Which celebrities are Scientologists, and why are there so many? Is Will Smith one now?
Here's what we know for sure:
- Smith is tight with Tom Cruise, a very public Scientologist.
- So tight that Cruise showed up at Smith's recent induction to the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the premiere of Smith's flick I Am Legend.
- Smith recently told Men's Vogue that he has "studied Scientology through Tom [Cruise]."
- Smith has likened Scientology to mainstream religions, telling Men's Vogue that "98 percent of the principles [in Scientology] are identical to the principles of the Bible."
- After wrapping his latest movie, Hancock, Smith reportedly gave the crew vouchers for personality tests offered by the Church of Scientology.
- Sources close to Smith told MSNBC the actor "has been getting more and more involved" in Scientology.
- Smith's reps may be too busy taking personality tests to answer your question. They didn't reply to a request for comment on whether Smith is or is not, in fact, a Scientologist.
So, it's clear that Smith is at least very interested in Scientology, which is followed by thousands, perhaps millions, of people who believe their bodies are occupied by the troubled spirits of departed aliens. Either that or Smith just really loves personality tests.
If Smith and his wife, Jada, have joined—or plan to join—the church, they have plenty of celebrity compadres. Other people who count themselves as Scientologists:
Giovanni Ribisi, Juliette Lewis, Leah Remini, Beck, Greta Van Susteren, Jenna Elfman, Jason Lee, the Masterson brothers, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Laura Prepon, Lisa Marie Presley, and her mom, Priscilla.
Briefly, the doctrine of Scientology posits that man is an immortal spiritual being "who is endowed with abilities well beyond those which he normally considers he possesses."
There's no discounting the group's popularity in Hollywood. Part of that popularity can be chalked up to the TLC the church gives to stars via its "Celebrity Centre" retreat here in L.A. The networking can't hurt, either. But perhaps most important, Scientology is largely about active recruitment. Take a stroll down Hollywood Boulevard, and you'll likely see squadrons of bushy-tailed kids offering the church's personality tests to passersby. Critics have called it a cult, noting that adherents believe ancient alien spirits plague most of mankind.
Speaking of plagues, you'll excuse me. I think my editor wants something.