The Church of Scientology’s place in our cultural consciousness is complex and its connections to Hollywood, mainly through the celebrities who have been associated with it, make it all the more fascinating to talk about. While some former members, like Leah Remini, have been more than willing to talk about Scientology, others have remained more mum about it, like current member and star of The Handmaid’s Tale Elisabeth Moss. In a recent interview, Moss gave rare, candid comments about her Scientology beliefs and went so far as to make connections between Scientology and The Handmaid’s Tale.
Speaking with The Daily Beast, Moss opened up in a way she rarely does about her own religious beliefs, which include her membership in Scientology. It should be noted that Moss did not specifically name Scientology in her comments, but it stands to reason that she could have been referring to the church since she was raised as a Scientologist.
“I choose to express myself in my work and my art. I don’t choose to express myself about it in interviews,” Moss explained, continuing with, “For me, it’s so hard to unpack in a sound bite or an interview, but I will say that the things that I truly believe in are the things that I’ve mentioned, and I think that they’re very important.”
She elaborated, eventually connecting this belief is letting people speak about their own beliefs openly with themes of repression as seen in The Handmaid’s Tale, even invoking the name of the fictional authoritarian nation at the heart of the show, Gilead.
“I think people should be allowed to talk about what they want to talk about and believe what they want to believe, and you can’t take that away—and when you start to take that away, when you start to say, ‘You can’t think that,’ ‘You can’t believe that,’ ‘You can’t say that,’ then you get into trouble. Then you get into Gilead,” she told The Daily Beast. “So whatever happens, I’m never going to take away your right to talk about something or believe something, and you can’t take away mine.”
Moss seemed hesitant to cast any kind of negativity on Scientology, even skirting the possibility of condemning them for their anti-LGBTQ stance (the Church of Scientology has issued a statement since claiming it has no official position on sexual orientation) when asked about it, instead affirming her own support for the LGBTQ community.
“I am obviously a huge feminist and huge supporter of the LGBTQ community and believe so strongly—I can’t even tell you—in people being able to do what they want to do, to love who they want to love, to be the person that they want to be—whoever that is. To me, it’s a huge reason why I love doing the show. That’s all I can say,” Moss remarked. “I can’t speak to what other people believe, I can’t speak to what other people’s experiences have been. That’s where I stand and the only place I can speak from is my own.”