A Silent Atheist Inside Scientology IV

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Is Scientology a force for good?

In this part of our series, in which we try to figure out whether Scientology is a force for good, we turn onto the core-organisation of the church and find out how she maintains such high levels of control.


Internal Publicity for Scientologists to join the Sea Org.
Internal Publicity for Scientologists to join the Sea Org.

The Sea Org

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The basic organisation of the church of Scientology is in “org’s”. With this the organisation of the church tries to imitate corporate structures. In fact Scientology could perfectly be described as a ‘For-Profit Organisation with religious tax exemptions’. Within the Church the Sea Org has always had the status of ‘elite’-org. For example, since 1971, the Sea Org has been the owner of the religious doctrine. Yet it was only under the rule of Miscavige that it assumed complete corporate control of the Scientology organisation. To obtain this they, on orders of ‘Great Leader’, had to ‘strong-arm’ the owners of Scientology’s private chapters (that paid 10% to the church of everything they made) into signing away their businesses.

Satirical comment on the Sea Org: Every Religion Requires a Paramilitary Organisation
Satirical comment on the Sea Org: Every Religion Requires a Paramilitary Organisation

Since 1975 the Sea Org organisation is mostly land-based. Yet it still deploys several ships in a fleet that travels the world including a cruise ship ‘The Freewinds’ that is used for courses, seminars and conventions. The Sea Org is responsible for all auditing upwards from the OT-level. Other local Scientology organisations are completely subordinate to the Sea Org and their staff are routinely put on disciplinary procedures (like working 48 shifts or taking on ‘missions’ after hours) to amend for things like not making targets or not following course instructions or even for auditing ‘out of tech’. In case it would appeal to some readers to be part of an SS-like organisation that puts the fear of God into entire groups of converts, rest assured that membership of the Sea Org comes with a very high price.

The contract of a Sea Org member.
The contract of a Sea Org member.

Books could and have been written about all the ways being part of the Sea Org is a dreadful, miserable fate. From the billion years contract, the open-ended reform-camp initialisation, the back-to-back 80-hour workweeks, the sever punishments for thought-crimes, the complete isolation and utter dependence of the mercy of superiors to the ultimate removal of any notion of ‘Self’ or individual identity.

Detail of the contract detailing the space-nature of the religion and its commitment to reincarnation.
Detail of the contract detailing the space-nature of the religion and its commitment to reincarnation.

Since the higher levels of OT are only in the hands of the Sea Org, with level of OT VIII only attainable aboard the flagship the ‘Freewinds’ it appears that ‘going up the bridge’ with Scientology without becoming a Sea Org member is only possible when you were really wealthy prior to joining Scientology. It therefore is clear that Scientology’s ‘way to Total Freedom’ requires one to abandon any inkling suggestion of basic Freedom. “We had to destroy the village, to save it.”

From the countless independent testimony of former members we also know that Sea Org members are the only ones who can ‘volunteer’ for “Rehabilitation Project Force”, RPF, which perhaps differs from Sea Org-‘boot camp’, EPF, by one letter only, but is a world-of-hurt apart.

Rehabilitation Project Force

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Protester outside Scientology Church holding up a sign asking people to: "Google Scientology RPF"
Protester outside Scientology Church holding up a sign asking people to: “Google Scientology RPF”

When you become a member on the Sea Org (and thus employed by it) you already know about the “Wall of fire” Incident II and how Xenu’s action are still affecting you today. You are a convinced member of Scientology and have advanced to levels well beyond the point where either your scepticism proved non-existant or was successfully circumvented. As a true believer, chained to your body-thetan(s), you know your only hope for salvation lays with Scientology. The Wog-world outside is but a threatening distant memory and represents only unemployment, dismal future lives and a social-cliff void of the comfort of your “real-family”.

“The true Scientologist believes that we are all trapped in this universe; that we used to be “free” and powerful but we have gone down a “dwindling spiral” of degradation, life after life, eventually, after trillions of years, becoming powerless and mired in suffering; that L. Ron Hubbard developed the only road out of this trap back to “real freedom” and power; that the Church of Scientology is the only valid source of this technology; and that we will only get this one chance to make it out.” ref

It should therefore not surprise anyone that when their e-meter Rock Slams and they can’t “clear the needle” during the following Sec Check, that most Sea Org members chose to sign the needed waivers and enter the “Rehabilitation Project Force” voluntarily (without any certainty about what goes on in it) over excommunication.

Hubbard: “Two waivers are to be signed. The first is called the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RPF ASSIGNMENT AND ELECTION TO PROCEED. The individual will be given this form for signature upon receipt of his assignment and before routing onto the RPF.”

“After the person has arrived in the RPF and has studied the RPF FOs [crf. Flag Orders] , he is then given the APPLICATION FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE RPF AND GENERAL RELEASE. This document may only be signed after the person has a full understanding of what the RPF program involves and has read all of the RPF Series and attests he fully understands the series.”

But even if the ‘aspiring’ RPF-er did understand thoroughly what was going to happen to him/her, which is hardly describable within the confines of a couple of pages; Even so we must question whether, having been convinced of the things Scientology believes, having seen their financial security evaporated, whether the choice between ‘RPF’ or ‘WOG’ is really an honest choice.

The spikes on the fence of one of the known RPF centers allegedly pointing inward.
The spikes on the fence of one of the known RPF centers allegedly pointing inward.

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It is important to understand that the aim of the RPF program is not to punish or to redeem the prisoner. The aim is to restore the faith of the organisation in that person. Therefore, just like with ‘auditing’ the methodology used must be uniform, systematic and not take any variables from the specific person at hand. It must be devoid of compassion, mechanistic and at least appear to be 100% fool-proof. In order to achieve this the methodology Hubbard prescribed was meant to completely break down the personality of the subject and remove any need for voluntary choice or consent on his part. Luckily for Hubbard however he could find inspiration for this in the methodology used in the German Nazi extermination camps.

“Hubbard wrote, in his Brainwashing Manual in 1955: Experiments on German prisoners have lately demonstrated that only after seventy days of filthy food, little sleep, and nearly untenable quarters, that the least motion toward a prisoner would bring about a state of shock beyond his endurance threshold, and would cause him to hypnotically receive anything said to him. Thus, it is possible, in an entire stockade of prisoners, to the number of thousands, to bring about a state of complete servile obedience, and without the labour of personally addressing each one, to pervert their loyalties, and implant in them adequate commands to insure their future conduct, even when released to their own people.”

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Survivors of the RPF programs describe open-ended (but at a minimum of a couple of years) of uninterrupted regime of reduced sleep on filthy concrete floors, feeding themselves only on the left-overs from others, hard-labour (often in construction-jobs) or 12 hours of running around an orange-pole, hours of doctrine studying and late-night auditing. For those resisting this regime there was an even worse one with half the sleep, complete isolation in which the study and auditing was replaced with even more abysmal work and complete light-deprivation.

Alleged circular running track on the premises of an known RPF site.
Alleged circular running track on the premises of an known RPF site.

The stories display variations in severity over the years. During certain years the basic regime of RPF descended to even greater depths including 30-hour shifts, sleeping in morgues or repurposed chicken-coups. Most RPF accounts tell about guards, sometimes armed guards, preventing escape. Often RPF-ers would be employed in building their own prisons “the perimeter fence, the ultra razor barriers, the lighting of the perimeter fence, the electronic monitors, the concealed microphones, the ground sensors, the motion sensors and hidden cameras….”.

A handful of RPF-ers reported being incarcerated with children as young as 12 years old.

This can only be considered an introduction into the Sea Org and its severe disciplinary practices. While Scientology denies the crux of what is claimed about RPF it can’t deny the need for legal waivers, the fences it employs, the demeaning work it makes it’s ‘slaves’ do in plain sight of camera’s or how young these slaves sometimes are. More on this topic is however out-of-the-scope of this series and would severely prejudice it towards a pre-emptive conclusion. Still I urge you to take matters into your own hands and ‘GOOGLE SCIENTOLOGY RPF’ (I’m using ‘Hubbards ALLCAPS’ here).

As it becomes harder and harder to remain objective, knowing what’s being said about Scientology, we still need to dig deeper. In the next episode of this series we look at what, if anything, the financing of Scientology can teach us about its morals. After all we need more facts than a few, admittedly, harsh testimonials in order to judge whether Scientology is (all together) a force for good in the world.


Live Long and Prosper
Hailaga

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