Danny Masterson’s recent rape trial and conviction has shed new light on Scientology, a somewhat secretive religion championed by some of Tinseltown’s biggest and brightest stars.
Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, the ultimate goal of Scientology, according to the organization, is “the true spiritual enlightenment and freedom of the individual” through the realization of spiritual salvation and cosmic brotherhood.
Masterson and his actress wife, Bijou Phillips, belong to the church along with the actor’s brother, Christopher Masterson, and half-brothers, Alana and Jordan Masterson.
Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Jenna Elfman and the late Kirsty Alley have long been staunch allies of this controversial religion.
None of the church members, other than Danny Masterson, have been implicated in criminal activity or charged in connection with the alleged rape of the victim.
Danny Masterson Conviction: Church of Scientology Firmly Claims Rape Retrial Violates First Amendment
The Church of Scientology is Danny Masterson rape retrialand its inclusion was condemned by the organization after the actor was convicted on Wednesday.
Masterson, 47, was convicted of two counts of forced rape. Her jury found her hanged on the third charge. A jury of seven men and five women deliberated for eight days before reaching a verdict.
The former ‘That ’70s Show’ star has been accused of drugging a victim’s drink with intent to rape her.
The accusers said they were hesitant to press charges because the church allegedly has strict procedures that prohibit public involvement in membership affairs. All three women were members at the time.
Danny Masterson found guilty in rape retrial
“The church taught victims that ‘rape is not rape, you caused it, and most of all, you will never be allowed to go to the police,'” Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson said during trial. told the jury. “In Scientology, defendants are celebrities and untouchables.”
However, the Church of Scientology has criticized the organization’s involvement in the prosecution’s trial, saying testimony and statements about the church’s “beliefs” and “practices” are false.
“The prosecution’s bringing religion into this trial is an unprecedented violation of the First Amendment and affects the due process rights of all Americans,” the Church of Scientology told Fox News Digital in a statement. Told. “As Supreme Court precedent has maintained for centuries, the church was not a party to this case and religion had no part in it.”
“The district attorney unknowingly focused his charges on fabrications about the defendant’s religion and church in order to introduce and incite prejudice,” the statement continued. “Prosecutors have extracted testimony and accounts of Scientology beliefs and practices, all of which have been false.”
The Church denies that it has discouraged its members from reporting criminal activity to law enforcement, stating that “Church policy expressly requires Scientologists to comply with all laws of this country. Any claim to the contrary is completely false: “The church harassed the accusers. Every instance of alleged harassment by the church was false and debunked.”
Former Scientologist and most outspoken defector from the organization, Leah Remini, called the women who survived Masterson’s alleged assault “heroes.”
Remini has often discussed Tom Cruise as head of the Scientology chain. The “Top Gun” actor became a member of the church in 1986 through his first wife, Mimi Rogers. In 1992, he publicly revealed his commitment to his religion.
Cruise married his second wife, Nicole Kidman, in 1990, just months after they met on the set of “Days of Thunder.” Although she was reportedly taking Scientology classes during their time together, she has never spoken about her relationship with the church or Tom.
The couple adopted two children, Isabel and Connor, during their marriage. When they divorced in 2001, their children chose to continue practicing their religion. In a 2018 interview with Australia’s WHO magazine, Kidman, who was raised Catholic, said she loved her children “unconditionally”.
“They’re adults. They can make their own decisions. They made the choice to become Scientologists. And as a mother, it’s my job to love them,” she explained. . “And I am an example of that tolerance, and that is what I believe. You have to know that no matter what your child does, there is love for the child and there is love available.” No, and I’m open here.”
“I think it’s very important because if you take it away from the child, I think it’s wrong for any child, any relationship, any family to cut it off. It’s our job as parents to provide love.”
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Kidman’s departure paved the way for Tom’s second wife, Katie Holmes, to enter the stage from the right. The former “Dawson’s Creek” actress married Cruise in 2006 after they welcomed a daughter together named Suri.
Six years later, Holmes filed for divorce from Cruise, also seeking sole custody of their young daughter.
A joint statement issued at the time hinted at conflict between their belief systems. “We are committed to working together as parents to achieve the best interests of our daughter Suri. We want to show our respect and support each other in our roles, ‘parents,'” the statement said.
Remini claimed religion played a role in the demise of their relationship.
“Scientology sees Katie as an enemy, an oppressive figure,” she told the New York Post in 2020. [Scientology] She seemed totally immersed in Tom’s world, but as time went on, I realized why she did it to protect her daughter. “
Remini, who left the Church in 2013, has since hosted a documentary series on Scientology and won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Nonfiction Series or Special.
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She wrote a memoir about her time in the church and discusses religion on the podcast Scientology: A Fair Game with church whistleblower Mike Linder.
The group has consistently denied Remini’s allegations, saying in a statement posted on the site that Remini “knows the truth that is conveniently rewriting revisionist history.” .
The group added, “Instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, former friends and other celebrities for money and attention, she decided to put her life forward in order to regain social prominence.” We need to move on,” he added.
Kirsty Alley thrived on the lifestyle Scientology offered after joining the group in the ’70s.
‘Cheers’ actress Died December 8th After a brief battle with colon cancer, the 71-year-old spent her entire life as a Scientologist and devoted herself to her religion, which she credits helped her overcome her cocaine addiction. there is
Kirsty Alley Remembered by Church of Scientology as “Beloved Fellow” and “Champion in Drug Rehabilitation”
“Kirsty Alley He was a beloved member of our church, an advocate for drug rehabilitation and an ardent advocate for human rights,” the church said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Kirsty was known around the world for her generosity, charisma and charming sense of humor. She will be deeply missed and long remembered for the countless people whose lives she changed. Our hearts are with her family.”
Allie credits the church with helping her stay clean, writing about her battle with addiction in her 2012 memoir. “Human Art”.
“I will now demonstrate how L. Ron Hubbard has directly impacted my life,” she wrote. “He showed me that I could change. He showed me that others could change. He showed me humanity and responsibility.”
“When I started Scientology, I was a drug addict and screwed up. I understood the hell of depression, anxiety, addiction, failure, loss. “Through the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, I was able to gain a different perspective on these long-standing issues: depression, anxiety, loss, addiction, grief, hatred. , self-loathing is not a new subject.”
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In a 2018 interview with the church publication Freewinds, the Drop Dead Gorgeous star was also reportedly ranked among the highest within the organization.
Jenna Elfman, who has practiced Scientology teachings for decades, once said that the debate over the religion lacks substance.
“Controversy is boring,” the Fear the Walking Dead actress told Us Weekly in 2020.
“For me it’s nothing. I know what I know and how it helps me.”
The “Dharma & Greg” star has admitted that Scientology is the secret to her 28-year marriage to actor Bodhi Elfman.
She told People magazine in 2018: “I have been a Scientologist for 28 years and it has helped me a lot in maintaining our communication and relationship.”
“We’ve never cheated on each other, never broken up. We’ve been trying our best.”
Elfman added of his religious practice, “I incorporate this into every day of my life and it gives me energy, vitality and happiness.”
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Lauryn Overhultz of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.