Thursday, February 7, 2013

The Estates Project Force

Please be sure to scroll to the end if you don't read the whole thing. I have included a video from a protester in Clearwater, FL. This Scientology organization is essentially the same in management structure as the one here in LA. I have included some screen shots of some EPFers for you from the video so you can see an example of the EPF.



The Estates Project Force (referred to as the EPF in the never-ending, acronym filled language of Scientology) is the boot camp that brings you into the Sea Org. It is supposed to prepare you for the paramilitary life of the Sea Org. You are not considered a "member" of this elite force until you graduate the EPF.

Typically the EPF is not supposed to take more than 30 days to do. They study a series of courses that teach you everything from Scientology policy to how to brush your teeth and tie a tie. The other half of the day is spend doing manual labor which includes cleaning restrooms, the streets, moving furniture, landscaping and so on. The morning consists of first cleaning your communal quarters until it can pass a white glove inspection, practicing close order drills, rolling and unrolling a fire hose for fire drills and receiving your projects for the day.



Scientology Children are taught to revere Sea Org members
as heroes akin to firefighters, police and astronauts
The EPF is managed by an EPF I/C (short for In-Charge). This person is much like a drill sergeant who's job is not only to give you your assignments for the day, but to break you down and build you up military-style. You are required to call her "sir" (no one is called "ma'am" in the Sea Org) just like you are required to call everyone except other EPFers "sir". You learn to respect her and surrender your decision making power to her without questioning orders. Not all EPF I/Cs are women, but mine was.

When I was on the EPF there were maybe 15 or 20 other people on there. The youngest was 13 and the oldest was in his 50s, I think. Most of the people who were on the EPF when I was did not make it into the Sea Org. I was 15 years old during my month on the EPF. Often times people would spend months on the EPF before being kicked out.

The EPF berthing were very nice, with brand new beds. We washed our sheets and uniforms every day on a rotating schedule. It was one of the daily tasks assigned to people.

I spent most of my time on the EPF crying because I missed my family, my parents and my freedom. I learned to be numb to those feelings and to succumb to the schedule of the Sea Org. I slowly lost my desire to learn anything besides Scientology and my ability to question authority.

I was a kid when I was on the EPF. I had never cleaned bathrooms other than my bathrooms at home and I had never had a job. I didn't know what it meant to respect your boss or even to work 15 hours a day. I had just come off of summer from school, but even during the school year you only spend a few hours studying.

This is the Los Angeles Organization
One time I was chewed out after cleaning the bathrooms in the Los Angeles Organization, which is the big building that faces Sunset at the end of L. Ron Hubbard Way. It turns out that my crew and I had cleaned the floor with sealant instead of cleaner. We had no idea what sealant even was, nor how to take it off. We had to use stripper to strip the sealant off the floor and then reseal it.

To give you even further perspective, I didn't even know how to shave when I joined the Sea Org. A fellow Sea Org member had to teach me.

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Here is a video about the EPF also from LA. This guy did it a few years before I did.

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I can remember talking to my parents on the phone once, when I used part of my $15 a week salary to pay for a phone call. I was holding back tears on the phone. My parents did their best to encourage me, because they honestly believed they were doing the right thing. So did I.

I knew after a month that I did not want to be in the Sea Org anymore. I learned to suppress myself and let Scientology take me over. I learned how to let the stoic, emotionless veil of the Scientology personality take over. Sometimes my personality would seep through.

That is what causes Sea Org members to seem almost sociopathic in the way that they lack emotions.

The pressure to stay in the Sea Org on any kid is intense. Your family will all but disown you and every Scientologist will look down on you for being 'Ex-SO'. Hubbard himself wrote that ex-SO are to be considered "degraded beings". To you it seems the only option is to stay in the Sea Org, especially as a kid who hears from his parents and really everyone around him that the Sea Org is the best thing you could ever do. You feel like your life will be ruined; that you will have no future if you leave the Sea Org.
A picture of me with my family. I miss them a lot, especially my little brother. I can't remember when exactly, but I was in the Sea Org when this picture was taken. This was one of my few days off.
The psychological torture you suffer from the separation anxiety and constantly being torn to shreds by members of the Church is indescribable. I left all of my friends and my family to join the Sea Org. I had no one and I was surrounded by strangers. I knew that they would only care about me as long as I was in the Sea Org, but as soon as I turned my back on them they would shun me. I knew that if I left I would have to face my parents who would look down on me.

There seemed no other option than to suppress my natural personality and let Scientology take the wheel. I spent the next three years in constant fight or flight mode, all taught to me by the EPF. The EPF is by far the shortest and most effective indoctrination system in all of Scientology. Never had I experienced such a quick and seamless personality shift.
This is the infamous "billion year contract"

To this day I can suppress all emotions and reactions when I need to. I can take on that same thousand-yard stare that everyone talks about. Once you conquer and manage the constant fight-or-flight mode that the Sea Org puts you in and you learn to internalize it, conquering and internalizing most other emotions becomes a piece of cake.

Learning to manage and express my emotions and feelings continues to be a learning process, even 8 years later. I still have occasional outbursts of emotions because I haven't learned to properly express and release some of them. However as time goes on, it grows easier. I have found that keeping my heart open and exposing what is inside is a lot healthier and a lot easier than bottling things up.








This video is from a protester in Clearwater, FL and was filmed in April of 2012. These screencaps speak for themselves. The video shows even more kids getting off this bus. These are the kids who are on the EPF, just as I was. I was and they are the child labor force of the Sea Org and the Church of Scientology.

Please keep in mind that a kid posted that he committed a hit and run while under the influence on Facebook and was arrested within hours

These videos exist and the Department of Justice has yet to step in and help these children who are being exploited and to prevent this from continuing to happen.




Here is the video. You can see the kids getting off the bus around 6:00.