The Underground Bunker has obtained thousands of new internal Scientology documents which detail, among many other things, how the Sea Organization interrogates its workers about their sexual histories.
In October, we published a current version of the lengthy application that Sea Org hopefuls fill out as they sign their billion-year contracts to join the most fanatical of the church’s employees. But even after being accepted, workers are required to produce even more detailed dossiers about themselves called “life histories.”
We now have actual examples of those histories which are only a couple of years old.
They demonstrate in disturbing detail the invasive interest Scientology has in the sex lives of its workers. (And we mean that. Please be forewarned that there is extremely distasteful material ahead.)
If you’re unfamiliar with the “Sea Org,” it’s a remarkable institution that has its beginnings among the dedicated young people who sailed with church founder L. Ron Hubbard while he ran Scientology from a small armada of ships between 1967 and 1975. Hubbard then came back to land, but to this day the Sea Org continues to use naval ranks and nautical uniforms.
But more than the quasi-naval flair, the Sea Org means one thing more than any other: total commitment. New members tend to be recruited among the children of Scientologists, who have been raised to hold Sea Org officers in awe. They are typically signed up between the ages of 15 and 18, but children as young as six years old have been known to sign billion-year contracts. Life in the Sea Org means 100-hour work weeks at about 40 to 50 cents an hour, dormitory living, substandard food, and almost no privacy.
Employees at large corporations are accustomed to filling out lengthy application forms for their jobs, but Scientology takes things to extremes. The scores of questions in the Sea Org application are intended to pry from an applicant whether he or anyone in his family has any of the associations that Scientology loathes: to psychiatry, or to the media, for example. Detailed drug histories are also required, but the thing that every Scientologist knows that he or she will be endlessly interrogated about are details about “2D,” Scientology jargon for sex. Even after they’ve been in the Sea Org for several years and have proved their mettle, members are asked to submit these life histories to make sure they haven’t left any secrets unspilled.
Recruits know that if they aren’t completely truthful, even about things they may be ashamed of, it will only mean trouble. Because after turning in these written life histories, they are then interrogated with the use of the e-meter, a device which Scientologists are convinced can reveal if they are holding back information (“withholds”) about nefarious behavior (“overts”). In those interrogations, a subject will often give up even more sexual detail that he had held back from his application, details that are recorded by his interrogator.
We have those reports, too.
Because of the intensely private nature of these documents, we are redacting any information which might identify the people in them. We’re also going to pull short excerpts out of reports so that they lack context, again in an attempt to prevent any possibility of identification.
We want to be very clear why we’re being so careful about this: We feel that these (mostly very young) men and women have been taken advantage of in the extreme. They have been manipulated to feel that they have no choice but to divulge deeply private information about their lives that an employer really has no right to know. By publishing these excerpts, however, we are in no way intending to punish them for giving up their secrets.
After our excerpting and redaction, enough information is left that should give a good sense of what Scientologists put themselves through in order to join “the most ethical people on the planet.”
Before we get to the sexual disclosures, we want to begin with portions of a very typical life history that describes the optimism and drive of a young man who has decided to dedicated his life to the Sea Org. This young man joined the Sea Org at 15, and five years later, he’s asked to give a life history. (Again, for a more complete list of questions please refer to the blank application that we posted in October.)
How did you come into Scientology?
I was born into it.
What were your reasons for becoming a Scientologist?
Why did you join the Sea Org?
Because I wanted to help the planet and do my part to help Ron.
What benefit will you be to the Sea Org?
I am very competent and can get a job done when it needs to be. I am smart and I can execute orders when needed.
What benefits will you gain from the Sea Org?
I will become even more competent. I will become more tiger. My IQ will go up and my responsibility level will raise greatly.
[High school. Had joined the Sea Org coming out of junior high school, at 15 years old.]
List your interests and hobbies
I love to read and go on course. But I also just love hanging with my friends and having a good time. Working as hard as I can to get a product and get a job done. My favorite thing to do is just work.
Have you ever had doubts about being in Scientology and/or the Sea Org?
When Was this?
[Age 15 to 16.]
Give specifics of what occurred.
I just felt that I didn’t want to be in the Sea Org anymore.
Any handlings done on this
I did my Doubt Condition and found out it was for the best to be in the Sea Org. I am now back and have completed the EPF [the Sea Org’s boot camp], done my Purif [the Purification Rundown, a sauna-and-vitamins regimen] since then, four Basics courses and completed the EPF. About two years ago four months after I finished my EPF I did want to leave the Sea Org. I did lower conditions and handled it. I had some doubts off and on after that but nothing major. I got hatted and finished my ESTO steps and read some of the Basics to handle this. Also about a year ago I was not doing so well and was wavering in my decision to stay. I got with [officer] and we fully handled it. I did Conditions and got my own necessity level up on it. I’m here to stay and that is what I want to do.
Are you, or have you ever been a newspaper reporter or journalist of any kind?
Have you ever engaged in homosexual activity?
What occurred and how often?
The young man then describes incidents that happened as a child, and he assures his Sea Org superiors that as an adult he has no homosexual thoughts, and that he has “handled” the problem.
We’re now going to show you various responses in a number of different life histories, and how these other employees responded to questions about homosexual behavior, masturbation, and the history of their sexual partners.
It’s not only Sea Org members who are questioned about sex. “Publics” — the name for non-staff church members — also have to submit to questioning if they are suspected of transgressions. We have heard lately from non-Sea Org church members that interrogators today are more interested than ever in masturbation, and intensely question them about it. (These interrogation sessions, by the way, cost the subject about $3,000. Sea Org members don’t pay that since they make almost no money, but the cost of the interrogations gets added to their “Freeloader Debt,” which they are told to pay if they decide someday to leave.)
Like so many other things in Scientology, its interest in the sex lives of its parishioners seems to be a reflection of L. Ron Hubbard’s own obsessions. Hubbard pondered his own sexual history and feelings of guilt in an intense piece of self-examination he wrote in the late 1940s and which is known by the name “Affirmations.”
“I have a very bad masturbatory history,” he writes at one point. “I was taught when I was 11 and, despite guilt, fear of insanity, etc. etc. I persisted. At a physical examination at a Y when I was about 13, the examiner and the people with him called me out of the line because my testicles hung low and cautioned me about what would happen if I kept on masturbating.”
In Affirmations, Hubbard admitted to himself that he suffered from various ailments and had a difficult time performing sexually.
But to his friends, Hubbard bragged about his prowess. As Lawrence Wright revealed in his book Going Clear, Hubbard boasted to his friend Robert Heinlein that as he developed Dianetics, he was getting his old skills back, which had him up to “eight comes” a night.
Hubbard’s legacy is an organization that is fanatical about getting similar confessions out of its members.
As we said earlier, after submitting these detailed life histories, Sea Org members are then subject to intense interrogations, known as “security checks” or “sec checks,” to make sure that they have held nothing back. We’re going to show you excerpts from two reports that resulted from such interrogations.
From Sec Check Report #1
This is what came up in [name]’s sec check
On the perverted activities section of the life history [name] put that he had stopped masturbating a few months ago and this was not true. The last time that he had masturbated was two days ago in the fourth floor showers. This lasted for five to ten minutes.
On your life history write-up, have you thought on something you did not write down?
[Name] had a ginny[sic] pig and he was fingering it. He used his finger then a thin piece of plastic. He did it for five to ten minutes and then stopped after he realized that he was hurting it. This was in his living room in mid to late [year].
From Sec Check Report #2
On your life history write-up has anything been missed?
On [name’s] life history he left out the full data on his Fitness Board TD. He was given a fitness board as he wanted to route out. He was on decks and he had gone to the bathroom in the [building] and masturbated. There was a girl named [name] that he had flirted with at dinner time a few days earlier and had flirted with her since then. She was also the sister of the [officer]. He had masturbated thinking about her.
On your life history write-up is there anything you were embarrassed to write down?
On the question that asks if you have done anything sexually perverted he did not give full details on that. Before he was on the EPF the first time he went to about three different porn websites 15 to 20 times and masturbated to this. Then after he left the EPF and before he came back to the Sea Org he got more involved in looking at porn. He did this about 20-30 minutes for three to four days of the week for nine months. The more abberated things that he looked at included one clip for five seconds of a girl having sex with a dog. He opened a page that had 10- to 11-year-old girls having sex (he promptly closed it as soon as he saw what it was. He was also under age at the time). He did see a man giving another man oral sex. He also saw a transvestite having sex with a girl. There was also a few mother and daughter videos of them having sex with various men. Also one video of a mother and son having sex. He did also look at lesbian porn. There was also several videos of a man with a 14″ penis having sex that he watched. There was also one video of several men masturbating and ejaculating onto one girl. He also saw a video of a girl that was all chained up and a man was peeing in her mouth. He would mostly do this at his dad’s house and a little at his mom’s house. He would usually delete the history so that his parents would not find out. His mom did a few times but just told him not to.
These documents are signed by the interrogator under the words, “This is true.”
Such is the tone of report after report, revealing a consistent emphasis by the church for more information about masturbation, pornography, and homosexual experiences.
We have talked to many ex-Scientologists whose names are not known to the public. They tell us they have left the church but don’t dare speak out about its abuses. They know that secrets they’ve confessed to have a way of suddenly showing up in anonymous attack websites that Scientology operates to smear critics.
Yesterday, we sent a request for comment to Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw, asking her what possible use the church makes of these reports. If she replies, we’ll post her response here.
FIRST ACTION IN GARCIA LAWSUIT: JUDGE REJECTS SCIENTOLOGY’S REQUEST TO BE WORDY
In January, Scientology was hit with a stunning lawsuit by former church member Luis Garcia and his wife Rocio. Alleging fraud, the Garcias say they were treated as suckers by the church in its various fundraising efforts. The case is being closely watched because there are a lot of other former church members who say they are still owed money by Scientology, which is not giving refunds.
Last week, Scientology’s attorneys made their first reaction to the case, filing a motion so the various church entities named in the suit could file a joint response of 45 pages this week, rather than the 25 pages allowed by local rules.
Ted Babbitt, Garcia’s attorney, tells us his side agreed, but federal judge James D. Whittemore denied the request, limiting Scientology to 25 pages.
Also, Scientology’s document gives an indication of how their response is going to go:
The Plaintiffs have a 28 year relationship with the various Church of Scientology entities joined as Defendants in this matter, and the joint motion will cover the nature of that relationship in some detail, including, numerous written arguments to arbitrate and to utilize other dispute resolution procedures. The motion will also involve questions of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Federal Arbitration Act (and cases construing it), The Florida Arbitration Act (and cases construing it), and the interrelationship of those two arbitration acts, Florida Contract Law, and the relationships of the five defendants to each other.
That is a lot to get into 25 pages, and no doubt Scientology’s attorneys are working overtime to get it ready for Wednesday, when it’s due.
But it also shows that the church’s strategy is going to be the same that it was in a similar refund lawsuit, brought in state court by Lynne Hoverson and Bert Schippers. In that case, Scientology argued that church members sign binding contracts that force them to seek refunds through in-house arbitration. And the church’s First Amendment rights to freedom of religion prevented the state court from intervening in the process. The state judge in that case agreed with the church.
Hoverson and Schippers could not convince the judge that Scientology’s arbitration scheme put them in a classic Catch-22 situation, which requires them to seek redress from a panel of church members, who would have no interest in granting their request.
Babbitt says the church will try to put the Garcias in the same bind.
“Our position is going to be that the arbitration provision is completely unconscionable because it requires you to have three Scientologists in good standing arbitrate the case. And you know, if you have Scientologists in good standing, they can’t even talk to someone who is not in good standing,” he says, referring to his clients.
In the complaint they filed in January, the Garcias were careful to point out that they are arguing strictly a fraud case, not a religious one. We’ll see if that is a more effective argument in federal court than it was in state court.
We’ll be very interested to see Scientology’s full response on Wednesday. Here’s the motion the church filed last week…
NOTE: Because of the nature of today’s post, we’re rescheduling this morning’s SMERSH Madness matchup. Tomorrow morning, we’ll have a double-header.
Posted by Tony Ortega on March 4, 2013 at 07:00