Church Of Scientology Holds Memorial Service For Devotee Kirstie Alley
As many pay tribute after the star’s death, the controversial Church of Scientology is memorializing Kirstie Alley, who was a member of the organization for many years.
Alley was raised Methodist but decided to try Scientology in 1979 to help with cocaine addiction. Over several decades, the actress reached Operating Thetan Level VIII, the highest spiritual status in the church which requires going to some extreme lengths to achieve, including high monetary costs and intense counseling and interrogations.
The star’s involvement with the Church of Scientology has caused some posthumous speculation about the link between Scientology and Alley’s health decline and ultimately her unexpected death.
The Cheers actress died at 71 from colon cancer. Her daughters shared the news in a statement on Monday night.
“We are sad to inform you that our incredible, fierce and loving mother has passed away after a battle with cancer, only recently discovered,” she said.
Actress Leah Remini, who had a falling out with Alley after leaving the church, told Rolling Stone that because of Scientology, Alley may have resisted seeking conventional treatment for colon cancer.
“While it has been reported that Kirstie sought conventional cancer treatment, which gave her a fighting chance, the majority of Scientologists do not seek treatment until it’s too late,” Remini said. “Scientologists are convinced they can cure themselves of diseases like cancer. It’s one of the more sinister things they promise.”
Scientology leaders plan to hold a memorial service for Alley at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida.
Alley spoke highly of the church throughout her life and shared her interest in Scientology with former costar John Travolta, who she said was a romantic interest of hers for many years.
“Kirstie was one of the most special relationships I’ve ever had,” Travolta said in an Instagram post after her death. “I love you Kirstie. I know we will see each other again.”
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