Danny Masterson is best known for starring on "That '70s Show," and being featured on lists of celebrity Scientologists. Paper magazine caught up with the actor as he arrived at the Sundance Film Festival in January, just before the premiere of director Alex Gibney's buzzy documentary, "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief."
The Church of Scientology is not pleased with the documentary, and neither is Masterson, a second generation Scientologist, who told the magazine, "I heard about that documentary; the documentary where they interviewed eight people who hate Scientology. Should be pretty interesting. I wonder if Sundance would allow a documentary of, like, eight people who hate Judaism. But you know, my religion's fair game, I guess, 'cause it's new."
Scientology is very new. It was created in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and one of the church's core beliefs is that 75 million years ago, Xenu, dictator of the "Galactic Confederacy," sent billions of frozen souls on spaceships from his overpopulated planet to the bases of volcanoes on Earth. When the volcanoes erupted, the scattered souls -- or "thetans" -- found their way into human bodies, and their emotional issues haunt their human hosts.
The 38-year-old, who is married to Bijou Phillips, didn't hold back when he was asked about how the controversial religion is pitted against psychiatry.
"You will not find a Scientologist who does not fucking hate psychiatrists," he told the magazine. "Because their solution for mental and spiritual problems is drugs. So let's talk about putting a Band-Aid on something that's just going to get worse and worse and worse."
And the thing is, I'm sure there are tons and tons of amazing human beings who are psychologists or psychiatrists. But it's like, if you study that man is an animal and nothing more than that, and you basically have this fuckin' manual that has, what, 5,000 disorders in it, that you just bill your insurance company -- "Oh, you have PMS disorder, you have caffeine-addict disorder, you have mathematics disorder; here, take Prozac" -- what the fuck is that? Scientology handles those things, those mental problems that people have. It gets rid of them. It gets rid of them by that person doing it for themselves. That's the solution to depression, not fuckin' Prozac and whatever other pill that makes the kid then walk into a goddamn school and kill other kids.
Masterson also took on the charge that the Church is anti-gay, which is one of the reasons director Paul Haggis famously renounced the religion.
"What Paul was angry at made perfect sense, but it had nothing to do with Scientology. There was some person who worked at some small church in San Diego who wrote his name and then wrote 'Church of Scientology' on Prop. 8, which is the most fucked up thing I've ever fucking heard," Masterson explained. "That guy got reamed, kicked out, I don't know what the fuck happened to him. But then Paul was just mad that, as a religion, we're not going to come out and say that we are for or against anything, which is a political matter."
Masterson told the magazine he's never openly discussed his beliefs before, but he's just a "spiritual being who likes to understand why things happen in the world and want[s] to learn more so that [he] can have them not affect [him] adversely."
"So if that's weird, then, well, you can go fuck yourself," he said.
For more with Danny Masterson and his views on Scientology, head over to Paper.