Australian Imprisoned On Scientology Ship Freewinds

Valeska Paris tells Cannane that she joined Scientology’s hardcore Sea Organization — signing its standard billion-year contract — at only 14 years of age. Three years later, after her father committed suicide and her mother denounced Scientology on French television, Paris was ordered to “disconnect” from her family. She says that church leader David Miscavige then enforced that disconnection by having her put on the cruise ship, the Freewinds, that sails the Caribbean and caters to high-level church members.

Paris was told she’d be on the ship for two weeks. Instead, she says she was held there against her will for 12 years.

About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • Raging Bee

    Wow, thanks for reminding us how much an organization can get away with when they’re able to silence critics with lawsuits and harassment. If the MSM won’t pick this up, it needs to go viral.

    It’s long past time for decent people to stop cowering and start LOUDLY speaking out against such blatant injustices from backward authoritarian religious organizations.

    (Also, given that this woman is not bad looking, I have to wonder what, exactly, “catering” to church higher-ups — on a cruise-ship — might have entailed for her. Just sayin’…)

  • happiestsadist

    While I agree with you on your first two paragraph, Raging Bee, your last one gave me some pause. While I would also suspect sexual abuse, rape isn’t a compliment, and is committed upon even the less attractive.

    • Kylie Sturgess

      Agreed. :(

    • illuminata

      In fairness, I think Raging Bee might have meant that those controlling the ship, catering to the “higher-ups”, and the “higher ups” themselves would have been the ones selecting which women would be on the ship.

      Therefore, her looks might have been a factor in the decision, if sexual assault/rape was on the menu, as it were.

  • Monado

    Scientology’s imprisonment and mistreatment of their employees, or should I call them indentured servants or bond-slaves, is widespread and occurs in the U.S. as well–solitary confinement, restricted rations, unpaid labour, separation of married involuntary couples, and forced abortions.

  • Benjamin Cisco

    This is such a sad story. Another child who was born into a cult and then abandoned by her own parent who is still ‘in.’
    Thankfully more are speaking out about their experiences and they are finding each other to share and heal. I wish more broadcasters and print media would have the ethics and journalistic skills to spread these stories.
    Scientology has to be exposed and stopped. The Freewinds has to be dry docked once and for all.
    Thanks for posting this story.

  • ronbothunter

    The policy letters of their God Ron clearly state that you can lie to, harass, rob, beat and do whatever you want to a person that they declare an SP or PTS.

    In fact, even if you are not PTS-SP, if you are down-stat, any staff member can abuse you, and won’t be punished.

    That goes for their slaves on the ship. Imprisonment in Scientology is a fact of life.

    The billion year contract gives them the right under admiralty law, to treat you as a slave on board. The captain is the master, and you the slave.

    But the admiralty law has to be with full and complete disclosure of all facts or it is null and void in contract law.

    Under the Billion year admiralty contract, before you sign, you are given no right to refuse or else you are considered an SP if you want to investigate the contract or even take it home for study. Once you sign it, all the people on ship are slaves to whatever the captain wants. He can even kill you and throw your body to the fish.

    The facts are these, the attorneys use Admiralty law on land, and the rules and statutes we think are laws, are used on land to violate the constitution. Because admiralty law on land used upon live people, is treason!!!

    So, it does not matter who said what. They did not give anyone full and complete disclosure in the Billion year contract, that you are their slave on land or on the seas.

    The numbers are on our side. We are hundreds of thousands or by now a million Ex-Scientologists and the Ronbots are fewer each day.

    To fight them you must fight the Admiralty Contract used to enslave you.


  • fredbloggs

    Wow! Just think what Christianity could have done with a cruise ship!

  • F

    Sea Org is teh scary. All the Orgs were scary enough as semi-independent franchises. The CoS is seriously messed up.