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23 July 2017 14:32 (South Africa)
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Second-tier celeb quits Church of Xenu, but will Scientology fight back?

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

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PaulHaggis07TIFF

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.

Read more: AFP, E! Online

WATCH: Tom Cruise's Scientology interview:

WATCH: MSNBC's Keith Olberman on Scientology

  • Branko Brkic
    branko3048 a ray
    Branko Brkic

    Brkic is the founder and editor of The Daily Maverick.

    He has edited magazines on business and politics, technology, and wildlife. He has also published fiction and non-fiction books, most of them in Serbian. Though he has never pretended to be a reporter, his wide knowledge of politics (especially in America), combined with his experiences in a disintegrating Yugoslavia, gives him an unusual outlook on events in South Africa.

    Despite the vowel-poor surname, he tells anyone who asks that he hails from Hyde Park, Johannesburg, having spent most of his adult life in South Africa.

    Recent columns:

  • Media

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