Ex-Scientologists story #372, More slavery in the cult, another family destroyed.


This is the story of Melissa Paris, sister of Valeska Paris who had been kept a prisoner  aboard the Scientology slave ship Freewinds for 12 years.  She is the daughter of Ariane Jackson whose second husband Albert Jaquier died in sorrow and misery after being swindled and left a pauper by fellow Scientologists.  Excerpts are from the following story.

 Melissa Paris, Valeska’s Sister, And Her Own Ordeal in Scientology’s Cadet and Sea Orgs: Forced to Marry at 16

By Tony Ortega, Village Voice Blog, 12/1/11.

In December of 1996, Melissa Paris was 16 years old, and had been married for a few months to a man she says she was forced to wed. An unpleasant match, the marriage ended when Melissa left him — and Scientology’s hardcore and controlling Sea Org — two years later.

Valeska and Melissa

But that was in the future. In the months after her wedding, she was in a unique position, and she knew it. Her husband, Cyril Helnwein, who was himself a teenaged Sea Org member of about 18, was from a wealthy family. The son of an internationally famous artist (more on that later), Cyril had means. So, when they had returned, after the wedding, to grueling weeks of menial, unpaid labor that she had already endured for two years as an underaged Sea Org member at L. Ron Hubbard’s legendary former home in England, Saint Hill Manor, she asked her rich young husband to grant her a wish.

Fly me to a ship. The Freewinds. For our honeymoon.

Melissa asked this, not really out of a romantic notion, but knowing it might be her only chance to see her sister, Valeska, who had just been put aboard the ship against her will.

And so, in December 1996, the Paris sisters were briefly reunited after not seeing or communicating with each other for two years.

It would be another 13 years before they saw each other again. . .

If Valeska was held against her will on a ship plying the Caribbean, Melissa was a prisoner on land, going four years at Hubbard’s famous estate in the UK doing menial, punishing labor, and over the course of those four years, almost all of it as a child, she was paid a total of about $40.

Not $40 a week. $40 in four years, as an underaged teenager working extremely long hours and getting little sleep.

And yet, throughout her ordeal, while her father and brother “disconnected” from her, after her schooling had ended when she was 12 years old and she had run to places like Los Angeles to work as a 14-year-old nanny, knowing no one, she kept one goal in front of her: she would, someday, reunite with her older sister.

Here’s how that journey unfolded. As we mentioned Tuesday, Valeska and her sister Melissa were born in Geneva, Switzerland to a man named Jean-Francois Paris and a woman named Ariane Jackson, both Scientologists. In 1983, the couple split and Paris took his daughters, and their younger brother, Raphael, to England, where he signed up for Scientology’s Sea Org, the ascetic outfit that requires its workers to sign billion-year contracts with a promise to come back lifetime after lifetime for endless hours and pay of about $50 a week.

While Jean-Francois put on his naval Sea Org outfit, his three children were assigned to something called the Cadet Org, a sort of mini-Sea Org for children, to toughen them up with menial chores and poor living conditions at a rundown manor named Stonelands. . .

Valeska was 6. Melissa was 4. Raphael had just turned 2. Melissa lived at Stonelands, and was in the Cadet Org, for eight years, until she was 12.

I asked her what a typical day was like, in the summer, when she was 7 or 8 years old.

“We would get up at about 7 o’clock. We’d muster — we’d all stand in a line, according to divisions. Then we had to breakfast on time, because if you missed it, you didn’t eat,” she says. “Then some would go to Saint Hill and do their jobs. Others would stay at Stonelands and had to clean the house. There wasn’t much free time, maybe an hour or two. When I was younger there had been something called Family Time, an hour or two in the evening when you saw your parents.”

Once they took away Family Time, when she was about 6 or 7, her day didn’t include seeing her father at all.

“We did study. We studied Scientology. And that was pretty much our day. And weekends weren’t any different. Yeah, we didn’t live like kids,” she says. In an Internet post, she has written at length about governesses who regularly hit the children, and how kids ganged up on each other. . .

With parents not around, it was difficult to get any sympathy. “You’re so in Scientology, you really can’t go against them. You’re adults in smaller bodies,” she says, referring to Scientology’s belief that we have all lived countless lives, and that if we wear a child’s body in a new lifetime, our thetan, or soul, is ancient. In that scenario, they believe, it makes little sense to treat a youngster as anything but a stunted adult.

During the school year, the Paris children went to a private Scientology school, Greenfields. “But even there, we were Stonelands kids. Dirty. We had lice. We got made fun of quite a bit,” Melissa says.

Then, in December 1994, she joined the Sea Org. She was only 15 years old. (Her sister, Valeska, had joined even earler, at 14. One girl in her area was a Sea Org member at only 10, Melissa says.) That same month she joined the Sea Org, her former stefpather, Albert Jaquier, died of a heart condition.

I asked her why, at that point, she signed a billion-year contract and promised to work so hard for Scientology.

“They showed me a policy by Hubbard that said the world was coming to an end by 2000. So we had six years to ‘clear the planet’,” she says. “And I had no family at that point. My dad is an idiot, and he was in Florida. We didn’t know anything else. We were born into it. We didn’t have any friends outside Scientology. Those were ‘wogs'” she says, using the offensive British slang term for dark-skinned people that Hubbard appropriated for his jargon to mean any non-Scientologist. “We didn’t have anybody.” . . .

“I was in the Sea Org from 1994 to 1998. During that entire time, I was paid about 40 dollars. And I am not making that up,” she says. Until December 25, 1997, she was a minor during that entire period, working for no pay.

“We were fed beans and rice. And we got no sleep. When [church leader] David Miscavige, came over for an IAS event in 1998, I was assigned MEST work, and I went five days without sleep. We would catch some sleep on the bus from Walsh Manor to Saint Hill,” she says, referring to another run down estate where Sea Org members were housed, and the 18th century country house were Scientology in the UK is headquartered. In preparation for the event, she worked like mad. “I was building stuff. Building the stage. Putting up tents. Cleaning. Making stuff.”

For the rest of this shocking story go here:


 What does her mother say about Scientology and what it did to her family? 


Published in: on December 9, 2011 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #371, Valeska Guider Paris: 12 years before the mast as a slave.

Every time you think Scientology has reached the limit of what they can get away with they do something to prove you wrong.  Human rights abuses in the cult of Scientology are as numerous as they are infamous.  But in the following story I believe a new standard for abuse has been reached.  Here we can see the true nature of Scientology unrestrained by any state or federal laws.  What happens at sea stays at sea.  Here is what ABC Lateline-AU-had to say:

Here are some excerpts from what the Village Voice Blog had to say on this:

Australian journalist Steve Cannane of the ABC program Lateline e-mailed us early this morning with this stunning new report which aired only a few hours ago in that country.

Valeska Paris tells Cannane that she joined Scientology’s hardcore Sea Organization — signing its standard billion-year contract — at only 14 years of age. Three years later, after her stepfather committed suicide and her mother denounced Scientology on French television, Paris was ordered to “disconnect” from her family. She says that church leader David Miscavige then enforced that disconnection by having her put on the cruise ship, the Freewinds, that sails the Caribbean and caters to high-level church members.

Paris was told she’d be on the ship for two weeks. Instead, she says she was held there against her will for 12 years.

For the first six years, she tells Cannane, she couldn’t leave the ship without an escort. When he asks her if she tried to leave, she answers, “I’d been in Scientology my whole life. It’s not like I knew how to escape.”

Another former Sea Org member, Ramana Dienes-Browning, backed up Paris’s claims, but ABC got denials from Scientology, which says that each of them is lying.

Paris says she spent some of her time aboard the ship working at hard labor in the engine room. At one point, the work was so arduous, she passed out for more than 4 hours. On Marty Rathbun’s blog  Paris described her life on ship as a prisoner:

I was put in this small room by myself with a camera monitoring my movements. A security guard escorted me anywhere I went, I had to eat in the engine room and was not allowed to eat in the control room because it was air conditioned. I was not allowed to work with anyone so I was alone at all times…I was in the engine room for almost 3 months full time. I hated it and just wanted to get off the Ship, I was of course not allowed to call my family at all or talk to anyone.

Paris finally left the ship in 2007 when she was sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force in Sydney as punishment. The church tells the public that the RPF is a spa-like retreat that church members attend voluntarily, but ex-members always describe it more as a prison detail that is more re-education camp than Club Med.

While at the RPF, Paris met her husband, former rugby star Chris Guider, who was the subject of a previous report by Cannane. In that report, Guider talked about personally witnessing Miscavige getting violent with his employees.

It is very interesting that Paris is speaking out even though she had signed a confidentiality agreement when she left the church. Such agreements keep many people from speaking publicly, even though courts have found that such contracts can be unenforceable. Paris says she signed her agreement under duress. It will be fascinating to see if the church tries to punish her legally for breaking the agreement — I can think of several other people who would like to tell their own experiences publicly, but are held back by concerns about their own gag orders.

To read the rest of the story go here: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/11/valeska_paris_scientology_freewinds.php

Her story is backed up by another former Scientologist.  http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/12/ramana_dienes_browning_scientology_freewinds.php

Her sister Melissa Paris had a rough time in the cult also.  http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/12/melissa_paris_valeska_paris_scientology_sea_org_forced_to_marry_at_16.php

Former high-ranking Scientologist Don Jason escaped from the Freewinds by use of a hand made roller pin: https://androvillans.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/ex-scientologist-story-238-don-jason-jumps-ship/

The  Freewinds should be renamed the “Mesothelioma” in light of the asbestos situation.  Here is what Lawrence Woodcraft, former member and naval architect had to say about this ship.  He recommended sinking it in deep water.


Published in: on December 9, 2011 at 2:24 am  Leave a Comment