L. Ron Hubbard stipulated that the highest levels of advancement on the Bridge to Total Freedom be delivered in a distraction-free environment, off the crossroads of the day-to-day world.
Before his passing, the Scientology Founder completed his research into those levels, codified them and entrusted Mr. Miscavige with the responsibility to make them available to all qualified parishioners.
To that end, Mr. Miscavige saw to the purchase and retrofitting of the Motor Vessel Freewinds in 1986, specifically for the delivery of those services at the top of the Bridge. What emerged with the Ship’s christening in 1988 was a new and exclusive center of spiritual enlightenment where lives are transformed.
The Freewinds, a 440-foot, 9,780-ton vessel, is staffed by members of the Church’s religious order. The extremely high standards held by the staff have earned the Ship recognition as one of the safest on the water. The Ship’s travel record includes over 400,000 miles of safe passage.
The Freewinds surpasses all standards for its crew training. While today’s cruise ships typically have one master, this ship has four, all licensed to sail any vessel on any sea. Of the 50,000 ships sailing the seven seas today, the Freewinds is the first-ever civilian ship appointed as an official training platform under an order by the International Maritime Organization of the United Nations. The highly trained and experienced Freewinds officers and crew have provided safety and security training for more than 100 Caribbean port authorities, coast guards and maritime organizations.
Civic and religious leaders from throughout the islands and Latin America recognize the Freewinds as a place of profound personal renewal, but also as a source of solutions to meet their needs through the Church’s humanitarian programs and interfaith initiatives. Drug education, human rights, literacy, learning and ethics are part of the broader social mission through which the Freewinds has spawned partnerships. With the help of island port and civic officials, national police and military services in Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, the message of human rights and humanitarian action is coming to all.
Maintaining such conditions of operation is essential, because each June the Ship becomes the seagoing home to a weeklong religious convocation of top-level Scientologists from all over the world. The annual Maiden Voyage Anniversary Event is conducted by Mr. Miscavige.
The Freewinds also stands as the center for bringing Church-sponsored humanitarian programs to the Caribbean and Latin America. Through these operations, Scientologists partner with law enforcement and military officials to implement programs proven to bring drastic reductions in human rights abuses and combat the devastating effects of illicit drug use.
Through the efforts of citizen volunteers, military officials and police personnel throughout the region, tens of millions of people are now living drug-free, crime-free and moral lives.
The Church’s community-inspired programs have been praised by government officials as a crucial element in bringing peace to the region. The Freewinds has become distinguished not only as a religious mission, but as a symbol of humanitarian outreach and understanding.