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I was ashamed to be a Scientologist: Paul Haggis

Los Angeles: Oscar winning writer-director Paul Haggis says he quit the Church of Scientology after 34 years because he was ashamed of becoming part of an organisation he now considers a cult.

The 59-year-old `Crash` writer/director has become the most famous and one of the most vocal former Scientologists, reported E! online.

In his first TV interview about his former faith, he said he walked away from Scientology because he was embarrassed by his links to the Church.

"I was ashamed of my own stupidity, of how I could have been so purposely blind for so many years," Haggis said.

And the filmmaker said that sitting down to talk about his feelings on TV was "incredibly stupid".

"You`ve got these folks inside this fortress who won`t look out and won`t look at any criticism and can`t bear the investigation and they think everybody is against them. How would you describe that? It`s a cult," he added.

Church of Scientology officials were well prepared for Haggis` TV appearance on Rock Center and released a statement before the programme aired.

"It is common knowledge in Hollywood that Mr Haggis is one of the most arrogant and self-important persons that people have ever met.

"Paul Haggis has had no first-hand knowledge about the Church of Scientology for more than 30 years and the only information he has is hearsay," the statement read.


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