10 Celebrities That Left Scientology

Recently, rumors have circulated around the gossip sites that Laura Prepon, one of the stars of the critically acclaimed Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, is now dating Tom Cruise. Laura has gone on the record to say these rumors are false, but some sense can be made out of the creation of the rumor. Tom Cruise has been single for some time now since his separation from actress Katie Holmes, and he and Laura Prepon share something distinctive in common:

They're both members of The Church of Scientology.

In it's prime, Scientology boasted millions of members (a claim that has since been debunked) and many of them were celebrities. So many celebrities joined the religion that they even opened up an exclusive Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood.

Over time, certain aspects of what members of Scientology believe became public and they appeared to be ripped straight from founder L. Ron Hubbard's science fiction novels. Rumors of frightening human mistreatment within the church only exacerbated the troubles this leak caused. These allegations have caused quite a stir and once the knowledge was out there, people began leaving the church, even the celebrities that benefited greatly from services Scientology provided. Some left quietly, while others left very publicly. Here are ten of the celebrities that decided it was time to part ways with the infamous young religion.

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10 Paul Haggis

Paul Haggis, writer of Oscar award-winning Million Dollar Baby, may very well be the most vocal about leaving the church when an open letter he wrote in 2009 was posted to the public on a Scientology blog. Haggis claims that he had intended the letter to be private.

The reason Haggis outlined for leaving was a San Diego branch of the church's name on a list of supporters for California's Proposition 8 which was a move to ban gay marriage in the state. Paul Haggis has two gay daughters.

Paul also listed that the church denies that it asks it's members to disassociate with anyone that has anything disparaging to say about the church. Paul claimed that they asked his wife to do that very thing to her parents.

Paul left the church after 30 years of dedication.

9 Leah Remini

When this The King of Queens star left the church it was a real shocker. She consistently defended the church in the media and didn't join on her own. Paul Haggis found her departure admirable because she had so much to lose. Her parents, her family, and a good number of her friends were all members of Scientology.

Leah left for a similar reason as Haggis; she claimed the church was telling her who she could and could not talk to. She also claimed the church physically abused people "under the umbrella of religion."

It didn't help that Leah filed a missing persons report for Shelly Miscavige, the wife of the leader of the church, after she'd only been seen once in seven years. It has been alleged that David Miscavige had sent Shelly to a secret compound after she disobeyed his orders.

8 Katie Holmes

Katie Holmes, best known for her roles in Dawson's Creek and Batman Begins, allegedly left the church to protect her daughter Suri. Suri's father is Tom Cruise, one of the churches biggest supporters.

During a deposition, Tom was asked by lawyers if Katie had left the church to protect her daughter. Tom said, "That was one of her assertions, yes."

Many claim that this would make Katie and Suri fall under the definition of a "Suppressive Person". This means Tom shouldn't be allowed to see them. It does appear that the church is making an exception in this case, provided it's a practice of the church at all.

7 Nicole Kidman 

No one is entirely sure why Nicole left the church as she's been very tight lipped about it. Even when the media was in a frenzy over Katie Holmes departure and Kidman was asked again several years after her own divorce from Tom Cruise, she never said a disparaging thing about the church.

The fact remains that she did leave. Lawrence Wright, who authored the book Going Clear,  a tell-all book about his time as a Scientologist, sites the church as the direct cause of their divorce. Kidman's own children with Cruise remained a part of the church and it could be surmised she doesn't talk against Scientology so they'll continue to see her.

6 Mimi Rogers

Tom Cruise's first wife also left Scientology around the time of their divorce. Like Nicole, Rogers isn't exactly going public about her reasons, once again this could very well be an attempt to not be considered a "Suppressive Person" and still see friends that are still members of the church.

Former Scientology member Marty Rathbun says that Mimi was unhappy with David Miscavige after he became the church leader. Rathbun alleges she left because of Miscavige and because of church doctrine, this could explain why she and Cruise split as well.

Mimi is best known for rolls in Austin Powers films and the television series Two and a Half Men.

5 Jason Beghe

Jason Beghe is best known for his role in Chicago Fire and its spin-off Chicago P.D. and was once dubbed "the poster boy of Scientology" by Miscavige himself.

Beghe claims the church is a "vicious and vindictive" group. When he and his wife left the church he asked for money back he had banked for future classes. Once this happened he was completely ostracized and other members were told to never speak with him or his wife. Beghe is quoted as calling the church a group that tries to create a "brain-washed, robotic version of you."

4 Nazanin Boniadi

Nazanin Boniadi is currently making her way up in Hollywood. She's had reoccurring roles in the television shows Homeland and How I Met Your Mother, and has even appeared in blockbusters like Iron Man. According to Paul Haggis, Nazanin was one of the women that the church used as a part of a match-making process for actor Tom Cruise.

A Vanity Fair article alleges Nazanin left the church quickly after she was forced to scrub toilets with a toothbrush when she didn't make Cruise's cut. Nazanin was not quoted and hasn't commented on the allegation.

3 Lisa Marie Presley

It's surprising Lisa Marie even joined considering her famous father, Elvis Presley, is quoted as saying, "F*** those people! All they want is my money."

Lisa Marie ended up expressing very similar sentiments. She has referred to her Scientologist "friends" as "leeches" and claims the church left her "...insulated with no grip on reality. They were taking my soul, my money, my everything."

Money seems to be a key part of Scientology. It will set an individual back around $1 million dollars to each the fifth level of the church.

2 John Brodie

This former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers is one of very few athletes, if any at all, that has gone public about being a member of the controversial church. Brodie practiced Scientology for twelve years before calling it quits. At one time he even credited the church for his comeback after a friend suggested Scientology to him when his arm wasn't operating at full effect following a break.

In 1982, a few of Brodie's friends were roughed up by Scientology goons. He left the church siting that they "didn't treat certain members fairly." This is a phenomena many ex-members seem to make claim to.

1 Don Simpson

Don Simpson, who passed away in 1996, produced some of the biggest films of his day, such as The Rock, Bad Boys, and even Top Gun and Days of Thunder which starred none other than Tom Cruise.

Don seemed to notice things were off right away. While he did not spend the millions that detractors like Haggis, Remini, and Beghe spent to achieve higher levels in the church, he did spend nearly $25,000 before deciding that the whole religion was a con. His reasoning behind this claim was that after spending that much money, he saw little life improvement.

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