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Did 'Drag Race's Michelle Visage Escape Scientology?

Did 'Drag Race's Michelle Visage Escape Scientology?

(L) Michelle Visage and (R) a Scientology building
DFree/Shutterstock; Dogora Sun/Shutterstock

The Drag Race judge opened up about her famous friend recruiting her into the controversial church.

Scientology once had its hooks in Michelle Visage, but luckily for Drag Race fans everywhere the church’s homophobic beliefs caused her to pull away.

On the latest episode of Las Culturistas podcast, Visage admitted to comedian Matt Rogers and Saturday Night Live’s Bowen Yang—who host the pod—that when her friend Leah Remini tried to get her to join Scientology she was initially pulled in because the classes appealed to her as a single mother who wanted a better life for her kids

“They start out and they get you in good with some really important courses that can help your way of life," Visage said of the controversial church, as reported by Entertainment Weekly.

"So, I go in to take these courses, and then I did the $50 ones and then the $100 ones. Mind you, I was working on the radio, so I didn't have a lot of salary," the TV personality explained. "It came to, like, the $1,800 one. I said I didn't have the money to do it, and they said, 'Well, you can borrow a friend's credit card,' and I was like, 'What kind of friends you think I got?'"

Visage said she even considered it after she was told that celebrity Scientologist Jenna Elfman (Dharma and Greg) was able to swing the expensive classes by borrowing a friend's credit card. "I was like, 'I can't afford it,' and Leah's mother stepped in to try to make it affordable," she recounted.

The 55-year-old Drag Race judge explained that part of the Scientology coursework entailed using a device called an E-meter to gauge your “tone,” which is supposedly a measure of how effective the church’s teachings are. "It was time to make a commitment or get out," Visage said. "I was like, something doesn't feel right."

For her, the last straw was when she took a closer look at the “tone scale" which "tells you where people are rated in life," Visage explained to the podcast hosts. "Murderers and pedophiles are down at 100 and a deity, a god, is at 0. I started going through the scale, and literally at 90-something was pedophiles, murderers, and homosexuals. So I took the book, and I shut it."

Visage said she confronted a Scientology teacher about what she had learned about the scale. "I said, 'I quit,' and I walked out," she said. "Girl, bye."

The former Seduction member also praised Remini for having the courage to leave Scientology, calling her friend "a beast." Since breaking aways from the church, the King of Queens actress has dedicated herself to exposing the alleged corruption and violence she witnessed while part of the religion.

Remini does this through her Scientology exposé series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which she does with former high-ranking church official Mike Rinder and the pair’s Fair Game podcast which also talks about the wrongdoings of the church with guests.

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Ariel Messman-Rucker

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.