On Tuesday, HBO revealed it has 160 lawyers preparing for its new documentary on the Church of Scientology.
The documentary is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright’s controversial book “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief,” which grew out of a New Yorker profile on former Scientologist director Paul Haggis.
The new HBO documentary “is expected to feature new revelations about the controversial religion and its famous followers Tom Cruise and John Travolta,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Cruise, Scientology’s most prominent member, became involved with the church in 1990 through his first wife, actress Mimi Rogers.
“It’s a privilege to call yourself a Scientologist, and it’s something that you have to earn,” Cruise said in 2004.
In 2005, he told Matt Lauer on “Today,” “It is a religion. Because it’s dealing with the spirit — you as a spiritual being. It gives you tools you can use to apply to your life.”
By 2013, Cruise admitted that ex-wife Katie Holmes divorced him in part to protect the couple’s daughter Suri from Scientology. He also admitted that Suri is no longer a practicing member of the church.
Cruise, however, is still an active member — and he’s not the only one. From “Mad Men” to “The Simpsons,” see who practices Scientology.
Indie goddess Bijou Phillips, most recently known for her role on 'Raising Hope,' is daughter of the 'Mamas and Papas' singer John Phillips.
Bijou is married to Danny Masterson and the two frequently go to Scientology events together.
Masterson is best-known for his role on 'That '70's Show.' He defended Tom Cruise for the actor's leaked Scientology video back in 2008.
In an interview with Paper Magazine in 2009 he explained the religion as follows:
'The definition of Scientology is 'the study of knowledge,'' said Masterson. 'Obviously, the more knowledge you have in a given field, such as life, the more confident you are as a person.'
Prepon is yet another 'That '70s Show' cast member to be part of the church. But according to one report, she had only completed seven courses, while Masterson had done 11.
Prepon now stars in Netflix's 'Orange Is The New Black.'
The iconic rapper said in 2009 he was a follower of Scientology and told Essence magazine he was the first hip hop artist to do so.
He went on to tell the magazine it's something we all need to try out.
'It is not just for White people. Scientology is not written with disrespect toward God,' said Fresh. 'It doesn't worship something that is evil. It is scientific, mathematical, and spiritual. The Black community has to check it out and see what's there. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but you have to take a look.'
Christensen's claim to fame was as an obsessive seductress in 2002's 'Swimfan.' Today, she costars in the television show 'Parenthood.'
In 2004, Christensen told The New York Daily News the religion helped her thrive in Hollywood, and she's even discussed Scientology with Tom Cruise more than acting.
'Scientology helps me in acting to focus on communication,' says Christensen. 'You can also develop and awareness of yourself,' said Christensen. 'It's a study (that helps) see people as spiritual beings. And in Hollywood, that's more stable than being a hunk of meat.'
Moss who plays Peggy Olson on 'Mad Men,' was introduced to the religion by her parents.
She said Scientology helped her get over her acrimonious split from 'Saturday Night Live' actor Fred Armisen.
'Some people say yoga really helps them feel centered ... or there's Buddhism or whatever,' Moss told The Telegraph. 'I mean, I think that for me it's (Scientology) one thing that has helped me at times, and it's kind of as simple as that.'
Cartwright is the voice of Bart Simpson on the classic animated show. She said in this YouTube video that the religion makes her want to become god.
In 2009, she recorded a call using Bart's voice to encourage people to attend a Scientology event in Los Angeles. The recording was only meant to be heard by Scientologists.
The 'Due Date' actress explained why Scientologists can celebrate Christmas to Vanity Fair.
'I think there's so much confusion because people don't understand a religion where you can be another religion but you can still practice Scientology,' said Lewis. 'That's why it's completely progressive. It's just tools for living.'
Forever known as Dharma from the hit Dharma and Greg, Elfman once compared Scientologists to Christians who were persecuted in the Roman Age.
'If someone starts talking to me negatively about something they have never actually studied that actual text of, I don't really admire them very much because it shows they don't have much integrity, so I just kind of ignore them,' said Elfman. 'I'm not going to listen to gossip and hearsay about something that's affected my life so tremendously in such a tremendously positive way.'
The 'My Name Is Earl' actor's ex-wife, Carmen Llewellyn, alleged he is obsessed with the religion, leading to the couple's split.
In an interview with the National Enquirer,
Llewellyn says Jason forced her to join Scientology. She recalled to the tabloid:
Jason and I were talking to Tom, and we told him that we went to the CoS center in LA. He said brightly, 'Oh yeah? Well, me and Nicole are Scientologists too! Right, Nic?' But she turned and gave Tom the most evil look. She stared at him for about 10 seconds, and Tom looked at her like he was throwing daggers with his eyes. I interpreted her look to mean, 'I am not a Scientologist, and I will not be a Scientologist.' She was clearly mad at Tom for saying she was. And the next thing you know, they're getting a divorce!
The acclaimed musician was raised as a Scientologist and continues to practice.
Rumours suggested one of his 2009 concerts supported a Scientologist-affiliated program, Educating Children International.
Beck came to the religion's defence claiming it helps addicts resolve their addictions:
'There's whole aspects (of Scientology) that you probably don't see,' said Beck. 'They have the success rate of getting hardcore addicts off drugs, 90-something per cent maybe.'
Travolta has practiced Scientology since 1975, when he was given one of L. Ron Hubbard's books.
In 1983, the actor told Rolling Stone: 'As a Scientologist I have the technology to handle life's problems and I have used this to help others in life as well.'
Actor Josh Brolin told US Magazine he once witnessed Travolta aiding a then-injured Marlon Brando at an L.A. dinner.
'I watched this process going on -- it was very physical,' said Brolin. 'I was thinking, 'This is really f---ing bizarre! ... After ten minutes, Brando opens his eyes and says, 'That really helped. I actually feel different!''
Preston is married to Travolta and is often by his side at important Scientology events. She said the religion helped her deal with the death of her teenage son, Jett, in 2009.
'In Scientology, we have what's called 'auditing,' and that helps you to address things in your life and to strip them away,' said Preston... Through that, the people at my church literally held my hand and got me through... I will forever be indebted.'
The socialite, sometimes journalist, and model denied she was a party girl and said she was fascinated by Scientology and Physics.
'I've been one for a while now,' said Geldof in 2009. 'It's like, I was confused about what path to go through and I feel like I needed a spiritual path.'
The comedian told Parade he studied the religion 30 years ago and credited it with making him more funny.
'I wasn't a natural performer at all, so I learned ... understanding that really helped me on stage to understand how you have to invade the space of the audience a little bit,' said Seinfeld. '... It was a very helpful thing to learn. You have to invade them just a little bit. Not too much, because then it's obnoxious. But you can't be short of them either, or you won't control them.'
Leah Remini quit Scientology in July 2014 after 30 years with the church.
The 'King of Queens' actress called it quits after years of questioning the religion's treatment of followers and the leadership of David Miscavige.
After previously saying she found solace in the religion, Remini confirmed her split from the church to People magazine in July, explaining:
'I believe that people should be able to question things. I believe that people should value family, and value friendships, and hold those things sacrosanct. That for me is what I'm about. It wouldn't matter what it was, simply because no one is going to tell me how I need to think, no one is going to tell me who I can, and cannot, talk to.'
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.