Beck, whose new album, Hyperspace, was just released on 22 November, has clarified that he is not a member of the Church of Scientology, suggesting that he never really was. The American musician’s comments came during a far-reaching interview with The Sydney Morning Herald.
“I think there’s a misconception that I am a Scientologist,” Beck said. “I’m not a Scientologist. I don’t have any connection or affiliation with it. My father has been a Scientologist for a long time, but I’ve pretty much just focused on my music and my work for most of my life, and tended to do my own thing … I think it’s just something people ran with.”
For years Beck has been routinely described in the press as a Scientologist, and oftentimes appears on lists of celebrity Scientologists, so his claim to the contrary will come as a surprise to a lot of people. Particularly since he waited so long to set the record straight.
But a little research shows that Beck was likely never involved with Scientology to any notable extent. He is reportedly “Clear,” more or less the first step on what the organization calls the Bridge to Total Freedom. Were he at all serious about Scientology, Beck would certainly be an Operating Thetan by now, given his celebrity status. The Church of Scientology is known for giving preferential treatment to celebrities as they have the potential to recruit more members and generate positive press.
Beck also went into detail about his new album, explaining that one track was inspired by a friend of his who died from a drug overdose more than two decades ago.
“For some reason, it came out now,” he said. “And something I went through two years ago, I might be able to articulate in a song 15 years from now … That’s just the mystery of craft. You are serving a master, in a way. Sometimes it doesn’t completely feel like it’s up to me.”
Together, Beck says, the songs on Hyperspace serve as “portraits of a different way of trying to just transcend our everyday. And maybe what I was thinking about with this record is how underneath all these choices and differences we share a lot as just flawed humans trying to do the best we can to get through this thing called life, as Prince said.”