It's perhaps one of the most powerful and skin-crawlingly shady religions out there, and yet, Hollywood can't get enough of it. Scientology is still the poison of choice for A-listers, making it as powerful as it is mysterious. And with that combination of power + mystery + celebrities, there's no shortage of Scientology conspiracy theories out there. Hell, you could dig up a half dozen just by looking at the all-too-freaky marriage of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
Of course, sometimes the reality of something is just as horrifying as outsider speculation and Internet fairy tales. You can just ask actress and former member Leah Remini about that. Since leaving the church in 2013 she's one of its most outspoken adversaries, actively working to expose the crimes of the organization. In fact, she was rewarded for her efforts, having recently won the Television Critics Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming with her successful A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
"Words do not express how grateful we are for this… but our contribution pales in comparison to those who bravely shared their stories," she said in her acceptance speech. That's no joke — disobeying or speaking out against Scientology can have major, major consequences.
So what prompted Leah to ditch the church in the first place? Well, she's at the center of perhaps one of the scariest Scientology conspiracy theories out there, one that's remained unsolved and buried for a decade. And trust us, that's only the beginning of the dark labyrinth that is Scientology...
Want to learn more? Check out the gallery to see some of the most terrifying, hilarious, and outright weird conspiracy theories about Scientology and its star-studded members
Conspiracy Theory #1: The Church of Scientology held "wife auditions" for Tom Cruise.
There's actually a lot to this. In 2012 Vanity Fair reported that actress Nazanin Boniadi was initially interviewed and selected to be Tom's wife. The pair dated from Nov. 2004 until Jan. 2005, but eventually, the pressure forced Nazanin to confess her relationship to a fellow member... something she was forbidden to do. The punishment was to scrub toilets with a toothbrush, clean bathroom tiles with acid, dig ditches, and sell copies of Dianetics on street corners.
First of all, dark. Second of all, it's suggested that before the Church landed on Katie, plenty of A-list beauties like Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Alba were considered for the role of Mrs. Cruise. Wow.