Scientology is among the newer belief systems, founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1953. Among the many famous members of the Church of Scientology include John Travolta, Elisabeth Moss, and, possibly the best known for his affiliation with the controversial religion, Tom Cruise.
What many may not be aware of is that the late Lisa Marie Presley was at one time a Scientologist, until she left the religion in 2014.
Soon after Elvis died in 1977, Lisa’s mother, Priscilla, was recruited by John Travolta to join Scientology. She was persuaded to convert and brought her 9-year-old daughter along to both be members of the Church.
Lisa Marie was thereon raised a Scientologist, and as she grew older, particularly when she turned 25 and was set to inherit Elvis’ fortune, it became clear to her as to why her family was recruited in the first place.
Lisa Marie conducted a secret interview in 2015 with Tony Ortega – a well-known journalist who has made his reputation on covering the Church of Scientology with his website The Underground Bunker – where she opened up about why she decided to leave the religion.
“At 25, after I got the inheritance, they started grooming me to be this person who would go out and get everyone else in,” she explained at the time.
One of the celebrities she was appointed in trying to recruit was her second husband, pop icon Michael Jackson, who was famously raised as a Jehovah’s Witness. But they soon revoked their previously desired invitation for the “Thriller” singer after he was involved in a number of controversies.
“But then they realized he was getting too much bad press,” she revealed.
Inevitably, Lisa Marie had an encounter with Tom Cruise while she was still a part of the Church, and their meeting was something that Lisa Marie wanted no part of ever again.
“I f–king hate Tom,” she said in the interview. “I met him 20 years ago. I said I never want to be in a room with him again.”
Lisa Marie ultimately decided to leave the religion because she felt she was only being used for her fortune and fame, as someone who could both help fund the Church as well as having wealthy connections to recruit.
“I was slowly starting to self-destruct,” she stated. “They were taking my soul, my money, my everything.”
Despite having a negative interaction with Cruise, she explained that not every relationship with her Scientologist colleagues was something that she despised. She actually kept a close relationship with the man who initially recruited her family, John Travolta.
“John is my last Scientology friend. Kelly [Preston] kind of monitors us,” she said in 2015. “John and I get unruly if we’re together. John is renting my house in Hawaii right now.”
John appeared to remain close up until Lisa Marie’s death this past January, posting to his Instagram a tribute to her, captioning the photo, “Lisa baby girl, I’m so sorry. I’ll miss you but I know I’ll see you again. My love and heart goes out to Riley, Priscilla, Harper and Finley.”