Members of the Sea Org sign an employment contract with the organization for one billion years. Members who leave are issued a "Freeloader's bill," retroactively billing them for any Scientology "auditing" or training/brainwashing they have received. Prices for each component of this training usually runs to tens of thousands of dollars.
Most Sea Org members are given room, board and a small weekly allowance of about US$24 per week.
The abuses that go on daily in the Sea Org are all that more egregious because, due to Scientology's "religion" status in countries like the USA, law enforcement is reluctant to investigate. Here are just a few aspects of Sea Org life, taken from hundreds of personal testimonials from ex-Sea Org members.
Sea Org members are not permitted to have children while working for the organization. Couples who get pregnant are either pressured to abort the baby, or they must leave. Often, these people have been in the Sea Org so long, they have nowhere to go, no résumé outside of Scientology, no job experience, no finances, no property, and no non-Scientology friends.
Anyone who leaves the Sea Org without permission is declared a Suppressive Person by the Church of Scientology, and is ostracized from family, friends, and loved ones. It is very difficult to get permission to leave the Sea Org, and one cannot simply quit and then walk out the door. The "approved" leaving process involves up to 3 years of hard physical labor, E-metered confessionals, social isolation and group pressure.
Sea Org members live in horrible conditions. Unmarried members never have rooms to themselves, regardless of age, but instead live in small rooms with 3-12 other members. Members are often denied proper sleep and are often forced to skip meals because of the pressures of the job.
Sea Org members are denied proper medical care. They are not provided health insurance, are not given sick days, and the Sea Org will not purchase their medicine for them. If a free clinic won't provide the medicine someone needs, the Sea Org management won't shoulder the costs. There are numerous cases of people who have become very ill in the Sea Org, or who had pre-existing medical conditions, and were not allowed to seek medical treatment.
Sickness is also treated as the fault of the sick person, because Scientologists believe that the only reason someone gets sick is that they are connected to a Suppressive Person. They believe that you can decide not to get sick. So when someone becomes ill, they are treated as though they have done something wrong by not "handling" the situation.
Because Scientology has "religion" status in many countries, labor laws do not apply to the Sea Org. Therefore, Sea Org members have no protection from long and abusive work hours. Many work 17-20 hours days because of the pressures of the job. Anyone who complains is treated as though they are "not getting with the program", "unethical", or "not on board". There are thousands of minors working under these conditions in the Sea Org.
Sea Org members rarely have more than a few hours off a week. Even during this off-time, they are not permitted to go far from the compound where they live and work. If managements decides that they have not worked hard enough, they are not allowed time off for Christmas, New Years, birthdays or national holidays.
As only married members get rooms to themselves, many children who join the Sea Org marry very young - sometimes at 15 or 16 years of age - just so that they can have a room to themselves.
Spouses and family members in the Sea Org rarely see each other. The Sea Org management reserves the right to ship different family members off to work in other countries or areas without any approval from the spouse. Husbands may be sent away from their wives, mothers may be sent away from their children, etc. If the family complains, they are punished.
Families who have members in the Sea Org and other members who are not in the Sea Org rarely see each other. Mothers and fathers with children in the Sea Org may not call them directly, but must call the organization and ask to speak with them.
Letters that Sea Org members write to their families, and letters that they receive from the outside, are screened by Sea Org censors for "entheta" (unhappiness, negativity) before they are passed on. Anyone complaining of unhappiness in the Sea Org in their letters is disciplined, and the letter is not delivered. If a family member sends a letter to someone inside expressing concern about the conditions there, the censor pressures the intended letter recipient to "handle" the sender, often with a monitored phone call in which they are made to say how happy they are, and that everything is going fine.
Members are put under tremendous psychological pressure. They are expected work as hard as need be without complaint, sacrificing food, sleep, family, and off hours. Often the things they are asked to do are beyond the realm of human possibility, and yet they are criticized for not getting these things done, even when they've tried as hard as they possibly can. Many Sea Org members who leave cite this as one of the most debilitating aspects of the Sea Org - they work and work and work, and yet their boss tells them it is never good enough. Their bosses, of course, are under exactly the same kind of pressure from their bosses, who are under the same from theirs, and so forth.
If a Sea Org member commits a punishable offense, such as "thinking bad thoughts about L. Ron Hubbard," they are sent to the RPF, or Rehabilitation Project Force, which is a forced labor camp for "bad" Sea Org members. People on the RPF may only eat the food left over after the other SO members have eaten, may not speak to a Sea Org member unless spoken to, are not allowed to walk (they must run everywhere), are not allowed holidays, receive even less pay than SO members, and are required to do hard manual labor for 10-12 or more hours daily, with 6 hours sleep the maximum permitted. People can be assigned to the RPF for up to 10 years.
Among the other many other formerly secret documents published by Wikileaks over the last few months has been Flag Order 3434RB. This is the document which creates the cult’s notorious Rehabilitation Project Force, a penal system for problematic Sea Org members. Excerpts from the creation order include:
The sections of the RPF either singly or combined are put to work on:
1. Building cleaning, exterior (including grounds) and interior.
2. Heads cleaning.
3. Painting requiring no extra skill.
4. Internal renovation.
5. Storage, passageway and stairway cleaning.
6. Larger scale CSP (Clean Station Project) actions but NOT in any bertiong, messing or galley areas.
7. Garage cleaning.
8. Elevator and elevator shaft cleaning.
9. E/R cleaning, especially upper and lower boiler rooms.
10. Party, etc. set-ups, but only MEST work (moving furniture, etc.)
11. Garbage disposal.”
“PERSONAL RESTRICTIONS AND PENALTIES
1. Enters the RPF in a condition not higher than Liability (to the Sea Org)….
2. Has no Liberties.
3. Is restricted to FH [The Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida) at all times except when on authorized work cycles in other Flag buildings. Any travel between buildings is accompanied by a Security Guard. Additionally each week one RPF member as authorized by RPF MAA and Security Force MAA, amy make necessary purchases for RPF members (e.g. toothpaste, deodorant, etc.), accompanied on foot by a Security Guard at the convenience of the Security Guard.
4. Receives ¼ pay until released, then ½ pay.
5. Is berthed only in a space which is isolated from the rest and is only for RPF. …
6. May not speak to or approach Flag staff or public or outside public unless spoken to or as per further communication rules authorized by LRH Pers Comm or where an impoliteness to the raw public would be incurred.
In order to allow time for creation of the 2D of a married RPF member that is upstat he/she may spend one night a week with his/her spouse in a space authorized by Berthing I/C and as scheduled bythe RPF MAA. If both are in the RPF both must be upstat and get RPF MAA OK.
Some contact with a spouce [sic] or child is permitted duting the RPFer’s meal time or securing time once daily if the RPFer is upstat. All the above is providing no discussion of case or condition occurs and providing there is NO enturbulation whatsoever from or between either.
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