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Beck has disavowed himself from the Church of Scientology.
The musician, 49, has long been one of the most high-profile stars associated with the organization — and has previously sung its praises on TV and in print interviews. But now, on the heels of his divorce last February from second-generation Scientologist Marissa Ribisi, Beck has changed his tune.
In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald promoting his new record Hyperspace, Beck clarified that he is not a church member nor does he subscribe to Scientology beliefs.
“I think there’s a misconception that I am a Scientologist. I’m not a Scientologist. I don’t have any connection or affiliation with it,” Beck told the Herald. He went on to theorize that because his father — Canadian composer David Campbell — has long been a Scientologist, he was assumed to be one, as well.
“But I’ve pretty much just focused on my music and my work for most of my life, and tended to do my own thing,” he continued. “I think it’s just something people ran with.”
Still, the singer-songwriter has long moved in Scientology circles and has previously both claimed membership in the church and championed its ideas. In 2004, he married Ribisi, twin sister of actor Giovanni Ribisi. Both are well-known Scientologists and are heavily involved in Scientology events and fundraising.
The couple had a son in 2003 and a daughter in 2007 and divorced Feb.15, 2019, after 15 years together.
Toward the start of their marriage, in a 2005 interview with the Irish Sunday Tribune, Beck declared, “Yeah, I’m a Scientologist. My father has been a Scientologist for about 35 years, so I grew up in and around it and stuff.”
“People can sort of say and do whatever they want,” he continued. “All I can do is live my life with integrity and raise my child and work hard and work hard for the people I work with. I don’t have anything to hide. I am completely proud of my life.”
Pressed by the interviewer about some of the controversies surrounding the church, Beck responded, “I think it’s about philosophy and sort of, uh, all these kinds of, you know, ideals that are common to a lot of religions. There’s nothing fantastical … just a real deep grassroots concerted effort for humanitarian causes.”
“It’s unbelievable the stuff they are doing. Education — they have free centers all over the place for poor kids. They have the number one drug rehabilitation program in the entire world. … When you look at the actual facts and not what’s conjured in people’s minds that’s all bullshit to me because I’ve actually seen stuff firsthand,” Beck said.
He echoed those sentiments elsewhere, including in a 2003 interview with MTV shortly after the birth of his son. “There’s that kind of intolerance, which to me is kind of insidious,” he said of Scientology’s critics. “To make a judgment about something you know nothing about.”
Beck and the Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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