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Monday, July 28, 2008

Scientology RPF Documents

Very recently, the basic Scientology RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) documents have been leaked. This is great news. In the excellent report on Scientology's RPF, the author, Stephen A. Kent, PhD, notes that it is impossible to do a complete analysis of the RPF, in part because these key documents were not available for study. The availability of these documents will help.

However, for those eagerly awaiting the "smoking gun" regarding the horribly abusive practice of Scientology's RPF, the documents will be somewhat of a disappointment. Hubbard was very concerned about his image, so he was always careful about what he committed to writing. I know this seems odd, given what he did say publicly, but it is true. Do not expect the worst of the RPF practices to be advocated over Hubbard's signature.

However, the documents are, nonetheless, quite revealing.

Let me first step aside from this subject for a bit, to explain a few things.

First, it is important to understand exactly what is the basic, core belief of a true Scientologist.
The true Scientologist believes that we are all trapped in this universe; that we used to be "free" and powerful but we have gone down a "dwindling spiral" of degradation, life after life, eventually, after trillions of years, becoming powerless and mired in suffering; that L. Ron Hubbard developed the only road out of this trap back to "real freedom" and power; that the Church of Scientology is the only valid source of this technology; and that we will only get this one chance to make it out.
This is such an important belief that it, essentially, defines what makes a Scientologist. It is important to understand this concept because it explains how the Church of Scientology and David Miscavige can have such power over all Scientologists.

If someone really, really believes they have been trapped and degraded for trillions of years -- just the idea of that -- they will become desperate to escape. If they truly believe this idea, they would do almost anything to escape. And they do believe. And they really will do almost anything.

This is the power of the Church of Scientology. They hold the threat of denying Scientologists the "road out" over their heads all the time. Kicking someone out of the church and declaring them "Suppressive" is, in Scientologists' eyes, literally a "fate worse than death."

It will be difficult for someone who doesn't believe all this to understand how powerful this threat is. This is the threat to ruin the person forever. Not just this year. Not just "this lifetime" but forever. For True Believers, it is an ultimate threat.

You wonder why Scientologists put up with so much? You wonder why they voluntarily shut their eyes to all the abuses? You wonder why they give so much money, until their debt crushes them? This is why.

And so, we come back to the RPF. The RPF is several orders of magnitude worse than anything that public Scientologists have to experience, and yet the threat of the church denying someone the "road out" is so powerful that most of those ordered to the RPF do agree to go. They do so "voluntarily". But what is never stated is that they are under this ultimate threat when they "volunteer". In reality, the choice is, "go to the RPF or be ruined forever." For a True Believer, the RPF is the lesser of the two evils.

But I would not call this "voluntary." Not with that kind of threat.

So, finally, we get back to the leaked RPF documents.

I actually haven't had the time to read over these in detail. I hope scholars will do a good job of that. The whole subject of the RPF is presented, of course, as "the benign and generous Church of Scientology is giving you hopeless wretches a last chance to redeem yourselves." It isn't punishment. It's for your own good. Bla, bla, bla. But underneath those words, the bones of the prison camp are showing.

There is a document in the pack that shows how aware the church is that the RPF is a legal problem. The document "RPF Series 19 - WAIVERS FOR THE RPF" states:
Two waivers are to be signed. The first is called the ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RPF ASSIGNMENT AND ELECTION TO PROCEED. The individual will be given this form for signature upon recept of his assignment and before routing onto the RPF. This will be handled by the HCO* of his org. No one may be admitted into the RPF who has not signed this form.

After the person has arrived in the RPF and has studied the RPF FOs, he is then given the APPLICATION FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE RPF AND GENERAL RELEASE. This document may only be signed after the person has a full understanding of what the RPF program involves and has read all of the RPF Series and attests he fully understands the series.
*HCO -- Hubbard Communications Office -- is a division of the organization involved with ethics.
†FOs -- Flag Orders -- An issue distributed only within the Sea Organization.
Note here that the person can't even read the RPF documents unless they have signed the first legal waiver. I don't see any copy of these waivers in the leaked documents, but I can imagine what they say. They undoubtedly say the person agrees that this is all voluntary, no coercion was used, the church isn't responsible for anything that happens, the RPF member is totally responsible for everything, the RPF member promises not to tell anyone anything, etc., etc.

I am not a lawyer, but I'd think that such waivers have very limited legal validity. As with many of the church legal documents that Scientologists are required to sign, it is more for the intimidation of members than for any real legal clout. You simply cannot sign away your legal rights like that, and certainly not prior to a crime being committed against you. That would be outrageous, yet that's pretty much the idea of the waivers.

From the first hand accounts of those who have been on the RPF, the actual implementation of the RPF is far worse than the documents suggest. Not to say that the documents don't describe a horrible operation, but, it appears, the documents are the "best" it could get. The actuality is much, much worse. The physical duress is worse, the food is worse, the sleep is worse, the abuse is much worse.

The introductory issue "THE RPF SERIES FLAG ORDERS" contains these revealing paragraphs:
Never before has any organization provided a means for members who have failed the trust of the group to actually redeem themselves and terminatedly handle the cause of their destructive actions. Only the Sea Organization, using LRH's technology, extends this opportunity to its group members through the Rehabilitation Project Force program.

The objective of the RPF program is to restore to the individual his value to the group and to himself and to free him forever from any compulsion to commit harmful acts against his dynamics.
This is quite revealing because it isn't quite true. This isn't the first organization to offer such an "opportunity". This whole description of how good the RPF is, is very reminiscent of the Vietnamese and Chinese "Re-education Camps". These were "benevolently" provided by the Communist government as an opportunity for errant citizens to redeem themselves and "handle" the reasons they "failed the group".

Yes, the erring Communist members were "re-educated" until they saw the errors of their ways and were then "free forever" from the compulsion to individuate and harm the group.

The RPF isn't just vaguely similar, it is strikingly similar to those "re-education camps". They are all labor camps. They all require the prisoners to intensely study the doctrine. They all require frequent confession. They all require isolation from the rest of society. They all emphasize "the group is all, the individual is nothing." In all of them, the prisoners are understood to have betrayed the group but the group is benevolently giving them one last chance to redeem themselves. They all have no set duration, the abuse continues for years until the powers-that-be are satisfied the camp member is sufficiently re-educated so as to not cause any more trouble.

These, by the way, are parts of standard brainwashing techniques. Physical duress, physical restraint, isolation/degradation, frequent confession, heavy indoctrination, poor nutrition, little sleep, negation of the individual, and so on, are ways to break the individual and make them susceptible and pliant.

Hubbard wrote, in his Brainwashing Manual in 1955:
Experiments on German prisoners have lately demonstrated that only after seventy days of filthy food, little sleep, and nearly untenable quarters, that the least motion toward a prisoner would bring about a state of shock beyond his endurance threshold, and would cause him to hypnotically receive anything said to him. Thus, it is possible, in an entire stockade of prisoners, to the number of thousands, to bring about a state of complete servile obedience, and without the labour of personally addressing each one, to pervert their loyalties, and implant in them adequate commands to insure their future conduct, even when released to their own people.
Among the documents, RPF Series 23R, "RPF--RIGHTS AND RESTRICTIONS", is worthy of special attention. A thorough reading is quite eye-opening.

This issue includes the seemingly benign sentence:
The person has the option of doing the RPF and adhering to its rules, or not accepting the opportunity for redemption and terminating his membership in the Sea Organization.
Once again, it is key to understand what this means to the new RPF member. It isn't a choice between the RPF and leaving. Leaving includes declaration as a "Suppressive Person" and all that that means. This is not a simple "goodbye and good luck" situation. The choice is, as far as the errant Sea Org member is concerned, do the RPF or have your entire future destroyed.

Further in this document, note the rights. These are, basically, the RPF member has the "right" to work and the "right" of access to the doctrine and time to study/apply it. Those things are "allowed".

Note the restrictions. These are draconian, to put it mildly. In summary:
  • No time off. No free time, no vacation, no weekends, no holidays, no evenings. Zero time off. Every single day is a full day of work, study and confession. For years and years.
  • Confined to "base", except on "authorized work cycles" when they would be under guard. That is, they are imprisoned on the Church of Scientology property.
  • 1/4 pay. Since Sea Org members get a few dollars a week, this is, essentially, nothing.
  • Completely isolated from everybody else.
  • Cannot originate any communication to anyone outside the RPF. No letters, no phone calls, nothing. According to this document, they will be allowed to answer letters from family, but it is questionable whether that actually happens. If such a thing were allowed, it would be carefully censored to omit any mention of the RPF.
  • Must wear a distinctive uniform and must run everywhere.
  • May not enter staff or public areas. May not use public or staff bath or restroom facilities.
  • "May not have with him in the RPF any radios, TV, taped music, musical instruments, magazines, novels, games, cameras or any entertainment or luxury items." In practice, this last has been extended to cell phones (of course), computers and, well, everything else. One assumes that singing, laughing, smiling and such are quickly suppressed in the RPF.
Do you get a picture of how debased and degraded people on the RPF are? These people are "scum," unfit to associate with decent people. Do you see that this was the unstated, but obvious, intention of these rules?

The leaked RPF documents are fascinating reading. However, no matter how bad you picture the RPF when reading these documents, the reality is much, much worse.

This is one of the worst crimes perpetrated by the Church of Scientology. I hope that the leak of these documents is another step closer to the eradication of this horrible operation.


  1. A key point is that the work that the RPF does is to the benefit of Scientology. In the Los Angeles area and in Clearwater, the RPF works in large furniture mills, making furthiture for the C of S. Some Scientologists object to the term "slave labor" to describe this, but like slaves, RPFers are utterly controlled by the Church and have almost no rights or freedom of movement and are not paid for their labor aside from food, clothing and shelter needed for minimum subsistence. It is, I maintain, a de facto slave labor force controlled by the Church of Scientology. That their chains are mental and not physical does not make it any less criminal.

  2. First of all, these RPF docs were leaked from UK, so cheers to the conscientious heros who pulled that off. May God protect them from the Fair Game policy of the cult. Cactus Jack brings up a key point on the slave labour, but it is even worse than he realises. Per a ex-staff member from "Flag" the slave labour that the RPF provides there amounts to hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars in construction cost savings per year. The new delivery building at Flag known as "Oak Cove" was a recent example of this. While it was being constructed, the RPF slaves were working around the clock with no "redemption time" to get the building done in time for an anticipated inspection by Miscavige. That means little or no sleep and no "enhancement" (forced confessions) for the RPF members. The RPF there is known as a "production line" to the Estates people (that part of the Sea Org responsible for construction and maintenance of Scn properties) who are utterly dependent on the RPF slaves. This dependency is a key factor in the interminability of the program - there is a vested interest in these RPFers NEVER graduating as that means a loss in the construction production force. So the more slaves added to the "program" and the less people graduated the better in the minds of some in the Sea Org. Next time a parishioner admires their opulent surroundings at Flag, Los Angeles, Sydney, Saint Hill or Copenhagen they should consider the slave labour that was used to create it. The cult of Total Freedom? Yeah, right.

  3. Not included in the leaked docs is the dreaded last action on the RPF known as the "Final Assessment."

    This part of the RPF was not written or advised by Hubbard but was originated by someone in RTC, perhaps Miscavige himself. It is this action which makes the program drag out for years.

    This "assessment" is done on the below questions. These are asked of the inmate while he or she is holding the electrodes of the e-meter to see if these questions are "charged" in the RPF slave or if the questions are "clean."

    Look at these questions and you will see the extent to which "management" will go to ensure they are practically worshipped by the RPFers before they are allowed to "graduate."
    It is no wonder this action takes so long - if the RPF slave is able to get through it at all.

    Here are the questions, which gives one a penetrating insight into the despotic, paranoid mindset of the person who wrote them and of those who approved their use. You will also see why it takes years for an RPFer to become compliant enough to no longer "read" on these questions:

    1. Regarding Int Execs, do you have an evil purpose?

    2. Regarding Int Execs. do you have a vicious intent?

    3. Regarding Int Execs, have you been spreading Black PR?

    4. Regarding RTC Execs, do you have an evil purpose?

    5. Regarding RTC Execs, do you have a vicious intent?

    6. Regarding RTC Execs, have you been spreading Black PR?

    7. Regarding LRH, do you have an evil purpose?

    8. Regarding LRH, do you have a vicious intent?

    9. Regarding LRH, have you been spreading Black PR?

    10. Regarding LRH, do you have any bad thoughts?

    11. Are you secretly disaffected with Management?

    12. Do you have any withholds from RTC?

    13. Do you have any intention to stop Scientology?

    14. Do you have any intention to stop Scientology dissemination?

    15. On your RPF program, has an evil purpose been missed?

  4. Thanks for the "Final Assessment" questions. This is a THOUGHT POLICE action. The prisoner has been abused and degraded by management for years and the final test is -- have they purged all "evil" thoughts about their captors?

    Yes, that would indicate whether the brainwashing was complete or not.

  5. OMG your article about the RPF documents and the subsequent comments concerning RPF slaves had a heavy impact on me. I'll never look at their glitzy real estate the same way now that I know RPF slave labor played a role in their creation. These guys pretend to fight for Human Rights? Oh, really!? What a double standard! The release of these docs and posts such as yours will go a long way in righting this disgusting wrong. I just wonder what else can be done to bring this horrendous violation of human rights by the Church of Scientology to an end?

  6. Bullshit.

    The documents describing Scientology's prison / punishment system weren't leaked recently -- they have been in the public domain since around 1993.

    This is growing common: Something gets posted to WikiLeaks and because WikiLeaks has never seen it, they assume that it';s something new that isn't available all over the place else they think it's exciting to declare that it's new.

    In fact very little of the wealth of documtary evidence covering Scientology crimes and human rights violations are new; they have been all over the internet for over a decade.

  7. fredric,

    Actually, if you'd look at the documents, you'd see that many have been revised since the earlier release. There may be other changes as well.

    This leak is significant in a number of ways. It is recent and appears to have come from someone within the S.O. Wikileaks gives it great visibility.

  8. I was on the RPF two times, first from Feb 89 till May 89, then again from Jul 96 till March 03. All total, almost 7 years on the RPF.

    I will answer any personal questions, by email, try to make the questions answerable in short segments.

    I've written extensively on my site, over the last 4 years about my RPF experiences.

    But I'll answer any questions, try to call AFTER 9pm eastern time, that way my cell phone fees are free.

    Or email.

    This offer goes for the rest of my life.

    Chuck Beatty
    ex Scientology Sea Org staffer, here's my bio in the Sea Org:
    Flag Dec 1975-Jun 1983 (TTC, Sup, Word Clearer, D of T, etc.)
    Int Base 1983-1984 (Routing Forms Pjt)
    Snr HCO Int in the FB in LA 1984-87 Re-Training (Int and LA) 87-88
    Int Training Org, LA 88 (Sec Checker Sup)
    LRH Tech Research and Comps, CMO Int, (Sept 88-Feb 89)
    Int RPF (Feb-Mar 89)
    PAC RPF (Mar-May 89)
    Int Training Org (May-Sept 89) (Admin Sup)
    INCOMM Sep 89-Sept 90 (Routing Forms Pjt)
    INCOMM Sept 90-May92 (Computer Room LA & Int)
    ASI May 92-Dec95 (Computer Room, In-Training Esto)
    Decks Int (Dec 95-Jun 96)
    Int RPF (Jun 96-Nov 2000)
    PAC RPF (Nov 2000-Mar2003)
    Routed out March 29, 2003.
    Join XSO and network to old Sea Org friends:
    I live in Pittsburgh, anyone feel free to call

  9. You know, as a psycologist in
    hobby, I think I am beginning
    to see a pattern in how the CoS
    brainwashes. (at least, the theory
    of it) They pretty much make the
    subject feel helpless, and "break
    down" they eventually make them
    feel trapped, thus if the brainwasher says "if I (un-trap)
    you, you will do everything
    i say. But I think the trick in
    "trapping" them is to make them feel as though they cannot "un-trap" themselves, thus if you remain totally emotionless during
    your persuit, that would rule out
    the idea that you are human (thus can be tricked/bribed/merciful)
    but that would leave them feeling
    powerless, thus controllable.
    This was the final piece of that
    puzzle. I just thought that would
    be something to put out there...

    PS. by psycology, I mean that I
    study and understand psycology
    (I have never actally tried it
    except in having an upper hand
    in a battle of wits, and easily
    tricking my friends and family.
    (Social engineering, ya gotta
    love it)


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