Church of Scientology accused of child abuse and human trafficking in new lawsuit

Chris Riotta
a close up of a tall building lit up at night © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited A woman who said she was raised as a Scientologist and served as a personal steward to the leader of the religion has sued the church, accusing it of human trafficking, forced labour and child abuse, among other damning allegations.

The woman, listed in court records as “Jane Doe,” said she was put in an isolation programme known as “the Hole” after learning about marital issues between the leader of the church, David Miscavige, and his wife.

She said she eventually escaped when she was assigned to help shoot promotional videos for the church with an actor who was not a Scientologist. The woman hid in the trunk of the actor’s car and fled the church in 2016, according to the complaint.

Video: Things To Know About The Church Of Scientology (Newsweek)

Click to expand

Replay Video
UP NEXT
  • President Trump Officially Announces Re-election Campaign During Orlando Rally
    President Trump Officially Announces Re-election Campaign During Orlando Rally
    At a kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida, President Trump officially announced that he’s running for a second term in 2020.
    Newsweek Logo Newsweek
  • No More Heroes III - Nintendo Switch Trailer - Nintendo E3 2019
    No More Heroes III – Nintendo Switch Trailer – Nintendo E3 2019
    The latest numbered entry in the No More Heroes series… No More Heroes 3 is coming to Nintendo Switch in 2020! Travis Touchdown returns to Santa Destroy after a ten-year absence. There he finds a huge artificial island metropolis floating in the sea, and a mysterious flying object hovering high above. Who really is the deadly killer Travis must face off against this time?!
    Newsweek Logo Newsweek
  • Reef Break - Season 1 Trailer
    Reef Break – Season 1 Trailer
    “Reef Break” debuts on ABC on June 20.
    Newsweek Logo Newsweek
1
Cancel
00:00
01:02
LO

Ad 01:02 – up next: “Five Things To Know About The Church Of Scientology”
Five Things To Know About The Church Of Scientology
What to watch next

  • Five Things To Know About The Church Of Scientology

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek1:02

  • President Trump Officially Announces Re-election Campaign During Orlando Rally

    President Trump Officially Announces Re-election Campaign During Orlando Rally

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek1:16

  • No More Heroes III - Nintendo Switch Trailer - Nintendo E3 2019

    No More Heroes III – Nintendo Switch Trailer – Nintendo E3 2019

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek1:36

  • Reef Break - Season 1 Trailer

    Reef Break – Season 1 Trailer

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek0:15

  • Why People Are Protesting Hong Kong’s Controversial Extradition Bill

    Why People Are Protesting Hong Kong’s Controversial Extradition Bill

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek2:48

  • Married At First Sight S9: Keith Gets Cold Feet

    Married At First Sight S9: Keith Gets Cold Feet

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek0:46

  • 'Ready or Not' Movie Trailer

    ‘Ready or Not’ Movie Trailer

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek2:31

  • Ambitions - Season 1 Trailer

    Ambitions – Season 1 Trailer

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek2:22

  • Monster Hunter World: Iceborne reveal

    Monster Hunter World: Iceborne reveal

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek1:49

  • 'Bold And The Beautiful'- Obsession Turns Deadly

    ‘Bold And The Beautiful’- Obsession Turns Deadly

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek0:20

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: U.S. Is 'Running Concentration Camps On Our Southern Border'

    Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: U.S. Is ‘Running Concentration Camps On Our Southern Border’

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek1:11

  • Good Trouble - Season 2 Trailer

    Good Trouble – Season 2 Trailer

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek1:00

  • 'Young And The Restless'- A Can't Miss Week

    ‘Young And The Restless’- A Can’t Miss Week

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek0:20

  • Team USA v. Team UK - Dodgeball w/ Michelle Obama, Harry Styles & More

    Team USA v. Team UK – Dodgeball w/ Michelle Obama, Harry Styles & More

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek1:26

  • 'Days Of Our Lives'- Weekly Preview (6/17/19)

    ‘Days Of Our Lives’- Weekly Preview (6/17/19)

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek0:15

  • iZombie - 508 Trailer

    iZombie – 508 Trailer

    Newsweek Logo

    Newsweek0:19

UP NEXT

UP NEXT
President Trump Officially Announ…
0

The Church of Scientology International has disputed the accusations in a statement to NBC News, saying “the lawsuit comprises nothing more than unfounded allegations as to all defendants” and adding it was “littered with anti-religious slurs culled from the tabloids and accusations that have been dis-proven in courts decades ago.”
Jane Doe went on to work for actress Leah Remini, a former Scientologist who has documented her experiences with leaving the church in a series titled “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”

Before “the Hole,” the woman had reportedly joined the Church of Scientology International’s elite Sea Organisation, a group of the “most dedicated members” of the religion who pledge to follow the church for near-eternity as part of a one-billion-year contract.

a close up of a boat: image © Provided by Independent Digital News & Media Limited image Attorneys for Jane Doe said the lawsuit is the first of several expected to be filed against the Church of Scientology International, which they say “has sought to quash dissension, cover up its long history of physical, emotional and sexual abuse of its members, including its most vulnerable members, its children, and weaponize its doctrine against those who escape and find the courage to speak up.”

“We are confident the lawsuit will fail,” Rebecca Kaufman, an attorney for the Church of Scientology, told NBC News in a statement. “Federal courts have already determined that service in the Church of Scientology’s religious order is voluntary and protected by the First Amendment.”

Police stand by outside and investigators work inside the entrance to the Church of Scientology in Inglewood, Calif., Wednesday, March 27, 2019. A few officers were wounded and a suspect was killed during a shootout after police responded Wednesday to reports of a man with a sword entering the church, authorities said. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) © AP Police stand by outside and investigators work inside the entrance to the Church of Scientology in Inglewood, Calif., Wednesday, March 27, 2019. A few officers were wounded and a suspect was killed during a shootout after police responded Wednesday to reports of a man with a sword entering the church, authorities said. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) “Moreover, the evidence will establish that while serving the church, plaintiff came and went freely, travelled the world, and lived in comfortable surroundings,” she added. “The church will vigorously defend itself against these unfounded allegations.”

Gallery: Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Scientologists (Best Life)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *