"Church of Scientology Under Investigation for Slave Labour" - February 7th 2011

Members of an FBI task force on human trafficking have been investigating the Church of Scientology for over a year, according to an article in the New Yorker.

The New Yorker profile of ex-Scientologist writer/director Paul Haggis, responsible for movies such as Million Dollar Baby and Crash, paints a strange picture off what life as a prominent member of Scientology is like. One of the larger revelations involves the existence of an ongoing FBI investigation into allegations of abuse by Scientology’s leader David Miscavige, and the enslavement of members of Scientology’s religious order, “Sea Org”.


According to the article, agents from an FBI task force on human trafficking have been conducting interviews with former members of Scientology about abuse in the church for over a year and the case remains open.

The article reads:

The laws regarding trafficking were built largely around forced prostitution, but they also pertain to slave labor. Under federal law, slavery is defined, in part, by the use of coercion, torture, starvation, imprisonment, threats, and psychological abuse. The California penal code lists several indicators that someone may be a victim of human trafficking: signs of trauma or fatigue; being afraid or unable to talk, because of censorship by others or security measures that prevent communication with others; working in one place without the freedom to move about; owing a debt to one’s employer; and not having control over identification documents. Those conditions echo the testimony of many former Sea Org members…

The author of the piece, Lawrence Wright, is due to release a book on Scientology later this year. Paul Haggis left the Church of Scientology in 2009 after clashing with the church over their backing of Prop 8, the constitutional amendment which provided “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”



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