How's this for a nightmare? You're a young girl who, because of a family split, gets involved in a strange but powerful religious cult. You're 14 years old when you sign a contract to be the property of the cult for a billion years. You end up as a virtual slave, an underage and unpaid worker scrubbing floors and cleaning the toilets in a luxurious floating cathedral. You're forced into marriage at 16 but denied the opportunity to have children. And you live in that hellish world for 12 years.
Is this the plot of some Gothic novel, a horror story told by Wilkie Collins or Bram Stoker?
No, I'm afraid it's the all-too-real story of Valeska Paris, one of the latest escapees from...Scientology.
Now Valeska is fighting back against her tormentors in the most effective way possible; by telling her story via such influential sources as the Village Voice.