The Church of Scientology counts several high-profile figures from the world of entertainment among its members—Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley, to name a few —and they sometimes act as public advocates for their religion. However, one of their own, screenwriter and director Paul Haggis, has very publicly left the fold after taking issue with the church’s stance on Proposition 8.
Haggis, who directed “Crash” and wrote “Million Dollar Baby” and “Casino Royale,” aired his grievances and announced his break with Scientology in a letter to celebrity liaison Tommy Davis posted Sunday by The Hollywood Reporter’s Roger Friedman, ripping into Davis and the church at large for backing Proposition 8 last fall and failing to renounce that support since the election. —KA
The Hollywood Reporter:
But I reached a point several weeks ago where I no longer knew what to
think. You had allowed our name to be allied with the worst elements of
the Christian Right. In order to contain a potential “PR flap” you
allowed our sponsorship of Proposition 8 to stand. Despite all the
church’s words about promoting freedom and human rights, its name is
now in the public record alongside those who promote bigotry and
intolerance, homophobia and fear.
The fact that the Mormon Church drew all the fire, that no one noticed,
doesn’t matter. I noticed. And I felt sick. I wondered how the church
could, in good conscience, through the action of a few and then the
inaction of its leadership, support a bill that strips a group of its
This was my state of mind when I was online doing research and chanced
upon an interview clip with you on CNN. The interview lasted maybe ten
minutes – it was just you and the newscaster. And in it I saw you deny
the church’s policy of disconnection. You said straight-out there was no
such policy, that it did not exist.
I was shocked. We all know this policy exists. I didn’t have to search
for verification – I didn’t have to look any further than my own home.
Flickr / gdcgraphics
Haggis out: The Church of Scientology is down one celebrity advocate after Paul Haggis’ departure last weekend.