Scientology accused of financial sleight of hand to avoid paying in human slavery lawsuit - 2014-07-12
In April, we told you the story of how Scientology had found itself tangled up in one of the most remarkable human slavery lawsuits ever adjudicated in the United States.
In 2008, three Cuban men won an $80 million judgment against the Curaçao Drydock Company after they escaped years of what they said were harrowing conditions of 112-hour work weeks, pay of a few cents an hour, and the inability to leave. After they finally got away, they ended up in Florida, where they sued the drydock — whose major shareholder was Curaçao's government. After winning the huge award, the attorneys for the men then set out trying to collect it, which hasn't been easy.
One way they have pursued the damages award is by filing writs of garnishment against a couple of Scientology entities which operate the church's private cruise ship, the Freewinds. Since 1988, Scientology has used the ship as a place for its wealthier members to receive the highest level of spiritual training, "OT 8." Church members can also stay on the ship for a variety of other seminars and training sessions, and it typically cruises between several different destinations in the Caribbean, including Curaçao. The church has used the drydock there for repairs on the ship as recently as last September.