Scientologist Debbie Cook: Imprisoned in Desert Trailer, Tortured

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Sensational testimony in a courtroom in Texas where the Church of Scientology is suing a former official -- Debbie Cooks claims she was held in a sweltering trailer in the desert for 45 days and tortured.

The Daily Mail reports Cook was one of the most respected church officials before she quit in 2007. She claims leader David Miscavige is a tyrant who steals money and is not running the church in accordance with the rules set down by founder L. Ron Hubbard.

During testimony last week, Cook claimed she was one of 100 Scientology executives held in the large trailer in the California desert for nearly seven weeks shortly before she left the church. It was known as "The Hole."

"It had bars on the windows and the one entrance was guarded by security 24 hours a day.

"The place was infested by ants, so ants would crawl on you, and there was a two-week period when the electricity had been shut off, as ordered by Mr. Miscavige. This was of course in summer in the desert so the temperature was about 106 degrees"

The 50-year-old Cook said at one point, Miscavige ordered his secretary to slap her.

Cook said she was not the only person to be abused. She said Miscavige himself punched a man in the face, and another man was forced to lick a dirty floor for a half an hour.

The church sued Cook after she sent out a New Year's Day email to 12,000 Scientologists expressing her outrage over the church's current state. It said the letter violated a confidentiality agreement Cook signed. She also got a $50,000 payment.

But Cook told the court she was so "broken" that she would have signed anything to get out.

"I would have signed that I stabbed babies over and over again and loved it. I would have done anything," she testified.

The church tried to stop Cook's testimony. When that failed, it withdrew from the proceedings.

"(The withdrawal) is to preclude the court being used further as a forum for the defendants to violate the rights of the Church and its members with more false and disparaging statements," the church said in a statement.