Florida authorities are on the lookout for Scientology leader David Miscavige against whom they want to serve a federal trafficking lawsuit. It has been four months now and they are unaware of his whereabouts.
Miscavige is accused of evading process servers and frustrating those who want to move the case in the federal court. He reportedly vanished in the midst of a child trafficking lawsuit which alleges forced labour.
Attorneys expressed frustration when security guards at Scientology headquarters in Clearwater, Florida and California refused to accept the legal documents from process servers. The security guards said they didn't know where Miscavige lives or works.
Former Scientologists, Gawain Baxter, wife Laura Baxter and Valeska Paris, filed a lawsuit against Miscavige in April. They claimed that they were forced to work for the organization from the age of 10 until to adulthood for little or no pay, while suffering verbal and physical abuse. Gawain alleged that he was forced to sign a document at the age of six pledging to work for the Church of Scientology for "one billion years". He said he began working in low or unpaid labour for the Scientology's Cadet Org from the age of 10 while being forced to attend expensive indoctrination sessions.
"Growing up in Scientology, being separated from my family and subjected to severe verbal and physical abuse has scared me in ways that I am still working through and uncovering. All the while, Scientology continues to abuse and exploit its members, including young children and does so with virtually unchecked power," Gawain said in an official statement.
Ecclesiastical Leader of Scientology
According to the Scientology portal, David Miscavige is the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion. He is the chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center (RTC), and is responsible for the standard and pure application of L. Ron Hubbard's technologies of Dianetics and Scientology and for keeping the organization working.
Scientology claims to have touched the lives of billions through the religions' social betterment and humanitarian programs through Miscavige's stewardship. Under him, Hubbard's religious works are more widely available than ever and the Church has achieved unprecedented growth.
The organization highlights Miscavige as the 12-year-old prodigy who served as the youngest professional auditor at Saint Hill's famed Hubbard Guidance Center in England. When he was 16 years old, he was selected with a handful of people to work with Hubbard. Moreover, Miscavige is commended for ensuring the survival of Scientology after Hubbard's passing away. Under Miscavige leadership, Scientology achieved the full religious recognition in the US and ushering it onto the global stage.
Some of the famous followers of this cult-like religion are celebrities including Hollyood actor Tom Cruise, Anne Archer, John Travolta, Jenna Elfman and the late Kirstie Alley among others.
With Miscavige yet to be found, the lawsuit is being pushed into internal arbitration.