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How Scientology created its own prison for children who chafed at lifetime service

[A Scientology cadet org]

We were standing in a room, waiting for the Cadet Coordinator to finish reading our proposal. She was the only adult person assigned to watch over all of the Sea Org Cadets in Los Angeles.

Cadets were people from age 6 to 15, organized into a large group with goals and production targets. We had already signed our billion-year Sea Org contracts, which was required to be part of the Cadet Org. We all had posts and responsibilities assigned. Around this time period, in the mid-1980s, we had approximately 150 Cadets.

My job was money collection for services rendered. But this was not why we were meeting.

There were four of us Cadets there, ages ranging from 6 to 15. I was around 12 years old. The four of us had been tapped on the shoulders to perform a “Committee of Evidence” on another Cadet. A Committee of Evidence was supposed to be a fact-finding body to determine the correct course of action from a blunder. Unfortunately for the majority of these, it was more of a witch hunt and “how can we punish this person” for what they did. Think of it as a kiddie Scientology court-martial.

This Cadet was 9 years old. I knew him and had worked with him many times over the years. Let’s call him Sam. Sam did not want to be in the Cadet Org, and did not want to be in the Sea Org either. But unfortunately for him, his parents had important posts in the Sea Org, working in the “Office of Special Affairs.” OSA was Scientology’s secret police, a very important job. Only the deepest, most dedicated Sea Org members worked there, and they had to handle attacks on Scientology all the time. There was no way this child could hinder the very important work of his parents.


It was the job of the other Cadets, and the Cadet Coordinator (the only adult) to contain the problems of children. The Sea Org parents had little or no say in the handlings of their own children. Only what Hubbard wrote in his advices and policies was followed. Parents were out of the picture. Parents were expected to do their own jobs in the Sea Org and not be distracted by their children.

Sam had, over the years, been somewhat willing to work occasionally, and he was put to work in these moments when he was willing to work. But those times were becoming more rare. He was upset and fighting being part of the Cadet Org. In many instances he had become violent. He had been locked in a room several times, for many hours sometimes, because of his violent behavior. At first he had thrown everything he could grab in the room. It came to a head when he threw a chair through a window. It always came back to the fact that he simply did not want to be in the Sea Org or the Cadet Org. But leaving the Sea Org and Cadet Org was impossible, because it would also mean losing a Sea Org parent, possibly even two parents. It was simply not an option for him.

Many Hubbard remedies had been tried, such as having him write down his “overts and withholds” (sins), having him read various policies from Hubbard, including the “Way to Happiness” book. He had also been put through “training routines,” which were to teach him how to confront things better and learn to not be so reactive or upset. Sam had also been made to do “lower conditions,” which is an ethics step that puts a person out of the group until they agree that the group is good and they should only help it, then performing amends to it in order to return to good standing.

None of this vast array of handlings that had been done on Sam made a difference. The violent behavior continued. And so a “Committee of Evidence” was ordered on him. We four children were tasked with assigning this child his fate.

As children ourselves, we were limited in our understanding of how to deal with a child with these reactions. We knew he did not belong there. Sam had made that very clear so many times. Sam had already been through all of the Hubbard handlings that we were familiar with. And yet here we were, with a boy who could not, and would not conform. He would not change. He would not become cooperative.

So what did Hubbard say about a person who did not show any change despite all our best efforts to help the person with Hubbard technology? It meant this person was a “No-gain-case.” This was a bottom-of-the-barrel, last ditch label for someone who we had no hope of ever helping. No Hubbard technology worked on him (and us, as children, never even conceived that maybe something outside of Hubbard’s technology might help this child). A “No-Gain-Case” was synonymous with Suppressive Person.

From our understanding of Hubbard’s policy, Sam was a Suppressive Person, and the only thing we could do to help him was to label him as such. He had to leave the Cadet Org and the Sea Org, because nothing in Scientology could help him until he properly repented with the steps to return from a Suppressive Person Declare.

There was no doubt that Sam should be SP declared. But here we were, in the Cadet Coordinator’s Office, where she was telling us that we cannot SP declare Sam, because his parents would have to leave the Sea Org with him, and that was absolutely out of the question.

So we were stuck trying to figure out what to do with a child who did not want to be part of the group, and had become violent to be around. Nothing in Hubbard’s policies was giving us direction on how to help us determine a direction with this child, except to SP declare him. And we were not being approved for that option.

“Let’s open up the Children’s RPF and send him to it” was her request. And that was what we did. The Rehabilitation Project Force was something Hubbard had come up with in 1974, and it was essentially a prison program for adults. But now we would create a child version of the RPF to house Sam. His punishment was that he would now no longer be allowed to talk to anyone at all. He would not be allowed to eat meals with friends, he would not be allowed any time off. He was expected to work cleaning all day every day until he changed and repented. He was also not allowed to see his parents while on the Children’s RPF. I remember that he spent several months doing this (with much protest and fighting, which only extended his time), when I was also added to the Children’s RPF for my own prison sentence in the organization that I had helped create.

At least now he had someone to talk to.

— Sunny Pereira


HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles

THURSDAY NIGHT OPPORTUNITY: This year’s HowdyCon is in Los Angeles. People tend to come in starting on Thursday, and that evening we will have a casual get-together at a watering hole. But we also want to point out that Cathy Schenkelberg’s “Squeeze My Cans” will be running at the Hollywood Fringe, and we encourage HowdyCon attendees to see her show on Thursday night, June 20. Tickets and more dates available here.

Friday night June 21 we will be having an event in a theater (like we did on Saturday night last year in Chicago). There will not be a charge to attend this event, but if you want to attend, you need to RSVP with your proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail.

On Saturday, we are joining forces with Janis Gillham Grady, who is having a reunion in honor of the late Bill Franks. Originally, we thought this event might take place in Riverside, but instead it’s in the Los Angeles area. If you wish to attend the reunion, you will need to RSVP with Janis (janisgrady AT gmail), and there will be a small contribution she’s asking for in order to help cover her costs.

HOTEL: Janis tells us she’s worked out a deal with Hampton Inn and Suites, at 7501 North Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, (818) 768-1106. We have a $159 nightly rate for June 19 to 22. Note: You need to ask for the “family reunion” special rate.



Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Kelly Preston, Beck, and Anne Archer]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] When rabid Scientologists got into a fistfight with US marshals to protect L. Ron Hubbard
[TWO years ago] Believe it or not, a second season of Reza Aslan’s ‘Believer’ is coming
[THREE years ago] As Scientology sinks, does Tom Cruise really have to go down with the ship?
[FOUR years ago] Paulette Cooper has a surprise for Scientology and the residents of a certain Florida town
[FIVE years ago] When Scientologists sell each other Scientology: ‘I’m me for the first time in trillions of years’
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s Enforcer Has a New Book: Will This Be The One We’re Waiting For?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,456 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,585 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,089 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,609 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 629 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 520 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,827 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,695 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,469 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,243 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,589 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,155 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,075 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,242 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,823 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,084 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,123 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,835 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,361 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,450 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,590 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,910 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,766 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,885 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,241 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,543 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,649 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,051 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,923 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,506 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,001 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,255 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,364 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 24, 2019 at 07:00

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Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists | GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice | SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts | Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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