David Miscavige has been officially served in a federal human trafficking case after a judge accused the Church of Scientology leader of “actively concealing his whereabouts.”
Court officials attempted to serve Miscavige 27 times in connection with a federal lawsuit accusing him of human trafficking.
However, the Church of Scientology leader reportedly evaded being served.
U.S. Judge Julie Sneed recently ruled that Miscavige was “actively concealing his whereabouts” and that he was officially served in the trafficking case.
Between May and August 10, process servers attempted to serve court documents 27 times at the organization’s headquarters in Los Angeles and at the Flag Land Base – the Church of Scientology’s “spiritual headquarters” in Clearwater, Florida.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the attempts to serve the court papers were denied by security.
This week, Judge Sneed ruled that Miscavige “is actively concealing his whereabouts or evading service.”
Sneed declared that Miscavige had been “properly served” as of February 14.
He now has 21 days to respond to the allegations in the lawsuit.
Karin Pouw, a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology, said in a statement, “Miscavige never evaded service.”
“The case is nothing but blatant harassment and was brought and is being litigated for the purpose of harassment and hoping that harassment will extort a payday,” Pouw asserted.
“The allegations in the complaint are absurd, ridiculous, scurrilous, and blatantly false.”
The legal action was initiated by three former members of the Church of Scientology – Gawain Baxter, his wife Laura Baxter, and Valeska Paris.
They allege that they were compelled to undertake grueling labor aboard Scientology boats after signing an unconscionable one billion-year commitment, for scant or no money.
These ex-Scientologists allege that they were forced into performing unpaid services on the Freewinds, a Scientology vessel stationed in the Caribbean.
The boat caters to high-ranking church members.
Additionally, the complainants maintain that they were forced to carry out unpaid work at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater.
According to Fox News, “Children over six years old are considered to be, and are frequently told that they are, adults and that they should act and expect to be treated as adults.”
Paris also claims that she was sexually assaulted as a child.
She says that she was locked in an engine room for 48 hours as punishment for her mother leaving the Church of Scientology.
Attorneys John Dominguez and Zahra Dean – who represent Paris and the Baxters – released a joint statement that said, “For years, David Miscavige has succeeded in evading accountability.
“(The) ruling brings our clients — who alleged to have endured unimaginable abuses in Scientology as children and into adulthood — one step closer to getting their day in court and obtaining justice against all responsible parties.”
Miscavige became the so-called “ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion” after founder L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986.