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Published:June 6th, 2008 16:39 EST
Human Rights and Scientology, Say What?

Human Rights and Scientology, Say What?

By SOP newswire2

In a fine flight of irony, L.Ron Hubbard once said that his aim was to create `a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.`

Those who follow the evolution of Scientological PR may have noticed that Human Rights is currently a favorite PR theme or diversionary technique.  The Berlin org used a demonstration in support of human rights to detract attention from Anonymous protests on 10 February and on 15 March 2008.  They are ready to invent imagined infringements of their own rights.  But if we look at what they do rather than what they say we get a different picture.  Their most notorious denial of basic human rights to freedom of movement, choice of work, adequate food and shelter, and a basic level of care is the RPF or `Rehabilitation Project Force`.  The RPF is the CoS prison system, an essential element in their coercive treatment of members.

According to current information there appear to be RPF prison camps at Clearwater, Florida, inside the Fort Harrison Hotel, at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, West Suss(e)x, England, at the European HQ of Scientology in Copenhagen, Denmark, on M.S. Freewinds (until it was grounded in Curacao), at Gilman Hot Springs (also known as Hemet or Gold Base), California and at Happy Valley, a ranch 11 miles from Gold.  There was formerly an RPF at La Quinta, a ranch used as HQ by L.Ron Hubbard in his latter days; current status not known.  There may be others.

The CoS, inventive as ever, has defined the RPF as `a work/study/counseling program that Scientologists participate in to rehabilitate themselves from whatever situation they feel they are in, by a combination of study, auditing and physical work`.  It sounds like summer camp.  Marlene Getanes, a Press spokeswoman, explained that the RPF is for members of the Sea Org (elite staff) who have done something to harm Scientology.  They are sent to the RPF to be helped, to recognise their faults and how to avoid them in future.  She presented the RPF as a kindly alternative to being thrown out of Scientology.  She did not mention that entering and leaving an RPF is not optional.  It is a notorious punishment which threatens sanity and health.  Gerry Armstrong, who spent more than two years in the RPF, described it as a `psychological gulag` whose purpose was to break the human will. [1]

A day in a typical RPF starts as early as 5.30 - sleep deprivation is part of the treatment.  As many as 20 individuals sleep stacked up in a small room.  They have a few minutes to shower, dress and eat before undertaking a punishing physical routine, and then starting work.  They may work to 10 pm, with half an hour for lunch, or in an emergency continue for as many as three days without sleep.  Their diet is typically rice and beans and is short of many essential elements.  Those sent to the RPF are also required to study Scientology and may work in pairs who supervise and report on each other.  Some have their minds completely turned and become incapable of living anywhere else.  The former Scientologist Andre Tabayoyon admits to using brain-washing techniques on prisoners to induce psychotic breakdown or suicide. [2]  Escape is often attempted but after a lifetime serving Scientology a Sea Org member generally has no money and no commercial skills, and has disconnected from all his or her relatives and friends in the outside world.

The RPFs are of course useful.  They provide the cult with free labor for its building and landscaping projects, free crew for the SS Asbestosis, and free staff for all its celebrity centers and more humble accommodation for visitors.  Tom Cruise`s luxury accommodation at Gold, his swimming pool, gym, and other facilities, were built by members of the RPF, living out of sight of such `celebrities`. [3]

The RPF may also serve as a way of disposing of individuals who threaten the leadership.  Many senior members of the inner circle of Scientology have `disappeared` in recent years, including David Miscavige`s wife, Shelly, `Marty` Rathbun, Warren McShane, and most recently Mike Rinder of OSA, but many others have gone missing inside Scientology. The documentary `Missing in Happy Valley` was inspired by the case of Wiebke H., once in charge of the Hamburg org, who generated millions of dollars for Scientology.  Where are they? [4]

When Jesse Prince escaped from the RPF at Gold he was helped by some Soboba Indians, whose reservation is next to the Scientology compound.  In December 2002 he reported that one of these Indian told him that the Indian community knew that people had died at the RPF and that their bodies were hidden there.  Jesse did not find this reassuring.  `I knew there were many Scientology management people being taken to Happy Valley and I never knew what happened to them all`.[5]

[1] Interview with Russian newspaper ANN, 2 March 2007.

[2] Andre Tabayoyon affidavit (34) Deliberate misuse of the Hubbard Tech (Black Dianetics).

[3] Andre Tabayoyon affidavit (22) Construction projects at Hemet Base.

[4] Documentary: Missing in Happy Valley: Investigation into Scientology`s RPF Camps` by Peter Reichel and Ina Brockmann.

Scientology`s Record on Human Rights

by John Brown

[5] Jesse Prince, `Escapes from Scientology`s Gold Base through Soboba Indian Reservation`, 2002, in