A multimillion dollar lawsuit has been filed against the Church of Scientology over the harassment of a Texas couple who fled to the San Antonio suburbs in failed bid to escape the prying eyes of surveillance cameras.
The suit, filed in Comal County, also names Scientology leader David Miscavage and two men believed to be involved with the California-based organization.
Marty Rathbun was once second-in-command at what many now consider a cult. In a disagreement with the leadership, he fled, going underground in 2004. Five years later, he resurfaced in Ingleside, Texas, speaking out against Scientology. While along the Texas coast, he met Monique Rathbun and the pair married. Even though she was never a member of the church, she quickly became sucked in to harassment.
In a series of well-documented videos, the church sent operatives to their neighborhood, tracking their every move.
"For a period of 199 days, they could not go out of their house without being verbally assaulted," their attorney Ray Jeffrey tells 1200 WOAI news. "The church had a house across the street rented, and filled the windows with cameras."
The pair moved to the San Antonio suburb of Bulverde to escape, but quickly found the plot next door was rented, a trailer was erected and surveillance cameras were posted in the trees.
"That was the straw that broke the camel's back," Jeffrey explains.
The lone plaintiff in the suit is Monique, not her husband It claims intentional infliction of emotional distress, tortuous interference of her employment contract and invasion of privacy.
"She has been harassed, insulted, surveilled, photographed, videotaped, defamed, and humiliated to such a degree as to shock the conscience of any decent, law-abiding person," the suit reads.
An email to the church's spokeswoman in Los Angeles was not returned.
Last week, a Comal County judge granted Monique a temporary restraining order, ordering Scientology to stop the harassment. A hearing on a temporary injunction is scheduled for next week.