What it's like on the Scientology measles ship right now, according to former crew - 2019-05-02
We had a pretty exciting afternoon yesterday, helping to figure out that the measles ship quarantined in the Caribbean country of St. Lucia was, in fact, Scientology's floating cathedral, the 440-foot Freewinds.
The story was irresistible to major media last night, even if most of the networks didn't mention the Scientology connection. Up to 300 people stuck in the tight quarters of a small cruise ship because a crew member had a confirmed case of measles: It was a perfect story to illustrate the comeback of infectious diseases because of years of unscientific panic over vaccinations.
The Scientology angle gave it an even crazier kick. The church purchased the ship in 1986 and then renamed it, re-launching it in 1988 as the Freewinds. The purpose of operating the ship was for wealthy Scientologists to reach the ultimate auditing level on the Bridge to Total Freedom, Operating Thetan Level Eight (OT 8), which can take years to reach — former member Marc Headley estimated that it costs a Scientologist between $500,000 and $2 million to complete the entire Bridge, including OT 8.