LOS ANGELES - A man claims the Church of Scientology forced him to work as a "virtual slave" for 16 years at jobs ranging from washing pots and pans to restoring old films produced by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. John Lindstein says he was kept "busy, poor, tired, and uninformed" by Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige at the church's ranch in Hemet, and feared that "things would get even worse if he did not work as ordered."
Lindstein's Superior Court complaint alleges human trafficking and violations of hour and wage laws at the church's "Gold Ranch" compound near Hemet, a semirural area east-southeast of Los Angeles.
Lindstein says that from 1990 until 2006, starting when he was just 8 years old, he "performed this work as a virtual slave, working 16 to 24 hours days with no sleep, no time off and no personal freedom" at Gold Base, a mysterious and once-secret headquarters that "resembles a prison camp," with razor wire, security guard patrols, surveillance posts and three roll calls each day.
By age 16, Lindstein says, he was working for Golden Era Productions, Scientology's film production company, restoring Hubbard's films from the 1970s. He says he often worked 24-hour days at the "tedious, frame-by-frame work that would normally cost more than $400,000 per movie to accomplish at industry rates."
Lindstein and his crew of five were paid $50 per week, he says.
Scientology Exposed PSA: Hypocrisy
This unauthorized video was made using re-edited footage from Scientology's own PSA for their front-group "Youth for Human Rights" -- one of the many front-groups the cult uses to recruit members into Scientology. The video is juxtaposed alongside footage from numerous interviews and news stories detailing Scientology's long history of abuses.
Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), puts coerced participants through regimes of harsh physical punishment, forced self-confessions, social isolation, hard labour, and intense doctrinal study, all as part of leadership-designed efforts to regain members' ideological commitment. The confinement that participants experience, combined with forms of physical maltreatment, intensive ideological study, and forced confessions, allows social scientists to speak of the RPF as a "brainwashing" program.