- 1 Forced and coerced abortion in Scientology
- 2 Coerced abortion: Condemned by Scientologists
- 3 Dianetics: Implicitly anti-abortion
- 4 Pregnancy and children: An inconvenience
- 5 "No more babies or pregnancies" becomes official policy
- 6 Forced choice: Abortion or banishment
- 7 Control and dominance
- 8 References
Forced and coerced abortion in Scientology
Template:PThe Church of Scientology coerces staff members to have abortions to prevent job vacancies and interruptions in work flow. Scientology staff and particularly Sea Organization members have been harassed, intimidated, threatened with expulsion, and directly ordered to have abortions. For some women, what has long been codenamed the "no babies rule" has been the "deal-breaker" that motivated them to leave Scientology. For others terminating a pregnancy for the "greater good" of Scientology has led to trauma and damaged health.
Template:PWhile the church publicly denies pressuring women into abortions, testimony over many years belies this. The church asserts these accusations of intimidation come from a small group of disgruntled apostates. However, the sheer number of published first-hand accounts (that can be easily found through an internet search), discredit this claim.
Template:PThe church has also tried to "spin" the prohibition against children in the Sea Organization as voluntary abstinence. A vow of celibacy Sea Org members choose for themselves. This is patently false. Historically, the church has often housed children in communal living and published plans to expand accommodations for Sea Org children. There is no policy in which church founder, L. Ron Hubbard invokes a call to religious chastity.
Template:PThe history and written policies in this article demonstrate that chastity has never been a concern of the church. However, abortion has long been a tool of expediency and control in Scientology.
Template:PAs one ex-Scientologist describes:
Template:PAnother Ex-Scientologist writes:
Template:PScientology is an authoritarian religion that dominates parishioners lives in many ways. Coercing staff abortions is among the most shocking. Taking control of a couple's natural right and biological impulse to have children is ultimate dominance. Using intimidation, power of authority, and threats, to coerce a woman to unwillingly terminate a pregnancy is a severe violation of human rights. For a church to institutionalize such a policy is unconscionable.
Coerced abortion: Condemned by Scientologists
Template:PUnsurprisingly, many devoted Scientologists (both inside and outside the official church) condemn the practice of coercing abortions. Concern over the church's use of intimidation and force is, not at all, confined to "anti-scientologists" and those protesting the church. Scientologists inside the church are generally unable to voice their protest, but many practicing Scientology independently (in what is known as the "Freezone") have called for an end to to these abuses.
Template:POne such "Freezoner" writes:
Template:PAs "SaintBastard" comments:
Dianetics: Implicitly anti-abortion
Template:PHubbard's advocation (or tacit acceptance) of abortion surprises those familiar with “Dianetics” – the book Hubbard wrote that forms the foundation of Scientology. In “Dianetics”, Hubbard staunchly opposes abortion, claiming that any disturbance of a fetus creates spiritually traumatic “engrams”.
Template:PIn his biography of Hubbard entitled "A Piece of Blue Sky", Jon Atack writes:
Template:PIn a post entitled Contradictions Between Source Material and Practice, "TonyMerman" wrote:
Template:PIn answer, former Scientologist, "Enrico Entheta" responded:
Pregnancy and children: An inconvenience
Template:PPressure to terminate pregnancies started as an unwritten policy aboard L. Ron Hubbard's ship "Apollo". In the 1970's Hubbard moved his base of operations to the open seas to avoid legal prosecution. He started the Sea Organization to supply crew for his endeavors. With men and women living in close quarters aboard Hubbard's personal Navy, pregnancies became a ongoing inconvenience.
Template:PWikipedia relates the testimony of one former Sea Org member:
Template:PIn the 1980's, the discrepancy regarding abortions became the rule in Scientology as the pressures of church expansion made pregnancies and children a systemic inconvenience.
Template:PCarmel relates the attitudes of church executives in during these formative years:
"No more babies or pregnancies" becomes official policy
Template:PScientology's "no babies" in the Sea Org rule was codified after failed attempts to accommodate children in communal living structures at the church's "PAC" base in Los Angeles, California. In 1979 Hubbard made it clear that "no babies" was a "facilities management" issue, not a matter of religious purity.
Template:PThrough LRH Comm International the following orders were issued to "All PAC Exec[utive]s and Crew":
Template:PAs “no babies” evolved into an unwritten abortion policy (stringently enforced by Scientology executives) it was publicly disguised with pro-family rhetoric.
Template:PThe full text of Hubbard's edict, signed by the Scientology board of directors, is as follows:
Template:PWhether or not this represented Hubbard's good intentions, veteran Sea Org members understood that any plans to establish extensive child care facilities were delusive.
Template:PConcerning the deceptive propaganda, one ex-Scientologist writes:
Template:PAnd certainly, the continuing reality of forced abortions made Hubbard's true intentions clear.
Template:PDespite Hubbard writing that abortion creates spiritual "engrams", the church made doctrinal allowance for the procedure by simply concluding the soul enters the body at birth, not conception. Scientology's dogmatically absolute "mind-body" dualism made this an easy alteration. Scientology teaches that humans are reincarnated souls (called "thetans") that have lived countless lifetimes in multiple universes. Children are "thetans" packaged in a small body. Since thetans consciously "choose" to enter a new body at birth, if they "miss out" on a body because of abortion, the thetan simply chooses another.
Template:PScientology doctrine tends to devalue biological life, purporting that thetans can "pick up a new body" at any time. A process akin to trading in an old car. Many consider the church's Cartesian dualism to be a catalyst to Scientology's ready acceptance of abortion. It is also suggested as a reason for the high incidence of suicide in Scientology. Whether true or not, the church's mechanistic view of biological life may heighten feelings of personal conflict for women and men facing the prospect of abortion, by oversimplifying what is generally considered a great human mystery.
Forced choice: Abortion or banishment
Template:PAfter Hubbard's death, Scientology's "no babies rule" was further institutionalized by Flag Order 3905-1. Issued by Senior Executive Guilame Leserve, FO3905-1 admitted the obvious, stating that children were not conducive to the Sea Org and laid to rest any notion of building child care facilities. Still, no mention is made of religious celibacy in the Sea Org. Scientology's rejection of children is solely a practical concern.
Template:PFlag Order 3905-1 states:
Template:PFlag Order 3905 “upped the ante” by guaranteeing that couples getting pregnant would be banished from the elite Sea Org. It increased the harshness of this penalty by mandating expectant couples be reassigned to undesirable Scientology Organizations far removed from existing friends and family. In this, FO3905 is a reiteration of Scientology detested “disconnection policy” .
Template:PAs FO 3905-1 states:
Template:PWith executives continuing to pressure Sea Org members to terminate pregnancies, few failed to recognize the board of directors warning for what is was.
Template:PRestating "Enrico Entheta's" charge:
Template:PSince it was apparent that the number of openings to accommodate banished parents was limited (even in undesirable locations) FO3905-1 served predominantly as a threat. In practice, FO 3905 simply hardened the "ethics offense" against the church, for allowing child bearing to interfere with Sea Org duties. In effect, FO 3905-1 was further undisguised harassment on married couples to refrain from conjugal relations and pressure to abort pregnancies.
Template:PEx-Scientologist "Fabian Macabian" recalls:
Control and dominance
Template:PWhile practical concerns over who will cover vacant job slots initiated Scientology's abortion policy, the fundamental issue of dominance is important. Control and dominance is the foundation of authoritarianism. Taking control of a woman's body is tantamount to taking control of the woman. In a broader sense, it is taking control of a couple's conjugal independence. Their genetic right and impulse to create a family. In certain contexts, procreation can be viewed as an act of rebellion. Does the individual or the “tribe” have control over birthrights? The primordial nature of the question may disclose the vehemence with which Scientology enforces its sanctions.
Template:PSabinaM, recounts Scientology's the particularly harsh treatment of one married couple whose "crime" was the desire to have children:
Template:PEx-Scientologist, Carmel writes of her own experience:
Template:PScientology establishes its dominance over members in numerous ways. A policy requiring a staff member to requisition permission to have a baby may be one of the more unusual instances.
Template:PAccording to ex-staff member "Once bitten":
Template:POf all the polices and practices in Scientology, coercing members to have abortions is arguably the most 'anti-religious'. The cycle of renewal from birth to death (often juxtaposed with the cycle of the seasons and the church calender) are fundamental to many religions. Scientology's blithe willingness to force a woman to terminate a precious segment of that cycle for the sake of office efficiency is not only antithetical to religion, but also crass.
Template:PThe significance of abortion in Scientology is not political. It is an issue of force, coercion, and human rights. Scientology is unconcerned with the moral question many churches struggle over very seriously. Scientology forces abortion on staff and Sea Org members as a matter of business expediency. Scientology coerces woman and men to terminate pregnancies as a means to dominate and control. That use of force is a human rights abuse of great proportion.