Elisabeth Moss, A Scientologist, Made A Show With Nicole Kidman. What Gives?


Until finally they simply call Matt Lauer “glib” though denouncing psychiatry on early morning tv, it’s difficult to settle for that ostensibly sane celebs would be Scientologists. Definitely well known culture’s nicely-connected, beloved dignitaries know superior than to be a part of what is reportedly a brutal, oppressive group masquerading as a religion, suitable? 

There is no superior case in point of that incongruity than Elisabeth Moss, who, in excess of the training course of the previous two a long time, has come to be a person of Hollywood’s most sought-just after actresses. In interviews, she seems impossibly down to earth. The figures she brings to life ― on displays like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Mad Men” and “The West Wing,” and in films like “Get Him to the Greek,” “The 1 I Love” and “Queen of Earth” ― are progressive, dynamic and consultant of feminist values. 

What a bummer it was, then, to see Moss protect Scientology in an Instagram remark a few months back. There was no purpose to feel Moss had denounced the institution ― she’d acknowledged her affiliation as just lately as last yr ― but I believe we’d all fairly feel that Moss isn’t actually devoted to the science fiction that novelist and screenwriter L. Ron Hubbard concocted. She’s much too sane for that, much too likable to transform a blind eye to a leadership that engages in nicely-documented torture, as informed by previous members. (The church has frequently denied these promises.)

In addition, Moss filmed the next season of the secret series “Leading of the Lake” ― premiering Sept. 10 on SundanceTV ― with Nicole Kidman, who is persona non grata in Scientology’s eyes. 

With all because of respect, what presents? After all, practicing Scientologists are seemingly barred from speaking with anybody whom the church labels a “suppressive person,” like Kidman ― persons who denounce the so-identified as religion and are considered threats to its nicely-currently being. (“That person loses both of those his or her fellowship with the Church as nicely as with other Scientologists,” in accordance to the group’s site.)

Moss, an 8-time Emmy nominee who was raised a Scientologist, has by no means been wildly outspoken about the sect, compared with Tom Cruise or John Travolta, who grew to become the church’s movie star mascots. She’s addressed it gently in interviews in excess of the years, often affected person with inquiries about the matter and other times swift to say, in her very own dulcet way, that she will not focus on it. Scientology reportedly assisted in the course of her acrimonious 2010 divorce from Fred Armisen, but in 2014, she refused to converse about the group with a New York magazine journalist, apart from to say it was “grossly misunderstood by the media.” During a conversation with The Guardian last yr, Moss struck a harmony in between the two poles, saying, “I get the fascination. I come to be fascinated with factors that are none of my enterprise as nicely.” 

When “The Handmaid’s Tale” premiered on Hulu in April, online posts and discussions connected the Margaret Atwood adaption’s depiction of feminine oppression to the way staunch Scientologists are reportedly manufactured lackeys to the group. That is precisely what Moss, who is nominated for the clearly show at this month’s Emmys, addressed on Instagram. 

“Love this adaptation so substantially,” a commenter wrote on a “Handmaid’s Tale”-relevant photo Moss posted on Aug. 15. “Question however, does it make you believe 2 times about Scientology? Each Gilead and Scientology both of those feel that all outside resources (aka information) are erroneous or evil… it’s just pretty attention-grabbing.” (In the tale, Gilead is the dystopian dictatorship that has taken in excess of the United States.)

To which Moss replied: “That’s really not genuine at all about Scientology. Spiritual flexibility and tolerance and understanding the truth and equivalent legal rights for each race, religion and creed are particularly important to me. The most important factors to me almost certainly. And so Gilead and THT strike me on a pretty personal stage. Thanks for the attention-grabbing problem!”

As “King of Queens” actress Leah Remini said in her memoir and docuseries about leaving Scientology, the church tends to protect movie star patrons from its punitive horrors, which allegedly include things like splitting up families, enacting physical violence and stalking apostates. Probably Moss, who sights Scientology as a “self-utilized” perception method, doesn’t know what genuinely goes on driving its profitable doors. She might have in some way prevented the significant media protection surrounding “Going Distinct,” the Lawrence Wright exposé that grew to become a well known documentary in 2015. But wouldn’t a lifelong member know the basic tenets? Would not she know what a suppressive person is, as nicely as the background of Cruise and Kidman’s Scientology-inflicted divorce, whether by way of church lore, Hollywood gossip or media scrutiny?

How, then, can Moss make a clearly show with a qualified suppressive person? At a person position, Kidman and Cruise’s very own kids reportedly wished nothing at all to do with their mother because she did not embrace Scientology. (Requests for remark from Moss and Kidman went unanswered.) 

It’s probable there are loopholes in this article: Kidman did not thoroughly subscribe to Scientology, so she by no means had to leave in earnest. And the church’s chieftains want their devout actors to land good initiatives like “Top of the Lake” ― the prestige is fantastic PR. Still, a Vanity Fair post from 2012 said the church sights Kidman as an SP, and Moss is surely a congregant of that church, no matter how far down the rabbit hole she has or has not long gone. Therein lies a paradox of Moss’ Scientology association. 

We talk to a good deal of celebs when it comes to promoting their political, religious and social viewpoints. Moss doesn’t have to converse about her personal daily life if she doesn’t want to. But of all the Instagram comments in the globe, she picked this a person to respond to. And of all the good actresses in the globe, she agreed to co-star with Kidman.

If Moss is going to protect Scientology in public discussion boards, does she get to cherry-pick the church’s dogma? We’re conversing about a team that blackmailed IRS officers to protected a religious tax exemption, inspite of accumulating an believed $200 million for each yr in profits. That dollars ― some of which is reportedly obtained by overwhelming devotees into donating onerous sums ― money alleged misdeeds. Moss has, at some position in her daily life, presumably taken Scientology’s pricey courses. Does that not make her complicit in the systemic abuse promises that haunt what several deem a cult?

For the document, I’m a enormous enthusiast of Moss’ work. Her general performance on “Mad Men” manufactured Peggy Olson a person of the 21st century’s greatest Tv figures, and I’d be thrilled to see her rating an Emmy for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” I can’t hold out to find what “Top of the Lake” cooked up this time its co-creator, Jane Campion, is a person of the world’s best administrators. But Scientology is a lot more than intriguing fodder for gossip columns and remarkable documentaries ― it’s a cagey, possibly daily life-threatening outfit that after claimed (potentially erroneously) to have eight million members globally. Like it or not, celebs wield a good deal of energy in our society. They are barometers for cultural norms. They also get to opt for the doctrines they protect. If renowned thetans want to endorse Scientology, they can’t protect their eyes from its alarming truths.


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