The Church of Scientology once wanted to rope in actor Brad Pitt and U2 frontman Bono into its fold, and the effort nearly succeeded with Pitt, Jenna Miscavige Hill, a former member of the church and niece of its main leader, told Radar Online.
Hill, who is the niece of Church of Scientology head David Miscavige, left the church in 2005 after being a member for 21 years. According to her, Bono was at one point audited for membership, and she also recalled seeing Pitt at the church's Celebrity Center in Los Angeles in the 1990s when he was dating actress Juliette Lewis, a well-known Scientologist.
“There’s a celebrity strategy and they’re targeted for their influence, not their money,” Hill told Radar Online. “They know people are obsessed with celebrities so will get more interested in Scientology.”
At the time, Pitt was reportedly undergoing a drug detoxification program, which is said to be the first step toward membership to the church.
“I was in love with him at the time,” Hill, who released a book “Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape” earlier this year, told Radar Online. “He was in the Purification area. It’s like the first step. I guess he was doing it because of his girlfriend Juliette Lewis. I know Juliette was into drugs and says Scientology saved her from them.”
But, Pitt did not stick to the church, although he was high on its list of celebrities who could be roped in, and he soon broke up with Lewis, Amy Scobee, author of “Scientology — Abuse at the Top,” told Radar Online.
The Church of Scientology has been garnering some bad press recently after actress Leah Remini left the church in July. And, since then, a number of former Scientology members have approached the media to shed light on the inner workings of the controversial church and its policies.
Keerthi Mohan is an IBTimes reporter covering entertainment and human interest stories.