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Oscar Winner Paul Haggis On Scientology: "I Was In A Cult For 34 Years!"

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paul haggis opens up about scientology

Uh oh! We hope he doesn't get hassled by Tom Cruise for speaking up about this!

For the first time ever, Crash/The Next Three Days director Paul Haggis has opened up to The New Yorker about his experiences with Scientology.

Here's what he had to say about it:

"I was in a cult for 34 years. Everyone else could see it. I don't know why I couldn't."

"There was a feeling of camaraderie that was something I'd never experienced; all these atheists looking for something to believe in, and all these loners looking for a club to join."

According to Haggis, he bailed on the church when they "declined to publicly denounce Proposition 8."

Good for U, Paul! We're VERY happy to hear that!

As one could imagine, The Church of Scientology did not appreciate The New Yorker's article, and they wrote a lengthy rebuttal statement, which you can check out, along with MUCH more from Haggis about Scientology, HERE.

[Image via WENN.]

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28 comments to “Oscar Winner Paul Haggis On Scientology: "I Was In A Cult For 34 Years!"”

  1. 1

    I just read the article, it was very good. More and more information comes out abut this cult the better. I hope the FBI secures all kind of dirt on them to shut them down.

  2. 2

    It was a great article. Finally the truth comes out about the Cult of Scientology.

    Tom Cruise has some explaining to do.

    By the way, the Cult of scientology were the perpetrators of the largest espionage act against the US. ever. 11 of them were imprisoned including Hubbard's own wife. Hubbard was an un indited co conspirator, who spent his final years running from the authorities.

  3. 3

    Atheists looking for something to believe in??? WTF is he talking about? Most $cientologists start out Christians. And many of them still claim you can be both.

  4. 4

    Tremendous support for Paul and for anyone with enough inner strength to escape from the brainwashing, lies and human rights violations that make up Scientology. There is so much irrefutable proof against them, yet they continue to deny, deny, deny. It is an ugly thing, and those in charge are ugly people.

    Scientology is a disease.

  5. 5

    This is old news. There is no investigation (The FBI has not acknowledges the so-called investigation) and those charges were thrown out in court. Just an angry former scientologist seeking publicity.

  6. 6

    Good for him.

  7. 7

    This article is another thinly veiled tabloid piece repeating old and new rumors from people with an axe to grind with the Church of Scientology. The New Yorker author Lawrence Wright could not come up with a single line that has not been discarded as the work of fanatic anti-religionists a long time ago. This piece actually sheds a new light on him as a researcher and writer. How much does his obvious hate against religion taint his judgment? This piece has been written by someone with a deep-set hatred against religion and spirituality. Just like the Hollywood dude Haggis, who openly confesses that he makes a living putting his personal life traumata in movie scripts, Lawrence Wright lives his anti-religious hatred in writing one-track minded articles and books. The New Yorker, putting on tabloid colors for a moment, has allowed him to air his therapy sessions and that is their choice but one really has to ask: I don't really want to waste my time reading something like this.

  8. 8

    Interesting. I never really liked Haggis’ work and was surprised to hear he was a Scientologist. He never particularly promoted being a Scientologist until he left. I don’t believe he is being straight (oops, maybe that’s the wrong word to use in this case) about his resigning because the Church didn’t come out against Prop 8. It’s far-fetched and pathetic for him to claim that, as far as I’m concerned. I am not at all convinced. I can’t believe Wright bought it, frankly.

  9. 9

    Nice Perez…you're resorting to your old destructive ways again. I respect Haggis' decision to leave his religion after such a long period of time…it not an uncommon dilemma that many people face. However, I dont respect the level of fabrication that Wrights article is authored with. It's A. Mostly existing and unproven claims and B. Whatever is 'new' are blatant lies. Such bullshit.

  10. 10


  11. 11

    Whether or not it was true, Scientologists shouldn't feel the need to respond to everything little thing that is said about the so called church. People are smart enough to make up their mind if its true or not.

  12. 12


  13. 13

    He is such a douche with that douchey movie of his that won the Oscar for best picture.

    You know what? It was the Scots, not him, that first invented the dish haggis!

  14. 14

    Readers should take note that as a requirement of their "religion", Scientologists must oppose, attack, and otherwise slander anyone who is critical of Scientology. Therefore, I find it very difficult to trust the words of some of the folks here (noteably, DS and LL) who so quickly took the low road. The reasonable people of the world recognize that Scientology is utter nonsense - therefore, methinks thou dost protest too much.

  15. 15

    He is Canadian, so I am surprised he fell for it the first time.

  16. 16

    Re: MarioMonjack – Not that Scientology should be misconstrued as an actual church, but let's for a second assume it so.

    I would trust the open homosexual 100% over the church. Anyone who is true to him/herself and refuses to hide in the shadows garners much more respect than an institution built on secrecy, hierarchy, and punishment.

  17. 17

    Re: David Stroff

    shut the fuck up you clam. we can smell you from a mile away. destroy and bomb flag land base now, all hail XENU…

  18. 18

    Re: MarioMonjack

    an open homosexual. you can shut the fuck up now clam.

  19. 19

    Re: MarioMonjack – Homosexual> bat shit crazy cult.

  20. 20

    That's a powerful statement. Good for him. I hope the Scientology creeps don't retaliate. Although, I wouldn't be surprised if they do. Such a nasty bunch of freaks. The whole cult is built on lies.

  21. 21

    i hope the spaceships don't come down and snatch him up

  22. 22

    Re: MarioMonjack – Hes not even and actor idiot.

  23. 23

    To the Scientologist who are whining that he's just doing this for publicity. How can u explain why people are disappearing from your church?(ur leader's wife for example) Those child labors your church put those kids to- deny it all u want but FBI is on your churchs ass. Don't forget about enslavement when members make mistake..and on and on Really have ur mind and investigate…

  24. Tasos says – reply to this


    My concern is creating another witch hunt atmosphere long after and outside of Salem, MA. Sure, Scientologists may be cultists to some, and religious faithful to others. Sure, their beliefs may be 'whacked' in our views, BUT folks, unless they break laws and are convicted by our Courts (versus the Court of public opinion), they have as much right to exist, gather and worship, as any of us has with our own brethren of our own respective faiths.

    Please let us not forget why our forefathers risked their lives and limbs to come to settle in America, and how many perished so they and we may live free. They took terrible risks and withstood horrible hardships for religious freedom, for the right to worship the God they loved, and the right to openly express their faith in God. Please let us not allow our suspicions or biases blur our memories of our forefather's sacrifices, nor our appreciation of what makes this nation the greatest among others, or allow exercise of the same intolerance that our fore-bearers fled.

    (It may be better to keep articles like this out of the celebrity news section, Perez, since it is not topical of entertainment and it is so somber.)

  25. 25

    Typical scientology response that he's looking for publicity. Interesting they sound like broken records as more and more aobut their so called religion comes out.
    You gotta know they are all crazy you need look no further than Lisa Marie and Priscilla Presley and Tom Cruise to know they are mental cases.

  26. 26

    I"m an atheist and I certainly don't need scientology!

  27. 27

    This is a bizarre "religion". I would never join a religion (cult) that would ever forbid me from communicating with my family. My family and I do not see eye to eye on many issues, but its in the form of a healthy debate- not rejecting them from my life! People that DO fall for that, are also weak minded and easily controlled. Also, from what I have read (which may or may not be true) Scientologists like Tom Cruise, and Will Smith have some new age ways of raising their children to be like "mini adults". Thats ridiculous to put a four year old in heels! Scientology is such a secretive, creepy religion that doesn't make sense. As they said themselves, scientology is a first generation religion…so lets see how Suri Cruise and Willow Smith turn out in the next decade. Move over, Lindsay Lohan…

  28. 28

    Having just finished reading the article I found it well written. The author tried to contact Scientology followers to get their side of the story with little success, The few that would meet with him only would with Lawyers at their side. He was able to get a few records that the church had and none of it mashed up with the Dept of Defense's record. There was another interesting piece about the article in NPR as well.

    The first thing a cult does as part of the definition is to cut contact from ones family and get money. A real church doesn't make you always pay for services. Your allowed to go out and get a bible for FREE, go into a Dianetics office or center you have to PAY for the book….