The Church of Scientology wants to silence survivors by forcing them into religious arbitration in violation of their first amendment rights.

Photo by Kat Jayne on

On Feb. 23, 2021, Attorneys representing Chrissie Carnell-Bixler and her fellow plaintiffs, filed a petition with a California appeals court seeking to reverse a lower court ruling that attempts to subject petitioners, non-believers who survived sexual abuse and harassment at the hands of defendants, to submit to so-called religious services arbitration by the Church of Scientology.In an issue no California appellate court has yet addressed, the trial court order attempts to subject petitioners to undergo a religious ceremony where Scientology “minsters” are the “arbitrators” and Scientology “doctrine” is the “law” to be applied. Petitioners argue that the trial court engaged in unconstitutional coercion by forcing former Scientologists to be subjected to the Scientology religious services arbitration in violation of their First Amendment rights to freedom of religion, which includes the right to exit a religious organization. Scientology believers have the right to believe anything they want but they cannot do whatever they want. For too long, the Church of Scientology and its leaders have sought to coverup sexual assault and abuse and then attempt to intimidate survivors into silence. This petition continues the important work of the #MeToo era to bring institutions and individual perpetrators to account for child abuse, trafficking, and neglect.

Read Full Appellate Writ Below

Source and reprinted from: