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The Church of Scientology loses one of its celebrity members

Haggis_paul_cp_7528079  Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning writer-director of Crash, has atoned a bit for that wretched movie by ending his 35-year association with the Church of Scientology in spectacular scorched-earth fashion.

Haggis wrote a fiery letter of resignation to the organization's national spokesman Tommy Davis (son of actress Anne Archer), blasting the church's support of California's anti-gay rights legislation Proposition 8. Haggis also accused the church of forcing his wife to sever all ties with her parents - even preventing them from seeing their grandchild - because they had quit Scientology 25 years earlier.

This is a lovely retired couple, never said a negative word about Scientology to me or anyone else I know – hardly raving maniacs or enemies of the church. In fact it was they who introduced my wife to Scientology.

Although it caused her terrible personal pain, my wife broke off all contact with them. I refused to do so. I’ve never been good at following orders, especially when I find them morally reprehensible.

For a year and a half, despite her protestations, my wife did not speak to her parents and they had limited access to their grandchild. It was a terrible time.

 Haggis was especially peeved when he came across a clip of a CNN interview in which Davis categorically denied that the policy of separation - forcing members to cut off all ties with specific friends and relatives - existed within the church. "To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else are you lying about?" Haggis wrote. "I was left feeling outraged, and frankly, more than a little stupid."

The great majority of Scientologists I know are good people who are genuinely interested in improving conditions on this planet and helping others. I have to believe that if they knew what I now know, they too would be horrified. But I know how easy it was for me to defend our organization and dismiss our critics, without ever truly looking at what was being said; I did it for thirty-five years.

And so, after writing this letter, I am fully aware that some of my friends may choose to no longer associate with me, or in some cases work with me. I will always take their calls, as I always took yours. However, I have finally come to the conclusion that I can no longer be a part of this group. Frankly, I had to look no further than your refusal to denounce the church’s anti-gay stance, and the indefensible actions, and inactions, of those who condone this behavior within the organization. I am only ashamed that I waited this many months to act. I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology.

I still can't stand Crash, but I think Haggis is a bad-ass now. You can read the full text of his letter here. There has been no response on the creepy Scientology website yet, but some kind of face-saving rebuttal must be forthcoming after Haggis' letter and last week's Nightline debacle, during which Davis stormed off camera after Nightline's Martin Bashir calmly and politely asked him “Do you believe that a galactic emperor called Xenu brought his people to earth 75 million years ago and buried them in volcanoes?”

The Nightline interview meltdown starts at the 3:40 mark in the clip below. Can you imagine if Tom Cruise ever quit Scientology in such a public manner as Haggis did? It would be game over, guaranteed.




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So he JUST noticed all of this about Scientology? I mean he hasn't noticed the "religion's" practices up until NOW? He should have checked out xenu.net years ago.

Rene Rodriguez

I just think Haggis had drank the Kool-Aid. Plus I suspect the Church of Scientology was a very different thing when he first joined it 35 years ago. Sometimes it takes people a while to notice the obvious.


Crash and Burn. Glad the guy's out of it though it sounds as if the "church" would reform on a point or two he'd still be in.
You'd think talk of aliens and Hubbard's shameful history would be enough to make one laugh and walk away.


hail zenu lives again lol

can't fight this feeling anymore

Good work by Haggis, but Crash still sucks.


The Church of Scientology was ALWAYS this manipulative, racist, homophobic, and damaging. The secretive nature of the way it presents itself should be a tip-off that something is desperately wrong with it. I feel so sorry for the Scientologists who keep saying, "Why should you criticize it if it helps people?" What it does is produce a high rate of suicides, cancer (L Ron said smoking prevented cancer), and permanent emotional damage. Just ask Nancy Cartwright's ex-boyfriend Steve Brackett (RIP). Or ask Nancy Many, whose new book "My Billion Year Contract" describes the mental torture she had to endure.

John Cocktosen

What a joke. Everything about Scientology is just wonderful but the last straw for this guy to leave is the fact that the "church" does not support a gay marriage amendment? Way to see the forest from the trees.

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