Children and teens and Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF)

Part of Tax-exempt Child Abuse and Neglect by Mike Gormez. Visit the message board.


What is the RPF?

According to Scientology "Any law which applies to the behavior of men and women applies to children" and "A child is a man or a woman who has not attained full growth." On the basis of these direct quotes of the founder of Scientology and Dianetics, L. Ron Hubbard, it is no surprise that the harsh forced labour and self-confessions on the RPF program with its social isolation and a maximum of 6 hours of sleep per night, is also applied to children. A primer on this human rights abuse is the following study:

Brainwashing in Scientology's Rehabilitative Project Force (RPF)
by Dr. Stephen A. Kent -- Abstract

This study examines the confinement programs and camps that Scientology operates as supposedly rehabilitative facilities for "deviant" members of its "elite" Sea Organization. These programs, known collectively as the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), put coerced participants through regimes of harsh physical punishment, forced self-confessions, social isolation, hard labour, and intense doctrinal study, all as part of leadership-designed efforts to regain members' ideological commitment. The confinement that participants experience, combined with forms of physical maltreatment, intensive ideological study, and forced confessions, allows social scientists to speak of the RPF as a "brainwashing" program.

Brainwashing in Scientology's Rehabilitation Force (RPF) - Part 3
Children and Teens on the RPF

Numerous indicators point to the probability that teenagers and pre-teens are subject to the RPF program. These indicators include: accounts from several former adult members; an internal Scientology document that refers to a children's RPF program; a reporter's account in a newspaper article; and television footage that apparently shows teenagers on the RPF program in Los Angeles unloading from a bus.

Is the RPF a voluntary punishment program?

Clearly not, as internal Scientology documents reveal. CMO ED 411 [Commodore's Messenger Organization Executive Directive] of 28 Aug 1979 says in part:

"Make it known to the children that any act of vandalism, theft or out-ethics or any crime comitted by a child will be imediately followed by placing that child in the RPF under severe restrictions" (Consultant)

In addition to the Cadet Org itself getting established there are SO [Sea Org members sign billion year contracts] kids not in the SO who need to do the Children's RPF to get them back on purpose as SO members. Currently [name removed] is an enturbulative source who has been on the lines of the EPF, SNR HCO PAC, SECURITY, CADET ORG. He needs to be moved off everyone's lines and put into the Children's RPF. [name removed] recently took a razor blade and cut X's in his skin up and down both his arms. He is psychotic in PT and needs close supervision.

How many people participate in the RPF program?

A Contemporary Ordered Religious Community: The Sea Organization
A paper presented at The 2001 Conference by J. Gordon Melton

The new RPFer then generally moves quickly to one of the RPF centers that are located in the Sea Org complexes in Los Angeles, Clearwater, London, or Copenhagen. The largest number are in the LA RPF. (In 2000, when this study was done, more than half of the approximately 350 currently participating in the program were in LA. Slightly less were in the Clearwater RPF, and by comparison, the RPF at Copenhagen had less than 20.)

What are the rules of Scientology's RPF regime?

Declaration of Anne Rosenblum

  1. No walking. You had to run all the time.
  2. You were not allowed to speak to anyone outside the RPF.
  3. You were not allowed to originate any communication, written or otherwise, to anyone outside the RPF, unless there was an emergency situation, or unless you cleared it with your RPF's seniors first.
  4. You were not allowed to go anywhere by yourself, unless authorized to do so. Even when going to the bathroom, someone had to go with you. You would also get in trouble if you saw anyone start to go off by themselves and didn't go with them, then report it.
  5. You had to call all RPF seniors "Sir." If there was some reason you had to talk to someone outside the RPF (and got permission for it), you had to call them "Sir" when speaking with them.
  6. All letters you wrote had to be put in a stamped, unsealed envelope, then dropped in a box in RPF room. The RPF MAA then read all out-going mail. You are not allowed to send anything directly out of the RPF, including and especially, personal letters.
  7. You are allowed only in "RPF designated areas," which, for me, was the Fort Harrison garage (it is a spiral 4 story garage), and the RPF course room, right off the second floor garage. You were not allowed to go anywhere else, the only exception being during morning cleaning stations when you cleaned the rest of the Fort Harrison.
  8. Had to wear dark blue boiler-suits or dark blue shirts and pants.
  9. Were not allowed "luxuries" (their word for it) such as music, seeing T. V., (at one point half dozen people were sent to the RPF's RPF for having seen some T. V. in a room they were in when they were sick) playing cards, perfume, etc.--anything like that.
  10. There is an F.O. 3434 series called "Rocks and Shoals." There are penalties one gets for anything they do wrong such as non-compliance to an order, not calling a senior "Sir," walking instead of running, missing a spot on a mirror you were cleaning, etc. The penalties consist of doing so many laps, sit-ups or push-ups. The laps are running up and down the garage ramp.

How long does completing the RPF program take?

The Church of Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force
A Study by Juha Pentikäinen (Chair of the Department of the Study of Religions, University of Helsinki, Finland), Jurgen F.K. Redhardt, and Michael York (Bath Spa University College)

A completion period of between one year and one year and a half was recommended as ideal by the director and the participants. The programme director feels that even more ideally people ought to be able to complete in a six-month period.

Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) in practice

Robert Vaughn Young describes his experience on the RPF’s RPF
24 Sep 1997

I was on the RPF for 16 months and while there were no children while I was there (the youngest was, I believe, about 16), I had spoken with others who had served with children and I even met one youngster (about 12) who had been on the children's RPF on the ship. As to the RPF's RPF, there is one and I was assigned to it. It is where one goes when one first goes to the RPF.

Affidavit of Tonja C. Burden
25 January 1980

In August 1977 I refused to perform a certain order and was sent to the galley, where I performed menial labor until I emotionally broke apart and was sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) on the direct orders of Hubbard. In the RPF you were labeled 'treasonous' and force to work 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, and oftentimes received only 'rice and beans' and water. During this time I personally observed a person chained to pipes in the boiler room in the Fort Harrison building for a period of weeks. In the RPF I saw people screaming and crying during the constant 'auditing' on the E-meter. The E-meter is a lie detector used during auditing. RPF prisoners were forced to undergo 'auditing' in order to 'audit out' their evil purposes against Hubbard and Scientology. I cried virtually the whole time I was in the RPF.


RPF children
KOTV August, 1989
Unique footage of RPF children
A fifteen second clip from a KOTV cameraman who caught a busload of Scientology kids on the Children's Rehabilitation Project Force (re-education gulag) running in LA.

Children may not talk freely with their parents according to Scientology document
FLAG ORDER 3434RB Re-Revised 30 May 1977

Some contact with a spouse or child is permitted during the RPFer's meal time or securing time once daily if the RPFer is upstat. All the above is providing no discussion of case or condition occurs and providing there is NO enturbulation whatsoever from or between either. In the case of a pre-school child contact is allowed more than-once daily during mealtimes and the schedule is to be worked out with the RPF MAA [Master At Arms - an Ethics Officer].

Note that the rules have been made more stricter. The new rules don't allow any contact with family or children for the duration of the RPF program.

Declaration of Anne Rosenblum
The Rehabilitation Project Force

The one night out a week was canceled by LRH sometime in June or July of 1978. RPFers were not to have contact with their spouses except once a day at a meal. This was an F.O 3434 series written by LRH. If they had children, RPFers were allowed to see them during the meal time, plus one hour a week, if their stats were up.

Sadly the situation has worsened...

Children may have now no contact at all!
Jyllands-Posten 14 Jan 2001 (In English and Dutch)

The CoS has given Jyllands-Posten access to the newest set of rules of conduct for those going through the RPF program. Among the restrictions are: ... no contact whatsoever with their families. Previously, RPF members could see their spouses or children once a week under certain conditions, but now all contact is forbidden for the duration of the RPF program..

David Ray
David Ray account of life in the Sea Org
City of Clearwater City Commission Hearings, 1982   (in Realvideo )

And the food that they served the RPFers was just rotten. They served all the leftovers after all of the staff on the whole base, all the buildings, ate, okay? Then, we ate alone, whatever was left over. And it wasn't very good. And it didn't give us the nourishment that we needed to keep our bodies going.

Stacy Brooks Young Affidavit
April 4, 1994

People are being held under guard; people are being interrogated on the E-Meter for the slightest infraction. or the slightest hint of disaffection, women are being coerced into aborting their unborn children; parents are being kept from their children for weeks and even months at a time.

Expert statement by Stephen A. Kent, 10 February 1999
British child visitation case

These are programs that elite Sea Organization members enter after internal 'trials' or high-ranking leaders find them guilty of crimes against Scientology. The RPF program is of particular interest to the parties involved in this case because credible evidence exists from a number of sources that Scientologists have placed children (as young as twelve years old) on this harsh and abusive program.

Scamizdette: Evidence of disturbing neglect of Scientology children?
By Chris Owen June 1997

Currently Gavin Ashworth is an enturbulative source who has been on the lines of the RPF, SNR MCC PAC, SECURITY, CADET ORG. He needs to be moved off everyone's lines and put into the Children's RPF. Gavin recently took a razor blade and cut X's in his skin up and down both his arms. He is pychotic [sic] in PT [present time] and needs close supervision."

Link to a very nice german language page by Ilse Hruby
"Rehabilitationsprojekte" RPF für Kinder in Scientology

Im System Scientology ist kein Platz für Kindheit - daher gibt es für Kinder, die in dieser "Glaubensideologie" aufwachsen keine Kindheit in dem Sinne wie wir sie kennen. Kinder werden lt. Hubbard's Ideologie und "Gesetzen" grundsätzlich als Erwachsene betrachtet und und das ausgeklügelte Überwachungs- Straf- und Belohnungssystem der Scientology gilt ebenso wie für die Erwachsenen auch für Kinder.

Sister page Witnesses describe child lock-ups by Scientologist.

Well before January 1974, the date the RPF was established, scientologist children were already being locked-up when they had annoyed L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Age did not and does not matter in Scientology, everyone is basically an ageless soul (thetan). So it is no surprise that some of the kids were as young as 4 or 5 years old. The average duration of the lock-up was about 2 weeks according to former Scientology high-up David Mayo.



Why can't Scientology behave like a decent organization should, caring for its youth? Why does it have to violate the Universal Declaration of Human Right in pursuit of profit?

The answer lies with their founder L. Ron Hubbard, who made his word into law for scientologists. Scientology can not change therefor, not by themselves, it would be against all that is sacred for them to abandon the twisted ideas of child abuse which emanated from Hubbard. If we want to see a change in the organization's attitude toward children then it can only come from outward pressure. Get active, write your US representative, politicians, media and inform your friends. Spread the word!

What does the Declaration has to say about these inhuman Scientology practices?

Article 3.

Article 5.

Article 12.

Article 13.

Article 18.

Article 19.

Article 20.

Article 29.

Article 30.

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(Last updated Saturday, February 14, 2004)