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Katie Holmes, Paul Haggis, and Other Celebrities Who Quit Scientology (Photos)

From Jerry Seinfeld to Paul Haggis, see other celebrities who have walked away from the church.

Katie Holmes has quietly reached what is being called a complicated divorce settlement with estranged hubby Tom Cruise, avoiding a fight that could have been the “biggest nightmare in the Church of Scientology’s history,” according to former Scientologist Marty Rathbun, who spoke with the Hollywood Reporter. “Katie could blow Scientology wide open,”  said Rathbun, reportedly Cruise’s former mentor. At least part of Holmes’ motivation for the divorce, apparently, was leaving the church. She’s not the first high-profile person to walk away from Scientology. From Jerry Seinfeld to Russell Crowe, see stars who have spoken out about walking away from the sect.

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Jerry Seinfeld

Before he starred in the classic show about nothing, comedian Jerry Seinfeld dabbled in the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. “I did some Scientology courses about 30 years ago,” Seinfeld revealed to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush while promoting his film, Bee Movie, in 2007. Seinfeld said he was in his 20s when he started taking courses—part of a phase, he said, in which he was “flitting from thing to thing” and exploring different religions and self-help techniques. He said he enjoyed the courses, but added, “The only thing that bothers me about people knowing that is that it is not my complete wacko résumé. It’s just one aspect!”

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Paul Haggis

“I was in a cult for 34 years,” Oscar-winning writer-director Paul Haggis told The New Yorker in 2011, discussing why he quit Scientology two years earlier after three decades as a devoted member. “Everyone else could see it. I don’t know why I couldn’t.” Haggis, whose screenwriting credits include CrashMillion Dollar Baby, and Casino Royale, penned an explosive letter of resignation from the church in 2009 in protest of its stance against same-sex marriage, saying he refused to “be a member of an organization where gay-bashing is tolerated.” The Church of Scientology publicly supported the divisive California legislation Proposition 8 that banned gay marriage in the state. Haggis’s youngest daughter, Katy, is a lesbian.

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Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor, best known for his madcap portrayal of the Bluth family patriarch in Arrested Development, dipped his toes into the Scientology waters, but has since dispelled rumors that he is an active member of the church. “I took some Scientology classes at one time, studied Scientology for a while, but no more,” he said in 2007. “I have nothing against it, but I am no longer a Scientologist.”

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Lisa Marie Presley

The King’s only daughter apparently broke up with Scientology the best way a Presley knows how: through song. In lyrics to Lisa Marie Presley’s single “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” from her 2012 album, Storm and Grace, the singer describes herself as “a bit transgressive and suppressive as well”—words that former Scientologists say are used in the church to label someone who is being ex-communicated, and which no member would use to describe herself, even jokingly. “Clearly, it’s way beyond what would be acceptable for a Scientologist in the fold to be implying, so it sounds to me like it’s her declaration of ‘fuck you’ to Scientology,” said former church member Chuck Beatty. Around the same time the single was released, Presley also removed all mentions of the religion from her website.

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Russell Crowe

Count Russell Crowe among the A-listers who felt out the religion, before ruling it wasn’t for them. In a 2005 issue of Interview magazine, Crowe told his Cinderella Man co-star, Paul Giamatti, that he seriously explored joining Scientology. “I read Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard, I got a couple of videos and I took it all in.” He said the appeal of the religion was evident. “It just seems like a religion that is perfect for people who feel like they need a grounding, who feel that the world has run off on them. With any of these religions, as long as the heart and soul is positive, then to me it’s all good.”

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Jason Beghe

When Californication star Jason Beghe parted ways with Scientology in 2007 after 13 years, he left behind a vitriolic video rant in which he blasted the religion as “self-destructive and a rip-off.” Just two years before, Beghe was appearing in promotional videos for the church. But he did not mince words about why he felt he had to leave the religion. “It’s very, very dangerous for your spiritual, psychological, mental, emotional health and evolution. I think it stunts your evolution. If Scientology is real, then something’s fucked up.”

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Diana Canova

Actress Diana Canova spent four seasons on the campy comedy Soap, and the experience of trying to flee Scientology, as she describes it, would fit right in on the most dramatic daytime soap operas. “It took me years before I decided to quit,” the actress, who spent seven years as a Scientologist, told Premiere magazine in 1993. She said she became increasingly frustrated with the religion’s costliness and aggressive pursuit of new celebrity recruits, but added that whisperings of the intimidation techniques used to retain members trying to quit stalled her eventual exit. “I guess finally I was so fed up with being afraid. You’ve heard all these horror stories…I believed them.”

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Christopher Reeve

In his book Nothing Is Impossible, former Superman Christopher Reeve detailed his brief time as a Scientologist—and his less-than-impressed reaction to the religion. He was recruited, he says, outside a supermarket in 1975, and given a “free personality test.” Soon, Reeve found himself enrolling in expensive training courses and auditing sessions, during which, he said, a crudely made lie-detector machine was supposed to fact-check stories about his past life. Because he had “growing skepticism about Scientology,” Reeve wrote, he instead spun a fictional yarn based on a Greek myth—lies he said that went completely undetected by the machine. “The fact that I got away with a blatant fabrication completely devalued my belief in the process.”