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The Sea Org – They’re coming for your children

July 27, 2009

In the Middle Ages, families would often give a child to the church, to become a priest or a nun. It was considered a mark of piety.

Many Scientologists have given sons and daughters to their Church – their children have joined the Sea Org. They are proud of their Sea Org children and, yes, it doesn’t hurt the parents’ Eligibility.

But there’s a darker side of Sea Org recruitment, recently the subject of a thread on Ex-Scientologist Message Board. Here are some of the stories that were posted.

1. “I had two very good friends who were mothers of 13 year old girls. Both of them were presented with a scenario where Sea Org Recruiters had contacted their minor children directly to get them interested in quitting school and joining the Sea Org. By the time their parents heard about it, the kids had already signed. The parents were desperate. They were told – in one case by David Miscaige himself – that the kids would stay in Los Angeles and they could be visited any time. In both cases the kids were shipped off to Flag in Florida and one even went to Europe to work in the RTC. These mothers were desperate, and had been threatened with declare if they interfered.”

2. “I was at Flag when one of the OT VIIs was getting major Ethics handling because she didn’t want her 16 year old son to join the SO, it was horrible for her. Her son wanted to join the SO but didn’t understand what it would mean, she (the OT VII) got assigned Treason for being CI when she tried to explain it to him. She was crying and explaining to me about all the dreams she’d had for her son, all gone in the moment he signed an SO contract.”

3. “I went through a similar situation with my 13 years old daughter. I was still on lines then and on course. One day, an SO member saw my daughter without me knowing, of course, and convinced her to join the SO! She would of been 600 miles away from me and since I have been in the SO I know how it is. Who would take care of her, who would make sure she is safe? It is not what they tell her it will be. I know. Been there. I got SO upset. I got into a fight with my daughter and I told her. You are not 18! I am your parent and I say NO. Than someone called me at home to tell me I was out ethics, had CI. All that bullshit. I told her she could say whatever she wanted, I was her mom, she was under aged and I refused to let her go.”

4. “The daughter of a very close friend was being recruited for SO when she was 15. Several of her friends had already joined so they were being used to recruit her. However, her mom refused to sign the parental consent form because she thought the daughter was only joining to be with her friends (which she was) and didn’t really understand what the commitment meant (which she didn’t), wasn’t ready to make such a life-altering decision (which is why parental permission is required to begin with), and wanted the daughter to finish school. Mom said finish school, give this decision some thought, and if you still want to join when you are 18 you’ll have my blessings. Seems like a perfectly reasonable stance for a parent to take when looking out for their children, given of course a belief in Scientology. Unfortunately, the CO of CC Int where she was being recruited didn’t see it that way so threatened the mom with declare for being CI to the purpose of the SO.”

There are many, many more such stories. So that is how they work. They prey on underage children. They call them in to a room, without their parents, and with two or three or four Sea Org recruiters. They hammer them, sometimes for hours, with stories about the horrors of the “wog world” – drugs and violence – and the glories of the Sea Org. They are told how wonderful Sea Org life will be. They are told that “all their friends are joining.” They get them to sign a Sea Org contract without their parents knowledge, and then, when the parents object, they tell them that they are “CI” and “out-ethics” and if they continue to object, they will be declared. So the parents buckle, most of them. Except for one guy I know who slammed Dave Petit up against a wall at CC and told him to stay away from his children.

But most buckle. Most go along with it and allow their children to go off to the Sea Org. If they had any idea what was in store for their children, they would do anything to prevent it. Unfortunately, it’s only after they leave that you read the horror stories.

Here’s some facts, from former Sea Org insiders.

The Sea Org says they will appoint a “guardian” for your child, and that person will take care of them. And so you sign over your guardianship rights. What you don’t know: that “guardian” will rarely see your child.

The Sea Org claims your child will continue their education. Not really. They may fulfill a legal requirement for a high school education, but it will be the minimum they can get away with. And any study will be in addition to a long, long work day.

You child will have no life outside the Sea Org. They will work every waking hour, with 2 1/2 hours for study. They will have no social life. They will have no hobbies or outside interests.

Your letters to them will be opened. If there is anything critical in them, they will be hauled in to Ethics. They may get a PTS handling. Any letters to you are read by Sea org Security people before they are sealed. Anything critical of Sea Org life in the slightest will be rewritten. This is why their letters sound the way they do – a bland, “everything is fine” with no details.

You’ll find it hard to reach them by phone. You will be put on hold. You will be told they cannot be located. If you should manage to reach them, your conversation with them will be monitored, without you knowing it, by Security personnel. You may be put on a speaker phone.

Your child will work long, long hours and get little sleep. They will have constant pressure, threats, and, in some cases, physical abuse. They will be paid about 40 cents an hour. With their meager pay they will have to buy their own toiletries and any clothing that is not Sea org uniforms.

Relationships are forbidden, and marriage is discouraged. If your child is discovered to be spending too much time with a member of the opposite sex (i.e. mealtimes), they risk being sent to the RPF. If your daughter by some miracle manages to get married and gets pregnant, she will be forced to have an abortion.

Visits will be rare and short, if at all. They will miss family events, weddings and funerals.

Is this really the life you want for your child? If not, tell the Sea Org recruiters to back off.

And if they’re already in? Well, see the page called “Leaving the SO.”

  1. Just Me permalink
    May 17, 2010 3:33 am


    I just read this and decided to comment, upon realizing no one had done so yet.

    Since July 2009 — when you started your blog — s0 much has changed here at your blog. Today two long-time Scientologists announced their CoS resignations on your blog. And your post preceding today’s resignation announcements generated 109 (!) comments.

    You’ve made a real difference here, Jeff, a real good difference!

    Just Me

  2. Mary Lee permalink
    December 13, 2010 4:23 pm

    I have experienced this too, but I was one of the parents that REFUSED to let go my grammar school child. I was investigated, almost sec checked on the emeter, I was considered an enemy of scientology for not giving my child…I was slandered all over the “scientology” community, which is illegal per church policy. No one helped me, not even her father, or grandmother for that matter. I was written up by a high up person a Lt Commander CO SMI EUS. Others I told the story to, just looked at me with sympathy, cause it’s something every scientologist parent goes through now and again in the church. That was the attitude, you just have to put up with it. And they were parents that DID let go their child. And the child came home totally in debt for the courses they had to take.

    BTW, it’s not a church, there’s no sunday worship, it’s like an expensive college, we werent even involved in ‘services’, for one reason or another.

    At that time my husband was on staff part time, 3 nights a week, in a little mission. That LT Comm CO SMI EUS saw my kid, she asked about the fruit salad on his MILITARY UNIFORM. That was all she did, she didnt want to be in the sea org. How could she? She didnt even know what scientology was. But he wanted her. I wouldnt be suprized if he was a pedifile. Why was he attacking me so much in a report? He had to take me down cause I knew of a serious outpt going on and reported it.

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