Sunday, 4 December 2011
Cruise From Hell: I Was Trapped On Scientology Ship While Tom Partied
A woman who recently defected from the Church of Scientology has claimed that she was held against her will and forced to spend almost 12 years touring the Caribbean on a cruise ship owned by the organisation.
Valeska Paris told a TV interviewer that she was 18 when she joined the crew of the Freewinds, a vessel the Church describes as its floating "cathedral" and which once hosted Tom Cruise's birthday party.
She alleged that her passport was confiscated, and that, until she was 24, she was prevented from setting foot on dry land without an escort.
The claims were aired by ABC news in Australia, where she currently lives. They have been strongly denied by the Church, who say Ms Paris boarded the ship of her own free will and was perfectly free to leave.
Read more here