Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Amended complaint: Even more horror in labor trafficking lawsuit against Scientology

[Scientology’s floating cathedral, the Freewinds]

We have the new amended complaint that was filed yesterday in the labor trafficking lawsuit first filed against Scientology in April, and it contains even more horrific detail about the hardships endured by Valeska Paris and Gawain and Laura Baxter, former Sea Org workers who today live in Australia.

From the original complaint of 90 pages, the new version has grown to 120 pages, so there are a lot of additions. In order to be as helpful as possible, we’re providing a copy of the amended complaint with the new stuff highlighted. You can see for yourself where the additions are, and in what context.

The lawsuit was filed on April 28 by Valeska and the Baxters, alleging that they had been forced into Scientology’s Sea Org as children, and had suffered abuse and neglect and harsh punishments into their adult years as virtual prisoners aboard Scientology’s cruise ship, the Freewinds. Valeska also alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by other Sea Org workers, and then had been punished for speaking up about it.

Scientology responded to the lawsuit by filing motions to compel ‘religious arbitration’, saying that as adults the three former Scientologists had signed contracts between 2003 and 2015 that obliged them not to sue the church. Scientology’s response didn’t even address the allegations of child abuse in the complaint, or the sexual assault claims made by Valeska. Scientology also filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit based on jurisdictional issues and on the merits of the case.

The plaintiffs had a deadline of August 2 to file oppositions to Scientology’s motions, but instead notified the court that they were going to file an amended complaint instead. Scientology, meanwhile, said its motions were moot and it would wait to respond to the new complaint: In other words, the lawsuit was getting a do-over from both sides.


The amended complaint does contain substantial changes, and they tend to be in two areas: Complaints that Scientology leader David Miscavige is evading service of the lawsuit (which they also detailed in an earlier document), and even more detail from each of the three plaintiffs about the abuses they suffered, as well as harassment they have been enduring since they left Scientology and even since they filed the lawsuit.

The causes of action, however, remain the same: Labor trafficking, conspiracy to commit labor trafficking, and some related charges.

As to Miscavige, the plaintiffs figure he’s living at the Hacienda Gardens apartment complex in Clearwater, and working out of the Flag Building at Scientology’s Flag Land Base. But their process servers have been unable to get past Scientology security guards to get near the church leader.

As for the plaintiffs themselves, we’ll highlight a couple of items added to the complaint. Gawain and Laura Baxter say that since filing the lawsuit, their family members who are still Scientologists have been ordered to relocate to Clearwater.

Right after the Complaint in this action was filed on April 28, 2022, Claudia Abadia, an HCS staff member on the Freewinds, attempted to view private family photos Gawain had shared with his father via an online service. On May 12, 2022, Gawain received a phone call from his father, Arthur Baxter, mother Vivienne Baxter, and half-sister Genny Mitchell, during which he learned that they had all been required to relocate to Clearwater, Florida from their posts in other parts of the world. Gawain’s family yelled at him, attempted to pressure him to admit he was lying and to withdraw the lawsuit. Gawain received a similar call on May 21, 2022, from Genny, and on May 29, 2022 and June 15, 2022 there were two more calls from his father. Each call followed a similar script, clearly designed to pressure him into dismissing his claims against Defendants…Laura learned that her sister, still in Scientology, had been moved to Clearwater on June 6, 2022, and on June 14, 2022, her mother, also still in Scientology, who had been relocated to Clearwater from Germany, attempted to engage her in a heated discussion of the lawsuit and to pressure her into dismissing it.

Valeska, meanwhile, added devastating new information about what she and her husband Chris Guider went through before they managed to escape from the Sea Org.

Valeska was aware that Sea Org members were not permitted to have children, so she purposely became pregnant. Defendants also had a policy or practice of forcing women in Sea Org to have abortions, but Valeska refused demands that she terminate her pregnancy, because she knew if she had the abortion she would not be permitted to leave Sea Org. Valeska was denied any prenatal care and was still required to work long hours and subsist on the squash pies, cereal, stale bread and other poor-quality food fed to Sea Org members. Because of her forbidden pregnancy, Valeska was shamed; people stopped speaking to her, and she felt compelled to eat in her room. After six weeks, Valeska began bleeding. The next day, Valeska went to an emergency room and was finally treated. She had had a miscarriage.

Because losing the baby put her at risk of being kept in Sea Org, Valeska did not tell anyone other than Chris that she miscarried.

Vicky Dunstan, the Commanding Officer for Australia in CSI’s OSA, who reported directly to the senior most OSA officer under Miscavige, then informed Valeska that they would permit her to leave Sea Org, but only once she completed security checks to their satisfaction, which became a four-month ordeal. After completing an initial round of security checks, two senior officers were sent by Miscavige from the United States to Australia to put her and Chris through a second, even more harsh round of security checks and ethics handlings.

So the new amended complaint is even more comprehensive about the horrible experiences Valeska and the Baxters have had to endure, and it also has a lot of detail about the futility of trying to serve David Miscavige.

But we’re not sure how that added material will head off what we already know is going to be Scientology’s response: Motions to compel arbitration.

Here’s the amended complaint. Let us know what strikes you about the new, highlighted material.

Baxter v Scientology: Amend… by Tony Ortega



Technology Cocktail

“Chronically comm chopping auditors always have pcs with Dirty Needles. Conversely, pcs with high Tone Arms have auditors who don’t control the Itsa Line and let it over-restimulate the pc by getting into lists of problems or puzzlements, but a high Tone Arm also means a heavy Service Fac, whereas a Dirty Needle seldom requires Mid Ruds or Prepchecks. It just requires an auditor who doesn’t cut the pc’s Itsa Line.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1963


Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 6 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers, and it’s a conversation with Pete Griffiths about how he managed to run a Scientology mission after being declared SP. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 5 available to everyone, with Sunny Pereira dishing secrets of Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre, Bruce Hines on the crazy life in the Sea Org, Jeffrey Augustine on recent Scientology court cases, Claire Headley exposing Tom Cruise, and Marc Headley on what it must be like for David Miscavige living in Clearwater, Florida. Go here to get the episodes!


Source Code

“If you ever want to see tiredness overwhelm the PC, run him into the area of the whole track called Arslycus. And there thetans were actively producing matter, you see. And they were hanging off walls, making walls and making tilework and mocking everything up and smoothing it out and you couldn’t get away….How about the fellow who ran Arslycus? How about the overt, man? Look at that level of overt. Thetans by the ton, all around, working like mad to build walls and build this and build that and finally, through some mysterious circumstance that nobody has ever been able to trace, Arslycus fell apart and everybody fell and fell and fell. It, by the way, wasn’t on a planet. It was, of course, just a construction out in space as itself. Nobody had invented planets yet and planets undoubtedly were invented to cure things happening that happened at Arslycus because they had walls and roads and courts and houses and towering buildings and everything. And of course they just ran without foundation, Uninfluenced with gravity or anything else. And one fine day it all fell apart.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 3, 1961



Avast, Ye Mateys

“Suzette Hubbard, Ann Tidman and Terri Gillham are confined to the ship for a week for staying on liberty till after midnight without my permission, and for leaving the ship again after midnight, without my permission. QMs, please note.” — LRH Pers Comm, August 3, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“On a really positive note I attested to my advanced level yesterday. Took a year of slogging away, digging that ditch and blowing away mountains of charge to complete! Feels like a thick concentric layer of case has been handled finally! It’s just awesome. I love the newfound space to stretch my theta muscles and postulate with far less CI! All my dynamics feel calm and focused in alignment. You only know there was a large background noise when it switches off haha!”


Past is Prologue

1996: The London Evening Standard reported that a Scientologist committed suicide when his attempts to leave the cult were met with harassment from Scientologists. “A man threw himself 200ft to his death after a religious cult refused to let him leave, an inquest heard. Richard Collins, 24, joined the Church of Scientology hoping to ‘cleanse his body.’ But when he tried to quit they bombarded his home and work with letters and phone calls in a last-ditch bid to make him stay. Days later he leapt off Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol. The inquest ruled that Richard took his own life.”


Random Howdy

“Hubbard went after anyone like a honey badger who tried to make one thin dime off of his con. If he remotely suspected you had plagiarized his plagiarizing he would declare you and sic the GO/OSA on your ass. He did this to the crazy couple who started the the Process Church and he also notoriously went after Werner Erhard, the conman who created EST. Erhard claimed that LRH had put out a contract on him.”



Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial scheduled for October 11, pretrial conference August 17.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Last hearing was on January 18, referred to grand jury. Additional charges also referred to grand jury after January 5 assault while in jail.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Readiness hearing scheduled for August 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court, Scientology moving to compel arbitration. Plaintiffs filing amended complaint on August 2.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place, next status hearing October 25. Scientology petitioning US Supreme Court over appellate ruling.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for December 6.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society. Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in a weekly series. How many have you read?


[ONE year ago] Scientology wants your money coming & going: Two new hype videos to loosen up your wallet!
[TWO years ago] Karen Bass says she attended Scientology event because it was in her district. But it wasn’t.
[THREE years ago] Out of sight, out of MIND: How Scientology tried & failed to destroy psychiatry in the UK
[FOUR years ago] The two-wheeled spy who loves Blighty: An action report
[FIVE years ago] ‘Going Clear’ author Lawrence Wright celebrates a milestone with a different kind of keyboard
[SIX years ago] Scientology appeals $1 million loss to Florida supreme court, and Ken Dandar gets canny
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Freedom magazine congratulates itself for going ‘Ideal’
[EIGHT years ago] Sunday Funnies: More Scientology fliers than you can shake a stick at
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s Crumbling: Can Gerry Armstrong Begin to Think of Crossing the Border?
[TEN years ago] Mimi Faust’s Mother, Olaiya Odufunke: Her Life in Scientology’s Secret Service
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Uses Its Movie Stars to Woo Politicians, Says Former Top Exec


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,745 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,250 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,800 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,790 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,681 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,986 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,856 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,630 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,961 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,434 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,750 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,316 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,235 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,403 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,983 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,245 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,281 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,996 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,521 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 876 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,051 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,602 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,751 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,071 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,926 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,045 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,401 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,704 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,810 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,208 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,084 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,667 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,162 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,416 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,525 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 3, 2022 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, 15 years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email