Church of Scientology wants to arbitrate forced labor claims

By Carolina Bolado (July 13, 2022, 6:11 p.m. EDT) — The Church of Scientology is urging a Florida federal judge to enforce an arbitration agreement signed by three people who are now suing the Church for allegedly forcing them to working under abusive conditions without paying, arguing that the arbitration agreement was a condition of service in a religious order protected by the First Amendment.

In a series of motions filed Tuesday in federal court in Tampa, the church and various related entities argue that plaintiffs Gawain Baxter, Laura Baxter and Valeska Paris voluntarily signed agreements requiring disputes to be arbitrated “according to ecclesiastical law and Scientology legal proceedings”. These agreements were necessary to…

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