While other actors have gone down in a blaze of glory, Jason Lee took a quieter, less public approach to breaking up with the Church of Scientology.
Lee and his family moved to Denton, Texas – which is just north of Dallas – about a year ago, and in his candid (and laid-back) interview with local outlet The Dentonite, Lee revealed that he no longer practices Scientology.
The remark sort of came up organically while Lee was talking about how much the town has changed since he started visiting in 2004.
Though he is part owner of one business, he doesn’t take credit for the burgeoning economy in the small town, nor does he plan to make any drastic changes.
“Being that we don’t practice Scientology, and that we aren’t particularly interested in opening religious centers in general, we [he and his wife, Ceren] have no plans to open a Scientology center,” Lee said.
“Quite a few rumors about me/us floating around but none of it’s true.
“We’re not here to buy up or change or take over Denton, put some kind of personal stamp on it.
Lee joins former Scientologists Leah Remini, director Paul Haggis and Chicago P.D. star Jason Beghe as prominent names who have left the religion.
So, why did Lee leave?
“He wants to be with his kids and raise them. He had a huge success with My Name is Earl. That series gave him plenty of money,” a source told journalist Tony Ortega.
Plus, you know, Scientology doesn’t have the best publicity team ever.
“Scientology delivers what it promises under the guise of tearing away falsity, neuroses, psychoses,” Beghe told Fox News in 2008.
“It creates a brainwashed, robotic version of you. It’s a ‘Matrix’ of you, so you’re communicating with people all the time using Scientology. So we’re seeing you ‘via’ Scientology.
“And it creates an addiction, so you come back for more.”
Remini released a book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology last November about her time as a Scientologist, detailing how she joined the church, and what made her want to leave.
“Because Scientologists view children as spiritual beings, you’re not treated as a kid,” Remini revealed on Good Morning America.
“So you’re given a lot of responsibility. Your ego becomes extremely inflated.
“The decision to leave is your giving up everything you have ever known and everything you have worked for your whole life,” she went on.
“I feel that people need to understand this has been my whole life. I want people to understand how it happens.”