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:
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.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment.
- Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work.
- 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.
- Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.
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.