“Scientology Is Not A White Religion”: Black Celebrities Who’ve Studied It Or Are Proud Members
HBO’s documentary Going Clear has people talking. Now everyone is asking, just who in Hollywood believes in Scientology? These black celebrity Scientologists say they’re still proud of their membership — no matter what the critics say.
The name of the quirkiest member of the Girlfriends cast was found on a list of Scientologists who’ve completed “Purification Rundown 84” classes. Purification Rundown, according to the Scientology website, is a detoxification program to help rid an individual of the “harmful effects of drugs, toxins and other chemicals that lodge in the body and create a biochemical barrier to spiritual well-being.”
While White has never spoken openly about Scientology, she did list founder L. Ron Hubbard as one of her personal heroes on her Myspace page.
After model Jessica White Tweeted th photo in 2013 with the caption “Enlightenment,” she was immediately dubbed the Sexiest Scientologist of All Time — there were even rumors that she was dating Tom Cruise.
And last time we checked, White seems to love her newfound faith. She later Tweeted, “Haven’t felt this relaxed in so long. Had a beautiful meeting today, feeling like I’m entering into a new realm of understanding.”
What’s Happening! star Haywood “Hey HEY Hey” Nelson is also a proud member of the church of Scientology.
“Scientology allows me to have certainty about what I know, there’s no more guessing about how to be.
Now I am free for the most important thing about me: creativity. What I want is a matter of choice. How I get it is a matter of ‘trust Scientology.’”
Not every celebrity is outspoken about their membership in Scientology.
Chaka Khan is very private about the nature of her religious beliefs. Khan said that she’s “taken some courses in Scientology, and they’ve been very, very helpful through life’s ups and downs.”
But when the New York Times asked her if she was a Scientologist with a capital “S,” Chaka Khan said she’s a member of her own personal church:
“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.”
Al Jarreau joined the Church of Scientology way back in the ’60s, just as it was catching wind. But these days, Jarreau has said that he’s no longer a member.
Disco legend Gloria Gaynor is rumored to be a Scientologist, but hasn’t confirmed or denied the rumors.
Once you’ve been connected to Scientology, it can be hard to shake it. Brandy learned that the hard way. She once admitted to dabbling in Scientology briefly during a very vulnerable time in her life — right after the car accident that resulted in the death of another driver:
“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.”
Music legend Isaac Hayes started studying Scientology in 2005 and was very vocal about his membership. He even quit his lucrative gig on South Park when the show poked fun at his faith. And he took part in a Scientology album: The Joy Of Creating – The Golden Era Musicians And Friends Play L. Ron Hubbard.
Doug E. Fresh
Doug E. Fresh, a proud Scientologist, said that black people don’t know what they’re missing:
“Scientology is not a White religion. It is not just for White people. It changed how I thought. 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.”
Will Smith has donated millions to Scientology and rumors of his involvement have been circulating for years.
Those rumors recently cropped up again when lead Going Clear whistleblower and actor Jason Beghe claimed that he has proof that Smith is a member saying, “Let Will Smith know that his sh– was fu–ing recorded. And tell him to look them in the eye and see if he believes it when they deny it.”
But Will Smith maintains that he’s not a member, he just believes in helping out the underdog:
“How you gon’ not know nothing about Scientology and attack? It’s dangerous, and it’s ignorant. How am I going to condemn someone for what they believe and I believe God was born from a pregnant virgin?”
Will Smith isn’t the only member of the family with Scientology rumors attached to their name. Jada popped up on the “are they?” radar in 2008 when the couple helped set up a school that used a Scientology-based curriculum. Scientology expert Tony Ortega called Jada “the dedicated Scientologist in the family,” but like Will, Jada maintains that the Smiths aren’t members.
Remember Battlefield Earth? This box office struggle — based on a book by L. Ron Hubbard — starred two famous Scientologists: John Travolta… and Forest Whitaker. But while John Travolta is still an avid member of the church, Whitaker ended his affiliation.