Paul Haggis Parts With Scientology in Scathing Letter

"I joined the Church of Scientology 35 years ago," Haggis writes. "During my twenties and early thirties, I studied and received a great deal of counseling. While I have not been an active member for many years, I found much of what I learned to be very helpful, and I still apply it in my daily life. I have never pretended to be the best Scientologist, but I openly and vigorously defended the church whenever it was criticized, as I railed against the kind of intolerance that I believed was directed against it. I had my disagreements, but I dealt with them internally. I saw the organization -- with all its warts, growing pains and problems -- as an underdog. And I have always had a thing for underdogs."

"But I reached a point several weeks ago where I no longer knew what to think," he continues. "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."

"And so, 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," Haggis goes on later in his letter. "I will always take their calls, as I always took yours. However, 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 isn't the first celebrity from the Church of Scientology to break with the faith. He's currently filming "The Next Three Days" with former Scientologist actor Jason Beghe, along with Russell Crowe and Liam Neeson.

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