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Breaking News – Daniel Montalvo Hits Scientology with Stunning Child Labor Lawsuits

Tony Ortega of the Village Voice published this article this morning. I am mirroring it here as the Village Voice site seems to be overwhelmed with hits (or DDOS attacks by you-know-who)

Daniel Montalvo Hits Scientology With Stunning Child Labor Lawsuits

By Tony Ortega, Sat., Mar. 5 2011 @ 10:49AM
Categories: Scientology

Last October we told you the dramatic story of young Daniel Montalvo, a 19-year-old who had been brought up in Scientology but had made a dramatic break for freedom — only to be thrown in jail by the LA Sheriff’s Office on behalf of revenge-minded Scientologists.

Since that time, we’ve kept in touch with Daniel and the actor Jason Beghe, whose Malibu ranch has been Montalvo’s protective sanctuary as Scientology continued to send private eyes and process servers at him.

Today, Daniel turns 20 years old. Yesterday, he filed two stunning lawsuits against Scientology with the help of attorney S. Christopher “Kit” Winter.

Winter helped Montalvo avoid the grand reaching that tends to characterize lawsuits against Scientology, and instead kept his complaints laser-focused on damning charges about how children are used by the church in troubling ways.

Specifically, Montalvo’s lawsuits paint a picture of a child who was essentially abandoned by his two Scientologist parents to the organization, was signed to a billion-year contract at only 6 years of age, and through his teens was forced to work up to 100 hours a week with only the barest schooling, and for wretched pay (about $35 a week).

In the past, when Scientology has been confronted with the low pay and miserable conditions of its “Sea Org” workers, the church has responded that such workers are analogous to the monks of other religions who choose a life of asceticism and contemplation.

But Montalvo’s lawsuit anticipates that excuse: not only was the youngster denied an adequate education, he was also not trained in Scientology itself. He was simply a miserably-treated, underpaid, and underage drone who was asked to operate dangerous machines without adult supervision.

“Yes, the ‘monk’s life’ shtick doesn’t ring so true when it’s kids who are involved — especially kids who couldn’t care less about L. Ron Hubbard,” says Winter.

Working at Bridge Publications in the City of Commerce, where some of Scientology’s books are produced, in January 2008 Montalvo lost a finger operating a “notching” machine. Two days later, the Sea Org insisted that he return to work, the lawsuits allege.

The St. Petersberg Times, always great on all things Scientology, has an excellent rundown of the lawsuit specifics this morning:

The lawsuits filed in state court in L.A. include allegations that Montalvo:• Was permitted to attend school about one day a week because working for Sea Org took priority.

• Spent his childhood working at least 40 hours a week, and often more than 100 hours a week for pay that ranged from $35 to $50 a week.

• Had no work permits required of minors.

• Was made to work back-to-back 12-hour days in the fall of 2007, when the church was pushing its staff to produce and sell a new book release.

• From 2008 to 2010, was punished along with other workers for lack of production. He was made to run laps wearing a jacket and tie, clean grease traps and do push ups.

• Worked past midnight for two months in 2009 after rising at 6 a.m. each day, and was made to do push ups and dig ditches for lack of production.

• Suffered an accident at age 16 while cleaning a “notching” machine at the church’s printing unit, Bridge Publications. Half of his right index finger was cut off and no ambulance was called, the lawsuit asserts. It says Montalvo was taken to the hospital but told by the Sea Org to tell doctors he was a volunteer. He was not to mention Scientology.

We were especially encouraged to see that Scientology attorney Kendrick Moxon was named as a defendant in Montalvo’s lawsuit. As we pointed out in our previous story about Montalvo, it was Moxon who lured the young man back to Los Angeles with promises of seeing his mother, only to double-cross him by having him sit through interrogations with Scientology attorneys and a short stint in jail, the lawsuit alleges.

Moxon we know very well. Eleven years ago, we showed in great detail what sort of skeezy behavior Moxon was capable of on behalf of Scientology.

As the St. Pete Times points out, a similar lawsuit against Scientology was brought by Marc Headley, another defector we’ve written about. That lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge. But we’ve rarely seen a lawsuit like Montalvo’s — one aimed at Scientology in such a narrow, focused way, leaving out Scientology’s beliefs and focusing only on how it treats its Sea Org wretches. It’s early days, but this case should be spectacular to watch unfold.

For the complaints themselves, Marty Rathbun has them in pdf form at his blog, “Moving on Up a Little Higher.”
Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he’s been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard’s organization:

The Larry Wollersheim Saga — Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story — How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection — A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case — A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum — The ‘Crash’ Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape — ‘Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle’
The Aaron Saxton Accusation — Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation — Scientology’s former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross — Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked — Scientology and Proposition 8

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Centurion  on March 5th, 2011

I have no doubt about this young mans treatment.

Once I was walking to course at the Pac Base and as I was looking up Berendo St (Now LRonHubbard Dr) I saw a group of teens in boiler suits running around the block in very warm weather. No water in anyones hands. One of the kids tripped and fell flat on her face…and started crying. The others just ran on, and then one returned to help the fallen one. She started to do a contact by pushing her face into the dirty sidewalk over and over,,,ignoring her pleas to stop. She then got up and staggerd on, bleading from her lips. She looked terrified, as if she had to run to survive.

I never forgot that scene. It really bothered me. I had a Jim Jones moment then. It started me on the path to waking up. Confronting mest and working is one thing. Being treated like a POW is quite another.

I hope Daniel prevails and gets some well earned compensation for his injuries and his treatment. And I hope Moxon and Mestsavage are ordered to pay up.

lunamoth  on March 5th, 2011

Thank you for making this available, David. I was able to read this on the Village Voice site earlier, but if that site’s been compromised this data should be disseminated widely during the church’s predictable fit of pique ((futile as it is).

It amuses me that the dinosaurs at OSA still think they can control what gets communicated on the internet. Ahhh, OSA. So “bad-ass,” yet so amusingly naive. It’s a NETWORK, boys and girls. You can’t take down one site and stop the truth. Nice try, though.

Watchful Navigator  on March 6th, 2011

Thank you for your comment, Centurion.

It sparked memories of seeing Henry Woodruff slaving (literally digging ditches) on the PAC RPF, who warmly smiled at me on all occasions, unable however to mumble more than a word or two between shovelfuls.

If anyone knows anything about Henry, please post it. He was a true believer, a nice guy even considering he was an IAS reg – busted down for who knows what.

I am overjoyed to see the criminal activity being exposed by wog media. Ethics going in with a “bang!”

Missavage, you demolished LRH’s dream of making Scientology Justice more “just” than any other. Now “wog” justice is our only hope and your greatest nightmare.

Missavage, we loathe you.

Daniel Montalvo you are a hero.

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