Director Haggis Quits Scientology Over Prop 8

Crash auteur shames church with letter denouncing gay marriage stance
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2009 8:00 AM CDT
Paul Haggis and his wife Deborah Rennard arrive for the screening of the movie " In the Valley of Elah" at the 33rd American Film Festival in Deauville, Normandy, France, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007.   (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
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(Newser) – Oscar-winning writer-director Paul Haggis dealt a stunning blow to Scientology when his recent resignation letter went public. Haggis, writer of Crash and Million Dollar Baby, left Scientology after 35 years thanks to the church’s backing of California’s Proposition 8, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Haggis was also angered by a church spokesperson lying about Scientology’s “disconnection” policy. From the letter:

  • "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 saw you deny the church’s policy of disconnection. 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. To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else are you lying about?"
  • "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."
(Read more Paul Haggis stories.)