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11 Famous People Who Have Been In Scientology, 11 Others Who Left It

Leah Remini’s dramatic public divorce from the Church of Scientology drew new attention to the divisive church. Scientology, founded by science-fiction novelist L. Ron Hubbard, requires followers to pay to relive past experiences under the supervision of a church official in order to rid themselves of social evils and achieve greater spiritual salvation. Hubbard was apparently obsessed with attracting renowned people into Scientology.

The celebrity tradition in Scientology has persisted to this day, most notably through high-profile supporters Tom Cruise and John Travolta. In addition to Remini, several other performers left Scientology. The following is a list of celebs who left scientology, as well as those who are currently practicing the religion.

#1 Left: Leah Remini

Source: Jason Laveris / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Remini may be the most outspoken ex Scientologist, having written a book and produced an Emmy-winning docuseries on her departure from the church, which she deems a “cult.” Remini has been advocating for the organization’s tax-exempt status to be revoked and for some high-level members to face prison time.

Source: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

#2 In it: Tom Cruise

Source: Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

I mean, you’re undoubtedly aware of the situation here. Tom Cruise is one of the organization’s highest-ranking members and, in many respects, the lynchpin of Scientology’s influence in Hollywood. In previous interviews, he has repeatedly supported the church, even dubbing psychiatry a “pseudoscience” in one. In his memoir, Yearbook, Seth Rogen recounts a time when he and Judd Apatow visited with Cruise about a project and Cruise tried to get them to join the faith. Cruise’s name is nearly associated with Scientology at this time.

Source: Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

#3 Left: William S. Burroughs

Source: Ruby Ray / Getty Images

He joined the church in the 1960s, around a decade after L. Ron Hubbard wrote Dianetics, but eventually became disillusioned and even released his own book, Ali’s Smile: Naked Scientology, in 1971. The book, as well as Burroughs’ public comments, accused Scientology of utilizing authoritarian tactics to control its members, even comparing it to the CIA in terms of secrecy.

Source: Ulf Andersen / Getty Images

#4 In it: Danny Masterson

Source: Brandon Williams / WireImage / Getty Images

Masterson has been a Scientologist for many years and continues to be an active member. The organization has been directly linked to Masterson’s ongoing sexual assault case, as he faces both civil and criminal charges from women who were also members of the Church of Scientology. A judge determined earlier this year that the lawsuit would go to a jury trial and would not be addressed through the church’s mediation procedure.

Source: 20th Century Fox / Everett Collection

#5 Left: Neil Gaiman

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While Gaiman appears to have never actively practiced Scientology, he did grow up in a Scientologist household. His father was the organization’s British spokesperson, and it’s been reported — but not proven — that his ex-wife and sisters are members. However, Gaiman has flatly denied being a Scientologist, so it’s possible that he never practiced and simply grew up in the midst of it. In any case, it’s probably fair to claim that Gaiman “escaped” Scientology, as many people who grow up with parents who are members of the religion end up becoming members themselves.

Source: Albert L. Ortega / WireImage / Getty Images

#6 In it: Nancy Cartwright

Source: Colin Davey / Getty Images

Cartwright, the long-time voice of Bart Simpson, has long been a Scientologist.

Source: Vince Bucci / Getty Images

#7 Left: Beck

Source: Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic for iHeartRadio / Getty Images

Beck’s affiliation with Scientology appears to be conflicting based on previous statements. Beck’s father was a Scientologist, and in the early 2000s, he married Giovanni Ribisi’s twin sister, Marissa Ribisi, who is also a Scientologist. Beck also claimed to be a Scientologist at the time. Beck, though, said he was not a Scientologist following his divorce from Ribisi. Beck appears to have never been a Scientologist but was keeping up appearances because his wife was, or he was a Scientologist while married but abandoned the church around the time of his divorce.

Source: Jim Bennett / WireImage / Getty Images

#8 In it: John Travolta

Source: Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images

Despite claims in 2009 that Travolta was leaving Scientology, he remains one of the church’s most renowned superstars today. Travolta was introduced to Scientology by one of his co-stars on The Devil’s Rain in 1975.

Source: Ray Kachatorian / Getty Images

#9 Left: Mimi Rogers

Source: Gregg Deguire / WireImage / Getty Images

Rogers embraced Scientology at a young age because her father was a friend of L. Ron Hubbard. Tom Cruise joined the group after marrying Rogers, so it appears she was the driving force behind his decision to become a Scientologist in the first place. Rogers, though, quit Scientology after her divorce from Cruise.

Source: Paul Harris / Getty Images

#10 In it: Ethan Suplee

Source: John Sciulli / WireImage / Getty Images

Suplee is married to Juliette Lewis’s sister, Brandy Lewis, and was one of numerous My Name Is Earl cast members who practiced Scientology. Suplee is very secretive about his religion, so it’s difficult to say how devoted he is (or if he is still a Scientologist now), although he was reported to be a member of the organization during the Earl days.

Source: 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

#11 Left: Christopher Reeve

Source: Ron Galella, Ltd. / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

In his memoir, the late Superman actor disclosed that he did some “auditing” and took some Scientology classes when he was younger. He did, however, say that one lesson “totally devalued” his belief in the process. The seminar was supposed to bring up memories of his prior incarnations, but Reeve basically retold a story from Greek mythology and passed it off as his own past life experience, and got away with a clear lie.

Source: Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection

#12 In it: Jenna Elfman

Source: Axelle / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Elfman described the Scientology dispute as “boring.” Elfman stated that she understands what she knows and how much it benefits her… She believes that anything that works is likely to be attacked.

Source: Handout / Church of Scientology / Getty Images

#13 Left: Jason Lee

Source: Ari Perilstein / Getty Images

The My Name Is Earl star had been a Scientologist since the 1990s, and his ex-wife Carmen Llywelyn said that religion played a big factor in their divorce. In a 2016 interview with a local paper in Denton, Texas (where Lee and his family had relocated), he disclosed that he was no longer a practicing Scientologist.

Source: 20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

#14 In it: Giovanni Ribisi

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Ribisi was raised by Scientologists, therefore he has been a Scientologist his entire life. When questioned about it, he stated that it is a personal preference and that it works for him.

Source: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

#15 Left: Nicole Kidman

Source: Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images

Kidman, like Katie Holmes, was a Scientologist as a result of her marriage to Tom Cruise. According to Tony Ortega, who spoke with Bruce Hines, Kidman’s “auditor” in the church, Kidman took several classes and quickly ascended the ranks of the organization’s spiritual ladder. However, after her divorce from Cruise, Kidman ceased practicing Scientology, but her and Cruise’s children, Connor and Bella, continued to do so.

Source: Barry King / WireImage / Getty Images

#16 In it: Kirstie Alley

Source: Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

Alley is one of the more outspoken celebrity Scientologists, usually using Twitter and interviews to debate the organization with Leah Remini and support fellow Scientologists.

Source: Peter Brandt / Getty Images

#17 Left: Katie Holmes

Source: John Lamparski / Getty Images

In 2012, Holmes filed for divorce from Scientology’s poster boy, Tom Cruise. Holmes allegedly used burner cellphones and laptops to abandon Cruise and their daughter, Suri, without informing Cruise or anyone else in the company. It’s unknown how committed Holmes was in Scientology during her marriage to Cruise, although she was most likely involved by association.

Source: Wireimage House / WireImage / Getty Images

#18 In it: Juliette Lewis

Source: David Livingston / Getty Images

Lewis spoke about Scientology in 2010 and stated that she was a practicing Scientologist. Her father, Geoffrey Lewis, was a Scientologist, therefore she was raised in the faith. She appears to be still involved with the group now.

Source: Jim Smeal / Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

#19 Left: Laura Prepon

Source: Jason Merritt / Getty Images for Turner

Prepon joined Scientology in 1999 and was still a member when she was cast in Orange Is the New Black. In a 2021 interview, she revealed that she is “no longer practicing Scientology” and hasn’t been for approximately five years, implying that she left around 2016. Previously, she had been vociferous in her praise for the group, but after leaving, she spoke little about it, which irritated fellow former Scientologist Leah Remini, who has been outspoken about the organization’s alleged abuses.

Source: Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

#20 In it: Elisabeth Moss

Source: Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Moss, most known for her part in The Handmaid’s Tale, has been a Scientologist since she was a teenager. She doesn’t, however, talk about it often in public. She discussed how she believes Scientology is “misunderstood” or incorrectly viewed. “It’s not a closed-off religion,” Moss explained. “It’s a place that is really open to, like, taking in someone who wants to learn more about it.”

Source: Hulu / Courtesy Everett Collection

#21 Left: Jerry Seinfeld

Source: Theo Wargo / Getty Images

Seinfeld was never an official member of the group, but he did clarify on the WTF With Marc Maron show that he once completed a course. “I did take a Scientology course in, like, 1975,” Seinfeld admitted. While he did not pursue things further, he stated that he “found it quite interesting” and gained some benefits from the session, such as communication skills.

Source: NBCUniversal via Getty Images

#22 In it: Michael Peña

Source: Michael Kovac / Getty Images for NCLR

Peña, whose credits include End of Watch and Ant-Man, claims he first joined Scientology because he was afraid of drinking too much, and there was a program called Purification Rundown that helped him quit. He also claims that one of their other programs helped him become a “better actor” by improving his “knowledge of scripts.” When queried about the organization’s numerous controversies, Peña answered he does not read that stuff.

Source: Walt Disney Co./Courtesy Everett Collection

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