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Title Scientology - The Ex-Files [video]

Scientology: The Ex-Files [video] ABC Australia s reporter Quentin McDermott talks to men and women who were members of an elite unit inside the Church in Australia and the United States. They explain why they joined, how they worked tirelessly for Scientology, and how, in some cases, they were pressured, and pressured others, to hand over hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Church. View the complete 44 minute documentary online option to watch segments only available. Transcript (On screen: Cars passing big blue building with Scientology sign ) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT, REPORTER: Many religions claim to hold the key to man s salvation. Scientology is no exception. TOMMY DAVIS: The most fundamental explanation as regards Scientology s basic beliefs is that man is basically good, and that the individual s a spiritual being; that you ve lived before and you ll live again and that your capabilities are infinite, if not yet fully realised. JOHN TRAVOLTA (in Haiti): We have the ability to actually help make a difference in the situation in Haiti, and I just can t see not using this plane to help. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But behind the church s high celebrity profile and pious exterior lies a leadership at war with its real and perceived enemies. They include a growing band of former Scientologists and any media, like Four Corners, that dares to report their grievances. (On screen: car pulls away in a hurry) MARC HEADLEY: That was a private investigator who s been following us all night long. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: In recent months, a storm has erupted around Scientology. In Australia and overseas, the church stands accused of breaking the law and destroying families. Its critics are growing in strength and numbers, openly challenging the church over how it treats its adherents and punishes them. JOE REAICHE, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: It s a slave camp; there s no question about it cause people are definitely abused. HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: People were thrown overboard, hands bound and feet bound and blindfolded; you know, women of 55 years old. LIZ ANDERSON, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: I was angry, don t get me wrong. If I could have gone up there and king hit the very individual who assigned my daughter to scrubbing out a dumpster, I would have been there. (On screen: montage of ex-Scientologists in their church uniform). QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Tonight on Four Corners, former members of the church who say they ve suffered enough shine a light on the dark side of Scientology. (On screen text: Scientology The Ex-Files) In 1968, a British camera crew caught up with an eccentric middle-aged captain on his boat the Royal Scotman. The American was L Ron Hubbard, and he had made a name for himself as the founder of Scientology. (Excerpt of archival news footage of L Ron Hubbard on his boat) L RON HUBBARD, SCIENTOLOGY FOUNDER: The subject� the name means scio , which means knowing how to know in the fullest sense of the word, ology which is study of. So it is actually study of knowingness; that is what the word itself means. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (Voiceover): When this interview was filmed, Hubbard was in trouble with authorities around the world. In the United States, the tax authorities were after him, and his followers stood accused of practising mind-control techniques. REPORTER (to Hubbard): Do you ever think that you might be quite mad? L RON HUBBARD: Oh yes. The one man in the world who never believes he s mad is the madman. REPORTER (archival footage): These are no ordinary seamen; their allegiance and devotion to the mysterious man is total. To them he is my commodore . QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Hubbard was on the run, moving from port to port, and had surrounded himself with a core of young and loyal Scientologists. He called them the Sea Organisation, or Sea Org. (End of excerpts) HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD: I was one of about 10 or 15 people who was invited, being the highest trained. (On screen: Photo of Hana Eltringham Whitfield in naval uniform) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Hana Eltringham Whitfield was an early member of Sea Org, and Hubbard rewarded her loyalty by appointing her captain of two ships. She remembers him as a complex, contradictory figure. HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD: He appeared a quite distinguished normal looking person middle aged person. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Did you and your fellow adherents in the church see him as some kind of saviour? HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD: Very definitely, yes. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But there was a dark side to L Ron Hubbard. Behind the jovial smile lay a taste for extreme forms of discipline. (To Hana Eltringham Whitfield) How were people treated on those ships if they misbehaved or if they transgressed? HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD: Abominably. I mean looking back, I, you know, I deeply regret my� even my fringe participation in some of the things that went on, and I m ashamed of some of them. People were thrown overboard hands bound and feet bound and blindfolded; you know, women of 55 years old, you know for� for� for running a process incorrectly a counselling technique incorrectly in a� in an auditing session, you know. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: These people would be rescued, but Hubbard exercised absolute authority over his crews, and those who crossed him risked being consigned to a punishment group he called the RPF; the Rehabilitation Project Force. HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD: They were dressed in rags; they were filthy. They weren t even allowed to bathe except maybe once a week and their food would be served to them in slop buckets, and they would eat out of those slop buckets on the deck with their hands, you know. And, you know, looking back at something like that, there s no way� there s no way anyone can justify not saying something, not doing something. Yet not one of us spoke out; not one of us did anything. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Hubbard s culture of unwavering obedience and extreme discipline survived his own passing in 1986 and continues to the present day, under the leadership of his successor David Miscavige. In Australia, the movement Hubbard founded has had a stormy passage. After being banned in three states in the 1960s, Scientology achieved the legal status of a religion in 1983, allowing it to be tax-exempt. Now, there are calls for its status to be reviewed. JOE REAICHE: There definitely needs to be an inquiry into the church s status because it s not really a church. It may have a philosophy that s religious, but it s strictly business. (On screen: Photos of Joe Reaiche playing football) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Joe Reaiche is a former rugby league star who played for Eastern Suburbs and Canterbury Bankstown back in the 1970s. He was recruited to Scientology in Sydney at the age of 19. Later, he moved to America, and tonight he s speaking out for the first time. JOE REAICHE: Initially I wasn t attracted to it, but I was curious about knowing how someone could be better and I m always about improvement, And if that was a way to improve me to be a better athlete or a better football player or a better person, I was interested. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: As a well known football player Joe Reaiche was treated like a star by the church, and he wasn t just successful on the field; he was a fast learner of L Ron Hubbard s teaching. JOE REAICHE: I did the highest level by the age of 23. (Excerpt from DVD on Dianetics, Courtesy of Church of Scientology) VOICEOVER (Dianetics DVD): The painful experiences hidden in your reactive mind are the cause of your fears. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: When members of the public are recruited into Scientology, they learn about Dianetics; L Ron Hubbard s self-styled science of mental health. VOICEOVER (Dianetics DVD): What would life be like if all the pain you ve experience no longer affected your abilities, emotions and behaviour? You would be yourself; free to enjoy life and reach your full potential. In short, your mind would be clear. That is the goal of Dianetics. (End of excerpt) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But learning Dianetics costs money. Joe Reaiche calls it the bait and switch. JOE REAICHE: What they don t tell you is that if you want to go to clear, which is what Dianetics sells, that s a $35,000 to $75,000 project; you don t know that. So there s your first bait and switch. You buy a $3 book and it s going to $50,000 to $75,000. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Some Scientologists pay even larger sums to move from Dianetics on to Scientology s more advanced spiritual pathway, the Bridge to Total Freedom. The Bridge contains a series of levels designed to increase your spiritual powers. JOE REAICHE: Once you go clear they say well forget about that, you need to go spiritually free . Well hang on, I just got into get rid of the mind, now you tell me I got to go spiritually free and there s another switch. But they don t tell you that s going to cost you as well, and there s this whole route all the way through the top. Ah that ll run you $150,000 to $250,000. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: How much did you spend in all? JOE REAICHE: Well, prior to prior to the marriage and with the marriage I would say a total between my wife and I at the time, maybe $400,000 to $500,000. (On screen: Liz and James Anderson loading up their car) LIZ ANDERSON: I ll just stack these in here. JAMES ANDERSON, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: Okay, you shift over, I ll start stacking. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: One Australian family who fell foul of the hard sell were the Andersons from Canberra. Now they ve left the church, this is their third trip to the rubbish tip to offload their stock of Scientology materials. JAMES ANDERSON: How many thousands of dollars, hey. LIZ ANDERSON: I hope the tip s open today. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: As public Scientologists trying to master the teachings of L Ron Hubbard, they found themselves deluged with phone calls asking them to buy more and more of his books. LIZ ANDERSON: We were receiving up to 250 phone calls a fortnight to buy books. If not to buy books, to donate books. If not to donate books it s to buy a second set, you know QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (to Tony Davis): It is an enormous commercial enterprise isn t it? TOMMY DAVIS, CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY: Ah no, it s a religion. It s a large international religion that, you know, is exactly that a religion. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But it makes an awful lot of money. TOMMY DAVIS: Well, the church is definitely the beneficiary of the� of its parishioners and people who feel strongly about their religion and choose to give back to it and give to the planet as a result. (On screen: photo of Hubbard talking to and parishioners) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: What many parishioners never discover unless they pay to work their way up the Bridge, is that L Ron Hubbard, a prolific author of science fiction, wrote a secret scripture in 1967. In it he describes how an evil intergalactic warlord called Xenu visited earth millions of years ago and the spirits, or body thetans, of people he killed are the cause of many of mankind s spiritual ills. HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD: I was one of the first people who was introduced to and read the materials and was expected to start exorcising these body thetans the body spirits from my body. I couldn t believe the material, yet I knew I had to for my own survival and for my own eternal salvation. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: By 1985 Scientology s elite unit, the Sea Org, was back on dry land and Joe Reaiche joined up in Florida to work for the church full-time. There, he married a fellow Scientologist. (to Joe Reaiche) How much were you paid? JOE REAICHE: Ah, at the time I was paid ah $20 a week. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Bit of a come down from your football days? JOE REAICHE: Exactly. I mean the hourly rate was into the maybe 12 to 15 cents an hour, but you know at that time we didn t consider it because we were getting fed, we had some berthing despite the fact that it wasn t the greatest. We felt that we were at least contributing to something. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Everyone who joins Sea Org signs a contract for a billion years, making a commitment to return and serve the church for endless lifetimes to come. Joe Reaiche was the go-to man when wealthy donors who were disillusioned with Scientology wanted their money back. JOE REAICHE: I was their number one boy in Florida for doing all of these; let s call it resolutions, and solving those problems. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: In 1986 Joe Reaiche and his wife took steps to leave the Sea Org. Later they divorced, but they and their children remained Scientologists. For 19 years Joe Reaiche had jobs outside the church, often as a personal fitness trainer. Privately, he started questioning the church. JOE REAICHE: I had mentioned various things that I had some disagreements with, you know, to someone like why is it so expensive, and then that person would write a report about that and send it in. (On screen: Joe Reaiche boxing in gym) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Joe Reaiche knew he had a fight on his hands. In 2005 he was summoned to an internal inquiry called a Committee of Evidence, where the secret internal reports on him were disclosed. He was accused of entering into bad investment deals and breaking the rules of the church, but he says he was not allowed to see the reports, call witnesses, or have any kind of legal representation. Months later, the Committee handed down its final report, shown here for the first time. JOE REAICHE: I went through the seven or eight page report. It just basically listed out all of my crimes. Where they accused me of things that I said I wasn t guilty, they said you re guilty and here s the evidence. But the evidence was from those reports; they were hearsay. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Joe Reaiche was declared a suppressive person and expelled from the church. But when he picked up the phone to call his children, he couldn t get through. JOE REAICHE: No response. I called again, no response. And then I realised oh my god, here s what they did . They already had me declared a suppressive person. They told everyone else including my children. I cried. It s sad, you know, it s my kids. But� you don t do that to a parent; you don t do that. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Did you talk to your kids after that? (Joe Reaiche shakes his head) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: A spokesperson for the children told Four Corners that (On screen text: Claiming that the Church of Scientology is the reason for a disconnection from his children does not tell the entire story. Joe decided long before 2005, by his own actions, to separate himself from his family.) An assertion that Joe Reaiche denies. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: (to Tommy Davis): Why was Joe Reaiche declared a suppressive person? TOMMY DAVIS: I have no idea� I have no idea. It s news to me. I actually I actually know Joe Reaiche; I remember meeting him many years ago. He was somebody that I knew personally when I first started working for the church. In fact I had no idea he d even been expelled from the church. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But once you expel someone from the church, you tell that person s family inside the church to have nothing to do with them? TOMMY DAVIS: No, that is not the case. What� specifically what you re referring to is if somebody is expelled from the church, anybody who insists on continuing to be connected to somebody who s been expelled from the church would be told that as long as they maintain that connection they re not welcome in the church because the church� any organisation and particularly a church, like other churches, has a right to not welcome in its� in its ranks people who are supporting or connected to people who are attacking the church and mean the church harm. (On screen: Liz and James Anderson sitting on bed) LIZ ANDERSON: That s the last time I saw her actually. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: In Australia, other families have experienced the intense pain of disconnection from their children in the church. Liz Anderson hasn t seen her eldest child Fiona since 2005 when she was posted overseas from Sydney to work in the Sea Org in Clearwater, Florida. Now all she has left are these few mementoes of Fiona s childhood. LIZ ANDERSON: Look, she s a beautiful girl. I mean� I just� and she s mine; they don t own her. They can t take the parent away; they will try. (On screen: photo of Fiona in Sea Org uniform) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: How painful is it for all of you that Fiona is still in the church? JAMES ANDERSON: Well, I love my wife dearly and it s been many times I ve seen her just so distraught at the fact that she can t have contact with her daughter. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: (to Tommy Davis): It s a very cruel doctrine, a very cruel policy, to separate family members from each other on pain of being expelled from the church? TOMMY DAVIS: Well, let me put it this way. Considering just in the last couple of days and on my last trip to Clearwater, I saw Miss Peachey walking down the street. I believe, come to think of it, the street that she was walking down I saw two or three pay phones that she most capably could ve stopped, picked up the phone and called whomever she wished to speak with. So if she wanted to speak to her mother, I am sure she s perfectly capable of doing so. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Fiona Peachey, who is now 25 years old, has told Four Corners that while she loves her mother she can t have any contact with her while her mother insults her religion. (On screen: the Andersons at home) The Anderson family s involvement with Scientology goes back 27 years. Liz and James were both married before and they spent their early adult lives in the Sea Org. When they became a couple, they fled the Sea Org and were expelled from the church. LIZ ANDERSON: That is, as a Scientologist, quite degrading. You know, your children are told that you re a suppressive person. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: For years after being expelled, the Andersons worked to get back into favour with the church. Eventually they were allowed back in as public Scientologists, and when Fiona was fourteen years old, the Sea Org came asking for her. LIZ ANDERSON: You re indoctrinated as a parent that the best thing for your child, to save them, is to pull them out of the school system, cause they re corrupt, and put them either in the Sea Org, which would be ideal, or in a� working in an Org; a lower organisation. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Scared of the consequences if she refused, her mother took Fiona to Sydney. LIZ ANDERSON: She s got the biggest brown eyes Fiona, and they just melt your heart and she looked at me and she d signed the billion year contract. She said but can I just come home mum , and I said to her don t ever ring me and say you want to come home because I can t do that for you because you ll be� you ll be declared a suppressive person if I take you . I violated so many rules of a parent; I signed over guardianship of our girl. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Fiona was recruited into the Sea Org at the youngest legal age for a child to leave school and start work. LIZ ANDERSON: And I stepped away. That s what you do when you re indoctrinated and you ve been declared a suppressive person and you re continually making up amends. So part of my amends was that I raised a beautiful daughter and I gave her to the church. Right or wrong, I take responsibility for my actions. In 2005 Liz and James allowed their youngest child Jordan to follow in Fiona s footsteps. JORDAN ANDERSON, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: I wanted to join the Sea Org ever since I was two years old. I remember walking round saying I m going to be a counsellor in the Sea Org. I loved the uniform and I wanted to have that honour as a Sea Org member. So I signed the contract for a billion years. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (to Tommy Davis): Why do you recruit children in the Sea Org? TOMMY DAVIS: Ah, actually we don t. It s um. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Well, there are parents out there who would say you do. The Andersons, for example, would certainly say that you ve done that. TOMMY DAVIS: Okay. Well, in their individual case fine. The fact of the matter is, is that the church doesn t discriminate against people by virtue of age. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: When she arrived at the Sea Org aged 14, Jordan was asked to give a detailed account of her private life, something she herself would later demand of other recruits. JORDAN ANDERSON: You ve had no sexual relations, you ve had� you haven t masturbated; you never watched a porn movie. You know, like they really pull it to shreds and pieces and even say you haven t had sex with an animal? Jordan Anderson was posted to the HCO the Hubbard Communications Office in Sydney, where she worked as a personnel control officer. She says she had an average of three days off a year. The job carried great responsibilities, the pay was minimal, and the hours excessive. JORDAN ANDERSON: I stayed up 72 hours once just trying to get someone approved to go auditor training overseas. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: 72 hours without sleep? (Jordan nods her head) And you were 15 at the time? (Jordan nods her head again) TOMMY DAVIS: Well, if that is actually the case that would be utterly and completely unacceptable. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: The Sea Org provided Jordan with free board and lodging here in Sydney, but her work involved long hours and once, she says, when she failed to recruit a member of the public, she was severely punished; she was told to scrub out a dumpster. JORDAN ANDERSON: We didn t have any gloves, we had no masks. I was in my uniform pants and an old t-shirt. But there was no OH&S. I mean they were violating every single point that, I know of, of OH&S. And I was there until 2 o clock in the morning. It was just putrid; I couldn t believe it. I would never do that to somebody. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: When Liz Anderson heard what had happened to her daughter, she was incensed. LIZ ANDERSON: I was angry, don t get me wrong. If I could have gone up there and king hit the very individual who assigned my daughter to scrubbing out a dumpster, I would have been there. Was I angry? You bet you. Was that going to drive me to make a point? You bet you. Is that why I m here today? Yes it is. TOMMY DAVIS: It sounds ridiculous and extreme. I question its credibility; I question its veracity. I don t know� I don t know who Jordan Anderson is and I don t know when that occurred. I don t know who it was who was involved in it or why it is she would ve done that. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Jordan Anderson s experience is echoed by another young woman on the other side of the world in Los Angeles. Laura DeCrescenzo is one of a small group of former Scientologists who are taking the church to court in America for alleged violations of workplace legislation. Like Jordan Anderson, Laura says she had to work excessive hours and was once asked to scrub out a dumpster. LAURA DECRESCENZO, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: Someone came up to me and said okay, you need to come downstairs with me . So we went downstairs and she handed me a toothbrush and said you need to clean this dumpster with a toothbrush . And I said, you� no . I said you ve gotta be kidding me? No, I m not gonna do that . QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Laura DeCrescenzo has backed her allegations with sworn statements and other former Scientologists have as well. The church accuses the American litigants of lacking credibility and having ulterior motives. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: (to Claire Headley): You re taking the church to court. Why are you doing that? CLAIRE HEADLEY, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: The� my lawsuit covers human trafficking, labour law violations and forced abortions, and� there s many reasons. I mean obviously, I came to realise that if no one ever has the strength to stand up and say the truth of what went on then it will only um continue and get worse. MARC HEADLEY, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: My court case in the United States is basically alleging that they should be paying minimum wage. That s pretty much it. That there s human trafficking going on, which is basically holding people to work for a wage that s less than what they should be being paid, and not allowing them to just leave if they want to leave. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: One issue in the courts will be the fact that the church doesn t pay its staff in the Sea Org a minimum wage. It argues that members of the Sea Org are not employees, but volunteers who don t expect to be paid. TOMMY DAVIS: We do so out of our own religious conviction and our desire to� to work for and be part of and contribute to our religion and its activities. And as such we don t� as such we don t expect a wage and we don t do it for a wage. (On screen: Sea Org contract of employment) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: However, Marc Headley says he signed a contract of employment, similar to this one, when he joined the Sea Org and was promised a minimum wage. MARC HEADLEY: Fifteen years later I was paid an average of 38 cents an hour for working over 100 hours a week every single week of every year for 15 years. In 15 years I made a total of $29,000 for 100 hours a week, every week. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: When Marc and Claire met they were posted to one of the church s most secure Sea Org facilities at Hemet, two hours drive outside Los Angeles. The facility is surrounded by high fences topped with razor wire. (to Claire Headley) What did the church tell you about people who wanted to leave? CLAIRE HEADLEY: That people in the Sea Organisation have forgone the right to leave, and that was reiterated on many different instances. I mean honestly I ve reflected since leaving and the only thing that even comes close for me in terms of living conditions and everything else is prison; just is. (On screen: photo of Claire Headley in her Sea Org uniform) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Claire Headley joined the Sea Org aged 16 and worked for the Religious Technology Centre, earning as little as $23 a week. (To Claire Headley): How hard was it doing that job? CLAIRE HEADLEY: Words don t describe it. I mean, you know, there was two to three year periods where if I slept at all, it was in an office chair or on a floor or two hours in a bed. I very, very rarely saw Mark. (On screen: Claire Headley sitting by the pool) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Claire Headley says excessive hours and little pay weren t the only form of abuse she and other women were subjected to. She says she was coerced by senior staff into having two abortions. The church denies these allegations. CLAIRE HEADLEY: I will always have that emotional scar and wounds. It s a horrifying form of abuse that goes on very prevalently in the Sea Organisation. Claire Headley says the first abortion took place when she was 19 years old. She and Marc had married two years earlier. CLAIRE HEADLEY: I had not been paid in months and I d used birth control before but I could not afford it. They sat down with me and prepared me for essentially saying good, we re going to take you to the Planned Parenthood . They re going to ask you do you want an abortion, you re to say yes . And I was going to be driven there by a staff member who d be waiting for me outside in the waiting room. So there was absolutely no option� I mean, I was absolutely cornered. This was my worst nightmare come true; absolutely. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Claire Headley says her second abortion took place in Clearwater Florida. Again, she says, she had no money for contraception. She asked to speak to her husband Marc, who was still at the Hemet base outside Los Angeles. CLAIRE HEADLEY: That was not authorised, so essentially I was forced to go through with this. I wasn t able to tell Marc anything of this until the next time I saw him physically, which was eight months later. MARC HEADLEY: That s when I found out. I was not consulted, I was not told, it was kept quiet; nothing. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: (to Tommy Davis): What is the Sea Org policy on having children? TOMMY DAVIS: Sea Org members do not have children. If someone is a member of the Sea Organisation and they wish to have a child, they would need to do so outside of the Sea Org, at which point when the child is of age those individuals could come back, you know, to the Sea Organisation if they so chose. I mean, that s been the policy almost 20 years now. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Why does the church ask pregnant women in Sea Org to have abortions if they wish to stay in the Sea Org? TOMMY DAVIS: They absolutely� that is absolutely not true, and I categorically deny that allegation. The Church of Scientology would under no circumstances� and it certainly� has no reflection in church policy to tell a woman what to do with her body; tell a woman what to do with regards to her child, her pregnancy, her family or any such thing. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: This though is exactly what many women allege. Claire Headley says she knows of 40 other women in the Sea Org who say they have been pressured into having abortions. (On screen: Claire Headley with her two young sons) Laura DeCrescenzo joined the Sea Org in Los Angeles aged 12 and says she was coerced into having an abortion five years later by a senior officer. LAURA DECRESCENZO: She started explaining to me that at this stage the baby is, as they refer to it, there was no thetan there, meaning there s no spirit occupying the body. She was saying, you know, look at how detrimental it would be to the organisation if you were to leave. Your post or your job is very important here, we don t have anybody else to put in that job right now . Just the continual pounding, I ended up conceding and doing the abortion. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (to Claire Headley): You have two beautiful little boys. CLAIRE HEADLEY: I do. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Do you ever look at them and think what might have been? CLAIRE HEADLEY: Of course. (On screen: Liz Anderson sitting on her own) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: in Australia, when Liz Anderson was in the Sea Org and thought she might be pregnant, she too told a senior officer. LIZ ANDERSON: She said well, that� you just can t be pregnant , because at that stage the new policy had come in that you can t have children in the Sea Org. I was not pregnant it turned out, but my decision would have been to keep the child. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But what did she advise you to do? LIZ ANDERSON: I d have to have an abortion. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (to Tommy Davis): If there was a Sea Org staffer or a number of staffers who had advised women to have abortions, that s something you would utterly condemn? TOMMY DAVIS: Yeah, absolutely. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: But there s another disturbing aspect to life in the Sea Org. When members of the organisation transgress, they risk being sent to the RPF the Rehabilitation Project Force. In 1978, after all the years she had given to Scientology, Hana Eltringham Whitfield was consigned to the RPF by L Ron Hubbard for performing badly in a session on Scientology s controversial counselling tool, the E-meter. HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD: I was led there forcibly by two huge men and confined locked up in a room with no windows for two days and two nights, during which time I almost went out of my mind. They do that as a� as a sort of chilling out period. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: One of Laura De Crescenzo s first jobs in the Sea Org was to send fellow members of the Sea Org to the RPF. She was twelve years old at the time. Later, she herself was sent there. (On screen: Laura DeCrescenzo and Quentin McDermott walking in front of the Los Angeles Scientology Building) QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (To Laura De Crescenzo): So Laura, how does it feel coming back here? LAURA DECRESCENZO: Ah, it makes me sick to my stomach. It s kind of nerve-wracking to come to the building. I mean, this is where I was trapped for three years of� the last three years I was in the Sea Org I was segregated from everybody in RPF. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: So where is the RPF? Point it out to me. LAURA DECRESCENZO: Right in that area right there. The second floor is where their berthing is. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: How many people sleep in these dormitories? LAURA DECRESCENZO: It varies depending on the size of the room, but there were some that actually up to 40 people in. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: In Australia too, the RPF plays a significant part in the Sea Org regime. Peta O Brien abandoned Scientology last year. In 1997, she says, she was consigned to the RPF here at Dundas outside Sydney. PETA O BRIEN, EX-SCIENTOLOGIST: You are allowed to study for five hours and then the rest of it is cleaning and heavy work; heavy labour. Remember, we were already heavily indoctrinated when we re working in a Sea Org, so when they give you a pick and a mallet and tell you to go and break rocks, you do it, and you run everywhere QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: It sounds very harsh. PETA O BRIEN: Very harsh. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Am I right that within the RPF there s a further RPF? PETA O BRIEN: It s called the RPF s RPF, yes. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: What is that? PETA O BRIEN: That is the lowest of the low, as far as� not even the other RPF ers are allowed to speak to you as in you re not� the communication is cut. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Joe Reaiche was never sent to the RPF, but saw it in operation. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: To me it s� it s a slave camp; there s no question about it, because people are definitely abused. They re stripped of any rights as an individual. They re not allowed to talk to public individuals. They have to run from one station to another. No walking, no slow pace; it s movement. What it really is, it s a breakdown of the spirit. TOMMY DAVIS: The rehabilitation project force is a program within the church s religious order, whereby Sea Org members who burn out on their jobs or are failing or incapable of or not performing well in their functions, can be given the voluntary opportunity to have a period of� of reflection, rehabilitation, redemption, making of amends within the religion, as an alternative to being expelled from the church s religious order. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: So it s� it s a punishment in fact? TOMMY DAVIS: Absolutely not. The rehabilitation project force is one of the oldest ah religious traditions; it s almost as old as religious orders themselves. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: In correspondence with Four Corners, you described it as a private religious retreat? TOMMY DAVIS: That s correct. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (to Hana Eltringham Whitfield): Tommy Davis says that the RPF is a private religious retreat. HANA ELTRINGHAM WHITFIELD: A private religious retreat? He s got to be hallucinating. Ask him what drugs he s taking. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: After Marc Headley was threatened with being sent to the RPF, he fled Hemet on a motorbike. His wife Claire followed soon after. But many of those, like the Headleys, who have left the Sea Org report being pursued and spied on afterwards. (On screen: Quentin McDermott with Marc Headley in the car) MARC HEADLEY: I m driving down Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood and I noticed a Ford F-150 that was following alongside of me. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: When we filmed with Marc Headley in Los Angeles, late one night, we were tailed by a car. MARC HEADLEY: I left in 2005 and I ve had a good four years of experience in being followed by private investigators sent by the Scientology. So, it s a bit odd. I mean, I m driving my kids to school and I have a private investigator follow me. I ve had private investigators show up at my place of business. I ve had private investigators camped outside my house day and night. My garbage has been dug through. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Half an hour later, back at our West Hollywood hotel, there was a familiar vehicle parked outside. MARC HEADLEY: We re going to see if it is the same vehicle and the same license plate, and I will tell you that� yes it is 8U2 0907. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: There s a gentleman who is sitting down now, he is laying down. (On screen: Car drives away in a hurry) MARC HEADLEY: That was a private investigator who has been following us all night long. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (to Tommy Davis): Is it possible that a church attorney hired a private detective to follow Four Corners and Marc Headley while we were filming? Is that possible? TOMMY DAVIS: I couldn t comment on that. I couldn t comment. I mean, I couldn t be able to� I wouldn t tell. I wouldn t know how to answer that. I have no knowledge on it, so I don t know how to answer it. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: This week, Australia s Senate is expected to vote on whether to launch an inquiry into the alleged abuses against Australians that have taken place within Scientology s organisation. Around the world the church faces challenges in the courts, in parliaments, and from charitable authorities unconvinced that it was established for the public benefit. Liz and James Anderson, along with other ex-Scientologists, are considering pursuing a class action aimed at getting their money back. Their own claim totals around $650,000. Last year, Liz and James Anderson finally lost patience with the church. Fiona had gone for good and they were determined that Jordan should not disappear as well. They learned that Jordan, who was unhappy in the Sea Org and wanted to leave, was to be sent out of the country to Florida the very next day. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT (to James Anderson): How did you react? JAMES ANDERSON: I said there s no fucking way that s going to happen. How the fuck does that work? And, you know, I was pissed off. And I wasn t going to pull any punches on it. I said there s no way that this is going to happen. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: After giving a deadline to the Church to allow their daughter to leave, Liz Anderson drove to Sydney and sat outside in her car for four days waiting for Jordan to emerge. Jordan says she was interrogated throughout that period, undergoing repeated security checks. JORDAN ANDERSON: They would interrogate me for over 12 hours in a session; sec checking me, you know, trying to find my indiscretions against the church. QUENTIN MCDERMOTT: Finally, she was shown the door, emerging into her mother s arms at ten minutes to midnight. It s a moment Liz Anderson will never forget. LIZ ANDERSON: I just couldn t believe it; that I had the girl. And it was a moment of Oh my God, we re free .