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'Crash' Director Paul Haggis Quits Scientology

Paul Haggis, who is best known for writing and directing 'Crash', has cut ties with the Church of Scientology.

Haggis says he decided to leave the religion due to 'gay-bashing' and the organization's stance against gay marriage.

"As you know, for ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego," the 56-year-old writes in a letter addressed to Tommy Davis, the head of Scientology's Celebrity Centre."

"Their public sponsorship of Proposition 8, a hate-filled legislation that succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California – rights that were granted them by the Supreme Court of our state – shames us."

"I called and wrote and implored you, as the official spokesman of the church, to condemn their actions. I told you I could not, in good conscience, be a member of an organization where gay-bashing was tolerated."

"In that first conversation, back at the end of October of last year, you told me you were horrified, that you would get to the bottom of it and 'heads would roll'. You promised action. Ten months passed. No action was forthcoming."

"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."

"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."

"The great majority of Scientologists I know are good people who are genuinely interested in improving conditions on this planet and helping others. I have to believe that if they knew what I now know, they too would be horrified. And so, after writing this letter, I am fully aware that some of my friends may choose to no longer associate with me, or in some cases work with me."

"I will always take their calls, as I always took yours. However, I have finally come to the conclusion that I can no longer be a part of this group."

"Frankly, I had to look no further than your refusal to denounce the church's anti-gay stance, and the indefensible actions, and inactions, of those who condone this behavior within the organization. I am only ashamed that I waited this many months to act. I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology."

In 2006, Haggis became the first person to have written Best Picture Oscar-winners in two consecutive years with 'Million Dollar Baby' and 'Crash'.

October 27, 2009 |

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