Woman “imprisoned” on Scientology cruise ship for 12 years

Falldog

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#1
For most people, an extended stay aboard a luxury cruise liner sounds like a dream vacation.

But Valeska Paris says she was held against her will aboard the Scientology cruise ship "Freewinds" for more than a decade. During her stay on the vessel, she alleges, she was forced into hard labor and never allowed to leave the ship without an escort.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC News) Lateline program, Paris claims that Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige sent her to the ship when she was 18 in order to prevent her family from pulling her out of the organization.

"I was basically hauled in and told that my mum had attacked the church and that I needed to disconnect from her because she was suppressive," she said. "He decided the ship, and I found out two hours before my plane left, I was woken up in the morning and I was sent to the ship for 'two weeks.' "

Paris was born into a Scientology family, but her mother quit the group after her husband committed suicide, blaming Scientology for coercing him out of a self-made personal fortune of more than a million dollars.

Instead of the promised two week stay, Paris found herself unable to leave the ship without an official Scientology escort and was often forced into hard labor on the lower levels of the ship for stretches as long as two full days. "It's hot, it's extremely loud, it's smelly, it's not nice. I was sent down there at first for 48 hours straight on almost no sleep and I had to work by myself," she said.

So, why didn't Paris simply escape from the ship when it would take port? The Freewinds has a relatively small sailing route, traveling throughout the Caribbean and occasionally docking at small islands.

"I did not want to be there, I made it clear I did not want to be there and that was considered bad ethics, meaning it was considered not right," she said. "They take your passport when you go on the ship and you're in the middle of an island. So it's a bit hard [to escape] and by that time I was 18, I'd been in Scientology my whole life, it's not like I knew how to escape," she said.

The Church of Scientology calls Paris' claims false but declined ABC requests to make church officials available for interviews for the story. The church, which has a well-known litigious history, threatened Lateline with legal action for taking part in an alleged breach of confidentiality between Paris and the church. In a statement, the Church of Scientology said Ms Paris' claims were false.

"She certainly wasn't 'forced' to be there. She was also never forced to perform labor in the engine room," the statement said. "The Freewinds is a wonderful place, as even Valeska said on numerous occasions. Her allegation that she could only leave the ship with an escort is totally false."
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sidesho...ientology-cruise-ship-12-years-145114448.html
 

Norm Stansfield

私は亀が好きだ。
Mar 17, 2009
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#2
It's not kidnapping if you can leave but "don't know how".
 
Dec 8, 2004
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#3
That's a relatively small ship...



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freewinds
The Freewinds is the exclusive training center for OT VIII (Operating Thetan Level 8), the highest level of Scientology and the last of the published OT levels. Members of the Church of Scientology who have reached the highest levels must receive their training on the Freewinds, as the Church does not deliver this service anywhere else.[18]
Besides the OT VIII training, the Freewinds is used for delivering lower-level classes and auditing services. She is also used as a recreational vessel for Scientologists, including celebrities such as Tom Cruise.[citation needed] The ship hosts a "Freewinds Maiden Voyage" each July as an "OT Summit" for high-ranking Scientologists at which Scientology accomplishments and plans for the future are publicly celebrated.[19]
A significant portion of the ship is given over to its use as a religious retreat for Scientologists. As well as various course rooms and a library of L. Ron Hubbard books, the Freewinds has areas given over to the Religious Technology Center, Sea Org and International Association of Scientologists. As is common practice in other Scientology organizations, the ship also has an "LRH Office" symbolically set aside for L. Ron Hubbard's use.
 

ruckstande

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Apr 2, 2005
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#7
That looks like one of those Mediterranean cruise ships that capsize all of the time.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
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#8
hmmmm want to bet that she was a trust funder, they let her go when the trust money ran out.
 

kloraferm

Humor is reason gone mad
Sep 6, 2002
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#9
I wonder if this will affect the new Mission Impossible movie. Lord knows he's done enough the past few years to fuck up whatever good name they might've had.
 

whiskeyguy

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#10
Paris was born into a Scientology family, but her mother quit the group after her husband committed suicide, blaming Scientology for coercing him out of a self-made personal fortune of more than a million dollars.
Alright, now we're just throwing the word "fortune" around.
 

Motor Head

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#12
Why can't you Muslims go after the Scientology Regime for awhile? We will send you free goat cookies if you do.

Sincerely, The Jews
 

kloraferm

Humor is reason gone mad
Sep 6, 2002
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#13
Is Scientology really that much more absurd, concept-wise than nearly every other religion? I mean sure, it probably makes just as much sense to believe in comic book characters, but really... if you just add a few thousand years, how much difference are we really looking at?
 

Stormrider666

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Mar 19, 2005
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#14
Is Scientology really that much more absurd, concept-wise than nearly every other religion? I mean sure, it probably makes just as much sense to believe in comic book characters, but really... if you just add a few thousand years, how much difference are we really looking at?
There is no difference.
 

Creasy Bear

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#15
Is Scientology really that much more absurd, concept-wise than nearly every other religion? I mean sure, it probably makes just as much sense to believe in comic book characters, but really... if you just add a few thousand years, how much difference are we really looking at?
Well, to be fair, the founders of most other religions weren't quoted saying things like...

"You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

L Ron Hubbard
A letter to his wife Polly (October 1938)
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#16
Well, to be fair, the founders of most other religions weren't quoted saying things like...

"You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

L Ron Hubbard
A letter to his wife Polly (October 1938)
Seriously. People are alive that have heard the guy admit the whole thing was a fraud. Come back in 2000 years if you want to make the claim that they're all the same.
 

Motor Head

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#17
COS used to be a lot scarier back when their 'Fair Game' was up and running full speed. The last good thing I think Anonymous did was bring a lot of shit to light about it being a cult.
 

JonBenetRamsey

well shit the bed
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#18
Well, to be fair, the founders of most other religions weren't quoted saying things like...

"You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion."

L Ron Hubbard
A letter to his wife Polly (October 1938)
yea and people are fucking dumb.