“Crash” Filmmaker Quits Scientology For “Intolerance, Homophobia and Fear”

Jim Burroway

October 26th, 2009

paul_haggisAcademy Award winning filmmaker Paul Haggis announced late Friday his resignation from the Church of Scientology over the church’s support for Proposition 8, which Haggis called “a hate-filled legislation that succeeded in taking away the civil rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California.”

Haggis, who won Best Film Oscars for Million Dollar Baby (2004) and Crash (2005, where he also won for Best Original Screenplay), released his letter of resignation to the web site Scientology Cult, had been a member of the church for thirty-five years. In a letter addressed to Scientology media spokesperson Tommy Davis, Haggis also denounced the church’s leadership for lying about their policy of disconnection (in which the church demands members to “disconnect” from friends and family members who are critical of the church) and their practice of publicly revealing highly personal and embarrassing details of former members who go public with their criticisms. Haggis begins his letter recounting his outrage over the church’s stance on Proposition 8:

As you know, for ten months now I have been writing to ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church of Scientology of San Diego. 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 called and wrote and implored you, as the official spokesman of the church, to condemn their actions. I told you I could not, in good conscience, be a member of an organization where gay-bashing was tolerated.

In that first conversation, back at the end of October of last year, you told me you were horrified, that you would get to the bottom of it and “heads would roll.” You promised action. Ten months passed. No action was forthcoming. The best you offered was a weak and carefully worded press release, which praised the church\’s human rights record and took no responsibility. Even that, you decided not to publish.

The church\’s refusal to denounce the actions of these bigots, hypocrites and homophobes is cowardly. I can think of no other word.  Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.

…I reached a point several weeks ago where I no longer knew what to think. 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.

Ironically, the Church of Scientology of San Diego is listed as a member of Hate Free San Deigo.

Meanwhile, Tommy Davis’ appearance on ABC’s Nightline didn’t go well. He stormed out of the interview after being asked about the galactic emperor Xenu. His interview begins at the 3:41 mark:

[Hat tips: Queerty, Towleroad, and Daniel Gonzales]

Lindoro Almaviva

October 26th, 2009

Wow! it was like watching Kathleen Battle all over again.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

so that was the church of Scientology of San Diego.

How about the orgs in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Sacramento? How about the Celebrity Centre in LA? Did they support Prop 8? Does anybody care?

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Silence is consent Dan, the official representatives of the Church refused to condemn their actions thus they implicitely supported those actions.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

Actually silence that does not mean consent in this case.

The last thing Scientology will do is take public action for all to see. Instead they apply “Scientology Ethics” on the situation and the people involved and will take appropriate actions if and when neccessary.

I am sure Haggis knows that and I’m also sure that he left for other reasons as well. I truly doubt this was the one and only one reason he chose to leave. He was probably ready to leave for quite a while.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Wrong Dan, the church released a statement praising the human rights record of the San Diego branch. That’s taking public action for all to see, that’s praising what they’ve done, that’s consent.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

Again, to the public at large they will only point out the good. The bad is always handled away from public view.

Seeing that as consent is having no first hand experience with how this organization operates.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

You’re being willfully obtuse Dan. They wouldn’t be praising the San Diego group’s human rights record if they had any problem with them supporting prop 8. Obviously the church of scientology is anti-gay, your lonely voice trying to claim otherwise isn’t going to change that.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

If my mom was caught shoplifting and the media came to my door, my response would be “My mom is a wonderful woman, please respect our privacy and I have no further comments.”

It is only your bias (and may I even add hatred which I find curious) that makes you want everybody to see the worst in that organization.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan said “If my mom was caught shoplifting and the media came to my door, my response would be “My mom is a wonderful woman”.

That would be rather dishonest of you, but perfectly in keeping with your claiming scientology isn’t anti-gay even though Hubbard himself said gays are perverts, mentally ill, and should be removed from society.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan said “It is only your bias (and may I even add hatred which I find curious) that makes you want everybody to see the worst in that organization.”.

The record of the organization itself, its bleeding people dry of their money, its kooks like Tom Cruise that expose the worst in that organization. I have nothing to gain from disparaging good organizations, I wouldn’t be criticizing if there weren’t reason to criticize.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan, what you’ve done in your last three posts is stated that Scientology will cover up any wrongdoings with praise and that you yourself follow this policy. Given that you’ll never publicly admit any wrongdoings by your mother or scientology we have no reason to believe you when you claim the organization has done nothing wrong and is all goodness and light.

Dan

October 26th, 2009

Priya,

You’re keeping on repeating the same untruths taken out of context that I addressed in other threads.

You are obviously on a mission here.

Priya Lynn

October 26th, 2009

Dan, you’ve admitted that your policy is to never admit wrongdoing on the part of your family or scientology, you’ll instead only offer praise. What reason do any of us have to believe you when you claim is nothing but a good organization?

What do you think I stand to gain from criticizing scientoloy if they haven’t done anything wrong? What would be my motivation to lie about a benevolent organization?

Dan

October 26th, 2009

Priya, I honestly don’t know if you’re twisting my words out of malice or you simply don’t get it.

Read my response earlier to a hypothetical incident involving my mom. Would you tell the press how horrible your mom is and how angry you are at her? The response I provided is the one to be used to keep third parties out of a personal matter. My relationship with my mom is a personal matter just as a relationship between Scientology organizations is an internal matter.

I also never said that they are nothing but a good organization, but I did say that they do many good things, they do help people and they do not stand in our way.

Our sexuality is a concern for them. They do not bring people and have them work to deny our rights. They do not ask their public celebrities such as Tom Cruise to use their position to fight us. They do not send money to political movements that seek to harm us. They leave us alone and we should not be looking to make enemies.

What the San Diego org did was obviously not repeated by the many other orgs around California and the rest of the country and there is a good reason for that!

Mary McConnell

October 26th, 2009

Good for him and good for others that follow suit. Intolerance and disconection exist in Scientology.
Scientology ruins families,minds and lives.

Dan

October 27th, 2009

I meant to say “Our sexuality is *NOT* a concern for them”

Priya Lynn

October 27th, 2009

Dan, I don’t believe a word you say about scientology – you’ve repeatedly made your dishonesty clear.

Richard Rush

October 27th, 2009

Mary McConnell wrote:

..Intolerance and disconection [sic] exist in Scientology. Scientology ruins families,minds and lives.

That’s correct, of course. It’s just like much, or perhaps most, of Christianity and its various sub-cults. I wouldn’t want to think that Scientology is being singled out because they are an easy target due to being a minority.

Dan

October 27th, 2009

Priya,

I’ve been 100% honest through all of my comments in this and all other threads!

Your attempt to leave users who will simply read the last comments with a negative impression of my characters is pretty disgusting.

Priya Lynn

October 27th, 2009

Dan, you’ve been anything but honest and you’ve admitted that is your policy – you’ll never acknowledge any wrongdoing by scientology, you’ll only offer praise.

On the other thread I presented you the quotes from Hubbard saying gays are perverts, mentally ill, and should be removed from society. This was the second time I’d given you those quotes, yet you exclaimed “I don’t know what his position on gays was!”. That was a lie.

You claimed the church of scientology didn’t have a policy of requiring its members to shun former members, I presented you a link demonstrating that that was exactly what the church requires – you lied again.

You’ve repeatedly claimed the church hasn’t taken a stand against gays, yet you’ve been presented proof that the founder himself was anti-gay and that the church supported prop 8, yet you continue to falsely claim the church hasn’t taken a stand against gays.

Now you laughably claim you’ve been 100% honest – another lie. You’ve made it clear your policy is to never acknowledge wrongdoings scientology or your family may commit, but only to offer praise instead. Nothing you say about scientology can be believed.

Priya Lynn

October 27th, 2009

I should add that you’ve acknowledged that you’ve been making these lenghthy posts of yours while you are at work. You’re being paid to do honest work for your employer, not to pursue your own agenda on company time. That is an act of theft against your employer and once again speaks to your dishonesty.

Timothy Kincaid

October 27th, 2009

This is turning away from the topic of the thread and is becoming a series of ever-more-personal grenades tossed between a couple of commenters.

That is not the purpose of this site.

If either of you have anything as yet unsaid about Paul Haggis or Scientology’s intolerance, homophobia, and fear, please share it. Otherwise, I think it is time for the angry argument over who said what about whom to cease.

Chris McCoy

October 27th, 2009

It doesn’t take very long to Google articles that take Scientology to task for it’s anti-gay belief.

There’s this Wikipedia article

And this report where Scientologists assure the government of Tonga that they can cure homosexuality.

And here, Scientologists in Hemet, CA tried to use protesters HIV+ status to ban them from protesting.

And back in 2008, Scientologists in Toronto specifically told people at the Gay Pride being held at that time, that Scientology could cure them of their homosexuality.

Maajour

October 27th, 2009

Wow. That interview was terrific. The journalist was absolutely great. He held his own and was so respectful. Too bad the Scientology guy had too many scars and wounds. Don’t the Scientologists have a name for that? (Oh,he was cute too. I think I would have had the interview poolside. But that is just me.)

John

October 27th, 2009

What I don’t understand is why the Scientologist viewed the question about Xenu as so offensive. As a spokesman for Scientology, I think he did a horrible job of representing the group. Even if he didn’t want to directly answer the question of whether he believes that Xenu put souls or spirits in volcanos on Earth, he could have at least explained why he (or Scientologists in general) found the question offensive to their religion.

Priya Lynn

October 27th, 2009

A French court has convicted the church of Scientology of fraud after it bilked two former members of $32000 and $75000
on personality tests, vitamin cures, sauna sessions and “purification packs.”. The court didn’t order a ban on the church due to a mixup over a law that passed just before the start of the trial.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/27/AR2009102700524.html

Emily K

October 27th, 2009

Nothing I’ve heard about Scientology has been good. The only remotely “good” things people have presented (members, obviously) are things that could be done outside of Scientology in any new-age healing center. I think the episode of South Park that took the Scientology corporation on got it right. And in a hilarious way.

Burr

October 27th, 2009

The Mormon episode in similar fashion was equally awesome.

Dan

October 27th, 2009

Timothy,

You are right. I’ve been trying to be respectful and if anything I’ve been on the defensive and not the offensive.

I’ll let the users who read all the comments on this and other threads make their own opinions. Obviosuly there is no point arguing with someone who is hell bent of twisting your words and make unsubstantiated personal attacks.

Dan

October 27th, 2009

Priya, just one final thing… You actually managed to make me laugh… I am the employer!

Dan

October 27th, 2009

John,

I don’t think anybody really believe that that spokesman found mentioning of Xenu to be offensive.

I’m actually very surprised that nightline managed to score such an interview! There must have been months of courting before it was agreed to and who know what ground rules were established and what editing took place (ala Colbert interviews). But then again, as seen many times, Scientologists do many things that do not follow protocol, so who knows.

Dan

October 27th, 2009

Chris,

What do you think Wikipedia articles or any Google search would have provided about homosexuality back 100 or 200 years if this technology was available back then?

Aren’t we lucky?

John

October 27th, 2009

Dan,

He insisted he was insulted. He repeatedly said that Nightline was insulting his religion. He stormed off the set, because he felt his religion was insulted. How could someone not come to the conclusion that he felt insulted?

The only way the audience could come to the conclusion that he wasn’t insulted is for the audience to assume that everything the Scientology spokesman said was just lie after lie. I thought you were the defender of Scientology.

Dan

October 28th, 2009

John,

I’m only a “defender of Scientology” where I see them being attack unfairly or in disproportion. As I mentioned before, I have my disagreements as well.

If you choose to believe that he was truly insulted and simply not prepared (i.e prevented by policy) to talk about matters that involve OT levels, then that’s fine. I thought everybody so through it, what can I say.

And the whole storming off thing… It is actually very uncharacteristic of the proper handling of such an event. Knowing what I do know about how they operate, I really wonder what else was there in the interview (both during and prior) that we don’t get to see.

John

October 28th, 2009

Dan,

So you are contending that his statements about being offended was a lie used to end the interview. So the Scientology spokesman is a liar. He was the only one on the show to deny Miscavage’s violence. So, I guess we should all conclude that was a lie too.

I stand by my previous statement. He did a horrible job of defending Scientology. If he is the best they can put forward to make their case, the case is very, very weak indeed. It seems the French have it about right.

Priya Lynn

October 28th, 2009

Its nice to see the users who read all the comments on this and other threads make their own opinions.

Dan

October 28th, 2009

John,

I’ll even say that I’m pretty sure all intelligent people know that being “offended”, “outraged”, etc. are not genuine feelings (except for the really crazy ones).

Israeli (where I came from) politicians tend to be offended a lot by any non-jews that dare suggest that anyone has suffered more than the jews or if the term holocaust is being used in any connotations other than the one relating to the jewish experience during world war II.

Glenn Beck, Hannity, they all get “offended” and “outraged” as it suits them.

Now I don’t have a problem with tying the way the interview was handled with the tactics described above of people I disagree with. However, let’s not pretend and play a chess game if this is to be a genuine exchange.

When some gay people go on TV I sometimes cringe, particularly back in the early 80s on some talk shows, but that’s a different disucssion. Nobody represents everybody is what I’m tring to say.

I’m not trying to convince anybody of anything, particularly not those who already had their opinion made up well before. For some this is only a game to twist my words, make me look an unsavory person and all other types of character assasinations. Whatever.

Priya Lynn

October 28th, 2009

Dan said “I’ll even say that I’m pretty sure all intelligent people know that being “offended”, “outraged”, etc. are not genuine feelings “.

Well, I’ve often been told I’m intelligent and I have no reason to doubt that many times being offended or outraged represents people’s genuine feelings.

Dan

October 28th, 2009

I used these terms in quotations

Priya Lynn

October 28th, 2009

I’m aware of that.

XenuLovesU

October 28th, 2009

Hey Dan,

What do you think of the following quotations from L. Ron Hubbard’s “scripture?”

These are quotes from Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and from Science of Survival.

From DMSMH:

“The sexual pervert (and by this term
Dianetics, to be brief, includes any and all
forms of deviation in dynamic two such as
homosexuality, lesbianism, sexual sadism,
etc., and all down the catalog of Ellis and
Krafft-Ebing) is actually quite ill
physically.”

The Second Dynamic in Scientology has to do with Hubbard’s Dynamics of Existence. Each are “urges” toward survival in life. The 1st Dynamic would be “self,” the second dynamic being the family or sex, including the act of sex itself. In this posting, the 2nd dynamic will only be focused on.

After DMSMH, Hubbard wrote the book Science of Survival, which includes what is called the Hubbard Chart of Human Evaluation. The chart follows Hubbard’s tone scale, and describes various traits that someone would have at each given point on the scale. The following quotes all deal with one at the level of 1.1 Covert Hostility. The “sexual pervert” including homosexuality is charted at the 1.1 band:

Science of Survival, Book One, Chapt. 1:

“At 1.1 on the tone scale we enter the
area of the most vicious reversal of the
second dynamic. Here we have promiscuity,
perversion, sadism, and irregular practices.”

Science of Survival, Book One, Chapt. 8:

“The person may claim to love others and to
have the good of others as his foremost
interest; yet, at the same moment, he works,
unconsciously or otherwise, to injure or
destroy the lives and reputations of people
and also to destroy property.”

Science of Survival, Book One, Chapt. 13:

“The only answers would seem to be the
permanent quarantine of such persons from
society to avoid the contagion of their
insanities and the general turbulence which
they bring to any order, thus forcing it
lower on the scale, or processing such
persons until they have attained a level on
the tone scale which gives them value.”

Science of Survival, Book One, Chapt. 13:

“Such people should be taken from the
society as rapidly as possible and uniformly
institutionalized; for here is the level of
the contagion of immorality, and the
destruction of ethics.”

Science of Survival, Book One, Chapt. 18:

“People on this level on the second
dynamic are intensely dangerous in the
society, since aberration is contagious. A
society which reaches this level is on its
way out of history, as went the Greeks, as
went the Romans, as goes modern European and
American culture. Here is a flaming danger
signal which must be heeded if a race is to
go forward.”

John

October 28th, 2009

Dan,

Thank you for the lecture and the implication that I am not intelligent.

Your ongoing responses are less and less credible. It would appear that there is nothing that you will not excuse or defend with regard to Scientology. I have a very hard time believing that you are not currently associated with Scientology.

I will not make any further comments in this thread. Not because I am “offended” by your implication that I am unintelligent, but due to my complete lack of interest in continuing this pointless exchange.

XenuLovesU

October 28th, 2009

Oh, and Dan, just for giggles: what did Hubbard advocate should be done with people at 2.0 or below on the “tone scale?”

Answer: He said, “They should be disposed of quietly and without sorrow.”

As a person Hubbard deemed to be 1.1 on the tone scale (by virtue of being a homosexual “pervert”), I hope you may understand why the LGBT community might take issue with Scientology’s doctrine.

Until a Scientology spokeshole like Tommy Davis comes out and says this crap has been removed from their teachings — rather than playing lip service when there has been a PR disaster… I’m not going to believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

Dan

October 29th, 2009

John said “Thank you for the lecture and the implication that I am not intelligent.”

I apologize if my latest responses have not been properly crafted. My intention was not to suggest that. I too have lost interest in this discussion.

Dan

October 29th, 2009

XenuLovesU,

As I mentioned in other threads, there is MUCH that I disagree with Scientology, but there is also much that I agree with.

Also as I mentioned in other threads my experience with them (about 15 or so years ago) has been very positive and my sexuality has not been an issue for anyone that I personally dealt with. And by that I mean that my partner was always invited.

I’m not trying to defend what is indefensible, but it will simply be incorrect to dismiss everything that they do and practice. That’s really all I have to say.

Priya Lynn

October 29th, 2009

Dan said “I too have lost interest in this discussion.”.

And yet you go on with it.

Dan said “I’m not trying to defend what is indefensible, but it will simply be incorrect to dismiss everything that they do and practice.”.

Maybe not everything, but certainly the vast majority of it.

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