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Why Laura Prepon Left the Church of Scientology: ‘That 70’s Show’ & ‘OITNB’ Star Speaks Out

Another celebrity member of Scientology, Laura Prepon, has announced their exit from the Church. Discover why the 'Orange Is the New Black' star decided to leave Scientology after so many years.
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Laura Prepon is best known for playing Donna Pinciotti on That ‘70s Show (1998-2006) and Alex Vause on Orange Is the New Black (2013-2019). She has always been a very talented actress, but there was an even more intriguing part of her personal life that many people were shocked to learn when she rose to fame: She was a part of the Church of Scientology.

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However, in a recent interview with PEOPLE, Prepon revealed that she actually left Scientology in the year 2016. This may have had something to do with the changes that her first pregnancy brought to her life, as Prepon announced she was expecting a baby girl with actor Ben Foster in June of 2017.

Prepon’s life changed rapidly after that; she gave birth to baby Ella in August of 2017, and she and Foster were married in 2018. They had another baby, a son, in February of 2020.

Prepon’s interview with PEOPLE reveals hints about how her changing family life inspired a change in her commitment to the Church of Scientology.

Scientology Is ‘No Longer Part’ of Prepon’s LIfe

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“As a brand new mother, I was reflecting so much on my own upbringing and the way I was mothered,” Prepon says in the interview. “I was forced to look at a lot of things in my life that I wasn’t looking at before.”

One of these things was her religion.

“I’m no longer practicing Scientology. I’ve always been very open-minded, even since I was a child. I was raised Catholic and Jewish. I’ve prayed in churches, meditated in temples. I’ve studied Chinese meridian theory. I haven’t practiced Scientology in close to five years and it’s no longer part of my life.”

Prepon did not provide significant detail about her exit from the church, but if other former Scientologists like Leah Remini have taught us anything, it’s that the move couldn’t have been easy. The Church of Scientology is notoriously difficult for members to leave.

Remini in particular has been outspoken about how terrifying an exit from the Church can be. With that in mind, it makes sense that Prepon wanted to leave Scientology quietly, not even making mention of her exit to the public until five years later.

It seems that Prepon is secure in her family life with her husband and children, and we’re so happy to see her thriving!

Moving On From the Church

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“If motherhood has taught me anything so far, it’s that something can work out for a period of time and then you move on and evolve from that,” Prepon adds.

“As a new mom, I was riddled with anxiety that I had never experienced before. My friends who were mothers with older kids said, ‘Laura, this is a phase, you’ll move on and then it will be something different.’ And that has transcended into other parts of my life. We’re all evolving; I always see that with my kids.”

Indeed, we are all evolving, and Prepon’s life is evolving nicely as she enters this next chapter of her journey.

“Life is slowly starting to have some semblance of normalcy again,” she says, “so for now, it’s just work, family and trying to get a laugh when we can.”