Actor Danny Masterson of “That 70s Show” recently was convicted of rape. The trial shed new light on Scientology, the belief system developed by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard to promote “true spiritual enlightenment and freedom for the individual” through the realization of spiritual salvation and brotherhood with the universe.
Masterson and his actress wife, Bijou Phillips, belong to the church, in addition to his actor brother, Christopher Masterson, and half-siblings, Alanna Masterson and Jordan Masterson. Tom Cruise, John Travolta Jenna Elfman and numerous others have been staunch members of the controversial religion through the years. Other high-profile actors have left and said their careers suffered from powerful forces in Hollywood which protect the cult.
In the trial, Masterson was accused of drugging the victims’ drinks to rape them. The accusers claimed they were hesitant to file charges because of the church’s alleged strict protocols against public involvement with member issues. All three women were members at the time.
The church taught his victims, ‘Rape isn’t rape, you caused this and above all, you are never allowed to go to law enforcement.
“The church taught his victims, ‘Rape isn’t rape, you caused this and above all, you are never allowed to go to law enforcement,’” Deputy District Attorney Ariel Anson told the jury. “In Scientology, the defendant is a celebrity, and he is untouchable.”
However, the Church of Scientology criticized the involvement of the organization in the trial by the prosecution, saying testimony and descriptions regarding the church’s beliefs and practices were false.
Leah Remini, a former Scientologist and the organization’s most outspoken defector, called the women who survived Masterson’s alleged attacks heroes. She often has discussed Cruise as the top 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 disclosed his affiliation with the religion.
Cruise married his second wife, Nicole Kidman, in 1990 just months after meeting on the set of “Days of Thunder.” She reportedly took Scientology classes while they were together but has never spoken about her relationship with the church or Cruise.
Remini, who left the church in 2013, since hosted a documentary series about Scientology, which earned her two Emmy Awards for outstanding nonfiction series or special. She wrote a memoir about her time within the church and discusses the religion on her podcast with fellow church whistleblower Mike Rinder, titled, “Scientology: Fair Game.”
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice