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Stunning Departure From Scientology, Accuses Leader Tommy Davis Of "Lying" To The Public
10-27-2009, 06:57 AM,
Stunning Departure From Scientology, Accuses Leader Tommy Davis Of "Lying" To The Public
Quote:Stunning Departure From Scientology, Accuses Leader Tommy Davis Of "Lying" To The Public
Posted on Oct 26, 2009 @ 11:25AM

Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Jenna Elfman can count one less Hollywood A-Lister as a fellow Scientologist. In a shock heard-round-the-Scientology world, Paul Haggis has very publicly quit the organization. Among the acclaimed Haggis' many credits: he wrote Million Dollar Baby and Flags of Our Fathers for Clint Eastwood; and he produced/directed and wrote Crash for which he won an Oscar. He has an all-around stellar reputation in Hollywood as one of the good guys who made good.

Paul Haggis At The Premiere Of The Valley Of Elah

It was his conscience that made him quit the religion he's been part of for 35 years, Haggis said in a letter to Tommy Davis. Davis, the son of actress Anne Archer, is the face of Scientology, appearing on numerous TV interviews every year.

Roger Friedman, in his Hollywood Reporter column, Showbiz 411, broke the story Sunday, and published a copy of Haggis' letter to Davis.

Haggis first became disenchanted with Scientology last year when it backed Prop 8, the ban on gay marriage in California.

The director personally spoke to Davis about it. He claimed he was horrified at the news, Haggis wrote, and he'd get to the bottom of it. Nothing changed.

Then Haggis learned that in a CNN interview, Davis had laughed off the idea that Scientology has a policy of "disconnection." Haggis couldn't believe he was watching Davis "lying." His own family had suffered from disconnection when 18 months ago, his wife, actress-turned-producer Deborah Rennard was ordered to "disconnet" from her parents because of something Scientology officials claimed occured when they resigned from the church 25 year ago.

Perhaps coincidental to Haggis releasing his letter, Davis literally walked off the air during an ABC Nightline interview wth Martin Bashir Saturday night.

Here's Haggis' letter to Davis:

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

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 joined the Church of Scientology thirty-five years ago. 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. 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.

The fact that the Mormon Church drew all the fire, that no one noticed,
doesn’t matter. I noticed. And I felt sick. I wondered how the church
could, in good conscience, through the action of a few and then the
inaction of its leadership, support a bill that strips a group of its
civil rights.

This was my state of mind when I was online doing research and chanced
upon an interview clip with you on CNN. The interview lasted maybe ten
minutes – it was just you and the newscaster. And in it I saw you deny
the church’s policy of disconnection. You said straight-out there was no
such policy, that it did not exist.

I was shocked. We all know this policy exists. I didn’t have to search
for verification – I didn’t have to look any further than my own home.

You might recall that my wife was ordered to disconnect from her parents
because of something absolutely trivial they supposedly did twenty-five
years ago when they resigned from the church. This is a lovely retired
couple, never said a negative word about Scientology to me or anyone
else I know – hardly raving maniacs or enemies of the church. In fact
it was they who introduced my wife to Scientology.

Although it caused her terrible personal pain, my wife broke off all
contact with them. I refused to do so. I’ve never been good at following
orders, especially when I find them morally reprehensible.

For a year and a half, despite her protestations, my wife did not speak
to her parents and they had limited access to their grandchild. It was a
terrible time.

That’s not ancient history, Tommy. It was a year ago.

And you could laugh at the question as if it was a joke? You could
publicly state that it doesn’t exist?

To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else
are you lying about?

The great majority of Scientologists I know are good people who are
genuinely interested in improving conditions on this planet and helping
others. I have to believe that if they knew what I now know, they too
would be horrified. But I know how easy it was for me to defend our
organization and dismiss our critics, without ever truly looking at what
was being said; I did it for thirty-five years. 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. 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.


Paul Haggis
There are no others, there is only us.
10-27-2009, 03:03 PM,
Stunning Departure From Scientology, Accuses Leader Tommy Davis Of "Lying" To The Public
.. a bad week for Scientology gets even worse
Quote:Church of Scientology Convicted of Fraud
French court fines Scientologists, allows operations
By Thierry Leveque
Tuesday, October 27, 2009; 7:36 AM

PARIS (Reuters) - A Paris court on Tuesday fined the French branch of the Church of Scientology a total of 600,000 euros ($902,200) after finding it guilty of fraud but allowed the group to continue operating in France.

When the hearing opened, there were expectations that the court could order the group to be banned in France but due to a mix-up over a law that passed in parliament just before the start of the trial in May, that option was ruled out.

The legislation has since been changed back to allow the dissolution of an organization found guilty of fraud but because of the timing of the case, there was no question of forcing the Church of Scientology to be wound up.

"It is very regrettable that the law quietly changed before the trial," Georges Fenech, head of the Inter-ministerial Unit to Monitor and Fight Cults, told television station France 24.

"The system has now been put in place by parliament and it is certain that in the future, if new offences are committed, a ban could eventually be pronounced," he said.

The court handed down suspended prison sentences ranging from 10 months to two years and fines of 5,000 euros to 30,000 euros to four leaders of the group in France.

"This is an important and historic decision because it is the first time that Scientology has been found guilty of involvement in organized fraud," Olivier Morice, one of the lawyers for the civil parties to the case told reporters.


The case was brought by two former members who said they were cajoled into spending 21,000 euros and 49,500 euros on personality tests, vitamin cures, sauna sessions and "purification packs."

Scientology, which is officially considered a sect in France, denies fraud and is expected to appeal.

Registered as a religion in the United States, with celebrity members such as actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology enjoys no such legal protection in France, where it has faced accusations of being a money-making cult. The trial, which began on May 25, centers on complaints made in the late 1990s.

The prosecutor had recommended that the Paris court dissolve the church's French arm.

But it emerged during the trial that the Church of Scientology could not be dissolved in France even if it had been convicted of fraud, due to an amendment to legislation which passed unnoticed just before the trial began.

Scientology has faced numerous setbacks in France, with members convicted of fraud in Lyon in 1997 and Marseille in 1999. In 2002, a court fined it for violating privacy laws and said it could be dissolved if involved in similar cases.

Scientology says it has gone to court in many countries to uphold the right to freedom of religion.

($1=.6650 Euro) (Writing by Sophie Taylor)
There are no others, there is only us.

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