News Channel 3 sent former Scientology marketing director and Portland resident Jeff Hawkins to KATU-TV, the local ABC television station, where he revealed what happened during his years inside Scientology’s world headquarters in Hemet, called “IntBase.”
His account of what goes on behind these fences is one of religious punishment and imprisonment.
“Within that Hemet compound, they work 100 hour weeks, seven days a week. They have no breaks. They have no vacations of any kind. They work around the clock. They have no private time. They’re paid around 40 cents an hour and they’re subjected to all kinds of punishments and abuse. If they do things that are wrong or if they don’t toe the line, they have to run around the buildings, sometimes for miles in their street shoes, they get thrown in the lake out there which is pretty cold this time of year. And, if they refuse to come around and toe the line and be good members, they can go to these rehabilitation camps that they have in Los Angeles and in Clearwater which are virtual prisons and people have been there for years. They don’t go outside. They don’t see anybody. They are paid maybe 10 cents an hour for hard manual labor. They make furniture for the churches.”
“They spend part of their time studying Scientology and the rest of the time doing physical labor. They’re not allowed to contact anyone outside of the rehabilitation project force, they’re virtual prisoners. They stay in dormitories, 30, 40 people to a room, with one bathroom. I’ve been down there. I was actually assigned to the R.P.F. for one day. Then, they said it was a mistake,” said Hawkins.
Longtime staff members tell News Channel 3, IntBase in Hemet was built in the 1970s after L. Ron Hubbard left his La Quinta cove ranch near Avenida Juarez and Calle Yucatan because he felt it wasn’t secure enough.
Hawkins continued, “A fellow took over the church after Hubbard died, a guy named David Miscavige, who is very, very authoritarian and very oppressive. He has transformed that international base into really, a sort of cult compound.”
“I personally was physically assaulted on four occasions by the leader of Scientology, David Miscavige,” added Hawkins.
Scientology spokesperson Tommy Davis talked with News Channel 3 at Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Center and says there’s nothing abusive or illegal going on inside the Hemet headquarters.
“When you have allegations like this made that somehow indicate some sort of secretive or nefarious something or rather having to do with the church anything along these lines. It’s just untrue. It’s ridiculous,” said Davis.
Why haven’t celebrity Scientologists spoken out about abuses of IntBase workers? Hawkins explains why, “Tom Cruise has been to the headquarters. The staff is not allowed to talk to him. He’s been given tours and I’ve been on the other end of those and they’re very orchestrated. They’re on walkie-talkies and they go, ‘He’s going into this building, he’s going into that building.’ They have certain staff set up and rehearsed in those spaces to give him a certain scripted talk.”
What happens when a Scientologist tries to leave the Hemet base? The second half of Jeff Hawkin’s interview airs Thursday night at 11 on News Channel 3.