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The RPF - Rehabilitation Project Force

Kymus


Kymus is, like myself, an ex-member who takes a stand against both Scientology and the anti-Scientology movement. He answers here typical myths and hyperboles spread about the RPF by Scientology critics:

 

 

 


Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: $cientology's "RPF" Slave Labor Camps

kymus2468@aol.comnospam (Kymus)

18 Mar 2001 16:17:33 GMT

Message-ID: <20010318111733.07138.00001524@ng-cp1.aol.com>

[SNIP]

>[Kevin Brady:]

>They are subjected to Sec Checking under duress. They CANNOT LEAVE.

[Kymus:]

What you describe might be true of some people's RPF experience, and I have heard a few credible stories of people being actively physically detained in the RPF - Stacy Brooks for instance.

[Note from Bernie: Stacy Books has now recanted her testimonies.]

I believe the bulk of RPF staff have remained due to moral constraints and not physical restraint. They are in the first place Sea Org members, a status they sought out with an understanding that it would become central to who they are and how they spend all their available time, indicating a preexisting high level of commitment to their faith and to enduring harsh conditions and meager rewards to promote it. They are in the second place able to avoid the RPF by leaving the Sea Org, and at least grudgingly acquiesce to RPF membership. You forget that few Scientology facilities are located outside urban areas, the RPF is working on grounds of major Sea Org facilities and can easily leave the grounds if that is what they choose, though they would face punitive treatment if they left and tried to come back. There appears to be some exception regarding the Gold base, though even there it is hardly a prison camp, just slightly more rural and subject to temptations to commit acts of detention or intimidation.

>Surely you can see that this is a human rights violation? If not slavery, it is imprisonment and psychological torture, accompanied by total disconnection from their families and friends.

No, I don't see that. Staff membership in the Sea Organization is founded on consensual relationships that terminate when the person wishing to terminate it decides. Consent eliminates violation.

RPFers have family time like other staff, are not imprisoned, and are not psycholoigcally tortured by RPF activities to any greater extent than they are psychologically tortured by the fact of existing in an apparently pointless universe filled with suffering, i.e. suffer the common human condition, or by undergoing counseling which exposes one's flaws and penetrates and defeats one's illadaptive defenses, in the manner some psychotherapy does. If reality therapy, gestalt, psychoanalysis, etc. are all torture then I'd accept that the RPF is too. Since their Sea Org membership, a necessary precondition to RPF membership, is their own chosen response to the uncomfortable fact of being alive, in an effort to make living in it not hopeless and needlessly painful, I don't see how it should be described as torture.

>Almost enough to induce first circuit shock, sometimes actually passing that threshhold. Would you condone this?

Why are you trying to argue to deprive some people's capacity to choose their religion and manner of affiliation with it based on a psychobabble accusation that lacks good evidence, being based on a biased take on a nonrepresentative sample of a subculture? That's a Scientology tactic to take an instance without questioning if it is representative and fashion a specious theory about it and call all that proof of something. Why are you coming up with your own variation on it?

There are distinctly specific instances where RPF members have been abused. I have seen or been subject to the same abuses or worse in public schools, health care institutions, workplaces, etc. In each case the remedy is particular to the case rather than being in a campaign to simply label the entire institution with Nazi-laden imagery.

Granted, I have never been on the RPF but I've known those who have and seen it up close. There is no representative depiction of the RPF as "slave labor camps" that is founded on anything but hysteria and venom. I agree that it is tragic that some people have had wrongful acts committed against them in the RPF and believe these specific instances merit legal redress.

 

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: $cientology's "RPF" Slave Labor Camps

kymus2468@aol.comnospam (Kymus)

18 Mar 2001 20:09:05 GMT

Message-ID: <20010318150905.03985.00000414@ng-ms1.aol.com>

>>[Kymus:]

>>I believe the bulk of RPF staff have remained due to moral constraints and not physical restraint

>[Kevin Brady:]

>Where would these people go?

[Kymus:]

The police, if necessary, who can assist them on a timely basis in reclaiming any property they have in the custody of the church facility where they berth . You know the police are always being called in to handle "domestic disputes" where one of the parties is facing a "where do I go to live" problem, has to retrieve some personal property from the residence, etc. THOSE people mostly somehow make out, and there are tons and tons of domestic dispute cases like this all the time. RPF leaving isn't harder than this at worst.

>They have no money, no clothes, no food, and all of their friends are organization members.

Modernly many Sea Org members are increasingly woven into a matrix of social resources that might be dominated by other Scientologists, so some of them might have only organization friends or friends loyal to the organization. Many others have the traditional Scientologist's relationship with family and friends which can be anti-Scientological or turn so in a heartbeat. Most SO leavers I've talked to had resources for departure not only among antiScieno friends or family but *within* the ranks of Scientologists in good standing, including within fellow SO staff member ranks. The pravda that no SO staff person would help another SO staff person depart hastily or fund/assist them for this purpose is just that: pravda. The image of the robot zombies over on the other side is largely that: image. There are probably examples of both indifference or cruel treatment by the remaining staff to the leaver as well as generosity in a complete survey of the leaving process.

This lack of resources is a problem for departure, but not something that keeps a person in "slave labor camp" conditions!!! Properly assessed, an RPF based at a Sea Org facility might have some members who lack resources that would be desirable to start fresh if they simply walk away, but that doesn't explain why they continue to live in "slave labor camps", as the a.r.s. pravda repeatedly puts it. The rest of the RPF members have the resources on the outside to leave and resume a new life, if they are committed to that.

>The SO specializes in hard-selling the idealist which volunteer for service, totally unwitting about the deception and fraud they are subjecting themselves to.

Agree, except that what constitutes deception and fraud is partially a subjective matter in many cases.

>I have never heard of gang-bang sec-checks on Class IV

Hells bells I was *gang banged* in a mere mission early on in my Scientology affiliation.

Generally I see religious groups that are dogmatic and high-demand, and even mere therapy groups in some instances, using multiple confronting parties and demands for confession. The difference between some AA meetings and Scientology gang bang sec checking is a matter of topic and degree. The Bible says you go with several other Christians to confront the wayward one, e.g. People who view matters as being religious, as of ultimate importance, generally "gang up" on other members they consider wayward and put the fault and choice to be made by the wayward member to them bluntly. It's a question of whether you truly believe the religion or not that has to be decided, and if so how belief must manifest.

Gang banging is a gift in disguise. You get to examine, by being put under great pressure, just how valuable this belief structure and affiliation is to you, something that an easy going demand for internal loyalty might omit. If you decide to stay you do so with possible impediments removed from participation and commitment as you have less to hide afterwards, but if you decide to leave you have something to resent deeply and fuel that departure planning.

Gang banging ain't fun to be subject to, but it isn't what made me eventually leave and being subject to it surely didn't reduce my ability to assess where I wanted to go, where the Church seemed to be going, and act rationally based on the yawning gap between these when the time came.

I'm joining the <<yawn>> conspiracy, you see, here.

>>Consent eliminates violation.

>Consent given under fraudulent claims and misrepresentation of the actual situation?

It becomes rapidly apparent to the SO member when they enlist what the situation they will live and work in is like. Unless we are confining ourselves to people who route onto the RPF before finishing the EPF (do such people even exist???) this isn't really an effective vitiation of consent.

>The real reason an SO member doesn't leave isn't because he is necessarily afraid of reprisal, but because he is afraid he would have to admit that he had slid down a slippery slope of increasingly betraying his own internal compass, and mortgaged his awareness to the "greater good" of scientology INTERNATIONAL, which he is continually lied to about.

I agree. As this description indicates there is no brainwashing going on, as people retain their ability to assess this sort of thing and act independently and rationally according to their own, indwelling values. Before they reach that decision to leave they sort through a certain amount of deception and false claims that may form part of the basis of their prior commitment, and weigh just how important it is to them to compromise on some points to prevail in a common struggle to win on others. Exactly what those deceptions and false claims are may well be very very different for different people, subjectively though, and exactly how much sleaziness by one's own side is going to be tolerated is also idiosyncratic too often enough.

>I am sorry if I seem impatient. There is more to this story, for me (can you smell the bypassed charge?)

Been there, mostly. But for those I left behind, and they are not trivial in number, I marvel that they still remain committed to what they are committed to despite adversity. Is there more to their story? They have made hard choices, and perhaps I feel they choose the wrong side of things, but it was their choice to make. I believe nonsense about calling SO RPFs "slave labor camps" is part of a campaign to deny these people their chosen way of life, which is why I am in this thread. I personally do not think highly of that as a way of life, but do not see it as my role to join in efforts to deprive them of it through societal pressure born of smear campaigns.

We can never, any of us, completely walk in someone elses shoes. They have to decide their own religious destiny, even if we think it is a stupid one, and confine ourselves to protesting actual harms inflicted on others not choosing that way of life. The a.r.s. set too often wishes to deny the power of choice to others with its overblown rhetoric about "slave labor camps", ":brainwashing", and other such nonsense.


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This web site is NOT created by a Scientologist. It is created by a Scientology EX-MEMBER who is critical of Scientology. However, this ex-member is ALSO critical of the anti-Scientology movement. This does not make him a Scientologist, nor a defender of Scientology.

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