Scientology - Organization

Organization

There are a considerable number of Scientology organizations (or orgs) which generally support one of the following three aims: enabling Scientology practice and training, promoting the wider application of Scientology technology, or campaigning for social change. These organizations are supported by a three-tiered hierarchical structure comprising lay practitioners, staff and, at the top of the hierarchy, members of the so-called Sea Organization or Sea Org. The Sea Org, comprising over 5,000 members, has been compared to the monastic orders found in other religions; it is composed of the most dedicated adherents, who work for nominal compensation and symbolically express their religious commitment by signing a billion-year contract.

The internal structure of Scientology organizations is strongly bureaucratic, with detailed coordination of activities and collection of stats – or statistics, to measure organizational and individual performance. Organizational operating budgets are performance-related and subject to frequent reviews. Scientology has an internal justice system (the Ethics system) designed to deal with unethical or antisocial behavior. Ethics officers are present in every org; they are tasked with ensuring correct application of Scientology technology and deal with violations such as non-compliance with standard procedures or any other behavior adversely affecting an org's performance, ranging from errors and misdemeanors to crimes and suppressive acts, as defined by internal documents.

A controversial part of the Scientology justice system is the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF). When a Sea Org member is accused of a violation, such as lying, sexual misconduct, dereliction of duty, or failure to comply with Church policy, a Committee of Evidence examines the case. If the charge is substantiated, the individual may accept expulsion from the Sea Org or participate in the RPF to become eligible to rejoin the Sea Org. The RPF involves a daily regimen of five hours of auditing or studying, eight hours of work, often physical labor, such as building renovation, and at least seven hours of sleep. Douglas E. Cowan and David G. Bromley state that scholars and observers have come to radically different conclusions about the RPF and whether it is "voluntary or coercive, therapeutic or punitive".

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