Among the items in this issue of Religion News Briefs: Criticizing the Mormon Church can get you excommunicated. Leaving the destructive Scientology cult is scary (and wise).
Also: After three decades of debate on homosexuality, the Presbyterian Church has changed its definition of marriage. Plus: the Ex-Hijabi Fashion Photo Blog.
Paul Haggis is making headlines around the world for denouncing the Church of Scientology
, but the Oscar-winning director doesn’t think the rebuke will affect his career — but he is already aware of the consequences.
Once again the Scientology cult is being exposed to daylight. This time there are reports that the FBI is investigating human trafficking within the cult.
Five former church staffers confirmed to the St. Petersburg Times that the FBI interviewed them individually over the past 15 months about their experiences in the church’s religious order, the Sea Org.
Oscar-Winning director Paul Haggis
has a new movie out, The Next Three Days
. Metro asked
him about his exit from the Scientology cult
It’s tempting to read the jailbreak plot of The Next Three Days as a metaphor for Haggis’s escape from Scientology
. Is it the sinister cult we all think it is? ‘How would you define sinister?’ he hedges. ‘The philosophy seems fine to me but there was a lot of stuff that I found increasingly disturbing.
‘The thing is you get inside and you really have this feeling of being in a cocoon and that you’re part of a minority group and that everyone else is out to get you.
‘There’s a lot of bigotry and intolerance in this world and I saw the organisation – with all its warts, growing pains and problems – as an underdog. And I have always had a thing for underdogs. I’ve always loved the idea of being part of a group that everyone reviled.’
Paul Haggis, the Hollywood film director, has resigned from the Church of Scientology
after 35 years as a member in protest against its apparent opposition to gay marriage.
In his letter Haggis also highlights a lie told by Scientology spokesperson Tommy Davis, who in an interview with CNN denied Scientology’s policy of disconnection
— in which the destructive cult forces some of its members to sever relationships with friends and family members. [video]