Michelle Visage opens up about why she quit the Church of Scientology: ‘Girl, bye’

Michelle Visage opened up about her shocking experience in the Church of Scientology.

RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Michelle Visage has revealed she quit Scientology after discovering the church’s homophobic beliefs.

The new-age religion has long been affiliated with A-List celebrities such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Elizabeth Moss.

But Drag Race fans may be shocked to find out that once upon a time, Michelle Visage was one of their number after her longtime best friend and former Scientology member Leah Remini (The King of Queens) encouraged her to get involved.

In an interview with comedians Matt Rogers and Bowen Yang (Saturday Night Live) on the Las Culturistas podcast on Wednesday (27 September), the Emmy winner opened up about her expensive Scientology stint and the moment she realised she had to get out.

“They start out and they get you in good with some really important courses that can help your way of life,” Visage explained, who at the time was welcoming any support as a single parent raising her children.

You may like to watch

“So, I go in to take these courses, and then I did the $50 ones and then the $100 ones. Mind you, I was working on the radio, so I didn’t have a lot of salary,” she continued.

Visage worked on a swathe of radio shows from 1996 until 2011, during which time she famously met RuPaul.

She continued: “It came to, like, the $1,800 [course]. I said I didn’t have the money to do it, and they said, ‘Well, you can borrow a friend’s credit card,’ and I was like, ‘What kind of friends you think I got?'”

After hearing claims that celebrity Scientologist Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) had borrowed a friend’s credit card to foot the bill, Visage briefly contemplated it after Remini’s mother stepped into with an offer to cover the course fee.

“It was time to make a commitment or get out,” Visage said. “I was like, something doesn’t feel right.”

When she decided to study the “tone scale” which “tells you where people are rated in life” Visage was shocked by her discovery.

“Murderers and pedophiles are down at 100 and a deity, a god, is at zero. I started going through the scale, and literally at 90-something was pedophiles, murderers and homosexuals. So I took the book, and I shut it.”

Visage then confronted a teacher who called out her behaviour in the most iconic way. “I said, ‘I quit,’ and I walked out. Girl, bye.”

Remini later also exited the Church of Scientology in 2013, something Visage heavily praised her for. She went onto launch an exposé docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath where the actor discusses the wrongdoings she witnessed.

In 2018, former Scientology member Michelle LeClair published her book Perfectly Clear: Escaping Scientology and Fighting for the Woman I Love where she opened up about her persecution as a gay woman under the Church of Scientology.

The Church of Scientology has vocally denied allegations made by Remini and LeClair.

As for Visage, she is gearing up for season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK which premieres at 9pm on Thursday, 28 September on BBC Three.