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Paul Haggis Prepping Tell-All Exposé About His Years In Scientology

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 6, 2011 5:00 AM
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Gives Up Dream To Ever Work With Tom Cruise

After 35 years as a devoted follower to wacky fake religion/cult Scientology, director Paul Haggis left in a blaze of glory in 2009. Following the group's inaction after a San Diego branch supported Prop 8, Haggis penned an angry screed that ended up online, denouncing the group for their empty promises in dealing with the situation. And it looks like Haggis isn't quite done taking down his former faith just yet.

The director has teamed with New Yorker staff writer and author Lawrence Wright for what promises to be the juiciest memoir since Keith Richards' "Life." Titled "The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs.The Church of Scientology," the book promises to explore the real deal behind founder L. Ron Hubbard, dig into the more controversial aspects of the group's operations and investigate the shady dealings of current church head David Miscavige (for a bit of taste what is likely in store, check out The St. Petersburg Times' insanely in-depth and fascinating profile of Scientology published last year).

Of course, The Church Of Scientology, probably isn't going to take this one sitting down. The group is known is for relentlessly (and sometimes ruthlessly) going after dissenters and opponents and we're sure they will fight tooth and nail against the forthcoming book. No word yet on when it might hit shelves, but it was recently repped at the Frankfurt Book Fair by Wright's agent so we presume it's well on its way. Here's the synopsis:

The Academy Award winning writer and director, Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby, Crash), spent three decades in the Church of Scientology. Haggis was one of the church's Hollywood trophies, along with Tom Cruise and John Travolta, whose paths cross with Haggis's. His resignation from the church in August of 2009 was a crushing disappointment to the organization. This is the first time Haggis has spoken about his experience.

The roots of Scientology are explored in this book, particularly the life of its eccentric founder, L. Ron Hubbard, whose flashes of brilliance and insanity are woven into the fabric of this elaborate belief system. Through Haggis's eyes, we discover the appeal of Scientology, especially to talented and ambitious members of the entertainment industry. Haggis conducted a personal investigation of the church, in which he was told about the wanton physical abuse on the part of its current leader, David Miscavige, of senior members of the organization. He was told that young volunteers in the Scientology clergy, called the Sea Org, are subjected to conditions approaching slavery or imprisonment, and that many female members have been forced to have abortions.

The most profound reckoning to date with this powerful and secretive organization, The Heretic of Hollywood is also a moving human story of the lure of extreme faith and the price of leaving it.

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  • nicaw | January 7, 2011 6:18 AMReply

    What's good about this book is it comes from one person's experience. For that, I don't think CoS should try to stop it. But I've learned that when you try to stop something it's because there is some level of truth to it.

  • wray | January 7, 2011 2:11 AMReply

    All religions, I repeat ALL RELIGIONS, are FUCKING weird and crazy! Every one of them is nuts in their own way. Of course unless you belong to that group then i'm sure it's totally normal, acceptable and makes perfect sense.

  • JB Early | January 7, 2011 2:07 AMReply

    So, that explains Haggis's hacked out string of cliché sketches titled CRASH(ing Bore). But kudos, took 35 years, but he saw the light...

  • Luke | January 7, 2011 12:09 AMReply

    Who 'resigns' from a faith? Scientology needs to be eradicated.

  • JohnnyCakes | January 6, 2011 10:37 AMReply

    "'Like christianity is any better"'
    It is. In every way."

    Totally agree. Except the word every could us an underline.

  • Damien | January 6, 2011 8:12 AMReply

    Scientology is whacked out.

    Years ago I applied for a clerical position in CoS, I was told it was just simply a clerical position I could arrange my hours to suit my schedule.

    Two days later I got a call on Saturday to fill out some paperwork I told them i was slightly sick that day (starters of a minor cold) she said it would only take 5 min. I came in 5 min turned to an hour then they sat me down to work after telling me I should really be there 6 days a week and could stay after for seminars, & Sundays for special meetings.

    They only really wanted me to spend time with church people and so on. Sounds like the starting plan to a brainwashing I dunno about you.

  • A Baby Named Jesus | January 6, 2011 7:47 AMReply

    Why is it everytime we hear something like this about Scientology the Scientologist's defense is never to say: these things didn't happen. Instead their defense always seems to be: we're just as bad as everyone else.

  • mpejko | January 6, 2011 6:40 AMReply

    "Like christianity is any better".

    It is. In every way.

  • steve | January 6, 2011 6:33 AMReply

    hehe 'wacky fake religion/cult'... like christianity is any better. haggis is nothing more than some self-entitled whiny twit, throwing a tantrum... cant see why anyone should care about this.

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