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Oprah's Scientology Ties: Big Show Moments With the Church's Hollywood Elite

by Maggie Furlong, posted May 19th 2011 9:00AM
Oprah WinfreyIs Oprah a Scientologist? Just Googling that question returns 127,000 results, so we know we're not alone in asking.

On the heels of the announcement that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith would be guests on one of Oprah's final shows, three things popped into my head: 1) random! 2) are they getting a reality series on OWN? and 3) man, she's shared a lot of big, memorable moments with famous (alleged) Scientologists.

I mean, I've been convinced for months now that Oprah's last show would be a tribute to her loyal viewers. (That's thanks in large part to mainlining marathons of OWN's 'Oprah Behind the Scenes,' on which Oprah is always saying it's "for the fans.") A walk down memory lane, a parting gift, in the spiritual sense, reminding them to pay it forward ... not another chat with some fancy Hollywood A-listers!

So I was pleasantly surprised when the A-list-o-rama turned out to be for a two-show goodbye to air Monday, May 23, and Tuesday, May 24, before her actual finale on Wednesday, May 25.

Will and Jada were there in full force to play a 'This Is Your Life'-style game with Oprah, along with an army of other celebs. Literally everyone was there -- but the only other person hogging more O time was Tom Cruise, another famous Scientologist.

Take a look at our list of big Oprah show moments shared with members, admitted and suspected, of the mysterious church -- an Oprah Scientology Yearbook of sorts.

John Travolta
Travolta, reportedly a Scientologist since 1975, has been a perennial Oprah show guest -- by himself and with wife Kelly Preston -- but his biggest, most random appearance was for the premiere episode of this final 25th season. Oprah announced that she was taking the entire audience to Australia, and out came a life sized plane with Travolta in captain's garb as Oprah asked him to be their pilot. They also danced. It was uncomfortable.


Kirstie Alley
Where do you go when you've lost a bunch of weight after years of yo-yo-ing and want to show off your new bikini bod? To the woman who will always be remembered for wheeling a wagon of fat onstage after one of her biggest diet successes. Oprah welcomed scantily-clad Alley in 2006, after she had dropped 75 pounds representing Jenny Craig. In 2009, she was back on talking about a wagon of her own -- one she'd fallen off -- and most recently has been peddling her own diet regime that some claim is based on Scientology beliefs.


Tom Cruise
Cruise's now infamous couch-jumping declaration of love for Katie Holmes was in 2005, but it feels like just yesterday, doesn't it? Sure he yelled at Matt Lauer and lectured papparazzi on red carpets, but that moment goes down as some of the weirdest behavior we've ever seen on TV -- and it was all for the Big O. Cruise has since returned to the show, plugging 'Knight and Day' with Cameron Diaz in 2010, but stuck to more "normal" topics like his daughter Suri's expensive taste in fashion. For Oprah's final show tapings this week, Cruise was by her side almost the entire time.


Will and Jada Pinkett Smith
The Smiths were on hand for Oprah's big goodbye extravaganza, co-hosting the second hour (to air as her penultimate episode on Tues., May 24). It was a lot of waving and hugging and getting the crowd excited for the other celebrities surprising Big O, but it was still much tamer than their last stop on the show where they divulged information about their love life -- too much information.




Almost every video of them talking about keeping things "spicy" in the bedroom has been removed from the Internet. (Thanks?)

See them talking about keeping the spark alive on Oprah.com





Priscilla Presley & Lisa Marie Presley
The widow and only daughter of The King, Elvis Presley, did their first interview together ever in 2005 -- where else? -- on 'The Oprah Winfrey Show.' While enough mystery surrounds the two of them (Lisa being married to Michael Jackson, who was also rumored to be part of the church, for starters), their status as Scientologists is most notable.


What does this prove? Nothing. Oprah could be a Scientologist or not and she'd still be Oprah, the go-to for all major celebrity interviews. But it does make you think ... would your opinion of Oprah Winfrey change if you knew she was a member of the Church of Scientology?

Relive some of Oprah's
biggest moments of the season


A note on comments: We know religion is a touchy subject, so I'm asking you to be extremely respectful in the comments. We'll shut them down at the first sign of hatred, discrimination or ALL CAPS RANTS. Feel free to debate, but let's be adults, people.


Follow Maggie on Twitter @TheTVShowGirl

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Evangelist Minda Wal

hello Oprah. My name is minda Walker. It is VERY hard trying to get in touch with you so I'm doing it the best way I know how. I'm an Evangelist and i go to church faithfully. Just awhile back I wrote a book entitled, "The Day I was Arrested". I'm writing you to ask can you help me promote my book. I've been working hard trying to sell it and i ask can you help.PLEASE? Thank you for your time. As soon as you get this message can you email me. My email address is walkerminda@yahoo.com. again thankyou

December 30 2011 at 6:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

Well now! Anyone interested in Scientology should or must Google Scientology before believing in this foolishness and also Google the Celebtities that belong to this farce again you must Check into this religion. Before commenting one way or the other .. Ineresting fiction to say the least

May 24 2011 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mswhitneyspears

her personal decision. if so, oh well!

whitneyspears.com

May 24 2011 at 2:41 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Eddie

I'm so sick of John Travolta parading around in a commercial airline pilot's uniform. Is he an actor or did he get a job with American Airlines? If my job paid as much as his job does, I could have a mansion with a runway in my backyard big enough to land a 707 too, and the time and money to learn to fly one. Talk about flaunting social inequality.

May 23 2011 at 10:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Flower

What is the Queen of day time saying on her final shows? Is it just a coincidence celebrity Scientology is fore front on her final hours on NBC or is there a hidden agender. Only Oprah knows----. We all understand there is a reason for everything. We just have not figured it out yet!

May 23 2011 at 9:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Donna

How many Scientology celebs were on the show that she is not buddies with. As I was reading this headline I could think of 3 without even trying. If she is a Scientologist I';ll probobly sign up for the class.

May 23 2011 at 5:22 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Donna's comment
Red_Zone

If you have no problem with parting with your life savings, being 'encouraged' to work for them full time without pay and told your concerned family is 'harmful', go right ahead.

I am NOT making this up. Google is your friend.

May 24 2011 at 4:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
horsestoy

Oprah has really done some wonderful things and her TV show and Celebrity status helped her accomplish those things. She has helped woman all over the world and has empowered people to do things they didn't think they could.
But I have a problem when celebrities use their "power" , popularity and money to promote their own agendas! Espcially Political and Religous! I think Oprah using her celebrity status in some political issues was wrong, just like other celebrities that do it. It is wrong. People tend to think that because these people are on TV or in the movies that they know what they are talking about and must be right! People of America need to start researching things for themselves and finding the truth, whatever it may be, on their own.
As far as Oprah being a Scientologist, yes, I am sorry to say, it would change my opinion of her. Scientology, like a few other groups are too secretive and when something is too secretive, they have something to hide and it usually is not good!

May 23 2011 at 1:19 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
jenswims

It's amazing that this woman, black and formerly poor, has had such a run and has had so much influence on American females for the last 25 years. Her ambition and tenacity to talk about difficult subjects; domestic abuse, sexual abuse, etc. in a serious way,was a really good thing to have impact on our often misognist culture. But no matter who one is, a Fortune 500 CEO, a family man movie star, or Oprah, the lives that most women live, even here in America, as well as Africa and the world, are quiet, difficult journeys to try to care for their children, including feeding and clothing them, that seem to be ignored/forgotten by these celebrities, Scientologists or not. We often are entertained by their shows, movies, dances but to make them our heroes/heroines and be influenced by their choices of "religions" is not a good thing; remember the "eye of the needle" about a rich person's ability to get to heaven...or be a true heroine! Let us find good, other role models....the women who fight drunk driving, the women who volunteer constantly at your church, synagogue, mosque, the women who provide housing for homeless families...I see them sometimes spotlighted in Oprah's magazine, which is a good thing that Oprah has done. She can be a Scientologist or not but hope that she provides even more help for girls in Africa, and continues to spotlight real women heroines on her OWN network and in her magazineY!

May 23 2011 at 10:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bayleon02

Oprah doesn't seem shy about sharing her beliefs. If she was a scientologist, I think she would say so. She knows a lot of celebrities, so it's natural some who are scientologists would be invited on her show. Like many things, her show has run its course. She wants to focus more on her network and other projects. I don't care what you do for a living, if it's a stressful, demanding job after 25-30 years, you begin to get tired of it. She's done some good in the world and has given a significant amount of money to charity, I give her credit for that. Some people who are rich and famous, do almost nothing for anybody else.

May 23 2011 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fmousfddler

Who's Oprah?

see Dianetics


Scientology is just more science fiction ..... well fiction anyway

May 23 2011 at 2:08 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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