Scientology and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

From the Look-at-what-we-say-not-at-what-we-do department, we have the Church of Scientology vs. Human Rights.

One of the Church of Scientology’s big PR stunts is their “support” of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  They have their “Youth for Human Rights International” Campaign and their “Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights” and such.

And everyone is supposed to think, “Gee, the Church of Scientology must, itself, be very good about Human Rights!  Certainly they must be a Very Good Group.”

But that’s all just talk.  Let’s check the walk.  Let’s see how their actions stack up against the very document they say they support.

From the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

The Church of Scientology coerces people, especially young people, into signing a billion year contract to work for the church at slave wages of — if they are very good and very lucky — around $50 a week.   These staff members are worked 18 to 20 or more hours per day and are denied any vacations, weekends or any other time off — month after month, year after year.

Every minute of the “staff member’s” day is tightly controlled, with frequent “musters” and constant monitoring.  If they don’t look serious and busy at all times, they get into trouble.

These slaves, I mean staff, have 15 minute meal breaks, 4 to 6 hours of “personal and sleep time” per day — if they are lucky.  They must comply with every single order given to them by their “superiors”, and the orders are constant and unrelenting.

If a staff member is from another country, the Church of Scientology steals their passport, effectively trapping them.

If someone does manage to escape from the International Headquarters, security personnel execute a well-practiced drill to track them down and then use whatever threats or promises necessary to bring them back.  If they have family members who are also Scientologists, threats against their family is a common tactic of the church.

Of course, the church wouldn’t call it servitude, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, what else would you call it?  The Church of Scientology violates Article 4 every day.

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Article 9.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

The Church of Scientology runs a number of their own, private prisons, called “RPF” (“Rehabilitation Project Force”).  The church assigns members who the church deems as “bad”, to these prison camps.  Those assigned have no choice and no recourse, they must submit to this imprisonment or be forever banished from their religion.

Those accused of whatever crimes they are alleged to have committed are not allowed a trial, representation, rules of evidence, or any recourse of modern justice.  They are not allowed to confront their accusers or defend themselves.  They are simply assigned to the RPF by the church.

Members of the RPF are subjected to the following cruel, inhuman and degrading punishments.

  • They are not allowed to talk to anyone, even their spouse, even their children.
  • They must run everywhere.
  • They must wear black boiler suits everywhere.
  • They are fed table scraps from the dining room after “their betters” have eaten.
  • They must submit to hours and hours of indoctrination and “confession”.
  • There is no limit to their imprisonment. No matter what their “crime”, they can be, and are, forced to stay in this prison for many, many years.
  • If they are “bad” while on the RPF, they may be assigned to the “RPF’s RPF” which is much, much worse.

The church will claim that “participation is voluntary”, but that isn’t exactly true.  As the church itself would phrase it to those being sent to the RPF, “It is either the RPF or we will deny you your only hope of salvation forever.”  No Scientologist would see that as any kind of choice at all.

The Church of Scientology violates Articles 5 and 9 every day.   To be honest, there are a lot more violations that I haven’t mentioned here.

Article 12.
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

At any Scientology organization, but especially at Scientology’s International Headquarters in Hemet, California, the staff privacy is invaded to an astonishing, and criminal level.

No staff may have a phone conversation with anyone outside the base unless a security person is listening in and taking notes.  There are no exceptions.

Every single piece of mail, especially private, personal mail is opened and read by security personnel.  Mail deemed “unacceptable” will simply never be delivered to the staff member it is addressed to.  This is in direct violation of United States law.  In addition, every letter a staff member attempts to send out is first read by security personnel and may be stopped.

Staff at the International Base are not allowed to leave the base without an escort — to ensure they don’t speak to the wrong people or just run off.  In general, they simply are not allowed off the base.

As for “attacks upon his honour and reputation”, if a staff member is “in trouble” (and that is most of the time) leaders of the Church of Scientology, especially David Miscavige himself, will read embarrassing confidential information from the person’s private confessional folders to the entire staff at their “morning muster” — to embarrass them, to humiliate them, to degrade them.

The Church of Scientology violates Article 12 every day.

Article 18.
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

While this article would be the real reason the Church of Scientology pretends to support this Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they, themselves, do not comply with this article in the least way.

Oh, yes, the Church of Scientology will support your right to choose Scientology, but if you subsequently attempt to leave Scientology, you will be punished.  Leaving is not your right. You will be declared “Suppressive” and if your family, your children, your friends, your boss are Scientologists, they will be forbidden from having any contact with you.  You could lose your job.  Married couples are forced to divorce.  If you complain or speak out against what you see as wrong with the Church of Scientology, information from your confidential confessional folders just might end up disseminated broadly.

Many, many people today have left Scientology, but keep it quite secret, so that they can remain in contact with family and friends.

The Church of Scientology violates Article 18 every day.  It is the enemy of freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Article 19.
Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Like the old joke, in Scientology you may have any opinion you wish as long as it is official Church of Scientology opinion.  There is no tolerance for any freedom of opinion or expression by the Church of Scientology.

Inside Scientology, if you disagree in the slightest with any Scientology pronouncement or dogma, you will be “corrected” until you agree.  If you disagree in any significant way, you will be banished.

Outside of Scientology, it is worse.  If you speak out against the Church of Scientology, you will be declared an “Enemy” of the church, and they will come after you to shut you up.  As an “Enemy” of the church, they believe they have the right, and some would say mandate, to destroy you.  Their own policy, as written by L. Ron Hubbard, says that such enemies “May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed.”

Does that sound at all like the Church of Scientology supports Article 19?  No, they are an enemy of Article 19.

Article 23.

  1. Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
  2. Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
  3. Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social protection.
  4. Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.

Article 24.
Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.

And we come back to the Church of Scientology’s attitude and treatment of their own staff.

The Church of Scientology, especially at their higher level organizations and their International Headquarters, treat staff like slaves.

  • “Just and favorable conditions”?  Not unless you think 18 to 20 hour work days are “just and favorable”.  Not unless you think constant supervision, no breaks, constant pressure, yelling and such are “just and favorable”.  Not unless you think physical assaults, verbal harassment and exposure of confidential confessional information is “just and favorable”.
  • “Just and favorable remuneration”?  Are you kidding?  No person can live on what the church pays.  Certainly no one is attaining an “existence worthy of human dignity”.
  • “Trade unions”?  Don’t even think about it.
  • “Rest and leisure”, “limitation of working hours”, “holidays with pay”?  Not one of these rights is allowed to workers in the Church of Scientology.  Not one.  No rest and leisure at all.  The only limitation of working hours is there are only 24 hours in the day.  And no staff gets any holidays or even weekends off.

The Church of Scientology violates Articles 23 and 24 every single day.

In other words, the Church of Scientology “supports” the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, except for Articles 4, 5, 9, 12, 18, 19, 23 and 24 — and any other Articles that might interfere with their raking in money and abusing staff and public.

So, when you read the Church of Scientology’s press releases about how “wonderful” they are because they “support” this Declaration, remember this:  They never actually said they followed the Declaration in any way, they only want you to follow it.

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17 Responses to Scientology and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

  1. Anonymous says:

    You're mising the point, Bill. Scientologists don't have to give a damn about human rights, because they're superhuman beings. If the poor, pathetic wogs don't understand what's good for them, homo novis must force them to comply.And the RPF is a "religious retreat". At least that's what Thommy Davis says, and he wouldn't lie, would he? Great post as usual. Is it possible to cram more deception and hypocrisy into a single organization? I doubt it. But what can you expect from an organization that epitomizes lunacy and claims to strive for a world without insanity? Have you ever written about this wonderful paradox?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This may be boring, but I feel moved to explain why people's surprise over Scientology's m.o. surprises me.When I found Scientology, I was already (not to brag, but it's true) well-versed in the world's ancient to modern religions and philosophies, from Epictetus to Bhagwan Rashneesh. I'd read Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, Protestant and Transcendentalist mysticism (I hadn't yet explored the Gita thoroughly, read Kabbalistic doctrine or Hermetic stuff). I am a good student and pretty smart, so I understood the internal logics and appeals to faith in these various systems. When I began to read Scientology books and do the processes, the thought came to me, "There is something new under the sun." I felt validated as a nonmaterial being and impressed as a student of ethics and philosophy. Duh.Obviously, I was wrong. Why I didn't connect the whole structure of orgs and the Bridge with what I knew about previous religious abuses throughout history, I don't know. I desperately wanted answers to my problems, I guess, so I ignored what was totally clear and observable.Once I gave up the hope of solving all my problems by adhering to a system, I was able to see the big picture. Anyone "surprised" by Scientology's "insanity" just needs to do a quick survey of the world's religions AS THEY ARE ACTUALLY PRACTICED AND ENFORCED NOW and THROUGHOUT HISTORY, and after encountering Confucian "justice" in Chinese history, the 500 year practice of auto de fe by the Holy Roman and Apostolic Church, the current practices of Hindus and the behavior in 2010 of groups like the Spiritual Rights Foundation, I hope that person will be disabused of the notion that Scientology is any MORE nuts than religions in general–they are just one of the recent manifestations of the ego wearing the mask of Spiritual Terrorism.Castro said, "In a nutshell, religion is nuts."Spiritual freedom, imo, is not to be found in any religion, because religion is antithetical to freedom. The root of the word itself means "to bind back." One way or another, religions profit from scaring and controling people. Period. Any "good" done through religious institutions is incidental and accomplished by humble,decent human beings who would do good in any circumstances and under any aegis.

  3. Anonymous says:

    When I was at the Freewinds as a public, I was locked up in the office of the IAS Italian guy!His name was Davide, and I was told not to come out until I paid my next IAS membership level!I tild Davide as we were in Mexico what he could do and what I could do, and stepped out of his cave!

  4. I am so happy that you addressed this. Hubbard was an accomplished liar, yet, smart enough to know that few if any would have anything to do with him if he honesty expressed his views. So he developed "The Creed", "The Aims of Scientology", "The Auditor's Code", "The Way to Happiness", et al, which were, albiet heavily plagarized, a smoke screen to conceal what he really wanted, which was something very different from what he states.Unfortunately the lying is not obvious when someone is under his influence. One a sicko would oppose "a world with war and insanity…"Thanks, Bill, for pointing out once more the need to really evaluate what Scientology is doing,and, not what it claims to aspire to.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Very good post. One can similarly pick apart their creed. It's almost laughable, everything they claim about themselves, unless very broad and meaningless, are lies.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mmmm…A world governed by Hubbardian doctrine and headed up by David Miscavige, = "a world without insanity or criminality". Bwahahahahahahahaha.

  7. R. Hill says:

    Scientology's "Code of Honor": "Never withdraw allegiance once granted" = Forfeit the idea of changing your mind = Forfeit freedom of thought, conscience (Article 18)

  8. Sylver says:

    Art 4. SO members are not slaves by any stretch of the imagination. They can leave at any time, for one thing. And that's a fact. I know. I did (and remain a Scientologist in good standing). If you think that this is slavery, you got no idea what the word really mean. Slaves can't just up and leave, you know?Art 5 & 9: When someone severely violates the rules of the group as a SO member, they are given a choice to either do the RPF (which is very very far from being as bad as you describe) or leave the SO. Not Scientology, mind you. Just the Sea Org. So, instead of plain firing people when they **** up big time (as in, steal from the Org or commit other such crimes that would usually get their asses dumped pretty much every where else), they are given a chance to make up for the damage, and rehabilitate themselves. Some take it, some don't, and a few walk out of Scientology altogether. I have known quite a few RPF members as well as the guy who was running the RPF in a major org, and your description of the RPF has a very weak semblance of truth. Just to give an example: Yes, they eat separately from the rest of the crew. No, they don't eat left overs. As an RPF member, you can walk up to the RPF I/C t any time and say "I am out". If you want to remain in Scientology, you will do a bit of paperwork before you route out. If you don't, you can just walk out and catch a cab. RPFers do a lot of work outside, right? What to stop them from catching a cab? Their own decision. Nothing else.If you think that RPF is in violation of Art 5 & 9 of the UDHR, you have no idea what torture, arbitrary detention and exile really are. That… or you are plain dishonest. It's either one or the other.I could go on and cover every other point in excruciating details, but having read a number of your articles, I come to the conclusion that you are indeed very dishonest and intentionally misleading.

  9. Just Bill says:

    @SylverI have published your comment, because I do not wish to suppress free speech like the Church of Scientology does.However, absolutely nothing you have said in your comment is true. You are a liar and a very bad one at that.Out here in the real world we talk; we share information; we tell what we know. Out here in the real world the victims of Miscavige and the victims of the Church of Scientology have told their stories.We know the truth.Your little rant, justification and cover up is false from the first word to the last — and we all know it.

  10. Sylver says:

    @just BillI guess you would know all about good and bad liars.You don't seem to know much however about honest people who simply speak out of their own observations.You call me a liar. Why? Because what I say doesn't agree with you? That's really convenient for you.Go near a sea org base and look around. You will regularly see guys in black jumpsuits doing physical work outside. Back in Copenhagen, some even walk regularly between the various orgs, 2-3 km across town. In addition to that some RPFers occasionally drive out with one of the vans to get supplies or tools. Are you really dense enough to believe that they couldn't just up and leave if they wanted to? You can call me a liar all you like, it doesn't change the facts. Oh, and what's with the "we all…"? Are you the spokesman for some league of the disgruntled ex-scientologists? Figures…

  11. Just Bill says:

    @SylverI called you a liar, because that's the normal label for someone who lies.What is the basis for my article? Hundreds of first-hand accounts from those who have escaped the Int. Base in Hemet, thousands of first-hand accounts from those who have experienced the Church of Scientology's abuses, lies, fraud and criminal acts.What is the basis for your claims? Tommy Davis. That's it. The official Church of Scientology's line is total denial of what thousands of ex-churchies and ex-Scientologists have disclosed.The Church of Scientology violates human rights every single day. The Church of Scientology commits criminal acts every single day. The information is widely available. You, as a representative of the Church of Scientology must deny-deny-deny, but what evidence to you offer?Google "Scientology abuses", "Scientology crimes", "Scientology RPF" and get all the information about these human rights abuses.All you offer is denial. Sorry, that carries no weight.Here's what you need to do: Open up your compounds for inspection by the public. Open up your prison camps. Allow your staff to talk to their families and friends without monitoring. Stop censoring staff mail. Allow Sea Org members to have cell phones and Internet access. Give back the passports of your foreign workers. Give staff back their car keys. Do that and, if what you claim is true really is true, it would be proven.But you can't do that, can you? All the stories on the Internet are totally true and you can't open things up.If you can respond without insults and if you can provide any evidence of your claims, please do so. If all you can do is insult and deny, don't bother, we'll take that as a given.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The CoS abuses are well documented in books, court documents, affidavits, declarations, first-hand accounts and leaked internal documents.And all Sylver can come up with is, "Wahhhh! It's all lies!"Yeah, that's convincing!

  13. S E E Quine says:

    So, they're really trapped in the prison camps? I've heard about those, but you're saying they're just trapped or else they can't see anyone else in Scientology ever again.` That reminds me, in the Stanford Prison Experiment, flawed (and unethical) as it was, the 'prisoner' participants tried to get out by trying to 'appeal in court', even though they could just say 'I want to get out of the experiment now'. One of them even escaped the 'guards', but never did he say he was out of the experiment, even though he could have.` Apparently, even in a psychology experiment, participants can be unwilling to leave the experiment, and willingly be handcuffed after failing to get 'parole', because they are surrounded by a fake 'reality', and they see themselves as real prisoners and forget their actual lives as college students. Amazing!

  14. Just Bill says:

    @S E E QuineInteresting information about the Stanford Prison Experiment.The Church of Scientology prisons are a bit more substantial. Sea Org members cannot "just ask to leave" and then go. They must get permission to leave even after they have asked.And that permission is not easily obtained. They are always required to go through many months of "confession" and intense pressure to stay.At the Int. Base, they live within fenced (with razor wire!) compounds and are guarded day and night. If they have cars, those cars are impounded by the church. If they have passports, those passports are locked up.No, Sea Org member's imprisonment at the Int. Base in Hemet is quite real and quite physical. At other Sea Org locations, once the Sea Org member has asked to leave, they are guarded 24 hours a day to ensure they cannot go "without approval".

  15. Magoo says:

    "What is the basis for my article? Hundreds of first-hand accounts from those who have escaped the Int. Base in Hemet, thousands of first-hand accounts from those who have experienced the Church of Scientology's abuses, lies, fraud and criminal acts". I just wanted to add re Sylia and his/her claim that anyone can "Just walk out"–I wasn't even staff…I was a volunteer for OSA on a Top Secret Program few know of. When I woke up—what happened? They (OSA and the VP of C of $) chased me across the country–and the TAMPA POLICE Plus some new "SP friends" help get me out of the Tampa Airport, many hours later. (The VP of Scientology met me at LAX saying: "We know where you're going and you are NOT going to see those people".That's a fact, Jack. Freedom? Oh yeah.Why is it the ENTIRE street of L. Ron Hubbard Way is cleared within 4 minutes of my stepping on the street?I am in "What is Scientology". What happened? Here's what happened: C of S CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH: PERIOD.Love to all :)Tory/Magoo

  16. Anonymous says:

    If these things are today's manifestation of the Scientology aims of a world without insanity, criminals, etc where the able have rights too, I don't want it. I had my bank account cleared very easily of 50,000. All promises, nothing delivered.All human rights are violated in the current admin. The philosophy I still love but in its application it is lost. A coup or whatever. I am still searching for my answer to how that happened.

  17. Just Bill says:

    Re: 50,000.00 from you bank accountDemand your money back. Everyone who prepaid for courses and/or auditing should immediately demand all their money back. This would help stop the "Church" of Scientology from operating — and abusing others.

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