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.
The problem with Scientology is that they USED to be able to intimidate people because it was all in secret, the same way the Mormons could pressure small town kids into staying closeted and marrying by threatening to embarrass their family. Scientology used to be able to lie about their founder healing himself and being a military hero because the news media would never question them, however, now it is easy in a few minutes to find on the internet that he was never severely injured, and many of the medals they claimed he won didn’t exist when he was in the military.
The internet has killed them, they just don’t realize it yet. Scientology’s ham handed 1930’s intimidation techniques can’t work anymore when one post on Facebook would expose them. Even if the news won’t report, all somebody has to do is post about them online and they are exposed.
Again to compare them with the Mormons, it’s the same reason that the growth of the Mormon church started dropping dramatically around 1996. The same time that the internet came into wide spread use and people could search out information easily and realize that there were others out there like them.
christopher di spirito
Scientology, according to founder L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction writer, says 75 million years ago DC-8 like spaceships brought his people to Earth and hid them around volcanoes. They were all killed by hydrogen bombs.
Their scriptures hold that the essences of these alien creatures remain and form the people of day.
They’re loons. Utter and complete loons.
If you want to make money, start a religion – L. Ron Hubbard.
Here is a more extensive article about Mr. Haggis coming to his senses.
Scientology is NOT a religion. It is a get rich quick scheme started by a science fiction writer.
I don’t understand why this is “controversial”. Let’s assume the Church decided to take a clear and definite stance against homophobia. Would that in any way change your opinion on Scientology, or somehow lessen the violent opposition against it?
FYI, there are plenty of people in the Church who are openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual – and you will even find more than a few same-sex couples in the Church who are either married and/or in a committed relationship. The Church has no policy which bars homosexual relationships among its public. Don’t believe me? Ask the Church.
The Church *does* have policy prohibiting non-heterosexual people from working for the Church in its religious order, the Sea Organization. That will be seen as homophobic and discriminatory, but then again, it’s not just Scientology that has this rule, but plenty of religious institutions from Jewish synagogues to Christian churches and Buddhist and Hindu temples and monastic orders.
In case anyone didn’t know, homosexuality is strictly prohibited in traditional Buddhism, and even the Dalai Lama has issued directives condemning homosexuality as an aberration. But apparently the LGBT media at large doesn’t consider this particularly homophobic or controversial.
Homosexuality is criticized as an aberration in a couple of Hubbard’s books from the early 1950s, Dianetics and Science of Survival, but he made clear in a policy letter he wrote in the 1960s that the Church has no business interfering in or dictating the love lives of its parishioners or condemning or criticizing them for their sexuality. What he wrote in Dianetics and Science of Survival (1950 and 1951) were reflective of the culture of the era – you will not find one psychologist or psychiatrist who would have said that homosexuality is normal and acceptable. Psychiatrists were advocating for keeping homosexuals in mental institutions!
The cultural mood of the 1960s didn’t change much, but years before psychiatry decided to abandon its anti-homosexuality crusade, Hubbard spoke out against such abuses and stigmatizing.
Haggis is being particularly disingenuous about his reasons for leaving, considering the Catholic Church which he donates considerably to and the Catholic charities he works with in Haiti is incredibly more homophobic than the Church of Scientology. Scientology doesn’t tell gays and lesbians they will go to hell for eternity or prohibit them from attending courses or receiving services.
Haggis also claims the Church supported Prop 8. Absolutely not true. It was one idiot from the San Diego Church of Scientology who put his name down in support of Prop 8 on behalf of the Church, and when the Church found out what he did, they fired him from staff and made clear that he did what he did as an individual, and not as a representative of the Church. The Church has very clear policy of abstaining from politics – this is made abundantly clear in the Church’s silence on the issue of medical marijuana. The Church is absolutely opposed to marijuana use, even for medical reasons. But they did nothing to stop the legalization of medical marijuana in California, nor did they even speak out against it.
Point is this. There is a lot of homophobia in religion and religious institutions in general. Singling out Scientology as “homophobic” is pretty lame considering that it actually has a very liberal and tolerant policy towards same-sex couples. All anyone has to do is visit the Celebrity Center in Hollywood (which is catered to actors, performers, and artists in general) and you’ll find plenty of gays and lesbians who are out and open about their sexuality.
The Church isn’t perfect, Hubbard wasn’t perfect, but both Hubbard and the Church have been light years ahead of other religions today in their acceptance and tolerance of same-sex relationships.
It still has a long way to go, but you know what? So does society! If anyone here thinks that society at large isn’t homophobic, you’re dreaming! The issue shouldn’t be about attacking peoples’ religions for perceived homophobia, but about educating the society and reducing homophobia at that level. When that happens, the religious institutions will follow society’s lead.
“Singling out Scientology as “homophobic” is pretty lame considering that it actually has a very liberal and tolerant policy towards same-sex couples”
What a bold faced lie! What does it say in Hubbard’s dianteics-the mondern science of mental health?
“The sexual pervert (and by this term dianetics, to be brief,includes any and all forms of deviation in Dynamic II such as homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual sadism, etc. and all down the catalogue of Ellis and Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill physically. Perversion as an illness has so many manifestations that it must be spread through the entire gamut of classes from (1) to (5) above. Over-development of sexual organs, underdevelopment, seminal inhibition or magnification, etc.are found some in one pervert, some in another. And the sum of it is that the pervert is always a very ill person in one way or another, whether he is conscious of it or not. He is very far from culpable for his condition, but he is also so far from normal and so extremely dangerous to society that the tolerance of perversion is as thoroughly bad for society as punishment for it.”
With regards to Buddhism in general and the Dalai Lama specifically, while it is true the Dalai Lama has said that sex between people of the same sex is forbidden, its forbidden in the sense that he considers sex in general only appropriate as penis to vaginal contact and nothing else. No oral, masterbation, frotage, anal etc… even between people of the opposite sex. He has always said, and continues to say that all people regardless of sexual orientation, are entitled to all human rights afforded to others.
Buddhism in general teaches that all sexual conduct (regardless of the sex of the partner) is an inhibitor to enlightenment, but doesn’t single out sex between people of the same sex as being ‘wrong’ or ‘forbidden’.
I’ll agree that Scientology’s attitude towards gays isn’t very newsworthy. It’s the outrageous lies, scams and abuses that go on within the “church” of Scientology that’s getting most of the media attention these days. What kind of church hires private investigators to harass its critics? What kind of church pressures its members to buy courses and make donations far beyond their means? What kind of church pretends to be scientifically valid and sells high-priced electronic lie-detectors as part of its “faith”?
Scientology was a scam from day one, and the internet has served as the tool to expose its lies and defeat its bullying influence.
@The Scientologist: said…
“Don’t believe me? Ask the Church.”
Why would we do that when the church was already caught lying about L.Ron Hubbards injuries while he was in the military so they could pretend he healed himself using techniques?
Why would we “Ask the Church” when the church was caught lying about the supposed heroic medals that L.Ron Hubbard received while he was in the military, many of which did not exist during the time he was in the military.
Additionally Scientology has been accused of violating campaign laws in the past for the effort it brought to bear against Prop 63 in CA. http://www.rickross.com/reference/scientology/history/history249.html
The church has lied about every single thing having to do with hit’s functioning. Why would anybody “Ask the Church” anything? It’s like a thief saying “I didn’t steal any money….just ask me!”
Why would we listen to anything that is said by somebody so mentally weak and ill that they have joined a cult?
@The Scientologist: The simple question for you then – is why didn’t Thomas Davis say what you’ve said to Haggis when he enquired? Clearly this would have resolved the issue for him and he may have remained with the church.
I had enough green to cover my lavender. Nevertheless in the nearly twenty years that I was a public Scientologist I was never able to move past my homosexuality. It was never an issue for me but always for them. It was the major focus of my case. They gladly took my cash to keep me on lines but I was never allowed to forget that my “condition” made me PTS… a potential trouble source. LRH referred to my kind as “one one” on the emotional tone scale, pretty damn low, look it up. Anyone who says that corporate Scientology is tolerant of us is a damned liar. COB is apparently the worst offender in this regard. Ironic given his schoolgirl infatuation with Tom Cruise.
As for them rooting through people’s trash, it’s SOP for OSA goons. What’s laughable is that they continue to do it despite page after relentless page of increasingly negative press. Boris and Natasha were masters of espionage compared to $cilons.
Isn’t the director of Crash a scientologist, or he certainly was one for decades.
Did you read the article?
@The Scientologist: Actually, you are incorrect about the teachings of Buddhism and homosexuality. Yes, the Buddhists in some countries interpreted the teachings to be against homosexuality (those who have interpreted Pandakas to mean gays, instead of prostitutes like it may actually have meant.) The Buddhists of Japan, the Buddhists of Thailand, and Buddhists of China all hold different believes about what the texts say.
The Dalai Lama himself says that the Traditional Tibetan Buddhist law does assert that homosexual acts are “inappropriate”, he later clarified that “”If someone comes to me and asks whether homosexuality is okay or not, I will ask ‘What is your companion’s opinion?’ If you both agree, then I think I would say ‘if two males or two females voluntarily agree to have mutual satisfaction without further implication of harming others, then it is okay'”
He also suggests that he has trouble interpreting this correctly, and that it may require a gathering of the elders of all Buddhist traditions, and adds that the traditions of Women in the in monastic rituals should be reviewed as well.
With his own interpretation, the Dalai Lama says that while he himself is unsure if being homosexual is not following ALL Buddhist principles, he asserts that no living person follows all of the principles, from telling a lie to killing an insect.
In Buddhism, as of 1990, “sexual misconduct” officially became an individual decision, not one made by a central authority.
I almost forgot, as an example of the differences among the varying varieties of Buddhism, here is a quote from Hsing Yun from Chinese Buddhism…
“…We can find the same core point in this question as we have in others—the ultimate truth of the matter is that individuals can and should decide for themselves what is right. As long as they are not violating others or breaking the laws of the society in which they are living, then they are free to do what they believe is right. It is not for me or anyone else to tell them that they must get married if they want to live together. That is their choice and their choice alone.
The same analysis can be applied to homosexuality. People often ask me what I think about homosexuality. They wonder, is it right, is it wrong? The answer is, it is neither right nor wrong. It is just something that people do. If people are not harming each other, their private lives are their own business; we should be tolerant of them and not reject them.
However, it will still take some time for the world to fully accept homosexuality. All of us must learn to tolerate the behavior of others. Just as we hope to expand our minds to include all of the universe, so we should also seek to expand our minds to include all of the many forms of human behavior.
Tolerance is a form of generosity and it is a form of wisdom. There is nothing anywhere in the Dharma that should ever lead anyone to become intolerant. Our goal as Buddhists is to learn to accept all kinds of people and to help all kinds of people discover the wisdom of the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.
—Hsing Yun, Buddhism Pure and Simple, pp. 137–138
@The Scientologist: Does this mean Tom Cruise is coming out?
@The Scientologist: Oh lord, don’t get me started on Scientology – or what they did to my brother. This is another subject that I need to just type out my story, so it can be cut and pasted later. I’ll try to be brief.
1. My brother was “on staff” at the local “Org”.
2. The Church spends SO much money catering to celebrities (called “opinion changers” or something to that effect. Basically, their ‘membership’ and ‘devotion’ will influence society to take them seriously). These celebrities are given beach houses, etc to maintain a public association with the “Church”, whether or not they actually believe in it.
3. In order to have the $ to give these gifts to celebrities, people who work at the local “Churches” are paid “what’s leftover after expenses”. I once saw my Brother receive a $0.26 paycheck for 2 weeks of working 10+ hour days.
4. My Brother also received free “courses” because he signed a contract saying that he would work there for 2 YEARS.
5. My Brother got his girlfriend pregnant, at the age of 17.
6. My Brother was offered a job by our Father, that would pay him enough to support him, her & their child.
7. The “Church” told him that he couldn’t take the job, because he would “owe” them for the courses he had already taken if he didn’t finish his “contract”. If he took the job, he would be “declared” (the Scientology equivalent of excommunicated). He is also told that everything he & his girlfriend told their “auditors” would be divulged to all the other “Church” members (“auditing” is basically the Scientology equivalent of Catholic confession).
So, he keeps working there. Time goes by, his girlfriend moves into my parents’ house & all is well. Until his girlfriend goes into an “auditing” session and proceeds to tell the “auditor” that my other brother is growing pot in the house. The “auditor” tells her that they are going to call the police & that she (and my brother) have to move out of the house immediately – despite the fact that they had NO money, NO place to go, and my brother is still contractually making anywhere from $0.26 – $50 / paycheck. They are also that they can never talk to the rest of our family again. This is over 2 small pot plants in a basement closet, btw (in a 7,000+ sq. ft. house, with their bedroom being on the top floor).
So, broke, they go get an apartment with money from the very people the “Church” doesn’t want them to associate with. Eventually, not having any other choice, my Brother pledges to make up the time on his “contract”. It’s been 18 years and he is STILL working there in his spare time to make up these hours. Seems to me that it should matter that he was working their full time when he took the courses. Infuriating. The value that he’s been enslaved for? Approximately $6,000.
There’s SO much more. This is just what I wanted to spew out at the moment. In retrospect, the bullet points weren’t necessary. In any case, I need to get back to other stuff.
@Allen D.: Hi Allen D. that’s a sad but all too common story coming from this cult. Freeloader debt is unenforceable. Look it up. Tell him to blow. They will harass him, but he can just walk away. If he needs help there are excellent resources. Have him contact Tory Magoo Christman, she’s a long time insider who blew about ten years ago. She can help your brother. Tory has a YouTube channel, Torymagoo44 and her own web site, http://www.torymagoo.org. She’s a neat lady and if anyone can help your brother she can.
@Allen D.: You’re lucky they didn’t send him to the Rehabilitation Project Force, that would have been much worse. RPF is Scientology’s private gulag/forced labor camp network. Sea Org members who are sent there are expected to work 12+ hour day of grueling manual labor, are prohibited from leaving the camp for any reason or seeing their family without authorization of the RPF Bosun, eat whatever is left after the rest of staff finish their meals, are not allowed any recreational objects like a TV or radio or any “luxury”, and have their (already tiny) pay reduced by 75%. If he was a Sea Org member, he probably would have been sent to one of the camps. Those beach houses you mentioned were probably built with RPF slave labor.
Source: FLAG Order 3434RB, 7 January 1974, revised 30 May 1977, “THE REHABILITATION PROJECT FORCE”.
@Tone: Unless he completely vanishes and assumes a new identity, they will find him. I caught OSA goons digging through my trash once, and they sent a letter to my employer providing fake “evidence” that I was a domestic terrorist. I was also stalked by Anita from Div6 (Division 6C) after I turned up at a CCHR event.
I generally don’t care much for Hollywood celebs, but Paul Haggis has earned my respect.
Who would have thought there were any authentic people left in Hollywood?
It was quite entertaining to read the post by “The Scientologist”. It’s interesting how this mafia-like crime syndicate masquerading as a religion insults people’s intelligence. Anyone who joins $cientology today, reminds me of those sick people who start writing letters to serial killers on death row.
Oh goodie, now if there was one place on planet earth where homophobia is a career limiting move, it would be Hollywood, so Scientology’s Hollywood obsession is actually coming back to bite them.
2012 prediction: Tom Cruise and John Travolta defects from the “church”, comes out of the closet, appears on the cover of Advocate Magazine, and lives happily ever after.
@Riker: Times are changing. The cult doesn’t have the anonymity it once enjoyed. Sure they’ll go guns a blazing at guys like Marty Rathbun, but very few people know as much as he does.
Moreover we don’t know if this guy was SO or not. Most rank and file org staff are not SO. They’re either doing co-auditing, or working their way up the bridge by providing services to public in exchange for x intensives per year, and piling up so-called freeloader debt. I still say his best course is to blow.
@Tone: I was under the impression that freeloader debt was something that only Sea Org members had, because of the significant discounts on materials and courses, so I assumed that his brother was Sea Org.
He is correct to be afraid of them using things they found out during auditing against him. I’ve got copies of a few Ethics Orders (documents from their ecclesiastical court) convicting scientologists based on evidence contained in sec checks, and even seen some of it published outright. (Source: WISE INT ETHICS ORDER #80, 27 January 1995)
@Riker: You’re right. I stand corrected. I was public. I never was privy to the inner workings of SO or staff. I have learned a fair bit over the years since I quit the cult, but they’re such a jargon rich group it’s easy to get confused. Write a KR on me 🙂
@Riker: Having said that, freedom comes from telling them to go fuck themselves and to that end I stand by my words, fear of what’s in his PC file or not.
Actually I’ve heard that they are being investigated for practices akin to slave labor.
@Tone: Fortunately for you I was never one of them outside of a brief infiltration.Which is where I got many of my materials, including the complete Red books, the Blue Volumes, and part of the Green Books. I also got lots of material, like Freewinds schematics and outdated KEY tapes removed from circulation decades ago, and even most of the material that is to become OT IX once enough pegs are Ideal, from an estate sale of a deceased high ranking scientologist. I have., however, helped a few people blow, and it isn’t easy.
@Tone: Also, you do know OSA is already in this thread, right? Probably a fairly new goin, judging by the syntax. Choose what you say carefully. I have, to ensure they’ll be downstat.
“Choose what you say carefully.”
The days where people have to be careful what they say about that crime syndicate is long gone. Their days are numbered.
I thought the Biblical cults were bad, but $cientology took it to a whole new level. If they have it their way, we’d be in Nazi Germany all over again.
The terminology they use is just as creepy as their methods. The full horror of the middle manager mentality: the worship of statistics and jargon, and of course money; writ large – they’re like the demonic love-child of the worst cults and the cold inhumanity of the corporate mindset. Or something…
Short man syndrome can wreak havoc in the world. We had Napoleon, Hitler, Kim Jong-il, and now we have the Cruise/MissCabbage duo…
@Pete: Yes, i’m not afraid of what they can do to me. However, I love the idea of them spending weeks figuring out which org it was I got into, how I got the future OT IX material (mostly stuff about exteriorization which was removed from the loer OT levels during the first revamp) and other documents, who the dead scientologist was, who I helped to blow, and how I identified them so quickly.
It should be enough to keep the OSA goon downstat for a few weeks, at least.
I also heard that they have lied significantly about their membership, that it is minuscule compared to what they claim, that it may be as low as just a few thousand.
@The Scientologist: Classic scientologist misdirection.
We all know about your “fair game” policy, where you try to smear your attackers, rather than answering criticisms. Just because other religions are homophoboiic, it means nothing – two wrongs don’t make a right. The dalai lama won’t be rooting through your trash to attack your character if you cease to be a buddhist, nor will the catholic church be sending private investigators round to try to dig up dirt on you. The scientology leadership are pure scum, and one day I hope that they’ll be tried for crimes against humanity, as they deserve.
Scientology is an elist cult.
Yep, and declining…
Comments are closed.