A former Scientologist has claimed she was imprisoned for 12 years on board a cruise liner after her family denounced the religion.
Valeska Paris says she was held against her will aboard the church's luxury 'cathedral' ship The Freewinds from the aged of 18.
Ms Paris, who now lives in Australia, alleges she was forced into hard labour and never allowed to leave the ship without an escort.
In an interview with the ABC News Lateline program, Ms Paris claims Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige sent her to the ship when to stop her family from pulling her out of the organisation.
'I was basically hauled in and told that my mum had attacked the church and that I needed to disconnect from her because she was suppressive,' she said.
'He decided the ship, and I found out two hours before my plane left, I was woken up in the morning and I was sent to the ship for "two weeks".'
Instead of the promised two week stay, Ms Paris said she was forced into work on the lower levels of the ship for 12 years.
'It's hot, it's extremely loud, it's smelly, it's not nice. I was sent down there at first for 48 hours straight on almost no sleep and I had to work by myself,' she said.
'I did not want to be there, I made it clear I did not want to be there and that was considered bad ethics, meaning it was considered not right,' she said.
'They take your passport when you go on the ship and you're in the middle of an island. So it's a bit hard [to escape] and by that time I was 18, I'd been in Scientology my whole life, it's not like I knew how to escape,' she said.
Ms Paris was born into a Scientology family in Switzerland, and at the age of six she moved to Scientology's UK headquarters in East Grinstead where she was placed in its then youth wing.
At 14 she joined the Church's elite Sea Organisation, signing a contract binding her for a billion years, a commitment that would override her bond with her own family.
Her mother had denounced Scientology on French TV after her ex-husband Albert Jaquier committed suicide.
A self-made millionaire, his last days were spent in poverty, and in a diary he kept, he blamed the Church of Scientology for fleecing him of his fortune.
Ms Paris says the church was so worried her mother would take her away that Mr Miscavige intervened, ordering she be taken to the church's cruise ship.
She described him as a psychopath and says he should be put on trial.
'It's not right for someone to be running the church and basically take advantage of a church and hiding behind religion to live like a king and abuse people around him. That man doesn't like anyone, he's a psychopath,' she said.
The Freewinds is used as a base to deliver Scientology's highest level counselling course known as Operating Thetan Level VIII.
It cruises around the Caribbean docking at small islands. The Church says ships have religious significance to Scientologists because its founder L Ron Hubbard, had researched and ministered the first Operating Thetan levels aboard a ship.
A Scientology promotional video says the ship 'stands at the forefront of a growing worldwide movement towards spiritual advancement transporting Scientologists to new realms of freedom'.
In a statement, the Church of Scientology denied Ms Paris' claims.
It said: 'She certainly wasn't "forced" to be there. She was also never forced to perform labour in the engine room.
'The Freewinds is a wonderful place, as even Valeska said on numerous occasions. Her allegation that she could only leave the ship with an escort is totally false.'
The Church of Scientology is famous for attracting a celebrity following, particularly among Hollywood’s elite.
Among its devotees are Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and John Travolta.
Headlines Newsview all
Ebola could hit 15 countries across Africa: Study of how disease has spread in past finds 70million people may be at risk of infection
The Ebola outbreak could hit 15 countries across Africa - putting the lives of 70 million people at risk, a groundbreaking study has found. In a ...
Britain is to forge closer economic ties with China after Chancellor George Osborne announced £2.4billion in new commercial deals with the People’s Republic. As the annual ...
Donations have poured in for Manchester Dogs’ Home after a fire ripped through the premises, killing more than 53 dogs last night. A JustGiving page set ...
Rate this article
MOST POPULAR ON CAPITALBAY
- Royal baby hoax hospital staff wanted to discipline nurse Jacintha Saldanha
- Trainee teacher hangs himself after split from the girlfriend he couldn’t live without
- Lacey Wildd has had 30 enhancement surgeries and is planning more
Glasgow 'riots': Footage shows Yes and No voters in running street battles in disorder after pro-Union rally
Footage has emerged of violent scenes in Glasgow as police struggled to contain a pro-Union rally that broke down into disorder in the city centre ...
The driest September in over 50 years came to an abrupt end this weekend, as thundery storms saw parts of Britain waking up to flash ...
Three prominent Muslim Imams and Islamic scholars have made an impassioned video appeal to the Islamic State (Isis) calling on the immediate and unconditional release ...
Glasgow 'riots': 'Dishonest' social media users accused of fuelling panic with pictures from London riots
“Dishonest” social media users have been accused of claiming pictures of the 2011 London riots were of disorder in Glasgow following a post-referendum rally. Several people ...
A British couple have been reported missing after Hurricane Odile struck Mexico at the weekend. The pair have been named in reports as Paul Whitehouse and ...
The White House has been evacuated after an intruder managed to jump the fence and enter building before he was apprehended by security last night. The ...
Monday marks 20 years since a casual chat between Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe and Ross in Central Perk was interrupted by a runaway bride called ...
The first thing you notice about Daphne Guinness are her clothes. There's no way you could miss them. These aren't just schmattes covering the body; ...
There are many reasons to spend a week in the ebbing days of summer on the Costa Brava. I was brought here for family holidays ...
The photographer Horst said that "the only real male elegance was English". What do you think of English style? I think England 'made me', in the ...