Laura Prepon has become the latest celebrity to announce she’s left the Church of Scientology. The controversial organization is the religion of choice for many Hollywood celebrities. However, over the years, many stars have come forward to announce either with contention or without, that they’ve distanced themselves from the Church of Scientology for various reasons.
The That ’70s Show and Orange is the New Black actress is the latest in that line of high-profile defectors, telling People in a recent interview that, despite being one of its more outspoken members in the past, she is no longer practicing Scientology and hasn’t been for the past five years. The star noted that, although she previously sang the praises of the organization and its impact on her mental health, she was brought up to see the merit in many different ways of thinking. “I’ve always been very open-minded, even since I was a child,” she said. “I was raised Catholic and Jewish. I’ve prayed in churches, meditated in temples. I’ve studied Chinese meridian theory.”
Her admission that she hasn’t practiced Scientology in five years is interesting given that, roughly six years ago she was discussing how much it had changed both her life and her opinion of her career. Prepon made her comments in a 2015 interview with Celebrity Magazine, which, no surprise here, is affiliated with the Church of Scientology and thus very friendly to it. IndieWire released a series of excerpts from Prepon’s interview at the time in which she discussed typical talking points for the organization like “auditing,” “New Era Dianetics” sessions, church-specific “Objectives,” “thetans” and the “MEST universe.”
At the time, she also discussed how she got involved with Scientology in the first place, noting that it started, as most organizations like this do, appealing to her intellectual side through various courses that seemed to codify her pre-existing belief system. After buying into the first phases, she quickly found herself rising up quickly in the Church.
It’s unclear what happened in the following year to make Prepon part ways with the Church of Scientology. However, it’s worth noting that she gave birth to her first child with now-husband Ben Foster in August of 2017. The star credited motherhood with changing her way of thinking, but it seems as though she broke with the organization a bit before that. However, she is far from the first star to part ways with Scientology.
As TooFab notes, stars such as Jeffrey Tambor, Jason Beghe, Beck, Jason Lee and Lisa Marie Presley have previously said publicly that they’re no longer practicing Scientology. Perhaps the most outspoken defector from the organization is former King of Queens and Kevin Can Wait actress Leah Remini. She has routinely called out the Church of Scientology with various allegations of nefariousness and even hosts a show titled Scientology and the Aftermath all about her and other people’s journey leaving the organization.
However, even without Prepon, the Church of Scientology still counts several high-profile celebrities among its ranks such as Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Moss and John Travolta. Another prominent Scientologist is Prepon’s That 70s Show co-star, Danny Masterson, who recently pleaded not guilty to rape charges after being accused by multiple women of misconduct in a case that has roped his affiliation with the Church of Scientology into its legal proceedings.