I was motivated to write this article after I saw an excellent post by Rebel008 (all his posts are brilliant). Another individual, named “Surprised” posted a comment saying, “any RPF people I ever ran into, in LA, and elsewhere, were always very carefree, I saw them smiling, they looked healthy and not stressed at all, and often sang, or told jokes or stories when working.” Surprised also mentioned they had never seen how RPFers really lived and would like to hear from someone who had been there, done that. So this article is to fill in the blanks a little on the RPF program.
My Sea Org career spanned 20 years. But in 1990, I spent 11 months on the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) in Los Angeles during renovations of the Manor Hotel. I received and delivered a lot of auditing and got a great deal of case gain during that time.
There were also things about the RPF program that were NOT fun at all. I guarantee everyone on the RPF thinks continually about the day when he or she will "get out." Just like any prisoner confined anywhere in the world.
RPFers in the public eye are ordered to smile and to "create a positive image" for the RPF. Believe me, the unhappy ones you never see in public.
Something not commonly understood is that the RPF program under L. Ron Hubbard only took a few weeks. Maybe a month. That's it! Whereas Miscavige perverted the program, adding in so many requirements and conditions that an RPF “correction program” now takes five years or more! FIVE years!
You'd think he was dealing with HARDENED CRIMINALS, not veteran Scientology Sea Org members, i.e. volunteers who have dedicated their entire lives to forwarding the goal of a world without insanity, war and crime.
Just ponder that a moment. Someone volunteers to set aside all their personal goals and ambitions, traveling, vacations, cars, money, friendships, dating, movies, raising a family... they put all that aside and still it takes FIVE YEARS of hard labor to “bring them into line with Command Intention” because they were “CI”? (“CI” stands for "counter intention" and also means someone who harbors a counter intention to another person’s success).
Okay, I’m a little slow here. Let me get this straight. Apparently there are people who want Scientology to fail so badly that they are willing to give up EVERYTHING, get a job working for Scientology, and secretly mess things up (hee-hee-hee) until they get caught, after which it takes 5 years or more of hard labor and counseling so they can tell right from wrong.
I don’t know a lot of criminals, but I think most of them fit more into the category of not caring two cents about Scientology. I can’t think of anyone in my wildest imagination who would be willing to give up everything they own in order to appease some personal vendetta against Scientology. Perhaps the whole concept is...
Ludicrous! As a comparative, just imagine a friend joining the Red Cross. Later, you find out a big boss within management had to assign the person to hard labor for five years because they wouldn’t hand out towels to flood victims? Come on, what kind of circumstances could possible warrant that kind of “rehabilitation” system for someone who volunteers to help others?
Oh, I can hear the conversations in the Red Cross rank and file...
“Geeze, too bad about Fred. He stood up when he was supposed to sit down. Hard labor and serves him right. That’ll teach him how to sit down. Pass the Spam please.”
Five years of hard labor. For what?
Throughout one's tenure on the RPF one has no second dynamic of any kind. Love your spouse? How'd you like to get sent to the RPF tonight instead of going home and having dinner? Not seeing them again for 5 years? Instead of snuggling in bed, you can sleep tonight in a room full of snoring people on an uncomfortable mattress and borrowed sheets. If you have to go to the bathroom, someone has to stand outside. So you don’t escape. That’s called incarceration. You can read more details about the RPF program here.
Off quota? Get down and do 20 push-ups. Still off quota an hour later? Do 20 more. Personally I love staying fit. But I prefer to workout at a nice fitness center.
You aren't allowed to watch TV or listen to music. They own virtually nothing. That's why they sing. Now when I was in, even singing was banned because "it wasn't supposed to be fun." Go figure. Maybe he received an order on that, I don't know. So we sang under our breath and longed even harder for the day we might be free.
By the way, how’s your sex life? How would you like to have none for the next five years? That’s not the program LRH authorized.
You get exactly 10 minutes at the end of the day for “personal time.” 10 minutes to chat, relax, write a letter. It better be a short letter.
So what you really have, if you examine Miscavige's version of the RPF program, is a duality of brilliant LRH tech and utterly contemptible perversions of human rights from David Miscavige.
It’s like a great milk shake made with whole milk, delicious ice cream, chocolate syrup, Oreos, yum -- all the things you love -- oh yeah, plus one quart of insecticide poured in.
Actually, the RPF program was not LRH’s invention, but Ken Urquhart’s -- a decent fellow who was deposed by David Miscavige in about 1981. To this day, Ken’s name appears on countless LRH Policy Letters and issues. He was LRH’s right hand man for more than a decade and a real friend to Ron. David Miscavige spat in his face.
Okay, now we're getting down to the nitty gritty of what the RPF program is... in the same way that a ship rolls over and sinks down to the bottom of the sea.
The commercial value of the RPF program is zero. No one has ever paid to "do the RPF program." It's not a program anyone volunteers for. Privately RPFers are faced with problems most people never have to deal with unless they are incarcerated, as in “will I ever see my wife again?" Or "How can I see my children again?" Or "How do I get out of here?"
When RPFers finally get out they feel relief in the same way that prisoners are happy to be reunited with their loved ones. I was only gone 11 months and I wept like a baby when I was finally set free. Who wouldn’t after such an ordeal? And of course, if it weren’t for Time magzine, I would have been there another five years.
While I was on the RPF, I wrote my wife every day. She was at the Int Base (and still is, I have since remarried and happily so) and I was in LA -- another Miscavige trademark: splitting up spouses. If I could have at least seen or spoken to her regularly, perhaps it would have been more bearable.
Miscavige’s practice of splitting up spouses happens a LOT and today it has another name: human trafficking. It’s against the law because it’s inhuman. But David Miscavige never lets an issue like Federal Law interfere when he really wants to break someone.
Now in my case, my wife was so busy, as is typical of everyone at Int, so pinned down by constant flaps and emergencies (all manufactured by Miscavige) she didn't even have the time to open my letters, much less read them. Most of the flaps at Int concerned the next “event.” Speeches, video production and materials scheduled as “a release” for the event. It’s all part of Miscavige’s propaganda machine. As posted elsewhere, 100% of those events are utterly off policy. In 1977 LRH banned ALL international events because they pull staff off post. Magazines were and still are the vehicle by which Scientology’s news was supposed to be gotten out to the field, NOT a constant barrage of PR events where someone can set themselves up as the "New L. Ron Hubbard."
Anyway, not to diverge too far from the main thread, but staff at Int are so pinned down in a frantic but contrived atmosphere of constant DAILY emergencies and flaps, most of them can’t even string two thoughts together concerning their own life. LRH calls that a dangerous environment. As he explained,
“The fact of the matter is, however, that the environment is made to appear much more dangerous than it actually is.
“A great number of people are professional dangerous environment makers. This includes professions which require a dangerous environment for their existence such as the politician, the policeman, the newspaperman, the undertaker and others. These people sell a dangerous environment. That is their mainstay. They feel that if they did not sell people on the idea the environment is dangerous, they would promptly go broke. So it is in their interest to make the environment far more dangerous than it is.”
Now I know decent journalists like Tom Tobin and Joe Childs of the St Petersburg Times who do not fit that generalization. There decent cops and decent undertakers and even decent psychiatrists here and there.
But it’s been theorized that a corrupt dictator who stole his position by force would be the type that would create a dangerous environment among staff to keep them so pinned down they’d never be able to raise their heads long enough to question his supreme authority. But I wouldn’t know anyone like that.
I do know that individuals who specialize in weaving dangerous webs around others have a special name to describe them: spiders.
Anyway, as I was saying, dear reader, if you feel something inching its way up your leg while reading this, perhaps it’s only David Miscavige.
Then again I think a lot of people may be wondering how to tell the difference between Miscavige and a real spider. Well, it’s not that easy. Miscavige is the shorter, nastier one with beady piercing eyes that exude hate. See, spiders are just hungry all the time, but Miscavige wants to harm you.
Anyway, being at Int is like being pinned down in the thick of war. Bullets and bombs in the form of ethics, ethics, ethics raining down. Condition assignments, group confessions, justice actions convened, demotions, screaming fits, physical confrontations, harsh reprimands, continual sleep deprivation, people getting blown to bits all around you. But the entire war is contrived by David Miscavige to pin those staff down. They have no time for themselves nor for any activity except the group. This is so true that if someone (especially an MAA) were caught reading a letter on post from an RPFer, never mind that it was their spouse, they would be reprimanded.
After post, many staff are so exhausted they simply fall asleep. No time to read.
Against that background, being in the RPF is not fun. Many people today have been in the RFP and done with their program for a year or more. Why are they still in the RPF? Because they have to submit a proposal called a “CSW” (for Completed Staff Work) to get out. The "CSW" is a gigantic formal submission involving numerous banker's boxes containing all their pc folders, all tabbed and referenced, documenting all their handlings, showing evidence of this or that being handled, addressed and corrected. Sometimes it is months before any CSW is looked at (since there are only 9 people on post in RTC) and such submissions often go through cycles involving months or even years of being rejected and resubmitted. Meanwhile you are trapped there on the RFP. And while your folders are up "at Int" waiting for someone in RTC to review, you can't get any auditing because your folders are uplines. So you’re just killing time.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I have a year or two of free time on my hands I’ve always been able to think of better things to do than “nothing.”
But let's say you have some responsibility on the RPF. They have their own executives. And there's a flap. Oops, now you’ll have to get more handling. More auditing. Restudy. Re-do this or that. Conditions. Amends. Then resubmit. Add two more months. Now wait for your CSW to be looked at in Miscavige’s revolving-door madhouse uplines.
Or let’s say you’re outside one afternoon “on deck” pulling weeds. You’re longing to see your spouse and a public Scientologist happens to walk by and notices you look unhappy. They think, “Wow, something must be wrong” so they write a report. Guess who gets 2 or maybe 3 months added onto their jail time?
So yes, the average RPFer is going to show you a smiling happy face.
Today, the RPF program has actually been turned into a colossal mind control operation by David Miscavige. If you are assigned to the RPF, you will stay on it until you realign yourself with "Command Intention" (meaning David Miscavige). Forget LRH. Forget Scientology. Forget the human race. YOU need to align to David Miscavige.
That is what the RPF is about and I'm not exaggerating.
To understand the current RPF program in its full context, read T Paine's brilliant analysis.
As for myself, it took me years to find out why I was assigned to the RPF in 1990. Yes, you heard that right. I was assigned to the RPF without even knowing why. And in that bewildered state, I was escorted from the Int Base down to the RPF one afternoon with 89 cents in my pocket, no towel, no toothbrush, no bar of soap, no toothpaste, just the cheap polyester uniform on my back. Another RPFer lent me a towel, his soap and shampoo which he had bought himself with his $7.50 weekly pay. I picked some black shorts and a black T-shirt out of a bin of RPF hand-me-downs.
I remember how happy I was weeks later, just to have my own towel.
Here was my crime: My wife at the time was an Ethics Officer at Gold. I told her in 1989 “The person responsible for turning the Int Base into a hell hole is David Miscavige and his modus operandi is the misapplication of Ethics.” He was also the one, I had found, who forced the price of Dianetics (the book) so high that in some countries the cost of the book was more than a month's wages. So I worked out a handling. New prices, affordable formats, printing overseas.
But when I proposed my handling, Miscavige personally rejected it, stating that he wasn’t going to allow me to “degrade LRH tech.” Huh? I also told my wife about that. She told someone what I’d said and the axe fell.
Furthermore, if you recall, the Dianetics book campaign was roaring in those days. Jeff Hawkins was writing the ads and that entire campaign was his brain child. You can read his story here. Jeff is not as angry today as he was when he wrote that story a year ago, but can anyone blame him for being angry? After putting in 35 years as a Sea Org member, God himself might weep if he knew what Jeff had been put through at the hands of Adolf Miscavige and that’s no joke.
The Dianetics book campaign was costly, but it introduced a lot of people to Dianetics. And it had the statistics of International Scientology soaring for a solid decade. Those were real statistics, with actual numbers that were no secret. David Miscavige pulled the plug on all funding for Dianetics marketing in 1991. And since then Scientology’s statistics have steadily crashed into the basement and below.
Back then, things were booming. The most interested people sent in a little card that came with each book. We called them MICs -- short for “More Information Cards.”
My job in Marketing was to crack the “Dianetics Route,” meaning it was my job to figure out how to move thousands of book buyers into orgs to take their first steps on what Scientologists call “the Bridge” (meaning that chain of services each designed to deliver a precise ability to the person in the exact sequence they must receive them in order to progress to higher levels of awareness).
Well, somewhere along the line I discovered to my dismay that down in LA at Bridge Publications, the publishers of the book had just boxes and boxes full of these little MIC cards. They came in by the hundreds every week. And there was no line set up to deal with all these interested people.
They simply didn’t have the manpower. Some of the cards were sent to orgs. But again, there was no follow up. Ideas on what to do with the cards varied. Some people looked at them as more of a nuisance than anything. They got stuffed into drawers, stuffed into boxes, stuffed under tables and stacked on shelves.
There was the fruit of the Dianetics campaign just rotting on the vine.
Being in charge of cracking marketing for the Dianetics Route, it didn’t take long to grasp that while most orgs were trying to figure out how to get in public, thousands of people -- in the form of these More Information Cards -- were already knocking on the front door. But no one had answered the door.
I did a little analysis to see if anyone had ever found an effective method to follow up on these people and get them in. And sure enough, I found Jeff Hawkins had written a little personalized letter with a coupon offering a free session of Dianetics counseling. Others had sent that letter to some people years before and 7% of the recipients came into the org.
Now that is quite a good response for direct mail. So I updated the coupon, printed 1,000 letters, signed them myself by hand, licked 1,000 stamps and 70 people walked into orgs across the US with the letter I had mailed to them. Seven percent response.
Bingo. I understood the key to Dianetics Route marketing. Prior to that, the Central Marketing Unit had been spending massive amounts on flyers and broadsheets and trying to get seminars going: stupid blind actions that wasted time and money. Average response rates for all other forms of advertising was between: 0.02% and 0.004%. Meaning send out 10,000 pieces and two people might come in. If you were lucky.
Now, instead of spending $10,000 a week on promo that didn’t work, I could spend $500 and get 35,000 times the response.
I’m no rocket scientist, but that math works.
So I pitched my solution to the Int Finance Director (Jono Epstein, who had a secret passion for marketing) and got the money to buy a computer and three HP Laser printers. I got a room in the basement of Bridge Publications. Then I went down to Los Angeles from the Int Base and found someone for the project. I got him assigned to Bridge Publications. And soon my man Jonathan and I started sending out personalized letters, each one hand signed.
People started to come in and staff were ecstatic. The “Dianetics Route” was cracked and it cost next to nothing.
While this was going on, Jonathan and I started to compile lists of book buyers from orgs. Computers were still in their infancy and every list was in a different format. So by hand we started to refine these lists to make one master list we could mail to.
After a few months we started to run low on money. I requested a very nominal amount, $3,000. My little campaign was moving a mountain, but required little more than blank envelopes, ordinary letter head, and stamps. Meanwhile I had put together a much larger roll out and submitted that marketing campaign for approval. For 8 months it was rejected repeatedly. The stated reason: it wasn’t “big think” enough. Those rejections were from Marketing Exec Int who seemed at a loss about the whole thing.
I made it known that cutting that money was a crime. So then I was put onto TRD short for “Truth Rundown.” The auditing was designed to handle “delusional” people. (People who commit too many crimes can become delusional). Well, my sins were stripped away and low and behold it still seemed like a crime to me. And I said so.
Finally I found out who was actually rejecting my Dianetics Campaign; it wasn’t actually Ronnie, it was David Miscavige!
Let’s review: my area was producing 35,000 times the response rate of any other area in marketing. But that wasn’t “big think” enough.
I ran out of money. Week after week my CSWs were disapproved.
Meanwhile Gabrielle Allen who was in charge of PR was being given hundreds of thousands of dollars by David Miscavige so Dianetics could sponsor the “Goodwill Games.” That got virtually no one into orgs, but they made a big splash for Dianetics. Meanwhile, the More Information Cards kept rolling into Bridge Publications. And gathering dust.
I wasn’t just pissed, I was radioactive.
LRH said there was nothing wrong with upbraiding someone if it was for a good cause.
So I got in Gabrielle’s face, and I got in the face of our Financial Planning Committee Chairman, Sharon Hill. The two of them complained that I had upset them. And for that “reason” I was sent 90 miles away to the RPF in January of 1990.
At that point, everything instantly collapsed. I had no replacement. There was no money for toner, envelopes, or stamps. Jonathan had nothing to do. After several months, he vanished.
Those thousands of people who bought Dianetics and sent in More Information Cards never got the information they requested. But David Miscavige bragged it up at events on how Dianetics was “An Official Sponsor of the Goodwill Games!”
The only reason I didn’t leave the Sea Org then was because I had just gotten married the year before. I was assigned to the RPF on November 12. I remember the date because it was my wedding anniversary.
11 months later, when Time magazine published its infamous article stupidly slamming the religion of Scientology (instead of the criminality within its ranks) Miscavige cancelled all RPF assignments.
So to sum up, what you have in the RPF program is an alloy of LRH tech and Miscavige's psychological warfare by which he dominates and destroys the observational powers and ability of staff members to think for themselves. He's subverted the RPF into a behavior modification program.
Off the top of your head, which makes more sense:
A) Five years to break the pesky “false purposes” and “evil intentions” of a person who has already proven his character by selflessly giving up everything to help mankind?
B) Five years to break the integrity of a decent person who signed on to help mankind?
When I was in the RPF, we had a motto that we repeated together each evening: “The RPF is what you make it; the RPF is where you make it.” I wish it were true. In fact, the RPF is what abortion king David Miscavige made it into.
The RPF program, originally started as a humane alternative to firing staff by letting them co-audit for a few weeks so they could make it, has been transformed by David Miscavige into a years-long thought-reform gulag.
And how does Miscavige know when someone has really reformed? It’s the number of years. The longer you stay on, the more likely it is that you have finally swallowed the poison that blinds.
Written by Thoughtful