A group of demonstrators is organizing the biggest protest against Scientology in the UK in 15 years, taking place outside the organization’s highly publicized “gathering”.
David Miscavige, the leader of Scientology, has been given legal documents in the United States, including one for human trafficking, which he denies. He is anticipated to travel for the event at the previous residence of the religion’s deceased founder, L Ron Hubbard, in East Grinstead, West Sussex from November 3rd to 5th.
The International Association of Scientologists stated that attendees will learn about our recent successes, important achievements, and future growth plans, as well as the impactful contributions we make to humanity on a daily basis.
The group, which counts celebrities like Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its supporters, has been a source of controversy due to allegations of isolating members from their loved ones and brainwashing them.
Alexander Barnes-Ross, the organizer of the peaceful protest, joined the Scientologists at the age of 15 in 2011. He then became the director of public book sales in London in 2013, but was ultimately expelled in 2014.
He stated that the demonstration was a way of conveying a clear message to Scientology that the abuse must end. It was anticipated to be the biggest protest in the UK since 2008, when over 300 individuals from the online group Anonymous gathered outside the church’s London headquarters.
Barnes-Ross thinks that the public has been motivated by former members, including himself, who have shared their experiences on social media and by recent scandals involving the church.
In April, a judge in Florida determined that the accusation of human trafficking against Miscavige must be resolved by an arbitration panel made up of devoted members of the church, rather than in a court. This decision was based on agreements previously signed by the three accusers, which stated that any future disputes would be resolved through this method.
David Miscavige has also been mentioned in a legal case brought by actress and ex-Scientologist Leah Remini against the church and its head, accusing them of engaging in harassment, slander, monitoring, and other illegal actions that have caused “psychological torment.”
Last year, the actor Danny Masterson, who starred in That 70s Show, was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for raping two women two decades ago after a trial in which prosecutors argued that the prominent Scientologist had used his role in the church to avoid accountability for the attacks.
Two individuals who were previously part of the church claimed that they were discouraged from reporting any incidents to law enforcement for a considerable amount of time. Scientology has denied these allegations.
The Church of Scientology commented to the Guardian regarding the protest in the UK, stating that it was organized by someone who used to be a member but is now against the Church. They denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the claims made against them, including those from the human trafficking case in Florida and the lawsuit filed by Remini, as mere harassment.