The Sea Organization is a religious order for the Scientology religion and is composed of the singularly most dedicated Scientologists—individuals who have committed their lives to the volunteer service of their religion. The Sea Organization is a fraternal religious order and is not incorporated. Members of the Sea Organization are therefore wholly responsible to the Church of Scientology to which they are assigned and are responsible, as are all other Church staff, to officers and directors of that Church.
The Sea Organization was established in 1967 and once operated from a number of ships. It was formed to assist L. Ron Hubbard with advanced research operations and supervise Church organizations around the world. The Sea Organization is entrusted to minister the advanced services of Scientology.
The Sea Organization retains its traditional name, although today the majority of its members are based on land. In keeping with the tradition of the order’s inception, however, they still wear maritime-style uniforms and have ranks and ratings.
As volunteers and members of a religious order, Sea Organization members work long hours and live communally with housing, meals, uniforms, medical and dental care, transport and all expenses associated with their duties provided by the Church. They also receive an allowance to purchase personal items, as all of their other expenses are fully covered by the Church.
Sea Organization members participate in Scientology training and auditing during a portion of each day, but otherwise dedicate themselves to furthering the objectives of Scientology through their particular functions.
Members may marry, but if they wish to have children, then they do so outside of the Sea Organization and are released from their duties in order to go and raise their family. They remain Scientologists. Children are not permitted to join the Sea Organization and applicants must be of school leaving age and meet all requirements.
Positions in the Sea Organization are analogous to that of members of religious orders in other religions. They are at the forefront of spearheading the Church’s massive social mission, including the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education campaign, the largest human rights education campaign and many another global program that touches the lives of millions. Sea Organization members are acutely aware of the world in which they live, as their service is dedicated to helping Mankind. They do not live cloistered lives, but are very much a part of society.
Today, some five thousand members of the Sea Organization hold staff positions in upper-level Scientology Church organizations around the world, ensuring the religion is available to the millions of Scientology parishioners who live and work outside the Church.
The core of their commitment to Scientology – the vow of service – is no different, no less solemn and no less meaningful than the vows of service undertaken by members of Roman Catholic and other religious orders.
The first Sea Organization members formulated a one-billion-year pledge to symbolise their eternal commitment to the religion and it is still signed by all members today. It is a symbolic document which, similar to vows of dedication in other faiths and orders, serves to signify an individual’s eternal commitment to the goals, purposes and principles of the Scientology religion.
Only the most dedicated Scientologists join the Sea Organization and it is promoted as a highly disciplined, hard-working group. They do not work for monetary gain, but to give selfless help to others.