Resting on the mahogany credenza next to my Ira Glass commemorative fart decanter (What, am I supposed to stick my head between my legs like some sort of philistine?) is the current issue of The New Yorker, featuring a twenty-five thousand word exposé on Paul Haggis’ decision to leave the Church of Scientology. Best known as the only screenwriter to ever win back-to-back Best Picture Oscars, for 2003’s Million Dollar Baby and 2004’s Crash (guhhh), Haggis was also one of the Church’s more prominent…parishioners? What do they even call themselves? Seamen? I prefer Seamen. Wait.
Anyway, Haggis says that after 34 years of allegiance to Admiral Ascot up there, he felt compelled to resign when the Church tacitly endorsed California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman, but I like to think the decision came after witnessing one too many dinner parties like the one ruggedly described by Josh Brolin, who was also interviewed for the article:
Brolin says that he once witnessed John Travolta practicing Scientology. Brolin was at a dinner party in Los Angeles with Travolta and Marlon Brando. Brando arrived with a cut on his leg, and explained that he had injured himself while helping a stranded motorist on the Pacific Coast Highway. He was in pain. Travolta offered to help, saying that he had just reached a new level in Scientology. Travolta touched Brando’s leg and Brando closed his eyes. “I watched this process going on—it was very physical,” Brolin recalls. “I was thinking, This is really f-cking bizarre! Then, after ten minutes, Brando opens his eyes and says, ‘That really helped. I actually feel different!’ ” [New Yorker]
Vigorous once more, Brando then ate 400 deviled eggs and took a swing at Jenna Elfman. All-in-all a fairly normal evening for all parties involved. Praise Xenu!