Well, This Explains a Lot


professional daydreamer
Tom Cruise (Church of Scientology) Tom Cruise joined the Church of Scientology in 1990 in the early years of his career. Since then, he's been one of the biggest faces of Scientology and an avid supporter. He's described Scientology as a beautiful religion and is proud to be a part of it.

John Travolta (Church of Scientology)Though not as outspoken as Tom Cruise, John Travolta is another famous face associated with the Church of Scientology. He's been active in the church since the 1970s. His wife, actress Kelly Preston, is also a practicing Scientologist. The two are often seen together at important events for the church. They credit the religion by giving them the skills they need to handle life's problems, including coping with the death of their teenage son in 2009. Travolta's ultimate goal is "Going Clear," which is Scientology's version of reaching total spiritual fulfillment.

His ex-wife, actress Katie Holmes, was a part of the religion for many years before divorcing Cruise and breaking away from the church in 2012. As of 2018, Cruise is said to have not seen his daughter, Suri, since Holmes made the split because of the strict rules of Scientology.

Neil Young (Manson Family)
Young was so impressed with Manson's lyrics and musical style that he wanted to help Manson secure a record contract. Though Young was never part of the Manson Family, he did appreciate Manson's talents.

Leah Remini (Church of Scientology)
Though many people broke free from the Church of Scientology over the decades, Leah Remini is perhaps the most outspoken.

She joined the church as a child when her mother became a member. Remini was an active member for more than 30 years. During her time, she made a name for herself as an actress and was asked to use her celebrity status to recruit other Hollywood A-listers.

Now that Remini has left the church, she dedicates her time to helping others who've had bad experiences with the church, and she hopes to expose more of the secrets and alleged abuses inside the Church of Scientology.

Jason Beghe (Church of Scientology)
Jason Beghe, star of NBC's Chicago P.D., was another of Scientology's Hollywood supporters. However, once he opened his eyes to the dangers and abuses going on in the church, he didn't leave quietly.

The actor uploaded a two-hour video to YouTube in 2008 expressing why he left Scientology and attacking it in the process. Despite the Church of Scientology's claims or threats that defectors would fail in their careers and their lives, Beghe has become more successful since making the split.

Glenn Close (Moral Re-Armament)
Glenn Close grew up in a cult known as Moral Re-Armament (MRA). She spent 15 years in the cult — from ages 7 to 22 — before breaking free. The group allegedly controlled all aspects of the members' lives, dictating how to live, what to say and how to feel, among other things.

Her memories impacted and haunted her for many years after leaving the cult almost 50 years ago, but she claims that her experiences there helped her become a better parent to her daughter.

David Arquette (Subud)
David Arquette, along with his siblings, was raised in a utopian society that followed Subud. However, the commune was far from a utopia, lacking electricity, running water and bathrooms. The international cult was founded in Indonesia in the 1920s and encouraged its members to live in seclusion.

Arquette's parents believed that living this way and following Subud principles would provide a better life for their children. Unfortunately, living in isolation made it harder for the children raised there to seek or receive help.

Andrew Keegan (Full Circle)
Teen heartthrob Andrew Keegan appeared in the hit movie 10 Things I Hate About You and the long-running series 7th Heaven. However, he left acting behind and founded his own spiritual movement, known as Full Circle.

He started the group following a traumatic experience in Venice Beach, when he and a few friends were attacked and sustained multiple injuries. The goal of Full Circle is for each member to become his or her true self outside of the boundaries defined by society.

Michelle Pfeiffer (Breatharianism)
Michelle Pfeiffer's career was on the rise when she seemingly dropped off the radar for several years. She later revealed that she became involved with a couple who referred to themselves as "breatharians."

People in this lifestyle adhered to a strict diet. They believed that through mediation it was possible to reach a state in which one could live without food or water. All the nutrients that the body needs would be provided by sunlight once a person reached the ultimate level of consciousness.

It wasn't until Pfeiffer's ex-husband participated in a movie about the Moonies cult that she realized that she was also involved with a cult. She was then able to break free.
Joaquin Phoenix (Children of God)
Joaquin Phoenix, along with his brother River and the rest of their siblings, was raised in a cult known as Children of God. Though he was a baby during his family's time in the cult in the 1970s, the group traveled around Central and South America with people who shared the same ideals and beliefs.

The cult has been accused of child and sexual abuse due to its highly sexualized environment. Phoenix believes that his parents became a part of the group innocently and left when their eyes were opened to the darker side of the cult.

Madonna (Kabbalah)
Kabbalah is a spiritual movement that was popular among celebrities in the early 2000s. Madonna was one of the biggest celebrity supporters and really helped the Kabbalah Center take off. While Kabbalah is closely related to Judaism, Jewish leaders denounced the way Kabbalah Centers recruited new followers and marketed the religion.

Madonna has reportedly given millions to the centers over the years, along with all of the other members. Followers are often seen wearing single red strings around their wrists to ward off misfortune.
Emily Schromm (Fundamentalist Christian Cult)
Emily Schromm first gained prominence as a cast member on MTV's Real World: Washington, D.C. She's since become a widely known fitness guru. However, she was raised in a fundamentalist Christian cult until she left at the age of 14.

Though she's remained candid about her experiences with the cult, she's stated that it was an oppressive group that controlled many aspects of the followers' lives and restricted activities they could participate in. For example, children were not allowed to participate in sports.

Ellen Degeneres (Christian Science)
Ellen Degeneres was raised as a Christian Scientist. Her father was actually a leader in the church during her childhood. As a Christian Scientist, Degeneres did not receive much medical care, including not being vaccinated until she was a teenager and never taking as much as an aspirin.

Additionally, the conservative group forbade drinking, smoking and cursing. She stated that emotional repression was common in her family. Everything on the surface seemed fine, and no one talked about what he or she was feeling. Ultimately, the religion led to her parents' divorce when she was a teenager.

Val Kilmer (Christian Science)
Val Kilmer grew up as a Christian Scientist and continues to be a prominent member. Christian Science believes in the power of prayer and spiritual healing and is known for rebuking medical treatment.

In 2016, his devotion to the religion and his beliefs made him neglect seeking medical treatment for a throat tumor. This neglect almost cost the actor his life. Fortunately, medical professionals were able to remove the tumor, and he made a full recovery. Kilmer credits his recovery to the power of prayer rather than medical intervention.

Jada Pinkett-Smith (Church of Scientology)
Rumors have swirled over the years about the involvement of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith in the Church of Scientology. Former Scientologist Leah Remini made claims that Pinkett-Smith has long been an active member of the church, but Pinkett-Smith denied being a member.

While she has visited the Celebrity Center in California and even helped found a now-closed school with Scientology ties, she claims her involvement is minimal. Instead, she has studied and appreciates Dianetics — a practice largely used by Scientologists. However, she equates this to her visits to Muslim mosques and Buddhist temples in that she can learn about and appreciate different religions without being a part of them.

Rose McGowan (Children of God)
Rose McGowan — like Joaquin Phoenix — spent her early years of life in the Children of God cult. Even at a young age, she couldn't identify with the other members of the cult and did not share their beliefs. In particular, she didn't condone how women were there to serve men sexually.

Towards the end of her tenure in the Children of God, the cult began advocating sex between adults and children. Fortunately, her father didn't share those views, and the family escaped the cult by fleeing the commune and going back to America.

Toni Braxton (Pillar of Truth)
In Toni Braxton's memoir, she went into detail about growing up in an extremist Apostolic Pentecostal cult. Even at just eight years old, when she faked speaking in tongues, she knew that her family was a part of a religious extremist group.

The group was conservative, requiring women to always wear skirts or dresses and long stockings — even in hot weather. Activities were limited, and the group didn't observe any holidays. Though her upbringing and family beliefs made it hard for her to connect with others as a child, she eventually found her calling and creative outlet in music.

Allison Mack (Nxivm)
In April 2018, news broke that one of America's favorite actresses from the long-running TV show Smallville had been arrested on sex trafficking charges. Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan on the show, had spent the last 12 years working her way up the ranks of a cult known as Nxivm.

The group presents itself as a human development and women's empowerment movement. Unfortunately, it was reported that some members were part of a coercive sex ring. The cult was run like a pyramid scheme, and as number two in command, Mack was tasked with recruiting other high-profile celebrities.

Dennis Wilson (Manson Family)
As with Neil Young, Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys was never an official member of the Manson Family. However, he had close ties to Charles Manson shortly before the killings in 1969.

Wilson was introduced to Manson and his family after picking up two teenage hitchhikers. He helped Manson on his quest to become a rock-and-roll legend. The pair even collaborated on several songs together. They were roommates for a short period of time prior to the murders. Though he only spent a few months with Manson, Wilson was haunted by their relationship for the rest of his life.

Winona Ryder (Rainbow)
Winona Ryder grew up in a remote part of Minnesota on a commune known as Rainbow. Only seven families lived on the commune, and they didn't have electricity. Despite being so small and remote, this counterculture community occasionally welcomed big stars, like John Lennon.

While the group practiced principles of nonviolence and egalitarianism, members were also heavily involved in drug use. Fortunately, Ryder was never forced to stay in the Rainbow commune. She was homeschooled for part of her childhood, but later she took acting classes at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco before heading to Hollywood to start her career.

Jaden and Willow Smith (Orgonite Society)
Jaden and Willow Smith's parents have long been rumored to be Scientologists, but in 2014, the Smith children were involved in an entirely different cult. The pair, along with other young celebrities, formed this secret society.

Members spent time making small pyramids out of resin, metal shavings and crystals to balance out negative energy — such as the harmful energy emitted by cell phone towers. As far as cults go, the Orgonite Society was mostly benign. While they made headlines for a short period of time and turned some heads, no harm or trauma were reported by any of its members.

Jayne Mansfield (Church of Satan)
Hollywood actress, Mansfield, checked out the Church of Satan in San Francisco in 1966. She went with her lawyer and boyfriend, Sam Brody. Anton LaVey, the founder of the church, eventually began dating Mansfield while she became a Satanist. He called her the "High Priestess of San Francisco's Church of Satan."

The Church of Satan is not related to the devil, Christianity, or Islam. Anton viewed Satan as a symbol of good and embodies pride, individualism, and enlightenment. They did not honor Satan as a god. Anton compared Satanism with Atheism because their church did not believe in God or the Devil.