Kirstie Alley and the Church of Scientology: Actress will now be ‘reborn’ according to religion


Before she became a household name on the sitcom Cheers, actress Kirstie Alley was a devout Scientologist who credited the church with helping her kick a cocaine habit and which she defended for forty years until her death yesterday. 

Alley, 71, died yesterday after a brief battle with colon cancer – ironically a disease that the church does not entirely believe in. 

Her children say she only ‘recently discovered’ she was ill, but she had been receiving treatment at The Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, near her home in Clearwater next to the Scientology HQ. 

According to the laws of Scientology, which is rooted in the ideology that humans are reborn multiple times, she will now be introduced to a ‘new life’ where she will work through the challenges of the life she has just left behind. 

A funeral has not yet been confirmed but the church is said to be planning a memorial service at The Flag Building, its HQ in Florida.

Kirstie Alley, shown in Clearwater, Florida, last year, died on Monday aged 71. She was a devout Scientologist for over 40 years

Kirstie Alley, shown in Clearwater, Florida, last year, died on Monday aged 71. She was a devout Scientologist for over 40 years

Alley gushed about the church in its own magazines, on social media and in interviews. She went against other celebrities who had defected, and said their negative comments were all 'bulls**t'

Alley gushed about the church in its own magazines, on social media and in interviews. She went against other celebrities who had defected, and said their negative comments were all 'bulls**t'

Alley gushed about the church in its own magazines, on social media and in interviews. She went against other celebrities who had defected, and said their negative comments were all ‘bulls**t’

Her death is the second from cancer among the upper echelons of the Church of Scientology in recent years – in 2020, Kelly Preston, John Travolta’s wife and one of Alley’s closest friends, died aged 57 after battling breast cancer. 

Scientology resists the scientifically-proven facts about cancer and instead suggests that it is the result of a ‘sexual upset’ in the body. 

‘Cancer is not caused – never has been and never will be. It is not a caused mechanism by the external environment or some physiological activity.

‘It always requires a second-dynamic or sexual upset, such  as the loss of children or some other mechanism to bring about a condition known as cancer,’ wrote Ron L. Hubbard, the church’s founder, in a 1980 article in one of the church’s journals. 

By the end of her battle, Alley was seeking treatment. It’s unclear how long she’d been suffering before she turned to conventional medicine for help. 

What is clear is her decades-long defense of the church, which led her into public spats with defectors like Remini and Mike Rinder, and critics including the reporter Yashar Ali. 

Alley with her good friend and co-star John Travolta, another Scientologist. Travolta joined in 1975

Alley with her good friend and co-star John Travolta, another Scientologist. Travolta joined in 1975 

Alley with fellow Scientologists Tom Cruise, Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston, in 2001

Alley with fellow Scientologists Tom Cruise, Travolta and his wife Kelly Preston, in 2001 

Alley fought the claims of defector Leah Remini for years

Alley fought the claims of defector Leah Remini for years

Alley fought the claims of defector Leah Remini for years, describing her comments as ‘bulls**t’ 

Alley traded barbs with journalist Yashar Ali in 2018 on Twitter. He had tweeted about defector Paul Haggis being accused of sexual assault

Alley traded barbs with journalist Yashar Ali in 2018 on Twitter. He had tweeted about defector Paul Haggis being accused of sexual assault 

‘Man you really hate this religion… what religion are you Sir? Just curious if you wrote this bigoted s**t about all religions or just this one? 

‘I think it’s YOU who is really enjoying this downfall as it gives you another opportunity to be hateful. Go on with your hateful self,’ she said in a 2018 Twitter spat with Ali. 

He mourned her death on Tuesday, but also claimed Scientologists – especially leader David Miscavige – would neither accept that she was dead, nor sympathize with her cancer diagnosis.

After Leah Remini defected in 2013, Alley came out swinging for the Church. 

‘First of all, I just want everyone to know I have hundreds of friends who have come into Scientology and left Scientology. 

‘You are not shunned, you’re not chased. All that stuff’s bulls**t. 

‘When you’re generalizing and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group… when you decide to make a blanket statement that Scientology is evil, you are my enemy,’  she told Howard Stern in a radio interview.  

Alley’s relationship with the church began in the late 1970s after her cocaine habit spiraled out of control. 

In her memoir, she wrote: ‘When I began doing Scientology, I was a drugged-out mess. I understood hell—depression, anxiety, addiction, failure, and loss. 

Alley's home in Clearwater, Florida, which she bought from Lisa Marie Presley in 2001.

Alley’s home in Clearwater, Florida, which she bought from Lisa Marie Presley in 2001.

The home is a stone's throw from the Scientology HQ, Flag, in Clearwater, Florida

The home is a stone’s throw from the Scientology HQ, Flag, in Clearwater, Florida 

The Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida. The Church is expected to hold a memorial for Alley

The Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida. The Church is expected to hold a memorial for Alley

Among her closest friends were fellow Scientologists John Travolta and his wife Preston. In his tribute to her on social media on Monday, Travolta hinted at their shared faith. 'Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again,' he said

Among her closest friends were fellow Scientologists John Travolta and his wife Preston. In his tribute to her on social media on Monday, Travolta hinted at their shared faith. ‘Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again,’ he said

‘I’d done enough cocaine to kill several people. I weighed 112 pounds…. We didn’t have the term in 1979, but I was a hot mess.’ 

She swore off drugs after her first meeting, and spent the next forty years defending the church and its teachings. 

Alley moved to Clearwater, Florida, in the early 2000s, purchasing a waterfront home from fellow believer Lisa Marie Presley.

She opened a literacy center based on the church’s teachings a year later, and continued to defend Scientology online against naysayers. 

Among her closest friends were fellow Scientologists John Travolta and his wife Preston. In his tribute to her on social media on Monday, Travolta hinted at their shared faith. 

‘Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had. I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again,’ he said. 



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