Ex-Scientologist, Actor Jason Beghe to Idol Chatter: ‘Scientology is Not a Religion’

Many of us here at Idol Chatter have been transfixed by the downward trajectory of Tom Cruises’ career since the Oprah couch jumping incident which coincided with his being more out about Scientology. But celebrity and Scientology have gone hand in hand for many years now and many household names are Scientologists–John Travolta, Nancy Cartwright (The voice of Bart Simpson), Jason Lee, and Jenna Elfman–another connection we are curious about. So when actor Jason Beghe publicly parted ways with the group a few months ago, the first celebrity to do so openly, Idol Chatter contacted him to talk about his departure from the organization.

You see, before there was Tom Cruise, there was Jason Beghe.

Reportedly once dubbed the “poster boy for Scientology” by the church’s leader David Miscavige, the film and television actor (“G.I. Jane,” “Monkey Shines,” “Melrose Place,” “CSI,” “Everwood”) sped through the levels of Scientology training to be met with special treatment, including a private sauna, and the opportunity to do voice over-work in promotional videos and sit on the board of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Scientology’s mental health-abuse watchdog organization. But in March, Beghe, 48, repudiated his nearly 13-year association with the group in a series of videos posted to YouTube, calling it “a rip off” and “destructive.”

Beghe was no less outspoken with Idol Chatter: “In my humble opinion, Scientology is not a religion. It’s a dangerous religious cult: a cruel, sadistic business practice. Just because the IRS gave it tax exempt status does not make it a religion. Ninety percent of ex-Scientologists–and there are millions out there–do not consider it a religion.”