Daniel Montalvo Hits Scientology With Stunning Child Labor Lawsuits

Categories: Scientology

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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. Petersburg 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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74 comments
Tgpal12
Tgpal12

words escape the anger i feel. Everyone has made an eloquent point, but i feel i can't do this justice

Theoracle
Theoracle

I am still enraged by what they did to this kid.  Sub human social intercourse.  He was in fact a slave. Punished for low production too?  This is typical madness in the culture. The halls of every building are haunted with injustice, abuse, sadism and cruelty.  I grew up on the streets in very bad neighborhoods and I can tell you cast against the CMO staff, street people look angelic. Really, they were some of the meanest, unsympathetic kids every turned loose on a society.I am glad Daniel is fighting back. Jason Beghe is a royal saint for helping this kid and taking him under his wing.  One day, the Int base will be toured like a holocaust museum.

pasteface
pasteface

One of the policies of the Church of Sclentology is to bury their adversary in legal paper work, which is what they will try to do to this ex-scientology kid. This kid, Daniel, is very courageous for going up against a church that will stop at nothing to destroy him. The crimes the Church of Scientology accuse others of doing are the crimes they commit themselves. 

Megadari
Megadari

He wasn't put in jail for leaving. He stole from the Church and left. 

wiseone
wiseone

to Nick VanHouser.....you should shut your trap...opening it proves what is being said badly about this religion..you sound like a looney ranting and probably dont even realize due to the brainwashing.....you proved their point about it all...cuckooo.....you are your own worst enemy.  Flunk!  lol .."meat bodies"? oh wow definetly a scientologist.sad.

Bdavis
Bdavis

Interesting that people are so interested in Scientology... although avoiding process servers may not be a good idea. http://www.serve-now.com

Somewhere
Somewhere

I personally know 4 people - that as children were manipulated by COS, I know it is a complete load of crap - But these comment posts crack me up!

Smokin1
Smokin1

perhaps when their leaders die of old age these huge religious cults will die aswell. pity it will take generations to undo the damage. What a waste to america, these 'churches should pay taxes on their 'income' of donations. All cults like this set-up so several privledged can have an income based on 'donations' from persons they scammed.

Vossie
Vossie

Nick, flunk on you of not having become aware enough about what really goes on in the higher echelons of the C of S, which was the Hubbard College of SCN until Hubbard feared having to pay taxes. The man was a charleton, a roughe.He had one standard for himself and another standard for his aids and technical staff,and another standard for the rest of the staff.The Public on lines was not able to see what really went on behind the scenes. Not to wish you bad Nick, but you will also be betrayed one day to the point you will have had enough of the garbage that is going on on staff lines and by the way staff is being treated.

Xenu McTeejack
Xenu McTeejack

Good article. Good letters. Poor kid. I am reminded of the John Cleese line, "Soon, even the police, had to stand up and take notice".

Jennie
Jennie

Daniel Montalvo is lucky to have Jason Beghe offer him a safe haven. Without him he could have ended up like Clearwater's Kyle Brennan. Twenty -years old and disposed of quietly and without sorrow.

enoughalready
enoughalready

As a big fan of artists such as Beck and Neil Gaiman, isn't it reaching a point where these artists and supporters of Scientology should be confronted and asked to explain their support for an organization accused of these crimes? Is it really credible to believe they have no knowledge of these activities, or at a minimum have heard nothing of it, no whispers, in the organization?

Xenu's helper
Xenu's helper

Village Voice - thanks for speaking up for children who have been abused by this dangerous cult.

For those pro-scientology posters who try to criticize or otherwise derail the comment section, THINK about what you are doing.

Do you honestly support cruelty to children? If you do, in the name of religion, then you are the scum of the earth - and your next reincarnation will be as a sh*t eating worm. Oh wait, that's an insult to worms......

Karendelac
Karendelac

My son Alexander Jentzsch, the son of the ex-President Church of Scientology International was in since he was 6 years old. He was made to Slave Labor at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater Florida when he was 12/13 years ol for a couple of years. No schooling. No Study time. He cleaned bannisters and toilets. He cleaned as a CLEANER and a slave for some 10 hours a day. And he had it lightly due to being the son of the President. Other kids have had it a lot worse.

This would have continued for years ~~ except a felony was committed on Alexander and they needed to “get him out of Florida” to be out of jurisdiction of Law Enforcement.

Clearwater PD was not informed, instead I received a threatening letter from hired gun Donald Wager not to publish the story. They did not deny the felony, they only did not want it published on the web .

Numerous witnesses on Alexander’s scene can testify Daniel’s law suit on how the “Sea Organization” uses children for slave labor, breaking the laws of the land, no education, no schooling, in support of Daniel Montalvo’s suit.

Slave Labor. Human Trafficking, hardship, crushing poverty and degradation, oppression, screaming from Seniors, enormous self-sacrifice, children forbidden, and Daniel was "IN" since he was 5 years old.

This CULT is business enterprise masquerading as a "Religion" while ABUSING its members beyond anything that seems normal in this day and age. I post all my stories as Karen#1 on other sites. Google Karen#1.

Valerie9338
Valerie9338

I tried reading Dianetics many years ago. Very upsetting and an outrage on numerous levels. I wish you, or someone at the Voice would carefully read that book and report on its contents. This is the book that started all the trouble. Everything else is a red herring.

SuzanneCruz232
SuzanneCruz232

Great Rolling Stones piece. "Bank Robber to Voice: Find My Photo!" wonderful fun. But why do you continue to waste your time on Scientology?? Such a narrowly focused piece of news. Especially for the Voice. Just drop the Scientology crap.

John912x
John912x

Must be a slow news week. Time to do a hit piece on Scientology. Jeepers Ortega! Get a grip. Even Bloomberg's anti-salt campaign is more interesting! Or do you have a personal "thing" about Scientology?

Mirele
Mirele

Another thing to keep in mind: during all the time this was happening, Daniel Montalvo was a minor. A judge is going to have a hard time believing that a child of six (or twelve, for that matter) could consent to a "billion year contract" that would allow Scientology to do these things to him.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Scientology is going to have to bring out their highest bribes to handle this one, or they will settle immediately out of court. This would be too hot a topic for media if it goes to trial. The fallout from this case could be enormous. It highlights the striking difference between Sea Org child slaves and trust-fund Tommy Davis, and other Scilebrity Xenu-denying (but believing) nitwits.

Notanonyone
Notanonyone

There are no charges pending against him. He escaped from the Sea Org and is now suing C0$. $cientology will have to settle this case like the Wollersheim case if they do not want $cientology's structure analyzed and exposed in court which will show that one person controls the organization as well as all of the criminal activities. I'm sure more suits such as this are inevitable. I expect the C0$ will make a settlement for the abuse they are responsible for.

Vossie
Vossie

 ROTFLMAO - it won't be long now before Miscavige will be taken to the Guilletine and with it the whole lot for Human Rights Abuses.  Oh the righteous fools!!!  All the information that is being charged an arm and a leg for in C.O.S. is freely available through other sources, without the contract, without the intimidation, without the abuse. Ah, but then again you're not able to read anything that goes on in the rest of the world. Sucker!!!

Anonymous Norge
Anonymous Norge

First, Scientology is a non-religious cult.Second, its founder died in 1986 on the run from law enforcement. It's one of the few cults which managed to survive its founder.

Anonymous Norge
Anonymous Norge

Read Nick's post again. This time imagine trollface.jpg staring back at you.

Silver
Silver

The only thing that is wrong with these law suits is Montalvo suing his parents. Don't get me wrong but he could have sued anyone he felt should be part of his lawsuit but suing his parents it's wrong.

Anonanonanonanon
Anonanonanonanon

Celebrities are intentionally kept sequestered from most of the unseemly parts of Scientology. They may have heard rumors, but it would all be from the outside press and other sources they don't feel are trustworthy. I suggest taking a look at Paul Haggis's open letter to the Church of Scientology to see what it's like when someone who's lived that Celebrity Scientologist lifestyle and finally had to confront the reality of the organization.

Thetagal
Thetagal

Wow, Karen, your son should join the legal suit.

Sympathetic
Sympathetic

Now that Daniel has filed a suit, do you think that Alexander might as well? My ex wife was in the sea org from age 16. She was also put through absolute HELL, to put it lightly. She was and is damaged for life.Her father works for Radical $cientology still, however...and threatens her not to speak up. What a shame.

Guest
Guest

Why don't you have David Miscavige, he's probably only down the hall or something, call or email Mr Ortega and tell him exactly what the should be writing?

Guest
Guest

Probably because you OSA guys didn't send over a press-release about L Ron's 100th birthday for Tony to copy-paste instead of writing what he did. That's what you want, right? No mention of Scientology except inane stuff that could be used for marketing?

Johnny Cruise
Johnny Cruise

Oh yeah...."drop the Scientology crap" No. Your so called "religion" is a cult. Wake up. Or do you like working like a slave, for a cult, ruled by a cult leader. Tick, Tock, Tick Tock.

a very concerned citizen
a very concerned citizen

I remember Ortega's reporting when he was in Los Angeles. Hed was one of the few who had the courage to follow up on the abuses of the COS including the story of a young man who was won a large amount of money in a settlement for an accident. a member of the COS, who met him at a bus stop, learned about his accident and the amount of money he had received. It wasn't lone before the COS had stripped him of something in the amount of $1 million dollars. Fortunately, a lawyer named Dan Liepold came to his rescue and secured a substantial settlement from the church. Ortega did a real service by following and reporting on this case.

Royal Prince Xenu
Royal Prince Xenu

Yes. We have a personal "thing" about Scientology!

- Slave labor- Sleep deprivation- Starvation- Covering up child abuse- Covering up child sexual abuse- Enforcing "disconnection" of families- "Fair game" despite its alleged cancellation- Stripping people of their savings, and homes

As an OSA troll, you should know your "Tech". You should never ask Listing Questions.

Guest
Guest

Is anyone stoppping you or your OSA overlords from posting a "success story", John?

l ron hoover
l ron hoover

yes john i most certainly do have a personal thing about "criminology" (scientology) and will not rest till i see the end of this organisation and the dismantling of every sign it ever existed.

Mavid Discavige
Mavid Discavige

John912x - (or should I say, Mr. Sea Ogre) You can run, but you cannot hide. You can protect Dear Leader for only so long. Wake up my friend. Before you are jail too.

Quicksilver
Quicksilver

John912x

So are you saying you're in favor of child labour and not sending kids to school?

Sheesh!

Bill
Bill

Your problem, John912x, is that your chosen "religion" is actually a criminal organization. No matter how much you might wish otherwise, it is still a criminal organization. Reporting on its crimes IS news.

Heidemarie Vos
Heidemarie Vos

Yes they behave more like the Mafia than a "Church". Being I put DM on his first courses at St. Hill UK, I wouldn't mind kicking his ass for all the kanifing antics he was up to in the Messenger's Org and "crowning himself King of the heap".

Megadari
Megadari

I didn't say there were charges pending against him. He was arrested for the theft. Just setting the spin in the article straight here.  

Thetagal
Thetagal

Why is it wrong? They abandoned them to the group.

Phoenix
Phoenix

Daniel's parents abandoned him a long time ago to a life of slavery and abuse. They have by now undoubtedly sent him a letter disowning him (it's called a disconnection letter) - which basically states that they don't want to ever hear from him again, unless he recants and returns to the cult, and agrees to more abuse.

I'd sue their @sses off too, abuse is abuse.

But more importantly, Daniel is a remarkable and courageous being. This is probably the only way Daniel can attempt to wake his parents.

Spark
Spark

Yeah, because parents that turn their 6 year old son over to the Sea Org should be commended. Right? They lost all parental rights the day they let him sign that stupid contract. They have a responsibility to make up the damage they allowed happen to the child THEY were LEGALLY responsible for. With the money maybe he can go get the education he should have had and that THEY should have made sure he had in the first damn place!

Wir Llc
Wir Llc

Since his parents were part of the problem he needs to name them to avoid an "empty chair" or unamed defendant defence on the part of Sceintology Inc.

Alenazvolk
Alenazvolk

Perhaps suing his parents is the only way he can communicate with them. He's not allowed to call them, after all. Perhaps it's Daniel's best hope of getting through to them that what they've been participating in is wrong. In other words, perhaps this suit is "tough love" for Daniel's parents.

Vossie
Vossie

It is enough already!!! Suicides, being detained against one's will, being threatened if one spoke the truth, purposefully being punisched by being thrown into the RPF, which total function is to reprogram a person who has a mind of his/her own. This of course totally clashes with the technology, insofar going to higher levels is to make a person more self-determined. However, the moment you become more self-determined you are actually knocked down by whoever one seems to be directly responsible to and who may not even have reached the spiritual hights and insights you yourself has.it is a total dychotomy. With this organizational chaos and breakdown it is longer safe for staff on higher levels to remain shackeled to this supression. In fact, I know a lot of some staff felt they were going PTS to the Organization, and I feel this is correct, as this also happened to myself and my husband, without havig any bad intetions. We finally had to look at the reality of the going ons, of what we had been put through and were exposed to and so finally we called a spade a spade.Look, if we as adults have has such a rough time, what do you think poor Daniel went through.

Karendelac
Karendelac

Sympathetic and ThetaGal

Alexander was born and raised in the CULT.Little I did dream the CULT would turn him against me for my permissiveness in allowing him to be part of the SEA ORGANIZATION. This is where the atrocities and brutalities occur in the main.

The Church pretended my son had gone Legal on me when a Church hired gun wrote me a threatening letter to not publish the felony committed on Alexander when he was 13 years old.Google "Karen#1 Scientology" to get the diocuments and full story.

Alexander married Andrea ( no sex permitted unless married) so Sea Org Members marry early in life. Andrea was pregant some 3 years ago and was made to understand by Church EXECS that an abortion "was for the greatest good." i.e. the GREATEST good for the CULT who want 60 hours slave production without interruptions of "family time" and "pregancy leave."

Andrea took a HUGE LOSS on the enforced abortion. A prime purpose in her life was to be a MOM. She got pregnant again. This time Kirstin Caetano, in Church of OSA External Security befriended him and seduced him into thinking she was his BFF.

Alexander was made to sign under video camera1) He would never sue2)He would never reveal anything that went on with thin the Sea Org

etc etc etc etc etc...he signed his life away, including his ability to post on the web.He was paid $3500 to shut up and was made to believe this was a valid "CONTRACT".Actually, it is hogwash.

I know he googles his name. I hope he reads this.

My son Alexander Jentzsch, the son of the ex-President Church of Scientology International was made to Slave Labor at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater Florida when he was 12/13 years ol for a couple of years. No schooling. No Study time. He cleaned bannisters and toilets.

This would have continued for years ~~ except a felony was committed on Alexander and they needed to “get him out of Florida” to be out of jurisdiction of Law Enforcement.

Clearwater PD was not informed, instead I received a threatening letter from hired gun Donald Wager not to publish the story. They did not deny the felony, they only did not want it published on the web .

Numerous witnesses on Alexander’s scene can testify Daniel’s law suit on how the “Sea Organization” uses children for slave labor, breaking the laws of the land, no education, no schooling, in support of Daniel Montalvo’s suit.

Slave Labor. Human Trafficking.

Anonymous Norge
Anonymous Norge

Hey I miss those success stories. The problem with those is that in a few months, the author of the success story might have left the cult, and OSA can't keep up with the massive exodus. (Well, in Scientology terms anyway.)

Anonymous Norge
Anonymous Norge

Well, Kendrick Moxon might have placed a piece of paper in front of them and asked them to sign it without reading it, for all we know. They might have been told that their son is doing fine, or joined a traveling circus three years ago.Perhaps being sued is the first real sign of life from their son in years?

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