In the previous posts I ran down a brief list of Hollywood celebrities who have been associated with the Church of Scientology. Many of them, I have known very closely and considered them friends for decades. The closest of them to me was Leah Remini. I first met Leah behind the scenes of The King of Queens. Playing an outspoken and larger than life character, Leah’s behind the scenes charm and vibrant personality lived up to the hype. She was warm, friendly, approachable and enthusiastic. A young actress who had gotten her break and was enjoying every second of it. As we grew somewhat closer, Leah did mention Scientology. It was a part of her life since childhood and she enthused about it. She did invite to me see visit one of the many Church of Scientology centres dotted around Hollywood. Unfortunately, the closest I ever managed to get was the Scientology building on Hollywood Boulevard. In case you’re wondering, I never did take the personality test or go through the “e-meter readings.”
Tom Cruise was another, and probably the biggest, Hollywood A-list actor who also happened to be a member of the Church of Scientology and a good friend. With looks that seem not to age, a zeal for life and probably the most charming smile in Hollywood, in real life, Cruise oozes warmth. Yet, one does end up wondering, is there no chink in this man’s armour. Is this a man who never has an off day? Does he never tire of dazzling people with his presence? I counted him as a good friend and we were familiar, during my Hollywood days but, upon reflection, I never really got to know him. His private life was private. His Scientologist escorts were never too far away and even I was unable to get beyond the surface. I’m not saying much here, I know, but my brushes with Scientology and Scientologists in Hollywood did always leaving me wondering.