10 Celebrities Who Were Raised as Scientologists
These stars grew up in the much-debated faith.
While some of its more famous members found Scientology well into adulthood, many celebrities were born into already-practicing Scientologist families. It's not always a workshop or a friend of a friend who piques an interest; these future stars grew up in the much-debated traditions of the church. Some of them are still devout, some have disavowed the faith, and others never took much of an interest in the first place. Keep reading for the biggest celebrities who were raised as Scientologists, and for a famous former church member, check out Leah Remini Says This Was the Real Reason for Tom Cruise's COVID Rant.
Sneaky Pete star Giovanni Ribisi grew up as a Scientologist thanks to his parents being dedicated members of the church, and he still practices today. During a 2017 interview on the Jim and Sam Show, Ribisi said of his faith, "It's a personal thing, it's something that works for me, and I think it's that simple." For more defenses of the religion, check out The Most Outspoken Celebrity Scientologists.
"My parents definitely are Scientologists, approached parenting from a Scientology viewpoint," Parenthood actor Erika Christensen said on an episode of Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast (as reported by People). "I know that now as an adult. I can see that in the way that they approached me as a kid and really tried to do what I’m doing now as a parent, which is trying to temper absolutely necessary discipline and rules and structure with fostering independent thought and freedom of personality."
Christensen also said that she wasn't pushed into the religion, but offered the opportunity to "check it out." She began taking courses at the age of 12.
Acclaimed actor Elisabeth Moss also came to Scientology through her family, namely her parents Ron and Linda Moss. Journalist and vocal church critic Tony Ortega told The Hollywood Reporter, however, that the Mosses aren't "particularly strong Scientologists" and that The Handmaid's Tale star isn't on record as completing as many courses as some other, more "gung-ho" members of the faith. For more celeb news sent right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Veronica Mars fans know Jason Dohring as Logan Echolls, but Scientologists know him also as a member of a prestigious Scientology family, which includes dad Doug Dohring, entrepreneur and founder of Neopets, among other companies. The actor and his close relatives are all still active in the church; he even rode on the Scientology float in the 2018 Hollywood Christmas Parade.
Juliette Lewis was fated to be a Scientologist being born to her late father, actor Geoffrey Lewis, who "credited his career success" to the organization, according to Deadline.
"The Muslim religion, any religion, you can find trouble in," Juliette said in 2015, when a Time interviewer asked about her Scientology faith. "At the end of the day, I’m into protecting my freedom of choice, freedom of voice, freedom of religion, freedom of expression."
For stars with unexpected family ties, check out 13 Celebrities You Had No Idea Were Related.
British author Neil Gaiman was raised by parents who considered themselves both Jewish and Scientologist. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that his late father, David Gaiman, was both a member of the Scientology "Watchdog Committee" and a media spokesperson for the organization, and that his mother and other relatives are still active in the church. However, the writer has denied that he was ever a practicing Scientologist as an adult.
Beck Hansen's father, musician David Campbell, has been a Scientologist for most of his life. Beck has previously claimed membership in the church as well. But in 2019, he disavowed any connection, telling The New Yorker that there is a "misconception" that he's a Scientologist, and that "it hasn’t been something [he's] actively pursued." In the same year, he filed for divorce from his wife of 15 years, Marissa Ribisi, Giovanni's twin sister. And for more famous twins you didn't know about, check out 20 Celebrities You Didn't Know Have a Twin.
While it appears that her family has largely broken with the church, Mimi Rogers was brought up in the tenets of Scientology. "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," she told the Los Angeles Times in 1991.
Despite having the controversial distinction of introducing her ex-husband Tom Cruise to the church, Rogers is no longer involved. Reportedly, it's her distrust of the current leadership of Scientology that prompted her to leave.
Leah Remini is the most visible ex-Scientologist in Hollywood. While she wasn't technically born into the religion, her mother found Scientology after she and Remini's father divorced and eventually introduced her daughters to it as well. The King of Queens star was even a member of the Sea Org, a religious order within Scientology, as a teen. She publicly left the church in 2013.
EDM DJ Skrillex, born Sonny John Moore, also has a family connection to Scientology. In a 2015 interview with Katie Couric, the artist explained that he has no issue with the religion of his parents, even though he doesn't consider himself to be a Scientologist. "My dad does it for himself, and it's something that's helped him forever," he said. His own reason for not pursuing it? "You dedicate so much of your time to it," Skrillex said of the famously demanding religion. "I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing now if I spent my time doing that."