Former Scientology members making attempts to serve trafficking suit against leader David Miscavige

Process servers have reportedly attempted to serve papers to the Scientology leader 27 times over the past few months

Fox News/December 31, 2022

By Elizabeth Pritchett

Scientology leader David Miscavige is nowhere to be found as attempts are made to serve the 62-year-old with a child trafficking lawsuit that names him as a defendant, according to public court documents and the Tampa Bay Times.

The court documents show process servers attempted to serve papers to Miscavige 27 different times over the past few months in the Clearwater, Fla. area and in Los Angeles to no avail.

A motion to serve Miscavige by default filed in Florida court on Dec. 13 read, "there is more than enough evidence to demonstrate that [Miscavige] has intentionally concealed his location and erected obstacles to evade personal services of process."

The Church of Scientology's Public Affairs Director Karin Pouw told Fox News Digital Miscavige is "not running from the law." She declined to comment further on the pending lawsuit.

Former Scientology church members, husband and wife, Gawain and Laura Baxter and Valeska Paris filed the lawsuit after claiming they were forced into labor on Scientology boats as children after signing a one billion-year contract in exchange for little or no money. Paris reportedly left the church in 2009 and Gawain and Laura Baxter left in 2012.  

In addition to the trafficking allegations, Paris alleges she was the victim of repeated sexual assaults in her youth and that when her mother left Scientology, the then-17-year-old was locked in an engine room for 48 hours as punishment.

Gawain Baxter said his parents put him in a Sea Org nursery when he was two months old, according to the lawsuit. When he turned six, he was also forced to sign the one billion-year contract and sent to live in a Cadet Org dormitory with around 100 other children.

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. The lawsuit noted in background that the children must be referred to as "cadets" and not kids.

Miscavige's last known address is the church's international building in L.A., but similar to other members of Scientology's extremist wing, the Sea Org, he does not have a publicly recorded address. When lawyers showed up to Scientology properties in search of the leader, security guards denied entry to the properties and reportedly said they were not aware of his location.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit have also hired a private investigator to help reach Miscavige, according to

Court filings related to the recent lawsuit list his home as a Scientology property in a gated community known as the Hacienda Gardens in Clearwater. The 120-unit apartment complex hosts Scientology staff and was purchased by the organization in 2001, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

During the motion filed earlier in December, one of the plaintiff's attorneys, Neil Glazer, said, "Miscavige cannot be permitted to continue his gamesmanship." He is due in court on Jan. 20, 2023, but that meeting is pending unless he is served with the papers.

Court documents related to the suit stated lawyers have tried to locate him through two traffic tickets he received in the 1990s, but both of those citations list the Scientology Los Angeles center as his home.

Miscavige's lawyers told the newspaper he is merely the target of a legal strategy due to his status within Scientology. They added that he does not live in Florida, which is why they can't serve him there.

US Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed served a summons to Miscavige on behalf of the plaintiffs. Ten copies of the summons were sent to various Scientology properties in Florida and California in efforts to reach Miscavige.

All were sent back as undelivered since nobody would sign for them, court documents showed.

Miscavige is one of five defendants named in the lawsuit. The remaining four are operating entities of the Church of Scientology.

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