Paul Haggis to Discuss Leaving the Church of Scientology on NBC's 'Rock Center'

Paul Haggis
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“I was in a cult for 34 years. Everyone else could see it. I don’t know why I couldn’t.”

Journalist Lawrence Wright will also discuss his new book on the inner workings of the church.

Oscar-winner Paul Haggis will be discussing the Church of Scientology on Thursday's edition of Rock Center, NBC announced. In an interview set to air Jan. 17, the former Scientologist will explain his thinking about why he left the church, the network said. 

"I was ashamed of my own stupidity, of how I'd been -- could have been so purposely blind for so many years," Haggis says in the interview.  

STORY: Scientology's Seduction of Tom Cruise, Role in Nicole Kidman Split Detailed

The episode on the Church of Scientology will also feature Pulitzer Prize-winning New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, whose book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and The Prison of Belief, delves into the history of the religion and details how celebrities like John Travolta and Tom Cruise were recruited to join the church. 

Wright's book was exclusively excerpted in The Hollywood Reporter'Jan. 18 issue.

"These stars have been, in my opinion, exploited to advance Scientology," says Wright in an excerpt of the Rock Center interview released by NBC. "And so people join it because of them. And therefore, I think they have a tremendous moral responsibility to know what actually is happening inside the church."

STORY: Scientology Book Excerpt: 'The Church Had John Travolta Trapped'

Wright profiled Haggis, the writer and director of Crash, in a February 2011 New Yorker article entitled "Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology."  

NBC also noted in its release that the Rock Center episode will include a rebuttal from the church about the allegations made in Wright's book.

Watch a clip from the interview below: