Before appearing on Remini’s reality TV show, Paul Haggis eviscerated his own credibility by confirming what we all knew: that he lied and his anti-Scientology tale is built on a fraud.
So consumed with their religious McCarthyism aimed at harassing individuals who are simply practicing their faith, Leah Remini and her enablers at A&E such as Nancy Dubuc have now gone further off the deep end in revealing the depth of their obsessive bigotry and hate.
Remini’s latest recruit for her hate-filled witch hunt is director Paul Haggis, who became a card-carrying member of the small cadre of anti-Scientologists by telling a whopper of a lie in 2009 to the media, that he left in a dispute with the Church over LGBTQ rights.
Haggis has been forced to admit it was a fabrication after the very person who coached him into leaving disclosed Haggis asked him to lie to Lawrence Wright and personally called out the Haggis tale as “a really phony narrative.”
Now, after years of living the lie and covering up what really happened, Haggis has been forced to admit it was a fabrication after the very person who coached him into leaving disclosed Haggis asked him to lie to Lawrence Wright and personally called out the Haggis tale as “a really phony narrative.”
Haggis for years has falsely claimed he split with the Church because it could not take a position on California’s incendiary Proposition 8 campaign in 2008 regarding same-sex marriage, due to its status as a tax-exempt religious and charitable entity. Haggis claimed that he was unhappy with the response he received to a letter he sent to the Church because his daughters are gay, prompting him to independently review negative articles on the Internet about the Church, leading to his departure. This lie served as the opening anecdote and linchpin for a New Yorker article by anti-Scientology author Lawrence Wright, and his subsequent book.
The Church from Day One has noted that the tale is made up from whole cloth, as the Church never takes a position on political issues. Earlier this year, the bottom fell out of the Haggis lie when Mark (Marty) Rathbun, former guru to both Haggis and Remini, revealed in a YouTube video that there is no truth whatsoever to the Haggis account.
Mark (Marty) Rathbun, former guru to both Haggis and Remini, revealed in a YouTube video that there is no truth whatsoever to the Haggis account.
Not surprisingly, Haggis wrote his ultimate spec script choreographing his exit from the Church to make him seem like a noble do-gooder rather than the cynical opportunist he is. The Scene: Collero and Lightning in conversation with co-conspirators: “The best way to get this story out is to call your contacts…” And so it went. With Haggis stage managing his “surprise” exit from the religion that supported him for 24 years. With Paul Haggis, everything is calculated.
Far from being a principled decision by Haggis over gay rights, it was actually Rathbun who approached Haggis and coached him. In fact, as Rathbun reveals, Haggis asked others to lie for him to Lawrence Wright so that Wright would put the false narrative into his fraudulent book: “oh, to be an intrepid investigator…” and to protect his image as a crusader, especially with his daughters. Haggis was deathly afraid Rathbun might reveal the truth to Wright and expose the crusading image as a farce, as Rathbun notes in recalling their conversation:
“He said ‘Look, for the sake of my image with my daughters, can you please avoid telling Larry Wright that you were the person…that you prompted me…?”
Rathbun recounts in detail how Wright swallowed the Haggis lie hook, line and sinker from Haggis, and how Haggis manipulated and lied to the press.
Rathbun recounts in detail how Wright swallowed the Haggis lie hook, line and sinker from Haggis, and how Haggis manipulated and lied to the press. As Rathbun tells it:
“So he says, by October, Marty Rathbun got a hold of the letter. Well I actually have an email of 23 August, two months earlier, I’m talking with Paul Haggis, about, not only do I have the letter, but I’m getting detailed meticulous instructions about how to present it deceptively to media contacts that I’ve established… Paul Haggis consulted with me every step of the way, on how he should position this and how he should do this.”
Tellingly, Haggis confirmed Rathbun’s account in an interview with a blogger, admitting he asked Rathbun to preserve the lie for Wright’s article by withholding this critical information from him. As Haggis stated:
“Marty is likely telling a truth. At the time of Larry’s article and book I withheld the fact that Marty had reached out to me by email.”
And so as to secure his position as an apostate, hypocrite, bigot and liar, Haggis admits: “I withheld that information from Larry Wright.”
Haggis admits: “I withheld that information from Larry Wright.”
Bottom line: Once Haggis admitted that he lied about his story, he had no credibility. Not that any of that would matter to Leah Remini. She proudly boasts that she refuses to vet the credibility of her subjects, and that A&E’s attorneys let her get away with it. Obviously, she did the same with Haggis.
So Haggis now admits the entire premise that launched the original article and book is a lie. In other words, the person Wright described as his “donkey” leading him through the story has been forced to admit his tale is a fake.
As Haggis knows too well, when he is in a career free fall there is nothing like talking about his former religion to get a bit of free publicity.
As Haggis knows too well, when he is in a career free-fall there is nothing like talking about his former religion to get a bit of free publicity. He knows that denigrating the Church and the beliefs of others buys him a cheap tabloid headline. The Haggis career is now more than a decade removed from his successes, when his movie Crash won over a pro-LGBTQ film. Now he is burdened by such box office bombs like The Next Three Days on his resume, a complete stranger to an entire generation of younger moviegoers. Naturally, he sees spewing hate about religion with Leah Remini as his desperate means to seem relevant.
Haggis is the ultimate Hollywood hypocrite. He professes to be an advocate of LGBTQ rights. Yet he is too cowardly to speak up when Remini and co-host Mike Rinder cozy up and try to enlist for their show a Florida preacher whose venomous gay-bashing comments include stating that homosexuality “destroys people’s lives” is “emotionally destructive,” “physiologically destructive,” “is harmful for our culture, our children” and is “jumping into a raging river that takes you over a waterfall.” Haggis also professes to be a devout member of the Catholic Church, but has never said one word about its opposition to same-sex marriage.
Likewise, Haggis claims to be an advocate for human rights and justice. But he didn’t have the guts to condemn his go-to blogger Tony Ortega when Ortega was chief defender of the most horrendous human trafficking and child prostitution site on the Internet, Backpage.com. Backpage was the cash cow for Ortega’s corporate bosses at the time—who have since been arrested. Ortega would relentlessly savage anyone from journalists at CNN to celebrities who dared expose Backpage as a human trafficking cesspool condemned by every attorney general in the country.
Haggis’ late sister Kathy, a television writer who sadly passed away in 2016, revealed a lifetime of lies by Haggis when she called out her brother in videotapes and multiple letters prior to her death. Kathy revealed her brother’s “resignation” from the Church was meaningless, because for all intents and purposes he was never really a member to begin with—to the extent he participated in the Church, it was only to cynically advance his career. Dumbfounded by Haggis’ claims to have been an active Scientologist, Kathy Haggis wrote The New Yorker editor David Remnick: I found it hard to take seriously since, to my knowledge, he had not had any significant involvement in Scientology for over 20 years and hadn’t made any meaningful progress in the study of the religion since 1977.”
Kathy knew her brother well. She worked on projects with Haggis and was with him from the very beginning of his association with the Church. Tellingly, she said that he never raised any of the issues he claimed were reasons he left.
With success in his rear-view mirror, Paul Haggis is only of interest to Leah Remini and A&E for the hate he will spew. As with Wright, he’s become their “donkey,” braying his stale lies once again before their cameras.
Prior to her death, Haggis’ sister said that Paul “was always a liar” dating back to their childhood and had a long history of using others and Scientology if he thought it would help his career. She also told how her brother even lied to his relatives with a phony excuse for why he and Lawrence Wright conspired on a hit piece in the New Yorker against the Church and its leader. Kathy’s husband says that Haggis told him at a family wedding that Wright had promised him a New Yorker profile in time for the release of his flop The Next Three Days, but only if he unloaded his venom about Scientology—since no one was interested in Paul Haggis himself. In other words, some things never change. With success in his rear-view mirror, Paul Haggis is only of interest to Leah Remini and A&E for the hate he will spew. As with Wright, he’s become their “donkey,” braying his stale lies once again before their cameras.