Scientology has taken hold of many huge names in Hollywood. While the organization notoriously has a hard time with letting its members go (especially the high-profile ones), some have managed to escape.
Whether these celebrities wrote about their departure from the Church of Scientology after being a lifelong member (page 5) or they simply dabbled in the religion (page 8), you’ll be shocked by the stars who used to be Scientologists.
1. Mimi Rogers
Tom Cruise may be the most well-known Scientologist in Hollywood, but you actually have his first wife, Mimi Rogers, to thank. She converted him to the religion when they wed in 1987, but they divorced shortly in 1990. Cruise stuck with the religion, but Rogers reportedly is not longer a part of the church.
Next: She respects that her children are still a part of the church.
2. Nicole Kidman
Cruise then passed his faith onto his next wife, Nicole Kidman. They married in 1990, but they divorced in 2001 (which the Church of Scientology was rumored to have been behind).
Although she hasn’t gone on record her affiliation with the church, she did say of her adopted children with Cruise, “I’ve chosen not to speak publicly about Scientology. I have two children who are Scientologists — Connor and Isabella — and I utterly respect their beliefs.”
Next: Did Scientology ruin their marriage?
3. Katie Holmes
Katie Holmes was the third and most popular of Cruise’s wives to have converted to Scientology after they wed. They got married in 2006, but up until their divorce in 2012, Holmes reportedly felt trapped in their shielded marriage.
According to The Daily Mail, Holmes left Cruise and the church because she feared their daughter, Suri, getting too caught up in the religion.
Next: He was only briefly connected with Scientology.
4. Jeffrey Tambor
Actor Jeffrey Tambor was very briefly connected to the Church of Scientology in 2007. He admitted in an interview with LA.com, “I took some Scientology classes at one time, studied Scientology for a while, but no more. I have nothing against it, but I am no longer a Scientologist.”
Next: She was a lifelong member, but now speaks against it.
5. Leah Remini
Kevin Can Wait star Leah Remini was essentially a lifelong member of the Church of Scientology. However, she decided to leave the church for good in 2013. According to People, she left for a number of reasons, but her daughter was the most important.
“In my house, it’s family first — but I was spending most of my time at the church,” she explained. “So, I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter.”
She’s since written about her time in the church, including her book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology and her miniseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
Next: Her husband didn’t want her family associated with the organization.
6. Demi Moore
Back in the 80s, Demi Moore was reportedly a member of the Church of Scientology. However, when she married Bruce Willis in 1987, she ended up leaving the church for good. Willis reportedly didn’t want their kids getting involved with the church, and even though they divorced in 2000, Moore never rejoined.
Next: He totally lost faith in Scientology after this.
7. Christopher Reeve
Known best for his iconic role as 1978’s Superman, Christopher Reeve was involved in the Church of Scientology. However, as he revealed in his memoir, Nothing Is Impossible: Reflections on a New Life, he completely lost faith in the religion.
According to Rolling Stone, Reeve began feeling skeptical when he referenced a story from Greek mythology to lie about a past incarceration He admitted, “The fact that I got away with a blatant fabrication,” Reeve wrote, “completely devalued my faith in the process.”
Next: He understands why Scientology works for some.
8. Russell Crowe
After studying Scientology, Russell Crowe decided the religion just wasn’t for him. He told Interview Magazine, “It just seems like a religion that is perfect for people who feel like they need a grounding, who feel that the world has run off on them.”
He added, “I’ve discussed this with Scientologists, and they don’t disagree. So, for a certain type of person, that’s great.”
Next: He was raised in a Scientologist family.
9. Neil Gaiman
Despite being raised in a Scientologist family, author Neil Gaiman has since distanced himself from the church. According to Redbook, “In recent years [he] laughed at the ‘bonkers’ idea that he’s a current member.”
Next: She rid herself of any connections to the church.
10. Lisa Marie Presley
Daughter of Elvis, Lisa Marie Presley, was a long-standing member of the Church of Scientology. However, in 2012, she made it clear that she no longer wants to be associated with the religion.
She reportedly slammed the church in her album, Storm and Grace, and removed any connections to Scientology from her website.
Next: He no longer agreed with what Scientology stood for.
11. Paul Haggis
Million Dollar Baby screenwriter Paul Haggis decided enough was enough in 2009. He’d been a member of the Church of Scientology for 34 years, but once a staff member of the San Diego church signed a petition in support of Proposition 8, Haggis no longer wanted to be associated.
Proposition 8 “asserted that the State of California should sanction marriage only ‘between a man and a woman,’” according to The New Yorker. It angered Haggis so much that he wrote a letter to Tommy Davis, the Church of Scientology International’s chief spokesperson.
“For ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego,” he wrote. “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.”
Next: He took some classes on Scientology, but it wasn’t for him.
12. Jerry Seinfeld
Jerry Seinfeld never officially became a Scientologist, but according to Redbook, he did take some classes taught by the church when he was in his 20s.
In 2007, he admitted in an interview with Parade, “In my early years of stand-up, it was very helpful. I took a couple of courses. One of them was in communication, and I learned some things about communication that really got my act going.”
Next: She dedicated years of her life to the church.
13. Diana Canova
Soap star Diana Canova dedicated years of her life to the Church of Scientology. However, as she revealed in a 1993 interview, she realized following the religion just wasn’t worth it.
“The first time I walked in those doors, the said, Just give us all the money in your bank account. You’ll get it back tenfold […] It took me years before I decided to quit. I guess finally I was so fed up with being afraid.”
Next: She was a member of the church way back in the day.
14. Candice Bergen
Candice Bergen was an old-school Scientologist, but she didn’t stick around for long. According to Business Insider, she was linked to the church back in the ‘60s, though she hasn’t been associated since.
Next: He experimented with a number of religions.
15. Patrick Swayze
Patrick Swayze got experimental with religion after his father died — including dabbling in Scientology. In 1989, he explained his search in faith. “I’ve always felt there was something different in [my personality], but I was scared to look for fear I wouldn’t find anything,” he said.
“That’s the reason I got into Buddhism, took EST training, was into therapy, into Scientology, into Transcendental Meditation. I was trying to support that side of myself.”
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