POLICE have launched an investigation into the Church of Scientology following allegations of child sex abuse within the controversial religion.
The accuser, aged 40, alleges he was subjected to harrowing sexual abuse multiple times from the age of 12 in a legal declaration given to Clearwater Police Department – and seen by Sun Online.
The former member of the Sea Org – Scientology’s clergy – describes how he was allegedly abused by a total of seven senior Scientology figures on numerous occasions between the ages of 12 and 18, in the document.
According to the alleged victim, he told more senior members of the organisation, but he claims allegations were not reported to the authorities.
The first incident of abuse was allegedly committed by a Sea Org “recruiter” in his 30s who allegedly sat the accuser, then age 12, on his knee before he began to molest him, he says in the papers.
Over the next six years, he says the adult men would groom him by tickling, massaging and wrestling him – before molesting him or making him perform oral sex.
He claims some of the worst abuse occurred when the accuser, then 16, was sent to the RPF – Scientology’s answer to a prison programme where minors and adults were sent for a wide variety of “violations” – from minor to serious.
It was here, the document claims, that both child abuse victims and perpetrators were housed together.
The accuser says he was housed in the same block as a known paedophile who had been sent to the RPF for sexually abusing a 16-year-old.
The alleged victim claims the man forced him to shower and sleep in the same room as him – where he was molested.
A “video room” at a Scientology facility in Clearwater, Florida, where the accuser was allegedly abused by one of his course leaders was used by “several paedophiles to have sex with underage minors,” the papers say.
Eventually, leaders decided to redesign a new set of course rooms to include windows – in an apparent bid to “prevent adults from using them to molest minors”, the declaration states.
The accuser claims nearly all the incidences of child abuse against him were known about – as members of Scientology were regularly subject to “audits” or interrogations where they would be forced to reveal all of their sexual secrets – which were video taped and written into reports – but he claims none were ever reported to authorities.
“When sexual abuse was revealed the perpetrators and the victims were treated differently,” the document reads.
“Usually the paedophiles and rapists were trained Scientology Sea Org members who were senior or superior to the victims…they were never treated as severely as were their victims.
“The paedophiles and rapists were handled with a period of manual labour before being returned to ‘good standing’.
“However the young victims would be sent across state lines or to another country.”
Clearwater Police Department is believed to be in the process of trying to subpoena the files that may contain evidence of abuse as part of their investigation.
A source close to the investigation said: “This documents contains allegations of child sex abuse that was covered up by senior figures within the church.
“Clearwater PD is taking these claims seriously and has an open and active investigation.
“They are working closely with the Attorney General in Clearwater and are trying to subpoena the church to release any files or records relating to the accuser.
“These are personal records – containing highly sensitive and often explicit information – made by the church when the accuser was a minor.
Most read in news
“The accuser wants them released in the interests of transparency – and so a full and open investigation into the allegations can be made.”
Clearwater PD confirmed they had an “open and active” investigation into the accuser’s claims but would not release any further details.
The Church of Scientology dismissed the claims as “a disgusting false allegation”. The Church believes that it has a robust and tough policy against sexual abuse and harassment and that it does not tolerate such behaviour right from the top down.