Blog: Scientology's Continuing Abuse of Religious Visas, Human Trafficking and the Farce of Guardianship - 2018-01-28
We take another look at how Scientology misuses R-1 religious worker visas as it attempts to fill slots in its operations. It's no longer able to bring on enough new domestic recruits or even US citizen children of current members to staff up Flag, Pac Base and its other major operations. We look at the line between accidental stretching of the bounds of the program and outright fraud. Several reports suggest that Scientology misuses the "guardianship" provisions of the law to mistreat younger R-1 visa holders, crossing the line into human trafficking.
It's Nothing New
Scientology continues its precipitous decline in the United States. Recruitment of both "publics" (those who purchase services) and its regimented religious order, the Sea Organization, ("Sea Org"), is flat-lining. The "church" has been forced to look elsewhere for staff and adherents, therefore it's the largest user of visas in the R-1/R-2 Religious Visa Program, despite the church's minuscule size, relatively to say, the Catholic church. Despite this glut of visas, its ongoing staffing needs are far from being met, to the point that the church must push the limits on all facets of the visa procurement process. While the public face of the church insists membership is "booming", a detailed analysis says otherwise. Rather than the millions the church claims, current membership currently is estimated at some 20,000 total, an estimated 3,600 of which consists of Sea Org staff, with the remainder public Scientologists, org staff, and other members.