We have sought to identify individuals within the Church hierarchy with fiduciary responsibility to prevent asset diversions and who would be cost likely to benefit if, in fact, inurement exists. Therefore, we are asking certain follow-up questions, particularly about certain individuals' compensation. For ease of reference, we have designated these compensation questions as Question 3a.
a. We have several follow-up questions which will allow us to better understand the Sea Organization's ("Sea Org's") role in the ecclesiastical management of the Church.
* * * *
As explained at our conference on October 26, 1992, the Service has a misconception of the Sea Organization. We have previously described the Sea org as a religious commitment and as a religious order and those explanations have apparently not fully communicated the concept since you are asking further questions. The WORLD BOOK ENCYCLOPEDIA defines a religious order as: "groups of men or women who live by common religious, moral, and social regulation." As covered in earlier submissions and presentations and as further covered below, the Sea Org certainly fits that definition.
In fact the Sea Org is probably more purely a religious order than any of the other well-known orders. That is because most of the Catholic and Eastern religious orders are formally incorporated or organized by articles of association. Although they operate similarly in that their members go about the world carrying out their religious missions in the employ of other Churches, other religious orders generally have property, assets, and considerable personnel whose full-time job has to do with administration of the order. The Sea Org has none of this.
You may also have trouble applying this comparative for another reason. Religious orders are sometimes stigmatized and thought of as retreats where reclusive monks avoid contact with the secular world and spend their time in quiet meditation. Sea Organization members are associated with action. This of course does not make the Sea Organization any less a religious order. One of the more famous religious orders, the Jesuits, had a similar reputation for action in earlier years prior to the Catholic Church's general decline in membership and vitality.
Perhaps it is the word "organization" in Sea organization that creates difficulty in communicating what the Sea Org is. The word
"org" may connote to you a formal ecclesiastical Scientology organization with a 7 division organizing board within executive structure and command lines. As we have shown you, even though called the Sea Org, it does not have an ecclesiastical organizing board or command channels chart or secular existence such as an incorporated or unincorporated association. In order to understand how the word "organization" or "org" originated in the term "Sea Org," and to understand the Sea Org at all, it is necessary to know something of its history.
In 1967, having retired from his position as Executive Director, Mr. Hubbard set to sea with a handful of dedicated Scientologists to conduct his researches. This group was called the "Sea Project". One research project was to test Mr. Hubbard's whole track recall by locating ancient ruins with which he was familiar from former lifetimes around the Mediterranean. This successful project was chronicled in a book, MISSION INTO TIME. Another project around that time was to establish a safe base where the newly researched and evolving upper bands of spiritual awareness, the OT (Operating Thetan) levels, could be delivered, and where Mr. Hubbard could research higher OT levels.
The term "Sea Project" was a temporary name given to the above activities and it became apparent that it was a misnomer because it was in fact an ongoing activity rather than a finite project. Another name was needed to identify this original group and they adopted the name "Sea Organization." At that same time the crew got together and wrote a staff contract for this new organization. Instead of using the 5-year contracts that were common to scientology organizations around the world, they adopted one which is not a contract in any legal sense but is rather a religious pledge or commitment and set a term of one billion years. This term reflected both their dedication to the religion of Scientology and their awareness of themselves as immortal spiritual beings who have lived countless lives and who will live again and again.
At inception, the Sea Org was in fact an ecclesiastical organization. The Sea Org was the crew of the original two ships, the Diana and the Avon River - it had an organizing board and was housed in a corporation. It was an "entity" in the same sense that CMO INT today is an ecclesiastical organization, has an organizing board and is housed in CSI.
However, the Sea Org rapidly grew and soon was no longer a single ecclesiastical organization and evolved into a religious order. Within a short time of its inception, Sea Org members, who had each signed the billion year contract, were not only manning the original ships but several other ships, including the much larger Flagship Apollo and land bases as well, such
as the advanced organizations in Los Angeles and Denmark. By now the Sea Org not only spanned different ships and locations, but different corporations as well. Each ecclesiastical organization had its own organizing board and command structure.
The Executive Council Worldwide ("ECWW") in East Grinstead, England, to whom Mr. Hubbard had entrusted the management of the church upon his retirement, failed in its duties and the Church experienced a decline in the late 60's. After several unsuccessful attempts to rectify this matter, ECWW was disbanded in 1971 and the management of the Church was fully taken over by the newly formed ecclesiastical management organization, Flag Bureaux comprised of Sea Org members aboard the Flagship Apollo.
Also in the late 60's, with Mr. Hubbard conducting researches and no longer teaching courses in church organizations, the technology of Dianetics and Scientology experienced a decline. Left in other hands, vital scriptural materials were deleted from course checksheets or improperly labelled "background information" or "for historical interest only" and the effectiveness of auditing was diminished. In this same period the delivery of OT levels was kept pure and unaltered because they were only ministered by dedicated Sea Org members. For this reason, only Sea Org members are entrusted with the delivery of OT levels as well as with management of the Church as above.
The main thing that sets Sea Org members apart from other Scientology staff is the eternal commitment to the religion.
Although there is no such "organization" as the Sea organization, the terns Sea Org has a colloquial usage which implies that there is. There are general recruitment posters and literature for "The Sea Org" which implies that people will be employed by the Sea Org when in reality they will join, making the billion year commitment, at some church that is staffed by Sea Org members and become employees of that church corporation.
But the above is just a colloquial usage of the term "Sea Org" and does not alter the fact that the Sea Org is in fact a religious order, albeit different from those of other religions.
In the final analysis, one can look at all the indicia of the Sea org and Sea org members and say it is a this, or it isn't a that, but the essential difference is the billion year
or essentially eternal commitment to the religion of Scientology
and its goals and purposes. To fully understand the gravity of
that pledge, one would have to have certainty of oneself as an
immortal spiritual being who has inhabited countless bodies and
will inhabit countless more - as did those first Sea Org members
who wrote the Sea Org Contract and most who joined later. It is a
deeply personal and intensely religious decision for a trained and
audited Scientologist, who has a subjective and objective reality
of himself as an immortal spirit, to commit himself to the Sea Org
and its transcendent goals and purposes. One cannot really view
the Sea org in a temporal plane and gain any insight into its
essence or dynamics. The Sea Org exists as a spiritual commitment
that is factually beyond the full understanding of the Service or
any other but a trained and audited Scientologist.
(i) Please describe the Sea Org's system of rank including a
complete explanation of the promotional board system, and how (and
by whom) one is appointed or removed from the board. Please list
the 10 highest ranking individuals in the Sea Org, as of the date
of this letter. Please include all relevant documents relating to
the Sea Org's system of rank, organization and structure.
* * * * * * *
Among the traditions of the Sea Org which were originally
formed aboard ship and which are carried on to this day are the
wearing of maritime uniforms and a maritime system of ratings and
There are two systems of rank and rating in the Sea
Organization -- earned rank or rating and brevet rank. Earned rank
or rating is awarded by officer Selection Boards as covered below
and brevet rank accompanies certain high ecclesiastical positions
within church organizations and the person who holds that position
automatically holds the brevet rank that goes with it. Both
systems reflect a maritime tradition in terms of nomenclature and
sequence. The Sea Organization's system of earned ratings range
from Swamper, to -Petty Officer 3rd Classes to Petty Officer 2nd
Class, to Petty Officer 1st Class, to Chief Petty Officer. Its
system of ranks (which are senior to ratings) range from
Midshipman, to Warrant Officer, to Ensign, to Lieutenant Junior
Grade, to Lieutenant, to Lieutenant Commander, to Commander, to
Captain. Mr. Hubbard was the only Commodore and there will never
be another as this rank is his alone.
Ranks and Ratings vary in one other respect - whether or not
the person is trained and qualified to command a ship at sea. If
so qualified, then his rating or rank will be modified as "right
arm" and will have a slightly different insignia with a star
included along with regular chevrons or bars and his rank or rating
will have "RA" after it - standing for right arm. This is to
acknowledge individual accomplishments in seamanship and is only
applicable aboard ship where it is of course necessary to have a
qualified seaman commanding a ship.
Brevet ranks are assigned to certain positions within the church and have the purpose of equating rank and ecclesiastical authority. One holds a brevet rank so long as one holds the position to which the brevet rank applies.
The highest ranking officers in the Sea organization are as follows:
|Marc Yager||Captain (Brevet)||Lt. Commander|
|Ray Mithoff||Captain (Brevet)||Lt. Commander|
|Mark Rathbun||Captain (Brevet)||Ensign|
|Mark Ingber||Captain (Brevet)||Ensign|
|Guillaum Leserve||Captain (Brevet)||Lt. Commander|
|Tom Ashworth||Commander (Brevet)||Petty Officer 1st Class|
|Ken Delderfield||Commander (Brevet)||Ensign|
|John Eastment||Commander (Brevet)||Lieutenant|
|Cherie Eves||Commander (Brevet)||Warrant Officer|
|Greg Hughes||Commander (Brevet)||Midshipman|
|Diana Hubbard||Commander (Brevet)||Midshipman|
|Katherine Lemmer||Commander (Brevet)||Petty officer 3rd class|
|William Lindstein||Commander (Brevet)||Warrant Officer|
|Pablo Lobato||Commander (Brevet)||Chief Petty Officer|
|Myles Mellor||Commander (Brevet)||Chief Petty Officer|
|Ron Miscavige||Commander (Brevet)||Midshipman|
|Amy Mortland||Commander (Brevet)||Midshipman|
|Sherry Murphy||Commander (Brevet)||Petty Officer 3rd Class|
|Ellen Prager||Commander (Brevet)||Chief Petty Officer|
|Cathy Rinder||Commander (Brevet)||Warrant Officer|
|Mike Rinder||Commander (Brevet)||Ensign|
|Norman Starkey||Commander RA||Commander RA|
|Barbara Tompkins||Commander (Brevet)||Ensign|
|Jens Urhskov||Commander (Brevet)||Warrant Officer|
|Kurt Wetland||Commander (Brevet)||Midshipman|
|Barbara Widmore||Commander (Brevet)||Petty Officer 3rd Class|
While rank is an honor and is accorded prestige and respect within the Sea Organization, it is separate and distinct from the level of authority one has in the Church hierarchy. Relationships wherein a person of lower earned rank is in a senior capacity to one holding a higher earned rank are not uncommon in the Church hierarchy. For example, a member of the Sea organization might work at the Advanced Organization in Denmark for a number of years and attain a very high rank and position. He might thereafter transfer to a more senior Church organization, such as the FSO, and hold a junior position there. He would retain the rank that he earned in Denmark and his senior at the FSO might hold a lower earned rank. His rank does not entitle him to a senior position in the ecclesiastical hierarchy. However, the fact that one has served in the sea org for a long time and has earned rank will result in deference and respect - no matter one's position in an organization.
Brevet ranks are designed in part to resolve the inconsistency between ecclesiastical position/authority and rank - at least for the uppermost positions in a Church organization.
Earned ranks and ratings are awarded to Sea Org members by Officer Selection Boards ("OSB"). OSBs are usually made up of senior officers in a location where there are one or more churches or organizations of Scientology which are staffed by Sea org members. These officers have their own posts; the OSB is extra-curricular to their normal duties. They meet every few months to consider applications for promotion that have accumulated since their last meeting. The composition of a particular OSB may vary somewhat depending on who is available to fulfill this function at any given time.
Enclosed at exhibits III-3-A, III-3-B and III-3-C are the key issues that explain the OSB and promotion system and specify the composition of the OSBs at various locations. As can be seen from these issues, the composition of various OSBs is determined by whoever is holding certain posts at any given time. For example, if one is the Commanding Officer of a CLO, he is an ex-officio member of that Continental OSB; if one is the Qualifications Secretary of the International Training org, one is an ex-officio member of the Flag OSB; if one is the Sea Org Image Officer in CHO INT, one is an ex-officio member of the INT OSB and so forth.
Typically, a member of the Sea organization who feels deserving of promotion by reason of performance, advancement within the religion through training and auditing, and longevity, applies for such to his local continental OSB. These applications are also originated by church executives on behalf
of deserving juniors. Applications are then approved or rejected by the local OSB.
If an application is approved by the local OSB at an continental Sea Org location, it is forwarded to Flag in Los Angeles where it is considered by the Flag OSB. The Flag OSB also acts as the local OSB for any promotion applications within this middle management echelon.
Any approved promotion applications from the Flag OSB, for both continental areas and for Flag middle management level promotions, are then forwarded to the Int OSB at CMO INT for approval. The Int OSB also acts as the local OSH for international management. All decisions by the INT OSB are final and approved applications are sent back to the Flag OSB or the local OSB for the promotion to be effected.
RTC maintains its own OSB for its own staff. It is composed of the members of the RTC Executive Council.
Promotions are awarded at local quarterly Ranks and Ratings Ceremonies. At a Ranks and Ratings Ceremony promotions and other honors are awarded. This includes insignia in the form of ribbons which signify a Sea Org member's participation in some historic accomplishment: It also includes the awarding of ornamental throwing knives and naval dirks for extraordinary accomplishment. These are a sea tradition and are worn only with full dress uniforms thereafter, typically at similar such ceremonies.
One of the quarterly Ranks and Ratings Ceremonies falls an or close to August l2th, the anniversary date of the Sea Organization, and which is celebrated by its members as a religious holiday. On this occasion all of the Sea Org members in an area, regardless of which church corporation they are in, gather together for the ceremony and then spend the rest of the day engaging in sports and festivities.
The above explanation and accompanying issues concerning the ratings and ranks system and the OSB system of promotion provide a complete overview of whatever "structure" or "organization" might exist for the Sea Org itself. However, none of the above has any relationship whatsoever to the actual management of the Church. For that one has to look to the ecclesiastical hierarchy and the parallel corporate structure as described in several places in these submissions.
The only other thing that could be mentioned regarding the "structure" or "organization" of the Sea Org is that there are officers' and petty officers' councils at various church
organizations which are staffed with Sea Org members. These
councils concern themselves only with such things as Sea Org image,
discipline, etiquette, events and so forth. They have nothing to
do with the running of any church organization and, like the OSBs
described above, are strictly extra-curricular activities for the
staff members involved.
(ii) Are theta any "operating arms" of the Sea Org? By "operating
arms" we mean organizations that carry out the actual operations of
the Sea Org in a manner similar to the manner in which IAA
Administration, Aps, and Theta Management carry on the operations
of IAS. Does the Sea Org own any assets, either directly, through
nominees or otherwise (e.g., the reference to the "Sea Org
Building" in your prior response?
* * * * * *
As described in our prior response and as further discussed below,
the Sea Organization is a religious order.
The Sea Organization is not incorporated, nor is it an
unincorporated association, nor does it have a formal or informal
ecclesiastical or other management structure. It does not maintain
any books or records. The Sea Organization also has no income,
disbursements, assets or liabilities. Since the Sea organization
has no assets or other property and has no secular identity, it
does not have any need to "operate" as an entity. It therefore has
no operating arms.
In addition, as we informed you during our October 26, 1992
conference, there is no "Sea Org Building" nor has there ever been
a "Sea Org Building". The reference you cited:
"Scores of GO staff responded, locking CHO INT Missionaires
out of their premises and were intending to hire armed guards to
bar access to the Sea Org.",
is correctly interpreted as,
"Scores of GO staff responded, locking CMO INT Missionaires
out of their premises and were intending to hire armed guards to
bar access to Sea Org members."