A Scientology lawsuit has been leveled by a couple who claim that the church mishandled possibly millions of dollars that came in as donations.
Luis and Rocio Garcia of Irvine, Calif., filed the 35-page complaint on Wednesday in Florida federal court. The Scientology lawsuit alleges that over the years, the church took thousands of dollars in donations the couple sent that had been earmarked for building of a massive “Super Power” building in downtown Clearwater, Florida.
The church broke ground on the project 14 years ago, yet it is still being built, The Huffington Post reported. When the couple asked for their money back, the church excommunicated them, attorney Theodore Babbit contends. The church is required to give refunds to members who ask for them.
The Scientology lawsuit also claims that the Super Power building is really just a scam to make money.
“It’s a money-making machine for the church,” Luis Garcia told The Tampa Tribune.
Garcia Saz said he had a practicing Scientologist for 28 years, but left the church in 2010 after reading stories of ex-members with similar complaints.
“I came to the conclusion that the church had departed form its original ideals,” he said, “and that I had been deceived with regard to all my donations all these years. I found out that these causes were not really true. I had been lied to and that is the basis for this lawsuit.”
The Scientology lawsuit comes as another strike of bad press against the church. A recently released book by Pulitzer-winning journalist Lawrence Wright details some of the strange origins and nefarious practices of the church.