Scientology is facing another lawsuit from ex-members that are lifting the veil over its ultra-secret Sea Organization. Former Sea Org members say that the Church treated them as virtual slaves and forced them to work 100-hour weeks for pennies an hour. The Church insists that it can treat Sea Org members as akin to monks that are paid little while accepting to rigid lifestyles.
Marc Headley and his wife, Claire, are seeking back pay and overtime that could amount to $1 million each. So far the Church has been successful in defeating such claims.
However, these cases are forcing more information into the open about the Church, which has been denounced as both a cult and a criminal enterprise in various countries. Marc Headley says he was forced to reproduce the writings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and later worked on in-house films and designing the audiovisual displays.
Church spokeswoman Jessica Feshbach, a church spokeswoman and 16-year Sea Org member, insists that “When you sign up as a Sea Org member, you’re signing up as a member of a religious order . . . You sign a contract that says, ‘I’m not going to be paid minimum wage and I know that.'”
That makes for an interesting case since Catholic priests and others also agree to lives of poverty for their church. Headley has testified that he would work for 39 cents an hour to produce tapes that cost the church $1 but were then sold for $75. In 15 years, he says he only made $29,000.
For the full story, click here.