The List: Surprise! I used to be a Scientologist!

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

With famed Scientologist John Travolta in town filming “I Am Wrath,” and an HBO documentary on the infamous religion set to air later this month, we thought we’d take a look at some celebrities who escaped the clutches of L. Ron Hubbard. (By now, most of us know who the active members are; though, we admit, seeing Bart Simpson — aka Nancy Cartwright — had joined the cause caused us to eat our shorts.)

Patrick Swayze

Nobody puts baby in a volcano.

J.D. Salinger

“The Catcher in the Rye” takes on an entirely different meaning if you imagine Holden Caulfield as an alien lizard.

Jerry Seinfeld

Still not the worst thing on his resume (see: “Bee Movie”).

Christopher Reeve

The Man of Steel left the church after convincing auditors he was, in a past life, a warship commander in ancient Greece. When they bought it, Reeves knew the religion was a joke, proving once again ol’ Supes can vanquish foes with his brain just as easily as his brawns.

Charles Manson


William S. Burroughs

Scientology appears throughout Burroughs’ work, and it’s even believed his cut-up literary approach was inspired by the religion.

Leonard Cohen

Cohen flirted with the religion for a time, and even referenced its attempts to deprogram adherents in his song “Famous Blue Rain Coat”: “Did you ever go clear?”

Sonny Bono

I got you … Xenu?