It’s no secret that there are many celebrities who are into Scientology. The organization is very driven at recruiting new members and even has a celebrity center. However, despite all of its high profile members, there has been a lot of criticism of the organization through documentary films and books detailing people’s experiences.
And while there have been many criticisms, there are also loyal celebrities who stand and defend Scientology. So who has spoken out to defend it? Here are the 15 celebrities who are Scientology’s fiercest defenders.
1. Will Smith
In an interview, the movie star defended Tom Cruise and his choice to support Scientology. “When I sit and I talk with Tom Cruise, he is one of the greatest spirits that I’ve ever met – someone who is committed to making the world better,” he said according to Today. “You have people [that] are attacking and wanna fight that don’t know nothing — how you gonna not know nothing about Scientology and attack somebody? It’s dangerous and it’s ignorant.”
2. John Travolta
The actor has also been associated with the organization for a long time. He reportedly joined in 1975, and is included in books and documentaries about Scientology. He defended it when the documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief was released by calling the movie negative.
I haven’t experienced anything that the hearsay has [claimed], so why would I communicate something that wasn’t true for me?” he told The Tampa Bay Times. “It wouldn’t make sense, nor would it for Tom [Cruise], I imagine. I’ve been so happy with my [Scientology] experience in the last 40 years that I really don’t have anything to say that would shed light on [a documentary] so decidedly negative.
3. Kirstie Alley
Kirstie Alley is also a Scientologist, and fellow actress Leah Remini talked about being shunned by her and many other Scientologists after leaving the organization. This is reportedly one of the common actions members take against those who choose to leave. When asked about it, Alley said she did no such thing on The Howard Stern Show.
She left the religion and she was very critical. That’s just sort of water under the bridge. There’s nothing going on and there was nothing going on for years. I didn’t shun her, but if a lot of people are rejecting you, at some point you gotta ask, ‘What am I doing?’ I mean, that’s what I would have asked myself.
4. Michael Peña
As a Scientologist, the actor was asked to comment on the many accusations being said about the organization. He completely wrote the accusations off. “But I don’t read that stuff,” he told The Guardian. “OK, imagine we’re friends, you and me. Buddies. And there’s a tabloid story about you. There’s no way I’m going to read some f***ing tabloid story about you. Especially when I know it’s misinformed.”
5. Erika Christensen
The Parenthood actress was raised a Scientologist so it’s not a surprise that she’s outspoken about it. She has talked about what she believes to be misconceptions about the organization. “One, that we are some kind of closed group. Two, that we are the Hollywood religion and three, that we worship rabbits,” she said on Across the Board. She later added, “If I had to sum it up, the goal of Scientology is giving the person back to themselves. Like, your own power of choice.”
6. Isaac Hayes
The actor and composer was a member of the organization before he passed away. He also was the voice of the character, Chef on South Park. However, he quit the show in 2006 after the show aired an episode about Scientology. “It was like a day or two after,” explained Matt Stone according to Metro, “and it was pretty obvious from the conversation that somebody had sent him to ask us to pull the episode. It had already gone on the air, and we didn’t tell him because we didn’t want him to be held accountable. Plausible deniability.”
Some reported that the actor quitting was a sign of him sticking up for the organization, but it might not have totally been his decision. He had a stroke which made it harder for him to work.
7. Juliette Lewis
The actress is also a Scientologist and doesn’t believe the allegations of abuse. She has since come up with a conspiracy theory as to why there are so many documentaries and books on the subject:
The mainstream media is funded by pharmaceutical companies, so when you have the biggest movie star in the world at the time – Tom Cruise – coming out against anti-depressants and Ritalin and just saying, ‘Hey, why don’t you put a warning label on there?’ The thing about Scientology is it is anti-drug in that you’re seeking relationship or communication tools – simple basics on how to live better.
However, anti-depressants, like most medication, do have warning labels. Also, Tom Cruise didn’t seem to mention this in his interview, but advised people to replace anti-depressants with vitamins.
8. Goldie Hawn
The actress doesn’t seem to be a Scientologist herself, but she has defended it by signing a letter condemning Germany and accusing the government of banning members from political parties, public schools, and more.
9. Dustin Hoffman
The actor isn’t a Scientologist, but he has also publicly defended the organization by signing the letter condemning Germany.
10. Larry King
The former talk show host did talk about Scientology on his show. He interviewed Leah Remini, who talked about her terrible experience with the organization. But he also reportedly defended it by signing the letter to Germany.
11. Jenna Elfman
The actress also reportedly wasn’t happy with Leah Remini choice to be outspoken against Scientology. She tweeted a long message speaking out against “sensationalism” and Kirstie Alley retweeted it. Elfman wrote:
What is important to me? I give a damn about making the world a better place. I care about seeing others smile with genuine happiness. I think the world needs more of that. I’m not interested in sensationalism. I’m interested in seeing other people do well. And spreading kindness, warmth and sincerity. I never forget to appreciate the absurd. And I find it uplifting to admire what’s right in others. I also find it pleasurable to be totally ridiculous. xo Jenna.
12. Elisabeth Moss
Scientology has gotten flak for being against homosexuality. The actress was asked about this reported policy and she defended the organization.
“One of the most important things I take from my church is the idea of personal freedom and our rights as human beings,” she told The Advocate, “and that includes the right to date a man or a woman. Personal freedom is a very important concept in my religion, and I translate that to sexual orientation.”
13. Barbara Walters
The former news anchor isn’t a Scientologist, but she defended it on The View. “I’m not going to speak about Scientology in general, but Scientology has a pretty good educational program,” she said. “They’re not telling people to drop out.” She continued, “I have been to some of the Scientology schools and some of their education programs are very good. The last thing I want to do is to argue about Scientology.”
This statement was questioned by Jenna Miscavige Hill, who left Scientology, but was the niece of the organization’s leader. She said Walters’ statement was “ignorant and irresponsible.” Miscavige Hill claims her schooling with the organization was basically a labor camp.
14. Danny Masterson
The That ’70s Show star has no time for those who want to question him about his belief in Scientology. He said those who think it’s weird can go “f*** yourself,” according to Paper magazine.
“I’ve never been given a hard time my entire life about my belief system or my philosophy in life. Literally never once in 38 years. If people start like asking questions in a way where I feel like they have an ulterior motive, I’m just like, ‘Dude, just go buy a f***ing book and read it and decide for your f***ing self what it means. I don’t have time to have this conversation with you.’”
15. Tom Cruise
The actor is definitely one of the organization’s biggest stars. His name is often brought up when someone mentions Scientology. This is because he has been associated with the organization since 1990. The actor has been included in documentaries and books about Scientology. Video of him talking about the organization was leaked and made headlines. When asked about the claims of abuse and more in Scientology, he sticks behind the organization without addressing the problems directly.
“It’s something that has helped me incredibly in my life, I’ve been a Scientologist for over 30 years,” he said according to Radar Online. “It’s something, you know, without it, I wouldn’t be where I am. So it’s a beautiful religion, I’m incredibly proud.”
The religion is also very critical of psychiatry, because of this, Cruise criticized Brooke Shields on Access Hollywood for taking anti-depressants to treat postpartum depression.
These drugs are dangerous. I have actually helped people come off. When you talk about postpartum, you can take people today, women, and what you do is you use vitamins. There is a hormonal thing that is going on, scientifically, you can prove that. But when you talk about emotional, chemical imbalances in people, there is no science behind that. You can use vitamins to help a woman through those things.