After the HBO documentary “Going Clear” exposed some aspects of Scientology that had not hit the mainstream, more and more people are trying to pressure celebrity members into speaking out against the controversial practices of the church.
Celebrities who left Scientology are often the organization’s biggest enemies, even if they don’t publicly criticize it. Check out some of the biggest names who’ve left Scientology behind, or just took courses before deciding it’s not the right choice for them.
“The King of Queens” actress Leah Remini is one of the biggest names who left the church in recent years. Remini opened up about it in an interview for “Oprah: Where Are They Now?”, explaining that:
“I didn’t decide to get into it, I was brought into it by my mom. I don’t think people know the amount of dedication it takes to be in this organization. It was every day, three and a half hours minimum, seven days a week usually. I’m working most of my time, and the other time was spent at the church, and so minimal time is really spent in your family.”
One of the most famous celebrities who left Scientology, Nicole Kidman is considered by many one of the biggest victims of the organization, since she lost custody of her two adopted children when she divorced top Scientologist Tom 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,” she told Vanity Fair in 2013.
The “Chicago P.D.” star was heavily featured in “Going Clear”, but he first took a stance against Scientology in 2008, in a three hour interview published in YouTube. Beghe called it “very dangerous for your spiritual, psychological, mental, emotional health and evolution”, took part in a BBC News documentary called “The Secrets of Scientology” and even joined a protest against it in New York City.
Tom Cruise’s third wife has never spoken in public about the reason she filed for divorce and got primary custody of Suri, but she is one of the celebrities who left Scientology and hasn’t commented about it publicly.
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Lisa Marie Presley
While Elvis was never interested in Scientology, his wife Priscilla Presley is one of the celebrity members of the organization. Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie, was also a member and she even testified in a Congressional hearing in support of the Scientology stance against drugs that treat ADHD. “I got bad advice. I was insulated with no grip on reality. They were taking my soul, my money, my everything,” Presley later told USA Today.
Completing the group of celebrities who left Scientology and were also married to Tom Cruise, Mimi Rogers is actually the one who introduced the actor to the organization. She hasn’t spoken against it publicly, but she’s been considered a “former member” for years.
After being involved in an publicized traffic accident in 2006, Brandy was directed towards Scientology by a friend. However, the singer didn’t stick around for too long. “Someone said, ‘There are these classes that you can take that can better you as a person.’ I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll go check it out, but that’s all I did, go check it out. I’m not a Scientologist,” she later told StarPulse.com.
“Transparent” star Jeffrey Tambor, who won a Golden Globe Award for his performance in the Amazon series, is also one of the celebrities who left Scientology. “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,” he told LA.com.
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The “American Idol” contestant turned actress also dabbled in it for a while. “I took like a couple of courses and things like that. And they put my name on the Internet. They totally exposed me, and so everybody thought I was a Scientologist. And I am no longer affiliated with Scientology,” McPhee told Larry King, distancing herself from the organization and other celebrities who left Scientology.