Home Karen de la Carriere Blog Forced abortions, beatings, and sleep deprivation: The FBI on Scientology’s Sea Org

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I was a member of the Church of Scientology for decades and was married to the President of the Church of Scientology, Heber Jentzsch. Our son was Alexander Jentzsch. When I started to speak out publicly about abuses and horrific on-going violations of human rights within the Church, they retaliated by coercing my son to "disconnect" from me. Within 3 years, in 2012, he subsequently died of neglect while inside the Church. He was only 27 years old. To make matters worse, Church of Scientology executives blockaded me from seeing my own son's body and attending my own son's funeral. David Miscavige who has run the Church of Scientology for three decades is a corrupt evil psychopath responsible for the deaths of many people who, like my own son, succumbed to oppression. This blog has been established to protect the public by blowing a whistle of fire on CoS corruption, exposing their crimes and atrocities. Follow me on Facebook - Follow me on Twitter

Forced abortions, beatings, and sleep deprivation: The FBI on Scientology’s Sea Org PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 11 May 2017 15:54

(Note: This is copied from Tony Ortega's article of May 4, 2017 and is posted here due to the importance of this story)

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[From drone footage of Int Base, a lake workers were routinely forced to jump into]

Yesterday, we heard from several of the former Scientologists who spoke to the FBI for its 2009/2010 human trafficking investigation of the Church of Scientology. The probe was stopped in 2010 without charges being filed, but now, some seven years later, the FBI has released a 300-page file of documents describing the investigation to Melissa Cronin of RadarOnline.

Marc Headley, Lori Hodgson, Mat Pesch, and Jefferson Hawkins told us what it was like to speak to the FBI in 2009, and what it felt like now to finally speak about it openly. Headley told us he’s still uncomfortable talking about it on the record.

But Cronin is releasing more allegations from the documents today, and she’s been sharing them with us as we also make our way through the file. As we pointed out yesterday, the FBI classified this as a Sensitive Investigative Matter, and took pains to protect the identities of the people they were talking to.

In the initial pages of the file, the FBI explains which laws justified their investigation. They said they would be examining Scientology for violations of “Peonage, Slavery, and Trafficking in Persons.” In other words, they were looking at the conditions of forced labor which existed in the Sea Org, particularly at two locations: Scientology’s secretive Int Base near Hemet, California, and at PAC Base, the “Big Blue” complex in Los Angeles off Sunset Boulevard.

The file specified that the investigation’s focus on forced labor “is not an attempt to discredit the religious belief held by Scientologists.”

What the agents were looking for was evidence that the Sea Org convinced its workers they couldn’t rebel without suffering serious harm. The Sea Org managed this in a number of ways —

— Paying less than $50 a week so its workers couldn’t live on the outside. “Sometimes workers were not paid for months or even years.”
— Monitoring phone calls and mail.
— Limiting access to medical and dental care, and forcing women to have abortions. “CSI viewed young children as having no work value and believed children would only interfere with the employment of their mothers.”
— 16-hour work days, seven days a week, with no time off.
— Confining workers and controlling their movement with the use of fences, cameras, and guards.
— Strict daily rules.
— Inhumane punishments.
— The confiscation of passports.
— The threat of disconnection. If a member rebelled, he or she might lose contact with family members and other loved ones.
— The threat of Freeloader’s Bill. If a member left, they were saddled with bills for huge amounts, supposedly what they had received in classes.

The FBI estimated that there might 1,000 victims of human trafficking in Scientology’s Sea Org.

After introducing the scope of the investigation, agents got down to conducting interviews with individual former Sea Org workers. Among some of the allegations made by those witnesses that Cronin found after looking through the file…

— So many forced abortions were occurring, a local clinic became “alarmed.”
— One of the inhumane punishments was forcing members to jump into ponds of human excrement without protective gear.
— Beatings were common, as were verbal assaults.
— Other punishments were meant to humiliate. “Some people had to stand in the middle of the room with signs around their necks that said things like… ‘I’m a whore.'”
— The most sleep a Sea Org member would get was four hours a night, and often they would go without sleep altogether.
— Members were constantly aware that their movements were being watched, and escape was considered nearly impossible. “Members were so brainwashed into thinking that leaving was not an option, and they were too afraid that the COS would come after them if they tried to leave,” said a witness. “If a Sea Org member escaped … a ‘blow drill’ would be conducted in an effort to find that member.”

So with testimony like this that Int Base was such a hellhole of manipulation and degrading treatment, why didn’t the FBI do something about it? We were asked that question a lot yesterday as we began to reveal what was in the FBI file.

Why the probe ended is apparently not included in the file, according to Cronin. In the movie Going Clear, Lawrence Wright and Alex Gibney promoted the theory that when Marc and Claire Headley lost their civil lawsuit against the church for labor trafficking, it put a chilling effect on the government investigation. “The church is protected,” Wright said in the film, referring to the vast protections of the First Amendment.

But Marc Headley, Mike Rinder, and Marty Rathbun told us that they believed the FBI backed off for other reasons. It’s a complex story that we’ve told at length before, about an FBI agent who had tried to help the Headleys in their lawsuit by giving their attorneys a law enforcement document that was not public. They believe that Scientology would have seized on this and used its connections in Washington — at this time, Gerald Feffer was still alive and was Scientology’s heavyweight lawyer in DC.

Scientology managed somehow to shut down the probe. But even though charges weren’t filed, it’s still powerful to see the records of FBI agents who were obviously very deeply immersed in the subject.

 

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