In June of 2019, a woman who used to be a part of the Church of Scientology filed a suit against the church. The woman’s attorneys claimed that there would be a number of future lawsuits filed against not only the Church of Scientology, but also the leader of the church David Miscavige. The suits allege a range of crimes including child abuse, forced labor, and human trafficking.
The lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court and seeks “general, special, and compensatory damages”. The lawsuit also seeks unpaid wages, from the church and its Religious Technology Center, as well as Miscavige and 25 other people who were unnamed. Some of the other allegations in the suit include libel, invasion of privacy, and emotional distress.
The woman who filed the lawsuit was not named and has been called only Jane Doe in the court papers. She says that she was raised in the church and when she was 15, she became the personal steward of Miscavige.
What Is Scientology? It’s a Bit Weird
While many people have heard the name, not everyone has a full understanding of exactly what this church is or how it got started. It was actually created by a science fiction author named L. Ron Hubbard in 1952. When you start to look into some of the beliefs of Scientology, it becomes clear that it was invented by a sci-fi writer. In their doctrine, a galactic ruler named Xenu brought people to earth 75 million years ago, placed them around volcanoes, and then used hydrogen bombs to blow them up. The church, understanding the polarization of Xenu in the public’s eye, does not talk about this aspect very often.
However, they have plenty of other beliefs that many find to be quite controversial, as well, such as a believe that psychiatry is nonsense and that humans have untapped special abilities. They also believe that the soul, or thetan, is able to exist outside of the body, but still control the body.
While these beliefs sound strange to outsiders, the same could be true of many religions. However, there are many other controversies associated with the Church of Scientology that help to make the claims of the lawsuit described above seem quite plausible.
In January of 1963, the U.S. Marshalls seized more than a hundred “E-Meters” from one of the church’s buildings in Washington D.C. because the church was making claims that the devices were able to treat physical and mental illnesses. In 1978, Hubbard’s wife and other Scientologists were convicted of domestic espionage and spying, so they could remove records from various government agencies. They were attempting to remove records about L. Ron Hubbard that were deemed unfavorable or unflattering.
There have been many cases of fraud, as well as accusations of brainwashing. The latest allegations, which come on the heels of actress Leah Remini’s information about the church after she left, all have an air of plausibility to them.
What Will Happen?
While it is impossible to tell exactly what’s going to happen in this lawsuit, it is quite likely that there will be further lawsuits that are going to emerge in the coming months and years. The Church of Scientology representatives have said that they are going to use all of their power and resources to fight the allegations
Even though the church is seen as a cult by many, they have obtained a powerful following over the years. Some of the most famous members include John Travolta and Tom Cruise. They also have deep pockets. Watching the lawsuits that will be unfolding will certainly be interesting.