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Scientology Myths - what is fact? what is fiction?

Sea Organization

A lot could be said about the Sea Organization. It is the Church’s core religious body with more than 6,000 members worldwide. Here is a little history about what is usually called "Sea Org":

"The Sea Organization (or Sea Org) is a special order which was founded in 1967 when Mr. Hubbard decided to retire from his office as the Executive Director of the Church to concentrate on his literary work on board ship. Those who then were first to follow him became the nuclear group of the newly established religion. As time went on this group became a mythical model to be observed and respected as the core of the most devout members of the Church. All members of the Sea Organization work full-time for the religion by serving on staff of the higher level Churches. Evidence of their dedication is the contract of employment in the Sea Organization ‘for the next billion years.’"

"This kind of religious order in many respects reminds one of the circles of disciples who gathered around such founders of world religions as Jesus or Mohammed or the monastic order of the monks around Prince Gautama when he became Buddha. It is a very specific manifestation of religious mythology and symbolism. As such it is one of the criteria upon which we base our conclusion that Scientology is a new religion."

"The Scientologists most dedicated to their religion - members of the Sea Organization - live a communal lifestyle, take care of each other’s daily and economic needs such as food, lodging and medical needs, wear distinctive uniforms, live by their particular customs, and devote almost all of their working hours to the service of their religion. The Church of Scientology with all its functions is clearly a ‘way of life’ for people serving in a religious order."

The Sea Organization's principal bases are in the United States (Los Angeles, Clearwater, New York), Australia (Sydney), South Africa (Johannesburg), Canada (Toronto), Denmark (Copenhagen), Great Britain (East Grinstead), Mexico (Mexico City) and on the vessel, Freewinds, based in the Caribbean.

(Source: Study of Juha Pentikäinen, Chair of the Department of the Study of Religions, University of Helsinki/Finland, 1996)