Operation RPF: Restoring People’s Freedom
I consider that the greatest neglected media story about the Church of Scientology is its Rehabilitation Project Force. This, in my opinion, is the elephant in the room, the story that no one, it seems, can confront – whether media, law enforcement, or government agencies. Because the fact is, the Church of Scientology is running virtual slave camps right in the middle of half a dozen major cities. And the deeper one investigates, the more one wonders, how in hell can they get away with it?
Sure, apologists will take exception to my calling these RPFs “slave camps.” Yet if one investigates, if one talks to people who have actually been in them in the last few years, that is exactly what they are. People disappear into RPFs for years – up to six, eight, or even ten years. They have no contact with family or the outside world. They work at menial tasks, such as making Church furniture, for pennies. They live in unbelievably crowded, squalid dormitories. Even a maximum security prison seems like Club Med in comparison.
Well, leave it to the Aussies to do something about it. I had a call from my friend Kevin Mackey, who briefed me on something they have going called Operation Restoring People’s Freedom, or Operation RPF. They have a thread on this on ESMB.
A brief recap – last year, an Ex-Scientologist named Adrian Kelsey attempted to rescue his son, Shane, from the RPF, where he had been held for many years. After a lot of back and forth with OSA, he marched right in to the base and demanded to see his son. They were able to spend some time together outside the org, shadowed by OSA operatives. And though his son went back to the RPF, he ended up blowing a week later.
Based on information from Shane and from other former Scientologists, notably someone calling themselves “Blown in Australia” (BIA), a shocking picture of RPF conditions and practices emerged, including the fact that people were being held against their will at the ANZO base.
Kevin and other Exes narrowed their focus to three names that they had confirmed who definitely wanted to leave: Matt Faye, an Aussie who had grown up in the Sea Org, Brian Curry, a U.S. citizen and Shane’s twin on the RPF, and Carol Miles, a British subject.
I knew Carol slightly. When we first started doing tour videos for the Freewinds, we had to find someone who could appear on camera as the main spokesperson. Milt Wolfe, the CO FSSO at the time, was hopeless on camera. So we did a bit of a talent scout and found Carol, then a singer in the ship’s house band. She looked great on camera, pretty, confident, good presence. So we invented a fake post for her, “Chief Executive Officer,” put her in an officer’s white uniform, and voila! A Freewinds spokesperson. Of course the problem with creating a high profile opinion leader is that they can eventually see too much, know too much, and get (as we like to say) “disinfected.” And that’s what happened with Carol, as described by Mike Rinder a while ago on Marty’s blog:
“One of the Ship Engineers was severely disaffected with Captain Love Boat [Mike Napier] after several run-ins with him. He became increasingly enturbulated and was not sleeping. He was put under 24 hour watch with full time guards and video cameras in his room. He was not handled with standard tech and ended up committing suicide by hanging himself in the shower with a sheet. The entire incident was covered up so as not to create a ‘flap.’ False information was given to the authorities. Carol Miles, the Public Officer and public face of the Freewinds has disappeared. I guess, like Heber, nobody dares ask where she is. In fact, she was being ‘handled’ under the brilliant guidance of CO CMO Ship (Sue Price) with her special style of ‘executive C/Sing’. Carol’s ‘handlings’ didn’t go well. She made threats and became a security risk. And what happens to inmates on the prison ship when they are too hot to handle? They get shipped off to the prison colony – the RPF in CLO ANZO, in Sydney.”
High-profile “problem” staff are often sent to the RPF in ANZO to get them out of the way. There are several former Int Base staff there, as well as people who “knew too much” about the Lisa McPherson affair. Carol has now been on the RPF in ANZO for three years, and every day of that she has wanted to leave. But they don’t dare let her go. Because people, and especially OT VIIIs, would listen to her. And she has tales to tell.
So Kevin and the Aussie Exes and Anons decided to do something about it, and on Sunday the 19th of December they converged on the premises of CLO ANZO to call attention to illegal RPF imprisonment. The Church, in their usual knee-jerk reaction, called the police, and the officers who arrived became very interested in the charges of illegal imprisonment, and actually conducted welfare checks. They only found one person on the list, Brian Curry who, surrounded by OSA and others, denied that he was being held against his will. (It is standard practice for Human Trafficking investigators, by the way, to interview subject outside the facility where they are imprisoned, and without any of their captors present.)
The Church told police that the other two, Matt and Carol, had been “sent out of the country.” The police later investigated this and apparently found that they had left the country.
The point is, we are dealing with serious matters here. Holding someone against their will is called kidnapping. Shuffling those prisoners from continent to continent also has a name: human trafficking. It is time to shine the light of publicity and public opinion on these odious practices of the Church. It is time to alert law enforcement as to what is going on.
Here’s the video from the Sydney raid: