Ex-Scientology Story #368, Life below decks on the cult’s slave ship.

The Ramana Dienes-Browning story.

While big-name star Tom Cruise partied and danced with wild abandon in one of the lounges aboard the Scientology ship Freewinds, below decks there was other activity going on.  Activities that are not at all party related.  Besides catering to the whims of super-stars and Scientologists who came aboard for upper level courses there was the mundane running of the ship; there were rooms to clean, food to prepare, laundry to wash, engines to keep running and bilges to clean.  This was more intense than on any ordinary cruise ship; being Scientologists they had to deal with punishments for “ethics” violations; not to mention the many upsets from unhappy members that needed to be dealt with or maybe even sort out somebody’s “disconnection.”  There could also be unpleasant “flaps” for financial reasons; not everyone gets thrilled at the idea of coming into port owing ten’s of thousands of dollars to Scientology for books or services  they didn’t know they needed.   The friction caused by getting a sizeable number of Scientologists together in one place; worse yet because they were on a ship and couldn’t duck out a back door, was enormous.  The stress produced from high-pressure sales is something nobody in their right mind would want; anger and tears must have been frequent results of this treatment.

Age is no bar to hard work and responsibly and the frequent punishments in Scientology.  It is a scandal on shore the way Scientologists treat their children; at sea without any fear of laws Scientology can have its way with their followers with virtual impunity.  Mere teenagers are worked and treated like slaves.

Here is what the “Village Voice Blog” had to say, excerpts are taken from this story:

Scientology Cruise Ship as Hellhole: The

Ramana Dienes-Browning Story

By Tony Ortega, Sun., Dec. 4 2011 at 6:04 PM
Last week, Steve Cannane of Australia’s ABC network and its program Lateline broke the story of Valeska Paris, a woman who says she was held against her will on Scientology’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds, from 1996 to 2007.In that story, Cannane also talked to Ramana Dienes-Browning, a former senior executive on the ship who backed up Valeska’s claims. “She had been sent to the ship so as not to be in contact with one of her parents and that’s not what she wanted. She was very, very distressed,” Ramana said of Valeska. “Do you consider it now it to be imprisonment?” Cannane asked her. “Yes, yes, I would definitely consider it imprisonment because there was no choice in the matter,” she answered. . . “Basically, I was raised in it,” she says. “I went to a Scientology school. I started on course at the org in Sydney probably from about 7.””Because I was so young, I didn’t have any other reference points. My dad lived in Tasmania, and I would visit him on school holidays. But Scientology was everything, and there was nothing to compare it to. It was a slow and steady brainwashing. They really are control techniques,” she says of the “communications” classes that Scientologists start out with in their careers. “You don’t even realize it when you’re in, but it’s what happens as soon as you step in and do these communications courses.”[ She went on the Freewinds with her mother and got the hard sell to join the Sea Org.  Being raised as a Scientologist she found it impossible to say no.  Her mother went along with it; so at age 15 this girl was a member of the paramilitary force, the “Sea Org,” that runs Scientology.  Life is the Sea Org is one of privation.  The only people who seem to enjoy it are the sadists who get off on making others miserable.  Like all SO members she had to start at the Estates Project Force.  She soon got married to another SO member.  But even marriage could not prevent her superiors from snooping into her sex life.  Scientology is priggish on the subject of sex; Hubbard was not in sufficient health for sexual activity when he wrote the majority of his “tech” so he took a sour view of the hanky-panky that he himself could no longer enjoy.  While on the ship she learned about several women who were being held there as prisoners in the RPF, the internal prison system of the cult.]

Ramana Dienes-Browning, happy to be out of Scientology [Photo: Jason Sinclair

I  asked Ramana what EPF training was like. “It’s like training for the Army, but you don’t get to use guns. You run everywhere. You do heavy labor — I remember breaking through walls with sledgehammers, and the person who runs it is like an Army sergeant,” she says.

“It took me about three months to do the EPF. I was pretty homesick, but I was caught up in the excitement of the adventure I was on. Just before I turned 16, I completed it and was flown to the ship,” Ramana says.

She was assigned to the Commodore’s Messengers Organization (CMO) because it was the division that had recruited her. The CMO had been created when Hubbard was plying the Mediterranean in 1969 and assembled a group of young sailors to carry his dispatches and generally run errands for him. Decades later, it was now one of the more powerful Sea Org divisions, and oversaw services on the ship, making sure church members paying those high prices were pleased with their experience. . .

Ramana says that her husband was the ship’s “LRH Host,” a member of the CMO who made sure the highest level of services were being delivered to guests of the ship. His “statistics” declined at some point, and she says it could have been from a number of different causes — perhaps fewer church members had decided to fork out for the expensive ship packages and attendance was lower. She can’t really be sure. But for whatever reason, her husband’s statistics were down, and that meant he had to be interrogated by ethics officers.

During such interrogations, questioners assume that a church member is hiding dark, sinister problems from Scientology, and so the interview subject is put on the spot about his or her most personal experiences. As many ex-Scientologists have told me, ethics officers seemed most interested in their sexual practices, and, while they were being monitored on the e-meter, they were asked to confess to sexual aberrations.

When her husband was interrogated, Ramana says, he admitted that he’d been masturbating.

“It’s hard to talk about it, but it’s important for me to tell this because it happens in the Sea Org,” Raman told me as she explained what happened next.

“He was masturbating because I wasn’t satisfying him. So I was hauled in before six or seven Sea Org members and humiliated because I wasn’t satisfying him,” she said.

“When your stats are down, nothing is private. The subject of sexual aberrations is very fascinating to Scientology auditors, when you’re not producing as much as you’re supposed to be. So when you get investigated you get put on the meter and any kind of sexual activity will be brought up.”

Ramana says when she was brought into the room with half a dozen Sea Org members, the first thing said to her was by her superior, the Commanding Officer of the CMO, a woman named Pilar:

“She said, ‘You little fucking bitch.’ She proceeded to tell me that he was found to be masturbating, and that he was touching me but I wasn’t touching him back, and that I was forcing him to masturbate because I wasn’t doing it for him. That I was evil, and how could I do that to him.”

Her husband was also in the room, she says. “He was just numb. We didn’t talk about it between ourselves. Pilar assigned me to Lower Conditions, and she sent me on my way. I can’t remember if I was sent to the engine room, but I think I was.”

Ramana believes that she was assigned the ethical condition of “Treason,” which is below “Enemy” but above “Confusion” on Hubbard’s scale.

Soon afterwards, her husband was sent away from the ship for training. “We probably didn’t see each other for a year. Later on, our relationship broke down and we got divorced,” she says. They were married at the end of 1995, and split up at the end of 1998, she remembers. . .

The Rehabilitation Project Force is Scientology’s punitive detail for members who have fallen out of favor. (The church insists that the RPF is voluntary and members go there for spiritual rejuvenation. Every ex-Scientologist I’ve talked to describes the RPF as anything but voluntary, a hellish sentence of hard labor and humiliation.) Two women had been assigned to the RPF on the ship before she arrived, Ramana remembers, and a third woman was added later. “They were there almost the whole time I was on the ship — five years,” she says. After a suicide attempt, the third woman was moved to a more standard RPF facility in either Los Angeles or Clearwater, Ramana recalls.

“They were heavily guarded. It was completely confidential that there was an RPF on the ship. I didn’t have any conversations with these women — you aren’t supposed to talk to people on the RPF — but I can’t imagine that they were happy to be on the ship,” she says. . .

[After a failed attempt at leaving she was thrown into the engine room in an attempt to break her down for good.]  “It was intensely arduous work, cleaning inside the engines. You’d get covered in engine oil, which you’d have to clean off with diesel, and then you’d get that off with a special soap. So you’d stink of diesel all the time. Anyone who stunk of diesel, you’d know they’d been in trouble. So it was kind of a stigma of stinking like diesel,” Ramana says.

“A lot of the work I did was in very small, confined spaces. It was quite scary. There was a fear of getting stuck under the deck plates or in the piping. So I struggled with that. And I worked by myself most of the time. I found that quite depressing. You’re working in really hard conditions, you’re confined in claustrophobic conditions, and you didn’t know when it would end. It was an open-ended punishment, and the only way it would end was if you were reformed. That’s why I say these were mind-control techniques.”

I asked her if she wore special clothing or equipment in that kind of environment.

“We just wore normal cotton shorts and overalls,” she says. “I was working one time in a very small pipe, having to clean the rust out from the inside. It was pitch black and I had a small lamp. I could hardly move. I got industrial paint chips in my eyes, and had to move incrementally to get out” before she could wash out her eyes.

Eventually she got off the ship and out of Scientology, thank God.  For the rest of the story go here:


For the related story of Valeska Guider Paris go here:   http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/11/valeska_paris_scientology_freewinds.php

Or here for the Daily Mail version of the above story.  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2068284/Valeska-Paris-claims-Church-Scientology-imprisoned-cruise-ship-12-years.html

For another related story of Don Jason,  a top-ranked Scientologist who used a home made roller pin to help him escape from the Freewinds, https://androvillans.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/ex-scientologist-story-238-don-jason-jumps-ship/

Scientology were fools for buying this ship in the first place as naval architect Lawrence Woodcraft tells.  The ship was filled with blue asbestos, the most lethal variety.  Woodcraft suggested sinking it in deep water, but Bitty Miscavige and the tech of L. Ron Hubbard thought otherwise.  The ship should be renamed as the “Mesothelioma.”  For this story go here: https://androvillans.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/ex-scientologist-story-139-asbestos-death-ship-ots-not-to-worry/

Published in: on December 7, 2011 at 5:55 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. The Godless Cult of Sin and Greed is all that we Ex-Scientologists claim it is.
    1. It kills, beats up, harms, harasses, stalks, and in always possible victimizes any ex-member and anyone else that opposes their evil agenda.
    2. In the Sea Org., it forces its slave members to get abortions. It kills innocent babies so the mother can be more productive as a low paid slave.
    3. It uses its slaves to repair the new bought buildings with money you have donated, which remain nearly empty years later, for pennies an hour. Its non-volunteer contracted workers get the lowest wages (.10 to .40 cents an hour) in the civilized world and work the longest (70-80) hours.
    4. It exposes all your own sins and secrets in your endless Security Checks and/or required non-voluntary confessionals to bring you harm and destroy you, when you expose their evil Godless agenda and policy letters.
    5. It has its own prison camp (The Rehabilitation Project Force, or RPF– punishment duty for unsatisfactory workers and children) with Ronbot guards with automatic assault weapons, where you are sent if you fail to be very productive or angry or upset with your slavery. Slaves are not allowed to voluntarily leave or even escape and will be shot if they try. 95% of the slaves that finally are allowed to leave, soon leave the cult. The other 5% are sent to “fair game” the rest.
    6. It has broken up hundreds of thousands of families by their Godless policies of Disconnection and Fair Game. Many parents have committed suicide after losing their kids.
    7. If you oppose them, the Godless cult sends their slaves to your neighbors, job, relatives and friends to ask questions in such a way, that makes them think you are a rapist, criminal, sociopath, drug addict, child molester, Gay or Lesbian or a deviant, without any proof or verified criminal complaint. They use this Godless tactic to ruin you, cause you to get fired, and cause your friends and relatives to avoid you or even intentionally cause you to commit suicide.
    8. As a last resort they will poison your pets or let them loose to get run over, break into your house for any evidence to blackmail you, plant drugs in your car or house or hit you to make you retaliate and film you when you do, and then they will sue you and/or have you arrested.
    There are hundreds of other reasons to run from this Godless cult. But I think you get an idea of its evil.
    Please help us Independent Scientologists to bring back ethics, humanity, compassion, honesty and integrity back into the group. Help us stop them! Note! all the above has been verified as true over the years by Governments and hundreds of thousands of Ex-Scientologists.

    • Why are these vile pigs allowed to continue this evil cult? It seems that if you tag slavery, (sexual abuse, false imprisonment, physical violence, child labor etc, etc, etc) as a religious practice these crimes become palatable. I’m shocked and angry that these deviants are permitted access to vulnerable people. Of course that’s the very people they target, I believe there is a term for that, we call it grooming. It’s time to tell these predators and the sycophants that attend to them that this is not acceptable. We have learned since 9/11, sadly, that religious beliefs can be twisted in to something dark and cruel that lives broken and lost are considered acceptable damage. It’s a scandal that this is allowed to continue.

  2. While training at ASHO I would see those poor RPF folks.
    Desperation was often in their eyes, and who could blame them.
    As a interned class IV and Interned class VI I audited a wide variety
    of PC’s both public and staff.
    Staff as a whole were the hardest to make gains with, their Rudiments
    were often ‘OUT’ and valuable auditing time needed to be spent sorting out present time upsets.
    I remember walking up some stairs when I finished Cl VI internship, I felt so powerful I could move the world.
    Of course that feeling dissipated, but life still feels ‘EASY’

    Bobby Ingram
    “If your having fun, your probably doing it right”

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