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Celebrities Who Left Scientology and Spoke Out Against It

The world of celebrity has entertainers from diverse backgrounds, and this includes diversity of thought. With the stress that fame, glamor, and a busy career bring, celebrities often turn to their spiritual side to help them find solace and comfort.

One of the religions that has attracted many celebrities has been Scientology. It has helped many celebrities gain an understanding of how to live life and navigate through the challenges of their lives.

However, there are also celebrities who left Scientology after having extremely negative experiences with it. These celebrities have spoken out against Scientology and this has caused huge controversies within the religion and within the larger society.

As these stories come out, controversies about Scientology as well as those who remain in the religion continue to grow…

Join FactsVerse to learn about the celebrities who left Scientology and spoke out against it…


After promoting his ideology of ‘Dianetics’ to the public, author L. Ron Hubbard wanted to expand the   se ideas to the public. After much struggle, he founded the Church of Scientology in 1955.

The same year, the Church launched “Project Celebrity.” This agenda was to help promote Scientology to celebrities who, of course, had major influence on the larger society. He offered incentives to existing Scientologists who would recruit celebrities into the church.

Clearly they succeeded. In fact, the Church of Scientology operates Celebrity Centers which are branches specifically for celebrities to learn about, discuss, and promote Scientology. In 1976, the Church published a policy letter stating that the celebrities who are to be recruited into Scientology should be “beyond their prime or are approaching their prime.”

L. Ron Hubbard himself stated that he believed celebrities were ‘special people’ and that they could communicate with the public in the way the ordinary person could not.

It’s been suggested that Scientology is appealing to celebrities as it suits their personality and the public personas they have to craft. It’s thought of as an individualistic belief system and that suits celebrities who have to spend a lot of time focusing on themselves and their public image.

Since the 1950s, there have been a huge number of celebrities who joined Scientology and have praised the religion for helping them find solace in life. They’ve done their part in helping promote the religion.

But there have also been celebrities who left Scientology and spoke out against it. Let’s look at a few of these celebrities and what they have to say about it.



Laura Prepon is perhaps best known for her role as Donna on That 70s Show. She’s now also known for her work in the more recent series Orange is the New Black.

She was involved in the Church of Scientology for several years. There isn’t much information on how she got involved with the Church in the first place but we do know that her co-star from That 70s Show, Danny Masterson, has also been a member – so perhaps that’s where Laura Prepon learned from it.

But she surprised us all when, in 2021, she stated that she was no longer a member of the Church of Scientology and that she had not been practicing the religion or had anything to do with the Church for at least 5 years.

She’s stated that since becoming a mother she’s also studied other religions and philosophies. She stated that she was raised in both the Catholic faith and the Jewish faith and that she has spent time in both churches in temples. She’s also spent a lot of time studying Eastern philosophies including Chinese meridian theory.

While she’s always had an interest in learning about other religions and philosophies, she’s made it clear that Scientology is no longer a part of her life. Perhaps in a few years we’ll know exactly why she left…

Hers is one of many stories of celebrities who left Scientology. But there have been other celebrities who have left Scientology yet it seems that Scientology has not left them alone…

One such celebrity, is director Paul Haggis…



Paul Haggis is a Canadian film director and producer who has directed a slew of great films including Red Hot, In the Valley of Elah, The Next Three Days, Third Person, and 5B. He’s also produced great films such as Million Dollar Baby and Crash.

He has also been a long-time member of the Church of Scientology – and was perhaps one of its most successful and prominent members. Prior to 2008, he never seemed to utter a negative word about the Church and it seems clear that the church brought him peace. After all, he’s had one of the most successful careers we’ve seen in Hollywood.

But in the year 2008 – things changed – and one could say that they took a turn for the worse.

In 2008, Paul Haggis was one of the many supporters who fought against Proposition 8 which would prevent same-sex marriage in the state of California. This went against the Church’s teachings so he had to part ways with them.

He had been a member for 35 years and this splitting was not done quietly.

He told the Church’s spokesperson Tommy Davis that he was upset at the Church for supporting Proposition 8. He also stated that the Church went after ex-members and would reveal their personal details to the public. A nasty breakup, one could say.

But it seems that it didn’t end there.

In 2017, Paul Haggis was accused of sexual harassment. Since then, a few women have accused him of sexual harassment. He believes that the Church of Scientology is trying to smear him and create false accusations to punish him.

He is not alone. Other celebrities have stated that Paul Haggis is the victim of a smear campaign because he spoke out against the Church of Scientology.



Lisa Marie Presley is the daughter of Elvis Presley and Priscilla Presley and is a successful singer-songwriter in her own right.

We know that she was a member of the Church of Scientology since at least the 1990s and was one of its most respected members. In fact, in October 1997 she and the late Isaac Hayes who was also a Scientologist opened a program called LEAP. LEAP stands for Literacy, Education, and Ability Program. This is run by a non-profit organization called Applied Scholastics – which is run by the Church of Scientology.

A few years later in 2002, the Church would present her an award for helping promote literacy across the United States.

It seemed as if the Church was such an important part of her life and made her a better person.

However, she stated in 2012 that she had left the Church and that she’d been having doubts about it since at least 2008. It’s also believed that her mother Priscilla has left the Church though these claims have been disputed.

While Lisa Marie Presley hasn’t been explicit about why she left the church she did state that she felt it had too much control over her life. She even stated once that the church was “taking my soul, my money, my everything.”


Actor Jeffrey Tambor was a member of the Church of Scientology and left it eventually – and it seems that he had one of the shortest memberships compared to most celebrities.

He seemed to need something that would help him with self-development and he initially found it with Scientology. However, in his memoir he recalled that he practiced Scientology for about two years in hopes for a better life.

But he later left the Church as he claimed he had to spend too much money on it and that he was even pressured to leave his wife!

These tales present a chilling view of celebrities’ relationships with the Church of Scientology. But no one seems to have been more vocal than Leah Remini…



Leah Remini is an actress who was a part of Scientology way before she became a celebrity. While she was baptized as a Catholic, her mother became a Scientologist and Leah joined the Church when she was only 8.

In fact, when she was in her early teens she and her sister were made to join the Sea Organization – which is described as the paramilitary wing of the Church.

In July 2013, when she was in her thirties she split ways with the Church – an organization she had been part of for most of her life so far. She stated that she believed the Church’s leader was corrupt and she didn’t like the fact that she couldn’t challenge him.

Most notably, she questioned the whereabouts of Shelly, the wife of the leader who had appeared to be missing. This was in 2007 and as of this video, Shelly’s public whereabouts are still not known – though the Church claims she has withdrawn from public life.

Leah Remini has published a book about leaving Hollywood as well as Scientology.

She’s discussed her harrowing experiencing with the Church and has spoken at great length about how it has influenced actor Tom Cruise, one of Scientology’s most notable advocates.

It’s been alleged that Scientology led Tom Cruise to divorce his wife Nicole Kidman and that he has used the Church to punish others. She stated that a woman she knew went bankrupt due to Tom Cruise’s and his connections with the Church. She’s made a TV series entitled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath in which she discusses her experiences.

She’s been criticized for the show and her speaking out against the Church.

Others, have also called her brave.

As to what the future relationship between the Church and celebrities will be, only time will tell…

Are you a fan of any of these celebrities? What do you think about their stories and their experiences with Scientology?

In fact, this brings up an interesting question that we must consider:

Do you think that today’s Hollywood climate allows for different religions and different perspectives?

Or is it too hostile to anything that’s different from the accepted norms?

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