More from the New Yorker's 26-page Scientology takedown: Screenwriter Paul Haggis finally broke with Scientology after years in the cult because of its stands against homosexuality, he has revealed. "I was in a cult for 34 years. Everyone else could see it. I don't know why I couldn't," he tells the New Yorker in its scathing criticism of the organization. He enjoyed Scientology's profound "feeling of camaraderie that was something I'd never experienced," he recalls. But he was first turned off after a San Diego staff member signed the church's name to a petition backing California's Prop. 8 banning gay marriage.
One of his children also "lost the friendship of a fellow Scientologist" who organized a kind of group shunning of his gay daughter because she was "wicked," according to Haggis. “You and I both know there has been a hidden anti-gay sentiment in the church," Haggis wrote to a church leader. "I have been shocked to hear Scientologists make derogatory remarks about gay people, and then quote L. Ron Hubbard in their defense.” That "moral issue" finally broke Haggis' ties and he began exploring information about other possible "serious human and civil-rights violations" in the cult that form the kicking-off point for the New Yorker exposé. For more highlights from the article, click here.
(Read more cult stories.)