Paul Haggis, the director and Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Crash, has left the Church Of Scientology, writing a scathing letter to church spokesperson Tommy Davis explaining his departure. Among his reasons were the church’s support of Proposition 8 and their refusal to acknowledge the practice of “disconnection,” requiring followers to shun family members who offend the church. Showbiz 411 has posted Haggis’ letter online:
[Church Of Scientology of San Diego's] 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…you had allowed our name to be allied with the worst elements of
the Christian Right. In order to contain a potential “PR flap” you allowed our sponsorship of Proposition 8 to stand. Despite all the church’s words about promoting freedom and human rights, its name is now in the public record alongside those who promote bigotry and intolerance, homophobia and fear.
…I [also] saw you deny the church’s policy of disconnection on CNN. You said straight-out there was no such policy, that it did not exist. I was shocked. We all know this policy exists. I didn’t have to search for verification – I didn’t have to look any further than my own home. You might recall that my wife was ordered to disconnect from her parents because of something absolutely trivial they supposedly did twenty-five years ago when they resigned from the church…For a year and a half, despite her protestations, my wife did not speak to her parents and they had limited access to their grandchild. It was a terrible time. That’s not ancient history, Tommy. It was a year ago.
…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.
Haggis, reportedly surprised by the letter’s leak, has declined to comment on the matter.