UNSEALED: Jane Doe 1 sues Scientology for sex assault at 16 by Sea Org groomer
On December 29, between the two trials of Danny Masterson, one of his victims, Jane Doe 1, filed a lawsuit against Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and a Sea Org member named Gavin Potter.
The lawsuit was filed under seal and was only put on the court’s public docket on Wednesday, when the defendants learned for the first time that they were being sued.
Jane Doe 1 is being represented by attorney Graham Berry, who this week filed a 38-page second amended complaint that alleges that Scientology, under policies written by founder L. Ron Hubbard and enforced by current leader Miscavige, prevents Scientologists from reporting crimes to law enforcement, and this “prohibition against contacting authorities created a culture and atmosphere in which the sexual assault of minors within Church of Scientology International was tolerated, and even facilitated.”
Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Potter was assigned by Miscavige the task of recruiting minor females into the Sea Org, and in particular a division known as Bridge Publications, which produced Scientology’s books. Such young female recruits were known as “Bridge Babes,” a phrase invented by Miscavige, according to the lawsuit.
Jane Doe 1 was born into Scientology in 1974 and her parents were involved in the Religious Technology Center, the nominally controlling organization in the Scientology movement and also a named defendant in the suit. Jane Doe 1 herself was recruited into the Sea Organization, which requires members to sign billion-year contracts, at 14 years of age. At 16, in 1991, she was assigned to be a receptionist at the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition on Hollywood Boulevard, but she rebelled against it. At that point Potter, who was about ten years her senior, was assigned to “arrive” her properly to her life in the Sea Org.
One of her tasks was to drive Potter home at night, and it was during those drives that he began to sexually abuse her, the lawsuit alleges. When she spoke up about it, she was faced with a choice: Be punished and go to the Sea Org’s prison program, the Rehabilitation Project Force, possibly for years, or marry Potter. She felt she had no choice but to accept the latter, and then she was coerced to have sex with Potter after it was arranged by Scientology officials at the Manor Hotel, also known as the Hollywood Celebrity Centre.
She continued to live with her parents, but when she did have sexual intercourse with Potter, she alleges that she felt coerced.
At 19, she became pregnant, and then faced the Sea Org’s policy against having children. She alleges that Potter asked her to have an abortion. Instead, she escaped the Sea Org, had her daughter, and then divorced Potter in 1997, when she was 23.
(Six years later, in 2003, she was attacked by Danny Masterson at his Hollywood Hills home, a forcible rape he was convicted of on May 31 at a trial where he was also convicted of another 2003 rape, of Jane Doe 2, who was also a Scientologist at the time. Masterson is facing 30 years to life in prison and will be sentenced on August 4.)
In the lawsuit she filed on December 29 under seal, Jane Doe 1 is suing Scientology for negligence because it “failed to take reasonable steps or to implement reasonable safeguards to avoid acts of childhood sexual assault.” She’s suing Potter for childhood sexual abuse, child molestation, and sexual battery. She’s also suing the defendants for negligent supervision, negligent employment, and intentional infliction of emotional abuse.
Potter is a figure who has been somewhat controversial for years. In 2014, Mike Rinder, at his blog, noted that Potter was being hailed as a Scientologist who could “close anyone on anything.”
But way back in 2000, Tory Christman was posting warnings about Potter in ways that sound pretty prescient now…
Gavin Potter is a Sea Org recruiter. IF you hear that your child is even talking with him, I highly suggest you GET YOUR KID AWAY FROM HIM Gavin tells young children (ages 13 usually and on up) that the end of the world is coming, and that their parents are going to starve to death…so they need to join the Sea Org and save the world.
The next hearing in the lawsuit is scheduled for August 1 in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Besides Graham Berry, Jane Doe 1 is also being represented in this lawsuit by Brittany Henderson of the Edwards Pottinger law firm. That’s the firm of Bradley Edwards, who Jane Doe 1 hired to replace the original team from Philadelphia that had brought the 2019 harassment lawsuit against Masterson and Scientology. That suit, known as Bixler v. Scientology, is set to be revived on Wednesday after being put on hold during Masterson’s criminal trial. (Scientology has already said that it intends to file an anti-SLAPP motion in an attempt to get the case thrown out of court.)
In this new lawsuit filed by Jane Doe 1, Scientology is being portrayed as an organization that covers up child abuse as part of its systems of internal control.
The Church of Scientology International instruct its membership that the only answer to a crime being committed by its members, including rape, sexual abuse or child abuse, is Scientology and the teachings of Hubbard, not law enforcement. If senior officials in the Religious Technology Center, Church of Scientology International, Sea Org, or any other Scientology organization received credible evidence that child sexual abuse had occurred within the church, the officials covered up the incident rather than report the abuse to local authorities.
Upon information and belief, in most instances any alleged perpetrator of child abuse or sexual abuse was simply moved to a different Scientology base or location. Sometimes the alleged perpetrator was sent to RPF, other times, no action was taken. Victims, however, are blamed for “pulling in” the abuse upon themselves and are forced to either apologize to their abuser for causing the assault or undergo a program to learn how they caused the assault.
Upon information and belief and given the nature of the vast amount of information collected and recorded during auditing, it is highly likely that Defendants have countless pieces of evidence describing child sexual abuse, both by the perpetrators and the victims.
Here’s the full lawsuit itself. Let us know what stands out for you…
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