Is this the beginning of the end for Scientology? Danny Masterson's rape charges could be first nail in the coffin
Danny Masterson, who is best known for 'The 70s Show' has been charged with rape of three women. The allegations against him were filed on Tuesday (June 16) by three women who claimed that the actor had forcibly raped them. The incidents reportedly took place between 2001 and 2003. Masterson was arrested shortly after the charges were made public.
If convicted, he could face up to 45 years in prison, as reported by Yahoo Entertainment. While the news about Masterson becomes nationwide news, many people pointed out how the actor, a Scientologist, was previously accused of the same a couple of years ago but it was gagged by Scientology.
In a shocking article that was published by The Daily Beast in 2019, the media outlet had detailed how the Church of Scientology might be helping Masterson bury the crimes under the rug. The outlet stated that the church had received two letters from one of the victims asking the church to speak up on the matter. However, they had remained mum on the matter.
With Scientology being seen as a "cult" for some while "religion" for others, over the years the church has received different reactions from people in the country. With many big names such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Laura Prepon still being part of the church, there are other celebrities like Leah Remini, Demi Moore and others who left the organization as they did not think it was heading in the right direction.
When Remini came out of the church, she did not hold back in shedding light on how the Scientology works. She wrote a memoir called 'Troublemaker' in the hope of letting people know about everything that is wrong with the church. However, it failed to have an impact like she had hoped it would. Despite this, Remini did not give up. She then signed a documentary deal with A&E. The documentary titled, ' Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath' spoke about her life when she was part of the church. Remini had revealed she was severely reprimanded when she tried to ask questions about Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology’s leader David Miscavige, as reported by Rolling Stone.
The most shocking detail from the documentary was revealed to be Remini's rape. Remini revealed she was raped at 14 by an adult male member and the church did not take any actions against the member. At the same time, they did not alert the authorities or her parents about what had happened.
In fact, in the finale of the A&E documentary last year, Remini also addressed how multiple women had accused Masterson of sexually assaulting them, which led to his ouster from his role at the time on Netflix's "The Ranch."
There have been other people who have also come forward with similar complaints. Previously, one of the ex-members of the church came forward claiming that the church is involved in child abuse, human trafficking, and forced labor against some of the members, as reported by NBC News.
A New York Times post also noted that the church hides abuses. Following Masterson's arrest, many people believe this might be the beginning of the end for the church. Remini was also one among the people who thought this as she wrote on Twitter, "Finally, victims are being heard when it comes to Scientology! Praise the Lord! This is just the beginning Scientology, your days of getting away with it is coming to an end!"
"I truly hope this is the beginning of Scientology's end, Leah...but the article only mentions Masterson's membership in passing," read another comment. "FINALLY. The whisperings about his raping of women have been going on for years, and The Church of Scientology has been silencing the victims. Danny Masterson was FINALLY arrested and charged today. Hopefully, this will be the beginning of the end of Scientology," wrote another.