Thursday, April 16, 2015

Elisabeth Moss: The Scientologist at Your Daughter's Graduation

Why You Don't Want Elisabeth Moss at the
Acting Academy's Graduation
Elisabeth Moss is beautiful. Talented. Truly gifted. And up until a few nights ago, one of my favorite young stars of Hollywood by far. In fact, I'd just watched The One I Love because of her, and found myself basking in the glow of... well... the fact that it made sense.

And was well written.
And told a great story.
And made you think.

And as far as I was concerned, the fact that Ms. Moss outshone her co-star in nearly every way was something I was more than happy to neglect and declare it as one of the best movies an all-American cast (let's face it - our best young faces these days are sexy imports from countries that don't raise their kids on the Disney channel) has released in years.

Usually, I'm simply happy that a movie made sense. That first check-mark is all I'm looking for these days. (Aren't you?)

But alas, I won't be watching another Moss movie. As a victim of severe child abuse, I am careful about placing my hard-earned dollar in the coffer of those who fund and protect all forms of it- like human trafficking, pedophilia, malnutrition, intense labor and any other kind of child slavery and neglect.

Unfortunately, that's exactly where Moss's dollar goes.

But that's not why I think you should rally the troops and declare Elisabeth Moss unfit to speak at a graduation ceremony for young Hollywood hopefuls. The victimization of children is my own personal flag. It doesn't have to be yours. Give her your money anyway you'd like - hire her for your movies, suggest her for your plays or rave about her work here, there and everywhere.

Build her coffers. Fund the abuse. It's your call. Puppy mills might be your thing instead, right?

But what I do find highly irresponsible is hiring the young Mad Men star to be the commencement speaker at an acting school's graduation ceremony. And that is exactly what The American Academy for the Dramatic Arts (AADA) is doing. They are hiring her for two ceremonies, to be exact: that of their NYC campus and their LA campus. Both sides of the nation covered. Double trouble, boil and bubble.

The cauldrons are burning bright! Because the ingredients are just right.

And I do mean, exactly right, for disaster.

Because Elisabeth Moss is a Scientologist. And if you know Hollywood at all, you know that Scientology's #1 food of choice is... Ding ding ding! Why, it's Hollywood's hopefuls, of course. Literally.

When you get off the bus from Wichita, Kansas hoping to make it big in LA, the first place you go? Central Casting. You get in line, along with all the other hopefuls who just got off the bus too. While you wait, go ahead and count to the number ten. Now look down. Voila! There's a flyer in your hand. It'll be some variation of this:

You look up to thank the person who handed you the flyer and you see that not one, but several young faces like yours, are handing out flyers all over the place - to people standing in line, sitting down, walking out or even walking by. And it's not just one flyer they're handing out: it's several.

All kinds of flyers float past you, all proclaiming to help you in different ways, depending on exactly what you want to do in Hollywood. Want to be a writer? director? actor? agent??? Sure! There's a flyer for you too!

Now, you just might think to yourself, "This is Hollywood! Of course there's a lot of offerings on how to get ahead!" But you'd be wrong. Because if you took every single flyer from every single person handing them out on any given day at Central Casting and lined them all up next to each other and compared the fine print... you'd notice something.

They all mention Scientology somewhere.

You'd have to be good at Where's Waldo to see it, and you'd have to know that Celebrity Center, Dianetics, LRH and Hubbard are all code for Scientology as well, but the fact remains that at least one of these terms can be found on every single flyer you've ever been given since jumping off that bus.

So now you're thinking, "Wow! Scientology offers a lot of different courses for people trying to get in on Hollywood!"

But you'd be wrong. Scientology doesn't offer a lot of different courses. They just offer the one: Scientology. But no one tells you this. No one warns you. And just as it goes with so many different cults, it just takes walking in the door to be caught. And that's what they're counting on.


The fact of the matter is that Scientology has always preyed upon young actors, actresses and anyone else trying to make it big in LA. They don't flyer business schools. They don't flyer science campuses. They don't offer numerous workshops on how to be successful in art, politics or (wink wink) psychology. No...

Scientology hungers celebrity. 
And their hunting grounds?
Acting schools.

Take the Beverly Hills Playhouse, for example. Famous for producing greats like Michelle Pfeifer, George Clooney and Jim Carrey, the school drew hopefuls like moths to a flame. For 30 years they came - hopefuls from all over - from every walk of life - to be directed under the school's famous tutelage. 

But what they didn't know was that the great director of the Playhouse, Milton Katsalas, was an avid Scientologist.  They didn't know he received a commission for every student he recruited to its teachings. They didn't know he'd take it as a personal affront if they did not embrace his philosophies. They did not know they'd be alienated for going against him - for going against his cult.

It was, like Elisabeth Moss being the last voice acting school grads hear before entering their fields on either coast, a recipe for disaster. And it unfolded just so.

The Beverly Hills Playhouse became, by far, the most lucrative feeding ground in Hollywood for Scientology for three long decades. By the 90's and right on through the 2000's, Milton had an entire fifth of the school studying Scientology. The names are endless... Priscilla Presley, Giovanni Ribisi, Kelly Preston, Anne Archer, Jenna Elfman, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson), Jason Beghe, Marisol Nichols, Catherine Bell... student after student, one by one, steadily on and on... they all followed Milton's direction - too closely. They were caught in the cult's snare.

But these are just the names you know. Think of the giant list of hopefuls who also followed Milton's direction too closely. Scientology still fed on them. They used these hopefuls to recruit others in the Playhouse that Milton hadn't yet swayed. These hopefuls received perks, extra credits and free courses at the Playhouse in exchange for feeding Scientology a brand new hopeful.

And that practice is still in play. Milton Katsalas may be gone, and the Playhouse may have shifted their direction far, far away from Scientology, but Scientology itself hasn't changed one bit. They still thirst, hunger and "flyer" for the newbies of Hollywood, sucking the blood and marrow out of them once they have them in their clutches.

The kill is practiced. Deftly executed. Straight for the throat. Scientology will:

  • Ask for a check in the amount of their bank account's current balance
  • Record private info, including family addresses and social security numbers
  • Apply for numerous credit cards under the hopeful's name
  • Run those credit cards for donations
  • Ask how much money each family member has
  • Train them on how to extract all of it
  • All while repeating the names of celebrities inside

That's one hell of an "industry workshop." And they usually get what they want. It's a cult after all. This is not the hardest part. The hardest part for them, by far, is getting them in the door. Then... blood, blood, blood. Hear it for yourself. As one former hopeful detailed, they donated nearly $50,000 to Scientology in less than four years, despite having walked in for a $20 workshop. They were lucky to escape. I wonder how the AADA's graduates will fare?

Because Scientology's hunger for this new blood has increased since Katsalas' passing. They don't have such an easy window into the hopeful's hearts and minds anymore like they once did, but  - hence the heavy pavement pounding at Central Casting and speaking engagements at acting schools like the AADA. They are making sure to get the most out of every chance they get - which means every graduate is a bigger target than before.

Look, the concern here is not that Scientology most likely arranged for Moss to speak to the AADA's graduates on both coasts, or that her $100-120k booking fee for both will most likely enter the coffers of Scientology within minutes of payment. No, the concern here is that Elisabeth Moss can earn a commission on these babies.

A commission

Moss has been very clear in her interviews that she views the philosophies of Scientology as the one true reason she is successful in Hollywood. That, combined with the fact that she is a lifelong member of Scientology, a well known cult, should raise a rather large flag of concern over Ms. Moss's head. How in the world will she write a commencement speech (assuming she's the one writing it, not Scientology) that doesn't promote, push or praise the teachings of Scientology she loves so much?

Is there really any way we can expect her to inspire hopefuls without using that which inspires her? Does the college actually expect her to exhibit some kind of self-regulation and go up there without quoting, referencing or leaning towards the philosophies of an organization that eats hopefuls for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

She may not say the word 'Scientology' up there, which I'd say is a pretty smart move these days, but dang. Is there a parent out there that wants their sons or daughters listening to a cult member tell them how to approach their future? Hubbard was a madman at best, and that's who Elisabeth Moss is dedicated to.

There is just no way, given Scientology's penchant for targeting and converting acting school graduates, and Elisabeth Moss's proclamations that Scientology is the reason she can navigate the industry with some "sanity," that any president of any acting school, could be justified in hiring her or any other Scientologist for that matter.

What was Susan Zech, the president of the AADA, thinking? 

I assume she felt she'd grabbed a great catch in nabbing Peggy Olsen, the power player in the highly proclaimed 'Mad Men' series. 

But when you hire someone to inspire a generation of acting students, you should probably look up what inspires that person themselves. Because that's one thing Elisabeth Moss hasn't been quiet about. She's remarkably open about how sacred Scientology is to her. And thank goodness for that. I'm glad to know she's a Scientologist. I may miss watching her acting, but it's worth keeping a penny out of her coffer... or should I say, the coffers of Scientology.

Katherine Eastvold

Want to make your voice heard on this issue? 

American Academy of Dramatic Arts:

NYC Campus (Graduating April 20th)
120 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Los Angeles Campus  (Graduating May 24th)
1336 N. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Follow Katherine Eastvold on Twitter @hollywoodanalys or @wcsrevolution
For copyright or writing inquiries, email Katherine at


  1. I am sad that I can't watch her anymore. But when I look at her I can only think about the pain and suffering she is supporting!

  2. Scientology is ruthless. Do not ever think for a moment this is a harmless thing.
    There is nothing harmless in that cult.

    1. Abso-freakin-lutely! I know no one wants to believe such a thing about such a beautiful and talented actress that is loved --- but the bottom line is - I think we all would rather KNOW than not, right? Cults are NO joke.

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  4. Egads, glad to know that. I'd only run into as they pepper Colorado Blvd and La Brea with their flyers. Never knew about them bombarding Central Casting. Thanks as always for an insightful much-needed awareness!

    1. Of course! Comments like yours are the absolute best gift a writer in this genre could ask for. THANK YOU!