Following a Today feature that raised questions about whether Kirstie Alley's new weight-loss program is linked to Scientology, the actress said Wednesday there is no connection.
"That I would need to clarify the intentions or affiliations of my LLC [limited liability company] corporation in the year 2010 is indicative of the intolerances that we as a country still need to overcome," Alley said during an event for her new A&E show, Big Life (premiering Sunday at 10/9c) .
During an introduction to her interview Tuesday on Today, columnist Roger Friedman said that many of the executives of Alley's weight-loss program, Organic Liaison, are top level Scientologists.
Alley, a former Jenny Craig spokeswoman, said that of the five executives on the advisory board, only one is a Scientologist. She further said that of the company's 25 or so employees, four are Scientologists, adding that her company "does not discriminate in its hiring processes including religion."
Scientology is a belief system created by science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard and connected to Dianetics, which is a self-help program. Critics have claimed it is a cult that exploits its members for money.
"I am not unused to being attacked for my religion. Yesterday, what shocked me was I'm so proud of [Big Life] and went on the Today show to talk about the show," she said. "If I wanted this to be a Scientology company, I would have made it that way. And I would have told the world. ... I got the best team and best people I could find in the country, and sometimes the world, and put them together. I know how much this company and products are going to help people."