This is another story of the Sea Org, it should be re-named the Sea Borg. There is as little personal freedom inside this paramilitary group as there is in the famous Sci-Fi group known as the “Borg Collective.”
- An interview with Janet Reitman, author of Inside Scientology:
- The History of America’s Most Secretive Religion
Raised in a Scientology family in Los Angeles, he was at church one day when a Sea Org recruiter approached him. “What are you doing with your life?” he asked the teen.
Jeffrey had no idea what to say. “I’m thirteen, I’m not doing anything with my life,” Jeffrey said. The recruiter asked him if he wanted to “help” people. Jeffrey said, “Sure. What kid doesn’t want to help people?”
Thus began Jeffrey’s immersion into the tightly wound world of the Sea Org, where he would spend the next seven years of his life. In that time, he would see fewer than ten movies, would rarely listen to music and never had sex. Though theoretically reading newspapers and magazines was allowed — USA Today is sold openly on Gold Base — in practice it was discouraged, along with surfing the Internet and watching TV. Indeed, all contact with the world at large was “entheta.” “I never considered myself a Scientologist until I joined the Sea Org,” Jeffrey says.
Jeffrey’s indoctrination began with a boot camp known as the “Estates Project Force,” or EPF. There, he learned to march, salute and perform manual labor. Physical work is a key training technique for new recruits. Jeffrey’s sister, for instance, went through the EPF when she was twelve and was forced to crawl through ducts that were roach- and rat-infested. Like the TRs, this kind of work, Jeffrey explains, is meant to raise a person’s “confront,” enabling them to be more in control of their environment.
After the EPF, Jeffrey was given a blue shirt, blue tie and dark-blue trousers, and sent to work as a receptionist at the American Saint Hill Organization for spiritual training, on Scientology’s expansive Hollywood campus. He was paid fifty dollars per week and worked an average of fifteen hours per day, including an hour or two of auditing and other training. Home was a large barracks-style room in a building where Jeffrey lived with about twenty other boys and men. In seven years, Jeffrey says, he saw his family just a handful of times. His only free time was the few hours he received on Sunday mornings to do his laundry. Hubbard believed strongly in productivity, which he saw as highly ethical behavior. “We reward production and up-statistics and penalize nonproduction and down-statistics,” he wrote in Introduction to Scientology Ethics.
Eventually, Jeffrey found himself on “PTS watch,” monitoring Sea Org members who wanted to leave the order. According to church officials, Sea Org members can leave anytime they want. But in practice, the attitude is “the only reason you’d want to leave is because you’ve done something wrong,” says Jeffrey. This would call for a round of “sec checks,” which would continue throughout the “route out” process, which can take up to a year. During that time, former Sea Org members have asserted, they are subjected to so much pressure they often decide not to leave after all.
To make sure no one would leave before their route-out was complete, Jeffrey would shadow them: “I’ve been assigned to go and sleep outside somebody’s door — all night, for as many nights as it takes — on the floor, against the door, so I could feel if they opened it. If they went to the bathroom, someone would stand right outside. Someone is always there.”
Some wayward members have “disappeared” for long periods of time, sent to special Scientology facilities known as the “Rehabilitation Project Force.” Created by Hubbard in 1974, the RPF is described by the church as a voluntary rehabilitation program offering a “second chance” to Sea Org members who have become unproductive or have strayed from the church’s codes. It involves intensive physical labor (at church facilities) and auditing and study sessions to address the individual’s personal problems. The process is given a positive spin in church writings. “Personnel ‘burnout’ is not new to organizations,” a post on Scientology’s official Web site reads, in relation to the RPF, “but the concept of complete rehabilitation is.”
Former Sea Org members who’ve been through the program charge that it is a form of re-indoctrination, in which hard physical labor and intense ideological study are used to break a subject’s will. Chuck Beatty, a former Sea Org member, spent seven years in the RPF facilities in Southern California, from 1996 to 2003, after expressing a desire to speak out against the church. For this, he was accused of “disloyalty,” a condition calling for rehabilitation. “My idea was to go to the RPF for six or eight months and then route out,” says Beatty. “I thought that was the honorable thing to do.” In the RPF he was given a “twin,” or auditing partner, who was responsible for making sure he didn’t escape. “It’s a prison system,” he says, explaining that all RPFers are watched twenty-four hours per day and prevented from having contact with the outside world. “It’s a mind-bending situation where you feel like you’re betraying the group if you try to leave.”
For the rest of this compelling story go here: http://www.anti-scientologie.ch/inside-scientology.htm#Jeffrey
There are many stories online about the miserable conditions of the staff in Scientology. Here is one of them.