Freewinds Asbestos discovered ..finally

Discussion in 'Gold Base, Freewinds, and FLAG' started by dr3k, Apr 29, 2008.

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  1. Cavalier

    Cavalier Patron

    Yeah, sorry this was so sloppily written. Copypasta'd from Word doc & cut off the first sentence; didn't notice until after I hit "submit". Would have read a lot better with the intended lead. Should have started: Allegations are flying that the Church of Scientology may have knowingly exposed thousands of people to asbestos, a known carcinogen, over the past 21 years.
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Patron with Honors

    Sorry, I didn't read the actual article just the headlines and the pictures.

    It arrived on bin (aka trash) night so it just went into the recycling. I'm surprised it hasn't been discussed here earlier it takes at least two weeks for their mail to arrive to me Australia I thought it would have been old news.

    I swear the US postal service will be seriously pissed off if the CoS goes down. It would almost be a full time job for someone to read through all of the promotional material that arrives each week at my house!
  3. GreyLensman

    GreyLensman Silver Meritorious Patron

    Welcome, Lawrence. And thank you for what you were able to make happen. I know it made a difference in two cases in particular.

    I know what you mean about hitting your head against a brick wall. I've worked Scientology Renos, and the attitude if you try to put any ethics in is "make it go right" or "you are wrong and you have counter-intention". Never is any care taken for the persons working in the environment.
  4. GreyLensman

    GreyLensman Silver Meritorious Patron

    Nonfriable (solid, not crumbling) asbestos is okay if sealed up and undisturbed - like asbestos floor tile or siding - I'd love to give you encouragement, but sealed up doesn't mean covered lightly by paneling or metal suspended ceiling. It means completely enclosed either in a substantial barrier or beneath a coating. And I'm pretty sure that blue asbestos in this form is friable, meaning it will distribute in air and migrate. And you aren't supposed to cover that stuff, you have to remove it.

    Most older ships with this stuff were scrapped, in one case the ship wasn't worth salvage for scrap, they sunk it in deep water. This is the case of the church making a serious financial error in purchasing a worthless ship (I'm sure they got a good price). Because of the policies and the inability to make a correct decision on the part of Sea Org personnel, the danger was literally covered up. Can you imagine being the I/C of this original renovation? "Sir we can't renovate the ship because its a friggin death trap..." Sadly it could never happen.
  5. Good twin

    Good twin Floater

    So... a doctor can check your asbestos levels? How does one determine this?
  6. SomeGuy

    SomeGuy Patron Meritorious

    Start here

    From there you can screen by either x-ray or ct-scan if anything is found they would do a biopsy.

    I read somewhere else...will try to find the link for you about exposure screening.
    Last edited: May 2, 2008
  7. NonScio

    NonScio Patron Meritorious

    I think they paid $11 million for the ship. That seems like a very low price
    for a ship of that size. I wonder how much the ship was worth as scrap
    at the time. I would imagine that the seller informed Scientology of
    the asbestos cover themselves for the legal liability
    if nothing else.

    Now that its been quarantined in drydock, all the legal documentation
    of the asbestos on the ship will be abailiable. The lawyers will
    have a slam dunk on this one. Latham and Watkins, are you ready
    for this one? (I wonder if they [Latham and Watkins] assisted
    in the cover up of this over the past 20 years). This is going
    to be a bit more complicated than sending the threatening
    notes to teenage annonymous members!

    They should have sunk the death trap while they had the chance.
    Oh well, the Navy always needs target practice. Are there any
    Sea Org members willing to crew the ship to sail it out to the
    firing range?
  8. Tom of Helatrobus

    Tom of Helatrobus Patron Meritorious

    I'm sure, in a metaphorical sense, that many Sea Org members will be going down with the Freewinds.

    As a Navy Veteran I can tell you the Freewinds would make GREAT target practice. If the Sea Org sold it to the Navy for scrape, I would love to be there when they blew it to bits. I would open up on it with 3" guns first and then finish it off with a couple of Harpon ship to ship missles. That would be totally freakin' sweet!
  9. LA SCN

    LA SCN NOT drinking the kool-aid

    needed and wanted ?

    Wouldn't it be great to get someone established on location in Curacao so we could get live info on the situation - maybe even stream some live internet video and interviews to DA this Cof$ denial ?

    Anonymous - moar caek ? It would be very geeky ! :happydance:
  10. Lawrence

    Lawrence Patron

    If you imagine the long passageways of the freewinds running the full length of the ship and giving access to the cabins and other rooms, at every deck level. Above your head you have ceiling tiles in a metal grid exactely like an office building (the ceiling tiles are asbestos, but not blue absestos). Take down the tiles and you see a maze of ducts, pipes electrical wiring, just a ton of stuff. This is then attached to the underside of the steel deck above with hangers bolted into the deck, through a 3 inch layer of sprayed asbestos. There is no way to encapsulate the asbestos without coating all the pipes etc. which you need full access to for maintenance. I just do not see anyway to do this. If the Church says they have made it safe, HOW? It simply cannot be done. That is why nearly all cruise ships from this era have been scrapped.

    Combine this with the fact that the Freewinds was originally built as a car ferry which needed even more stringent fireproofing for obvious reasons (a cargo of gasoline laden cars is potentially lethal, there have been many ferry fires). The entire ship is divided into vertical and horizontral fire compartments with steel decks and walls lined with sprayed blue asbestos. This was compromised during the original renos. but every time you have to change a pipe or wiring during routine maintenance, the asbestos is right there, with the pipe attached to the steel through the asbestos. No matter how many times OSA declares it safe I simply don't see a way to encapsulate the asbestos and stopping it going airborne.
  11. TheSneakster

    TheSneakster Guest

    not important
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2012
  12. Emma

    Emma Mother of Dragons Administrator

    Lawrence has identified himself on another thread. He is the same Lawrence Woodcraft who write the affidavit. We are indeed honoured! :p

    OHTEEATE Silver Meritorious Patron

    verbal clay demo

    So, let me see if I get this right, you have bare or painted metel, or primer coated metal, and then you take a hose and spray blue asbestos mixed with a glue, onto the steel decks, beams, plates,hull. Then, you lay in your pipes, conduits, wires, panels all over the asbestos, so that in order to remove the asbestos entirely, you would have to remove all the paneling, all the wires, all the pipes, basically strip the inside of the ship to bare bones, clean every speck of insulation shot into every tiny crevice, which in many cases included UNREACHABLE SPACES, and then give up and cut it up for scrap. All with Government officials breathing down your neck. Oh, and while all this is happening, you are wearing what looks like a spacesuit, with airhoses, and it all goes into plastic bags for hazardous material disposal. VERY expensive.

    Nope, nothing to see here...move along, HEY! look over there!

    This is too good, Paul, pass the popcorn please? No, the buttered kind...thanks, buddy. So, is that about right, Lawrence?:yes:
  14. Free to shine

    Free to shine Shiny & Free


    The denials are in place, I can't wait to see what happens when the lawyers start circling.

    :drama: < one for you Mike.

    OHTEEATE Silver Meritorious Patron

    I had a strong interest at one time in the ship, as I had contributed $75,000 towards its' purchase, and was awarded OT 8 and 9, and my name on a cabin door, and a spot on the original Maiden Voyage in 1988, before Maiden Voyage became a yearly event. ( only a Scientologist would buy that weird concept, the yearly maiden voyage). Jens Bogvad was the I/C of the mission to find a ship. After a worldwide search, they found it in St. Pete, Florida, nearby. 11 Million is correct. The plans were in Finnish. I know Jens was Scandinavian, but I don't know when the blue asbestos thing was first known. That is a task for a legal assistant. Lawrence Woodcraft ably described his whistleblowing in the period of 1987, which was disregarded for various reasons. I never heard one word about blue asbestos until 2005, when I got out of the Sea Org and started reading the internet, and saw the affidavit. I was on the ship at least 6 times, including one month in 1988 for OT 8. I was married there in 2003.
    I met Mike Napier at Flag in 1987, while on a six-month check on OT 7. He was also doing OT 6, and preparing to join the Sea Org. I liked him immediately. Here was a guy who was really into ships, and being a Captain, who was the perfect recruit for Captain Freewinds. 20 years later, he will probably be the head on a pike. I'm really hoping it won't be him, but am afraid it will be. He is one guy I would be willing to harbor should he need refuge. There are other ships, Mike. You were dealt a hand with a long fuse attached and already burning.
  16. NonScio

    NonScio Patron Meritorious

    Here is some legal information on maritime asbestos.

    "Seamen's Personal Injuries
    Anyone who has ever worked aboard a vessel knows that the marine environment is hazardous. Marine employment requires training, skill, and care. However, even the most careful and experienced seaman cannot always guard against equipment failure or the negligence of others.
    If you are a member of a crew of a vessel, whether that vessel is a cargo ship, a ferry, a casino boat, a long-liner, a tug, a jack-up rig, a drilling ship, or any other means of carrying persons or freight across water, you could be a seaman who is entitled to the benefits that Congress and the General Maritime Law provide.

    Seamen are not covered by any type of Workers Compensation statutes like those that exist for land-based workers. To compensate seamen and their families for a seaman's personal injuries or death, the Courts and Congress have developed a patchwork of remedies available to seamen who become sick or injured during their employment aboard vessels. Maintenance and Cure, the Jones Act, and the Unseaworthiness doctrine are laws and legal concepts that require specialized knowledge of maritime law.

    Seamen can also obtain the protection of maritime law for illnesses developed after their employment for exposure to asbestos or hazardous chemicals.

    A seaman is also entitled to damages for the unseaworthiness of a vessel, maintenance and cure, and Jones Act damages. These remedies are only applicable to seamen and do not apply to land-based workers. Most attorneys are not experienced with these laws designed to protect seamen. Our attorneys are fully qualified to help the seaman navigate his way through the patchwork of remedies to insure that the seaman receives proper medical attention and is fully compensated for his injuries. Maritime Legal Resources was founded by Capt. T. Keith Marshall, III, (1957-2003), who sailed at sea for twenty years and held an Unlimited Tonnage Master Mariners License. Our attorneys continue to adhere to the founding principles - a firm founded by seamen, for seamen. We fully understand the unique hazards that a seaman encounters on a daily basis.

    The attorney representing you in an accident on the water needs to know more than how to steer a boat. Knowledge of the Nautical Rules of the Road is essential. Knowledge of admiralty and maritime law and how to apply the facts of your case to the law is absolutely crucial. The members of Maritime Legal Resources are experienced mariners and furthermore, qualified maritime attorneys. If you have an accident on the water, you need the team at Maritime Legal Resources.


    Asbestos is a substance that occurs naturally in several countries, but the principal commercial source was South Africa. Asbestos has very good insulating properties and was used for decades as insulating material for steam pipes. Unfortunately, asbestos can cause illness and death.

    Workers in ships and shipyards during the 1950's, 60's, and 70's were routinely exposed to asbestos. Many of them have already become ill or died. Once the dangers of asbestos became known, manufacturers quit using it on new construction. However, the ships that pre-dated this knowledge are still afloat, and workers can be exposed even today to this injurious substance.

    If you have worked aboard ships, you may have a claim against the vessel and/or your employer, whether you worked at sea or in a shipyard or location where asbestos exposure occurred. Further, many individuals signed up to participate in class actions, but never received adequate compensation. If you fall into any of these categories, you should contact Maritime Legal Resources so that we can advise you on how to recover from the responsible party.

    Here is another link on the same subject:
  17. XGO

    XGO Patron

    To me, this is one of the hottest issues (both legally and PR wise) for the Cof$, and I am surprised it has not gotten more attention. Maybe the news media and internet sites are waiting to see the results from the Curacao authorities, which makes sense.
    I received today a brochure in the mail from Cof$ stating that Freewinds conventions are scheduled from 22 May through the summer.
    Does anybody have any current info on the ship and asbestos predicament?
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  18. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    What asbestos predicament? From Karin Pouw, CofS spokeshole, 1 May (Mayday! Mayday!) :
  19. gomorrhan

    gomorrhan Gold Meritorious Patron

    What's really wierd is that with all the money the Church has, you'd think they would just scrap the Freewinds, and buy a luxury liner custom designed to their specifications, even if it cost 100 million to do so. They have that kind of money, and it would prevent this kind of problem. But, what goes around comes around!
  20. Mark A. Baker

    Mark A. Baker Sponsor

    Do NOT underestimate the costs of acquisition & purchase of a new vessel. Ships don't come cheap. Same with operating costs EVEN if you do "man it with slaves".

    Besides, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the resulting costs of disposal of the Freewinds doesn't put a serious drain on Cash Reserves. Would Davey REALLY want to sell/mortgage properties in order to junk the old ship and acquire & upgrade another vessel?

    This is a very expensive problem and given all the new publicity from Anon, the resulting needs of a new PR offensive, & the need to "defend" their tax status it really could have happened at a better time for the Co$. :bigcry:

    I suspect there will be another "tech breakthrough" and an increase in rates coming along shortly.

    Mark A. Baker :D