Report: Scientology Stars Sign Away Basic Rights

Church Being Sued By Family Of Scientology Member Who Died

POSTED: 9:02 a.m. CDT September 4, 2003
UPDATED: 9:43 a.m. CDT September 4, 2003

Several celebrities, along with other members of the Church of Scientology, may have signed away key rights, according to the New York Post, including their right to psychiatric care and the right to see their families.

Among those affected, according to the report, are: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Lisa Marie Presley, Kirstie Alley, and Juliette Lewis.

The paper said the church requires members to sign documents giving up those rights as they move up in rank in the church hierarchy.

A researcher at Carnegie Mellon University discovered the documents while investigating the Scientology religion.

The documents are posted on David Touretzky's Web site.

The contracts reportedly prohibit "any psychiatrist, medical person, designated member of the state or family member" from placing the stars in a hospital or psychiatric facility. They also require them to subject themselves to church rituals that may prohibit them from visiting family members and friends, the paper reported.

The Scientology church is reportedly being sued by the family of Lisa McPherson, a church member who died in 1995 in Florida after going through such an isolation period for 17 days. McPherson's family said her body was dehydrated and insect-bitten at the time of her death.