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Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Scientologists

The Church of Scientology, founded in 1953 by American science-fiction author L. Ron Hubbard may be one of the most secretive and controversial religious organizations on the planet.

Since it’s inception over a half-century ago, the church has been accused of human rights violations, disseminating pseudo-scientific and dubious psychiatric advice and treatment, and exploiting its members through egregious fees and eyebrow-raising costs. Some have even called into question its very legitimacy as a religion in the first place – opting instead to call the movement a dangerous cult or sect.

Granted, it’s sometimes difficult to cast judgment on a group of people from the outside looking in. The one thing that the general public knows for sure about the Church of Scientology is that within its ranks are quite a few celebrity devotees.

We all know that outspoken celebrity adherents like John Travolta and Tom Cruise are proud to count themselves as members of the polarizing church, but there are literally dozens of actors, musicians, and public figures that are also Scientologists – and some even credit their success to their membership.

So without further ado, we’re pleased to present to you 16 celebrities that you never knew were Scientologists. We’ll even touch on what they’ve said about the mysterious religious organization in the past. Granted, we should clarify that not everyone mentioned in this video is currently an active member of the church.

Elizabeth Moss

You might recognize her from The Handmaid’s Tale but unlike celebrities that found religion later on in their life, Moss was actually raised as a Scientologist. For the most part, she’s kept her connection with her religion fairly private but she has publicly defended it on multiple occasions on her social media accounts.

Notably, a fan once compared the oppressive authoritarian government feature in The Handmaids Tale to the church of Scientology. Moss replied with a rather lengthy explanation disputing the accusation.

She further explained that religious freedom, tolerance, and upholding the equal rights of every race, creed ad religion are extremely important to her. That being said, many have continued to criticize her for her continued involvement in the religion.

Jenna Elfman

Most recently she has played June in Fear The Walking Dead and before that she portrayed Dharma in Dharma and Greg. Elfman has been a member of the church for over three decades now. She told People back in 2018 that her religious beliefs and practices have had a powerful effect on her interpersonal and familial relationships and that Scientology has helped her to find the balance between her personal life and her Hollywood career. She claims it helps keep her energized, vivacious and happy.

Laura Prepon

Her respective roles in That 70’s Show and Orange Is the New Black have made Laura Prepon a familiar face. She faced quite a bit of backlash after defending her connection with the Church of Scientology.

It’s been alleged by numerous sources that homophobia is a major issue in the Church. After being asked what it was like playing the role of lesbian inmate Alex Voss on Orange Is the New Black Prepon replied by maintaining that the Church of Scientology does not discriminate against members of the LGBT community.

Danny Masterson

Speaking of That 70’s Show, Prepon’s former co-star Danny Masterson is also a Scientologist. He was actually raised in the religion much like Elizabeth Moss.

He’s described the Church’s core tenants as being essentially focused on examining the inner-workings of the mind divided into two parts; the analytical mind, and the reactive mind. He further explained that the first subdivision was the part of our minds that we use and think with while the latter is the one that uses us, the Part that makes us do things that make us question why we’re even doing them. According to Masterson, Hubbard discovered a way to turn off that part of our minds.

Apparently, Masterson wasn’t able to successfully turn off that part of his mind. In the summer of 2020, he was charged with three counts of rape that allegedly happened in the early 2000s. As of December, he has yet to defend himself in court but maintains a position of innocence.

Lisa Marie Presley

Elvis’s daughter Lisa Marie was once a very devout member of the church but she has since left the organization and has been outspoken about her critical views towards it. She told USA Today in 2012 that she was receiving very bad advice from the church. They kept her completely insulated from the real world. In the process, they were taking her soul, money, and her ‘everything’ as she put it.

Nancy Cartwright

Best known for providing the voice for Bart Simpson, Cartwright is a devoted member of the Church of Scientology and has donated quite a bit of her personal cash to the organization for their causes. According to Scientology’s self-published Impact magazine, Cartwright was awarded special honorary status for donating over $10 million to the International Association of Scientologists.

Juliette Lewis

Lewis earned herself an Academy Award nod for her role in Cape Fear. She was also raised in the religion by her father Geoffrey Lewis. Lewis has been especially critical of the pharmaceutical industry – especially the manufactures that produce and distribute anti-depressants and ADHD medication. She’s gone as far as claiming that the mainstream media is under the control of such companies. The Church of Scientology is well-known to be strictly anti-drug.

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And you’re certainly going to want to stick around to find out all the celebs that are secretly Scientologists.

Giovanni Ribisi

He’s starred in shows like Sneaky Pete, My Name is Earl and Friends, and he’s been a Scientologist for his entire life. He too has publicly defended his religion on numerous occasions. He’s quoted on the official ‘What is Scientology’ website as saying that his involvement with the regions has given him certainty of himself, and the ability to comfortably communicate with anyone in nearly any satiation while maintaining his certainty in his own goals.

Issac Hayes

The singer, songwriter, actor, and producer was introduced to Scientology in 1993 and appeared on the cover of Scientology’s Celebrity magazine on two occasions. Hayes has earned himself numerous awards and accolades for his contributions to the world of Soul music. You might also remember him as the voice of Chef on Comedy Central’s South Park. Of course, he left that show after an episode making of the church was re-aired. It’s not readily clear whether he voluntarily left the series or if his superiors in the religion encouraged him to call it quits.

Erika Christensen

You’ve probably seen her in films like Parenthood, Traffic, and Ten Days in the Valley. Christensen was yet another celebrity to be raised in the Church. Her parents joined the organization when they were in their twenties. On numerous occasions she has publicly defended the Church – while emphasizing the fact she can’t speak for every Scientologist, she has maintained that The Church overall has good intentions, practices, and beliefs that have greatly improved her quality of life.

Doug E. Fresh

Some might call him the Human Beat Box, but Fresh has been connected to the Church of Scientology since the 80s. His ex-girlfriend and radio personality Miss Jones had been good friends with Issac Hayes – and that’s exactly how Fresh became acquainted with the Church. In 2004 he performed in front of a large audience of fellow Scientologists at the Scientology Celebrity Center’s Anniversary Gala.

Sonny Bono

Sonny Bono was on top of the world back in the 1960s and 70s. Alongside his former wife Cher, the duo pumped out hit after hit including their best-known chart-topper “I Got You Babe” in 1965. Following his music career, he pursued a life in politics.

Sonny joined Scientology in the mid-70s but made an attempt to exit the organization nearly two decades later in 1991. His widow, Mary Bono, told the New York Post in 1999 that when he tried to leave the religion in 1991, the church made it very difficult for him to do so. Even after he said that he was done with it and that he was no longer a Scientologist, the church fought back by essentially telling him that he couldn’t do that. When he died in 1998, the church tried to take command of his funeral service but it ended up being a Catholic service instead.


Okay, so this one is kind of misleading. For years it was reported that the quirky alt-rock musician was both Jewish as well as a member of the church of Scientology. He had been married to Giovanni Ribisi’s twin sister, Marissa, since 2004, and his parents were both Scientologists. In 2019 however after divorcing his estranged wife, he disavowed all previous statements that he made claiming any connection with him and the Church. In the same statement, he acknowledged that he celebrates Jewish holidays and considers himself to be Jewish.

Marisol Nichols

Riverdale fans know her as Hermione Lodge. She’s also married to South African director and cinematographer Taron Lexton, son of Mary Shuttleworth, founder of the Scientology front organization Youth For Human Rights. Nichols told the Daily Herald a couple of years ago that she had battled substance abuse issues when she was a teenager and it was the Church that helped her overcome her issues.

Michael Pena

From Narcos to Ant-Man to The Martian, Pena seems to be everywhere these days. Not only are his services as an actor in high demand these days but he also has a prominent position in the Church of Scientology. In a 2016 interview with The Guardian Pena attributed his success to his involvement with the Church. He described Scientology as being less of a religion in the traditional sense and more like a belief – a collection of practical things to do to improve one’s life. In the same interview, however, he admitted that he refuses to read anything critical of Scientology.

Jason Dohring

Star of Veronic Mars, Dohring is another one of those second-generation Scientologists that grew up indoctrinated in the religion. His wealthy father Dough Dohring joined the religion when he was younger. In 2008, he expressed that there a great deal of misconceptions and disinformation attributed to the church that unfairly paint it out to be something nefarious. He claimed that a lot of people just accept false opinions about the religion without actually doing their own investigations. Dohring, in that same interview also attributed his success as an actor to his status as a member of the Church.

Well, that’s all the time we have but that’s quite literally just the tip of the iceberg in terms of how many celebrities are associated with the Church of Scientology either as current or former members. But that’s just the thing, so many celebs that once found themselves devoted to the organization eventually choose to leave it’s ranks. Some even go on to be staunch opponents of the controversial religions. No doubt you’ve heard your fair share of criticism of the church.

We’d love to hear from you! Do you think the church of Scientology is as bad as some people say or do you think that it unfairly gets a bad wrap? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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