Religious freedom has been a long-standing tradition since the founding of the United States. In this country, people are allowed to openly practice any religion of their choosing. However, even with that being said, there are some religions that are more popular and more widely accepted than others. Several years ago, when Tom Cruise proudly shared his affiliation with the church of Scientology, a lot of people started to raise their eyebrows. Scientology, which was founded by science-fiction author, L. Rob Hubbard, in 1954, has become one of the most controversial religious movements in the country. Although cruise is a proud member, many other Hollywood hot shots have decided to separate themselves from the church – and they don’t regret it one bit. Here are 10 celebrities who left scientology and never looked back.
Not only did world famous screenwriter/producer/director, Paul Haggis, leave Scientology behind, but he’s spoken very openly about it. In 2010, Haggis wrote an open letter to the church in which he noted that Scientology’s anti-gay stance was part of his decision to leave. Haggis stated, “I could not, in good conscience, be a member of an organization where gay-bashing was tolerated. Silence is consent, Tommy, I refuse to consent.”
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Although some people may think that Mimi Rogers joined the church of Scientology as a result of her marriage to Tom Cruise, that simply isn’t the case. Rogers was raised in Scientology, and once said, “that philosophy was simply part of my upbringing. And, I think it was an excellent system of belief to grow up with because Scientology offers an extremely pragmatic method for taking spiritual concerns and breaking them down into everyday applications.” However, since her divorce from Cruise, she has since been referred to as a “former member” of the church.
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Arrested Development star, Jeffrey Tambor, was raised in a conservative Jewish family, but once considered himself a Scientologist. However, when rumors about his affiliation with the church began to spread on the Internet, he denied any present or future involvement with Scientology. According to Tambor he “took some Scientology classes at one time, studied Scientology for a while, but no more. I have nothing against it, but I am no longer a Scientologist.”
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Chicago PD star, Jason Beghe, is one of the most outspoken former celebrity Scientologists. Although he was once considered the “poster boy” for Scientology, Beghe left the church in 2007, and did not hesitate to speak out. Beghe uploaded a two-hour long video in which he gave his reasons for leaving the church, and he noted that Scientology is “very dangerous for your spiritual, psychological, mental, emotional health and evolution.” As you can imagine, his willingness to speak so negatively about the church caused many Scientologists to label him a “celebrity whistle blower.”
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From 1988 to 1998, Candice Bergen was one of the most popular faces on today for her role as the title character in the series, Murphy Brown. However, unlike many other celebrities who were once involved with Scientology, Bergen’s affiliation with the church hasn’t been mentioned much throughout her career. According to sources, Bergen was a part of the Scientology during the 60s, not long after it was founded. However, she is no longer affiliated with the church.
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During the 60s and 70s, Sonny Bono was one of the most well-known names and faces in the entertainment industry. Alongside his then wife, Cher, he released several albums and had a popular variety TV show. Aside from his career, Bono also studied and practiced Scientology for a while, although he alway claimed Catholicism on his official documents. However, after his death, his wife, Mary, claimed that the church of Scientology gave Bono a difficult time when he tried to separate himself.
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Like the rest of Tom Cruise’s wives, Nicole Kidman was once a Scientologist, but left the church after their divorce. However, she did say that she did not want her and Cruise’s children to be raised as Scientologists, although they have both been raised in the faith. Unlike other stars who left the church, Kidman, has been very reluctant to speak out against the church, or openly chair her reasons for leaving.
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Lisa Marie Presley
As the only child of the late Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, has received a lot of attention throughout her entire life. Although she was once a proud Scientologist, Presley has left the church – and isn’t afraid to let the world know. Since departing from the church in 2012, Presley has made several remarks about the church including calling the members “crazy.” Some even suggest that the lyrics from her song, “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” take a subliminal shot at Scientology when she says, “This here is a city without lights / Those are all the people without eyes / Churches, they don’t have a soul / Soup for sale without a bowl / Religion so corrupt and running lives / Farewell, fair weathered friends / I can’t say I’ll miss you in the end.”
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Since the beginning of her relationship with Tom Cruise, the celebrity gossip world was already speculating the role Scientology played in the couple’s getting together. But when Katie Holmes and Cruise divorced in 2012, there’s no doubt the church of Scientology was feeling a little uneasy. After all, Tom Cruise had become their golden boy, and in turn, Holmes had also become one of the church’s most famous members. However, upon their split, Holmes left the church, and decided not to raise her daughter as a Scientologist.
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Leah Remini’s split from the church is one of the most famous. Not only did she refuse to leave quietly, but she’s also refused to stay quiet. Although she had been a member of the church since she was just 9-years-old, Remini, decided to leave after getting fed up with not being able to question officials in the church. Upon her departure, she openly thanked the people who supported her decision to leave, and his since been very open about speaking out against Scientology.
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