Scientology Crime Syndicate

I remember someone saying they'd been locked in a chain locker. (I have no idea what a chain locker is tho, so I'm having a hard time figuring that one out)

A cramped rusty compartment where the ship's anchor chain is stowed while underway or docked. There are a number of accounts of Hubbard banishing individuals to the chain locker for crimes of varying magnitude. Here are a few.

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From _Messiah or Madman?_ Page 27 of the 1996 edition.
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The four-year-old boy could no longer cry. He had been nearly 48 hours in the chain locker of the flagship Apollo and his entire body was aching from his efforts to chip off rust. His knees and hands were raw with cuts and bruises. His voice was raspy from crying, and he was desperately afraid. He was constantly making resolutions to never, never again eat the Commodore's telexes--the most recent crime of which he had been accused.

Little Tony had entered the chain locker through the tiny manhole that led to it. The metallic sound as the lid slammed shut sounded final somehow. The space was cramped for even his small body, and he was enveloped by darkness. It was wet in there and very, very scary. The chains of the ship's anchor took on the dimensions of a monster. At one point a rat scuttled by him squealing. He was sure he was going to die.

The thin strips of yellow paper coming from the telex machines, like streamers of birthday party confetti, had been just too tempting. It had been so boring and serious, with everyone working constantly; but these strips of paper seemed to be enticing Tony to play. He put them in his mouth and pretended they tasted sweet, like chewing gum.

The Commodore had been outraged, and just the fact that this per- son had a young body was in no way going to prevent him from ad- ministering the appropriate penalty. *

*This scene is reconstructed based on conversations with Tony's mother, and with others on the ship at the time.

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From Jon Atack's _A Piece Of Blue Sky_, courtesy of FactNet:
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In 1968, Hubbard's Ethics was put into action with the chain-locker punishment. A chain-locker is "a dark hole where the anchor chains are stored; cold, wet and rats," to quote one ex-Sea Org officer. The lockers are below the steering in the bowels of the ship. A tiny manhole gives access, and they are unlit. When a crew member was in a low enough Ethics Condition, he or she would be put in a chainlocker for up to two weeks. John McMaster says a small child, perhaps five years old, was once consigned to a chain-locker. He says she was a deaf mute, and that Hubbard had assigned her an Ethics condition for which the formula is "Find out who you really are." She was not to leave the chain locker until she completed the formula by writing her name. McMaster says Hubbard came to him late one night in some distress, and asked him to let the child out. He did, cursing Hubbard the while. Another witness claims that a three-year-old was once put in the locker.

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Tonja Burden recounts her time in the Sea Org (page 246 of Blue Sky):
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While on the Apollo, I observed numerous punishments meted out for many minor infractions or mistakes made in connection with Hubbard's very strict and bizarre policies. On a number of occasions, I saw people placed in the "chain lockers" of the boat on direct orders of Hubbard. These lockers were small, smelly holes, covered by grates, where the chain for the anchor was stored. I saw one boy held in there for thirty nights, crying and begging to be released. He was only allowed out to clean the bilges where the sewer and refuse of the ship collected. I believe his "crimes" were taking or using a musical instrument, I believe a flute, of someone else [sic] without permission.

This is how Tonja summed up her days in the CMO: "I was in Scientology from the age of thirteen to the age of eighteen. I received at some times $2.50 per week pay, and at other times approximately $17.20 a week. I received no education." Tonja Burden remained in the Commodores Messenger Org until November 1977, when, aged eighteen, she made her escape from Scientology. In 1986, the Scientologists paid her an out of court settlement to abandon a suit she had brought for kidnapping.

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And an excerpt from Miller's _Bare-Faced Messiah_ (FactNet's scanned
copy cleaned up substantially):
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The old trawler arrived at the Tunisian port a few hours before the Royal Scotman. John McMaster, who had been away on a promotion

288 Bare-Faced Messiah

tour and had re-joined the Avon River in Valencia, watched the arrival of the Sea Org's flagship in Bizerte. 'I'll never forget it,' he said. 'We had been warned over the radio that she was coming and about the time she was due a cruise ship from the Lloyd Tristina Line came in to the river. She was like a beautiful swan, gliding in, coming alongside and docking effortlessly.

Perfect! 'Then our rust bucket chunters in making a huge noise and begins manoeuvering too far out. Someone throws a line from the deck without the faintest hope of reaching the dock and the rope splashes into the water. It was almost twilight and I could hear Fatty's voice coming across the water. He was standing on the bridge screaming: "I've been betrayed, the bastards have betrayed me again!" The Arabs waiting on the dock to take the lines must have wondered what the hell was going on. (4)

When Royal Scotman was eventually moored, Hubbard's first act was to place the Avon River in a condition of 'liability' for taking so long to catch up with him. He refused to speak to Hana Eltringham and had no desire to hear how she had risked arrest by slipping out of the strike-bound harbour in Marseilles in order to join him, or how she had sailed more than five hundred miles with steam pouring out of the hatches and the engines threatening to seize up at any moment. 'There was no more talk of me becoming Captain of the Royal Scotman,' Hana said.

Beset by traitors and incompetents, Hubbard felt obliged to introduce new punishments for erring Sea Org personnel. Depending on his whim, offenders were either confined in the dark in the chain locker and given food in a bucket, or assigned to chip paint in the bilge tanks for twenty-four or forty-eight hours without a break. A third variation presented itself when Otto Roos, a young Dutchman, dropped one of the bow-lines while the Royal Scotman was being moved along the dock. Purple with rage, Hubbard ordered Roos to be thrown overboard.

No one questioned the Commodore's orders. Two crew members promptly grabbed the Dutchman and threw him over the side. There was an enormous splash when he hit the water, a moment of horror when it seemed that he had disappeared and nervous speculation that he might have hit the rubbing strake as he fell. But Roos was a good swimmer and when he climbed back up the gangplank, dripping wet, he was surprised to find the crew still craning anxiously over the rails on the other side of the ship.

note (4): Interview McMaster

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