International Journal of Coercion, Abuse, and Manipulation (IJCAM)

Vo. 2, pp. 82-97 (2021). First Published, November 10, 2021. DOI:

The Eternal Commitment: Scientology’s Billion-Year Contract

Phil Lord


In this paper, I analyse the billion-year contract, a fundamental instrument in the Scientology religion. This contract is signed solely by members of Scientology’s most senior order, the Sea Organisation, after they have proven their unqualified allegiance to the Organisation. I provide an overview of the Sea Organisation and of the onerous process that leads to it. I then undertake an analysis of the billion-year contract and its fundamental role in defining and strengthening the commitment that binds the members to their organisation. I conclude that the billion-year contract is, contrary to what the Church suggests, far more than a “symbolic” commitment—it is, at once, a rebellious, visionary, and constitutive act.

Keywords: Law and religion, Scientology, billion-year contract, Sea Organisation