Daniel Montalvo v. Church of Scientology, et al

“You have seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man.”

- Frederick Douglass, 1845

S. Christopher “Kit” Winter of the Dykema law firm (HQ Detroit, offices around the U.S.) has filed two lawsuits in the Los Angeles Superior Court this afternoon.  Both are brought on behalf of his client Daniel Montalvo.   Copies of the suits can be found at the links below.

Kit is an extraordinary man.   Mike Rinder and I briefed him in detail on what he would be up against personally in suing on behalf of Daniel.  Kit is walking onto the field with his eyes wide open, and unflinching. 

Daniel too was briefed on what he can expect to face and he too made a conscious, principled decision to proceed.  

I know us old timers have referred to Daniel as the “kid” in the past.  As of today Daniel is no longer a kid.  Daniel Montalvo is a man.



Media Accounts:

St Petersburg Times: http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/lawsuit-claims-church-of-scientology-violated-child-labor-and-wage-laws/1155473

Village Voice:  http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/03/daniel_montalvo_1.php

Religious News Service:  http://www.religionnewsblog.com/25780/lawsuit-claims-church-of-scientology-violated-child-labor-and-wage-laws

330 responses to “Daniel Montalvo v. Church of Scientology, et al

  1. ExIntStaffMember

    From past experience, undoubtedly a whole “evolution” is now starting in the SO bases to get all the underage kids off post and in school and to make sure the parents don’t appear to be aloof about their kids well-being. Severe r-factors will be dished out warning all concerned to not reveal the long hours these kids have been working and the few hours they have been schooled. In other words, the bases will be gotten ready for inspections and even raids.

    • I agree absolutely!

    • ExIntStaff
      Yes I assume you are pretty accurate with that. Thing is that any “cover up evolution” also becomes suspect or criminal. Hopefully conditions will improve, they certainly need to according to several reports I have read.

      I personally suspect that David Miscavige will simply try and continue to suppress and bully his way through all this. If I read him correctly he will in no way be able to see, much less admit, any fault. It is not a luxury Suppressive Persons have. The path he has gone down, the Hell that he has created for himself, will take more understanding and confront to “handle” than he is capable of at this time. He will likely assert his “rightness” until he dies, and perhaps, beyond.
      Despite DM’s apparent “wealth” and “power”, you are looking at someone who is totally wretched and in constant torment. It is a hell I would not permanently wish on anyone. It is a hell devoid of Theta.


  2. Daniel I am so very PROUD of you for speaking out and keeping your Personal Integrity IN!! It takes a lot of COURAGE and I thank you for that.
    I’m on your side All the way!!!
    This case looks like a Win Win for Daniel. CO$ get ready “JUSTICE IS COMNG” and your going DOWN!!!!!

  3. I ask for just an update on Daniel’s criminal case and instead I get this. Wow. ( For the record I’ll note one of the articles mentioned simply that no charges have been filed against Daniel over the drives.)

    This lawsuit is brilliant in all the obvious ways. The question, as always, is whether the allegations made in the civil suit will lead to anything criminal. My bet is the COS tries like mad to settle this one — but it may make no difference. I think they are in real trouble.

    • I agree, Brendon. I believe this is a state issue on top of the civil proceedings. If the state acts against one single employer in this sort of a situation, and fails to act against the church for the same violation, it would be a blatant show of prejudice on the part of the state. I don’t see how they could afford to let it go and not act.

      • Also, state actions against an entity are matters of public record, often published in the papers, so the church would not be able to get a “hush-up” agreement to hide it. LOL

  4. Looking this over, considering the suit is on the mis-treatment of children more or less, it makes sense that when DM collapsed the 2D that sooner or later the whole thing would go down that chute. And down it goes indeed.

    Duh, Dave, duh.

  5. (this just leaked from DM bunker…)

    Office of COB



    _1. Fabricate receipt that shows we somehow paid tens of thousands of dollars for a few hard drives.

    _2. Get prosthesises installed on all children in book factory who’ve lost their fingers from that damn guillotine before those OASHA bastards show up.

    _3. Daily drilling for EVERYONE on TR-L.

    _4. See if we can manipulate Charlie Sheen into making some really crazy statements about this case to discredit it.

    _5. Deflate those fake student rubber blow-up dolls in the ‘classroom’ and get some real kids in there.

    _6. Carte Blanche on all PI expenditures for digging up dirt on this Kit Winter guy.

    _7. Get Daniel’s parents to say they lost him in a shopping mall several years ago and have been frantically looking for him ever since.

    _8. Find out if the judge on this case has a dog.

    _9. See if we can somehow blame this on Farrakan.

    _10. Get me some clean underwear.

    _11. See if we can get one of our lawmakers on the take to get a retroactive law passed that it’s ok in California for Ecuadorian kids to cut their fingers off in factories.

    _12. Forge some documents that show we actually gave Daniel a college education by the time he was seven.

    _13. Convince Moxon to undergo plastic surgery to remove that sneer off his face before showing up in court.

    _14. Get Gold to create a CGI video showing Daniel cutting his own finger off accidentally while buttering his toast.

    _15. Use Marc Yager’s new stat of “number of fingers NOT cut off while using the book stamping machine” to create explosive video stat graph for next event.

    _16. Get that double agent journalist to fix the typo in that one news article that refers to me as “Defendant John Dough”.

    _17. Get lots of back-dated reports written stating that Daniel was constantly being told to “stay away from that dangerous book stamping machine”.

    _18. Get the MONTALVO parents to state they thought Daniel had already been aborted.

    _19. Buy Ecuador and offer it to Daniel as a settlement.

    _20. Ask Beghe again if he’s willing to come in for a free ARCX session.

    _21. See if we can buy Detroit so we can shut down that damn Dykema headquarters.

    _22. Ask Marty if he’d like to have Ecuador.

    _23. Change “Billion Years” in Sea Org contract to only “Five Hundred Years” for PR purposes.

    _24. Ask TC if he would buzz the Dykema law offices with his fighter jet to scare them off.

    _25. Get me some more clean underwear.


    • _26. Instead of clean underwear get me a big supply of adult absorbent disposable undergarments! NOW!!!!!

    • OTDT, you absolutely slay me. I don’t acknowledge or applaud all of your postings, but most of them just make me giggle uncontrollably.

      My favorite above: _20. Ask Beghe again if he’s willing to come in for a free ARCX session.

      Just Me

      • Just between you and me, Just Me, I chuckled for a while at #18. But then again, I’m kinda whacked. Or in Sheen-language, I’ve got Tigers Blood, Adonis DNA, I’m a Rock-Star From Mars. I’m Zeus in a Speedo. No one else could process my brain, if they tried their faces would melt off and their children would weep over their exploded bodies.
        :) :) :) WINNING!!!!!!!!

    • Howling as usual, OTDT! Thanks!

    • BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Maybe part of the program should be to call JC Penny and buy cases of underwear. He is going to need it!

    • Jethro Bodine

      _27. Get a big bottle of Charlie’s Sheen new perfume called “Winning”. We need to smell like winners if we’re going to win this lawsuit.

      • Or in Beverly Hillbilly talk:

        _28. Git Uncle Jed an’ Granny ta invite them Dykema folks to a possum hoedown soes Ellie Mae kin git ‘em all lickered up with the moonshine and put ‘em all in compramizin’ pazissions.

  6. Daniel, Jason – There’s a lot I could say, but in summary, I will gladly be a witness should the need arise.



    Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex
    From HCO Division 1, page 780
    It has never been any part of my plans to regulate or attempt to regulate the private lives of individuals.

    Whenever this has occurred, it has not resulted in any improved condition.

    All I has been interested in, so far as Scientology law was concerned, was in removing retarding elements or practices from the path of progress toward freedom.

    Man is aberrated. Otherwise we would not be here. He is hard to rescue as he has been carefully “trained” to do himself harm.

    I have no concern about the second dynamic activities of Scientologists save only where they bring suffering to others and so impede our forward progress.


    In their places, any husband, wife or individual whose processing or training has been impeded or interrupted beyond any reasonable doubt by second dynamic activities on the part of staff or associates or their husband or wife may have recourse to the CHAPLAINS’S COURT, Division 6, of any Scientology organization, and any case heard. If it be proven beyond reasonable doubt that, without provocation, a person’s training or processing has been impeded by the irregular second dynamic actions of the defendant, a fine of not less than 1000 (English sterling pound) or greater than 5000 (English sterling pound) shall be awarded the plaintiff, and until paid, the defendant shall have no further training or processing.

    This policy is not retroactive (occurrences before this date may not be tried).

    No Ethics Order shall be issued by reason of second dynamic activities. All Ethics Orders now in force relating to the second dynamics are cancelled.

    No staff member may be punished, transferred or dismissed because of second dynamic activities.

    No student or preclear may be suspended or dismissed because of second dynamic activities.

    Nothing in this policy letter lays aside our actual knowledge of the consequences of second dynamic overts against husbands and wives being processed or the degree to which training or processing can be impeded for someone because of another’s acts.

    We are also aware that those or staffs which are overactive on the second dynamics seldom prosper.

    We also retain any and all technology relating to the second dynamic.
    One of man’s primary areas of aberration is the second dynamic.
    Processing, not discipline, is the only thing which eradicates abberration of such depth.

  8. Does anyone have any info as to why the LA Times does not jump on these newsworthy stories? From the “Truth Rundown” forward the coverage has been minimal to non-existent- it just does not add up.

    • I don’t have any idea why the LA Times does not cover the Co$ stories. But I think you have asked a very good question! Anybody know why not?

      • martyrathbun09

        Probably the same reason they helped to cover up the murder of the original king of rap, Biggie Smalls. The LAPD was involved in setting the guy up and the LA Times went way overboard covering the LAPD’s ass – read all about in Rolling Stone (you can google it, I think the article is a couple years old).

    • martyrathbun09

      See my response to Just Me’s similar comment. Also they’ve been a useless corporate cover up artist ever since Editor Dean Baquette stood up the Tribune co. who laid off all their investitative reporters, and was then fired for doing so.

  9. Nothing could make my day any better than these news.
    Thanks infinitely to all involved in that legal art work. This is rich. This is huge. This is ……tick tock with accelerated jets behind.
    I am very happy.

  10. la versione italiana

    Marty what an amazing introductory note!! Daniel i’m proud of you and your courage and Kit, thank you for helping us to bring justice!!!

    Silvia Kusada

  11. Friend of Ron

    Daniel, Kit and Jason,


    From Sun Tzu: The Art of War, Chapter 4 “Formation”:


    And from Chapter 9: “Maneuvering Armies”:


    Daniel, you are not just that ONE PERSON IN TEN you are that ONE PERSON IN A HUNDRED.

  12. Watching Eyes

    Mike R.,
    Check email.

  13. OMG! On the Daniel v. BPI, the Church is TOAST. I’m very familiar with this area of CA law. Jury trial with those facts means Daniel is going to be financially set for quite a while.

    Daniel v. CSI; what a great case. Daniel being a minor during the time of those accusations means it will bypass a lot of the religious court rulings where employment law has been nullified for adults in the S.O.

    Great work guys!

  14. I appreciate your efforts to make the culprits accountable. They are not above the law but they think they are. May justice prevail. Thank you to everyone involved in this matter.

  15. From Tikk at WWP


    ” Sorry in advance for wall of text.

    I’ll attempt to summarize the relevant law implicated by the Daniel Montalvo complaint. Though the complaint itself is rather straightforward, an array of defendants with different roles and relationships to Daniel complicates it only slightly. Briefly put, there are two main prongs to Daniel’s complaint: (1) Breach of Fiduciary Duty against both Daniel’s parents and CSI & the Sea Org; and (2) common law Negligence against Daniel’s parents and CSI & the Sea Org. These two claims are very closely related.

    A fiduciary is a person who is in a trust relationship with another (the principal), and owes the principal the highest duty of care—they need to look out for their interests as if those interests were their own. Though most often arising in financial contexts (think partnerships and trustees), it is nevertheless true that parents and guardians are fiduciaries to their respective children. And though this legal truism is mostly a stranger to civil law (parental neglect is usually addressed by state agencies and criminal penalties), it is nevertheless uncontroversial that parents and guardians owe their children the highest duty of care as fiduciaries.

    To successfully claim Breach of Fiduciary Duty, the plaintiff must show (1) that a fiduciary relationship existed; (2) a breach occurred; and (3) an injury was sustained.

    Daniel’s claim against his parents is basically that they surrendered custody of him to the Sea Org and either knew or should have known that the Sea Org would have violated laws enacted to protect Daniel, that Daniel was being required to work in violation of those laws, and was being denied an education.

    The parents’ defense? Well, they can’t argue that a fiduciary relationship didn’t exist unless they’re prepared to argue that they’re not actually his parents. They might argue that there was no breach—that they had neither notice nor reason to believe that the Sea Org would abuse Daniel. But a parent’s duty to a child is not waivable, and because the abuse occurred over such a long period of time, this isn’t an instance where the assignment of guardianship to a, say, babysitter over the course of a weekend, is excusable. So the parents will probably align their interests with the Scientology defendants, whose defense I’ll get to in a moment. Finally, the parents could argue that there was no breach because Daniel suffered no injury. The no harm no foul defense likely fails for a host of reasons. Besides missing a finger, Daniel has not graduated from high school and was ‘employed’ in violation of various laws.

    The Sea Org & CSI are also charged with Breach of Fiduciary Duty, but the analysis differs from the claim against the parents insofar as the Scientology defendants had assumed guardianship; the breach allegations therefore fall squarely on them. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Scientology breached its duty as guardian to properly educate by placing him in a full-time school; to provide appropriate medical and dental care; by employing Daniel in violation of California labor laws [specifically Cal. Penal Code § 11165.2]; by endangering his welfare in violation of Cal. Penal Code § 11165.3; and otherwise exploiting and neglecting Daniel.

    The Scientology defendants defense? It’ll be difficult for them to argue that they owed no fiduciary duty unless they’re prepared to argue that the parents had not surrendered custody of Daniel to them. It probably wouldn’t be difficult for Daniel’s attorney to demonstrate that Daniel and his parents were in different locations for large periods of time, and so if CSI and/or the Sea Org hadn’t assumed guardianship, then who? You can perhaps start to see why Scientology’s and Daniel’s interests are in conflict with respect to this litigation; I’d be surprised if they’re represented by the same attorneys.

    If Scientology claims they have not breached they’ll have to argue that Daniel is simply lying—in other words, he did get a proper education, he did receive proper medical and dental care, he wasn’t employed in violation of California’s labor laws, and they hadn’t endangered his welfare. It’ll all come down to evidence, probably mostly competing affidavits.

    Regarding evidence, it’s worth noting that while the burden is upon the plaintiff to prove his prima facie case, that burden is especially low here due to the nature of the claim—since he was in their care, the burden accordingly shifts to the fiduciary to show that Daniel was attending school, wasn’t performing work he shouldn’t have been performing, and did receive adequate medical and dental care. Scientology will be unable to argue for dismissal based on Daniel’s lacks of documentation supporting his claims because it’s upon the parent/guardian fiduciary to retain such documentation.

    Whether Daniel suffered an injury as a result of the breach would be analyzed no differently as in the claim against the parents.

    The various defendants have all been accused of common law Negligence, though the factual questions relating to each depend on the particular defendant, each who interacted with Daniel at different junctures and are accordingly liable to different degrees. The elements of Negligence are very similar to Breach of Fiduciary Duty, except that no special relationship between the injurer and injured need be established. The complaint lists negligence as an alternative cause of action to the Breach of Fiduciary Duty cause of action.

    Negligence occurs when a duty to care arises and the actor fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care, resulting in an actual injury. It’s further necessary to establish causation between the failure to act and the injury.

    All of the named defendants owed a duty of care to Daniel in one way or the other—CSI, the Sea Org, his parents, Canyon Oaks Ranch School (along with headmaster Jessie Reiss and teacher Shannon Barnes), and any other “mandated reporter” pursuant to California law [named as John Does in the suit]. Establishing the appropriate standard of care would be a question of the nature of the particular relationship between Daniel and each defendant. Since there were multiple defendants responsible for Daniel’s care at any given point in time, it may be in the interest of each defendant to blame the other. Even CSI and the Sea Org may be in conflict. All of Daniel’s injuries, save the finger loss, accumulated over enough time that it would require significant discovery to establish just who amongst the defendants was responsible for Daniel in percentage terms. This, Scientology doesn’t want.

    Proving Negligence also requires the plaintiff to establish causation; that the various defendants’ failure to exercise the appropriate standard of care caused Daniel’s injuries. It will be necessary to establish that he lacks an education, that he lacked proper medical and dental care, and that he performed work that defendants should not have allowed him to. Just as with Breach of Fiduciary Duty, the defendants naturally possess or possessed what constitutes evidence that Daniel was properly raised. Their failure to produce credible documentation would tend to show causation, to my mind.

    The Negligence cause of action against Bridge Publications (in a separate complaint) pertains solely to the finger loss and is mostly self explanatory, so I won’t bother going deeply into it. Daniel was an employee of Bridge and lost his finger while in their employ on a machine he alleges he wasn’t properly trained to use, had explicitly requested he not have to use, and was not permitted by California law to use. He claims Bridge declined to pay his medical bills, failed to compensate him for the lost finger, and failed to advise Daniel of his right to Worker’s Compensation, and failed to secure Worker’s Compensation insurance. Bridge should be the first defendant to settle, in my opinion since their liability seems the most calculable.

    Overall, I would expect that with regard to the core allegations, Daniel’s attorney has sought out and procured the affidavits of people who knew Daniel during the time the injuries took place. I’m trying not to guess how Scientology will defend the suit, but it’s not difficult to imagine competing affidavits from current members calling Daniel a liar. Again though, because of the nature of the claim, it’s going to be the ‘ordinary course of business’ documentation that Scientology will or won’t (I’ll guess won’t) be able to produce that this case will hinge on.

    I’ll try to talk about the False Imprisonment cause of action against Moxon in a separate post since it strays far afield from the core allegations.”

    • Cat Daddy

      Methinks a lot of Sea Org personnel are going to be “thrown under the bus” on this one, in order to save David Miscavige’s butt. They will either “take a dive”, or be “declared Suppressive” because they didn’t “protect the church/ David Miscavige. If they are “declared” then they will no longer be under the churches “protection and ethics codes”, and will be open to Micsavige’s continuing tactic of “fair game”, and thus be open to any and all forms of harassment and even illegal actions against them by the church.

      The bell tolls for them. They have waited too long to act.


  16. Watching Eyes,

    I was involved with the hiring of children from the Cadet Org for 2 years while working in Div 2 FSO where most of the work was done (CF filing and promo stuffing) and also as the Treas Sec FSO and FP Chairman for 7 years.

    The pay rate was haggled over with the adults that supervised the cadets
    (like Rusty Hilton). You told Rusty what the job was, how many children were needed and for how long. The price was set and the Purchase Order was submitted and approved as part of the weekly Financial Plan (FP).

    For a common “Cadet Mission” like the stuffing of promo on Thursday afternoons we would usually get about 7 children for about 4 hours at a cost of about $75.

  17. This is just fricking SHOCKING… We all know this is true.. we have seen it when we would visit FLAG… The staff life looked so depressing to me.

  18. Co$ really stepped in it this time. Dykema is not some small-time chop shop that it can intimidate. It’s bigtime, and will just laugh at the cheesy tactics and attempts at intimidation that will come out of the Co$ and its laughably bad legal team. Firms like Dykema eat scrubs like Yingling for breakfast.

    I will engage in sheer speculation and guess that one of the first things that’s going to happen in this case is a motion for sanctions against Co$ for failure to respond to discovery. A firm like Dykema knows discovery, and knows how to get the information it needs.

    Co$ doesn’t even realize yet the world of pain that it’s in.

  19. I addressed the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors about Daniel’s case. It was well received by Chairman Supervisor Michael Antonovich who said his staff would contact the Sheriff and pass along copies of the lawsuit to the LA County District Attorney. It’s quite a change from the blank stares I get at the Riverside Board of Supervisors. The information is could not be ignored and dismissed.

    After the speech a reporter came to speak to me. I gave her the written speech, a synopsis of the lawsuit and a generic press release. This particular reporter writes for a news service which publishes in 150 newspapers. Another reporter has seen a video of the speech and is preparing a story.

    Letting the world know is the most effective way to liberate these Sea Org kids. Please contact the press. You guys / gals have much more knowledge than I do. I have some 1500 press e-mail addresses if you need them.

  20. Wow, people are really passionate about this stuff. Please dont take offense with the following comment but in a global community fighting over religion really is like trying to force one another to see why “my imaginary friend is better than yours.” There are many different religions and the best thing to do is to leave it out. Be people first and Christian, Jewish, Muslim etc…. second.

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