The RPF illegal forced labor camp is all the more intolerable since this humiliation is presented as an expiation for adept’s so-called “crimes” and which is forced to accept his need for Redemption. On top of that imagined by a perverted madman, sadistic and paranoid schizophrenic guru.
But let’s come back to the story.
As a precautionary measure, I always wore a clean tee-shirt underneath the black and dirty one. Fortunately, I had a dozen tee-shirts in my suitcase. Every night after the 30 seconds shower I coated my body with talc in order to protect my skin against sweat. We all suffered from heavy sweating. I recall this young woman terribly suffering from an important infection which had been developing under her breasts. Instead of healing, the wound had been expanding to such a degree that purulent blisters had reached her navel. When I saw that infection I told her: “Here, have some talc, take mine.” She looked at me puzzled.
— “I think you should wear a cotton tee-shirt under your bra in order to isolate your breasts. That may help to stop the infection.” I added.
She answered that she didn’t have any so I spontaneously gave her 2 tee-shirts of mine.
— “You can wash your tee-shirt every night so you will always have a clean and dry tee-shirt for the day after.”
She had a sort of trembling.
— “Why are you doing this? Why are you helping me?” she asked.
With the passing of time, I realize how pathetic was this woman’s reaction. How was it possible that someone should help her? She had lost the notion of solidarity! (something very present in regular prisons or prison camps.)
To me it was just a matter of assisting someone in danger; her infection had definitely become too large to ignore it. Unlike others, I felt compassion. In the RPF, it’s every man for himself.
Among the 8 girls living in the same room I was the only one to offer some help. But each girl was having her share of suffering, each girl was trying to survive the best she could and then I had just arrived to the RPF, therefore I was not weakening yet. I could still afford to help someone…
We used to take a bus taking us to the Fort Harrison. That bus was infested with cockroaches. First, I refused to sit down since the bus was crawling with cockroaches which did not mind to step on us but then with fatigue overpowering me, I relinquished to sit down. Every moment of rest had become a priority so we all just merely move our hands or feet once in a while to dismiss bigger ones…
At the RPF “mess” (room in which meals are eaten in the Armed Forced), it was a matter of feeding ourselves the best we could. Cereals in the form of unappetizing porridges were proposed. To hold out and despite my disgust in eating solid food in the morning, I reluctantly swallowed every kind of soups or pigswills, as long as they had milk in it. The RPFer in charge of bringing the food was warmly welcomed by everybody since he had managed to find a milk gallon; I watched as he was being applauded and sadly deduced that milk was not an obvious foodstuff in the RPF.
“Muster” or “roll-call” would then take place. The shabby-looking gulag battalion pastiched military muster for review or inspection. Everyone is supposed to answer his name by “Hi Sir”. Any delay, be it one second, is heavily sanctioned. The sorry spectacle of four RPF tottering columns was a wretched sight; twenty people struggling to stand to attention looked far more as an East German extermination camp than a glorious glittering “corps d’elite” Sea Org members. I could not help thinking that it was impossible avoiding to relate the cortege of mere shadows that we had become with the flashy group in full uniform pictured in the cult propaganda magazine and supposed to lead mankind on “the road of total freedom.” Ironically, we were imprisoned and carrying the same chains we had all come to set man free from. Quite obviously, there was an horrendous booby trap I could not figure out.
The first standing order of the day was to clean the Fort Harrison stairs (approximately 15 floors) I was given a bucket, a floor cloth and a twin, in this case a very young lady barely18 years old. As we started to clean the steps one by one on our knees, she asked me the reason of my RPF assignment. I answered in a relaxed off-hand manner that since I wanted to leave the best way out, I had come up with was to violate the SO ethical code, that is to say never have sexual relationship outside marriage.
— “I went out 2D” (esoteric language for having sexual intercourse.) “And you know what?” I added, “we didn’t even have time ‘to materialize’ because they caught us just before we did!”
She burst out laughing and she told me her story. Roughly, her situation was the following; she didn’t agree with some decisions from up lines management, she stood fast and didn’t allow herself to be swayed (thus sent to the RPF). Being born in the cult, having known but the cult, perspectives projected by her towards the exterior world were extremely reduced.
— “I have no diploma, I could never work in the ‘wog world'” (racist term to signify everything that do not belong to the cult.)
— “Do you have any family outside?” I ventured.
— “Yes, my mother is in England. I don’t know her and she is ‘declared'” (a person declared is a person arbitrarily declared a “suppressive being” by the cult: i.e. ostracized.) “I don’t have the right to see her. Besides, could I adapt myself in a country I do not know with a mother whose face I don’t even recall? If I failed to get in tune everything would be over for me. I have no choice; I must endure.”
This lucid, clear-minded 18 years old young lady, with her long blond hair saying that she had no future outside the cult was deeply moving. Suddenly, I realized the horror of isolation to which every youngsters born and raised in the cult are abandoned to. They can’t escape, and how could they? They are prisoners inside of the life they will never get to know outside…
She glanced a fearful look at me: was I going to betray a confidence she shouldn’t have ever made? I reassured her with a smile.
— “Don’t worry. I won’t say anything. Well, the outside world is not that terrible you know, after all, I’ve come from out there!”
I’ll never forget her sad and resigned look. She said dreamy:
— “Yes, maybe, who knows?”
In fact, she was an Exec from CMO INT (high executive from the International Commodore Messengers Org, very senior org in the cult.) She was to stand up for me once when one of the RPF warder took it out on me with no apparent reason. She literally jumped on the bigot:
— “If you don’t leave her alone immediately I swear I’ll remember you when I get out of here and you know that I’ll get out before you do!” (RPF warders are on RPF program too.)
Anyway, the guy was nailed to the spot; not only did he forget all about me but everyone kept a respectable distance ever since. It is true that in the cult complex hierarchy CMO INT execs have almost every power. Thinking it over, I think I gave her a little hope; it wasn’t that bad outside…
The day would continue with the cleaning and scouring of every toilet of Fort Harrison building reserved to the “public” (scientologists coming from all around the world for “services”) We actually “liked” to do it since it was deliciously air-conditioned inside and frankly, compared to other RPF hardship, sponging up sinks had almost become our idea of having fun! I only feared that someone should recognize me in such a slave get-up, with a hand brush, bent over a bowl-shaped part of a toilet.
A misfortune buddy almost fainted when cleaning a mirror; she stopped dead staring at her own image with horror. Well, the poor girl didn’t already look well but now she had just turned green. We were all looking dreadful, dirty, shaggy-haired and were quite in a bad shape. The thing was to carefully avoid meeting our face. She started to cry. She just could not afford to breakdown. She was putting herself at risk by sobbing in front of scientologists. It was awfully “bad PR” (bad public relation). Suddenly one of us said with her nasal Oklahoma twang:
— “Well, what should I say? Look at me! I look like Frankenstein whereas you only look as if you had seen him!”
Everybody laughed and the poor girl somehow pulled herself together. She then cautiously kept avoiding every mirror reflection. There was a sort of solidarity but very rare and punctual. Relationships were mostly lived in terms of power struggle. Orders were constantly shouted, we were hustled from morning to evening, no slowing down even in the sun, sanctions would shower on us:
— “Take a lap! Take two laps! Take five laps!” ( a lap consists in running around the Fort Harrison garage ramp.)
The mirror young lady had a hard time to follow the pace. She would stumble over, fall, get herself hurt, and would always be behind the pack (late) and I would tremble for her. RPFer’s bosun (warder) was pretending not to see her. So I thought that she would be spared as she was obviously of a frail nature. In fact, it’s highly probable that her fall was programmed. I witnessed an odd conversation looking like bets in racecourses:
— “That one, I give her 2 weeks!”
— “I don’t give her another week myself!”
Well I will never know what happens when the person can’t take any longer (maybe she’s assigned to the RPF’s RPF) for I checked out before it ever became my turn. I don’t even dare to think about it… There were the dangerous tasks to perform. The garbage detail was particularly strenuous for the fair sex. Men would challenge us making fun of our poor efforts to get up enormous and filthy garbage cans. Some girls would exhaust themselves out in vain; I would just save my strengths protecting the best than I could my fingers, my feet, my body in general. An accident might happen and no treatment would be granted, furthermore there is no hospital in the RPF; there is not even an emergency kit.
There was a definite lack of everything; salary already reduced to the third part was suspended for the vast majority of the RPFers. So everybody would soon become indigent. Suddenly, you can no longer buy cigarettes (only unrestricted items allowed), your toothpaste, soap or deodorant… Would you allow me to stress that women still having their periods, find it extremely degrading not having enough cash to buy a box of tampax (some women suffer from cycle troubles due to stress and fatigue; same symptoms occurred in concentration camps.) At least, this is what I could experiment for myself and I was utterly happy to have some tampaxes in my car gloves locker. How humiliating it is to find oneself in complete poverty when one has given away a fortune for the cause and is subsequently working as a beast of burden! What a despair it is to notice one is reduced to slavery whereas one had come in pushed by the winds of freedom in order to align in the ranks of those working so that man would be set free!
To read the whole story, which is unfortunately too long for a blog post, click here: Story of an escape by Nefertiti
1. The decision
2. Analysis of the trigger mechanism
3. What is the RPF? What is the RPF’s RPF?
4. A Classic day in the RPF
5. An escape: directions for use
6. A goal: rebuild one self up