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    Johnny Lewis' Scientology Link: Sons of Anarchy Star Was "Born Into the Church," Source Says

    Johnny Lewis Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

    Johnny Lewis' gruesome demise left many questions unanswered when the Sons of Anarchy star plummeted to his death Wednesday after allegedly killing his 81-year-old landlady.

    But as more information continues to surface about Lewis—his criminal past, his custody battle over his young daughter—one particular revelation sheds an intriguing light on the troubled star: his deep ties to Scientology.

    A Church of Scientology source exclusively tells E! News that the actor's father, Michael Lewis, was a high-level Scientologist and that the star was "born into the church."

    Johnny Lewis had a daughter, was "heartbroken" over custody battle

    In fact, the younger Lewis starred in major tutorial videos for the church when he was around 16 years old.

    A supposed darling of the church for years, Lewis was "used in the cinema unit for their training films," the source claims. In fact, Lewis starred in one particular film that almost everyone watches to progress.

    According to our source, who also claims to have been at Lewis' house recently, the actor reached what is known as the "clear" stage around the age of 16, but still had three more levels after that.

    A timeline of Johnny Lewis' criminal past

    Back then, the source says, Johnny was "a really nice, effeminate, easygoing hippie guy" but eventually distanced himself from the church as soon as he was cast in Sons of Anarchy.

    The source also claims that "Johnny was trying to distance himself from the church because it was affecting his custody arrangement with his child. The mother of his child was not supportive of Scientology, and he wanted to distance himself so he could get more time with his child."

    Lewis's father, the source says, recognized that his son was "very ill" and encouraged him to "[get] treatment for psychosis and bipolar disorder. His father wanted him to get better."

    Everything you need to know about the Johnny Lewis case

    At the time of his death, Lewis had been living in what's been dubbed the "Writers' Villa," a cozy Spanish-style home in the Los Feliz Hills frequented by creative types and owned by the woman he allegedly killed, Catherine Davis.

    Our source claims that the house became known as a haven for Scientologists seeking privacy, and that "the church always still kept an eye on Johnny."

    A rep for the Church of Scientology tells E! News, "This is a terrible tragedy. Out of respect for the privacy of the families affected, we are not commenting further other than to state it is apparent that the scourge of drug addiction has again claimed more lives. Contrary to some media reports, Mr. Lewis never received treatment from Narconon, the program that works with the Church in its anti-drug efforts, and had not been active in Scientology for many years. We are saddened this tragedy is being insensitively exploited by a handful of anti-Scientologists whose only concern is promoting themselves and their hate-filled agenda."

    Celebrity deaths: 2012's fallen stars

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