Is Scientology breaking the law?

Allegations of violation of minimum wage laws by Scientology

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In and Out of Scientology

They had me do the Communication Course again, and as soon as done, while I was blissed out, pulled me onto staff. This was not truly my choice, and it didn't work out since I was expected to work long hours for no pay, live on welfare, and suffer my own projects to be badly disrupted.

In early 1983 I moved down to East Grinstead area, intending to make my way as a self-employed window cleaner and in leisurely fashion make contact with the UK headquarters of Scientology. Was very curious to see how a better-established organisation behaved, since Manchester organisation looked in a perpetual flap. I had reckoned without their skilful and insistent selling, and before I knew it had signed a BILLION YEAR contract and enrolled for the Sea Organisation!

The Sea Organisation is Scientology's equivalent of a civil service, modelled after the United States Navy with naval uniforms, naval ranks, and military discipline. After 3 months of basic training, I was put into Division 2 of Advanced Organisation Saint Hill, and quickly found myself in charge of several typists and the letter-writing section of the organisation. Now I could examine at leisure how a better-established organisation functioned, and quickly decided that the state of perpetual flap is deliberate, and conditions of work and pay deplorable.

We were given literature to give to clients that stated that the price rises were to pay the staff decent wages. At the same time the staff were told that the price rises were to create a sinking fund to support international headquarters in case of a collapse of organisations around the planet. Somebody was lying, somebody high up, and since there was evidence that Hubbard was closely controlling things I decided that Hubbard himself was responsible. I was being given 'counselling' in the form of confessionals done on a lie detector, and these confessionals were fishing for every embarrassing deed I'd ever done in my life. The Master-at-Arms warned me that personnel from International headquarters were right then culling files for blackmailable information. Out bombed my participation, my production sagged to zero, and I went into the deepest doubts about the organisation.


There was plenty to encourage me to leave in 1983: the introduction of the "Finance Police", "Finance Dictator" and other fascistic sounding and looking people. The prices skyrocketed from 60 British pounds per hour to over 120, to 160 per hour, plus VAT of course. By contrast the Sea Organisation crew were getting dormitory accommodation, plus average 3-4 pounds per week pocket money, out of which we were supposed to buy our uniforms and books. Staff got no holiday pay, no National Insurance or pension contributions credited, and any training and counselling whilst on staff was billed such as to be payable if they left (not legally enforceable though, it would be peony if it were). Additionally, I was seeing old staff turfed out onto the street, to eke out their remaining days alone and on state welfare.

In a state of great confusion I sneaked away, came back again 2 weeks later and suffered several days on their brainwashing "Rehabilitation Project Force" or RPF, then left again, this time for good. It makes me laugh how, much later on when Scientology published a Suppressive Person declare on me, they peevishly grumbled how I kept on leaving! I came back again to pick up personal effects, and cheerfully chat still with organisation staff.

For those who wonder about the RPF being tantamount to brainwashing, how about sleep deprivation with 6 hours maximum allowed , allowed to speak with only 1 person at all (the MAA), 15 minute meal break maximums eating left-over food, usually just rice or potatoes. Work was petty and grinding; chipping the crust off cooker parts or painting stones. The attitude was that you are WRONG, and you must obey all orders instantly and without question. Counselling was confessionals, rehab work was guilt trips, and success stories were required that state how good this all is!


Peter Forde



This page was last updated on May 8, 1999.