Another super-secret $cientology document has been leaked (view full document here (pdf)). This time it’s a document called the Application, Declaration and General Release Declaration of Religious Commitment and Application for Membership in a Scientology Religious Order and for Active Participation on Church Staff. And this is what they make their new staffers sign before taking the job. Here are some of the strange items all applicants must agree to:
8. I am not related to or connected with any intelligence agency, either by past history or immediate familial connection.
9. I do NOT have a parent or a guardian who is an antagonist of the Scientology religion, or of any organization devoted to Scientology applied religious philosophy.
10. I am not seeking a staff position to obtain material for dissemination to the public via press, radio, television, motion picture or other media. I do not seek to obtain data for any other organization or to disrupt the Church organization.
11. I do not have personal debts of a magnitude such that efforts to satisfy them would immediately disrupt or cause me to pull back from my commitment to the Church.
Then applicants are to sign an acknowledgment that the “Church” holds the right to not adhere state or federal labor practices because after all, this is a religion and is far too sacred for its employees to expect any material payment at all. And just to make sure you know this is serious, they put this stipulation in all caps:
I FURTHER UNDERSTAND THAT ALL CHURCH STAFF MEMBERS INCLUDING MYSELF, ARE MEMBERS OF A RELIGIOUS ORDER; THAT THEY SERVE PURSUANT TO THEIR RELIGIOUS OBLIGATIONS AND NOT IN CONTEMPLATION OF RECEIVING ANY COMPENSATION WHATSOEVER, AND IN DOING SO THAT THEY ARE FORSAKING ALL COMMERCIAL AND FINANCIAL MOTIVATION. PLEASE INITIAL __EACH CONSIDERS HIMSELF/HERSELF A VOLUNTEER TO CREATE A BETTER WORLD, AND UNDERSTANDS THAT HE/SHE IS NOT AN EMPLOYEE, I.E. IS NOT ENTITLED TO RECEIVE SECULAR BENEFITS SUCH AS A MINIMUM WAGE OR OVERTIME COMPENSATION. PLEASE INITIAL __
And what are the consequences of violating these contractual obligations?
7. BREACH OF COVENANT. If a staff member . . . breaks his agreement either by leaving staff before completing his commitment [either 2 1/2 or 5 years] or by violating his good standing as a Scientology staff member so that he is dismissed in accordance with policy, he or she shall remit forthwith to the Church a penance for violation of this covenant in accordance with the ecclesiastical policy of the Church if such person is declared a “freeloader”. […]9. ENTIRETY OF COVENANT. The Church shall not be obligated to honor any verbal promises or any other terms or conditions not specifically covered in this Covenant. This Covenant forms the entirety of the Church’s agreement with the Church staff member, and promises no specific counselling, training, posts or other benefits to any Church staff member.
Seems kinda like a one-way deal. As a $cientologist once say: “I am altering the deal. Pray that I do not alter it any further.” Oh, wait. That wasn’t a $cientologist. It was Darth Vader. I’m always mixing them up.
But at least you can sue if they “alter the deal” too much to your dissatisfaction, right? Wrong:
B. I HEREBY RELEASE AND DISCHARGE THE RELEASES from all actions, claims or demands I, my heirs, distributees, guardians, legal representatives or assigns ever had, now have or may hereafter have for injury or damage resulting from or any way connected with my membership in the Scientology Religious Order, active participation on Church staff or association with the Releasees. […]I AM AWARE THAT THIS IS A RELEASE OF LIABILITY, COVENANT NOT TO SUE AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT BETWEEN MYSELF AND THE CHURCH AND/OR ITS AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS AND/OR OTHER INDIVIDUALS, AND I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT BY PLACING MY SIGNATURE AT THE END OF THIS DOCUMENT I SHALL BE BOUND BY ITS TERMS. PLEASE INITIAL __
Wow! With exploitation like this, is it any wonder that the tabloids are gossiping about John Travolta on the verge of leaving.