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Paul Haggis will tell his Scientology tale before P.T. Anderson

01.06.2011

I have to say, I was a little spooked when P.T. Anderson's exceptionally promising Scientology-ish film THE MASTER up and disappeared out of nowhere, with the reason given being a mysterious "wall" Anderson couldn't overcome. The "church" has been notorious in squashing anything trying to portray them in a negative light (South Park has probably done the greatest hit job on them and gotten away with it to date), but now another major Hollywood player is entering the fray.

CRASH director Paul Haggis was a member of the church for 35 years before publically defecting in 2009. Currently, Scientology boasts a roster of stars like Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Giovanni Ribisi, Isaac Hayes, Jason Lee and many, many more. Haggis is about to showcase his thoughts on the church in an upcoming New Yorker piece, but that article has already spawned a book called The Heretic of Hollywood: Paul Haggis vs. the Church of Scientology. And it's going to raise some hell.

The Academy Award winning writer and director, Paul Haggis (Million Dollar Baby, Crash), spent three decades in the Church of Scientology. Haggis was one of the church’s Hollywood trophies, along with Tom Cruise and John Travolta, whose paths cross with Haggis’s. His resignation from the church in August of 2009 was a crushing disappointment to the organization. This is the first time Haggis has spoken about his experience.

The roots of Scientology are explored in this book, particularly the life of its eccentric founder, L. Ron Hubbard, whose flashes of brilliance and insanity are woven into the fabric of this elaborate belief system. Through Haggis’s eyes, we discover the appeal of Scientology, especially to talented and ambitious members of the entertainment industry. Haggis conducted a personal investigation of the church, in which he was told about the wanton physical abuse on the part of its current leader, David Miscavige, of senior members of the organization. He was told that young volunteers in the Scientology clergy, called the Sea Org, are subjected to conditions approaching slavery or imprisonment, and that many female members have been forced to have abortions.

The most profound reckoning to date with this powerful and secretive organization, The Heretic of Hollywood is also a moving human story of the lure of extreme faith and the price of leaving it.

So can we get THIS made into a movie instead? This is going to cause quite a stir, unless the church figures out some way to make the book disappear, which seems to be something they're quite good at.

Is Scientology a threat to be exposed, or a legitimate religion to be left alone?

Extra Tidbit: Also, they can't beat the internet, as here is the famous that YouTube refuses to remove.
Source: Gawker

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7:00PM on 01/07/2011

Format Wars

I'm sorry, but we are aware the PTA's FILM is not in competition with or held up because of Haggis's BOOK, right?
Haggis wrote a novel detailing his personal experiences within Scientology, while PTA's film (held up bc of a creative block) is about a cult somewhat inspired by Scientology.
So this isn't a PTA vs. Haggis debate, it's just a really cool insight into a weird-ass institution.
Do we get it now?
I'm sorry, but we are aware the PTA's FILM is not in competition with or held up because of Haggis's BOOK, right?
Haggis wrote a novel detailing his personal experiences within Scientology, while PTA's film (held up bc of a creative block) is about a cult somewhat inspired by Scientology.
So this isn't a PTA vs. Haggis debate, it's just a really cool insight into a weird-ass institution.
Do we get it now?
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3:40AM on 01/07/2011
What happened to Jason Lee? He went from awesome skater to scientology kook.
What happened to Jason Lee? He went from awesome skater to scientology kook.
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12:27AM on 01/07/2011
i like Haggis more than most people here, but i don't like anyone more than P.T.A.

the difference between the two filmmakers with scientology (and i know, i've seen the parallel future) is that PTA's film would be a discussion and Haggis' will be a defamation, which will do nothing but harbor anger instead of what it should harbor- questions.
i like Haggis more than most people here, but i don't like anyone more than P.T.A.

the difference between the two filmmakers with scientology (and i know, i've seen the parallel future) is that PTA's film would be a discussion and Haggis' will be a defamation, which will do nothing but harbor anger instead of what it should harbor- questions.
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9:41PM on 01/06/2011

Scientology is the biggest fraud in the world right now.

I think his movie should be great, but you gotta wonder if he was all there to begin with. I mean to be one for 35 years, he must still believe some of that crap still. I just honestly think that people involved in it have (or been in) too many movies & start believing the Pretend scripts. It's called make-believe people! I will never be friends or ever associate w/anyone involved in the completely laughable so-called religion! I mean really! REALLY?
I think his movie should be great, but you gotta wonder if he was all there to begin with. I mean to be one for 35 years, he must still believe some of that crap still. I just honestly think that people involved in it have (or been in) too many movies & start believing the Pretend scripts. It's called make-believe people! I will never be friends or ever associate w/anyone involved in the completely laughable so-called religion! I mean really! REALLY?
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9:18PM on 01/06/2011
I think its funny how hollywood doesnt hesitate to make movies bashing Christianity, but will hesitate on making a scientology flick?
I think its funny how hollywood doesnt hesitate to make movies bashing Christianity, but will hesitate on making a scientology flick?
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7:54PM on 01/06/2011

rofl

what the hell is tom cruise talking about?
what the hell is tom cruise talking about?
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6:10PM on 01/06/2011
For everyone complaining about Haggis. At least his work with the new Bond films has been great.
For everyone complaining about Haggis. At least his work with the new Bond films has been great.
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5:27PM on 01/06/2011
Should be interesting.

Oh, and Isaac Hayes died recently. And since he used to be on "South Park" until that infamous episode, I wouldn't say they got off scot free.
Should be interesting.

Oh, and Isaac Hayes died recently. And since he used to be on "South Park" until that infamous episode, I wouldn't say they got off scot free.
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5:11PM on 01/06/2011
Is there supposed to be a Youtube link in the extra tidbit, or did the Scientologists get to that? I can't click anything.

(Also: "scientologist" is not a real word according to my spellcheck. HA.)
Is there supposed to be a Youtube link in the extra tidbit, or did the Scientologists get to that? I can't click anything.

(Also: "scientologist" is not a real word according to my spellcheck. HA.)
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5:08PM on 01/06/2011
Is there supposed to be a Youtube link in the extra tidbit, or did the Scientologists get to that? I can't click anything.

(Also: "scientologist" is not a real word according to my spellcheck. HA.)
Is there supposed to be a Youtube link in the extra tidbit, or did the Scientologists get to that? I can't click anything.

(Also: "scientologist" is not a real word according to my spellcheck. HA.)
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4:55PM on 01/06/2011
A faith with any kind of true substance should be able to stand up to critical analyses. As a Christian I see people who knock my beliefs every day, as do Muslims, Jews and every other mainstream belief system. The fact that Scientology is so protective and fearful of being attacked in any way shows a lack of confidence that should be required if you really believe in something. If, like in other religions, there are people who live out the faith poorly and bring shame to it, then explain the
A faith with any kind of true substance should be able to stand up to critical analyses. As a Christian I see people who knock my beliefs every day, as do Muslims, Jews and every other mainstream belief system. The fact that Scientology is so protective and fearful of being attacked in any way shows a lack of confidence that should be required if you really believe in something. If, like in other religions, there are people who live out the faith poorly and bring shame to it, then explain the differences and live them out. Hiding and censoring any kind of criticism is shady and somewhat scary for something that has as much of a presence as Scientology has.
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3:31PM on 01/06/2011

Meh

As someone who is religious, I honestly don't see Scientology as any threat. It's my take, whether you are religious or not, that if you can't see for yourself when something is BS or not (whether that be a religion, a "fact", the Chicago Cubs, whatever) then that's your own damn fault.

That being said, I did check out the introductory film that they show at the Scientology Centers, and it's a VERY, VERY, VERY manipulative piece of work. They basically tell you why it's okay to make money
As someone who is religious, I honestly don't see Scientology as any threat. It's my take, whether you are religious or not, that if you can't see for yourself when something is BS or not (whether that be a religion, a "fact", the Chicago Cubs, whatever) then that's your own damn fault.

That being said, I did check out the introductory film that they show at the Scientology Centers, and it's a VERY, VERY, VERY manipulative piece of work. They basically tell you why it's okay to make money off of their religion. And I'm not talking about a tithing or offering sort of thing. I'm talking pure money making schemes, which Hubbard proceeded to do with writing the book "Dyanetics." They act like Ron Hubbard was a great healer who healed people through advising people, as a Doctor should and would (he wasn't a Doctor), how to use the mental powers of their mind to heal their rotting leg. They never show Hubbard's face, but everyone else's, which is how you create mystique and aura... a trick used by the Wizard of Oz. They depict a Psychiatrist as lobotomizing patients (in the 50's!) with a pick and chisel, to "cure" them, with strange eerie music playing.

I'm not trying to bash on it, but honestly, it was laughably weird, bad, and for anybody with any sense of what's right or wrong, very painfully and obviously wrong. A very skewed take on historical events and realities.

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3:26PM on 01/06/2011
If the founder of your religion was also a science fiction writer wouldn't you be a tad skeptical? Would people have followed Jesus as easily if he wasn't a carpenter on the side but say....a DJ?
If the founder of your religion was also a science fiction writer wouldn't you be a tad skeptical? Would people have followed Jesus as easily if he wasn't a carpenter on the side but say....a DJ?
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3:19PM on 01/06/2011
Hahaha, that's a fuking creepy ass video. tom cruise really is bat-shit crazy. I hope he never tries to put his "ethics" in me.
Hahaha, that's a fuking creepy ass video. tom cruise really is bat-shit crazy. I hope he never tries to put his "ethics" in me.
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3:09PM on 01/06/2011

OK

Sounds like the leaders of Scientology are doing some bad things behind the scenes. But you know who has them beat? The Catholic Church. Decades of child rape. Maybe even centuries. Most religions suck. And they ALL SHOULD PAY TAXES!
Sounds like the leaders of Scientology are doing some bad things behind the scenes. But you know who has them beat? The Catholic Church. Decades of child rape. Maybe even centuries. Most religions suck. And they ALL SHOULD PAY TAXES!
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+3
3:05PM on 01/06/2011
I don't get the hate for Haggis. Million Dollar Baby was a very good film and people forget that Crash won the oscar in a very weak year. At the very least the guy deserves more respect as a writer.
I don't get the hate for Haggis. Million Dollar Baby was a very good film and people forget that Crash won the oscar in a very weak year. At the very least the guy deserves more respect as a writer.
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1:22PM on 01/06/2011
"Currently, Scientology boasts a roster of stars like...Isaac Hayes"

!
"Currently, Scientology boasts a roster of stars like...Isaac Hayes"

!
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5:00AM on 01/08/2011
I just thought the same thing... Like "Hey man. Blue's dead!"
I just thought the same thing... Like "Hey man. Blue's dead!"
2:27PM on 01/09/2011
Blue's not dead, he's chillin with the Aliens and shit.....or whatever the hell they believe.
Blue's not dead, he's chillin with the Aliens and shit.....or whatever the hell they believe.
1:17PM on 01/06/2011
This sounds like shit.

I think we'd all rather have the PTA movie with Hoffman and Renner.
This sounds like shit.

I think we'd all rather have the PTA movie with Hoffman and Renner.
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+8
1:14PM on 01/06/2011
He can do his first, but the guy who did Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, Sydney, and There Will Be Blood can automatically do anything better than the hack behind the worst film to ever win best picture, Crash.
He can do his first, but the guy who did Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, Sydney, and There Will Be Blood can automatically do anything better than the hack behind the worst film to ever win best picture, Crash.
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2:24PM on 01/06/2011
And here I thought I was the only one (Other than Anderson, of course) that referred to Hard Eight as Sydney....well done!
And here I thought I was the only one (Other than Anderson, of course) that referred to Hard Eight as Sydney....well done!
12:43PM on 01/06/2011

Awful director...

This guy's 3 for 3. CRASH is easily the worst movie to ever win (or even nominated for) a Best Picture Oscar.
This guy's 3 for 3. CRASH is easily the worst movie to ever win (or even nominated for) a Best Picture Oscar.
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12:36PM on 01/06/2011
Religion is a threat
Religion is a threat
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12:25PM on 01/06/2011
I'm always surprised how many actors are attracted to this bunch. SIDE NOTE to member Tom Cruise-Thumbs up! gr8 body man!
I'm always surprised how many actors are attracted to this bunch. SIDE NOTE to member Tom Cruise-Thumbs up! gr8 body man!
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12:24PM on 01/06/2011
I see no real threat to the populace in general. The alleged abuse of young women etc. needs to be exposed,investigated. This Cult isn't blowing up buildings or killing daughters for loving the American pop culture and making out with bfs and the like.
I see no real threat to the populace in general. The alleged abuse of young women etc. needs to be exposed,investigated. This Cult isn't blowing up buildings or killing daughters for loving the American pop culture and making out with bfs and the like.
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12:00PM on 01/06/2011

Interesting!

Sounds definitely better than "Battlefield earth"!
Sounds definitely better than "Battlefield earth"!
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+6
12:00PM on 01/06/2011
I don't see Scientology as a threat, not in the way, say, the West Baptist Church is and they're not really a threat, just horrible people. Scientology, however, should be challenged and I'm glad that Haggis is willing to step up to the plate. Movies are released every year which constructively criticize various beliefs and systems, why should Scientology be any different? Ha, oh yeah, because they believe that a human is an immortal alien spiritual being, a thetan, that is trapped on planet
I don't see Scientology as a threat, not in the way, say, the West Baptist Church is and they're not really a threat, just horrible people. Scientology, however, should be challenged and I'm glad that Haggis is willing to step up to the plate. Movies are released every year which constructively criticize various beliefs and systems, why should Scientology be any different? Ha, oh yeah, because they believe that a human is an immortal alien spiritual being, a thetan, that is trapped on planet Earth in a physical body.
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11:50AM on 01/06/2011
Scientology is no threat.
Scientology is no threat.
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-5
11:21AM on 01/06/2011
If Scientology is to be considered a "threat", so should every other religion out there. All of them compromise rationality and reason for believing in the fantastical. Scientology is no worse in being a threat than, say, Christianity. The only difference between the two is that Christianity has a 2000 year head start on Scientology in brainwashing a greater number of people.
If Scientology is to be considered a "threat", so should every other religion out there. All of them compromise rationality and reason for believing in the fantastical. Scientology is no worse in being a threat than, say, Christianity. The only difference between the two is that Christianity has a 2000 year head start on Scientology in brainwashing a greater number of people.
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12:20PM on 01/06/2011
I guess kinda like our Universities huh?
I guess kinda like our Universities huh?
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