Human Trafficking Lawsuits Filed Against the Church of Scientology - Catholic Online10 March 2011, 6:13 pm
By Randy Sly
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org
Long working hours, low pay and lack of education for a minor among charges
Two suits, one against the Church of Scientology and another against their publishing division, Bridge Publications, were filed in California Superior Court on behalf of a nineteen year-old former member of Scientology and Sea Org. Daniel Montalvo was raised in the Church of Scientology. The lawsuit seeks both punitive and compensatory damages.The young man signed a "billion year contract" at the age of six.
Nineteen year-old Daniel Montalvo, who was raised in the Church of Scientology and a part of the Sea Organization (Sea Org) filed lawsuits in California Superior Court last week against the Church of Scientology (CSI) and its publishing arm, Bridge Publications.
The CSI lawsuit alleges that "Daniel now comes before this Court a nineteen year old man with an eighth grade education, without assets, without a resume despite having labored for hundreds of hours per week over the past five years."
Details of the suit described Montalvo as:
- a child whose parents, Luis and Veronica, joined Scientology and allowed their son to be in the care, custody and control of the organization from age 5.
- A six year-old who signed CSI's "Billion Year Contract"
- A youth who signed a second "Billion Year Contract" at age 12, joined Sea Org and worked long hours, receiving minimal education and little pay
- A child who was allowed access to outside news media, the Internet and non-Scientology books on only limited occasions.
A second lawsuit against Bridge Publications states that, "while employed by Bridge Publications, Inc. at age sixteen, plaintiff Daniel Montalvo was required to operate a machine that cuts index notches into the sides of soft-cover books. The machine did not have necessary or appropriate safety features, and Daniel severed his right index finger while operating the notching machine. By this Complaint, Daniel seeks to recover damages for Defendant's negligence, which resulted in the traumatic amputation of his finger."
In these suits, Montalvo is being represented by S. Christopher "Kit" Winter, a lawyer with Dykema, a California Law Firm.
While the suits are seeking both punitive and compensatory damages, no figures have been attached to the filings and Winter had no comment on when the information would be forthcoming.
more at http://www.catholic.org/national/national_story.php?id=40637