Paul Haggis is in trouble with the Church of Scientology after the Hollywood director wrote a letter in support of fellow defector Leah Remini.
This week Haggis wrote an open letter to Remini, who last month announced she was breaking ties with the church over concerns about its management and leader, David Miscavige.
Reports said Remini was increasingly public with her criticism of Miscavige and openly questioned what has become of his wife, who has not been seen publicly in years (Scientology representatives say she continues to work for the church).
“Having witnessed Scientology’s smear tactics, I can imagine how this was being orchestrated, but I was still shocked to see how quickly those friends — some of whom had known Leah for 20 or 30 years — jumped on the ‘malign Leah’ campaign, and with such apparent glee. I assumed Scientology’s next step would be to try and plant disparaging stories about her with less-informed journalists and bloggers. And if others who have made noisy exits from the church are to be believed, Scientology would also use their Office of Special Affairs employees to attack Leah indirectly, posting negative comments about her shows and career and abilities under myriad false names, pretending to be disappointed fans or whatever. None of that is new.”
The Church of Scientology has now responded with a letter of its own, saying Haggis does not have firsthand knowledge of the church’s inner workings and instead relies on a group of bloggers described as a “small posse of lunatics with arrest records.”
“Mr. Haggis once again is exploiting his tenuous connection with Scientology to grab headlines,” the letter reads. “His statement that the organization anonymously comments negatively about those who leave the church is delusional and borders on paranoia.”
The church also accused Paul Haggis of jumping on the situation in an effort to plug his latest film, which is seeking US distribution.