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The Religious Affiliation of Actress
Shirley MacLaine


Shirley MacLaine is famous both as an actress and for what is considered an unorthodox, interesting religious and spiritual life. She is often classified as a "New Age" religionist. She has participated in many popular (and obscure) religious trends, and is widely known for her writing about her past lives and her belief in reincarnation.

From: Stephen Simon, The Force Is with You: Mystical Movie Messages that Inspire Our Lives, Hampton Roads Publishing Company, Inc.: Charlottesville, Virginia (2002), pages 130-131:

I know so many people who have deep feelings of spirituality and even more extraordinary experiences with profound powers within themselves that have materialized in amazing ways. So many, however, are afraid to "come out of the closet," so to speak, for fear of being laughed at and branded crazy or delusional. I know this one very well myself. I lost several friends and acquaintances that I had before I became an outspoken member of the spiritual community.

One of the great services that have been performed by the courageous authors in the field of visionary [i.e., New Age] books and novels is that they have helped these kinds of experiences become more mainstream occurrences. When Larry King devotes whole hours to this kind of subject matter, you know a shift has occurred.

Those of us who are on this conscious path owe a deep debt of gratitude to those who have blazed the path and, in the film industry, the key person who deserves a special place in our hearts is Shirley MacLaine. When she wrote Out on a Limb in 1983 and went on talk shows to bravely state who she is and whast she believes in, she was absolutely crucified in mainstream media. Undaunted, she stayed the course and really opened the way for all of us who have followed her lead, and, for that, she deserves a very special heroic status. Thank you, Ms. MacLaine for your courage and dignity.

Various sources have reported that Shirley MacLaine was a member of the Church of Scientology, but there are conflicting reports on this. MacLaine's pronouncements about her past lives and reincarnation are essentially in harmony with official Scientology doctrines. Given her history, it is entirely likely that she has participated in Scientology, but her entire religious biography is probably too eclectic to really define her as a member of a single denomination, whether the Church of Scientology or any other.

From: Tilman Hausherr, scientology celebrities FAQ" of alt.religion.scientology, last updated 1 July 2005 (http://home.snafu.de/tilman/faq-you/celeb.txt; viewed 11 November 2005):

Name: Shirley Maclaine
Profession: actress
Status [in Scientology]: ?

Sources [confirming that she was/is in Scientology]:
"Der Sektenkonzern", "Berliner Zeitung" 23.7.92
The London Evening Standard 15.7.1999
The Sunday Times 15.9.1996
The London Times 11.9.1999
Factnet & L. Wollersheim: "never in"

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Webpage created 3 September 2005. Last modified 11 November 2005.
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