Lawsuit filed against Scientology by ex-member of the church

A group of victim’s rights attorneys has filed the first of what it says are several lawsuits against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige. From the Tampa Bay Times:

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of an unnamed Jane Doe born in 1979, outlines her lifetime of alleged suffering in Scientology where she was subjected as a child at the Clearwater headquarters to abuse inherent to auditing, Scientology’s spiritual counseling that can more resemble interrogation. It states she joined the church’s clergy-like Sea Org in California at 15, where people worked 100 hours a week for $46. She was at times held against her will. When she officially left Scientology in 2017, Doe was followed by private investigators and terrorized by the church as it published “a hate website” falsely stating she was an alcoholic dismissed from the sect for promiscuity, according to the complaint…

Doe was born into a Scientology family and lived at the church’s international spiritual headquarters in Clearwater from ages 6 to 12 as a member of the Cadet Org, the organization’s clergy for children. There she endured “military like conditions” where she worked and cleaned from 8 a.m. to midnight without proper schooling, according to the complaint.

At the age of 10, the complaint states Doe was subjected to Bullbaiting, a practice used to teach people how to not react to any insult, threat or inappropriate comment. The technique is taught to members learning how to conduct auditing, Scientology’s spiritual counseling where subjects are interrogated in order to clear their reactive mind, which the church says holds trauma and pain from past lives.

“During this process, adults would say vulgar and sexually explicit things to children and punish them if they showed any visible reaction,” the lawsuit states, adding the practice falls within California’s definition of child abuse. “(Doe) was forced, at the age of 10-years-old, to sit in a chair while adults screamed things in her face such as, ‘I am going to f— you and then your mother.’”

The real identity of the Jane Doe behind this case doesn’t appear to be that much of a secret. The Tampa Bay Times reports that after she left the church in 2017 she began working for actress Leah Remini who has a show about Scientology on the A&E network. Doe appeared on an episode of the show last November. The website attacking Doe was allegedly put up after she appeared on the show. I’ve seen Remini’s show and recommend it to anyone who wants to understand how the church operates behind the scenes.

Asked for comment Tuesday by the Hollywood Reporter, Scientology released a statement saying it hadn’t seen the complaint yet: “The Church of Scientology International has not received the complaint, but from what we have seen in the press, this is another shameful publicity stunt by Leah Remini and one of her employees.”