After doing a commercial for Scientology, Jax convinced Stassi to check out the religion about 10 years ago while they were still dating and living together, she revealed in her new book, Next Level Basic, available now. "I told him he was out of his freaking mind, but he kept going and said that everyone there was so supportive and they loved the fact that I was in college and they wanted to help with my career and that he thought we should give it a shot," Stassi recalled in her book. "So the wheels in my head started turning and I thought, 'Actually... this could be fun.' I decided I was going to challenge them and mess with their minds, so I wrote a list of questions to ask them to prove that this was all BS."
When Stassi joined Jax at the Scientology center, they met with someone who she describes in the book as "Tom Cruise's mentor." Stassi said that when she tried to ask him one of the questions on her list, "he'd laugh and change the subject to Jax and me and the ways he could save us and make us famous and rich, like Tom I guess."
"Tom Cruise's mentor" then walked Stassi and Jax around the building, and "everyone we saw was in the happiest mood." "It was... like a cult. Even the woman cleaning the floors was looking at me and smiling with the creepiest look on her face," Stassi wrote. "It was like no one there had had a period or experienced a delayed flight or been through a breakup in their life. It was scary AF."
Stassi said that she was then separated from Jax and taken into a room alone to watch a video showing a kid who experienced PTSD for years after eating a boiled egg right before he witnessed a car accident. "As I watched, it all started to make sense to me—like this was some scientific s--t. I started believing a little bit. The video was about how you could control yourself with your mind, and I definitely wanted to control myself with my mind—who doesn't? Once I was reunited with Jax I was like Let's give this a shot," Stassi said. "Tom Cruise's mentor convinced us to pay $100 (each!) for a textbook, and then took us to 'class,' which was a room full of people of all ages, all sitting silently with their $100 textbooks."
During these classes, Stassi said, "They told us we couldn't have any possessions with us at all, like no water or phone or ChapStick. They also forbade us from eating or drinking anything for several hours before any future classes, so I realized that I couldn't have a vodka soda the night before a class, which was a problem."
Stassi said that she and Jax realized Scientology wasn't for them after he was asked to read aloud from the textbook in class one day. "The teacher asked him to do something with the blocks to channel his brain or commune with the aliens or something, and at that moment it got super weird and we knew we had to get out. This is when I was working at Sur, so we told her that I had to go to work immediately," she wrote. "Before we could escape they made us sign up for two classes, and I said, 'I'm a server and I can't commit to this because I'm poor and sometimes I have to pick up shifts.' So we fake signed up for some classes just to get out of there, and we left legit terrified."
As someone who admits to being interested in cults, murder, and all things true crime, Stassi seems to look back on the whole thing with an odd fascination. "It was the most culty thing I have ever experienced in my entire life," Stassi said. "I still have the textbook (I am not parting with that thing) and it is hella weird. None of it makes sense. I also still have my membership card, and I will never get rid of that either because it's like a collector's item."
While opening up about his obsession with the TV docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, Jax said he thought the Scientology center was "a very weird place" that inspired a lot of questions during an interview with The Daily Dish in January 2017. "There's all these people walking around with keys. And they're always in these outfits. And they're always walking somewhere," he recalled. "Where are you guys going? What are you guys doing? There's all these secret doors everywhere. What's going on?"