In a test case against the United States-based Church of Scientology, Marc Headley and his wife, Claire, have told how they were treated like slaves and forced to work 20-hour days almost continually through the year, the Telegraph (British) website reports today (April 10, 2010).
Mrs. Headley claims she was coerced into having an abortion, while Mr. Headley has spoken about how he was subjected to strange mind-control practice by the actor Tom Cruise.
Both were members of Sea Org -- the Scientologists' "religious order" and a supposedly elite vanguard made up of its most dedicated recruits -- and signed up to the religion when they were teenagers.
Members of the order sign a billion-year pledge of loyalty, promise not to have children, and live and work communally.
Mr. Headley, 36, said in 15 years, he earned just $29,000. Now, the couple is seeking back pay and overtime that their lawyer says could amount to one million dollars each from the organization, which was founded in 1953 by sci-fi writer L. Ron Hubbard.