Lawsuit against Scientology cult covers US: The church is in crisis

My son was asking about Scientology a few weeks ago. I told him about The Golden Suicides, Shawn Lonsdale and the expose by The Tampa Bay Tribune revealing the horrific abuses of the cult. If you follow those links, you will see that people critical of Scientology used to get harassed to the point where they would “commit suicide.” That was around 10 to 12 years ago, but Scientology’s influence has weakened thanks to exposes and the accounts of former members who have bravely spoken out, including of course Leah Remini. The cult harasses detractors by spying and following them and using defamation and legal tactics. So it’s nice to hear of yet another civil suit against Scientology. They’ve been sued so many times, but this one may get some traction. US Magazine is featuring it on the cover this week along with photos of Leah Remini, Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley. Tom and Kirstie are still deeply brainwashed and defensive of COS so it’s bizarre that US is making it look like they’re all on the same side. An anonymous former member is suing them, claiming they abused her from the age of 6 and made her work as a slave, essentially. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this about Scientology.

Kidnapping. Abuse. Human trafficking. These are just some of the allegations an anonymous plaintiff is making in a suit filed on June 18 against the Church of Scientology and its current leader, David Miscavige, 59. Jane Doe, who’s believed to be around age 40, is suing the church — which boasts a host of famous members, including Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kelly Preston — for kidnapping, stalking, human trafficking, false imprisonment, libel, slander, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“The Church of Scientology presents a facade to the outside world to disguise what, in reality, is nothing more than a cult built on mind control,” the lawsuit alleges. The controversial church denies all allegations of abuse. In response to Jane Doe’s suit, the church’s lawyers tell Us, “We are confident the lawsuit will fail. The church will vigorously defend itself against these unfounded allegations.”

The shocking suit has the potential to bring down the controversial religion and its seemingly untouchable leader — and expose the secrets its A-list followers may have been keeping for years. “Tom [Cruise] undoubtedly knows the stories about the church,” a source tells Us of Scientology’s celebrity golden boy. Another insider says that with the actor, 57, employed as Miscavige’s right-hand man and best friend, “there’s very little he doesn’t know. He and David are like brothers united in their religious devotion. If David is ordering this kind of harassment on people trying to leave the church,” adds the insider, “Tom would likely see it.”

Things aren’t looking good for the once-powerful organization. “The church is in crisis,” says Tony Ortega, a blogger who’s critical of Scientology. “Membership is dwindling, and its practices are being exposed in ways we’ve never seen before.” Scientology critic Steve Mango, of Opens a New Window. , adds, “Scientology has been trying to cover up its crimes and abuse for decades,” he says. “This suit is the beginning of the unraveling of Scientology as we know it.”

[From US Magazine]

That part about Cruise goes too easy on him. The Tampa Bay tribune had quotes from Scientologists who went on the record to say that they witnessed Cruise physically hit people to keep them in line. He’s more than aware of Scientology’s abuses, he participates in them. If you’d like to know more about this lawsuit, Scientology expert Tony Ortega has more along with an analysis of Scientology’s likely response. The good news is that Jane Doe has a team of eight powerful lawyers. Ortega also knows who she is and explains why it’s likely that the cult does too. While I doubt this will take Scientology down, it’s noticeable how much weaker they are and I hope that encourages more members to escape.

OOh and I checked Leah Remini’s twitter and they have a website for this lawsuit and are asking for former Scientologists to speak to them.


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61 Responses to “Lawsuit against Scientology cult covers US: The church is in crisis”

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  1. Cay says:

    I swear by Tony Ortega and the Underground Bunker. I hate to go a day without reading it. He broke this story last week.

  2. Rocķy says:

    Leah’s show seemed to have been pulled off the air mid season last winter. We need it on the air to keep this cult in the limelight

  3. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Wow, I’ve actually been binge-watching Leah Remini’s show Scientology and the Aftermath on Hulu since the weekend. I’ve always known Scientology was an insane and dangerous cult but hearing so many horrific stories one by one over and over again really drives it home. This cult rips families apart, ruins lives and has lead to suicides. They are truly evil. And right at the top of the is David Miscavige. And people like Cruise and Allen and any other celeb still attached to Scientology are just as guilty.

  4. Aims says:

    I have no idea why this cult hasn’t been shutdown. There have been laws broken and clear violation of human rights. What they are doing is illegal and dangerous. I don’t care how pretty the bow is on this cult, it’s still a cult. I have boycotted Tom ever since he publicly criticized Brooke Shields for her post pardon depression. He had no right feeling he could inject himself in a conversation about something that is real and personal. No, this cult needs to be shutdown and people need prison time.

    • Algernon says:

      “I have no idea why this cult hasn’t been shutdown.”

      Because they have tax-exempt church status. The government will never move against CO$ because it would set a precedent where people could point to the abuses of, say, the Catholic church and demand they lose their status, too. It would create a situation of “unchurching” a lot of groups (conservative churches that push conversion therapy, fundie churches with child brides, etc). That’s a door no one wants to open.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        Indeed – the evangelicals would have an absolute fit if there was a sniff of this happening and the Republicans wouldn’t want to upset their base and funders now would they.

      • whatWHAT? says:

        ANY church/cult that involves itself in politics should lose tax exempt status. and, since $ci charges for services, they should ABSOLUTELY lose their status.

      • Aims says:

        Very good points.

      • Alyse says:

        Yeah, sadly THIS

      • fishface says:

        If churches et al want to be tax exempt, they should be open to audits to prove how their funds are raised and spent.

    • Paintdry says:

      I saw a major documentary years back (can’t remember the name) and the government did try but the cult members, a lot of whom are very wealthy, filed vexatious lawsuits against the government en masse and the IRS (and I believe other governmental bodies) gave up. Very interesting regulatory case study in a legal sense. Will have to read up on this – how do you regulate these groups engaging in clearly illegal activities and shutting down internal dissent with a cult approach, in a country with very strong constitution-based freedom of speech – more! Other than have to get people from within to go through the courts.

  5. Bananas says:

    Let’s not forget about Elisabeth Moss being on the brainwashed list 🙁

    • Renee says:

      Yes. She always seems to get a free pass. Yet she’s the one who walked out of the Emmy ceremony when Leah Remini went onstage to collect her Emmy for her anti-Scientology show. Moss makes me sick.

    • StellainNH says:

      Moss is the reason why I won’t watch hulu’s a Handmaid’s Tale.

      • Valiantly Varnished says:

        Same. I just cant bring myself to watch it because of her.

      • Snazzy says:

        Yup me too.

      • Erinn says:

        That casting makes me SO much more ragey than normal too – because of the message of the book/show. It is SUCH a hollow gesture having her in that role.

      • Amaryis says:

        I won’t watch it either.
        While I think I would enjoy it & I do think Moss is a talented actress I cannot support her.

      • JennaR says:

        Me too! I have friends who rave about the show, but I just can’t watch it because of her.

      • Nana says:

        Same here. Any show that has an active Scientologist in it, I refuse to watch.

      • Annie says:

        I can’t watch anything she’s in for that reason alone. I have such contempt for Scientology and all that cult’s members.

      • dj says:

        Glad to see I am in very good company here. No to anything Elisabeth Moss is in. I thought I was going to burst a blood vessel in my eye when I read she was cast in a Handmaid’s Tale!

      • Surly Gale says:

        I used to so like her…she was the youngest daughter of President Jed Bartlett. Zoe was a great character for her and I followed her a bit till I learnt about her involvement. It’s just so damned sad…

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yeah, this. don’t know why she seems to get a pass with so many.

      “Tom [Cruise] undoubtedly knows the stories about the church,” a source tells Us of Scientology’s celebrity golden boy. Another insider says that with the actor, 57, employed as Miscavige’s right-hand man and best friend, “there’s very little he doesn’t know. He and David are like brothers united in their religious devotion. If David is ordering this kind of harassment on people trying to leave the church,” adds the insider, “Tom would likely see it.”

      well, DUH. EVERY member knows the stories, and Cruise is at the top of the heap. it’s why I will NEVER support anything any $ci bot does.

    • fishface says:

      Me too.

  6. Renee says:

    Scientology harassers even got Leah Remini’s last few episodes of her anti-Scientology show on A&E pulled this last season. I hated that A&E caved to the pressure of these cult freaks. Leah Remini is doing the work of God. She is the most famous person speaking out against them. Bless her.

    Miscaviage, Cruise, Travolta, Alley and all of the other abusers & enablers of these abusers can go to hell!

    • JennaR says:

      I didn’t realize they pulled some of the episodes. That makes me so angry.

    • Nana says:

      I thought it was pulled voluntarily because of the sexual assault charges against Danny Masterson. It was my understanding, they devoted a couple of episodes to supporting the victims claims of rape and prosecutors asked them not to air it so as not to prejudice the case and to let law enforcement solidify their evidence. May or not be true since LAPD seems to in CO$ pocket. Time will tell, I guess.

      • Carol says:

        @nana – I think I read the same thing you did.

        Whatever the case, I’m super happy about this lawsuit. Kirstie Alley’s head must be exploding right now

  7. CA Family Code says:

    Why should Cruise give up the slave labor in all of his homes and businesses? I mean the houses ain’t gonna clean themselves, right? #SlaveMasterCruise #SomeoneMakeaMovie

  8. Other Renee says:

    I don’t watch Cruise movies for this reason. I don’t watch Depp movies because he too is an abusive tool. Kudos to Leah. Shame on Eliza.

    Where’s Shelly?

    • HMC says:

      I think I’m the only one in the world who has never seen Mad Men or The Handmaid’s Tale because of Elisabeth Moss. I watched the West Wing and Cheers but I was young lol and it was pre-easy Google search.

      • Amaryis says:

        @HMC: You’re not the only one….I haven’t watched them either.

      • Erinn says:

        Haven’t watched either of them, and won’t largely because of her so you’ve got company.

      • dj says:

        Same here. I have not seen either!

      • Surly Gale says:

        You are not alone..I didn’t know E. Moss was on Cheers. I enjoyed her on the West Wing, I’ve never seen Mad Men or The Handmaid’s Tale either. Mad Men not necessarily because of Moss, Handmaids Tale ABSOLUTELY because of Moss (and I don’t do well with Horror movies)…..

  9. Gummy Bear says:

    All I can say is… FINALLY… Finally it seems like there is a chink in the Armour! Lets hope the ball keeps rolling.

  10. WingKingdom says:

    Wow. I remember how just a few years ago, almost nobody would write about Scientology because they would legit destroy people. This site was one of the very few places that would cover Scientology and link to sites like Tony Ortega’s. And now US is covering it! It’s been slow, but dramatic change has happened and will continue to happen. Let’s give credit to this site for being brave and writing about it when it was still dangerous to do so. A lot of us were educated here.

    Also, do you all remember how every time a story about Scientology was posted, the comments would get spammed by random new people with poor spelling and grammar who would be supportive of the cult? I guess they don’t have the people to do that anymore.

    • Celebitchy says:

      Yes I remember definitely. Also this is why I was careful about my identity from the beginning and only blog under my first name. I heard these stories about Scientology and did not want to get harassed or sued.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “Also, do you all remember how every time a story about Scientology was posted, the comments would get spammed by random new people with poor spelling and grammar who would be supportive of the cult?”

      yup, and they were called out every time because they’re so obvious.

  11. Teebee says:

    I watched this great doc on desperate families trying to break their kids into show biz. One mother and daughter had tried everything; moving to LA, hiring a cookie cutter agent, paying a fortune for a portfolio and head shots, going to every cattle call available. Nothing came of it. Then they showed up on camera with the Scientology starter kit. It was stupid, disgusting, but not shocking. They were so desperate to make it that they were easily convinced that the cult would open doors, give them the edge and access that eluded them. They aren’t believers. Only buying into the cachet that celeb Scientologists have given that cult. Damn them all.

    • Sassy says:

      What s the name of the doc p!ease?

      • Teebee says:

        The Hollywood Complex. I watched it on Netflix over a year ago, it’s gone now… but maybe you could stream it?

    • HMC says:

      They’ll become believers if their kid gets one little break that can be connected to Scientology. Then Co$ will be the greatest thing ever.

  12. Jemimaleopard says:

    I’ve been getting hand written letters from the Church of Scientology in Dublin since I was a kid (I live in Ireland but had never been to Dublin when I first started getting the letters). It’s been going on about 25years now. At least twice a year although recently they’ve become more frequent – about every 6 weeks or so. Always saying you purchased a book from us on Dianetics. I’ve never responded. The whole thing gives me the creeps. I hope this lawsuit is successful!!

    • Zapp Brannigan says:

      Member of CO$ used to hang around outside Connolly Station and Bus Aras with leaflets to target the students traveling from home to college back in the 90’s, I would see then every Sunday evening on my way back to college. It always creeped me out, something was “off” but could never put my finger on it, this was before they became more widely known. CO$ is nearly non-existent in Ireland but they claim tens of thousands of members here, in the last census, just 87 people said they were Scientologists. They are also investing major money as Ireland being the European headquarters, it’s odd.

    • 2bounce4u says:

      It’s enough for you just to turn your gaze for a second at their windows while walking by in LA and they will stalk you to your house.

  13. Mab's A'Mabbin says:

    In a perfect world, all these people would serve back-to-back sentences. All the leaders. All the celebrities. Everyone. And fully retroactive across the board. Shut this shit down. ‘Religious’ terrorism has no business in society. Frakking ridiculous this is still a thing.

  14. Suemorg says:

    I sued a dentist back in the nineties who was a member- he fired me for not taking courses. I didn’t even sue the “church” but they sent people to follow me, try to intimidate me, etc. The judge agreed with them that we couldn’t talk about their religious practices so the case was lost basically before it began. Even made me pay for his lawyer bills when I was pretty much flat broke. I’m so happy to see them being exposed more and more for the thugs they are. Thanks for reporting on this topic over the years.

    • JennaR says:

      I’m so sorry that happened to you. Makes me wonder if they had something on the judge, or if they were harassing him too.

      • Suemorg says:

        Thank you, it’s very possible. I read extensively on the judge tampering. They even had the president at the time out making statements about me. According to Leah’s show, he’s one of the ones no one has heard from in a long time, Heber Jentsch (sp?) If nothing else, but m proud to be a Suppressive Person!

  15. Rice says:

    Hubby and I saw Going Clear years ago and it’s haunted my dreams ever since then.

    Leah was still a member back then and I think she vehemently denied everything about the documentary. She’s come a long way. Also, I’ve got a feeling that Kirstie Ally will be the next to leave.

  16. Soupie says:

    This is good news about the 8 powerful attorneys. SCientology has apparently been knocked down to the Weinstein level where something might actually get done. (Even though Weinstein will likely make some sort of comeback, ugh.)

    Watched the entire documentary/miniseries Leah and others produced. LOVE her and all the rest of those bringing down this terrible organization in various ways – lawsuits, blogs, podcasts, tv series, etc.

  17. Nanea says:

    Like others here I boycott everything Cruise, Moss, Travolta, Alley but also stuff that involves people that are not quite as high profile, e.g. Juliette Lewis, Giovanni Ribisi and Beck.

    I don’t get how sites out there that consider themselves serious critics of movies etc. can still go ahead and promote stuff by members of that fascist cult as if nothing has happened, and anyway, it’s only a minor inconvenience…. *rolls eyes*

  18. Jane says:

    It’s pretty obvious who Jane Doe is if you follow Aftermath. I’m curious as to the legal strategy of withholding her name. Scientology will know and it’s probably all over the Internet but I suspect by withholding her name officially it’ll make Scientology to look like even bigger bullies if they reveal it, but that’s never stopped them before. Regardless, she has the support of Remini and good lawyers by the sounds of it so she’s the best bet for a successful case. She’s a compelling victim.

  19. Paintdry says:

    Is it too early to predict tentatively that Tom Cruise and co will have very troubled retirements, lose their fortunes thanks to litigation, and possibly be subject to criminal prosecution at some stage? Look at how quickly #metoo unfolded. I think these delusional people – the top tiers in the cult – living in their bubbles will be getting a very rude awakening soon.

  20. Stacy Dresden says:

    Down with special protections for religious organizations. Encourages abuse and makes them untouchable in many cases.

  21. Niturnia says:

    I live near the city of Clearwater and it’s extremely creepy. It’s oddly quiet with a few obviously ostentatious buildings that are the showpieces of the “church,” and many other smaller buildings that look to be empty and neglected but have dark tint on the windows and cars in the parking lot. We once went a small theater and saw many women wearing odd uniforms outside. They had a Stepford Wives look and walked purposely wearing vacant smiles and not making any eye contact. Many of my coworkers and friends dislike going there or driving through it. One of our best bike trails cuts through the city and it’s a relief to get out of that area and get to Dunedin. It feels like there’s very bad energy there.

    • H says:

      I lived in the area too. Locals despise the “Church.” The lone Starbucks in downtown Clearwater is the only thing really open. I used to stop there on my way out of town, so I could flip the bird at the Fort Harrison. The Sea Org bots are sad, wandering around, many recruited from third world countries who now have billion year contracts of “service,” aka slave labor.

      I also boycott Cruise, Alley and Travolta. They are all complicit.

  22. Surly Gale says:

    Are Scientologists Republicans? Kind of explains a lot in my frazzled and fried brain……