Do Scientologists rule Hollywood?

More than just a celebrity fad?

Do Scientologists Rule Hollywood?

With some of Hollywood's biggest stars in their congregation, including Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Juliette Lewis, Scientology has gained an international following.

But is the religion of Scientology just a celebrity fad, or are they the real rulers of Hollywood?

Today, Scientology operates eight churches which are designated as 'celebrity centres' - the largest of which is based in Hollywood. As well as movie stars, the religion's membership also includes script writers, producers and directors in both the movie and TV industries.

The church also has the capacity to deliver films and TV with its 2011 purchase of a Hollywood film studio. ​

TV and movies

Have Scientology messages been seeping into TV and movies? Noughties comedy 'My Name is Earl' is one show that was thought to have contained themes promoted by the religion. The show's creator and two leading actors were alleged to be members of the church.

Some movie blockbusters are also thought to contain Scientology beliefs, such as Travolta's 'Phenomenon', Nicholas Cage's 'Knowing' and Tom Cruise's 'Oblivion'. All these films deal with aliens and mind control.

Though are audiences really receptive to Scientology themes? In 2000, Travolta invested millions in 'Battlefield Earth', a story base on a novel by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

Major studios refusing to finance the film, and its critical and commercial failure suggests overt Scientology has little appeal within Hollywood or with audiences.

Similar accusations aimed at Will Smith's 2013 movie 'After Earth' may have contributed to its failure at the box office.

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