This webpage is a collection of stories and links to stories related to the visa abuse or anomalies by the Church of Scientology.
Passport and visa fraud are federal felonies. Penalties are: 10 years (for a first offense if not tied to terrorism or drug trafficking), 15 years for fraud with other criminal links, 20 years for fraud related to drug trafficking, 25 years for fraud related to international terrorism.
By “Twin A” Mar 05, 2009
I remember when I first started working for the Church of Scientology in Clearwater, in late 1982, and I was a new Messenger in the Commodore’s Messenger Organization there, I had to do “Port Captain” duties for a while. One of those duties was to make sure all the staff at CMO CW had their “legal rudiments” in, which meant, they were legal, had legal ID, Visa, etc. If I recall correctly here were about 7 people who were not in CMO CW legally at that time. They didn’t have a proper Visa and I was supposed to get this fixed. I had to learn about how to apply for Visa’s for them. It was complicated, because some of them had applied for other types of Visa’s to get into the US, such as a B1 Visa which is visiting for business and does not apply to accepting employment in the US. I guess they came to Flag to be a student and got recruited and ended up staying, either that or they just got the wrong Visa to begin with, they were not visiting for business, they were coming over the join staff in the first place and had lied on the Visa application.
Another Visa some of them had was an L1, but for whatever reason, they had let it expire and so that complicated things. They had to leave the country for a while, and come back in. This was long ago, so I don’t know why leaving the country and coming back in would make up for having let their temporary Visa expire.
Some of the staff I was trying to help with their Visa’s seemed annoyed, they felt it was “DEV-T” (Developed Traffic, extra double work that is not necessary and decreases efficiency and peace) to be bothered with having to follow immigration laws.
Around the mid to late 80’s after I had been promoted to the Int base, I found out that there were a number of men, who had been told by the Port Captain’s Office Gold that the only way they could stay in the country legally was if they “married an American” and so I had guys who needed Visa’s wanting to marry me. I mistakenly married one of them, not knowing that he had been told this. Later, after I helped him get his green card, he informed me that the only reason he wanted to get married in the first place was so that he could get laid and get his green card and that he didn’t really love me. I thought this was just nuts. I mean, he was drunk when he said it at a New Year’s Eve party, but it still hurt my feelings, a lot. I never had a chance to ask him if he ever meant it because we ended up getting separated after that, and I got handed some divorce papers later. He got his green card and I got my heart broken, not a very nice deal if you ask me.
There were a number of individuals around 1989, that had to get sent to other org’s off the Int base because they did not have proper Visa’s, and there was some crack down going on with regards to staff being legal or not at Int. It was like no one really thought this out or did anything about it, until the thumbscrews were put into place. It seems odd that an organization with so many international members, wouldn’t have a hired a really good Immigration lawyer working for them full time to consult so that they could stay in compliance with the laws of the land.
Hubbard had advices and Flag Orders about Scn organizations following the laws of the land, but if it costed extra money…. it just would not get done, it would get overlooked until the last minute.
Now, recently, it seems they had a person trying to get a “religious worker” Visa for a job like making films! Give me a break, how is anyone going to let a filmaker stay in the country on a “religious worker’s”visa? that’s just ridiculous. Is it because they are a “religious organization” that they can’t apply for regular work visas anymore? And their pay is so low that they can’t justify applying on the basis of having gotten gotten a real job in the US? Because what real job would only pay $50.00 a week?
The C of S has backed themselves into a corner on this. It is clearly obvious that they are cutting corners on their legal advice budget. They have idiots advising them.
Oh… one other thing. I went to other country’s numerous times to do video shooting for Scientology propaganda videos. England, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, Venezuela, all the Carribean Islands, Mexico. I was told to say I was on “vacation”, when I wasn’t. I was working. It was ingrained in my head, at an early age, by other Church of Scientology staff, that it was completely OK to do things that were illegal and to lie to officials about it, because it was for the “greater good.”
By “Jeff Jacobsen” Mar 05, 2009
I’m sure Co$ is quite vulnerable in this area if only the feds would take a look. I remember Maria Pia Gardini saying they held her passport so she couldn’t leave the US when she was in the Sea Org. So much goes on it’s amazing.
The RPF Insider writes to Collin Powell
3 December 2004
Attached please find a list of citizens from many countries who are currently or were recently held in gulags (prison camps) in the United States of America by the “church” of Scientology. This is happening right now in “Rehabilitation Project Force” (RPF) centers run by this “church” where members who disagree with scientology management are sent for punishment and re-indoctrination. Average internment is 2 to 10 years. Many of these citizens from many Nations were granted visas as “religious workers” or “students” of Scientology.
Labor Abuse: Scientology is investing millions of tax free dollars into buying new buildings to entice new members, and make a profit from the tax free dollars they collect from their deluded adherents (who believe the money donated is going to better mankind). They get the buildings renovated and upgraded by using the “free” or “slave” labor of Sea Org members, especially the RPF members. Per the US Dept of State, workers on religious visas may NOT work as “janitors, maintenance workers, clerks, fundraisers or persons involved solely the solicitations of donations.”
Lack of Benefits: “To qualify for the visa, the applicant must show that he or she will not become a public charge, that is, rely on assistance from the government.” Scientology does not have any kind of insurance for most of its members and most medical expenses are born by US taxpayers. If a member should require medical or dental attention, they are required to fill out state aid forms identifying themselves as “indigent.” They are also encouraged to abuse other social programs such as SSI, MediCal and Medicare. Scientology uses many methods to persuade Sea Org members to give up all responsibilities to their families and children, and they are encouraged to abandon family responsibilities to welfare and ADC (Aid to Dependent Children.)
Illegal Detention: … People assigned to Scientology’s RPF have their passports, visa, IDs, credit cards and other documents confiscated and locked up so that full control can be enforced on the member, in an attempt to prevent him from leaving without permission.
Following are some of the US State Department rules and policies regarding Religious worker visas, which in many cases are being TOTALLY VIOLATED by the “church” of Scientology. Following this document is a list of some 230 current or recent RPF members, listed out by country. Copies of this letter, along with supporting documents are being sent to the Consulates, Immigration authorities and State Departments involved, as well as being posted on the internet. It is our sincere hope that these charges will be thoroughly investigated, and that until such investigation is completed no new Religious visas will be approved for the “church” of Scientology.
By “pelagic” Nov 17, 2008
I never went over on a R1, I went on a B1 visa to International Network of Computer Organized Management (INCOMM). After a few years I was kicked out of INCOMM and was posted as the Plumber for Big Blue and some of the local berthing building. Of course, this would have invalidated my visa as my work conditions had changed. I was now working for Church of Scientology West US, instead of Church of Scientology International. I was plumbing, not doing I/T. The basis of my B1 visa application was that I was required for computer type work. While being the plumber, we continued on my green card application that had started when I got to INCOMM. Not mentioning the fact that I was now a plumber and not working for CSI. We just did the app as if I still was. It’s my understanding, especially at the International Training Org (ITO) is that if the students organisation does not pay for their food and board etc, the students are made to work for it in “exchange”. This work typically falls into the categories I bolded above. I am also sure there are a registra or two in the US on R1 visas, which also violates the conditions.
By “pelagic” Sep 23, 2008
I hereby offer the following information, to be used as needed, to further this Karmic Accelaration. My name is Jason Harris. I was involved in Scientology from 1987 until 1994. Below is an image, showing my B-1 non-immigration visa to the US, and co-incidentally my return to Oz. Note the 20th Sept 1990 departure and the 13th Sept 1994 return. Then note that this post was written on 23th Sept 2008. That’s the Karmic Vortex at work!
Six Scientology cult officials working in England illegally
By “by ANONYMOUS, & submitted by Dr Lilly von Marcab ” Aug 8th, 2008
At least six high-level Scientology cult officials are currently working illegally in the United Kingdom, without the appropriate work permits. They are effectively working and living in the country as illegal immigrants. This information has been passed to the UK Border Agency, which is now mounting an investigation.
This Information concerns the following individuals:
Maia Dube (US Citizen) – CO, Commodore’s Messengers Organization UK
Janet Laveau (Canadian citizen) – Head of the Office of Special Affairs UK, Scientology’s ‘Intelligence’ division.
Bob Bledsoe (US) – CO, Continental Liaison Office UK
John Danilovoch (US) – Captain, Advanced Org Saint Hill UK
Colin Davie (Australian) – CO, Flag Operations Liaison Office UK
Melanie Schwandt (US) – Deputy Religious Technology Centre Representative UK
Lucky Story (US) – Executive Director London Org
Information obtained by Anonymous strongly suggests that a scheme to attempt to circumvent the UK’s work permit requirements is being used on a regular basis. The source of this information is documentation that was carelessly discarded by a law firm retained by the Church of Scientology in the UK. This information has now been passed to the proper authorities.
The method being used is as follows: members of staff acquire a visitor visa prior to entering the UK; just before this is due to expire, they fly to an airport within France or another EU country; from there they fly to Dublin, or Cork in Ireland; they stay overnight, and get the visa stamped in Ireland, which enables them to travel back to the UK under another visitor visa.
By “Thalkirst” 24th March 2008
You mean abusing R-1 and R-2 religious worker visas? FSO recruiters in Hungary had a complete hat pack on how to handle US embassies on this matter. OSA had all the details on each and every interview the applicants got and they had all the phone numbers and names of all officials. Also, OSA FLB has some kind of a line to the US Dept of State in case something went wrong here locally. They drilled the recruits on what to say and kept sending people back again and again to get them out to FSO. Some of them could not even speak English properly. But around 1996 fortunately some losers who were recruited have completely pissed off the official who handled the visa, so for about 1 year it was pretty hard to get an R1 visa. It got “handled” by OSA later though. Ex Sea Org member
By “Ladybird” 25th March 2008
I have a lot of information to back up what you are saying here. There was a lot of abuse and inside deals with Embassies, people were drilled on getting B-6 (Visitor) Visas good for 6 months, and if they couldn’t extend or marry a US citizen they had to go back, then apply for H-3 (Training) visas, then apply for extension under R-1 (religious) visa. There were many other scams I heard about, though I was not directly on that line. We were told we had to do things this way because there were “SP”s in the Immigration service or Embassies who hated scientology.
By “AnonMomAnon” Mar 25, 2008
can you PM or post over on exscn to thalkirst that he needs to send this information by email to email@example.com which is the southern division of amnesty international. they cover the southern division, which is clearwater. HOWEVER, they looked over what we sent them and they have forwarded everything to their national headquarters in nyc. the email for that is firstname.lastname@example.org thalkirst CAN remain anonymous…he does not have to include his name. AI is aware of the anonymous group, but they are also used to getting things from people that have to remain anonymous. i would also suggest that thalkirst contact amnesty international for hungary. INCLUDE IN EVERY EMAIL THAT THIS IS IN REFERENCE TO THE INFORMATION THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN SENT TO THE SOUTHERN DIVISION ABOUT SCIENTOLOGY/FLAG/CLEARWATER/RELIGIOUS WORKER VISAS/ABUSES. MAKE SURE THAT THEY PUT THAT INFO AT THE TOP: THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT AI IS ALREADY LOOKING INTO AND HAS ALREADY BEEN PASSED ON TO NYC AND THIS IS INFORMATION THAT NEEDS TO BE ADDED! if anyone else in here has ANY information that you know of and are willing to send it on? you CAN remain anonymous. they are not sure if they can help us or not. they believe us—we had a LOT of good insider info and many of us DID put our names to our statements. they want to help us, but are not sure how they will be able to yet. the information is at the nyc office right now. the acting director at AI southern div. will call me as soon as she hears anything back.
By “leadwrist” Nov 15, 2007
I did a few courses at my local org, learning how to learn, etc. Nothing too fancy. Anyway time went on and I was getting close to graduating school, my home country was coming up with elections and my dad said to me, I’m not sure your future is very bright in this country and I think you should take this oppurtunity, this turned out to be me joining the Sea Org. I had no clue what the SO was then, my brother was in it and was telling me all the good things about it so I figured hell why not, any chance of surviving I will take. So here I am 16 leaving my home country and heading off to Florida. Woohoo this is going to be exciting.
Since no one at Flag could get my flight ticket approved I had to do my EPF at the local SO group until they could afford to fly me to Flag. Yeah I know, they couldn’t afford $2000 for a round trip ticket which they had to do since I was being brought into the country under a tourist visa and not a religious or H1B1, more about this later.
After months at the local SO unit I finally was on my way, thanks to my dad paying for the ticket, he kinda got fed up waiting and wanted me out of the country. I arrived in Florida, 16, and totally amazing, here I am in awe of being in America, being in Florida, man this was my dreams come true.
My first job was in Dissem, shipping promo out to various orgs. It was ok but not what I really wanted to do but as you learn soon enough, what you want to do and what they want you to do is two different things. I remember the recruiter going, you can do anything you want, yeah right.
Another interesting fact I found out was, because I was on a tourist visa working in Florida, legally the church couldn’t pay me my $50, when they could pay the staff because then it would have to be reported to the IRS. So I’m going, wait, you having me working illegally but you won’t pay me because it’s illegal. Huh good one. So for 2 years I wasn’t paid a dime. But I had a best friend back then who bailed me out, he said that he would split his pay check with me 50/50 so that I could do my laundry, buy tooth paste, soap, uniform etc. Yes you have to pay for all this yourself, it’s not provided at all. It’s a joke really. He was truly a friend they I have lost now that I’m out.
Anyway from Flag I got shipped off to the Freewinds and from the Freewinds I got shipped off to Gold, via FLO, etc.
By “Snow White” Sep 28, 2007 re: MARTIN OTTMANN? In December of 1993 I made a notice for visa fraud committed by the Flag Service Organization at the American Consulate General in Frankfurt, but I never heard anything back on it. … The application letter for a new visa at the US consulate in Germany. The most interesting sentence in it: “He will not be involved in the selling of articles or the solicitation or acceptance of donations.”
UK Scientologist, US Religious Visa Application Fraud
By “DrLux” April 2009
I recently sent an e-mail to the US Embassy (London) and the US and also Border Control on each side regarding information I have from experience regarding church members applications for an R1 (Religious Worker) Visa for UK citizens going to the States.
I have also written to Nathan Baca, KESQ, as well. Here goes:
I must bring to your attention the situation regarding R1 (Religious Worker) visa applications of members of the Church of Scientology based in the UK who have to travel to Clearwater, Florida, U.S. for training at the Flag Land Base. I’m writing from personal experience.
Staff trainees are told to tell the staff at the US Embassy in London, that they are attending ‘religious seminars’ as part of their training as an ‘apprentice minister’ for the duration of about a year, and they are given documents from different departments within their own church and the upper exec strata to present to the embassy officials. They are also drilled on what to say in a mock interview.
I was one of these people, I was basically told to lie to the embassy and was to avoid saying that I was going to the US to study, which was in fact the truth. New staff members who have been chosen to train in Florida are told that they will get a longer visa, even be lucky to get one at all, if they say what I mentioned above and NOT say the words ‘training’, ‘study’ or ‘work’.
The plain truth is that they go to Clearwater to train to work on a post within the church, often passed off as ‘pastoral counseling’ to the embassy.
There is a training area within Flag called the Hubbard College of Improvement where most of the studying and training is done and they are not officially a minister until most of the way through their training, Level/Class IV Auditor, then they get ordained, as I did. They are in no way a minister before they arrive in the US and in no way a religious worker. They, as I was, are students, plain and simple who study, train, work and live for periods of some years.
I was very nervous that I had to lie to embassy officials in order to get a visa. I was not attending any religious seminars, none whatsoever!
I am no longer a member of the church.
The above is true.