Scientology Attorneys Won’t Disclose Where ‘Paranoid’ Leader Is to Federal Judge

A federal judge in Florida heard arguments last week over whether Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige can be considered served after months of evading process servers trying to deliver documents relating to a federal trafficking lawsuit.

Attorneys for Miscavige even refused a request from US Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed for an address for the elusive Miscavige, who is being sued alongside five church entities by three former members of the church who claim they were trafficked into the organization as children and forced to work for little or no pay, as CrimeOnline previously reported.

But church officials have refused documents from process servers and claimed not to know where Miscavige lives or works for months — at least 27 times, plaintiffs’ attorneys say.

Manuel Dominguez, representing the plaintiffs, said Miscavige and his enablers were engaging in a “cat and mouse game” that his attorneys, present in the court room, could “end right now” by handing over an address, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

“This is just a game, and I don’t think it should be,” said Dominguez.

But instead the attorneys obfuscated. Miscavige doesn’t live in Florida, they said, and doesn’t do business in Florida. Further, they argued, the plaintiffs’ complaints stemmed from incidents that happened on ship in the Caribbean and not from anything happening in Florida.

Dominguez pointed out Miscavige’s attendance at a New Year’s Eve party at a church hotel in Clearwater and his recent phone call, reported by the Times, with Clearwater interim City Manager Jennifer Poirrier about the church’s real estate plans.

Plaintiffs attorneys have attempted to serve Miscavige in both Florida and California. Sneed ordered an attempt to serve him through the Florida Secretary of State’s office in September, but the church’s high-powered attorneys blocked those attempts as well, leading to last week’s hearing. After hearing arguments for 90 minutes, Sneed said she would take them under advisement and issue a ruling later.

Miscavige reportedly lives in a gated complex, owned by the church in Clearwater.  And while Miscavige is clearly not actually missing — he’s been seen and heard from several times — the same cannot be said for his wife Shelly, who hasn’t been seen since 2007 and is believed to be isolated in the church’s heavily guarded fortress in Twin Peaks, California, according to the New York Post.

Former members who know Miscavige say he is extremely “paranoid” and lives behind extensive security.

“He sees the FBI in his soup. He expects a bullet in his chest by someone somewhere, so he has an entourage like a Third World dictator,” said Karen de la Carriere, a former high-ranking Scientology executive of 40 years who was married to Huber Jentzsch, the former longtime president of Scientology. “He doesn’t make a move without his security entourage. He has a very grandiose image of himself.”

The Church of Scientology was founded by former science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who also hid out from authorities at the end of his life. Miscavige took over the organization after Hubbard died in 1986.

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[Featured image: David Miscavige/YouTube video screengrab]