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Paul Haggis, 'Million Dollar Baby' Director, Leaves (and Disses) Church of Scientology

Paul+Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project's
Director Paul Haggis speaks at the DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project's "Mask & Mirrors" at Diane Von Furstenberg Gallery on September 12, 2009 in New York City. (Getty Images)more pics »Paul Haggis was never as outspoken as Tom Cruise, but he had been a member of the Church of Scientology for 35 years before recently announcing his split from the religion. The Million Dollar Baby director chose not to bow out quietly, and instead wrote a scathing to the church's spokesman Tommy Davis, which has since become public.

Church spokesman Tommy Davis (via CBS)
According to E! News, Haggis' letter blames three specific stances the church has taken as reasons for his departure. First, Proposition 8: Haggis says the church's support of the same-sex marriage ban promotes "bigotry" and "homophobia." Next, Haggis points to Davis' "smear campaign" against former members of the church. And lastly, Haggis was not so pleased when the organization ordered his wife to cut off contact with her own parents. And it didn't help when Davis denied it later.

Apparently Haggis made up his mind about the church when he read an investigative piece about Scientology in the St. Petersburg Times, in which the organization's former spokesman Mike Rinder spilled little-known secrets about its operations. Haggis wrote, "Tommy, if only a fraction of these accusations are true, we are talking about serious, indefensible human and civil rights violations. It is still hard for me to believe. But given how many former top-level executives have said these things are true, it is hard to believe it is all lies."

Haggis does defend some Scientologists and swears they're good people, but he won't be surprised if none of them ever work with him again. So don't expect to see John Travolta in Million Dollar Baby 2.

More pictures of Paul Haggis (click any photo):
  • Paul Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project&squot;s "Mask & Mirrors"
  • Paul Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project&squot;s "Mask & Mirrors"
  • Paul Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project&squot;s "Mask & Mirrors"
  • Paul Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project&squot;s "Mask & Mirrors"
  • Paul Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project&squot;s "Mask & Mirrors"
  • Paul Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project&squot;s "Mask & Mirrors"
  • Paul Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project&squot;s "Mask & Mirrors"
  • Paul Haggis in DVF & Vanity Fair Preview BRANDAID Project&squot;s "Mask & Mirrors"
View Paul Haggis Pictures »
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