Finally. Finally, a big name Hollywood celebrity is speaking out against Scientology and what it’s all about. Oscar-winning director, Paul Haggis (Crash) recently sat down with Rock Center to talk about how he left Scientology after 34 years. The interview airs tonight (Thursday), but a preview of the interview was released on Today this morning. Haggis is the most famous Scientologist to ever leave the church and speak publicly about it. The “church” now calls him the “Hypocrite of Hollywood.” The show also covers a new book by Lawrence Wright titled Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.
When asked how he was finally able to leave, he responded, “I was ashamed of my own stupidity. Of how I could’ve been so purposely blind for so many years.” He was also asked if he got something out of it at first. He explained, “Yes, it did [help me]. I think picking up again good self-help book, you’re going to get something out of it.” Many people wonder how you get so wrapped up in it. “It’s this long, slow walk towards believing,” says Haggis. “It’s the idea of being part of a group that is ostracized and hated. It bands you together against the outside world.”
After he had been hearing rumors about what had been going on in the church and after doing his own research, his decision to leave became clear. When asked by the interviewer (Harry Smith) if Scientology is a cult, he said: “Of course it is. It’s a system of belief, you’ve got these folks inside this fortress who won’t look out, won’t look at any criticism, can’t bear any investigation and think that everyone is against hem. How would you describe that? It’s a cult, of course it is.” Watch the preview of the interview below.