Scientology and celebrities
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Recruiting Scientologist celebrities and getting them to endorse Scientology to the public at large has always been very important to the Church of Scientology. Scientology has had a written program governing celebrity recruitment since at least 1955, when L. Ron Hubbard created "Project Celebrity", offering rewards to Scientologists who recruited targeted celebrities. Early interested parties included former silent-screen star Gloria Swanson and jazz pianist Dave Brubeck. A Scientology policy letter of 1976 states that "rehabilitation of celebrities who are just beyond or just approaching their prime" enables the "rapid dissemination" of Scientology.
The Church of Scientology operates special Celebrity Centres. Scientology policy governs the Celebrity Centres (the main one in Los Angeles and others in Paris, Nashville, and elsewhere), stating that "one of the major purposes of the Celebrity Centre and its staff is to expand the number of celebrities in Scientology." (Scientology Flag Order 2310) Another order describes Celebrity Centre's Public Clearing Division and its goal, "broad public into Scientology from celebrity dissemination"; this division has departments for planning celebrity events and routing the general public onto Scientology services as a result of celebrity involvement.
As founder L. Ron Hubbard put it:
Celebrities are very Special people and have a very distinct line of dissemination. They have comm[unication] lines that others do not have and many medias [sic] to get their dissemination through (Flag Order 3323, 9 May 1973) Hubbard believed celebrities to be such a core part of Scientology that he decided to promote Scientology through them. He used each of their uniquenesses in order to draw others like them into the his Church of Scientology. His main goal in doing this was to make the Church of Scientology an appealing place for all people. He wanted to lure many in with the lifestyles of these celebrities so that ordinary people would want to become more like these celebrities. In doing this, the common male or female would choose to become a member of Scientology which would resemble the life of the celebrity he or she admired. Hubbard also wanted to recruit celebrities in order to see his plan unfold. Without celebrities, it is not known how far Scientology might have reached out during its beginning phases. Scientology's success or failure in a way depended on these celebrities appealing to the crowd.
But then I think the reason that celebrities would be interested is because it's a religion that fits pretty well with a celebrity kind of personality. It's very individualistic. It celebrates your individual identity as ultimately divine. It claims to give you ultimate power over your own mind, self, destiny, so I think it fits well with an actor personality. And then the wealth question: These aren't people who need more wealth, but what they do need, or often want at least, is some kind of spiritual validation for their wealth and lifestyle, and Scientology is a religion that says it's OK to be wealthy, it's OK to be famous, in fact, that's a sign of your spiritual development. So it kind of is a spiritual validation for that kind of lifestyle.
Journalistic and media sources claim that Scientology is “The Church of the Stars” or a “star-studded sect,” although there are likely more Hollywood celebrities in other religious traditions. One reason for this is the church’s Celebrity Centres, which is unique to the religion. Most members in these facilities are not celebrities, however, a lot of members are part of the entertainment industry.
Notable Scientologist celebrities
The Church of Scientology has a long history of seeking out artists, musicians, writers and actors, and states that Scientology can help them in their lives and careers. Celebrity Scientologists include:
- Kirstie Alley
- Anne Archer
- Jennifer Aspen
- Catherine Bell
- David Campbell
- Nancy Cartwright
- Kate Ceberano
- Erika Christensen
- Chick Corea
- Tom Cruise
- Sky Dayton
- Jason Dohring
- Jenna Elfman
- Richard Elfman
- Doug E. Fresh
- Isaac Hayes
- Gary Imhoff
- Mark Isham
- Vivian Kubrick
- Juliette Lewis
- Alanna Masterson
- Danny Masterson
- Elisabeth Moss
- Michael Peña
- Bijou Phillips
- Laura Prepon
- Kelly Preston
- Giovanni Ribisi
- Marissa Ribisi
- Billy Sheehan
- John Travolta
- Greta Van Susteren
- Joy Villa
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This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (April 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
- "Celebrity Centre International". Presentation of the Celebrity Centers and news about Scientologist celebrities. Church of Scientology.
- "Successes". A presentation of successes in Scientology by some Celebrities. Church of Scientology.
- Notable Scientologists at Curlie
- "Project Celebrity" (Personal site). Scan of Hubbard's instructions to use Celebrities for Scientology. Xenu.net.
- "The Cult of Celebrities" (Personal site). Hubbard names celebrities as "quarry" to be "hunted". Xenu.net.
- "Scientology definition of "celebrity"". Scan of HCO Policy Letter 23 May 1976R. Scientology Celebrities & Human Rights. Archived from the original on July 14, 2013.