Blogger Marty Rathbun, who first published the letter, writes:
"I received a copy of a letter sent to Tommy Davis written by a rather
influential person. The source who provided this was a third party
recipient of the letter and was able to establish to my satisfaction
that the letter is authentic."
PAUL HAGGIS LETTER TO CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
As you know, for ten months now I have been writing to
ask you to make a public statement denouncing the actions of the Church
of Scientology of San Diego. Their public sponsorship of Proposition 8,
a hate-filled legislation that succeeded in taking away the civil
rights of gay and lesbian citizens of California – rights that were
granted them by the Supreme Court of our state – shames us.
called and wrote and implored you, as the official spokesman of the
church, to condemn their actions. I told you I could not, in good
conscience, be a member of an organization where gay-bashing was
In that first conversation, back at the end of
October of last year, you told me you were horrified, that you would
get to the bottom of it and “heads would roll.” You promised action.
Ten months passed. No action was forthcoming. The best you offered was
a weak and carefully worded press release, which praised the church’s
human rights record and took no responsibility. Even that, you decided
not to publish.
The church’s refusal to denounce the actions of
these bigots, hypocrites and homophobes is cowardly. I can think of no
other word. Silence is consent, Tommy. I refuse to consent.
joined the Church of Scientology thirty-five years ago. During my
twenties and early thirties I studied and received a great deal of
counseling. While I have not been an active member for many years, I
found much of what I learned to be very helpful, and I still apply it
in my daily life. I have never pretended to be the best Scientologist,
but I openly and vigorously defended the church whenever it was
criticized, as I railed against the kind of intolerance that I believed
was directed against it. I had my disagreements, but I dealt with them
internally. I saw the organization – with all its warts, growing pains
and problems – as an underdog. And I have always had a thing for
But I reached a point several weeks ago where I no
longer knew what to think. You had allowed our name to be allied with
the worst elements of the Christian Right. In order to contain a
potential “PR flap” you allowed our sponsorship of Proposition 8 to
stand. Despite all the church’s words about promoting freedom and human
rights, its name is now in the public record alongside those who
promote bigotry and intolerance, homophobia and fear.
that the Mormon Church drew all the fire, that no one noticed, doesn’t
matter. I noticed. And I felt sick. I wondered how the church could, in
good conscience, through the action of a few and then the inaction of
its leadership, support a bill that strips a group of its civil rights.
was my state of mind when I was online doing research and chanced upon
an interview clip with you on CNN. The interview lasted maybe ten
minutes – it was just you and the newscaster. And in it I saw you deny
the church’s policy of disconnection. You said straight-out there was
no such policy, that it did not exist.
I was shocked. We all know this policy exists. I didn’t have to
search for verification – I didn’t have to look any further than my own
You might recall that my wife was ordered to disconnect
from her parents because of something absolutely trivial they
supposedly did twenty-five years ago when they resigned from the
church. This is a lovely retired couple, never said a negative word
about Scientology to me or anyone else I know – hardly raving maniacs
or enemies of the church. In fact it was they who introduced my wife to
Although it caused her terrible personal pain, my
wife broke off all contact with them. I refused to do so. I’ve never
been good at following orders, especially when I find them morally
For a year and a half, despite her protestations,
my wife did not speak to her parents and they had limited access to
their grandchild. It was a terrible time.
That’s not ancient history, Tommy. It was a year ago.
And you could laugh at the question as if it was a joke? You could publicly state that it doesn’t exist?
To see you lie so easily, I am afraid I had to ask myself: what else are you lying about?
And that is when I read the recent articles in the St. Petersburg Times. They left me dumbstruck and horrified.
were not the claims made by “outsiders” looking to dig up dirt against
us. These accusations were made by top international executives who had
devoted most of their lives to the church. Say what you will about them
now, these were staunch defenders of the church, including Mike Rinder,
the church’s official spokesman for 20 years!
Tommy, if only a
fraction of these accusations are true, we are talking about serious,
indefensible human and civil rights violations. It is still hard for me
to believe. But given how many former top-level executives have said
these things are true, it is hard to believe it is all lies.
when I pictured you assuring me that it is all lies, that this is
nothing but an unfounded and vicious attack by a group of disgruntled
employees, I am afraid that I saw the same face that looked in the
camera and denied the policy of disconnection. I heard the same voice
that professed outrage at our support of Proposition 8, who promised to
correct it, and did nothing.
I carefully read all of your rebuttals, I watched every video where
you presented the church’s position, I listened to all your arguments –
ever word. I wish I could tell you that they rang true. But they didn’t.
I was left feeling outraged, and frankly, more than a little stupid.
though it may seem small by comparison, I was truly disturbed to see
you provide private details from confessionals to the press in an
attempt to embarrass and discredit the executives who spoke out. A
priest would go to jail before revealing secrets from the confessional,
no matter what the cost to himself or his church. That’s the kind of
integrity I thought we had, but obviously the standard in this church
is far lower – the public relations representative can reveal secrets
to the press if the management feels justified. You even felt free to
publish secrets from the confessional in Freedom Magazine – you just
stopped short of labeling them as such, probably because you knew
Scientologists would be horrified, knowing you so easily broke a sacred
vow of trust with your parishioners.
How dare you use private
information in order to label someone an “adulteress?” You took Amy
Scobee’s most intimate admissions about her sexual life and passed them
onto the press and then smeared them all over the pages your
newsletter! I do not know the woman, but no matter what she said or
did, this is the woman who joined the Sea Org at 16! She ran the entire
celebrity center network, and was a loyal senior executive of the
church for what, 20 years? You want to rebut her accusations, do it,
and do it in the strongest terms possible – but that kind of character
assassination is unconscionable.
So, I am now painfully aware
that you might see this an attack and just as easily use things I have
confessed over the years to smear my name. Well, luckily I have never
held myself up to be anyone’s role model.
The great majority of
Scientologists I know are good people who are genuinely interested in
improving conditions on this planet and helping others. I have to
believe that if they knew what I now know, they too would be horrified.
But I know how easy it was for me to defend our organization and
dismiss our critics, without ever truly looking at what was being said;
I did it for thirty-five years. And so, after writing this letter, I am
fully aware that some of my friends may choose to no longer associate
with me, or in some cases work with me. I will always take their calls,
as I always took yours. However, I have finally come to the conclusion
that I can no longer be a part of this group. Frankly, I had to look no
further than your refusal to denounce the church’s anti-gay stance, and
the indefensible actions, and inactions, of those who condone this
behavior within the organization. I am only ashamed that I waited this
many months to act. I hereby resign my membership in the Church of
attached our email correspondence. At some point it became evident
that you did not value my concerns about the church’s tacit support of
an amendment that violated the civil rights of so many of our citizens.
Perhaps if you had done a little more research on me, the church’s
senior management wouldn’t have dismissed those concerns quite so
cavalierly. While I am no great believer in resumes and awards, this is
what you would have discovered:
* Founder, Artists For Peace and Justice,
– sponsoring schools, an orphanage and a children’s hospital in the slums of Haiti
* Co-Founder, BrandAid Foundation and BrandAid Project
– marketing the work of artisans from the poorest countries in the world,
* Board Member, Office of The Americas
– supporting peace and justice initiatives around the world
* Board Member, Center For The Advancement of Non-Violence
* Member and active supporter, Amnesty International
* Member, President’s Council, Defenders of Wildlife
* Member and fundraiser, Environment California and CalPirg
* Member and Award Recipient, American Civil Liberties Union
* Member and supporter, Death Penalty Focus
* Member and supporter, Equality For All
* Fundraiser, NPH (Our Little Brothers) – for the children of the slums of Haiti
* Member, Citizens Commission on Human Rights
* Patron with Honors, IAS
* Trustee, Religious Freedom Trust
* Board Member and fundraiser, Hollywood Education and Literacy Project
* Board Member and fundraiser, For The Arts, For Every Child
– supporting art and music in public schools
* Board Member and fundraiser, The Christic Institute
– supporting Human Rights in Central America
* Founding Board Member, Earth Communication Office
* Working Board Member, Environmental Media Association
* Fundraiser, El Rescate – Human Rights for El Salvador
* Fundraiser, PAVA – Aid and Human Rights in Guatemala
Awards for outspoken support of Civil and Human Rights:
* Valentine Davies Award – Writers Guild of America
“for bringing honor and dignity to writers everywhere”
*Bill of Rights Award – American Civil Liberties Union
*Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award – Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
*Peace & Justice Award – Office of the Americas, presented by Daniel Ellsberg
*Signis Award, Venezia, World Catholic Association
*ALMA Award – National Council of Latino Civil Rights
*Ethel Levitt Award for Humanitarian Service – Levitt & Quinn
*Prism Award – Entertainment Industries Council
*Humanitas Prize (2) – Humanitas
*Legacy Award, for Artistic and Humanitarian Achievement
*Environmental Media Award – EMA
*EMA Green Seal Award – EMA
*Image Award – NAACP
*Creative Integrity Award – Multicultural Motion Picture Association
*EDGE Awards (2) – Entertainment Industries Council
*Artistic Freedom Award – City of West Hollywood
*Catholics in Media Award – Catholics in Media Associates
many dozens of fundraisers and salons at our home on behalf of Human
and Civil Rights, the Environment, the Peace Movement, Education,
Justice and Equality.