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Scientology cult's secret prison camps: The "Rehabilitation Project Force"

lilly_von_marcab's picture

Citizens from many countries are currently being held in prison camps in the United States of America by the "church" of Scientology. This is happening right now in "Rehabilitation Project Force" (RPF) centers run by this "church," where members who disagree with Scientology management are sent for punishment and re-indoctrination. Average internment is 2 to 10 years. Many of these people were granted visas as "religious workers" or "students" of Scientology.

Once in the US, members are heavily recruited to join the "Sea Organization," or "Sea Org." The Sea Org is a secret insider order of scientology, where all members are required to sign a "billion year contract" to help Scientology "clear the planet" and "obliterate psychiatry" (paranoid Scientology's worst enemy is psychiatry). Any person who joins the Sea Org and then later disagrees with its practices will soon find him- or herself confined in the Scientology gulag known as the "Rehabilitation Project Force" (RPF). (). The conditions these people live in are inhumane and violate many US laws, as well as prisoner of war standards held by the United Nations and the Geneva Convention. The issue here is not Scientologists' right to freedom of religion. The issue is Scientology's violations of basic Human Rights. These two rights should not be mutually exclusive; both are guaranteed by the US Constitution.

This "church" does not care for or take responsibility for their members as promised and required when they were allowed to come into the United States as "Religious Workers". It is bizarre that Scientologists are given religious worker status, as the "church" is in violation of many State Department rules. Many countries do not recognize Scientology as a religion at all; in countries such as Germany and Greece, it has been declared a "threat to democracy"; it is on the verge of being kicked out of several other European countries. In the USA, it was granted tax-exempt "religion" status in 1993 after launching more than 2500 lawsuits against the Iternal Revenue Service and some of its administrators; this highly unusual exemption grants Scientology special benefits accorded to no other group or individual in the country.

Compensation: Sea Org members are required to work for 10-12 hours a day, 7 days a week and they receive only a small stipend, usually 50 US dollars/week, from which FICA and tax is withheld. The standard net payment is $46 and some cents. The actual work time is disguised by the statement that there are 8 hours of work time and 2-4 hours of "study". The "study" activities are merely intensive indoctrination sessions in learning how to perform one's work duties and how to comply with the many rules and policies of the organization. There's no "study" of anything other than Scientology, and many times this is canceled in order to meet production quotas, called "statistics". If the "stats" are down, members are frequently required to work even more hours. Many weeks this minimal pay is cut down further, due to other "financial planning priorities." The United States Government's federal poverty guidelines for religious workers is about $12,000 per year per person. The annual pay per the current Scientology system only gives a Sea Org member $2,390 annually. No medical or other benefits are provided. Additionally, members of the Rehabilitation Project Force are only granted $11 and some cents/week. Even this is often cut down to half of that, i.e. 1/8 of full pay or about $5 and some cents. This is annually around $300 to $600. This system is built on the assumption that a Sea Org member is doing his or her work "voluntarily" and this way of reasoning is justified with the fact that he or she is given food, "berthing" (a place to sleep) and a uniform.

Housing: The quality of the housing and food is poor, and in the case of housing especially, violates many fire, housing and safety codes, as up to 50 people are packed into bunks stacked to the ceilings in rooms meant for 2 to 4 people. Hundreds are forced to use a single shower room, and bathrooms are shared by approximately 25 full time residents each. Further information about the RPF living conditions can be found at: well as in hundreds of other affidavits and court documents available on the internet.

Labor Abuse: Scientology is investing millions of tax free dollars into buying new buildings to entice new members, and make a profit from the tax-free dollars they collect from their deluded adherents (who believe the money donated is going to better mankind). They get the buildings renovated and upgraded by using the "free" or "slave" labor of Sea Org members, especially the RPF members. Per the US Dept of State, workers on religious visas may NOT work as "janitors, maintenance workers, clerks, fundraisers or persons involved solely in the solicitations of donations."

Lack of Benefits: "To qualify for the visa, the applicant must show that he or she will not become a public charge, that is, rely on assistance from the government." Scientology does not have any kind of insurance for most of its members and most medical expenses are borne by US taxpayers. If a member should require medical or dental attention, they are required to fill out state aid forms identifying themselves as "indigent." They are also encouraged to abuse other social programs such as SSI, MediCal and Medicare. Scientology uses many methods to persuade Sea Org members to give up all responsibilities to their families and children, and they are encouraged to abandon family responsibilities to welfare and Aid to Dependent Children (ADC).

Illegal Detention: RPF members in the Sea Org are not allowed to leave the premises, not even for medical treatment unless accompanied by "security" personnel to ensure their adherence to the "shore story" (party line). Should someone manage to escape, Scientology security will guard every means of exit, such as airports, bus stations, subways, etc. Also they will spend weeks investigating the escapee's family and friends and use Private Investigators to track them down, even picketing people's homes and harassing their friends, family, neighbors and employers. People assigned to Scientology's RPF have their passports, visa, IDs, credit cards and other documents confiscated and locked up so that full control can be enforced on the member, in an attempt to prevent him from leaving without permission. Permission to leave is only granted after an extensive "routing out" procedure has been completed, which includes intensive re-indoctrination, "security checks" on the e-meter (a Scientology lie-detector) and many pages of other forms and gag agreements. Completing these requirements takes months and sometimes years, all the while those wishing to leave are held in virtual isolation under 24 hour guard. RPF members are considered to be security risks, especially if they have been to or worked at the "top secret" international base and headquarters at Hemet, California, where "Golden Era Productions" and Scientology's leader David Miscaviage are located. This is done in an attempt to scare ex-members from speaking out or taking any legal action against the church or management once they are finally allowed to leave.

Isolation: People assigned to Scientology's RPF are forced to work at hard labor for an average of 2 to 10 years for approximately 11 dollars per week in pay. They are not allowed access to their own mail, nor to newspapers, TV, any music, radio, books or the Internet. It is forbidden for any Sea Org member to view the internet and they are told "it contains harmful, confidential data, detrimental to your well-being" in an attempt to hide the true facts about Scientology and the lies and crimes of its management, including David Miscavige. Also, all mail to all Sea Org members is opened and scanned into a security computer system. Personal mail containing any criticism of Scientology is sent to the "Ethics Department" and withheld from the addressee. RPF members are essentially cut off from reality for years. They are further not allowed to contact their own families or children unless there is a "PR" (public relations) issue, in which case a staff member might be allowed a phone conversation or letter that is scripted and observed by Scientology security and designed to reassure those concerned that there is "nothing to worry about." Social gatherings such as weddings, anniversaries, family reunions are forbidden and though in rare cases a funeral attendance can be granted, the member will be accompanied by Scientology security.

Harassment: Millions of tax free dollars are spent by Scientology every year to file lawsuits against their perceived enemies. Millions more are spent on other activities such as lawyers, private-eye investigations and "Black PR" campaigns in an attempt to eradicate and silence critics. Should an escapee or ex-member dare to speak out, this cult will often harass them for years with frivolous lawsuits and various other intimidation tactics. The behavior of this cult has been well documented by many sources, including Time magazine, a 60 Minutes TV documentary, many books, newspapers, court cases and government inquiries, just to name a few.

Blackmail: This cult uses "lie detectors" (e-meters) to force confessions of embarrassing personal and family secrets which they then use to blackmail people to keep silent. Part of the indoctrination into Scientology is the belief that any disagreement with Scientology and its management, and anything bad that happens (such as illness, accidents or death) are all one's own fault and due to being "out ethics" (not in line with Scientology policy). Sea Org and RPF members are frequently put on the e-meter (lie detector) and are forced to confess to the slightest bad thought. Members are also held accountable if they suspect "out-ethics" in other members and are required to write "knowledge reports" on each other or suffer severe consequences.

Disconnection: Many married members have been forced to divorce if one of the spouses dares to defy scientology management. All scientologists are forced to adhere to a policy called "disconnection", whereby they are forced to have no contact with any friends or family members (including their own minor children) who express disagreement with scientology.

Retirement: "Retirement" in this cult occurs when a member becomes too old or sick to work. There are members of the Sea Organization at the location of 1308 L.Ron Hubbard Way, Los Angeles, CA who are over 80 years old and still working. Members who are too ill to work are kept in isolation and abide by the same rules of no family contact, no TV, books, etc. as the rest of the RPF. The routine to offload "useless' members from the RPF program is called a "Fitness Board Turndown," and many are put out on the street with only $500 in "severance pay" after many years of labor (in many cases 20 or more years); no retirement funds, and no useable work history or skills. They end up dependent upon Social Security, or the mercy of family they haven't seen in years. Occasionally, Scientology Security will prevail on "Public Scientologists" (ordinary citizens who are Scientologists) to create a job for these unfortunate people. When so released from duty, they are forced to sign 15 or so pages of "nondisclosure" agreements wherein they are required to promise to never reveal the truth of what it is like to be a Sea Org member, especially one assigned to the RPF.

Child Abuse and Neglect: Child Welfare authorities in California and Florida are well acquainted with Scientology. Members are now discouraged from having children due to the many legal "flaps" over the years. Children are considered to be "off purpose" as they take time away from "production" and "getting the stats up." Many members have been coerced into having abortions. Children who are raised in Scientology are separated from their parents, live in squalid conditions with minimal supervision, and are "trained" in scientology schools using "Scientology tech." Many do not graduate High School. When they rebel, they are sent to the RPF (where many spend years) or are offloaded and declared "SP" (Suppressive Persons) and forced to disconnect from their parents and other family still in Scientology. See, the site of several young women - including Miscavige's niece - who grew up in the cult.

This is all taking place daily right here in the US, while the Chairman of the Board of Scientology, David Miscavige, and his celebrity friends are known to frequent casinos in Las Vegas and the Caribbean. Miscavige kives in luxury quarters at the Hemet Base and in Hollywood, California where he has 2 additional luxury suites that were built and are maintained by Sea Org members at no charge to him or to the church. There are many court cases and affidavits available online testifying to the conditions under which Sea Org members and their families live. The RPF is located at 1308 L.Ron Hubbard Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027. There are other RPF facilities located at Scientology bases in Clearwater, Florida, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Hemet, California; also in the UK at East Grinstead, Sussex, England (AOSHUK) and in Australia at the ANZO base in Sydney.

Scientology has been given a free ride in the USA and other countries for too long. The moment anyone criticizes the cult, the organization and its members begin whining loudly about "hate speech" and "bigotry," and frequently make comparisons of themselves with the Jews of 1938 Germany; i.e. threatened and persecuted victims of religious bigotry. Fortunately, several very serious investigations by US authorities have now begun into the Sea Org and many other nefarious aspects of Scientology.

Thousands of people from around the world are expected to protest peacefully at Scientology locations on Saturday, June 14, 2008. This protest, the fifth large protest in as many months, will be called "Operation Sea Arrrgh," and will focus on the Sea Org and its abuses. To join the effort to make Scientology accountable for its actions, please visit, and


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
people actually like scientology and they join the sea org to get away from idiots like you.

Submitted by Peter Schilte (not verified) on
What people are you talking about? Do you mean manipulated, indoctrinated and deluded people who believe their bodies are inhabited with dead space aliens? And they join the Sea Org to hide from the real world? Well, you failed to confront with the claims in the article. And you also seem to be uninformed about the CULT. Read! Get yourself informed! Find out what the CULT doesn't want you to know! And ask yourself WHY!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
to be fair, the LARGE majority of Scientologists don't know about the Body thetans, knowing them instead as Engrams -- iirc, only about 10% of Scientologists know the OTIII material, and most of them Blow (leave abruptly) after hearing it. However, there is no denying that these people are manipulated, socially and contractually, into doing these things. Ban the cult!

Submitted by Terryeo (not verified) on
Lilly Von Marcab is wonderfully misinformed. Her misinformation has led her to write a fairy tale, really a fairy tale. Many critics don't understand the word "rehabilitation", Lilly confuses it with "punishment" and "truth by decree". Oh hum.

Submitted by Peter Schilte (not verified) on
Lilly knows very well what "rehabilitation" means: Severe brainwashing and indoctrination combined with inhumane treatment. Normal people call it punishment, because it is. It is punishment because the SO-member didn't toe the line. Or asked an inconvenient question. Or his superior simply didn't like him or her. It seems YOU don't know the word rehabilitation, as it is used in the normal world. You stick to the redefinition the CULT did with the meaning of it. Besides, it's not about the word, it's about the practice. One also could call it "salvation", and it still wouldn't change to be anything else than punishment. But hey, what can be expected from an abusive, inhumane, manipulative, evil, dictatorial, totalitarian, anti-democratic and dangerous CULT whose ultimate goal is world dominatian. A world ruled by the CULT! It would mean we all would be living in one, global North Korea.

Submitted by Peter Simple (not verified) on
This is an excellent and well researched article. Well done on getting the true story. Note to Scientologists: You can't cover up your crimes forever, they WILL get exposed, your leader will be brought to justice. Your denials are no longer believed.

Submitted by Anonnynonymous (not verified) on
Poor little Scientologists, your perfect little cult lifestyle is almost over, all because of some mean religious bigots. Once we have you deprogrammed you'll feel so much better. You're really going to love the new SSRIs, too.

Submitted by Greg (not verified) on
I've been a Scientologist for 23 years. In the mid-90s I was Church staff for about 4.5 years. The last 8 months of this period I spent in the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) in Los Angeles. Contrary to the claims in this article, I found the RPF had some virtues and some flaws, but it DEFINITELY was nothing like its painted here. For one thing, I joined the RPF voluntarily, as an option to being booted out for not following the rules of the organization. (When I chose to leave, 8 months later, I was of course allowed to leave just as voluntarily as I had stayed.) Everyone I met and knew in the program was there of their own choice. For another thing, we got three square meals a day, WITH dessert. And the administrators of the program made sure we got enough rest every night - after all, the whole purpose of the program was to partake in Scientology counseling in order to get rehabilitated, and one simply is not allowed to engage in Scientology counseling without proper sleep or nutrition. Furthermore, I found the people running the program to truly care for the RPF members. In terms of my family, while they're not Scientologists they supported my choices and were very supportive during this RPF program as well. I spoke to my family by phone often, as well as via letters (this was pre-email!) After 8 months I personally decided that the program, as then layed out, was simply taking too long and I did not want to continue it (ironically, the technical flaws that were causing this were addressed a year later. Life's funny that way.) I have both positive and negative memories of the RPF. But I think that the portrayal of the RPF as a "prison" is simply ridiculous. And "secret" is ridiculous as well, as the program is quite visible. If anything, I'd compare the program to being in Boy Scouts camp for grownups, or one of those "bonding retreats" corporations send employees to - with the only real downside being that after a few months I was like, ok, I want to get on with my life. I find it frustrating that such gross misportrayals are allowed to be posted about my religion and its practices. Surely every religion has aspects that are controversial, and it'd be worthwhile to discuss those - but it's useless to paint a completely false picture and make the debate about such a fictional grievance. Sincerely, Greg Scientologist and proud of it

Submitted by Peter Schilte (not verified) on
Sorry, but this trap wont work. Too many ex-members of the CULT have told about their experiences in the RPF. Your feeble attempt to paint us the picture of a Boy Scouts camp therefor are fail. The article is completely in agreement with ex-members. It is not a Boy Scouts camp, it's worse than boot camp. When you think it's normal for a religion to have these slave labor camps, then it is time, I think, you start using your mind. There isn't a real religion, not even any non-religious organization that has this kind of facilities. That should make you think for one. Your description of the RPF is so incredibly diffrent from the experiences of others, I doubt you were ever there. As you Cult members even have a training how to lie, and OSA didn't suffocate from their first, I am sure you are an OSA ops that was sent here to make the wrong of the RPF look right. And you failed. Like Tommy Davios at CNN: you people have no credibility, because you have lied too many times in the past. And YOU still do.

Submitted by Innocent Bystander (not verified) on
He may have done the sissy RPF connected with the Celebrity Center LA - where they work extra hard to keep their pampered royalty deluded about what's really going on.


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