Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force

‘RPF’ stands for ‘Rehabilitation Project Force’. It is a supposed correctional program for members of the Sea Organization of the Church of Scientology (C of S). I was a member of the Sea Organization for 24 years, from mid-1979 to mid-2003. I spent 6 years in the RPF, 1995 – 2001, on the ‘Happy Valley’ ranch in the high desert of southern California. It is located in a remote area next to the Soboba Indian Reservation near San Jacinto, CA. This is just a few miles from the international headquarters of Scientology at Gilman Hot Springs, CA.

Offered a Second Chance?

First, I will offer my view of what the C of S promotes the RPF to be. They say that when a staff member in the Sea Org makes serious errors in the performance of their duties, rather than firing them the offending person can be rehabilitated by doing this program. They say that it is voluntary. They believe that the errors stem mainly from personal aberrations that the person has, which can be eradicated by application of the practices of Scientology.

I take issue with this description. It is not voluntary. When I began the RPF program in 1995, I was a true believer. I believed that Scientology offered the only road to salvation for all people and that it was the only thing in the world that could save mankind from a horrible demise. I no longer hold these beliefs, but none-the-less, that is what I thought at the time. Anyone in the Sea Org holds similar beliefs. Otherwise, they would not sign a billion-year contract and give up many personal liberties in order to live the tightly controlled and highly disciplined life of a Sea Org member. So, had I refused to do the RPF program (it is not like you are asked if you want to do it), there would have been serious consequences, or so I thought. When one declines the ‘chance’ to do the program, the only alternative is to leave the Sea Org, either by a long and involved ‘routing out’ procedure, or by possibly escaping. And I am not using the word ‘escaping’ lightly.