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Elisabeth Moss defends Scientology against ‘Handmaid’s Tale’ comparisons

She balked at a fan who equated the two on Instagram.


Chris Tognotti


Posted on Aug 20, 2017   Updated on May 22, 2021, 8:00 pm CDT

Elisabeth Moss, the star of the hit Hulu series The Handmaid’s Tale, is used to portraying a character living under an oppressive religious regime. But when a viewer asked a sensitive question about Moss’s own faith in an Instagram comment, the actor made it clear that she doesn’t see any parallels between the show’s repressive Christian regime, the Republic of Gilead, and her own Church of Scientology.

Love this adaptation so much,” the woman commented on Moss’s post about a Handmaid’s Tale event. “Question though, does it make you think twice about Scientology? Gilead and Scientology both believe that all outside sources (aka news) are wrong and evil… it’s just very interesting.”

Moss didn’t go into much detail in her response, but she flatly denied the comparison to her own involvement in Scientology.

“That’s actually not true at all about Scientology,” Moss replied. “Religious freedom and tolerance and understanding and truth and equal rights for every race, religion and creed are extremely important to me. The most important things to me probably. And so Gilead and THT hit me on a very personal level. Thanks for the interesting question!!”

Moss, 35, was raised in the Church of Scientology. She does not, however, typically speak about her religion publicly, preferring to keep it a private matter.

Scientology critics, including many ex-members, have condemned the religion as a coercive and financially draining cult that demands absolute adherence to its policies, at the risk of being declared a “suppressive person” and isolated from one’s family.

These sorts of claims constitute the bulk of ex-Scientologist Leah Remini’s explosive A&E documentary series Scientology and the Aftermath, as well as claims of physical abuse by the church’s controversial leader, David Miscavige. Scientology has denied all these claims repeatedly and forcefully, largely describing them as lies spread by bitter apostates, and maintaining that the allegations against Miscavige are wholly false.

Moss reportedly walked out of the room at the Television Critics Association Awards earlier this month when Remini’s series was honored. 

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*First Published: Aug 20, 2017, 1:27 pm CDT