Jerry Seinfeld once dabbled in Scientology

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Katie Holmes -- whose decision to file for divorce from Tom Cruise may have been influenced by his involvement with the Church of Scientology -- isn’t the first star to ditch the controversial religion. Fans of Jerry Seinfeld may not realize that he once explored it but ultimately realized it wasn’t for him.

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In 2007, he told Parade magazine his high school auto mechanics teacher introduced him to Scientology.

“Believe it or’s extremely intellectual and clinical in its approach to problem-solving, which really appealed to me,” he said. “…In my early years of stand-up, it was very helpful. I took a couple of courses. One of them was in communication, and I learned some things about communication that really got my act going.

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“It was just things about understanding the communications cycle...” he explained. “Even the volume at which I’m speaking now is the right volume for where you’re sitting. I’m almost performing, in a way.

“You would just understand that there’s this kind of voice, and then there’s this kind of voice, and then there’s this kind of voice,” he added. “I wasn’t a natural performer at all, so I learned. I was always a pretty good writer in the beginning, but I really had to learn how to perform. Just a little thing like that, understanding that really helped me on stage to understand how you have to invade the space of the audience a little bit. I learned that early on. It was a very helpful thing to learn. You have to invade them just a little bit. Not too much, because then it’s obnoxious. But you can’t be short of them either, or you won’t control them.

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"They have a lot of very good technology. That’s what really appealed to me about it. It’s not faith-based. It’s all technology. And I’m obsessed with technology."

So why did he stop?

“I don’t know… I was kind of flitting from thing to thing,” he told Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush, listing karate and yoga as other areas of experimentation. “I was interested in exploring.”

His experience with Scientology even inspired a joke on his classic sitcom.

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In an episode from Season 3, characters George, Elaine, and Jerry lose their car in a parking garage. They convince a woman to drive them around to help find their lost vehicle. They go about 10 feet when George says something (viewers aren’t made aware of what he says) that angers the woman, who slams on the brakes. “Get out!” the woman screams.

“I didn’t mean anything by it. I don’t even know L. Ron Hubbard. I didn’t know you were with that group,” George says.

Seinfeld then quips, “Boy, those Scientologists, they can be pretty sensitive.”

Watch the "Seinfeld" scene:

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