Scientology continues to claim that their cruise ship Freewinds is the first and only civilian ship named an official training vessel by the International Maritime Organization. An assertion that has been soundly debunked by the IMO.
Defiantly Scientology doubles down on this claim, producing an entire video dedicated to Freewinds and her heroism across the Caribbean and beyond.
At the 31:34 mark Scientology creates an extended Shore Story providing background explaining why Freewinds received her IMO honor.
In 1996 Ft. Lauderdale based cruise ship Discovery I caught fire at sea.
Scientology dramatically describes how it was Freewinds who sailed to the rescue; stabilizing the listing ship, finding the source of the fire, extinguishing the fire and thus saving all hands aboard.
This event will be addressed in more detail separately in a future article.
Due to this incredible heroism and know-how, the International Maritime Organization bestowed upon Freewinds the singular honor of being the only civilian ship authorized as a training ship.
Further, because of this IMO designation Scientology goes on to state that they are also “authorized to train other maritime professionals”.
The made-for-Scientology-TV video is replete with high tech dramatizations of the event and subsequent video of Captain Napier in the midst of training members of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard.
Concerned that members of the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard were being “trained” by an unauthorized group of cult fanatics when lives could hang in the balance we contacted Ms. Cynthia A. Devere LLM
Head Department Law Enforcement & Liaison, Department of Law Enforcement & Liaison for the Coast Guard for the Kingdom of the Netherlands in the Caribbean.
We asked if she might verify this training by Freewinds’ Captain Napier or otherwise provide background for the video.
Ms. Devere responded that Napier was not training the members of the Coast Guard but only providing them with information on how Freewinds operates.
Devere pointed out that Freewinds is often used as a location for many types of entertainment and events.
She was however, under the illusion that the ship was authorized by the IMO. An illusion that we corrected.
As to the awards mentioned, we contacted the ever patient Natasha Brown of the IMO Media Relations Department who refuted this claim as well. (for whatever reason, our attachment showing the original statement by Devere did not send.)
Following the link, we checked the lists of awards and of course, Freewinds is not amongst the recipients. Freewinds is not the bearer of any IMO awards or recognitions.
We also reached out to Mr. Colin Young as mentioned in Devere’s email. Mr. Young is the IMO representative for the Caribbean.
Ms. Devere sent a second email to us in order that there be no misunderstandings as there are Dutch/English language differences.
To be clear we contacted the Maritime Authority of Curaçao which Devere mentioned in her first email. The Director confirmed that; “Freewinds’ vessel is sometimes used as a venue for maritime courses (provided by third parties) in which we have sent a few of our co-workers.”
Thus is it NOT Scientology providing maritime training.
Scientology creates their façade of good works both to strengthen their public image and to fool their own members into believing they are benefiting the planet.
In this case it is clear that COS has gone further and actively lied to various official organizations around the Caribbean. Something that should concern all involved.
Freewinds is not recognized, authorized or awarded in any way by the International Maritime Organization.
Using the IMO’s search we did discover two mentions of Scientology’s ship.
Scientology is not engaging in the training of any maritime professionals. Freewinds may be utilized as a location for entertainment or events but they are not part of the actual training curriculum.
Scientology is not just lying to the general public but to official organizations as well. Something far more serious than scamming a bakery or convenience store into a photo op.
Watching their video one is supposed to be in awe over the incredible contribution Freewinds makes to the world.
Frankly, the entire show is fiction and lies.