Paul Haggis is a big player in Hollywood: He’s the Oscar-winning writer/director of Crash and penned scripts for films like Flags of Iwo Jima, Million Dollar Baby and Casino Royale.
He’s also a former disciple of Scientology who left in 2009 because of its teaching on homosexuality. But now, more than two years later, he says the church is still out to get him.
When the Church of Scientology was cited on a list of Prop 8 supporters, Haggis, who has two lesbian daughters, asked Scientology spokesman Thomas Davis to speak up.
Davis refused, to which Haggis replied “Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent,” and publicly renounced his membership in the controversial group after more than three decades. He’s since attacked the church’s homophobia, its alleged blackmailing of celebrities and it policy of enforcing”disconnection,” the separation of members from family and other non-church outsiders.
“I was in a cult for thirty-four years,” Haggis said. “Everyone else could see it. I don’t know why I couldn’t.”
Fast forward to last year, when, in a lengthy New Yorker profile, Haggis said he thought the church would try to discredit him by finding some dirty little secret to feed to the tabloids : “My bet is that, within two years, you’re going to read something about me in a scandal that looks like it has nothing to do with the church.”
This week Haggis told the New York Post‘s Page Six the church hasn’t let up. “There are private eyes going through my trash. But only the paper is missing. Well, only paper I write on.”
Haggis, currently working on relief efforts in Haiti, doesn’t expect the church to let up any times soon: “They’re in it for the long haul,” he tells Page Six. But he’s grateful for the many former Scientologists who have have come forward and thanked him for speaking out.
“I’ve had people who were in Sea Org [the church’s equivalent of a religious order] and major donors say, ‘Thank you,’ ” Haggis told us. “Or, ‘I was a member of the church till they found out I was gay.’ ” Haggis reportedly resigned from the church, in part, for its stance on gay rights.
A Scientology media rep called the claim about the trash, “ridiculous.”
If the Church of Scientology is going to start rooting through our trash for reporting this, that’s fine with us. Just take it out first, please.