‘I Use To Work In A Soap Factory’ doesn’t provide much insight as to who he is. Belief structures can resonate with the population, so it is fair to ask, is Michael Pena a Scientologist?
Michael Pena is a Scientologist. Pena believes that Scientology has made him a better actor.
It is hard to determine how many Scientologists are out there unless it’s stated by the participant. There is a disagreement between entities on how many followers are actually out there, but it is guestimated to be between 55,000 and 4.4 million. How is it that Scientology fits into Pena’s acting skills?
Scientology With Pena
Pena started participating in Scientology in 2000. He seldom speaks on it publicly but has shared that he sees it as a belief structure and not necessarily a religion. He committed to Scientology when he feared he was starting to drink too much and head down the wrong path.
Scientology offers Study Tech because Hubbard (creator of Scientology) felt that the education system was not providing adequate levels of study. Pena indicates that taking this course made him an accomplished reader which helped him with reading scripts. Pena was able to gain a better understanding of the scripts by becoming a better reader.
For years there has been controversy surrounding Scientology which Pena is aware but does not give it the time of day. Study Tech helped him, period. So, what is Scientology anyway?
What is Scientology?
Scientology started in 1950 by Ron Hubbard who published a best-selling book called ‘Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health’. Scientology defines itself as:
“Scientology is a religion that offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature and one’s relationship to self, family, groups, Mankind, all life forms, the material universe, the spiritual universe, and the Supreme Being.”
One of the points of Scientology is that no one is expected to believe in something that is faith-based. Scientology believes that what you can prove is believable. They are into improving conditions around them and taking on the responsibility to voice concerns on what they view as societal wrongs such as social justice and legal systems.
This is an oversimplification of their main structure, practices, and beliefs, but does provide for a better understanding of where Pena is coming from. He is not the only celebrity to participate in these beliefs.
Celebrities That Are Scientologists
Some celebrities have been outspoken about their affiliation with Scientology while others keep their belief structures to themselves. Some of these celebrities that are known to participate are:
- Leah Remini
- Tom Cruise
- John Travolta
- Jenna Elfman
- Kirstie Alley
- Giovanni Ribisi
- Juliette Lewis
- Erika Christensen
Scientology has attracted celebrity participation for several years now. It has even been referred to as the Church of the Stars. Hubbard sought to educate not about divinity that was in the heavens but finding the divinity in oneself and unlocking that potential. This is an appealing thought.
Acting is a highly competitive and lucrative business but not everyone gets the part on merit or even by a fair standard. Sometimes it’s about who you know. It is a high-profile, socially televised public lifestyle that takes a toll on actors. Part of the appeal of Scientology is finding inner strength, potential, and having control of situations.
Scientology offers ‘auditing’ which is a counseling session that comes to terms with painful experiences and purges them. Being in view of the public and readily criticized and judged, seeking out Scientology methods seems to hold water.
People will join a variety of things for a variety of reasons and incorporate practices into their lives that allow them to live their best selves. At the end of the day, it comes down to what makes you feel good, satisfied, and lets you be your best self.
The Better Part Of Us
Pena found sanctity in Scientology. It allowed him to retain what he was reading when he was reading scripts and therefore improved his craft. For entertainers and other creative members, their craft is what they rely on for their livelihood. It is a highly competitive arena and not all people are cut out for the stress after they acquire the spotlight.
Whether it’s Scientology, hypnotism, or a hug from mom, if it gives you the structure you need and the warm fuzzies to move throughout your day with a sense of confidence, then it is a worthwhile endeavor.