Chatter: Paul Haggis
October 26 2009 8:48 AM EST
January 13 2017 6:09 AM EST
"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 underdogs.
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.