Famous Defector Spills on Scientology

What can someone say after leaving a religion after 30 years? Plenty, it turns out: Crash director Paul Haggis, one of the church’s best-known defectors, is the subject of a 25,000-word New Yorker prolife that came out Monday, and with it, gives some information that could bury the religion. Haggis, a Scientologist for 30 years who left the church when it did not condemn California's Proposition 8 referendum on same-sex marriage, explains why he calls the sect a “cult.” For one, the FBI is investigating the church for human-trafficking abuses. Some other revelations: Scientology’s “special schools”—including one built by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith—left Haggis’ daughter illiterate until she was 11; church spokesman Tommy Davis, son of Anne Archer and a fairly loyal shill for the organization, was punished for a 2005 PR debacle involving Tom Cruise and was forced to go to Scientology boot camp; and there are only 25,000 registered Scientologists in the U.S.—about half the number of Rastafarians.