‘Handmaid’s Tale’: Is Elisabeth Moss Still a Scientologist?

Elisabeth Moss is a Golden Globe-winning actress, who has starred in a number of hit TV shows including West Wing and Mad Men. Most recently, her role as June in Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale has captured our attention in a major way. Season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale is scheduled to air on Hulu June 5th, and we can’t wait. 

In the meantime, Moss has been confronted about her links to the controversial religion, Scientology, and has recently had to defend her beliefs to reporters in regards to how they line up with the values in The Handmaid’s Tale

Elisabeth Moss
Elisabeth Moss | Samir Hussein/WireImage

What is Scientology?

Scientology.org breaks the religion down for us. Explaining that the basic idea is that man is far more than just a physical being, and that the spirit of man needs to be enlightened. There are a couple of key premises from which followers can garner direction for their lives. These include things like 

  • Man is an immortal spiritual being.
  • His experience extends well beyond a single lifetime.
  • His capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.

Scientology also believes that mankind is basically good, and the goal of man is to live a life that formulates a “brotherhood with the universe.” The idea is that you discover the truths within the principles of Scientology by applying its rules and observing the results. 

Why is Scientology controversial?

The Church of Scientology has become a controversial subject recently. It was made famous to a new generation when Katie Holmes dramatically split from her husband Tom Cruise, claiming that Scientology was part of what split their family apart.

In 2015, the release of a documentary — Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief — made shocking allegations against the church from the existence of a “prison camp” and celebrity blackmailing to stolen government documents.

Then, of course, we’ve been intrigued by Leah Remini’s widespread campaign against the church. Her outspoken interviews and new TV show making it very clear where she stands in her opinions of the organization. There’s been lots of talk about the church’s treatment of its members, particularly those members who are female, and that brings us to Moss.

Her strong, portrayal of June in The Handmaid’s Tale, a story of families ripped apart by a religious faction, seems to go a bit against what Scientology stands for. 

Elisabeth Moss’s role in Scientology

Moss was immersed in Scientology at an early age. It is the religion of her parents and, thus, she was raised in the theology of Scientology. The actress credits much of where she is today to her childhood belief system and although she is very private about her own beliefs, she is firmly attached to Scientology.

Despite recent criticism of the church, Moss has mentioned in several different interviews that she will fully support the right to freedom of speech, thought, and religion. She says its a complicated thing when you try to determine how a person’s actions align with their belief systems. 

In an interview with The Daily Beast she explains: “Listen, it’s a complicated thing because the things that I believe in, I can only speak to my personal experience and my personal beliefs,” she said. “One of the things I believe in is freedom of speech. I believe we as humans should be able to critique things.”

Does Elisabeth Moss still practice Scientology?

Yes, and she strongly believes that her current show, The Handmaid’s Tale, helps to her put some of her strong ideas into practice. Moss said she believes her the show is perfectly aligned to who she is as a person. 

“The things that I believe in personally, for me, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ and the ability to do something that is artistically fulfilling but is also personally fulfilling, I’ve never had that,” she said. “‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ lines up so perfectly parallel with my own beliefs in freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the things that this country was actually built on.”  

The star remains private about her feelings on Scientology as a whole, claiming that it is too much to “unpack” in a simple interview.