Is Scientology’s notorious prison detail — the ‘RPF’ — a thing of the past?

Discussion in 'Tony Ortega' started by RSS Feed, Oct 4, 2017.

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  1. RSS Feed

    RSS Feed RSS Feeder Bot

    There is a new post up at the Underground Bunker

    Is Scientology’s notorious prison detail — the ‘RPF’ — a thing of the past?

    There are so many horror stories about what Scientology’s “Sea Org” members have experienced while serving in the “Rehabilitation Project Force,” the organization’s prison detail.

    Among the first that come to mind are both Nora Crest and Laura DeCrescenzo separately attempting suicide by gulping down bleach, so desperate were they to[.......]

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  2. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Wow. It's amazing this hasn't come to notice before. I was on the RPF in PAC for 5 months in 1996, and was often visible to outsiders around the area while working, as were others. I know the black boiler-suits worn then got replaced by jeans/grey t-shirts "for PR purposes" at some point, but the RPFers -- and subsequent no-RPFers -- would still be noticeable by any critics/exes in the area.

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  3. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Some very good commentary in the Bunker comments section on this.

    If true, I think the internet killed the RPF. Like PTS Type III incarcerations, eventually something completely random is going to happen that presents an existential threat to the Church. Prior to the internet there could be a reasonable amount of certainty that they could maintain damage control but that is no longer the case. They literally dodged the bullet when Jesse pulled iron on them but what if the next guy didn't stop there and ensuing investigations showed the whole world the conditions that drove them to extremes?

    As others have pointed out, they really don't need the RPF as an employee motivational program - they can make things just as grim without it. Regular SO staff could be assigned to Pig's Berthing if they didn't pass white glove inspection. This could be some funky hole in the basement or other creative arrangement. A "Too Gruesome" punishment can be assigned to anyone. There are always lower condition assignments - just make the terms of the conditions assignment harsher. Pay can be cut to zero just due to a low FP (Financial Planning) or lower conditions assignment. LRH used to declare people permanently unfit for executive posts. Imagine dedicating your life to a job with a lifelong prohibition on advancement. Of course, some people eventually learn that post advancement in the SO is worse than a lowly mundane job with little responsibility and less stress - the pay is the same.

    So now they post people to Estates in lieu of the RPF? Estates has always been a dumping ground for crew that other orgs didn't want and if anyone found their way to Estates who was desired by other orgs they would be traded out of Estates in a heart beat. Being assigned to Estates has always been a kind of ongoing threat. There is never a shortage of Hill 10 all-nighter emergencies and Estates is so low on the org board they generally get tagged first, especially all those events. They set them up and stay up late to break them down. The galley in the Sea Org consumes people like an insatiable ungrateful beast. They get the worst berthing and if they ever get anything that somebody else wants it is taken away. Estates is where you send people to milk them for every last bit of labor before they finally leave out of utter desperation.

    The Sword of Damocles isn't gone, it has just been moved.
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  4. This is NOT OK !!!!

    This is NOT OK !!!! Gold Meritorious Patron

    Thanks for that post Blue.

    The hard labor punishment hasn't gone away in my opinion either.
  5. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    I totally agree with BigBlue; you don't need to have the RPF to make people miserable.

    What kind of surprises me, though, is the fact that so many people are being offloaded. For "serious offenses like 2D"? WTF? I can't wrap my brain around that, especially since so many SO, except for the ones who have been there forever, are probably kids. If a kid isn't trying to have sex, you've got something to worry about.

    When I was in, staff were considered more scarce than money was. You don't throw staff away easily. It's just too hard to replace them. And god, these days, it has to be pretty much impossible to recruit.

    Don't know what to make of that.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
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  6. LongTimeGone

    LongTimeGone Silver Meritorious Patron

    It has always been a standard response from the cult that "We have removed the person responsible for that and it simply doesn't happen anymore." Yeah right!!
  7. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Having been a recruiter it always amazed me that so much resources would be invested to that one point where the prospect routed onto the EPF but then from day one it is as though they did everything possible to make them leave. The recruitment policy qualifications kept getting tighter and tighter until they must almost be angelic. How do you recruit someone who has been successful in the wog world and has high standards and expectations for quality of life and respect and then expect to retain them under those kinds of conditions?

    LRH liked to say that to remedy a shortage of havingness you needed to be willing to waste. I think LRH liked to waste people. If they stay, they stay, if they leave, good riddance. He only wanted that quirky percentile that met recruitment quals but had something about their personality makeup that enabled them to integrate into his world. This could work as long as there was an abundance of naive people coming in through the old feeder network.

    But I agree, this report seems to contradict other reports of many people being kept isolated from other staff as they route out and waiting for sec checks for many months - presumably the Church desperately trying to salvage them all the while. As I recall the policy under LRH was to route people out within 24 hours, although I think it was generally about 3 days depending on how quickly they could schedule the sec check. This is if they just didn't lock you up for being psychotic because you wanted to leave. Hard to know which way those things could go. But like I've said, the SO is cyclic so maybe they have dusted off the old LRH policy and decided to give it a try...until they don't.
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  8. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    Yeah, I've seen it happen both ways. Get them off the base as soon as possible or hang onto them for months trying to get them to stay.

    The nuttiest one I remember was when Lyn Blair tried to route out. She was a NOTs auditor. Very pretty and also bilingual. She was one of those auditors they used for important people.

    They hung onto her for months when she wanted to leave (I actually think they even kept her on post for most of the time). She finally up and left. Her Fitness Board came back from uplines about a week after she left...DISAPPROVED. It said she was too valuable to be let go.

    Meanwhile, she was already GONE. :(

    Only in the Sea Org....
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  9. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    Interesting. This of course begs the question: What did they expect to happen next?

    This is one of those Catch-22 things. If you ask to leave you are considered to be psychotic. If you are psychotic then you are unfit. I think I know of another case where someone expressed a desire to leave and was then fitness boarded or maybe they did something to trigger a fitness board and then expressed a desire to leave and were deemed unfit because they wanted to leave.

    So once it is clear the person wants to leave, instead of just putting them on the routing form per policy they use a fitness board as some kind of delay tactic to give themselves the option of trying to salvage the person? How does that work? We have determined that in spite of your desire to leave you are somehow not psychotic and must stay - so here is your program for how to stay now that you have caused all this dev-t and disruption...

    It is at this point where Scientology excels at meeting the definitions of a cult.
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  10. FormerScn

    FormerScn Patron

    I know the person who came to pick her up. The very night she got out was the night of the Northridge Earthquake.

    SO members stood outside of the house she was staying in for weeks, badgering her, telling her the earthquake was the result of her out-ethics. Really trying to mind-fuck her into coming back.

    She didn't.
  11. renegade

    renegade Silver Meritorious Patron

    After years of ripping off org staff to join the SO, a recruitment mission that came into town put staff/public on the meter to make sure they had taken "real" LSD.

    The amount of people taking anti-depressants or psych drugs made regging for services back in the 90's, very difficult and even worse on recruitment. I can't imagine any staff being allowed to leave today for any reason, especially SO members.
  12. Hypatia

    Hypatia Pagan

    It's discontinued the way disconnection was.
  13. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    From memory it is per LRH FO that an SO member wanting to leave gets a fitness board. I don't know how it used to work back on the ship in the early days of the SO: maybe it was different then. I never sat on one. I've heard of fitness boards being done after a person left (blew). It seems like a formality that takes place merely because Hubbard said one has to occur, although maybe there is a useful documentation function (mimeo issue that can be distributed to all SO units and that stays in the master files).

  14. Enthetan

    Enthetan Master of Disaster

    I think the reason for the Fitness Board was as a "make wrong" on the leaving SO member: "You can't quit! You're fired! You are such a loser that we don't want you any more."

    "X got fed up and left" is an unacceptable narrative. The only acceptable narrative was "X is no longer here, because he was judged to be an out-ethics degraded being who is unfit for Sea Org duty".
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  15. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    Chris Shelton and Aaron Smith-Levin have a discussion on this topic (56 minutes)

  16. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    IMO, the RPF is the CofS Sea Org version of a concentration camp (like in the old Soviet Union).
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
  17. TheOriginalBigBlue

    TheOriginalBigBlue Gold Meritorious Patron

    I very much enjoyed Chris and Aaron’s video. Here are a few notes/thoughts on it:

    The people living around places like Big Blue in Hollywood, Flag and Saint Hill where the RPF is conducted would be horrified if they could see a video of a day in the life of an RPFer.

    I suspect that when the public who live near RPF bases find out about this they tend to dismiss it because these people on some level are subjecting themselves to it when they should just leave and to a great extent that is true. But the extent and nature of coercion and mental indoctrination causing people to stay is not well understood.

    The Church knows it looks bad so not only is it kept isolated from the public but it is also kept isolated from public Scientologists and other Sea Org members who live and work at the same base. Many Scientologists have no idea what it is really like. If a Scientologists wants to remain in good standing even if they route out of the Sea Org they won’t talk about it to their Scientology friends and family. Sea Org crew don’t talk about it even to each other lest they too be sent to or back to the RPF.

    There is a massive amount of written policy on Scientology’s internal justice procedures, crimes and penalties, hearings, committees of evidence, judicial recourse, petitions, etc. which give staff and public Scientologists the impression that the organization tries very hard to avoid injustices. LRH written policies state harsh ethics is to be avoided and ethics are to be used on a broad gradient scale or in other words start out lightly and use measures that are only proportionate to the situation. But as Chris points out, people are routinely summarily “condemned” to the RPF for very arbitrary reasons with little to no recourse. It had been like that from the beginning.

    The Sea Org is an exceptional life experience because it is an opportunity to observe organizational policy contradictions and insanity. For this reason I value my own experience though I would not wish it on anyone else and hopefully it doesn’t take long for people to see it for what it is and get out. Executive positions in the SO are insane because you are tasked with a lot of responsibility without the authority or resources to accomplish any meaningful productivity. And LRH rants against “bypassing” posts on the org board but the entire management structure operates on the basis of bypassing orgs and posts. There is a lot of irony in this. Many orgs would probably do better if left alone because they would treat the public and themselves with more compassion. After all, these people got into this out of a desire to help people but then they become crippled with upper management overwhelming them with programs and orders based on LRH policy and solutions that do nothing to help them actually succeed and whatever income can be used on what the local org recognizes as priorities is skimmed so much that we are left with the perennial jokes about the shortages and creative alternatives to a shortage of TP. So upper management sends in missions (special projects teams) to tell them what to do or to find the SP among them and this stresses people out so they leave, perform badly, and alienate the public. After a while, the only way anything gets done is when upper management bypasses because they are the only one’s with the authority to do anything and that authority is generally based on threats and fear instead of a spirit of mutual cooperation.

    Chris and Aaron are correct in that the RPF is extremely inefficient. It is often said that they RPF people to maximize their labor. They get no time off, no vacation, work long hours, pay is cut in half or less, they eat left overs or cheaper food, lower grade berthing, etc. But they are supposed to do 5 hours of study or auditing a day. Even regular staff often don’t take their regular study or auditing because they are working so hard to get their stats up over the prior week before Thursday at 2:00 that by going to course they lose any chance at some free time. Getting a guaranteed 5 hours on the RPF is envious. The RPF is inefficient because it often doesn’t salvage a staff member who has inclinations to leave. It often only reinforces their determination to leave so after all that auditing and study they leave anyway. It also tears up orgs by ripping staff off post. Often the people being RPFed are people who were Peter Principled to an executive level and then failed so the RPF could have the most qualified experienced people. I’d also add that study and auditing time can and has been cancelled on the RPF when something is deemed important enough so even that isn’t certain.

    The desired effect of the RPF that would offset these inefficiencies are two fold. First it serves as a “head on a pike”. This is an LRH euphemism for picking someone, anyone, and severely punishing them to set an example to the rest of the crew. One way to look at the Sea Org is that it IS the RPF and as an EPFer learning the intro courses and organizational orientation you are generally considered to be too green to be RPF material but I have seen plenty of EPFers summarily RPFed. And as a regular staff member you are basically just someone who hasn’t been RPFed…yet. So in the Sea Org there is the RPF and essentially the pre-RPF. Secondly: The RPF deflects responsibility. The Sea Org is uniquely and wholly representative of LRH’s ideal organization and culture and the best hope for mankind. All doubts, reservations, critical thinking about the Sea Org as a valid endeavor must be shifted over to the individual’s responsibility or fault. The ongoing guilt tripping is intense. Everyone must be 3 feet inside their own heads trying to figure out what they are doing wrong and 1000 hours of sec checking will do just that.

    But all this can still be done without the RPF. The Sea Org goes through cycles where they ferociously enforce some aspect of LRH’s writings, experience a huge failure, back off and then try it again later. Without the RPF I’d expect the whole Sea Org to become more of a generalized RPF environment operating on fear, guilt and misdirection.

    The RPF is in their DNA.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2017
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  18. screamer2

    screamer2 Patron with Honors

    Yes. the whole KSW thing kicks in and all ordinary human ethics are tossed out the window.
  19. Wilbur

    Wilbur Patron with Honors

    It's like the word "Democratic" in "Democratic People's Republic of Korea". All looks great on paper, but when you are hanging upside down by your ankles in some torture chamber, and are so evil that you don't wish the same wins and gains to be experienced by the rest of your family, not so much.

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