Source: Hollywood Star News
Publication date: 2002-08-07
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The star turnout led by Tom Cruise at the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre’s 33rd Anniversary Gala in Hollywood over the weekend was a vivid demonstration of why some call Scientology the “power religion of Hollywood,” reports Hollywood Star News.
The religion founded by L. Ron Hubbard less than half a century ago now has almost nine million adherents in 150 countries. It remains a controversial presence in many of those countries, including Germany where there has been a long-running battle over the church’s very right to exist.
John Travolta is one of the Scientologists who has spoken out about the situation in Germany. He is one of a number of actors in the Hollywood movie and TV industries who are members of that church. Besides Cruise, highly visible show business Scientologists include Jenna Elfman, Lisa Marie Presley, Kirstie Alley, Ann Archer, Mimi Rogers, Chick Corea, Karen Black, Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson) and Travolta’s wife, actress Kelly Preston.
From the beginning of Scientology in the mid-1950s, Hubbard made the recruitment of celebrities a high priority, because they could help in recruiting the public and gave credibility to his teachings. The use of celebrities to endorse the church is a marketing tool, especially for reaching young people (another Scientology target group), in a world where celebrity is a very powerful commodity.