SCIENTOLOGY MOTOR VESSEL FREEWINDS CELEBRATES 25 YEARS OF HUMANITARIAN SERVICE
JUNE 21, 2014
On the evening of Saturday June 14, fireworks fell above St. Kitts Bay as the Scientology Motor Vessel Freewinds launched on her Silver Anniversary Cruise.
In celebration of her 25 years at sea, a weeklong convocation convened aboard the religious retreat, attended by more than 200 advanced Scientologists from Churches around the world.
Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, presented a series of events highlighting a year of unparalleled expansion.
In addressing the Scientologists on board, Mr. Miscavige said: “We celebrate a Freewinds Silver Anniversary in the wake of an era beyond any other. Just six months ago, we launched our Golden Age of Tech Phase II and today, more Scientologists than ever in history ascend the Bridge to spiritual freedom. And so it is only fitting we assemble aboard the Freewinds, where every Scientologist is ultimately destined. And it is all the more appropriate, given this ship’s greater humanitarian mission—to create a world where all may ascend to vistas never imagined.”
Over the course of the anniversary cruise, Mr. Miscavige also detailed accomplishments capping a quarter century of maritime and humanitarian service by the Freewinds.
The Freewinds is the only civilian ship on the high seas designated as an official training platform by the United Nations International Maritime Organization. In that capacity, the Freewinds has conducted safety and security training for more than 100 Caribbean port authorities, coast guards and maritime organizations.
Freewinds passengers and crew have contributed tens of thousands of hours of humanitarian work to the islands they visit, including organizing and conducting cultural programs; sponsoring drug prevention, human rights and moral education for island youth; and hosting benefits for community and charitable organizations.
The broader social mission of the Freewinds is exemplified by the ship’s partnership with national police and military organizations to bring The Way to Happiness—a common sense guide to better living—to nations across the Caribbean as well as both South and Central America.
To date, more than 11 million copies of the booklet have been distributed in island ports and throughout Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. The booklet is now recognized as a contributing factor to lowering crime rates and instilling morals.
In recognition of the Freewinds’ contributions, more than 300 awards have been bestowed in her honor. Those recognizing the ship comprise an entire spectrum of civic organizations, government agencies and ministries, as well as prime ministers and presidents.
In commemoration of her 25th anniversary, the Freewinds was further presented special awards, including:
- “Freewinds Day” officially proclaimed across 31 islands by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, recognizing the ship for enriching “the standard of life and well-being” throughout the Wider Caribbean Region
- A monument in Curacao’s Port of Willemstad—the Freewinds’ home port—unveiled by the office of the Prime Minister in honor of the ship's permanent berth on the island
- A monument at Bonaire Harbor, commissioned by the governor in appreciation of the ship’s 25 years of support
- A monument at St. Lucia Harbor, presented on behalf of the government and people for Freewinds’ contributions to her people
- A commemorative Freewinds postage stamp from the island of Aruba.
The Freewinds began service as a Church of Scientology advanced religious retreat in 1988. The 440-foot motor vessel provides a distraction-free environment for parishioners to study and experience the highest level of spiritual counseling available in the Scientology religion. The Freewinds further serves as a venue for international Scientology conventions and events.