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FSSO/Freewinds

Freewinds

The Freewinds is the location of a special Church of Scientology. It is a huge motor vessel cruising the Caribbean since 1988. Here is the official presentation of the ship (text from Scientology Today and Freewinds.org) and some comments I added:

"The Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service Organization ministers the highest levels of religious services, as well as other select services to help one on his route to Operating Thetan (OT).

The Flag Ship Service Organization (FSSO) is a unique church of Scientology which is located aboard the Motor Vessel Freewinds, a 440-foot ship based in the Caribbean, with the home port of Curaçao. The ship was acquired in the mid-1980s shortly before the release of the highest advanced auditing level currently available, New OT VIII.

Needing a safe, aesthetic, distraction-free environment appropriate for ministration of this profoundly spiritual level of auditing, this church of Scientology returned to the sea, far from the crossroads of the workaday world. And while the Flag Service Organization ministers the highest levels of training and auditing from the bottom of The Bridge up to New OT VII, the most advanced OT level—OT VIII—is entrusted exclusively to the FSSO.

To a Scientologist, coming to the Freewinds for New OT VIII is the pinnacle of a deeply spiritual journey. Years of training and auditing have brought him to this ultimate point. It is the most significant spiritual accomplishment of his lifetime and brings with it the full realization of his immortality.

Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service Organization The Freewinds is a very special place. It is the one place on this planet that a Scientologist can go and be certain that he will be able to devote all of his attention to his religious practice and, at the same time, share the company of people who share his religious commitment and outlook on life in general. A voyage on the Freewinds is nowhere close to a vacation. Rather, it is the perfect religious retreat dedicated to enabling one to devote his full attention to spiritual growth.

Religious services ministered aboard the Freewinds are not limited to Scientologists who have reached New OT VIII. Other religious programs conducted aboard the Freewinds include religious conventions and seminars for staff and parishioners of churches of Scientology from around the world as well as specially arranged gatherings also for Scientologists from a particular country or community for a particular program of religious services.

Each year the annual Maiden Voyage event has come to be one of the most important gatherings of dedicated Scientologists and an opportunity for senior Church officials to meet and work directly with these parishioners to advance their religion. Scientologists who attend this annual spiritual cruise become “OT Ambassadors” and initiate programs to help Scientologists all over the world advance the aims of Scientology and to reach the top of The Bridge at New OT VIII."

In May 2008 the Freewinds went into dry dock for scheduled repairs and structural changes to create more convention spaces. Those measures were completed and the ship went back in the water in time for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of its Maiden Voyage in June 2008. Several hundred dignitaries including the Premier Minister of Curacao from the Netherland Antilles participated in the christening of the new, refitted Freewinds. The event and following Maiden Voyage celebrations (over five days) have been videoed - as usual - and are shown in all Churches of Scientology in the world during July and August 2008.