Paul Thomas Anderson may say that his new drama 'The Master' isn't about Scientology, but the plot, themes and characters bear more than a passing resemblance to L. Ron Hubbard's controversial religion.
When it comes to famous scientologists, we all know the usual suspects. Sofa-bouncing Tom Cruise, and passionate believer John Travolta have blazed a preaching trail for the religion that's led to it becoming one of the most powerful in Hollywood today.
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But there are a host of other famous movie actor advocates who you would never have suspected are - or once were — Scientologist. They include…
Star of Avatar, Public Enemies, and Ted, Giovanni Ribisi is a second generation Scientologist, and attributes the religion as his saviour from a far darker path. "Without Scientology, I would be in an alley somewhere, looking for drugs," he told ABC News.
Kevin Smith regular Jason Lee (AKA 'My Name is Earl') is a long-time supporter of L. Ron Hubbard's philosophy, although he doesn't like to talk about it: "I'm not trying to lie low about my personal beliefs because of fear that I'll be judged harshly. I'm just not interested in being a spokesperson for anything." His ex-wife cited Lee's devotion to the religion as the reason for their divorce.
'Natural Born Killer' and sometime-rock star Juliette Lewis enjoys the flexibility inherent in the religion's tenets: "It's a progressive religion in that it's a body of knowledge. You can be a Jewish or a Buddhist Scientologist and people don't understand that."
Everyone's favourite grump-tastic comedienne ('Romy & Michele's High School Reunion', 'The Truth About Cats & Dogs') dedicated a number of her radio shows to celebrating the controversial New York Rescue Workers Detoxification Project — a notable off-shoot of Scientology.
The star of 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan' (really), and 'Look Who's Talking' was born and raised a Methodist, but turned to Scientology, championing the success of its drug treatment program in helping her kick cocaine addiction. "To tell you the honest-to-God truth: without Scientology, I would be dead. So, I can personally highly recommend it." Alley attained the level of Operating Thetan Level 7 in 2007.
Bart Simpson his/herself is a long-time devotee to the Scientology cause. Nancy Cartwright first discovered the religion back in 1988 during an acting class, and has been a follower ever since after finding comfort in L. Ron Hubbard's teachings on shedding the pain of loss: "I felt like he was talking directly to me, I said to myself, 'I want to stop that feeling.'" She's such a fervent follower that she donated $5 million to the church back in 2007.
'Crash' director and 'Million Dollar Baby' writer Paul Haggis left the religion after 35 years back in 2009, citing - amongst other reasons - the religion's support for anti-gay marriage legislation, Proposition 8. In a letter addressed to Scientology spokesperson Tommy Davis, he said: "I am only ashamed that I waited this many months to act. I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology."
While Swayze abandoned the religion in his later life, everyone's favourite Dirty Dancer turned to Scientology after the death of his father in the mid 80s. "That's the reason I was into therapy, into Scientology, into Transcendental Meditation. I was trying to support that side of myself."
In his autobiography 'Nothing Is Impossible', Christopher Reeve revealed his involvement with Scientology back in 1975. After flirting with a couple of introductory courses, he grew frustrated with the validity of their psychological assessments, declaring: "My problem has always been with religious dogma intended to manipulate behaviour."
Long before Angelina Jolie stole Hollywood's hottest actor, he dated scientologist Juliette Lewis, and was persuaded into completing two courses in 1991 and 1993. Amy Scobee, the author of 'Scientology — Abuse at the Top' wrote: "In the end, Brad didn't think it was for him, and he and Juliette broke up."