7 Black Celebrities Who Suprisingly Practice or Dabbled In Scientology

August 3, 2012  |  
4 of 7

Ever since Tom Cruise made public his adoration for Scientology years ago in a bizarre fashion (by publicly scolding Brooke Shields for taking medication to battle postpartum depression), Scientology has been getting somewhat of a bad rap in every form of media. People have tried to call it a cult and say that members are being brainwashed. I don’t know about all that, but I do know that when Cruise’s wife Katie Holmes allegedly divorced him to keep their daughter Suri from having to study the religion, every ex-member of the Church of Scientology came out of the wood works on TV to denounce the religion. For a few good weeks there, the religion was just getting a lot of shade. But in the process of doing some research on it, I found that many prominent black celebs are members or have taken classes to get them through hard times. Here are just a few…


Al  Jarreau

Your dad’s favorite singer, the award-winning jazz singer became affiliated with the Church of Scientology in the late ’60s. Back when people really started catching wind of the religion, Jarreau was noted as one of many celebrities who said that Scientology had changed their life for the better and even played a role in his success. However, these days, Jarreau is no longer affiliated with the Church of Scientology. Why he parted ways with it is unclear, but he’s just one of many who chucked the deuces to it all.

Source: musicpophits.com

Isaac Hayes

Hayes’s affiliation with the Church isn’t really a secret, but we were surprised when we found out. The late singer behind classic songs like “Shaft” and his rendition of “Walk On By” actually started studying Scientology in 2005. Hayes appeared in Scientology films, endorsed books and even put together a Scientology-inspired album called The Joy Of Creating – The Golden Era Musicians And Friends Play L. Ron Hubbard. After years of doing the voice of the character Chef on “South Park,” he fell out with the show and parted ways with creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker after they did a satire episode that poked fun at Scientology, and he felt the episode was an example of intolerance and bigotry. Ironically, when his time on the show ended abruptly, Stone and Parker did an episode of “South Park” where the character, Chef, was in a group that had him brainwashed and was killed off in the end.

Source: highbridnation.com

Doug E. Fresh

The human beat box, this fella was probably the one I was most surprised by. He is indeed a member though, performing at events for those who also study the religion. And remember the album I told you Isaac Hayes worked on that was Scientology inspired? Well, Fresh contributed two tracks to that joint. He opened up about his affiliation with the Church of Scientology and confirmed the rumors with Essence:

“I found it fascinating. It changed how I thought. I’ve learned how to look at things and not judge them but respect them and use it in a way that people understand that I respect them, show them love and respect their reality. Scientology is not written with disrespect toward God. It doesn’t worship something that is evil. It is scientific, mathematical, and spiritual. The Black community has to check it out and see what’s there. I’m not saying it’s for everyone, but you have to take a look. You may be amazed at what you get.”

Source: highbridnation.com


While Brandy says that she is NOT a member of Scientology, the famous singer and actress admitted that during a very vulnerable time in her life, she dabbled in Scientology by going to some classes to get her mind right. This time was of course after the car crash she was involved in in 2006 that led to the death of another motorist. Though she did go to a few classes, she realized that the religion wasn’t necessarily for her: ” Someone said, ‘There’re [sic] these classes that you can take that can better you as a person.’ I’m like, ‘OK, I’ll go check it out, but that’s all I did, go check it out. I’m not a Scientologist.”

Source: Essence.com

Haywood Nelson

I’m sure you remember our boy Dwayne Nelson from “What’s Happening!!” and “What’s Happening Now!!” He had the huge fro and the low-key annoying voice. In real life, Nelson is a proud member of the Church of Scientology, and credits it with helping him be more creative and spiritual:

“Prior to my knowledge of Scientology and the many tools and technology it makes available, I was extremely busy, going everywhere at a snail’s pace. I was playing hide-and-seek with myself, a very frustrating game. But that game is over and the frustration that accompanied it is handled. Scientology allows me to have certainty about what I know. Personally and professionally, there’s no more guessing about how to be. I calmly point and click. I know that I have hit the mark. Now I am free for the most important thing about me: creativity. What I want is a matter of choice – my choice. How I get it is a matter of “trust Scientology.”

Source: Zimbio.com

Persia White

Yes, that would be Lynn from “Girlfriends.” According to Black Voices, White is a member of the Church of Scientology, and a completion list of classes for the religion have her name on them (see Purification Rundown 84). On her Myspace page (old school!), White even listed L. Ron Hubbard as one of her “heroes.” Hubbard is of course a famed fiction writer and the creator of the Church of Scientology. Definitely didn’t see that coming, but hey, if it works for her, good for her.

Source: chakakhan.com

Chaka Khan

In an interview with the Telegraph in the UK, in a profile with Khan it came out that religion played a big part in the singer being able to overcome her addictions over the years. But she’s not too keen on the idea of sharing her beliefs. She mentions Scientology often in interviews, but Khan has said that she isn’t a Scientologist. She is similar to Brandy in that she has taken classes and studied the religion in some form over the years, but just isn’t a Scientologist. In fact, when talking with The New York Times she actually said she belongs to the Church of Chaka Khan, not the Church of Scientology…:

“I’m not, never was, never will be. I belong to the religion of the Church of Chaka Khan, and I practice it every day. I live my religion, I consider it a personal thing. But I’ve taken some courses in Scientology, and they’ve been very, very helpful through life’s ups and downs.”

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  • blake

    I actually wasn’t shocked about Al. I’ve read many bios of him seeing i’m a huge fan. I’m sure he left because he knew it was not the right way.

  • nyp

    Scientology is a joke “religion” whose sole purpose is to separate its members from their money. They are so secretive about their “religion” I feel pretty certain they hover in the realm of a cult. Really great pieces on the “religion”: Paul Haggis’ New Yorker article and a book entitled Going Clear by Lawrence Wright. The later piece contains great primary sources which are quite compelling.

  • Hey I they want to be a part of a religion whose founder called us the n-word, supported apartheid and defamed Africans, more power to them.

  • linda

    IDK, All I can do is continue to hope for the day when they finally wake up and see what’s been there along.~ blackwhiteplanet _℃om ~~~~~ is for thousands of upscale men and beautiful
    women, who understand that ambition, success, and glamour are key elements of
    attraction. It’s worth a try! Lets see U guys stop this New World order, plagues, earthquakes, tornadoes & stop Jesus from returning to this earth.

  • QuestionsBeforeActions

    It’s hilarious to me the number of Christians and Muslims who criticize Scientology as crazy bullisht. It IS crazy bullisht, but check yourself. The major religions of the world aren’t much saner, and haven’t done the masses much better. SMH.

  • Marshi

    Scientology is hilarious, the biggest con-game / cult out there. Only in America could a sci-fi writer start a ‘religion’.. It’s like those people who learn klingon and go to Star Trek conventions.. It’s their right to do so, but it’s our right to laugh at them for doing it..

  • Anonymous

    For the critics’ view of Scientology, try Operation Clambake at http://www.xenu.net. For a discussion of racism in Scientology, try L Ron Hubbard, Scientology, Dianetics and Racism at http://www.solitarytrees.net/racism/deny.htm . Warning – offensive language (in quotes from L Ron Hubbard).

  • i don’t give credit to any man, woman, or some classes for anything positive in my life. i give God the praise and the glory. and if that makes some uncomfortable, sorry, that is not my intention.

  • NiceNasty

    First off this is NOT a religion, it’s a cult. It’s only recongized as a religion due to legal purposes. If you do your homework you too would see why alot of these people are not apart of this “religion” anymore. Thes people are dangerous and it jus kills me that people still give it so much power so they can continue in it’s wrong-doing. IDK, All I can do is continue to hope for the day when they finally wake up and see what’s been there along.

  • crazychris

    hubbard was a satanist screw that man made alien cult i’d rather watch star trek and transformers.

  • I’m not throwing shade, but…

    Wow! It seems that no-one is checking for or mentioning god these days. What a shame. I’m surprised that people don’t get a bible or go to bible classes to improve themselves, especially as many were raised in the church, what was they doing there all those years if they didn’t realise when times were hard they could turn to god.

  • mikki

    Scientologist Believe U can control your life & everything around it buy giving praise to the Damn universe. i just got one thing to say about that. Lets see U guys stop this New World order, plagues, earthquakes, tornadoes & stop Jesus from returning to this earth.

  • tankster7

    Wheres Will and Jada?

  • CriticXtreme

    Have noticed that for these folks scientology hasn’t worked because they’re either dead or on the Z-list? Saw Persia White recently up close and she’s still semi-good looking. She give me a look and spoke. I walked 20 feet saw a sister, I spoke and she looked the other way. Hmmm

  • TraceFace

    As I read through this article and read the personal thoughts about Scientology from the above members, they didn’t really explain it. Sort of like the book “The Secret”, try it and you’ll find out. Confusing……

    • Papillon

      Yeah, I feel like I need a translator to make sense of that mumbo jumbo Haywood was talking about. I mean, “playing hide-and-seek with myself”? Huh?

  • ClaudeHaveMercy Brandy just take a CHOE sit down.

  • sepia830

    Scientology is obviously a cult. I have read extensively about the so-called church. It separates children from their parents, requires permission to leave compounds, pays less than minimum wage, sets out to destroy anyone who leaves and then speaks ill of Scientology, etc. But what puzzles me the most is why anyone in their right mind would want to join a church created by a man (L Ron Hubbard) who committed suicide. Obviously Scientology didn’t help him.

    • Papillon

      L Ron died of a stroke, not suicide. He did have psych drugs in his system when he died, which is ironically against church policy.

      As far as destroying people, I’d say Scientology is tame compared to the major religions of the world. At least, I can’t recall any wars fought in the name of Scientology.

      • Girl Scout

        I have been a Scientologist for over 30 years and I am African American. Scientology has been of great help to me. L. Ron Hubbard was a brilliant philosopher who found a practical way to help people rise above the problems of the physical world and their own mental and spiritual barriers. The people mentioned in this article should give you some indication of how Scientology helps. One of many L. Ron Hubbard’s enduring legacies was the fact that he helped hundreds of thousands from all walks of life, to get off and stay off drugs. He was also very vocal in his criticism about the harmful effects of psychiatric “treatments”, including their drugs, on a person,physically, mentally and spiritually. The Internet sources and running dog press are nothing but mouthpieces for those who would keep man enslaved with drugs and lies. Look behind every mass murderer and you will find the psych and their drugs, shock and invalidation. Mr. Hubbard died of natural causes and per the coroner’s report and his physician was briefly given a mild form of Vistaril to treat the effects of the stroke. This has been distorted in a lie. Ask your pharmacist about Vistaril and he or she will explain. But really, like every genius, prophet and charismatic leader on this planet, he was just way before his time and criticized for speaking out against the status quo.

        • Scientology Lies

          This cult commits crimes against humanity…left, right, and centre.
          Why don’t you avail yourself of the internet to look into your “religion”?
          There sure as hell is a whole plethora of information spelling out the ugly truth of this cult. RUINS lives.

        • NiceNasty

          Don’t mean to be rude but when was the last time you saw or visited your family/friends who are not into Scientology? And if anyone of your fellow friends within this religion was to leave, would you still refer to them as friends or even talk with them after? Jus asking….

        • Douglas Burnett

          I hope you can take the time to contact me at 850 628 3828, I am a single african American full time employed Dad and I am looking for some insight truly in life that is way beyond the mind set and or ignorance of the traditional African American Church. I look forward to speaking with you.

  • Its a facinating list. I know I was suprised to fins COS promonatly in certain Black towns of LA n even in my nation Ghana, so to see this list at least softens my views on the COS a bit though, just a bit

  • abbysee

    I am always amazed at how frenzied people get about religions even when they see how screwed up both Christianity and Islam are and how much havoc each have made in the world. Scientology has centuries of death and destruction to make up for.

  • Miss D

    Interesting article. Much respect to these people for being true to themselves.

  • Marier

    Persia White cannot say it helped her career ***blank stare***. she didnt surprise me though

  • Cokeland

    Good for them. It’s good to see people exercising their right to choose what religion to practice/affiliates with instead of doing whats popular.

  • Rebecca

    There is no religion. The only way out of this earth is through JESUS CHRIST. If you read it on the day of judgement day you will remember.

    • Dee

      I hate Christians who say things like this. What about Muslims? Hindus? Sikhs?

  • LoveLi

    Persia White was actually no surprise to me.

  • Just saying!!

    This is refreshing to see. I don’t know much about Scientology but I never hear anything good about it. But the truth of the matter is everything has something different that works for them. if it helps you can’t through rough times and doesn’t hurt anyone then hey!! Not my job to judge!

    • Hey

      God bless you for this comment, it amazes me to no end how the media has created a negative frenzy about this religion and almost everyone got carried away hook line and sinker. I am 100% christian, but also open minded. I view religion has a cube with the sun shining on it and man on top a hill. Now depending on what angle you stand you either see the reflection/shadow of the cube or the cube in glare view. Moral – don’t knock what you don’t understand, as the end purpose to man’s religiousness is an understanding of it’s being and a relationship with a higher deity!

      • Girl Scout

        Thank you so much for your tolerance. Scientology is my religion. It is also a religion in the eyes of every court in this country and many others. It is a religion in the eyes of many religious experts. In order to understand something, you really have to be willing to look, really look and look at something at its source not at its haters. L. Ron Hubbard wrote over 30 million words and recorded some 3000 lectures on the subject of Dianetics (precursor to Scientology) and Scientology. To find out what Scientology is – read a book. I suggest Problems of Work which contains the basic principles of Scientology applied to the work-a-day world.

        • Wake up

          Read a Ron book ???
          Hey why don’t you read about $cientologies crimes ?!?!??!
          They are well documented, both through many, many court documents, and many, many, many (and growing) testimonials from ex members. Ex-members who find themselves literally bankrupted by the church/ “fair gamed” by the church (i.e where the church pursues a critic with the intention of RUINING HIM), forced disconnections from family members etc etc and on and on.
          There are almost no limits its evils.

    • Just Sayin too!!!

      “if it helps you get through rough times and doesn’t hurt anyone then hey!!”

      It does hurt people. It is beyond evil and it’s a goddam dangerous cult.
      DO SOME RESEARCH !!!!!!