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A documentary about Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force (the RPF) produced by Peter Reichelt and Ina Brockmann for German television. It is dubbed into English.
Scientologists in the Sea Org who have offended the organisation are required to do manual labour for long hours with minimal nutrition in order to make amends. Normally this takes place within Scientology organisations. The ironically named “Happy Valley” is a dedicated RPF site in California – a combination prison and labour camp which houses not only adults but also children.
Scientology claims that working in these camps is a free choice on the part of members who seek redemption for ‘religious’ failings. Critics observe that there is, in fact, not only a coercive element (people are “assigned” to the RPF and have no choice between participating or leaving Scientology) but the number of those ‘assigned’ increases whenever cheap labour is required for a Scientology project.
The subject of the RPF is covered in the sociologist Stephen A Kent’s paper ” Brainwashing in Scientology’s Rehabilitation project force (RPF)“.
There is a full written transcript of this programme after the cut.
Off-camera commentator: In May 1995, 51-year-old Wiebke H. was suddenly relieved of her post. The investigative authorities in the USA believe she was placed in a Scientology reform camp. The Scientology organization asserts that the missing woman is dedicating herself to spiritual advancement.
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: I called up the Scientologists and said, “where is my sister? I read here in the newspaper…..”. I know enough people there, and so I called them up. At first they gave me a little bit of the run-around, then I told them, “out with it, give me the number, otherwise I’ll raise a scene here”. That is what I did and I called them back, and Wiebke called me back two days later. And after she heard that there was a missing person’s complaint out on her, she went to the consulate in Los Angeles and that killed the matter, didn’t it? The police never came back here because … she is not missing. According to the way we gauge things under certain circumstances, she is only at a certain place, as I am told, since I would probably not go there.
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: So when Wiebke doesn’t want to do something, then nobody in the world can get her to do it. So she would have left this camp, too. And she would also have been in the position – here in Hamburg, as well as in L.A. – to find a way out. For example, what she said a little while ago, that if she didn’t have anything to wear and that if the things she needed for survival were not there, then she wouldn’t be going along with them. She would have become very, very furious if something happened which she didn’t want. That’s the way she’s been her whole life; that’s also why she was so successful with the Scientologists, because she wants or wanted exactly that.
Off-camera commentator: For ten years, Wiebke H. was the most successful Scientology manager worldwide. Scientology sees itself as the truest religion on earth. Its presumably positive goal is to use its ideology to create a better world. Income in the millions flowed year after year from her organization in Hamburg to the Scientology headquarters in California. When her sales took a turn for the worse, she was removed from her post as president.
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: She had – that was quite funny – a male secretary. She was certainly not a highbrow, but she said since she was a woman, she wanted a male secretary. I still think that’s funny. He was a nice guy. In principle, Wiebke had the whole organization, that means she was the one who asked, “What’s happening here? What’s happening with the courses? How are acquisitions made? How is the inner organization?”. Yes, they said that she had lied. I don’t believe that. I simply do not believe that.
Off-camera commentator: Change of Location. December 5, 1998. Clearwater, Florida. The Mecca of Scientology. In past years, nine Scientologists have died here under mysterious circumstances, among them 36 year old Lisa McPherson. Charges have been brought against Scientology in her gruesome death. On the third anniversary of her death, relatives of the victim and former Scientologists gathered. We have scheduled a meeting with the former members. Among them they have years of experience in the Scientology reform camps such as where Wiebke H. is said to have spent some time. One of them is Gerry Armstrong. He was a coordinator in the Scientology intelligence service and a confidante of Hubbard, the organization’s founder. But even he fell from grace. He spent two and a half years in the camp.
Gerry Armstrong: I was the first prisoner in Clearwater, the very first. The people there are real prisoners. Scientology says that the people are there voluntarily. Absolutely not. I was so confused that for the first 36 hours in camp I could not eat anything. I thought my entire life had been taken from me. I knew Hubbard and I knew what assignment to the RPF meant.
Off-camera commentator: He received this in writing, as shown by this document. Hubbard had charged him with three offenses: disobeying an order, neglect of duty and poor work performance. Scientology has its own penal system, with prosecutors, judges and reform camps. Of course, Scientology does not call them “reform camps”; they call it the “Rehabilitation Project,” RPF for short. These camps in the USA and Europe are run exclusively for people who don’t fit into the elitist Sea Org. Hubbard determined the personal restrictions and punishments for them by 1974. The camp laborers are re-educated and made tractable by hard labor, compulsory hypnosis and brainwashing. All according to the slogan, “The RPF is what we make it. The RPF is where we make it.”
Scientology sells the RPF to its thousands of Sea Org members as their last chance to stay in the elite unit. By order, the camp inmates have no freedom, they are housed separately and may speak with nobody.
Jesse Prince, former second ranking man in the Scientology management team. Even he was put away in the notorious Happy Valley reform camp for refusal to obey orders. That is also where Wiebke H. was presumed to be.
Jesse Prince: It was horrible in Happy Valley. I literally slept on the ground in a chicken coop, rattlesnakes, scorpions and spiders all around, terrible.
Off-camera commentator: That is Stacy Brooks. She was a member of management of the Scientology secret service and “I was a puppet for over 15 years,” she said.
Stacy Brooks: You know you really, honestly believe, when you are a Scientologist, that it is the only route to happiness. And when you leave, you have no hope of every being happy. You believe in this idea when you are in there, and I don’t know how you can accomplish that belief. All I can do is describe it. Vaughn agreed to go back to the RPF because he truly believed that it was essential to life for him to remain a Scientologist. And this is the only way that they permit you to stay a Scientologist. For this reason people put themselves through the most humiliating, abusive and horrible experiences that you can imagine, for this deceptive and delusional idea.
Off-camera commentator: The reform camp is there, but you don’t see it: a splendidly renovated hotel in Clearwater – here is Fort Harrison – with every sort of comfort for its guests. In Los Angeles, a former hospital, done over completely in blue. Near there or under there in garages or in basements are the reformatories for the misfits. Outside of the big city, on the edge of the desert, two hours drive from Los Angeles is Happy Valley, the camp for the elite.
Gerry Armstrong: The RPF has the goal of guaranteeing the power of Scientology over all members of the Sea Org. The reason is to further its control and domination over its people. Right from the beginning, as soon as you enter the door of Scientology, they try to gain more and more control over your life. And the reform camp is the most extreme form of control because you are completely dominated by the organization and by the RPF regulations. They are incredibly restrictive. You had no newspapers, no magazines, no radio, really no contact. You may not speak with anyone unless you are spoken to. You ate whatever was left after everybody else was fed. You always have to work or run, even on breaks.
Clearwater in August 1998. We succeeded for the first time in filming a group of RPF laborers. They were renovating the Scientology Fort Harrison Hotel. Even old women are exploited for this work where it is 110 degrees in the shade. Their daily wage: $1.50.
Change of Location. At the center in Copenhagen. Another hotel. This time it’s the Scientology Nordland Hotel, again with an integrated reform camp. Who would be surprised that they don’t want us here? We have made an appointment with the Danish woman, Susanne Schernekau. Almost two years of her life was spent here behind this facade. The organization’s buildings are all over Copenhagen. All are being renovated in order to bring Scientology’s customers in at a fast pace. There is much work that needs to be done. As was the case with Wiebke H., Susanne was also accused of financial manipulation.
Susanne Schernekau: My offense, according to Scientology, was financial fraud, or swindling, and that I had behaved very badly, for example, in Munich I had gone with a normal person to eat. Because I was married, that was not OK.
Off-camera commentator: By November 13, 1989, she had gone too far. She was assigned to the RPF in Copenhagen, as this document shows. Ethics? Morals in Scientology? An offense is severely punished. Scientology’s ethics are synonymous with total obedience, suppression and forced re-education. That is where people end up who make mistakes. Forced laborers are produced according to need, sometime more, sometimes less.
Susanne Schernekau: For instance, in Copenhagen there was a building which was a total wreck. And we cleaned it from top to bottom, cleaned all the pigeons off the window ledges, rats and mice and so forth. We began to paint, carpet, renovate, everything. We were always the last to eat. Only breakfast was really OK. Other than that the food was very bad; the beds were very bad. We slept twelve people to a room.
Off-camera commentator: The solidarity of the group is emphasized, especially in the elite Sea Organization, Sea Org for short. Created by Hubbard, it is the heartbeat of Scientology. His private army. They want world domination and that needs an army, and into this one come only the best. Immortality, power, consensus and invincibility. Rattling sabers and then the fall, unexpected and final.
Susanne Schernekau: You live with the conviction that you already have everything under control. And when that does not happen, you realize that you do not have everything under control. And somehow the whole idea that you were part of an elite group plunges headlong into the ground. You begin the RPF with a black arm band. Then, if your ethics go well, you get a white arm band. The difference is: with the black arm band and as a married person in the Sea Org, you may not see your husband. You may not speak to him if he does not speak with you. With the white arm band you may spend three hours per week together with your second dynamic, that means your family, your husband and possibly children. You may still not speak with your husband unless he speaks to you. Then you get more. That means that you can earn a gold arm band. With a gold arm band, you may spend one night a week with your family.
Off-camera commentator: You can picture the structure of the RPF as Susanne drew it up in the camp and learned by heart. Chief of the group – but a co-prisoner at the same time – is the BOSUN. Under him is the EST_O, responsible for the assignment of work, and the MAA, who is responsible for keeping the rules of the camp. Under that is the TECH, responsible for the material and the equipment. QUAL supervises the performance of the work. The rank and file form the individual sections A, B and C. Work groups have up to ten people. These are assigned to the actual renovation work – as is they cas here in Clearwater. The control over each other is omnipresent and thorough. None can escape it.
Susanne Schernekau: You keep all the others under observation and know that all the others are watching you and each other. That is normal. Anybody can get out of line. Those are the people who least want to know themselves. That means that other people bring it to your attention with a knowledge report, that you have made a mistake. That means you have to look at that mistake face on and handle it somehow, in some way. And then show the group that you have made up for it.
Off-camera commentator: Those are the Knowledge Reports with which one shows his true loyalty. Everybody watches everybody else, everybody betrays everybody else and puts this down on paper. Here Susanne turns in another work group to their superiors. The smallest necessity in the RPF camp must be asked for in writing. Susannne requested, “I have only one work suit and no cap. Without a complete uniform I am breaking the regulations, and I have to wash my clothes urgently.” Request denied. Instructions: “Wash your work clothes at night and hang them in the boiler room so that they will be dry in the morning.”
The European headquarters of Scientology in Copenhagen. Thousands of adherents stream year after year into this building in order to get closer to immortality by taking courses. We wanted to check out Susanne’s statements. Together with her we met there with the press spokeswoman of Scientology in Europe. She said she was ready to give information about the rehabilitation camp system. For her it was a unique chance to “ethically” get back into shape.
Mrs. Getanes, CoS: Well, there is a program that is allowed for a person who made some serious wrongs in the course of work for our church. I would like to explain to you how it works. It is certainly somewhat different from what Mrs. Schernekau has told you. Normally, when a person makes a mistake at work, he would be kicked out of there. However, we offer these persons a program for reconciliation, the Rehabilitation Project Force. There one learns exactly what one has done wrong. It is gotten across to a person that these mistakes are not to be made again. That lasts five hours per day, every day. The rest of the time one has to work hard on renovation projects, there where one is needed. Nor we do not hate the people who leave Scientology. My personal feelings do not count with them. They are simply only bothersome. Bothersome, because they simply will not tell the truth of what Scientology really is. They are annoyed about something or another. But that really does not disturb us. Because we’ll always be here. No matter what these critics say. Thousands of people are always starting with us and want to find out what Scientology is. In spite of this, life goes on for us.
Off-camera commentator: Their lives go on. Not only tomorrow and the next day. The goal is billions of years. The Sea Org members sign a work contract accordingly:
“THEREFORE, I CONTRACT MYSELF TO THE SEA ORGANIZATION FOR THE NEXT BILLION YEARS.”
And that’s for $130 a month, as former members tell us. An elite organization for eternity, the only question is whose?
Mrs. Getanes, CoS: I am a Sea Org member and I wear my uniform. It makes me proud to be a member here. Consider that everything I have begun to do here is good and rewarding.
Off-camera commentator: They are surely unbeatable when it comes to one thing in particular: delusions of grandeur and fondness for theatrical drama and fine-tuned propaganda. In the center of the power rush is their current leader, David Miscavige. Since 1986, he has been the successor of L. Ron Hubbard.
David Miscavige: (DM): On October 1, 1993 at 6:37 p.m. we received a letter from the highest tax office of the USA. Since this time none of the Scientology organizations need pay any more taxes. The war is over.
Jesse Prince: He is actually quite a short person himself. He is paranoid. He is afraid that someone is going to hurt him, so, he has to hurt them first.
David Miscavige: (DM): Welcome to church!
Off-camera commentator: A hundred miles east of Los Angeles, two hours drive away. Below us is Gilman Hot Springs, the secret world headquarters of Scientology. This is where David Miscavige pulls the strings of his power. The site resembles a vacation resort. Grand houses, the golf course right next to them. Everything including the California sun. There is room for over a thousand people here, his private army. Only a few Scientologists know of this spot and its meaning. One of them, Jesse Prince, the former representative of David Miscavige, tells us what the picturesque setting conceals.
Peter Reichelt (PR): Is this the world headquarters?
Jesse Prince: Yes.
Peter Reichelt (PR): And David Miscavige lives there?
Jesse Prince: Yes, he lives there, yes.
Peter Reichelt (PR): How would you describe his life style?
Jesse Prince: Very elaborate, very lavish, that I have seen. The houses there all appear very, very beautiful. The countryside, everything is beautiful. Luxurious is the proper description for that. The main reason for that is that they don’t have any expenses for their work force. All they have is material costs, because they have their slave camp, their slaves. Those have to work day and night. And even when the slaves are doing well in their work, there is one day, Saturday, on which every staff member in Hot Springs, no matter what position he has, works the entire day on the renovation of buildings the same as the slaves have to do. And it is exactly because of this, when you have no wage expenses, but only costs of material, that you can accomplish quite a bit.
Off-camera commentator: Pure luxury, made possible by the RPF. Zero labor costs and $350 million in donations for a private music studio, wardroom and fitness center. All for the comfort of David Miscavige.
Jesse Prince: You know if he decides that something has to look a certain way, then that’s what has to happen, and if he orders that something must be accomplished in a certain style, then it happens that way, because he is the boss.
Off-camera commentator: The magnificent villa behind the wrought iron fence, a life style which includes a swimming pool, guest house, tennis courts and private movie theater. Luxury in a high security area.
Jesse Prince: The security there is quite phenomenal. Motion detectors are mounted on all fences. Even if you just run along side the fence, the alarm goes off. At nights automatic flood lights go on. There are night vision cameras, night vision scopes, and on a small hill is a watchtower, code named “Eagle,” with someone who watches the countryside day and night. I know these things because I set up the security there. Talking about reaping what you sow! There is no possibility of escaping from there. From a distance you see a nice looking fence, but when you look at it up close you see the razor sharp metal spikes which will slice your hands if you touch them so that you’ll bleed like crazy if you try to climb over it.
Jesse Prince: The headquarters of the Church of Scientology International is here in Gilman. All the income of the organization goes to David Miscavige at Gilman Hot Springs. The organization in Clearwater is micro-managed from here. Everything in Los Angeles is micro-managed by the facility in Gilman. All the organizations in Europe are micro-managed from here. Everybody worldwide. Any area that produces a sufficient amount of income is micro-managed from the Gilman Hot Springs location.
David Miscavige: (DM): Good Night!
Jesse Prince: I was put in the RPF. It was in Happy Valley, just down the road from Gilman it is a 20 minute ride by car. You have to go through the Soboda Indian reservation and then you’re there. David Miscavige assigned me ,personally, because I wouldn’t go along with his plan to get rid of Pat and Annie Broeker [the couple whom Hubbard had chosen to succeed him]. I refused to carry out his order. I refused to have anything to do with it, so he told me, “OK, then you’ll go right to the RPF.” They woke me up at 5 o’clock in the morning. They love this element of surprise. They brought me to a room; huddled there on the floor, crying and shaking violently was Vickie Aznaran, who, up to that time, had been David Miscavige’s boss. The guards had tossed her in here and yelled at her, she was terribly afraid. Miscavige screamed at me, “It’s over. You had your chance. You made the wrong decision. You’re going to the RPF!” Then he ordered me, “Call me ‘sir’.” I will never forget that. I just looked at him and he yelled, “Say it, say it, say it!” And I got up and I said, “fuck you!” And I walked out of the room at which point several men tried to keep me there. But I have karate training and I knocked them down. I ran to my room to get my weapon, a semi-automatic. I still had it from Hubbard. Everybody there had weapons, semi-automatic, full automatic and .45 revolvers. I ran back to Miscavige and yelled at him, “What are you going to do now?”
Jesse Prince: Now David totally changed his character, he said, “Jesse, you know, we’ve been through so much. Please put the weapon away. Let’s talk.” He did not take the weapon away from me. I put it willingly on the table. He said to me, “Please accept your assignment to the camp. You are in a high position in the church, your behavior towards me has made an impression on everyone. So that Scientology does not fall apart and its authority is not destroyed, you have to go to the camp. And if you accept it, I will come and personally get you out and put you back in your old position.” I didn’t believe that, but, at the time, I was convinced that it would be very bad if the entire organization fell apart because of me, so I conceded.
Off-camera commentator: Happy Valley, rehabilitation center for recuperation of inner peace, lies hidden among the mountains, only 20 minutes away from the center of power. Officially the area is called Castille Canyon School. Over a hundred people live here, including Wiebke H., who is said to have been in the camp since 1995.
Jesse Prince: Just like in a prison. Get up, wash, get dressed, all in ten minutes. Then you stand outside and shiver all over. In the early morning it is ice cold, everybody in a row. They count off like in jail, to make sure nobody has taken off. They tell you what your work is for that day. 20 minutes to eat and then off to the bus for work at headquarters.
Off-camera commentator: In the near vicinity of the company’s private golf course and the football field in Gilman Hot Sprints is another attraction in the Scientology program: a circular spot. In the middle is a palm tree. That’s not meant for harmless games, that spot is for running. Today clockwise and tomorrow counter-clockwise around. The newest edition is said to be a water sprinkling system for overheated souls.
Jesse Prince: He put a big may pole up at his headquarters and his people had to run around it all day long. Further punishment for that part of the elite who have suddenly become a problem for David Miscavige. You run from sunrise until night, until you go to bed, always in circles, day and night, for weeks on end.
Stacy Brooks: Twelve hours a day around the pole, until you realize that you have done something wrong and you can think straight again. That is when you again be a proper Scientologist.
Is that how it worked for Wiebke H.? Did she also spend days on this spot? Wiebke H., the successful manager – what became of her?
Off-camera commentator: Letters to her brother. She wrote the last one June 1998. Her brother showed them to us as a sign that she was still alive. She said things were going splendidly with her and she was having a lot of fun. The lines she wrote give the impression that everything is OK. Supposedly nothing is happening with his older sister which he needs to be concerned about. Yet – where is she exactly and is she doing well?
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: On the one side I know that she has done this voluntarily and on her own. On the other side, of course, it is clear to me that a model of thought is being manipulated. What is the extent of freedom? Where is the part where I can say with certainty that she wants things that way? I have to leave that up to her if I accept her as an equal. On the other hand, one asks if she is manipulated. What happened when she spent three years in this rehabilitation center? Are the trouble and the effort which she has taken upon herself worthwhile? What happens when a monk goes into a cloister and talks with nobody for three months? If one goes to a hermitage? What happens then? Must we permit that? Is it only unpleasant because she is my sister and it happened to us in the middle of Hamburg? It’s difficult for me.
Off-camera commentator: Back to Clearwater, to the picket being held by the former Scientologists. This is Frank Oliver. He was an agent of the secret service of Scientology, OSA for short.
Frank Oliver: An agent of the Scientology secret service is still trying to photograph me. I used to be in the Scientology secret service myself.
Off-camera commentator: By 1996, the Munich state attorney had already found out that Scientology used undercover intelligence methods as defense against inner and external enemies, and that it would not stop at criminal actions.
Frank Oliver: The Office for Special Affairs, OSA, has two main missions: propaganda and investigations. Both departments work hand in hand. When enemies of the organization are to be silenced, such as authorities, critics, journalists or psychiatrists, the machinery of the OSA goes into motion. The collected information goes into the propaganda department, which then uses it to denounced alleged enemies in public and to make them absolutely untrustworthy. It’s not for the general good of the populace. It’s very self-serving.
Off-camera commentator: This document clearly shows what assignments are waiting for OSA agents: infiltration, bribery, buying information, burglary, blackmail.
Frank Oliver: The investigations person, you hardly ever see them. They’re the ones in the shadows. They sift through the dirt, look for bodies in the basements of their enemies and critics. They try everything it takes to make things turn out good for Scientology in the end and to make things impossible for the enemy. That’s how it works. They work with each other.
Off-camera commentator: Re: phone calls. OSA is also involved in monitoring telephones. We have a list of telephone numbers called from a public telephone booth in Miami. The assignment was to observe these in order to investigate the callers.
Frank Oliver: They had so many projects going on at the time that even during an extensive shadowing operation I had to work other cases. One day I got the original of a private telephone bill. I was supposed to find out all the people who had been called by the target person. I never found out how they managed to get this private telephone bill.
Off-camera commentator: Perhaps by burglary? A training document for Scientology agents which was confiscated by the FBI shows that the organization will not stop at burglary. Along with exact descriptions, how to break through door locks and even safes is covered, “Pull your prepared metal strip from the lower end of the door to the strike plate of the lock and the door pops open. If you have problems inserting it, use your foot to hold the door open a crack.
Frank Oliver: Their top guy is Mike Rinder. He is the director of OSA. He knows everything that goes on. The only one over him is David Miscavige. Everything goes directly to him.
Off-camera commentator: Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles. Work place of Mike Rinder and gathering point for OSA. This is where the information is evaluated and prepared for further action. That not only includes Germany, Scientology’s declared arch-enemy, but the federal Ministry for Family, Youth and Health. The method of operation against the enemy and the goal of the OSA agents is that one “learns all his plans for the future and uses the material gathered either to bring him to court or to discredit him so that one no longer believes his statements.”
Frank Oliver: OSA is Miscavige’s most important department. Without it he would be lost and Scientology would have long since been forgotten.
Roadblocked in Happy Valley
German newsman: You are blocking us. You are arresting us. You are not allowed to block us, you know?
Scientologist: Nobody is blocking you. I am placing you under citizen’s arrest right now.
Off-camera commentator: OSA in action. We wanted to go to Happy Valley to Wiebke H. However, our drive was stopped short by a roadblock. We were held up for over two hours on the open road, scolded, yelled at, threatened. There was no way out. What or whom were they concealing there? Many open questions.
Jesse Prince: You’re asked to do things that are illegal. You’re asked to do criminal deeds on your post, and it quickly becomes clear to you that you have been incriminated, but so has everybody else. It turns into part of your daily work. If you want to stay on your post, you have to take part of this criminal activity, whether you want to or not. Because everybody does it, everybody is guilty and everybody is quiet about it. Nobody talks about it. The leaders of Scientology do not practice Scientology as it is written in some of those bulletins [Hubbard scriptures].
Stacy Brooks: The entire Scientology management is totally corrupt. They think it is hilarious that Sea Org members below the management level and customers believe in this stuff.
Susanne Schernekau: I never wanted to be like the others. I always wanted to be different. Then I met people here who wanted the best of the world. They wanted to help other people.
Mrs. Getanes, CoS: Scientology is the right place for me and I know that we are in possession of the truth.
Off-camera commentator: They are not only in possession of the truth, they have the services of their own, mobile security troops. The Scientology sheriffs dress like police and follow you around step by step. As Hubbard said, “True is what is true for you.” He also thought that they were the only people on earth who have the right to punish. According to whose rules? According to Hubbard’s rules, which are still rigidly kept today, 13 years after his death. Even children cannot escape these regulations. They are made tractable with psychological methods in their education into Sea Org members. Over and over again they are subjected to the same security questions:
Has someone ordered you not to tell us something?
Do you have a secret?
Have you ever taken something which does not belong to you?
Have you ever hurt yourself to cause others anxiety?
Have you ever not eaten in order to cause others anxiety?
Have you ever refused to carry out an order which someone has given who was justified in giving it?
Have you ever done something which you have had to be ashamed of?
Have you ever done anything criminal?
Have you ever knocked down a smaller child?
Have you ever been ashamed of your parents?
Have you ever betrayed a secret which was entrusted to you?
Have you ever been a coward?
Have you spied on your friends?
Off-camera commentator: Correct answers mean happy faces. But the fun stops for these children with failure and disobedience. By 1976, on instructions from Hubbard, the first children’s RPF was established in Los Angeles. No time off for play, but a children’s reform camp with absolute obedience as its goal. One of the reasons for the camp for children was stated in this document, “Make it clear to the children that any form of vandalism, theft and any other crime committed by a child will be punished by the RPF under aggravated conditions.”
Gerry Armstrong: Scientology pretends to answer to all questions, heal people, give them special abilities and make better humans out of them. In reality Scientology has only one purpose: to exercise absolute control over all people and they pocket their money.
Scientology street sign: “Are you really happy? Find out what Scientology is. Come to us.”
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: When you look exactly at what is going on, you see a reactionary, authoritarian mechanism which restricts certain degrees of liberty. When it is understood that something is permissible then it may be done. However, I don’t accept that they do that for everybody else. And to make this dependent upon citizenship – there it is explicitly in their index – whether one is a Scientologist and the right to re-educate people in their rehabilitation camps and such… We have had that before and that does not belong here.
Jochen Koerner, brother of Wiebke H.: The question I’ve asked many times over, because, of course, call up everybody and tell them all, “You’re doing quite poorly now and you have to work hard there.” I don’t doubt that at all. When they do that voluntarily, then that is their business. If I now go in there and get involved, am I helping them? Am I hurting them? Or am I only helping myself?
Off-camera commentator: Four months later. Jochen Koerner flew to Los Angeles to see his sister Wiebke again after almost four years. They met at a small restaurant in Hollywood. Later they went for a walk along the beach. That evening she rode with the Scientology bus back to the world headquarters in Gilman Hot Springs. As of late, she is a producer there for Scientology recruitment films. She said she did not want to talk over her time in the reform camp with her brother. She does not want to go back to Germany any more.
Off-camera commentator: Madrid, February 5, 1999. The Spanish state attorney brought charges against 18 leading members of the Scientology organization. The charges include establishment of a criminal association, fraud, burglary, grievous bodily harm and mistreatment of a Spanish woman in the prison camp in Copenhagen. The trial begins June 1.