UPDATE after the jump: Breaking news about Paul Haggis and the Vanity Fair bombshell about Tom Cruise.
One of Scientology's enduring mysteries is that it has attracted Hollywood stars when it has such a reputation for homophobia. The sexual orientation of its top celebrities is always a matter of popular speculation, and even those with the barest understanding of Scientology seem to know that if celebrity members are gay, they have to keep quiet about it.
Scientology is going through several serious crises right now, but its treatment of homosexuals is never far behind its other more immediate troubles. It was the San Diego church's support of California's homophobic Proposition 8 in 2008, for example, that became the last straw for director Paul Haggis, who famously quit the church and then told his story to the New Yorker last year. (He's not gay, but he has two lesbian daughters.)
Now, we have a remarkable story about a man named Keith Relkin who for several years became a sort of unofficial spokesman for queer Scientology. He was the church's token gay guy in West Hollywood, insisting to the public that Scientology was actually friendly to homosexuality.
On February 3, Relkin died. And now, his friends have shared with the Voice some of his e-mails and other writings which show that behind the scenes, Relkin was actually very frustrated with the deep-seated homophobia of his church.More »