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Paul Haggis now says he isn't cooperating on Scientology book

January 13, 2011 |  4:22 pm

Paul Haggis has severed ties with the Church of Scientology. But maybe he's not quite willing to tell all.

Last week, a number of reports said Haggis was collaborating on a Scientology-themed book with New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, who was also writing an as-yet-unpublished magazine article on the subject. The book was to explore the director's involvement with, and disassociation from, the Church of Scientology.

The next day, a representative for the filmmaker messaged to clarify that while Haggis was cooperating with the book, he was not an author and would not benefit financially from it.

This afternoon the representative, Ziggy Kozlowski, sent out a statement that Haggis is not cooperating on the book either. "Wanting to clear the air, Haggis asserts that he has absolutely no involvement in the book," the statement said, and includes a quote from Haggis himself. "I am a great admirer of Mr. Wright, but he has not asked me to cooperate with him on any book. I am certainly not collaborating with him on one."

Wright acknowledges that Haggis, who famously broke from the church in August 2009 after more than three decades as a member, cooperated on the article; he said that the book, which is being shopped around and does not yet have a publisher, will "expand on that material."

Conspiracy theorists might speculate about the reason for Haggis' apparent change in stance. Asked in an e-mail if a shift had indeed taken place, Kozlowski did not address the issue, replying simply, "He did the interview with Wright, but I believe that that is it."

--Steven Zeitchik


Photo: Paul Haggis. Credit: Nathan Denette / Associated Press


How much will a Paul Haggis book hurt the Church of Scientology's image?


Comments () | Archives (22)

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Haggis is done with the subject. It's slime bags like Wright who are trying to capitalize on big names.

Good grief, how can the Times continue to pump out "news" that isn't news and wasn't news and is now officially not news. Must be pretty hard up for a real story.

Are you saying Scientology is a slimy subject, and Paul Haggis is a big name, Louanne? I don't quite get your meaning here.

Lawrence Wright is a 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning author, for his book THE LOOMING TOWER.

No matter what posters of Scientology's espionage and propaganda office (Office of Special Affairs) have to say about him, he's going to be the first American heavyweight author to write about the crime cult of Scientology.

Scientology is saddled with a well-documented history of abuse, lies and corruption, and while they would like to reinvent themselves with each new piece of propaganda or new typ0-free edition of Hubbard's books, their ship is sinking.

Hubbard's vision for a crime-free, poverty-free, disease-free society through security checking and total control of its membership, at the prices this cult charges, is totally out of step with the age of open information, as provided by the internet. Xenu is out of the closet.

OSA probably threatened Paul saying they would release his confidential folders (confessional). This cult is so vicious, evil and militant, that you just can't walk away and talk about your experiences without your life being torn apart and your reputation ruined.

What kind of church would do this? Well, for what it's worth, this one has Satanic and black magic roots.

One thing for sure - if an book does get made, there would be a huge demand for it since so many people are interested in the abuses of scientology

Too bad.

Makes me doubt the truth of his story in the first place - if you really believed in your testimony, you would stand behind it no matter what. Maybe he was making it all up? He probably realized too that the book would create more problems for his career than benefits.

Only today's New Yorker would allow its prima donna writers and their agents to cut book deals about the people they are profiling before they even publish their articles. William Shawn must be spinning in his grave. I can't imagine the New York Times, the LA Times or the Washington Post allowing its writers to do this. If they hurry they can also start production on the movie before the article makes it into print.

As one who attained the formally highest level in this so-called church, old OT7, I can tell you that from OT3 on it's all about "body thetans." In plain English, disembodied space aliens! Every human on Earth, according to L. Con Hubbard, is infested with 2,00o to 3,000 (more if you're rich!) spirits of dead space aliens. And for $500 to $1,000 per hour, this cult will assist you in ridding yourself of these space cooties.

Paul, I wish you well in this new chapter of your life. Being free of this cult is very liberating!

To see their most sacred scripture OT3, go to: www.xenu.net. Scroll down the home page to the very bottom where it says, "Always Remember To Laugh." Click on, "South Park Takes On Scientology." Let it ramp up and enjoy the show. This is the episode that Tom Cruise forced off the air. It is EXACTLY what OT3 is all about. It's right on the money. Why do they keep it so secret? Because if they told you upfront exactly what they believe in, you'd be ROTFLYAO (Rolling on the floor laughing your a** off!). After which you'd be walking out the door with your all of your bank accounts still intact!

"Haggis asserts that he has absolutely no involvement in the book."
Thank You, Paul.
Like said before, regarding the earlier article, There is no policy or therapy regarding gays. GLT are welcomed at the Church of Scientology.

@Gunnar: Louanne speaks for scientology's PR and dirty tricks branch, the Office of Special Affairs. Unless you're doing a study on the methods OSA uses to try to derail all discussions of scientology which don't suit OSA's fancy, then what Louanne meant is probably of no interest.

SS MM you said Scientology welcomes Lesbians, gays and transgenders?? Are you really that deluded or are you just another fanatical cult liar. The founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was very "clear" in his writings. He said that gays and lesbians are "degraded beings" and that they "should be disposed of quietly and without sorrow." Having been raised in your cult, I can confirm that I never met one single openly gay individual in your cult. I was taught that gays and lesbians were "down tone" and not to be trusted or dealt with on any level. Quit lying and own your bigotry. Be proud of your super ethical thetan levels. And say HI to Xenu the galactic overlord for me.

Is Scientology's stance on homosexuals any different than The Bible and The Qu'ran's stance on homosexuals? What's the difference between "degraded being" and "abomination"?

Looks like the "Church" of Scientology's blackmail and intimidation division got ahold of Haggis after all.
Scientology calls itself "the most ethical organization on the planet". Of course, L Ron Hubbard re-defined the word 'ethics' to mean anything that benefits the spread of Scientology. What a scam.

I am sorry you had that experience, but I met a gay who was happy being a Scientologist.

What is going on with all these mentions of scientology in every blog and entertainment column? Is it just a way to get people to look at a story?

@Kay Passa

Stop spamming GoogleNews with Scientology spam and we'll probably see less.

Of course it's news when a religious organization is accused of abusing its members and breaking laws against, among other things, human trafficking.

We all know Catholic organizations have sometimes been responsible for abuses. This doesn't mean that Catholic theology never helped anyone, nor that there aren't some very wonderful Catholics. What it does mean is that we expect everyone, including religious organizations, to abide by certain laws and principles. Churches (or rather church officials) sometimes commit or allow abuse, and they are rightly held accountable when they do that.

I read Wright's article and found it very persuasive in saying that serious questions have been raised about abuse within the Church of Scientology. The Church's efforts to defend itself come across as defensive and hostile, and end up proving their critics' points. Just the way they talk about defectors--devaluing, without a shred of compassion--is an example of the kind of abusive behavior the defectors say they experienced when they were members.

If I were a Scientologist I'd be wondering how to help the church live up to its ideals and confront internal dynamics which, at the least, seem to be spawning an awful lot of unhappy defectors. The CoS seems to be young enough that it views any negative feedback as attacks--instead of recognizing that any church of its size would have good and bad tendencies, and welcoming negative feedback as useful in its own learning and growing as an organization.

@Scientology Student MM - I encourage you to read the article and think hard about it. The accusations being made come from former members who spent decades of their lives and hundreds of thousands of dollars belonging to this group. If even 1/100th of what they say is true, then Scientology needs to do some serious self accounting. Every in group has the potential to become cloistered, and then controlling, and then abusive. If leadership is unable to admit problems or mistakes, they are going to have to silence their followers, because nothing on this earth is infalible. Please take care of yourself, please don't allow anyone to silence your inner voice.

My aunt was happy to try Scientology back in the '70s but decided it wasn't for her when they told her to choose between homosexuality or the church. As an ex-Scientologist, I remember learning about how gay people are trapped in the sexuality of their past life because of bad sexual things they did or experienced in that life, and are therefore aberrated human beings. I am ashamed that I once believed that to be true.

@Is Scientology's stance on homosexuals any different than The Bible and The Qu'ran's stance on homosexuals? What's the difference between "degraded being" and "abomination"?

Posted by: Chace Thibodeaux | 01/15/2011 at 07:35 AM

THE DIFFERENCE, I can tell you as a Muslim, is that we don't preach one thing and practice another. there is no doublespeak. Homosexuality is dissalowed in our faith. As is alcohol, paying interest, etc. We don't pretend otherwise. It seems there is a hypocricy within scientology whereby a tennet of the faith is glossed over so as not to lose dollars and PR opportunities. I believe this is the dictionary definition of hypocrisy. You guys are all about definitions and dictionaries, right?


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