Could Scientology have saved Elvis?

MSNBC/October 1, 2002
By Jeanette Walls

Is Priscilla Presley trying to rewrite Elvis's history? The King's widow has told a reporter that if he were alive today, he'd be a Scientologist.

"I wish that he knew what Scientology was before he died," Priscilla Presley said last week, adding that the church's staunch anti-drug policies could have "helped Elvis a lot" in fighting his addiction to prescription drugs. That comment came as a shock to some friends and fans of Elvis, who say that Scientology aggressively tried to woo Elvis. They claim he was less than impressed with the religion.

According to former Elvis crony Lamar Fike, Elvis stopped dating "Mod Squad" star Peggy Lipton because she kept trying to get him to join the church. "One day, in L.A., we got in the limousine and went down to the Scientology center on Sunset, and Elvis went in and talked to them," Fike said in "Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia," one of several sources who say that Presley didn't like Scientology. "We waited in the car, but apparently they started doing all these charts and crap for him. Elvis came out and said, 'F - - - those people! There's no way I'll ever get involved with that son-of-a-bitchin' group. All they want is my money.' . . . He stayed away from Scientology like it was a cobra. He'd s - - t a brick to see how far Lisa Marie's gotten into it."

Priscilla Presley's rep didn't return calls for comment, but a Scientology spokeswoman says the church has "no record" of Elvis ever attending services, but adds that he should have. "It is apparent that he was a casualty of unprincipled drug pushers - the ones in white coats," says the spokeswoman. "If he had gone the route of spiritual growth instead of the road he went down, Elvis could be alive and well today and as happy as Priscilla and Lisa-Marie."

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