Scientology shows no sign of slowing down its use of religious visas for foreign labor - 2017-08-23
Last year in January we reported on some stunning new data that researcher R.M. Seibert managed to pry out of the US government with help from the MuckRock website. For years, Scientology watchers like Jeff Jacobsen had noticed that Scientology seemed to rely on foreign workers at its major bases, and that they were being brought in under a "religious worker" visa, also known as R-1.
But rather than do "religious" work, these foreigners were brought in to labor in Scientology's "Sea Organization," where workers sign billion-year contracts, work 112-hour weeks for only about $50 a week when they're paid at all, and often do only manual or administrative work. With fewer Americans interested in joining Scientology's hard-core Sea Org and its ascetic lifestyle, the church seemed to be turning to people from other countries who perhaps didn't know what they were getting into.
But how many of them were there?