Church of Scientology Responds to Paul Haggis' Open Letter in THR: 'Delusional,' 'Borders on Paranoia'
The Church of Scientology is firing back at Paul Haggis.
After The Hollywood Reporter published an open letter from the screenwriter to actress Leah Remini, who recently made headlines for leaving the organization, the church issued a scathing statement to media outlets including Business Insider, which was first to publish the response.
"Mr. Haggis once again is exploiting his tenuous connection with Scientology to grab headlines," the letter reads, accusing Haggis of using the platform as a "transparent plug" for his upcoming film. "His statement that the organization anonymously comments negatively about those who leave the church is delusional and borders on paranoia."
The statement goes on to allege that Haggis, who famously left the church in 2009 after 35 years of membership, has "no firsthand knowledge about the Church of Scientology" but instead gets his information from "a small collection of unemployed bloggers living on the fringe of the Internet."
"Mr. Haggis has chosen to align himself with a small posse of lunatics with arrest records, who have acknowledged in depositions to being secretly on the payroll of the tabloids and who have admitted on national television to outright lying," the church's statement reads.
Read the full letter below.
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL
July 31, 2013
STATEMENT BY CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL CONCERNING PAUL HAGGIS’ “OPEN LETTER”
Mr. Haggis is a status-obsessed screenwriter who in the words of The Hollywood Reporter has been in “the wilderness” professionally for three years. Mr. Haggis once again is exploiting his tenuous connection with Scientology to grab headlines. His statement that the organization anonymously comments negatively about those who leave the Church is delusional and borders on paranoia.
Desperately craving attention, his self-serving “open letter” is a transparent plug for an upcoming film still lacking U.S. distribution. If Mr. Haggis was as successful and prolific at manufacturing drama for audiences as he is at manufacturing it for gossip sites, then his career might have never gotten lost in the “wilderness.”
Despite his spin, the truth is that Mr. Haggis was an inactive Scientologist for more than 30 years until he orchestrated a disingenuous “departure” in 2009 aimed solely at getting media attention. As a result, Paul Haggis has no first-hand knowledge about the Church of Scientology but instead relies on a small collection of unemployed bloggers living on the fringe of the Internet who are obsessed with spinning myths about the Church.
Mr. Haggis has chosen to align himself with a small posse of lunatics with arrest records, who have acknowledged in depositions to being secretly on the payroll of tabloids and who have admitted on national television to outright lying. As for Paul Haggis’ real story, see http://www.freedommag.org/special-reports/new-yorker/video- profile-the-many-personas-of-paul-haggis.html. [Link doesn't work]
As to the true story of Scientology, under the 25-year leadership of Mr. Miscavige, following in the footsteps of our Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, the Church is enjoying tremendous expansion as shown in our 37 new Churches opening in six continents and the many new parishioners joining their congregations. Our Churches are open seven days a week and many have public display areas to answer all questions or one can visit our website, www.Scientology.org.