A few days after sending the resignation letter to Tommy Davis, Haggis came home from work to find nine or ten of his Scientology friends standing in his front yard. He invited them in to talk. Anne Archer was there with Terry Jastrow, her husband, an actor turned producer and director. “Paul had been such an ally,” Archer told me. “It was pretty painful. Everyone wanted to see if there could be some kind of resolution.” Mark Isham, an Emmy-winning composer who has scored films for Haggis, came with his wife, Donna. Sky Dayton, the EarthLink founder, was there, along with several other friends and a church representative Haggis didn’t know. His friends could have served as an advertisement for Scientology—they were wealthy high achievers with solid marriages, who embraced the idea that the church had given them a sense of well-being and the skills to excel.
Scientologists are trained to believe in their persuasive powers and the need to keep a positive frame of mind. But the mood in the room was downbeat and his friends’ questions were full of reproach. Jastrow asked Haggis, “Do you have any idea that what you might do might damage a lot of pretty wonderful people and your fellow-Scientologists?”
Haggis reminded the group that he had been with them at the 1985 “freedom march” in Portland. They all knew about his financial support of the church and the occasions when he had spoken out in its defense. Jastrow remembers Haggis saying, “I love Scientology.”
Archer had particular reason to feel aggrieved: Haggis’s letter had called her son a liar. “Paul was very sweet,” she says. “We didn’t talk about Tommy.” She understood that Haggis was upset about the way Proposition 8 had affected his gay daughters, but she didn’t think it was relevant to Scientology. “The church is not political,” she told me. “We all have tons of friends and relatives who are gay. . . . It’s not the church’s issue. I’ve introduced gay friends to Scientology.”
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Interested in learning more, read Dianetics and Inside Scientology: The Story of America’s Most Secretive Religion.
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