It emerged this week that Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning filmmaker responsible for “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash”, quit the Church of Scientology in August after being a follower for 35 years.
And he didn’t go quietly. In a letter explaining his departure, Haggis accuses the pseudo-religious organisation of being anti-gay, lying and tearing families apart.
Scientology depends heavily on its celebrity adherents to bring in new sheep for the fleecing; Tom Cruise and John Travolta are the most famous examples, and are reportedly inordinately coddled.
Those who cross it, however, tend to find that Scientology has teeth. In previous decades, that included trying to convince perceived enemies to commit suicide. More recently former Scientologists that left and spoke out found embarrassing personal details leaked to the press – and that is one of the tactics that left Haggis disgusted with the organisation.
Now there is only one question: how will the turncoat Haggis be approached? The initial reactions from Scientology officials have been mild and the line seems to be that he is misguided and mistaken. We rather hope that gets replaced by something more entertaining.
WATCH: Tom Cruise’s Scientology interview:
WATCH: MSNBC’s Keith Olberman on Scientology