Feb 24, 2011

Don't piss off the Scientologists

Academy award-winning, screenwriter-director Paul Haggis says he has received all sorts of feedback since referring to Scientology as a “cult” in a recent New Yorker expose.

“I’ve been getting a lot of very supportive emails and I’ve been getting some really troubling ones,” he told THR Tuesday at Vanity Fair’s Campaign Hollywood 2011 event celebrating Artists for Peace and Justice presented by Brioni in West Hollywood. "Some break my heart and some are just really angry."

In the article, Haggis, who spent three decades with the Church, revealed for the first time why he quit the religion in 2009. Among the reasons: The Church refused to publicly denounce the anti-gay measure Proposition 8 (Haggis' daughter is gay). He also said he read reported allegations of physical violence among church senior executives and other Scientologists.

By speaking out, Haggis told THR he knew he would elicit reactions: "I went in with my eyes open.”

But leaving the Church “was a personal choice,” he added. “I don’t suggest that anyone else make that choice that I did. Mine was personal.”-Reporting by Lindsay Flans

Also, Paul Thomas Anderson's thinly veiled movie about the controversial Church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard? Conspiracy theories are swirling in Los Angeles following the revelation that Anderson's 1950s-based film The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, has been postponed indefinitely.

Anderson's film is not officially about Hubbard and the Church of Scientology. But the similarities could hardly be more striking and the Hollywood trade papers and websites describe it variously as a satire and a parable. Read More

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