Scientology has garnered a lot of attention lately, what with the high-profile personal lives of members Tom Cruise and John Travolta on perpetual display. While we've all heard a lot about it, most people don't really know what exactly it is, or who else in the celebrity community might be involved.
The practice of Scientology was created by L. Ron Hubbard in the 1950's and has gained a huge, loyal following despite the fact that a member must pay exorbitant amounts of money in order to receive certain teachings, which could be why the group attracts such a large celebrity following. The practice has very strict rules about many ways of life, including the way a woman gives birth and how a person seeks treatment for psychological and physical disorders (psychiatrists are deeply frowned upon). As far as any theological beliefs, the group maintains that human souls are reincarnated and have lived on planets other than Earth, in other times.
Scientology has gained quite a strange reputation over the years for being a "cult" and for taking monetary advantage of its members. A particular episode of "South Park" in which Chef leaves the school to follow his calling to the religion came about because the actor who voiced the character, Isaac Hayes, actually did choose to leave the show after becoming involved in Scientology. Hayes wasn't spared the sharp wits or tongues of Matt Stone and Trey Parker and eventually saw Chef's demise on the show.
There's actually quite a long list of celebrities who follow Scientology beliefs, some of which may surprise you. Have a look at a few of them below.
Nancy Cartwright, a.k.a. Bart Simpson
Jason Lee, "My Name Is Earl"
Danny Masterson, "That 70's Show"
Elisabeth Moss, "Mad Men"
Beck, musician ("Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World")