The Church of Scientology has certainly garnered a bad reputation for itself, especially over the past few years with an increasing number of former members speaking out against the cult-like organization. Despite the scandalous allegations, including assault, fraud, and abuse, A-list celebrities like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Elisabeth Moss, and Laura Prepon continue to publicly support the controversial group.
The Church of Scientology is a wealthy religious organization that requires a large financial investment from all of their members. The religious group uses their popular celebrity members to promote themselves as a powerful and exclusive club that would improve people's lives greatly. Scientology enforces the idea of self-confidence and self-improvement. The church promises to help teach people how to solve their own problems, as well as solving global issues around the world.
However, the Church of Scientology has a lot of dark secrets, which have begun to become exposed over the years. Many of the promises that they made to their members are allegedly lies. Former Scientologists have put the religious organization on blast for tearing apart their families, abusing children, abusing employees, and draining their members’ bank accounts with repackaged textbooks and mandatory paid programs. Scientology is allegedly dwindling in numbers as more bad press continues to surround it. The Church of Scientology went from 50,000 in 2009 to 20,000 in 2016.
Take a look at these 15 Scientologists, some of which are well-known celebrities, in some shady photos that give away some insight into the lives these church members lead.
15 Is The Church Forcing John Travolta To Stay In The Closet?
John Travolta is another celebrity who is often thought of when Scientology is brought up. The actor began getting involved with the church in Los Angeles in the 1970s. He credited Scientology for the reason his career took off in the early days, saying "the beliefs and practices I have studied in Scientology have been invaluable to me."
However, when Scientologists are brought into the religious community, they must go through an "audit" where they are forced to reveal their most private secrets. If Travolta was ever thinking about abandoning the Church of Scientology, they would just need to threaten to expose him to get him to stay. There were many rumors about Travolta being homos*xual and when another man came forward saying that they had an affair, as well as pictures being leaked of the actor kissing another man, the church supported him and worked to "squash or intimidate" the rumors. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being gay, but it seems as though the Church of Scientology wants to suppress any sign of homos*xuality in its members.
14 Peaches Geldof And Her Tragic Passing
Peaches Geldof is the late daughter of the rock star Bob Geldof. She went public with her Scientology affiliation after Gawker published a man's recollection of a drug-fueled one-night stand with Peaches. The man's account alleged that the young woman did hard drugs with him and that their "hot and heavy" night ended with them at Scientology's Hollywood Celebrity Centre.
Geldof tragically died in 2014 from an opioid overdose. It was confirmed that she was on a "spiritual path" before her death. She was first spotted leaving the Scientology center in Los Angeles in 2009 with literature from the church in her hand. The Church of Scientology prides themselves in "treating drug addiction," which they must have tried to do in Geldof's case.
13 Katie Holmes Caught Up In The Church
Katie Holmes was introduced to the Church of Scientology when she married Tom Cruise. Cruise had been married twice before to Nicole Kidman and Mimi Rogers. Both of his ex-wives claimed that Scientology and its founder David Miscavige were to blame for their failed marriages.
With her husband being the face of this controversial religion, Katie had to accept Scientology into her life. However, it did not take too long for her to realize that she had wanted no part of this organization. Holmes has said that she left Cruise to protect their daughter Suri from the church as well. Many people who have gotten close to Miscavige have also claimed that he has aggressive and violent tendencies. If Katie was in the inner circle of the church, who knows what she could have observed?
12 Will Smith, The Secret Scientologist
Will Smith has been rumored to have been involved with the Church of Scientology for years. However, he has always denied his allegiance to them. In 2008, a report came out that Smith was actively recruiting for Scientology on the set of his film, Hancock. Also in 2008, the actor and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith opened a school in Calabasas, California called New Village Leadership Academy.
The famous couple allegedly founded the institution based on Scientologist beliefs. The principal who ran the school also claimed that Smith's wife was heavily involved with the Church of Scientology. Years later, Leah Remini, a former Scientologist and fellow actress who has a docu-series that exposes the truth about the religion, claimed that Jada was definitely "in" Scientology and that she has been for "a long time."
11 Lisa McPherson And Her Suspicious Passing
Lisa McPherson had been involved with the Church of Scientology since the early age of 18. She worked for a publishing company that was owned by a Scientologist when she was transported to Clearwater, Florida in the mid-nineties for her job. In the fall of 1995, Lisa was in a minor car accident. Paramedics noticed something strange when she began to take off her clothes and took her to the hospital where she would be kept for overnight observation. A group of Scientologists later intervened and convinced McPherson to check herself out.
The Scientologists brought Lisa to the Flag Land Base in Clearwater to recover but she was reportedly kept under observation, where she apparently became violent and incoherent over the two weeks that followed. She was prescribed a bunch of pills and she was being force-fed. Eventually, she had to be taken back to a hospital. When they finally arrived at a hospital, after passing four others on the way, Lisa had no vital signs. She was pronounced dead shortly after. The state of Florida charged the Church of Scientology with two felony charges of negligent homicide. However, the charges were eventually dropped.
10 Tom Cruise Touring Multi-Million Dollar Scientology "Celebrity Centers"
When you type "Tom Cruise" into any internet search bar, the first thing that pops up is "Tom Cruise Scientology." The Church of Scientology has spent a lot of time and money over the years to transform Tom Cruise into the face of the religion. The founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard and its present-day leader, David Miscavige are not nearly as well-known or widely recognized, so they use Cruise as eye-candy to recruit new members and raise money.
However, his ex-wife Katie Holmes did not believe that the Church of Scientology was good for their daughter, and she divorced Cruise as a result. Tom had wanted Suri to join Sea Org, a branch of Scientology that initiates children as young as 10 years old. He wanted her to sign a contract of allegiance. Cruise has continued to stay loyal to Scientology, despite the fact that it broke up his family. Cruise is relocating to Clearwater, Florida, which is also where the Church of Scientology's Flag Building, also known as the "Super Power Building," is located. He has purchased a penthouse a few blocks from the headquarters. The church also owns around 70 buildings throughout a 10-square-mile area of Clearwater, monopolizing the city.
9 David Miscavige And The Church's Attempt To Recruit Celebrities
David Miscavige is known for rubbing elbows with celebrities. He frequently uses celebrities in promotional videos to convince potential new members that they are going to be a part of a special and exclusive organization. Miscavige considers the celebrity members of the Church of Scientology his friends and even served as the best man at Tom Cruise's wedding to Katie Holmes.
Miscavige knew how to target celebrities and make them want to join his organization. Celebrities are scrutinized frequently throughout their careers as actors or musicians and their self-confidence can often waver. Scientology provides them with the reassurance they need. John Travolta is one of the most powerful and prominent men in Scientology. He and Miscavige are reportedly very close. Leah Remini, a former Scientologist who speaks out publicly against the church, claimed that Travolta could basically get away with murder and the church would protect him.
8 Danny Masterson And The Church's Questionable Views On Psychiatry
Danny Masterson got his start acting on the hit series That 70s Show. The actor and his family have been involved with Scientology for a long time. The church's founder claimed that shrinks were "terrorists" and that psychiatry was an "evil enterprise" and the "cause of crime."
Masterson made his own political statement with his t-shirt and took a stance in Scientology's war against psychiatry. The religious organization has taken a strong stance against psychiatry for decades, maintaining that mental illness was a fraud. The Church of Scientology even tried to pass get laws passed in a few states that would penalize and criminalize teachers who recommended mental health treatment to any of their students. Scientologists believe that they have the answers to cure mental health issues themselves.
7 David Miscavige's Controversial Family Background
After David Miscavige began leading the religious organization, he stopped speaking to his father, Ron, who had actually been the one to bring the family into the church in 1969. Ron left the church shortly after and wrote a book about the deceptions of Scientology and his experience escaping from the cult-like group. When his brother Ronnie decided to go with his father when he left the church, David lashed out. His two sisters came to his rescue, claiming that Ronnie had s*xually abused them as children and that their father had allowed it to happen.
This family photo was released online as people began digging into the Scientology leader's life and background. David sits comfortably and confidently on the far left and his brother Ronnie is sitting in the middle with a big smile on his face. His sisters Denise (left) and Lori (right) look uncomfortable and awkward in the family photo.
6 Erika Christensen And Her Embarrassing Scientology Testimony
Erika Christensen has been in many well-known television shows and movies. She is perhaps most well-known for her role in the hit series, Parenthood. Christensen is also an avid Scientologist and has been for many years. She grew up in Scientology and began acting in 1997. In 2015, a video was leaked online that included Erika Christensen's personal testimonial for the church that only her fellow Scientologists were meant to see.
Speaking about the effectiveness of the religious organization, the actress said that "it's straight out of the universe!" The videos were intended for Scientologists aboard the church's private cruise ship. Each year, the church members hold an annual gathering on the ship, known as the "Maiden Voyage," to commemorate the church's first sail in 1988. Scientologists often use celebrities and the excitement of Hollywood to attract new members.
5 Elisabeth Moss Adamantly Defending The Church On Instagram
Elisabeth Moss made headlines this year after starring in the controversial hit drama series The Handmaid's Tale, and also starred in the popular show Mad Men. However, the actress has been a member of the controversial religious organization for her whole life. Although Moss claims that her affiliation with Scientology has not affected her success, her fans have still criticized her for it.
The criticisms have caused Moss to speak out about her religion more recently, although she claims not to like talking about her religion publicly. When an individual commented on her Instagram photo that Scientology and Gilead both "believe that all outside sources (a.k.a. news) are wrong and evil," Elisabeth refuted their claims, saying that "religious freedom and tolerance and understanding the truth and equal rights for every race, religion and creed are extremely important to me." She clearly could not stand for anyone speaking out against the church on her Instagram page.
4 Tom Cruise Distressed Because Of Leah Remini's Exposé
Tom Cruise was photographed looking distressed on the set of one of his films as Leah Remini's docu-series exposing Scientology was becoming more and more popular. Leah Remini left the Church of Scientology very publicly, wrote a book, and made a documentary series called Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. The A&E series exposed the organization for abuse and fraud, among other crimes. Leah Remini has even spoken out directly against Cruise, calling him "diabolical."
Tom Cruise is the face of the Church of Scientology, so these negative stories about the organization were not good for his image. Sure enough, Remini's series ended up causing a stir and more people are turning against the Church of Scientology. The documentary series has been renewed for a second season, which is currently airing.
3 Laura Prepon Performing At A Private Scientologist Event
Laura Prepon got her start in the entertainment industry starring on That 70s Show and is currently starring on the hit Netflix series, Orange Is The New Black. Laura Prepon is also one of the most active celebrities in Scientology.
Laura allegedly has participated in some the Church of Scientology's Christmas Stories productions and is pictured above in costume with her That 70s Show co-star Danny Masterson's brother, Chris Masterson. Prepon has once said that the "auditing" process was eye-opening for her. She has also stated in interviews that her life has gotten “easier” since joining Scientology, saying “it was like this eureka moment for me.” Despite the harsh criticisms that the church has received in recent times, it is unsure whether or not Laura has continued to support Scientology. The actress has attended some of the "mandatory" church events and was once an active participant and donator, although it is unclear if she still is.
2 David Miscaviage Is Tom Cruise's Best Friend And "Right-Hand Man"
Tom Cruise has remained loyal to his friend David Miscavige even after all of the scandalous allegations of abuse and fraud. The actor and the religious leader have grown to have a very close friendship. Cruise and Miscavige reportedly have their own special language. The two do lots of activities together like exercising, gambling in Vegas, and smoking cigars together.
As previously mentioned, Miscavige was even the best man at Tom Cruise's wedding. Tom receives special treatment as the religious leader's right-hand man. He apparently has more privileges than John Travolta or Kirstie Alley. Tom even has his own helicopter pad at the Gold Base in California. The Gold Base reportedly became Tom's "home away from home" while he was working his way to the top level of the Scientology ladder.
1 Tom Cruise and John Travolta At The Church's New Cathedral
Tom Cruise and John Travolta have stuck together over the years, supporting each other through the scandals. Pictured above are the two actors side-by-side in Scientology's new multi-million dollar cathedral in Clearwater, Florida in 2013. This was after Cruise's divorce from Katie Holmes.
The construction of the building had been on and off for 15 years. It reportedly cost around $100 million initially. However, the church raised over $145 million for the construction over the years. It is presumed that Miscavige was using the project as a cash cow. It is being used to house Scientology's "Super Power" program, which was developed by the religion's founder L. Ron Hubbard in the 1970s. The two friends cheered on their pal David Miscavige as he spoke to a crowd of thousands.
Sources: pagesix.com, nydailynews.com, metro.us, gawker.com, nydailynews.com, gawker.com, radaronline.com, tonyortega.com, salon.com, esquire.com, usweekly.com, dailymail.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk