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.