Peter J. Kaplan
3 min readApr 2, 2020


Hank Voight (Jason Beghe) is quite a character. Literally. The Chicago P.D. controversial sergeant (Badge №32419) and Squad Commander of the 21st. District Intelligence Unit is a dirty, underhanded cop with a checkered and pockmarked history who stops at nothing to accomplish his purpose.

And despite his less than pristine rep his unit’s loyalty, respect and even — though sometimes begrudging — admiration knows no bounds.

Because beneath the hardened and tarnished veneer — way down deep — Voight is a raspy-throated good man.

Even as he meets you downstairs in the cage.

A far cry indeed from the childhood pal of JFK Jr. and David Duchovny at New York City’s Collegiate School, an independent school for boys and the oldest school of any kind in the United States as well as one of the best.

But not such a reach from the guy who took on the Church of Scientology after he “realized I was in a fucking cult.”

After posting a two hour video on YouTube in which he negatively branded the organization describing it in no uncertain terms as “very dangerous for your spiritual, psychological, mental, emotional health and evolution,” Beghe continued to rail in Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear, a Scientology documentary.

After giving the Church about a million bucks over a ten-or-so year span and pissing away another $250K to fight off a bunch of their “phony lawsuits,” Beghe claims that he was far more angry — Hank Voight angry — when he learned “about the shit with Sea Org, the violence and the cruelty…It’s one thing to take someone’s bread. It’s another thing to take their soul. I felt like I had something to do with it, so I became a little more active…”

The Sea Organization is a fraternal religious order of the Scientology movement composed of those who have committed their lives to the volunteer service of their religion and who are willfully responsible and accountable to the officers and directors of the Church. Its members are the singularly most dedicated Scientologists.

Sea Org is entrusted to minister the advanced services of Scientology and its people dedicate themselves to occupying the front lines in spearheading the Church’s massive social mission which is said to encompass the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education campaign, a prodigious human rights education effort and other assorted global programs which touch the lives of millions.

Established in 1967 and basing operations from a number of ships for a time, the original name has been retained although today it is a land-based enterprise. Its disciples live communally and work long hours with housing, meals, uniforms, medical and dental care, transport and other associated expenses covered by the Church. They receive an allowance in yet another gesture of good faith.

High-profile luminaries such as Tom Cruise, John Travolta & wife Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Jenna Elfman, Greta Van Susteren, Elisabeth Moss and Laura Prepon approve; others, notably Leah Remini, Lisa Marie Presley, Katie Holmes, Paul Haggis, Jeffrey Tambor, Candice Bergen (for a cup of coffee in the ‘60’s), the late Christopher Reeve, Mimi Rogers and Jason Beghe among others certainly do not.

A rational-minded person might find it difficult to latch on hook, line and sinker to a cult like this; on the other hand in this long-troubled world of ours everybody needs something to give their occasionally empty lives more meaning.

Movements such as Scientology pounce on the vulnerable and those with clouded judgment but for some the fog eventually lifts.

Jason Beghe after a time began to think more clearly.

Chicago P.D. aficionados must wonder just what Hank Voight sees when his jaw clenches, his tongue begins to roll and rage consumes him as his gravelly-voiced vitriol spews forth like a projectile of molten lava from an active volcano targeting an uncooperative suspect thrown in the cage. (Then it invariably gets physical).

Is it L. Ron Hubbard or David Miscavige, all 5’1” of him?


Like Voight, Jason Beghe has principles.

He’s a pretty fair actor to boot.

[Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Mr. Kaplan in November 2016.]