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Celebrities Who Have Left Scientology And Why

Noah Camarena |
April 30, 2015 | 2:18 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Leah Remini was once a member of the Scientology church (Twitter/@JayLeeLongview).
Leah Remini was once a member of the Scientology church (Twitter/@JayLeeLongview).
Scientology is one of the most controversial religions and has become popular through the various celebrities who have identified as scientologists and just as many who have decided to leave the religion.

Scientology was founded by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard and is essentially a religion where you can pay to relive past experiences through the guidance of a church official. The purpose of the nostalgic experience is to get rid of any social discomforts and gain spiritual salvation. In the beginning, Hubbard wanted to bring famous people into the church and that trend has continued into today’s world. That being said, keeping celebrities in the church has not always been the easiest thing. Here are a few celebrities who have left scientology in the dust. 

Leah Remini

Remini is most popular for starring in “The King of Queens” with Kevin James where she played the beautiful wife to the often incompetent buffoon of a husband. Remini defended the church when she first joined and she seemed to be one of the biggest supporters of the religion. That all changed in 2006 when Remini left the church because she did not like the fact that she was not allowed to question any of the practices. More specifically, she questioned the church’s leader David Miscavige and the way he ran the church. Remini was unhappy with many of his policies, including the way he forced church members to disconnect with any family members who were not apart of the church. The tipping point appeared to be when Remini tried to ask Miscavige about the whereabouts of his wife and the leader’s subsequent refusal to answer the simple question; Miscavige’s wife Shelly has not been seen in public since 2007. Ultimately, when Remini understood that her questions would never be answered, she decided to leave the church.

Jerry Seinfeld

Seinfeld technically never was a full member of Scientology, but he did take courses in the religion before he became famous for his role on the iconic sitcom “Seinfeld.” Seinfeld has said that he does not particularly have anything against scientology, and in fact, he has admitted to liking the religion, but when he took classes, he was young and just exploring a lot of different things. He pursued scientology as a self-help mechanism that he treated along the lines of yoga or meditation. In the end, Seinfeld just decided that the religion was not for him and he was more interested in exploring other practices both academically and religiously. 

READ MORE: 'Going Clear' And The Future Of Scientology

Nicole Kidman

Kidman was previously married to the most famous scientologist, Tom Cruise, and she was a part of the church throughout the duration of their marriage. Kidman left the church when she and Cruise got a divorce, but she has chosen to not publicly discuss her religion, including her time as a scientologist. While Kidman is not a part of the church anymore, she has two children, whom she adopted with Cruise, and they are both followers of scientology. Even though the religion was not right for Kidman, she has not let her personal beliefs affect those of her loved ones.

Paul Haggis

The famous screenwriter left the church when it endorsed Proposition 8 in California; the proposition would have banned gay marriage. Haggis’s decision to leave the church was a clear decision because it’s beliefs went against what he himself believed in, but Haggis has also supported the decision of other celebrities to leave the church. He most famously defended Remini’s decision to leave scientology. Haggis, similarly to Remini, did not like the church’s insistence on cutting ties with family members not in the church, but he praised Remini for leaving the church because so many members of her family are scientologists, making the decision much harder due to all the other ties to the church. 

READ MORE: 7 Celeb Couples With Big Age Gaps

Katie Holmes

Holmes is another female celebrity who joined the church due to her marriage to Tom Cruise. Cruise’s marriage to Holmes is probably the most well-known due to Cruise’s public declaration of love for the starlet when he jumped on Oprah’s couch during an interview with the talk show host. Holmes struggled with the religion because she was raised Catholic and her entire family is Catholic. When Holmes and Cruise got a divorce, her split with the church became a tad bit trickier. When the couple went to court for the custody of their daughter Suri, Holmes did not want her daughter to be raised as a scientologist which fueled her determination to gain full custody of Suri; Holmes would eventually win full custody of their daughter. 

Contact Staff Reporter Noah Camarena here and follow him on Twitter here.



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