I’m back from my break, and I’d like to jump right into a topic that should irk both independent Scientologists and Church loyalists equally: the origin of the Rehabilitation Project Force, or RPF.
For the two or three of you who haven’t heard of the RPF, it’s basically Scientology’s in-house prison camp, where Sea Organization members (those folks who sign billion-year contracts) who can’t get with the program are sent to do menial labor for little food, little pay, and little freedom.
Independent Scientologists frequently rail on Church leader David Miscavige for the RPF and its appalling denial of freedom, and rightfully so. But there’s one wee little detail they always seem to leave out. Can you guess what it is? Yup, you’re right:
The Rehabilitation Project Force was started by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
It’s all in a 1974 policy known as Flag Order 3434, which established the RPF for “R/Sers, low OCA non producers, repeated stat crashers, Overt Product makers”*.
* (Some definitions: R/Sers are Rock Slammers, those who get a violent motion of the E-Meter needle that indicates a suppressive person teeming with evil intentions. OCA is the Oxford Capacity Analysis, the misleadingly-named (it was written by the Church, not Oxford University) personality test that the Church still gives to this day. A stat crasher is one who generates poor statistics, the measure by which every Church staffer’s performance is measured. Finally, an Overt Product maker is one who does not get the desired end results in their job.)
Hubbard’s 1974 RPF Flag Order dictates who gets sent to the RPF, what duties they can and cannot perform, their schedule (“around 7 hours sleep, 5 hours study or auditing, 30 minutes for each meal, 30 minutes personal hygiene”), when they can be released, even what they wear (“a BLACK boiler suit, or ethnically acceptable cleaning outfit in very dark blue”). To give you some idea of how demeaning the RPF was meant to be, LRH said that RPF inmates could do “painting requiring no extra skill,” but could NOT do “any fine paint, carpets, woodwork, plaster, wallpaper, varnish or window replacement work.”
FO3434 also listed the RPFers rights and restrictions. Among the latter:
- “Has no liberties.
- “Is restricted to FH [Fort Harrison Hotel] at all times except when on authorized work cycles in other Flag buildings. Any travel between buildings is accompanied by a Security Guard. [emphasis added]
- “Receives 1/4 pay until released, then 1/2 pay*.
- “May not speak to or approach Flag staff or public… unless spoken to.
- “Some contact with a spouse or child is permitted during the RPFer’s meal time…once daily if the RPFer is upstat. [emphasis added]
- “May not have with them in the RPF ANY drugs or alcoholic beverages, radios, TV, taped music, musical instruments, chess games, or any such entertainment or luxury, or consume such when on authorized visits to spouse or child.” [emphasis in original]
* (Remember, LRH bragged about how little Sea Org members were paid.)
Later, after LRH dropped
dead his body, Church management expanded his original policy into a series of thirty-plus policies known as the RPF Series Flag Orders, allegedly culled from “a meticulous search through all LRH writings and Church policy on the subject of the RPF”. I don’t want to be accused of defending David Miscavige, so let me be perfectly clear: The RPF got even worse under the reign of DM and his management team (which, let’s not forget, included Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder).
Regardless, while the LRH apologists may try to blame the severity of the RPF on David Miscavige, no amount of lying or backpedaling can cover up Hubbard’s original intent for the RPF: To “straighten out” wayward Scientologists by taking away their liberties, restricting their time with their loved ones, and having them perform menial labor at sub-legal wages. LRH even came up with the bit about having RPFers under constant watch so they couldn’t escape.
And that brings me to another Caliwog Cash Offer™. I will send $5 in cash to the first Independent Scientologist who can explain to me how LRH’s vision of the RPF is any more honorable, legal or humane than the RPF as it exists under David Miscavige. Post it in a comment or email me at caliwog-at-hotmail-dot-com and I’ll post it for you. Remember, no comments on this blog are censored, so if you don’t see an answer, kids, that’s because there isn’t one. The RPF is evil and immoral, and could only come from an evil and immoral person: L. Ron Hubbard.
Read the Flag Orders for yourself:
- LRH original: FO3434RB – HTML version (freezone site) or scan of the original (torrent download)
- 1997 RPF Series Flag Orders
More about the RPF:
- Wikipedia article
- Xenu Directory article
- Church of Scientology explanation (WARNING: Official Church of Scientology site link)