Beatings, razor wires and prison cells inside Scientology's Sea Org
London, July 4 (ANI): The prospect of sending six-year-old Suri to Scientology's strict Sea Organisation is what is said to have been the final straw for Katie Holmes before she filed for divorce and may have cost Tom Cruise his marriage.
Newly released pictures reveal the headquarters of Scientology's higher order where members pledge their allegiance for one billion years, the Daily mail reported.
The clergy like group is run like a military clique from the Scientology Gold Base in California which has a sniper-style nest bunker on the site.
Members are banned from having children, are paid just 50 dollars a week and can be punished for simply looking at somebody the wrong way by being thrown in 'The Hole' - two trailers set aside for punishment.
It has been investigated by FBI agents looking into human trafficking and one member claimed he was locked in a ship's hold for 18 hours a day with no food.
Holmes is also said to have been alarmed at her daughter being pushed into an academy partly paid for by Will Smith which acts as a feeder to a school popular with Scientologists.
According to interviews with former Scientologists and former Sea Org members, her fears appear to be well founded.
Sea Org is the Scientologist equivalent of a religious order and is thought to be around 6,000 strong.
In recent years, ex-members including Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis have spoken out about the brutal regime which operates inside.
The one billion year pledge is supposedly to 'symbolise their eternal commitment to the religion' but is made by children as young as 10, something Haggis likened to the treatment of 'child slaves in Haiti', the New Yorker reported.
Members are paid just 50 dollars a week and banned from leaving their base or they are tracked down by a special team who use emotional pressure or physical force to make them come back.
If Sea Org members try to leave they are also given a 'freeloader tab' which is a bill for all the work they have received, and can run into six figures.
Under the influence of Scientology 'elders', Sea Org members are convinced to 'volunteer' for punishments which can include being given poor quality food, sleep deprivation or being banned from talking to anyone, ABC news reported.
They can also involve manual labour, wearing black clothes to mark you out from everybody else - and can go on for years.
Then there are the alleged beatings at the hands of leaders and The Hole, two trailers which can hold up to 100 people forced to do group confessions all night.
Sea Org has also been dragged through the courts and in 1985 former member Lawrence Wollersheim sued for 25 million dollars after claiming he had been kept for 18 hours a day in a ship's hold. (ANI)
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