From Devotees to Defectors: Celebrities and Their Scientology Journeys

By Sarah Norman | October 24, 2023

Juliette Lewis

Discover the intriguing world of celebrities who have been associated with or embraced Scientology. Over the years, the Church of Scientology has attracted numerous well-known figures, thanks to "Project Celebrity" initiated by founder L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950s. This program offered incentives to Scientologists who successfully recruited prominent Hollywood stars.

Moreover, the controversial religion operates exclusive Celebrity Centers, designed to accommodate individuals with influence and a shared vision for a brighter future. Join us as we delve into this captivating gallery and explore the connections between Scientology and renowned personalities. Keep reading to unveil the intriguing stories behind these celebrity affiliations.

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(Akasha Rabut for The New York Times)

Juliette Lewis, the actress and musician, has had a notable connection to the Church of Scientology. Born into a Scientology family, with her father, Geoffrey Lewis, also being a Scientologist, Lewis was raised within the religion. In 2010, she openly declared herself as a practicing Scientologist in an interview with Vanity Fair. Lewis credited Scientology's Narconon program for helping her overcome a drug addiction she faced during her early adult years. However, by 2021, Lewis began distancing herself from Scientology, stating in interviews with The New York Times and The Washington Post that she now identifies as a spiritualist rather than a Scientologist. This shift in her beliefs and self-identification indicates a personal evolution and a departure from her previous association with the Church of Scientology.

Danny Masterson

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(AP)

Danny Masterson, widely recognized for his role in the popular television series That '70s Show, has been connected to the Church of Scientology from a young age. Alongside his brother, actor Christopher Masterson, Danny was raised within the framework of the Scientology belief system. He's quoted as saying on the church's website:

Each service in Scientology is something I have added to my tool box of data for living.

In March 2017, three women came forward and accused Masterson of sexually assaulting them. These allegations led to an investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Masterson, through his agent, denied the accusations. Shortly after, another woman also made similar rape claims. Then, in August 2019, four women filed a lawsuit against Masterson and the Church of Scientology. The lawsuit alleged stalking and harassment, which stemmed from their rape allegations. The plaintiffs claimed that the Church of Scientology launched aggressive campaigns against them after they left the church. On May 31, Masterson was convicted of two out of the three counts of forcible rape. The jury was unable to reach an unanimous decision on the third charge. Masterson has been remanded without bail until his sentencing.