Imprisoning ChildrenLike most marriages in the Sea Org, when my father moved up the org board, he was coerced into divorcing my mother. I was fifteen at the time and it was a huge loss.
Shortly thereafter I got into trouble and was assigned to the RPF.
I was sixteen when I was in the RPF and I had lots of company! There were about 40 minors at the time in the PAC RPF, all of whom were unjustly assigned. But I was a good student. I was a good worker, as most minors were. I spent 2 years in the RPF! Many kids spent much more time in the "R" as it was called.
A key injustice of the RPF (besides being there at all), is that if you're a minor you have no choice but to do the program. You cannot leave the Sea Org, as your parents are in the Sea Org.
So, this is false IMPRISONMENT of CHILDREN. This is Final Solution #2: If you can’t kill them when they are a fetus, imprison them when they are a child.
I remember one occasion where a young man who worked in the same org as me announced at the dinner table, "I don't like RPFers because they're f__k-ups."
One month later, he was in the RPF, and one month after that, he blew.
Kids didn't have the luxury of escaping/blowing. Children toiled doing the same labor as adults from 6:00 AM 'till 5:00 PM. And, same as adults, any kind of infraction was immediately punished by running laps or doing push-ups, or worse yet, getting assigned to the RPF's RPF, where one slaved in "Rat's Alley" all day and well into the night.
I suddenly found myself there, and I remember being covered with the horrific smell of rotten food slime. And I do mean covered! I thought, "What the hell am I doing here?" But, then again, I had no choice.
In the RPF there is absolutely no time off and no liberties (read my other article on the RPF in this site). There were no exceptions for children. In fact, as we were smaller, some children were brutalized by some adults (there was a small group of people in the RPF with their share of psychotic tendencies).
At 5 PM we had dinner and "redemption" time and lights out at 11 PM. This was tough but we got some auditing and I did experience gains from auditing despite the fact that I needed more rest and food. Despite the fact that I did not want to be there. Despite the fact that I saw very little of my mom and dad. Despite the fact that the RPF I/C was a total Nazi, and despite the fact that I had been unjustly assigned to the RPF in the first place. And despite the fact that no child should be forced to do hard labor.
The application of actual Scientology gave me some very big wins on the RPF. Those were the last wins I had with Scientology during my career in the Sea Org, however.
Unbelievably, life would get even worse than my 2 years in the PAC RPF.
Like I said though, unbelievably, the Sea Org would get far worse.
At the Int Ranch, kids worked for most of the day. Parents had very little time with their kids. It was mainly hygiene-time on Sunday mornings. But kids (from ages 4 on up), spent their nights in dorms at the ranch.
Many kids missed their mothers greatly and were restimulated in this environment. It was militaristic in that there were musters like at Gold, and kids would have to do heavy MEST work without a choice.
Sea Org children never had a choice to be there at all. This violates the very core of Scientology and the philosophy of self-determinism.
As does Flag Order 3905.
If your blood isn’t running cold by now consider this: There was an instance when Justin Miscavige and Matt Price accidentally injured a staff member at the Ranch and Miscavige assigned them the condition of "Child."
This was considered far worse than Confusion. (Goes to show you how he felt about children). In his book, Science of Survival, LRH explained what a low-toned person does to the second dynamic:
At the tone level of Covert Hostility you can expect: "Use of children for sadistic purposes"
At the tone level of Anger you can expect "Brutal treatment of children"
"At 1.5 we enter the band of brutal treatment of children, heavy corporal punishment, the forcing of the child into a mold with pain, breaking his dramatizations, upset about his noise or clutter.
"At 1.1 on the Tone Scale there may be two reactions to children. There may be an actual and immediate desire for children as a manifestation of sex, but we also may have the use of children for sadistic purposes. And we may find both of these in the same individual. We have a long-term general neglect of children, with an occasional sporadic interest in them. We have very little thought for the child's future or the culture in which the child will grow up." -- LRH, Science of Survival
And there’s more:
"It is notable, as one glances down this column, that an interest in children includes not only in the bearing of the child, but in the child's well-being, happiness, mental state, education and general future. We may have a person on the 1.1 level who seems very anxious to produce a child. Very possibly this person is following an engram command to have children. Once the child is born, we may have, in this 1.1 bracket, an interest in it as a plaything, or a curiosity. But following this, we get general neglect and thoughtlessness about the child and no feeling whatsoever about the child's future or any effort to build one for it. We get careless familial actions, such as promiscuity, which will tear to pieces the family security upon which this child's future depends. Along this band, the child is considered a thing, a possession.
"A half a tone above this, in the anger band, the child is a target for the dramatizations which the individual does not dare execute against grown-ups in the environment -- a last-ditch effort to be in command of something. Here we have domination of the child with a constant warping of its character.
"The whole future of the race depends upon its attitude towards children..." -- L. Ron Hubbard, Science of Survival
Call it what it is: Human TraffickingIn about 1996, the Cadet Org and the Int Ranch were disbanded and all children were suddenly and ruthlessly sent thousands of miles away to be posted in orgs. The point being that, hundreds of children were robbed of a childhood, their families, and in most cases, their education.
I have been making this argument for years. I refuse to accept Miscavige’s medieval prohibitions which redefine a “child” as a criminal act punishable by Comm Ev and banishment.
I’d love to hear Tommy Davis -- that wicked and braying jack ass -- trying to hee-haw out some kind of an “acceptable truth” designed whitewash his boss’s felonious behavior. He can’t tell the real truth because that is punished in the “church.”
Written by Arthur Doyle
Affidavit of Howard Schomer:
7. My tenure on board the Apollo and later in Clearwater overlapped the period that Tonja Burden was in Scientology. I
-2-was familiar with Tonja because I had a young daughter, Valerie, who was also a Commodore Messenger and who was very good friends with Tonja throughout this period.
8. When I first joined Scientology many representations were made to me which I later learned were untrue and outright lies. They included the fact that the Church of Scientology was a law-abiding, non-profit and benevolent organization. The Church was founded by LRH who claimed he was a highly accomplished individual; I was later told that LRH was a war hero, had several degrees from institutions of higher learning, had cured himself of crippling wounds and blindness with his technology. I later learned these were all falsehoods. LRH had developed an elaborate technology and, in order to learn this "technology" or "tech", one had to go through a process known as "auditing" [handwritten: , and "training."]
9. During auditing, a person is told to reveal to his "auditor" all of his innermost personal secrets. The "preclear" (or person undergoing auditing) is connected to an "E Meter" or a galvanic skin response meter which is similar to a primitive lie detector. Through the use of this machine, the veracity of the "preclear's" responses are tested. The "preclear" pays for these sessions, which I did, as well as paying for the sessions of my daughter, Valerie, prior to joining the Sea Org. Each "preclear" is told that the auditing
-3-sessions are strictly confidential and similar to a priest/penitent relationship. The trust in one's auditor and the confidentiality of the sessions was a critical element for me and one which I believe in. I later learned that auditing is not confidential and that frequently members auditing files [handwritten: folders] are culled for sensitive information to be used to blackmail or intimidate a person who threatens the Organization in any way. This includes attempting to leave the Organization. I personally was present when members of the Guardian's Office would "cull" files and look for sensitive information. Many of my B-1 friends related stories of culling auditing files to me.
10. When I first joined the Sea org I was told that we were an elite group or the "creme de la creme". We were the most important members of Scientology, the most dedicated on the planet and, as such, were treated with the "red carpet". I soon learned very differently once I boarded the Apollo. This was the period of time that Tonja Burden was also aboard the Apollo or Flag.
11. It was clear on Flag that everything was controlled and run by LRH, known as the Commodore. His wife, Mary Sue Hubbard (hereinafter referred to as "MSH"), was the Deputy Commodore and, as second in command, her word and orders had the same potency and importance as LRH. MSH also controlled the branch of Scientology known as the Guardian's Office. They were
-4-responsible for most of the criminal activity, intimidation and harassive tactics perpetrated by the Scientology Organization.
12. I quickly learned that the life aboard the ship was run in a very military-like fashion with none of the ceremonies of benevolence that one would expect from a church. At the top of the hierarchy was LRH and every member of the Sea Org worked for his benefit and at his command.
13. The conditions aboard the Apollo were generally deplorable. The [handwritten: most] quarters were cramped and damp. They were roach infested. [handwritten: some] Married couples were assigned to cabins in the aft end of the ship. There was little privacy, the walls were paper thin, and the food was both inadequate and atrocious. By contrast, the berthing areas for LRH and MSH were plush, immaculately clean and stately. Both LRH and MSH were aware of the apparent filthy conditions on board the remainder of the ship. Everyone worked extremely long hours, including the children, and there was little time for sleep and virtually no time for recreation. Conditions for those in the Rehabilitation Projects Force (hereinafter referred to as "RPF") were even worse.
14. When I first boarded the Apollo, I was told that children had to be at least 12 years of age to come on board. My daughter, Valerie, was only 10 and, therefore, I placed her
-5-in the care of another Scientology family. The rule later changed and at age 10 1/2 years, Valerie came aboard the ship in November 1972 when the Cadet Org was formed. At almost the same time, I was transferred to ASHO and, thus, we were further separated until I re-boarded the Apollo in March 1973.
15. When I first joined the Sea Org and later aboard the Apollo, I was told that Valerie would receive an education and that we would remain a close family unit. Valerie received no formal education aboard the Apollo and when we later moved to land base in Clearwater, she was allowed to attend school only because it was mandatory under the laws of the State of Florida.
16. On board the Apollo, Valerie became a Messenger, first for MSH and later a Commodore Messenger for LRH. She became good friends with Tonja Burden since they were both Commodore Messengers. The Messengers served as personal servants for both LRH and MSH. They were all [handwritten: ("all" replaced with "mostly")] young girls who worked very hard and saw to every whim and fancy of LRH and MSH. They would be responsible for every detail in the lives of LRH, including grooming, the running of messages and developing plans to be carried out worldwide. Later at land base, I heard they were involved in the coding and decoding of telexes to the Scientology Organizations and LRH worldwide.
17. While on board the Apollo, we often worked for 12-14 hours a day and longer, if necessary, if our "stats" were
-6-down. The pay for this work was approximately $12 per week. When I later worked for ASI (Author Services, Inc.), I received approximately $160 gross or $125 net a week. From this pay was [handwritten: I had to pay] subtracted money for room, board and medical expenses.
18. We received very little medical or dental care. On board the Apollo, there was never any doctor or dentist.
19. As I previously explained, life in Scientology was military-like and for any infraction of a rule, one could be sent to the EPF or RPF. I spent a large amount of time [handwritten: 3 months] in the RPF and my daughter, Valerie, was in both the EPF and RPF when she was a mere 11 years old. Both the EPF and RPF were like prison. While in the EPF, Valerie was forced to work long hours washing clothes [handwritten: and cleaning cabins]. We barely had a chance to see each other because of the long hours and in order to get any liberty to see Valerie I had to petition MSH.
20. The RPF was even worse than the EPF. The slightest infraction or decrease in productivity could result in a messenger appearing and ordering you to the RPF. The RPF came into existence in January 1974 and all crew aboard the Apollo lived in constant fear of being sent there. While in the RPF I had virtually no time [handwritten: not allowed] to see Valerie since I was working the whole time. [handwritten: , and the rules of the RPF.]
21. Life in the RPF was despicable and degrading. You lost all sense of self-esteem, freedom and human dignity. It was a world unto itself and you felt like a leper or a member of the caste "The Untouchables". You could not speak to other crew members unless you were spoken to and you had to "run" everywhere. The conditions were even worse than on board the regular quarters, damp, cold and, again, roach infested. The food was substandard and members of the RPF only ate after others had eaten. Often there was little leftover food. Members of the RPF were forced to wear black boiler suits. We slept very little everyday and awoke each morning to swab the decks. We were allowed 30 seconds to shower and had to be up and ready in the morning within 15 minutes. There was supposed to be time for study and auditing, but this rarely occurred, [handwritten: except in the RPF where it was the only way to get out, was to complete a training & auditing program given to you.]
22. While on board the Apollo and later in Clearwater, we were trained to lie to customs and government officials. I had first-hand knowledge of this because one of my positions aboard the Apollo from March 1974 to November 1975 was as the equipment, road manager and advance man for the "Apollo Troupe Org" which was an entertainment group, [handwritten: and I dealt first hand with them.]
23. When the Apollo docked in a foreign port, members of the entertainment troupe would perform in the various ports. As advance man, I was specifically told not to disclose that we
-8-were a Scientology ship, but rather told to tell "shore stories". We stated that we were a part of an international management corporation and if confronted with any connection to Scientology, we stated they were merely a client of ours.
24. This deception continued when we moved to land base and first brought property in Clearwater. We moved there under the guise of being "The United Churches of Florida". We never stated we were the Church of Scientology. The land in Florida was bought by a sham corporation, the Southern Land Development Corporation and leased to United Churches of Florida. Later the lies we had perpetrated leaked out and they learned that we were, in fact, the Church of Scientology and had moved there under false pretenses.
25. Once we moved to the land base, I became the head of RAM (Records, Assets and Materiel) at Flag in December of 1975 which was a part of FSO (Flag Service Org). As head of RAM, I was responsible for all insurance [for] buildings [handwritten: + auto, etc.] and banking for the entire Flag Land Base [handwritten: except the FBO & SOR (item?)]. I handled [handwritten: the accounting for] all money disbursements and remained at Flag in Florida from December 1975 to march 1982, when I was sent to ASI (Author Services, Inc.) in Los Angeles, California.
26. As head of treasury and later at ASI, it became readily apparent to me who was controlling all assets for the Church.
-9-All Scientology monies worldwide were controlled by LRH and then second in command MSH while she remained Deputy Commodore. While at ASI, LRH remained in control with Pat and Anne Broeker and then David Miscavige in the chain of command.
27. When I first arrived at Flag in 1975, FSO was an internal part of the Church of Scientology of California (CSC), as were every other Scientology group which were all controlled by LRH. In early 1981, the sham "corporate sort out" occurred to protect the Scientology assets and LRH from investigations by the IRS, FBI or other governmental agencies. This "sort out" was deliberately perpetrated to shield LRH and the enormous assets.
28. New organizations like FSO, CSI, CS Estates Org and CSC [handwritten: existing corp.] were incorporated to hold assets. They were merely sham corporations and were exclusively controlled by LRH through a chain of command. Any management and corporate officers were mere figureheads and each person still reported through the same channels and had no independent decision-making as to the Church's assets.
29. The purpose of the corporate "sort out" was to prevent the government from getting any of the assets. I had many conversations with other top level scientologists, including Mike Rinder, Sam Licciardi, Wendell and Ellen Reynolds and
-10-Jeannie Williamson that we were to hide LRH's assets and we were primarily to shield LRH from "inurement", in other words, from liability for taxes or tax fraud.
30. During my years in Scientology, I became aware of the criminal operations that were going on through the Guardians Office (G.O.) I knew from friends in the G.O., and first-hand, that they had been gathering data and harassing people pursuant to the "Fair Game Doctrine". I knew of specific individuals who had been attacked, including Mayor Cazares of Clearwater.
31. After I escaped from Scientology in December of 1982, I learned about G.O. harassment after a person left the group. I know that anyone could be declared a "suppressive person" and, in fact, even though the Church denies it, I have been called a "suppressive person" by scientologists to my face. I know this makes me subject to the "Fair Game Doctrine" and it is very frightening.
32. During the period 1974-1977, [handwritten: as well as the rest of my tenure in the Sea Org] I know it was almost impossible to leave the Organization and the only [handwritten: sure] way to leave was to escape. All kinds of threats would be made and an individual would be subject to "Sec Checks" (Security Checks). I myself was subject to two horrible such "Sec Checks" where I was deprived of sleep, food, water, and toilet facilities. I was punched, spat upon, threatened, intimidated and completely
-11-humiliated as a human being. In order to leave, people were forced to sign releases against their will as I was. There was no choice in signing the releases because you were [handwritten: threatened to be] imprisoned and threatened with criminal "frame ups" and possible kidnapping.
33. The organization also threatened individuals with massive bills and debts which were all fraudulent. At the time, I did not know that the debts were unenforceable and I was frightened that I could be [handwritten: responsible for these debts] imprisoned if I left Scientology without paying these debts. I, myself, had sent bills to individuals for debts incurred, including a $200,000 bill to Jim Isaacson when I worked at ASI. It was ironic that the Organization could control us through fear by alleging debts which they claimed we had incurred when, in fact, we had worked endless days with little pay and inadequate housing and food. Such was the intimidation and fear they wielded over everyone.
34. All of the policies of harassment, fear, intimidation, threats were all created by LRH who directed the enforcement through MSH and the entire chain of command. Both LRH and MSH were aware of the policies and their perpetration because they, in fact, ordered them into operation and oversaw their completion. These policies were all in operation during Tonja Burden's tenure in Scientology and permeated every aspect of the Organization.
Researchers always must be cautious in accepting as fact the account of a single person, but I heard similar stories about the condition of children's facilities in Scientology's child care program on the other side of the American continent -- Los Angeles, California. The person who related the account had occasion to visit the children's facility (called the Cadet Org) in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and she saw an infant who was the child of a man she knew. This child, she stated: was very, very ill and she was laying in a urine soaked crib and she was -- she just had her diaper on.... She had lots of like little fruit flies and gnats on her body and she had been so ill that she had tremendous amounts of mucous plugging her nose and her eyes were, like, welded shut with mucous and I, I just snapped in my head (Kent Interview with Pat, 1997: 34).
Children and Teens on the RPFNumerous indicators point to the probability that teenagers and pre-teens are subject to the RPF program. These indicators include: accounts from several former adult members; an internal Scientology document that refers to a children's RPF program; a reporter's account in a newspaper article; and television footage that apparently shows teenagers on the RPF program in Los Angeles unloading from a bus.
1. Accounts About Children and Teens from Former Adult MembersTwo adults who had been in the RPF on the Apollo reported that they knew of a pre-teen who was in the program. Monica Pignotti stated that a twelve year old girl was in the RPF during the same time that she was (Kent Interview with Pignotti, 1997: 30). Likewise, Dale related that he saw an eleven-year old girl (whom he knew) on the Apollo's RPF after he himself had been in it (Kent Interview with Dale, 1997: 4). An additional account of a child on the RPF came from Pat, who insisted that she knew a six-year-old (whom she named) who went into the program in Los Angeles because he was "out 2-D" -- Scientology's term for either sexual problems or family difficulties (Kent Interview with Pat, 1997a: 32). Finally, a former Sea-Org member who uses the pseudonym "Steve Jebson" posted on the alt.religion.scientology newsgroup that he had "personal knowledge" about a twelve or thirteen year old boy being assigned to the RPF's RPF in Los Angeles (Jebson, 1997).
2. References to Children on the RPF in a Scientology DocumentThis testimonial evidence identifies that children and teenagers were in various RPF programs with adults. An internal Scientology document, however, indicates that Hubbard had established a special RPF for children and subsequent Scientologists in leadership positions reinitiated the program (presumably after it had lapsed for some reason). The available document is a poor-quality photocopy written by Nedra Cohee in 1989, who was working with the program for Sea Org children called the Cadet Org. Cohee's stated purpose for producing the letter was that s/he felt the "need to re-institute the Children's RPF..." (Cohee, 1989). As background to the request for renewing the program, the author discussed its history:
In 1976 when the Commodore [i.e., Hubbard] re-established the Cadet Org, he also included the childrens [sic] RPF as apart [sic] of this .... In 1986-87 when myself and [another person] put back in the advices concerning the Cadet org, the re-instituting of the Childrens [sic] RPF was very instrumental as one of the successful actions done which 10X'd [knocked out?] the Cadet Org at that time .... The Childrens [sic] RPF was run per the FO's [sic: Flag Orders, which are similar to Sea Org policy letters] on the Childrens [sic] RPF (3434 series) ... (Cohee, 1989).If this passage is accurate, then Hubbard himself established the Children's RPF in 1976, and policies exist about its operation in the Flag Order 3434 Series dedicated to the RPF in general.
The one page letter or memo also provides insight into the lives of children in and associated with the Cadet Organization. Cohee wrote that there were "several Cadets and blown Cadets [i.e., runaways] who need to go to the children's RPF." While most of the Cadets were improving and "producing," "a very small percentage are enturbulative [i.e., disruptive] sources and are sabotaging efforts to set the scene right." One boy (named in the text) was a special problem, and:
he needs to be moved off everyone's lines [i.e., taken out of the organization's daily operations] and put into the Children's [sic] RPF. [He] recently took a razor blade and cut X's in his skin up and down both arms. He is psychotic in PT [present time] and needs close supervision (Cohee, 1989).In summary, some of the children in the Cadet Org were disruptive to the point of running away, and one obviously troubled youth was self-mutilating. Cohee's response, however, was to advise that the boy should receive close supervision in the Children's RPF program, but never recommended professional counseling or other professional assistance for him.
3. Television and Newspaper Accounts of Teenagers on the RPFAdditional evidence that a Children's RPF operated in or near Los Angeles appeared in an unlikely source -- an August, 1989 news broadcast from television station KOCO in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The news broadcast (of which I have a video copy) was the first in a series on Scientology's Narconon program -- a reputed drug rehabilitation program that had begun to operate on an Indian reservation near Newkirk, Oklahoma. (Apparently the series ran in August 1989, but the television station was unable to provide me with an exact date. The announcer refers to events, however, that led me to conclude that it ran on August 21.) In one segment, reporter Larry Blunt was on the sidewalk presumably near the main Scientology complex in Los Angeles, having just completed an interview with Scientology Linda [sic: Leisa] Goodman. The camera moved around to a scene unfolding across the street and some distance away, and Blunt offered the following commentary about what was captured on film:
Shortly after that exchange [with Goodman], a Scientology bus loaded with young people dressed in black pulled up. They jogged into the Scientology complex. A recent defector of [sic: from] Scientology told me they were from the Church's Rehabilitation Project Force. They were found to be a problem, and need an attitude adjustment (KOTO, 1989).This film segment is over in a matter of seconds, but viewers are able to count at least thirteen teens (two or more who appear to be females), all wearing dark suits (with short sleeves and short pants). Of course, the dark uniforms and the jogging requirement are standard for people assigned to the RPF. While the Scientology organization may insist that adults in the RPF program are there willingly, it is difficult to imagine this justification (or excuse) applying to teens whose presumed ages would suggest that they should be under the care of parents or guardians.
A final indicator that teens are RPF inmates comes form a 1984 newspaper article published in the Clearwater Sun:
The young man -- by all appearances a teen-ager -- crouched on the dark, narrow stairway as he scrubbed the sixth-floor landing in the former Fort Harrison Hotel, the 'flag Land Base' headquarters of the Church of Scientology.
'Are you in RPF?' queried a reporter.
'Sir?' he asked quietly, peering up from his work. 'Are you in RPF?'
'Yes sir I am.'
RPF is the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), which, depending on who is speaking, is either a businessman's approach to improving an employee's lagging job performance or a form of punishment for Scientologists who are banished to serve penance for their misdeeds and 'bat thoughts.'
Two others -- adult men who, like the youth, were dressed in blue shorts and faded blue shirts -- worked two floors below, also cleaning the stairs. They spoke not a word. Former Scientologists say that those in RPF 'are not to speak unless spoken to.'
Those who have spent time in the RPF at the Fort Harrison tell a harrowing tale of long hours at work -- as much as 100 hours a week -- and of months of humiliation and mental abuse at the hands of other Scientologists.
But their vivid recollections of hard work and abuse contradict current Church of Scientology statements that the RPF is 'an entirely voluntary' program (Shelor, 1984: 1B).Of course we cannot be certain of the young inmate's age, but it appears that youth is no barrier to serving time in Scientology's forced labour and re-indoctrination program