The war of words between Scientology and some of its former celebrity members sounds anything but spiritual.
Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning screenwriter whose credits include Crash and Casino Royale, left the church in 2009. Haggis is still sore on the subject, so when actress Leah Remini made headlines by leaving the church a few weeks back, Haggis felt compelled to respond via an open letter to the former King of Queens star.
I can’t express how much I admire Leah. Her parents, family and close friends were almost all Scientologists; the stakes for her were so much higher than for me. Her decision to leave was so much braver.
Haggis also cast a negative light on the church and its practices, accusing members of treating ex-members badly and rehashing harsh critiques others have made against the faith’s practitioners.
Now, the Church of Scientology is firing back, and with both barrels blazing:
Mr. Haggis once again is exploiting his tenuous connection with Scientology to grab headlines,” the letter reads, accusing Haggis of using the platform as a “transparent plug” for his upcoming film. “His statement that the organization anonymously comments negatively about those who leave the church is delusional and borders on paranoia….”
“Mr. Haggis has chosen to align himself with a small posse of lunatics with arrest records, who have acknowledged in depositions to being secretly on the payroll of the tabloids and who have admitted on national television to outright lying,” the church’s statement reads.