Ex-Scientologist Who Fled in Trunk of Car Sues Church

She accuses it of human trafficking, false imprisonment, child abuse
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2019 3:47 AM CDT
Lawsuit Accuses Scientology of Abuse, Human Trafficking
The Scientology Cross perched atop the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

A "Jane Doe" who was in the Church of Scientology for nearly 40 years is suing the organization, accusing it of human trafficking, false imprisonment, child abuse, and many other misdeeds. The woman says she was in the organization from her birth in 1979 and eventually fled in 2016 in the trunk of a car, NBC reports. According to the Hollywood Reporter, her lawsuit says she was a member of Scientology's "Sea Org," in which members sign billion-year contracts and work 100 hours a week for a weekly allowance of $15 for children or $46 for adults. The lawsuit, which also names "ecclesiastical leader" David Miscavige, alleges that the woman was placed in solitary confinement for months in 2015 because she knew too much about Miscavige's marital problems.

According to the lawsuit, the woman says after she fled in the trunk of a car of a non-Scientology actor she had filmed a promotional video with, her father convinced her to return for the "official exit process," which resulted in her being interrogated and treated like a prisoner for months. She says after she left for good and began working with documentary maker Leah Remini, Scientology began harassing her with an online campaign that falsely claimed she was an alcoholic who was dismissed for "rampant sexual promiscuity." "In addition to the online smear campaign, defendants have stalked, surveilled, and followed Jane Doe," the lawsuit states. A Scientology attorney says the organization "will vigorously defend itself against these unfounded allegations." (More Scientology stories.)

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