, great star of Dirty Dancing was searching for meaning in the late 80s after his father died. He stated that he needed something transcending, something that would support him; so he tried different religions to fill the void he was experiencing, and he forayed into Buddhism and Scientology but found that Scientology was not for him. After a brief stint he left the popular religion and never looked back; he was looking for a therapy that they could not provide for him but was still pretty mum on what happened during his time there. That’s okay, Scientology is not for everyone, right?
5. Nicole Kidman
Actress Nicole Kidman abruptly left Scientology after her divorce from mega superstar Tom Cruise was finalized. She stayed silent for several years refusing to speak of, or really acknowledge her time as a Scientologist. Kidman recently came out and explained why she refuses to talk about the religion; she told E! News that her children Connor and Isabella Cruise, are still active members in Scientology so she does not speak on it out of sheer respect. However, she does not give the religion any praise, good or bad. So tell us how you really feel Nicole, it may be safe to say that there is no chance she will go down that road again.
4. Elvis Presley
The late great Elvis Presley is an honorable mention on the list simply because his Scientology story is just so juicy. Presley was introduced to the religion through actress Peggy Lipton, however, when he showed up to meet with them he was totally freaked out. He claimed that they started working on all these charts and it freaked him out; he jumped up and got out of there stating, “F— those people! There’s no way I’ll ever get involved with that group. All they want is my money.” Yikes, obviously he died so there is no going back for him but if he was alive today, it’s almost a guarantee that they would be actively trying to recruit him and he would be actively running away
3. Lisa Marie Presley
When Lisa Marie Presley left Scientology in 2012, she initially went quietly; but she eventually wrote a song called You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet that laid out some heavy stuff that was supposedly indicating her departure from the church. She later revealed that she left due to sinister stuff; she states: “Basically, it was a big sinister situation, where there was like, kind of intel and covert ops going on, and a whole effort to control me that I didn’t know about. I uncovered it and it was mind-blowing.” Uncovered what? It is safe to say that she will not be going back and the feeling is probably mutual between the two parties.
2. Paul Haggis
The director that brought you amazing features like Million Dollar Baby and Crash, left Scientology on a very vocal note. After 35 years as member of the church of Scientology, Haggis decided it was time to take his leave, and in the midst of this he wrote a book and produced a documentary called Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, where he discussed Scientology to great lengths and made some accusations against the church. However, he really credits his leaving to “the disjointed, crude ramblings” of former Scientologist Marty Rathbun, and some of the things they choose to standout against like proposition 8.
1. Leah Remini
Probably the most vocal ex-Scientologist, Leah Remini has sworn she will never go back to Scientology (not that they will take her). Remini started her Scientology journey at a very young age as she followed her mother into the religion. However, she chose to leave in 2013 because she did not want her daughter to grow up in and be consumed by the religion like she claimed to have been. She was not open about her departure from the church until late 2014. Remini recently wrote the book Troublemaker, that speaks of her time with Scientology, and how she got out.