Scientology tends to be closely associated with Hollywood and the celebrities who have been heavily involved with the Church of Scientology. However, there are many celebrities that you may not realize have publicly revealed their devotion to the controversial Church.
What is Scientology?
The Church of Scientology was founded by American author and philanthropist Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (L. Ron Hubbard) in 1954. The highly diverse theological and spiritual movement does not adhere to one particular belief system, but rather directs its followers along a path of self-education, understanding, and growth. Scientology is applied in a practice of “auditing”—a type of self-examination that involves the use of an “e-meter” to measure a person’s mental state.
At its core, Scientology is based on the philosophy that every human being has hidden potential, a power of choice, and the ability to improve any circumstance through a process of self-betterment.
Celebrities That You Didn’t Know Were Scientologists
Throughout the decades, Scientology has attracted plenty of celebrities who have chosen to experiment with the religious teachings and apply them to their own lives in an effort towards self-improvement. Here are just some of the celebrities who have revealed their faith in Scientology:
John Travolta, the beloved actor behind blockbusters such as Grease and Saturday Night Fever, is one of the world’s most well-known Scientologists. Travolta has been associated with the movement since 1975 and credits his faith in Scientology as the source of his successful and long standing career in showbiz.
It would be safe to say that Tom Cruise is Scientology’s most public and prominent supporter. After becoming a devotee in the 1980s, Cruise achieved his biggest professional success in the 1990s and 2000s. Despite several controversies over the years, Cruise continues to be one of the most high profile celebrities publicly involved with the religion.
In 2005, the rockstar known as Beck announced that he was a Scientologist. The timing corresponded with the promotion of his studio album Guero, an album which received a great deal of promotion from the Church of Scientology and has remained one of the musician’s most successful albums to date.
Kirstie Alley is one of the longest running celebrities to be a Scientologist. Alley joined the movement in 1979, giving up her religion of Catholicism. Despite her long-standing faith, Alley does not often openly discuss her religious beliefs and views.
The actress, singer, and songwriter Juliette Lewis is another well-known celebrity who is a confirmed member of the Church. Lewis discovered the teachings during her career in the 1990s, declaring it to be the perfect complement to her creative pursuits.
Elisabeth Moss is best known for her acclaimed performance in the television drama Mad Men, in which she played the role of an ambitious secretary. It was revealed in 2009 that Moss had been a Scientologist since the age of 8. She thanked the Church of Scientology for helping to fulfill her dreams of becoming a successful actress.
Miscavige, Cruise, and Travolta: A Scientology “Dream Team”
Despite the many celebrities who are seemingly devoted to the Church of Scientology, there is a special triumvirate that is recognized as the unofficial dream team of Scientology. That team is made up of Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and David Miscavige.
David Miscavige is the current leader of the Church of Scientology who, according to many true believers, has been instrumental in the Church’s growth and success and is widely seen as the most qualified and devoted to the cause.
David Miscavige and Tom Cruise have been close friends since their introduction in the early 1980s. Both men have long referred to one another as “best friends”, and are believed to have played an important role in the younger Cruise’s spiritual exploration and development.
John Travolta is the third highest-ranking leader in the Church of Scientology, being widely considered as the Church’s most prolific figurehead. Travolta is widely believed to be the “right hand man” to Miscavige and Cruise and is said to have the ear of both men on matters both spiritual and worldly.
What Exactly Do Celebrity Scientologists Believe?
One of the most common misconceptions about Scientology is that it is an exclusive belief system and is just another form of organized religion. The truth is, Scientology is much more than a faith system and its teachings do not directly reflect any one specific religion.
Celebrity Scientologists believe in the concept of “self-determinism”—the idea that every person is capable of making choices for him or herself, and that success and progress can be achieved through self-analysis, evaluation, and improvement. It is a concept that is quite “un-religious”, as it does not assume a belief in a higher power or spiritual entity.
Scientologists also believe that the mind and soul are two separate entities, and that it is possible to achieve a separation between these two parts of the self. The desired result of this separation is to gain a newfound understanding of motives and behaviors that can be utilized to further one’s personal development.
Scientology is often criticized for its secretive practices and alleged deception, but many of its celebrity adherents are devoted to the religion and are willing to overlook their doubts and issues in order to remain part of the church.
Conflicted Opinions On Scientology
The Church of Scientology and its teachings have long been a source of conflict and controversy, with people on both sides of the fence holding strong opinions on the religion.
Outside of the Church of Scientology community, the religion is often disliked for its history of secrecy and its policies that can be seen as unorthodox and bizarre by some. Individuals have accused the church of fraud and mistreating members, as well as taking advantage of its high-profile celebrity members.
Within the Church, however, it is a different story. For these devoted believers, Scientology is a path of self-discovery and advancement—a journey to achieving greater spiritual awareness and enlightenment. For the celebrity members of Scientology, the religion serves as a source of spiritual guidance and a support structure for those seeking fulfillment and success.
The Church of Scientology has long been a source of debate and controversy, and its celebrity adherents have often come under fire for their involvement with the religion. However, it is clear that there are many individuals within the entertainment industry who believe in the teachings of the Church and have found a greater sense of identity and personal growth through their faith. While Scientology still faces criticism from all sides, the devotion and loyalty of these celebrity Scientologists is not to be discounted.