Life teaches us to not be deceived by outward appearances. For example, beautiful religious sites can hide a wealth of deviance, rape, criminality, human trafficking, suicide, and death.
Scientology has some beautiful real estate and yet the Cult is infamous for hiding malicious conduct behind its guarded doors. Of course, Scientology has had its internal culture of violence and cover up exposed many times. A few examples illustrate this point:
- Lisa McPherson died a horrific death inside of Scientology’s Fort Harrison Hotel.
- Sea Org member Jorge Arroyo hanged himself on the Freewinds. His family was told he died of a heart attack.
- Valeska Paris was held captive on the Freewinds for 12 years.
- Scientology’s Celebrity Centre in Hollywood was involved in covering up the alleged multiple forcible rapes committed by Danny Masterson. Tony Ortega reported live from the Los Angeles criminal court on the first day of Masterson’s preliminary criminal trial.
The stunningly beautiful Swaminarayan Akshardham Hindu temple in Robbinsville, New Jersey — the largest Hindu temple in the US — was raided this week by the authorities. As reported by American Bazaar, the raid on the temple was conducted by three US Federal agencies including the FBI:
Workers from India were paid $1.20 and their passports were confiscated: report.
FBI agents and other law enforcement officials raided the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Robbinsville, NJ, following a lawsuit by several workers accusing the temple of exploiting them and paying the equivalent of roughly $1.20 an hour.
The raid was first reported by the local outlet NJ105, which said the agents showed up at the temple before 8 a.m. Besides the FBI, at least two other federal departments, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor, were involved in the action, which reportedly linked to claims of labor and immigration law violations, the New York Times reported….
The Akshardham Hindu Temple used American R1 religious worker visas to bring in workers from India to the temple worksite in a rural part of New Jersey. The New York Times:
The workers, who lived in trailers hidden from view, had been promised jobs helping to build the temple in rural Robbinsville, N.J., with standard work hours and ample time off, according to the lawsuit, a wage claim filed in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The majority are Dalit, the lowest rung in India’s caste system.
They were brought to the United States on religious visas, or R-1 visas — temporary visas used for clergy and lay religious workers such as missionaries — and presented to the U.S. government as volunteers, according to the claim. They were asked to sign several documents, often in English, and instructed to tell U.S. embassy staffers that they were skilled carvers or decorative painters, the complaint said.
Lawyers for the men, however, said they did manual labor on the site, working nearly 13 hours a day lifting large stones, operating cranes and other heavy machinery, building roads and storm sewers, digging ditches and shoveling snow, all for the equivalent of about $450 per month. They were paid $50 in cash, with the rest deposited in accounts in India, the complaint said.
The Church of Scientology has for seven decades used this same pattern of human trafficking and forced labor while calling it religious. Scientology recruits poor people as labor for its Sea Org from Mexico, Eastern Europe, Siberia, and many other impoverished places. Scientology promises a generous wage and a better life in America. Scientology brings these people in on R1 religious worker visas.
The reality of Sea Org life quickly sets in: Forced labor, 90+ hour work weeks, sleep deprivation, and the “pay” can be pennies an hour or nothing. In a “good week” the pay might be $50 — which is still only 50 cents per hour.
Sea Org members from outside the US have their passports taken from them and locked in a safe. These Sea Org members are not free to call home when they want. They are not free to leave.
A Sea Org recruiting piece shows why Scientology needs a slave labor pool of ~2,000 people to run its series of hotels and other operations in Clearwater. Look at the “religious” job descriptions:
Scientology recruits and exploits poor people from outside of America to work making beds, cooking, gardening, doing janitorial work, etc. None of this is religious work; it is all manual labor for pennies an hour.
The Swaminarayan Akshardham Hindu temple in New Jersey appears to be operating exactly like the Church of Scientology:
- Recruit poor people with false promises of a better life in America
- Bring them into America using R1 religious worker visas
- The use of religious worker visas acts to conceal human trafficking and exploitation
- Lock up their passports
- Make them live in guarded dormitories
- Control their movements at all times
- Do not allow them to talk to their family back home
- Ensure that exploited workers only get a minimum amount of sleep
- Demand enormous amounts of labor from the trafficked workers
- Make these workers fear arrest and imprisonment if they try to escape
- Call this forced labor and exploitation “religious work”
- Pay the workers slave wages and justify it because they are “religious volunteers”
This is all part of the corrupt system of religion in America. The Church of Scientology stands out because it exploits the system and its Sea Org members more brutally than any other cultic group. Scientology is also willing to spend enormous amounts of parishioner money to fight it out in court.
The Bottom Line: If your “spiritual enlightenment” requires that other human beings suffer and be exploited, then your enlightenment is false and a lie. Enlightenment does not turn a blind eye to suffering. However, narcissism, conceit, arrogance, and a sense of entitlement does. This is why the religious hypocrites that benefit from human suffering fight to maintain the status quo.
A self-serving view of Karma, a sense that the lower caste Dalit slaving away in the Swaminarayan Akshardham temple or the Sea Org deserve the brutality, exploitation, and indignities they endure daily to survive is characteristic of spiritual hypocrisy.
Religion in America has become an inherently abusive and cruel system that just keeps getting worse. The people at the top get rich by exploiting everyone beneath them in the name of God, the Guru, L. Ron Hubbard, or whatever the Deity is.
In our podcast interview with Katrina Reyes, she shared her horror story of being forced Into the Sea Org at Age 11. This happened when Scientology recruited her mother in Siberia. Katrina had no choice. She had no one but her mother. She went to America and into the Sea Org where no child belongs.
Jesus rebuked the scribes and the Pharisees of his day for the same conduct we see in the Swaminarayan Akshardham Hindu temple in 2021:
Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. — Matthew 23: 27-28
The outer beauty of the temple conceals the evil within perpetrated by the leaders.
CBS New York reported on the massive raid on the Swaminarayan Akshardham Hindu temple:
Categories: The Scientology Money Project