RELIGION – Church of Scientology faces a wave of lawsuits over misuse of donations

david-miscavigeIn the latest round of lawsuits to embarrass the Church of Scientology, a couple from California claim they were defrauded out of $420,000 which they gave to the church for building projects that were never completed.

Up to 20 cases are being prepared by people who have fled the church alleging financial wrongdoing to fund it’s leader’s lavish lifestyle. Claims range from $30,000 to millions of dollars.

According to the paperwork filed in Florida “The Church, under the leadership of David Miscavige, has strayed from its founding principles and morphed into a secular enterprise whose primary purpose is taking people’s money.”

The couple also claim that the funds donated for building work were used “to finance the lavish lifestyle of Miscavige, stifle inquiries, and intimidate members and ex-members”.

Donations totalling $200 million were made to finance the building of the church’s ‘Super-Power’ building in Clearwater, Florida which remained unused for 14 years after being unveiled.

The church has a long history of intimidating former members who they see as being traitors, and are known for their tactics in discrediting anyone who speaks out against them.

In many countries, the church is banned, being seen as a manipulative cult, obtaining personal information to use against members should they step out of line. The church has intimidated journalists who have attempted to expose the use of church funds and employs its own intelligence gathering team to dig up dirt.

Of course, the church denies any wrongdoing and described the lawsuits being filed against it as the work of “group of apostates”.

It is time that the church was made accountable for its actions, and it will be interesting to see if these lawsuits affect the recruitment of gullible celebrities.

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