Scientology just has a way of making headlines, doesn't it? The religion is a constant reference when discussing Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' divorce, and its prompted fascinating articles like this one in the Daily Mail, which reported that Cruise supposedly has achieved an "OT level," and that "OTs can allegedly move inanimate objects with their minds, leave their bodies at will, and telepathically communicate with, and control the behaviour of, both animals and human beings.'"
Weird? Yes. Interesting? You betcha. While actors dominate the list of famous Scientologists, musical history features plenty of frankly awesome Hubbard fans. Best of all? Even L. Ron himself got down on the synthesizer. Read on for our 10 favorite Scientologist (or former Scientologist) musicians.
Beck Hansen doesn't talk much about his religion (too busy working up records for Karen Elson and Dwight Yoakam), but his Scientologist cred is secure: He was raised by noted Scientologist parents, and he's married to Marissa Ribisi, whose twin Giovanni (the dude from Gone in 60 Seconds, Phoebe's brother on Friends, and a few episodes of My Name is Earl) is an active Scientologist.
Matt Stone and Trey Parker like to push buttons. No person or subject is safe from getting a spot on South Park, which can be pretty offensive. The Scientology episode supposedly was the reason the late, great, and super-fresh R&B legend Isaac Hayes quit the show. In addition to his stellar catalog, Hayes recorded an album with Doug E. Fresh (also a Scientologist) called The Joy of Creating: The Golden Era Musicians and Friends Play L. Ron Hubbard. Speaking of which...
L. Ron Hubbard
L. Ron Hubbard himself. Yeah, seriously. It's weird enough that Charles Manson had a brief stint as a musician, but L. Ron fronted The Apollo Stars and put out a solo album (and soundtrack to his book Battlefield Earth) called Space Jazz, and it's pretty freakin' weird.
Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea teamed up as Return to Forever, composing a jazz fusion album dedicated to L. Ron, which is actually pretty interesting. Some YouTube commenters call Return to Forever "the fucking Dream Theater of jazz," which we're pretty sure is supposed to be a compliment (if a chronologically challenged one).
George Clinton was attracted to the "kookier" aspects of Scientology. Because in general, Clinton is attracted to the kookier aspects of anything he's attracted to. He recruited some Scientologist folks to write the sleeve notes for Maggot Brain (the guitar solo on the title song, however, is pure Eddie Hazel).
Bono was fairly discreet about his relationship with Scientology: He publicly told the press that he was a Roman Catholic, but when Hubbard died (or achieved a new level or something), he took out full-page ads in multiple newspapers that read, "My only sorrow is that L. Ron Hubbard left before I could thank him for my new life."
Will Smith was, without a doubt, a badass in I Am Legend, but remember Big Willie Style from back in the day? Good luck combing "Getting Jiggy With it" and "Miami" for Scientology references. The musician/actor doesn't consider himself a Scientologist, though he says agrees with most of the group's beliefs. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith founded a private school that supposedly has Scientologist ties. Suri Cruise is enrolled, after all.
Here we have another actress/musician, see a trend here? Juliette Lewis is probably best remembered for playing wackos (a role in Natural Born Killers will do that for you), but she also has a music career, fronting the excellent Juliette and the Licks. Lewis is pretty straightforward about her rock, and the same way about her beliefs.
Leonard Cohen's work explores the recesses of multiple faiths, so it's not that much of a surprise that he studied Scientology for a bit (it was a "good place to meet women"). His "Famous Blue Raincoat," from Songs of Love and Hate, touches on the topic.
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Okay, he's not a musician per se, but in Rock of Ages, he pretends to be one. Plus, Les Grossman knows how to get down to Flo Rida.
But really, Tom Cruise should stick to what he's good at: running faster than Jamie Foxx, fighting giant aliens, and defying gravity. And those superpowers. Oh, yeah, those superpowers.