After 27 unsuccessful attempts by process servers, Scientology leader David Miscavige is now considered “officially served” by court officials.
Scientology Leader David Miscavige Gets “Served”
Scientology leader David Miscavige was finally served with a long-standing human trafficking lawsuit this week.
According to local outlets in Tampa, Florida, process servers have attempted on nearly 30 occasions to deliver court papers at ten different church properties.
The drops occurred between May and August and the servers were all turned away by security guards, including at the Hacienda Gardens facility where former members say he lives.
The trafficking lawsuit against Miscavige and the Church of Scientology was filed by Valeska Paris and married couple Gawain and Laura Baxter, who allege that they were trafficked into Scientology as children and forced to work long hours by the organization, which they said considered them adults.
According to the court documents, he evaded process servers 27 times at five different locations in Florida and California over four months.
Florida Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed, ruled this week that he’s now considered served. The church leader has been given 21 days to respond to the civil suit.
In court documents viewed by the outlet, Valeska Paris and married couple Gawain and Laura Baxter alleged that they were “coerced” to join the religion, and its notorious Sea Organization arm, to “provide unpaid labor and services for a decade or longer.”
“Plaintiffs were placed on a ship they could not leave and routinely punished by being humiliated, interrogated, and imprisoned, for the sole purpose of ensuring Plaintiffs would continue to perform back breaking free labor,” the suit alleged.
Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw called Sneed’s ruling “erroneous” in a statement to Insider and slammed the allegations by the Paris and the Baxters as “absurd, ridiculous, scurrilous and blatantly false.”
Never a Dull Moment in Scientology
Miscavige grabbed the reins of Scientology when its founder, science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard, died in 1986. Critics like Tony Ortega and Leah Remini have since spoken out against the religion and its leader.
But Scientology continues to retain high-profile followers like Tom Cruise and Danny Masterson — whose recent rape trial involving former church members ended in a hung jury.
Similar accusations of misconduct have been lodged at Miscavige in the past. As recently as 2019, he was sued over claims of “abuse, human trafficking, and intimidation.” Defectors have long warned about allegedly systemic abuse they experienced in the organization — which Scientology has routinely denied.
Tom Cruise and Miscavige have been friends for decades, and Miscavige even served as the actor’s best man in his wedding to Nicole Kidman in 1990, and to Katie Holmes in 2006, as reported by Pop Dust.
As Cruise’s acting career flourished, he became the biggest star in the Church of Scientology and developed a close relationship with its leader.
The two men have been photographed enjoying each other’s company as well.
Shelly Miscavige, David’s wife, hasn’t been seen in public since 2007.
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