Chatter: Paul Haggis
By Noah Michelson
"I joined the Church of Scientology thirty-five years ago. During my
twenties and early thirties I studied and received a great deal of
counseling. While I have not been an active member for many years, I
found much of what I learned to be very helpful, and I still apply it
in my daily life. I have never pretended to be the best Scientologist,
but I openly and vigorously defended the church whenever it was
criticized, as I railed against the kind of intolerance that I believed
was directed against it. I had my disagreements, but I dealt with them
internally. I saw the organization -- with all its warts, growing pains
and problems -- as an underdog. And I have always had a thing for
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 church's refusal to denounce the actions of these bigots,
hypocrites and homophobes is cowardly. I can think of no other word.
Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent."
-- Paul Haggis's public resignation letter from the Church of Scientology, which the Oscar–award winning director sent to Tommy Davis, head of the Church's Celebrity Centre International, recently leaked. Haggis is defecting from Scientology after nearly 35 years due to his anger over the group's anti-gay rights stance.