Lawyers Can't Track Down Scientology's David Miscavige

They've been trying to serve him papers for months in 2 states
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2023 10:27 AM CST
Lawyers Can't Track Down Scientology's David Miscavige
In this 2004 photo, confetti rains down as actor Tom Cruise, left, embraces the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, during the official opening of a new Scientology church in central Madrid.   (AP Photo/Paul White)

As head of Scientology, David Miscavige keeps an extremely low public profile. But opposing lawyers have been surprised to find out how low—they have unsuccessfully attempted to serve him papers in a federal trafficking case at least 27 times over the last four months, reports TMZ. It's possible the number is even higher because the Tampa Bay Times had the same figure in December when it also reported on the ongoing legal cat-and-mouse. Process servers have been showing up at Scientology offices in Los Angeles and in Clearwater, Florida, only to be told that by security guards that Miscavige is not present.

The legal papers involve three former members of Scientology who have filed a civil complaint against Miscavige and the church. They allege they were forced to start working at the Scientology group Sea Org as children, then were coerced into continuing to work into adulthood for virtually no money. "The lawsuit is nothing but a money shakedown," the church tells TMZ in a statement. "The allegations are scurrilous, ridiculous and blatantly false. The lawsuit is both a sham and a scam."

One of the opposing attorneys had a different view. “Miscavige cannot be permitted to continue his gamesmanship,” he wrote in a court filing. The lawyers are hoping a judge might declare Miscavige to be legally served despite the successful dodging. After news of Miscavige's elusiveness surfaced, prominent Scientology critic and former member Leah Remini tweeted, "WHERE IS SHELLY???" The terse tweet is a reference to David Miscavige's wife, who has not been seen in public since 2007, per Jezebel. Remini filed a missing person's report about Shelly Miscavige several years ago. (More David Miscavige stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.