So who among Hollywood's A-list can wield their celebrity clout in the church's time of need? Here we track Scientology's biggest devotees.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes
We all know Tom Cruise is Scientology's most high-profile member. Blame first wife Mimi Rogers, who introduced him to the religion that he says cured his dyslexia. A recent unauthorized biography claims David Miscavige (head of the church) joined Cruise and Holmes on their honeymoon, and that the best buddies tailor Cruise's career to mirror Scientology's goals. Devotees take training courses for greater spiritual awareness; this allows them to progress in the religion from "Preclear" and "Clear" levels to "Operating Thetan" levels. Cruise himself has advanced to "Operation Thetan Level 7 (OTVII)," one of the highest possible. He also donated $5 million to the tax-exempt group between 2004 and 2007. Once Holmes converted to Scientology, her very own "auditor" infamously accompanied her to press interviews. At the church's insistence, Suri's birth was supposedly silent, to avoid traumatizing the newborn.
John Travolta and Kelly Preston
Ever since the tragic death of their son in January and some controversial courtroom testimony, rumors have swirled that the longtime followers will leave the Church of Scientology (COS). In September, Travolta revealed in court that son Jett was autistic, a disorder not recognized by the church. But don't count them out yet. Preston is ensconced, having reached OTVI through a plethora of training courses. And Travolta is familiar with suffering for his faith: He nearly committed career suicide when he produced and starred in 'Battlefield Earth,' based on a Hubbard novel.
The title star of 'My Name Is Earl' and a regular in buddy Kevin Smith's films, Lee is on the board of Citizens Commission on Human Rights, an organization founded by the Church of Scientology "dedicated to investigating and exposing psychiatric violations of human rights." It believes psychiatry is fraudulent and its medication destructive. Lee's son (with ex-fiancée Beth Riesgraf) was infamously named Pilot Inspektor -- which sounds like something right out of one of L. Ron Hubbard's pulp sci-fi novels. Meanwhile, 'Earl' costar Ethan Suplee is also a church member; he joined to conquer an addiction to painkillers. Suplee is married to second-generation Scientologist Brandy, Juliette Lewis' sister.
Despite earning Emmy, Oscar and Golden Globe nominations throughout her acting career, Lewis has said, "Having achieved the state of Clear [within Scientology] is the single most important thing that I've done for myself. It has allowed me to experience life in a way I only imagined." Lewis has completed 34 courses in COS, including several "Rundowns" that use Scientology procedures and principles to achieve happiness and well-being. In 1999, she co-starred with fellow Scientologist Giovanni Ribisi in 'The Other Sister.'
The star of San Francisco-based 'Dharma and Greg' opened a Scientology Mission there in 2001. According to Scientology publications, the actress has taken 14 courses and reached "Operating Thetan Level 5 (OTV)." Her website links to several church-related sites including Narconon.org, its drug rehab program, and an advertisement for "Making a Killing," a documentary on psychiatric drugs. Her freshman sitcom 'Accidentally on Purpose' (again set in San Francisco) was recently extended to 18 episodes.
The voice of Bart Simpson, Cartwright first learned about Scientology in acting class in 1988 and has been an avid follower ever since. In 2007 alone, she gave $5 million to the church, and she recently joined Jason Lee and other Scientologists in a Los Angeles march and protest against psychiatry. Cartwright has reportedly completed 44 church courses. With some sessions costing $30,000 a pop, it's a good thing 'The Simpsons' became a long-running international hit.
Giovanni ('Lost in Translation,' 'Saving Private Ryan,' 'Avatar') and his twin sister Marissa (the girl with the red-haired 'fro in 'Dazed and Confused') are second-generation Scientologists. In fact, their mom's midwife is mother to musician Beck -- Marissa's husband. (The couple chose another Hubbard-esque galactic name: Cosimo.) In 1998 he took COS' "How to Improve Your Marriage" course, but he and Mariah O'Brien divorced in 2001. Ribisi has also twice completed "Drug Rundown," which targets drug cravings and is a follow-up to the detox methods taught in "Purification Rundown." He has said, "Without Scientology, I would be in an alley somewhere, looking for drugs." He participated in the 2005 gala opening of Scientology's "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death" Museum, along with fellow devotees Leah Remini, Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, Jenna Elfman and Catherine Bell.
'Mad Men' and 'The West Wing' star Elisabeth Moss is the offspring of Scientologist parents. At age 8, she completed her first COS course, "The Key to Life," which teaches the spiritual aspects of communication and literacy and is rumored to use hypnosis. Her father is a Scientology minister and a music manager for the likes of Chick Corea, a jazz pianist and fellow COS devotee. After a whirlwind courtship similar to TomKat, Moss recently married 'Saturday Night Live' comedian Fred Armisen. Given the church's penchant for litigation, one can assume any mocking sketches on Scientology are now off-limits.
"Each service in Scientology is something I have added to my toolbox of data for living," says the star of 'That '70s Show.' In March, Masterson hosted a charity event for the New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project, a program that treats sick 9/11 workers using L. Ron Hubbard's "Purification Rundown" course. Also in attendance were his fiancée Bijou Phillips and 'That '70s Show' costar Laura Prepon, a COS follower since the days of dating Masterson's brother Christopher ('Malcolm in the Middle').
The Methodist-raised Kansan says Narconon helped her combat a cocaine addiction. She's since served as the program's national spokesperson. Other COS involvement includes training (attaining the OTVII level!), opening a Scientology center in her hometown of Wichita, and being a member of CCHR. Due to the group's anti-psychiatry stance, Alley was the only 'Cheers' cast member who didn't guest-star on the spin-off that followed radio psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane. She also purchased the former home of fellow Scientologist Lisa Marie Presley; the Clearwater, Fla. mansion is considered the spiritual headquarters of the Church of Scientology.
Raised in the religion, Christensen took her first COS course at age 12; now 27, she's already completed 20 classes. For her breakout performance in 'Traffic' as Michael Douglas drug-addicted daughter, she researched the role at -- you guessed it -- Narconon rehab centers. She has said, "Scientology helps me in acting to focus on communication." The actress has joined Lauren Graham and Peter Krause in the mid-season drama 'Parenthood.'
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