Celebrities Who Have Left Scientology - Rolling Stone
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Celebrities Who Have Left Scientology

Nicole Kidman, Christopher Reeve, Jerry Seinfeld and more

Jerry Seinfeld and Nicole Kidman

Jerry Seinfeld and Nicole Kidman

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Actor Leah Remini's messy public split from the Church of Scientology brought renewed attention to the controversial religion. Founded by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology believers undergo "auditing," in which a person pays to relive past experiences with the guidance of a church official, to rid themselves of social ills and attain greater spiritual salvation. Hubbard reportedly had an infatuation with bringing famous people into Scientology. His Project Celebrity sought to disseminate the religion through pop culture icons. The famous people Hubbard sought to convert to Scientology in his heyday included Ed Sullivan, Orson Welles and Walt Disney, among others. The celebrity tradition in Scientology has continued today, most notably led by high-profile advocates Tom Cruise and John Travolta. However, many actors have left Scientology in addition to Remini.

By Killian Young

Brad Pitt

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Brad Pitt

Although Tom Cruise is the undisputed face of Scientology, if the church had managed to add Pitt to its ranks, it would've had some serious star power. Pitt took two courses in Scientology when he was dating Juliette Lewis, who is a Scientologist, according to Amy Scobee, who wrote Scientology – Abuse at the Top. Pitt was another of the church's high-profile targets, but he lost interest after breaking up with Lewis.

Van Morrison

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Van Morrison

In Morrison's 1983 album Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, he gave Hubbard special thanks in the liner notes. According to Steve Turner, who wrote the biography Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now, an auditor said Morrison only had a basic involvement with Scientology. But the "Brown Eyed Girl" songwriter denied allegations of his religious affiliations – from Scientology to the Jehovah’s Witnesses – by saying, "There have been many lies put out about me and this finally states my position. I have never joined any organization, nor plan to."

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