Longtime Scientologist Kirstie Alley was believed to have reached superhuman status before she died of colon cancer at 71.
Alley — who lived near Scientology headquarters in nearby Clearwater, Flor. — joined the church in 1979 to help put an end to her cocaine addiction and reportedly made it to the highest level of learning, Operating Thetan Level VIII.
"OT VIII is the highest you can go on the 'Bridge to Total Freedom,'" Tony Ortega, who writes the long-running Scientology blog The Underground Bunker, told The Post. This level of "auditing," OT VIII (Operating Thetan Level Eight), can only be achieved on Scientology’s private cruise ship, called Freewinds. "It can cost between $1,000,000 to $2,000,000 to go all the way up and it can take you 20 years."
“Scientologists are told that, if they can reach OT VIII, they will be 'cause over matter, energy, space, and time,' which translates to various superhuman abilities, including being impervious to disease,” Ortega explained.
In 2018, Alley was featured in church magazine Freewinds, named after the cruise ship, in which she was quoted saying: “Now here I stand a new OT VIII, shiny, fresh, and calm."
As OK! reported, Alley's doctors "only recently discovered" the cancer before she died. The late actress had been receiving treatment at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Flor., before it was confirmed on Monday, December 5, that she lost her battle with colon cancer.
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Given Alley's involvement with the church, there were immediate questions about its role in her medical treatment.
"Scientology’s first book, ‘Dianetics,’ is built on the idea that most human ailments are psychosomatic and can be cured, so when Scientologists get ill, they are trained to first look for a Scientology solution," explained Ortega. "Scientologists know that [founder L. Ron] Hubbard was really down on doctors, so they look for alternatives.”
"It’s nuanced," Ortega continued. "Scientology is against psychiatric care and psychiatric drugs. You lose your standing if you start using Lexapro, for example. But followers are not stopped from seeking medical treatment if they have cancer or anything like that. [The church] won’t tell you not to go to the hospital."
"They will often first try to take care of things through auditing — counseling — but as it has been pointed out, sometimes [people] go to the doctor when it’s too late and that can have tragic consequences," the blogger said. "Did Kirstie’s training prevent her from seeking medical help sooner, maybe? A lot of people are asking."
OK! reported Scientology leaders will put on a service for her at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater.
Page Six reported on Ortega's explanation of the highest level of Scientology.