Woman 'imprisoned' on Scientology cruise ship
An Australian resident has told the ABC's Lateline program the Church of Scientology imprisoned her on its cruise ship 'The Freewinds'.
Valeska Paris says the Church of Scientology's leader David Miscavige sent her to the ship when she was 17, to prevent her mother taking her away from Scientology.
Ms Paris says she ended up being on the ship for over a decade, and was unable to leave The Freewinds for the first six years without an escort.
She has also described the church's leader David Miscavige as a psychopath and says he should be put on trial.
Ms Paris was born into a Scientology family in Switzerland, and at the age of six she moved to Scientology's headquarters in the UK where she was placed in its then youth wing the cadet org.
At 14 she joined the Church's elite Sea Organisation, signing a contract binding her for a billion years, a commitment that would override her bond with her own family.
"I was basically hauled in and told that my mum had attacked the church and that I needed to disconnect from her because she was suppressive," she said.
Her mother had denounced Scientology on French TV after her ex husband Albert Jaquier committed suicide.
A self made millionaire, his last days were spent in poverty, and in a diary he kept, he blamed the Church of Scientology for fleecing him of his fortune.
Ms Paris says the church was so worried her mother would take her away that Mr Miscavige intervened, ordering she be taken to the church's cruise ship The Freewinds.
"He decided the ship, and I found out two hours before my plane left, I was woken up in the morning and I was sent to the ship for 'two weeks'," she said.
Ms Paris says she was held on the Freewinds against her will, and ended up on the ship for 12 years.
The Freewinds is used as a base to deliver Scientology's highest level counselling course known as Operating Thetan Level VIII.
It cruises around the Caribbean docking at small islands. The Church says ships have religious significance to Scientologists because its founder L Ron Hubbard, had researched and ministered the first Operating Thetan levels aboard a ship.