The Missions of Scientology — Where Are They?

Scientology Santa Monica Msn

Another Scientology Mission Closed….

Again, it is unfortunate for David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology that they now have a listing of all Missions on their website.

The 1993 edition of “What Is Scientology?” gives a perfect 20 year comparison of the period that Miscavige routinely calls our “greatest expansion in history”.  And that comparison is not pretty — and certainly doesnt fall into the category of “greatest periods of expansion.”  


 What do Ideal Orgs Have To Do With It?

As you may be aware, David Miscavige himself announced that every “Ideal Org” would be the central point for expansion in its zone – putting missions and groups in its field, and as they expanded they would create a huge new field and the original Ideal Org would become an AO and each of the Missions would become orgs and that the groups would become missions. There was a CGI graphic of this scheme that was shown at many events when he was originally trying to sell the public on this idea and convince them this was not just a scheme to make money, but truly a plan to Clear the Planet (just like the Super Power Building). Miscavige himself spent many many hours rejecting and having the video redone to his exact specifications.

Part of the plan is that every Org is supposed to have 20 flourishing and prospering missions around it that are a direct result of the Org’s Div 6 reaching out and creating new Missions and working to expand the ones they already have. It is the entire theory of Miscavige’s Ideal Org “strategy” though not much is said about it these days.

There will be more to come analyzing the state of the Ideal Orgs in detail, this post addresses the state of the Scientology Mission Network in broad terms and the success of some of these “Ideal Orgs” in “building their field” and opening or running Missions around them as feeders onto the Bridge.

It’s not a pretty picture.


 The Facts as Presented by the Church of Scientology

First, the raw figures.

In 1993 there were a total of 236 Missions internationally.

Today, the total is 325.

This is a 37% increase over 20 years – less than 2% a year. Hardly spectacular, and certainly not going to “Clear The Planet.”  But it IS better than the increase in number of orgs…

BUT – and this is a big but given the “strategy” mentioned above.

The increase is composed of 44 new Missions in Russia, 22 in Ukraine, 17 in Hungary, 16 in other Eastern Bloc countries and 17 in Taiwan.  Between them that is 116.  Meaning a net loss of 27 missions in other countries around the world. 

There are two orgs in Russia, one is “ideal” and the other is not so they are on the Miscavige quota (though it must be said that the VAST majority of these missions were opened in the 90’s — NOT in the last decade — the years of greatest expansion according to Miscavige (the last 5 years) have seen virtually no growth in missions in Russia.

There is an org in Hungary – Budapest — though NOT an Ideal Org…. (hmmm, guess you don’t HAVE to be an ideal org…) 

There is NO ORG in Ukraine or any other Eastern bloc country or Taiwan. 

But in this time of massive international expansion the listing also shows there is no longer ANY SCIENTOLOGY MISSION (and no orgs of course) in the following countries that DID have Missions in 1993 – Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, Zaire, Malaysia, Cuba and Honduras.

Now, let’s analyze the first Ideal Orgs as they have had the longest to achieve the desired objective of 20 missions in their zone:

Buffalo – Today it counts Albany, Middletown and Rochester.  An increase of 1 (Middletown) since 1993.

Tampa – Belleaire, Clearwater, Ocala (really Orlando Org is closest but give them the benefit of the doubt as all of these are actually missions owned and operated by Flag public). Increase of 2 since 1993.

San Francisco – There are 6 class V orgs in Northern California and who knows who claims which missions. There are 22 missions in the region today. There were 14 in 1993.  An increase of ONE mission per org in 20 years.

Madrid – 2 in 1993, 5 today.  3 is the BIGGEST expansion around any of the original “Ideal Orgs”

Joburg – 4 in 1993, 4 today. No increase.

New York – 3 in 1993, 1 today. No comment.

I would hazard a guess that many of those Missions in Russia and Ukraine are VERY difficult to find, if they even exist today.


Do Everything Possible to Avoid Closing a Mission

I received word recently that the Beverly Hills Mission (once one of the most financially successful Missions in the SMI Network) had “combined” with  the Sherman Oaks mission in order to survive. SMI insisted that they keep AN auditing room in Beverly Hills, so there would be “no mission closure”! So in those more remote areas, you can imagine what qualifies as a mission so SMI doesn’t have to report another “closure.”

It’s really embarrassing when it happens in Los Angeles or Tampa, like the Mission of Old Tampa Bay that “sprang up” and disappeared again or the much publicized “celebrity mission” of Santa Monica pictured above – or this one in Redlands which was covered in an earlier post here


No Evidence of Expansion 

Of course, Orgs and Missions are the best indicator of “expansion.”  In spite of the Shermanspeak and endless hype, there just is NO evidence of the monumental expansion — or any expansion at all!   Even according to the church’s OWN website…

And I haven’t even touched on where are the 11,ooo Scientology Orgs, Missions and related groups as so far we have only accounted for 150 orgs and 325 missions. Wonder where the other 10,525+ are?

We will examine the REAL state of one of these orgs, straight from the horses’ mouth…. What is happening INSIDE one of the original “Ideal Orgs” today. It is a heartbreaking story that is difficult to read, but lays bare the lies. Maybe Miscavige should visit an ACTUAL org every now and then instead of just showing up for Grand Opening hype fests….

More and more people are sending information to me about their stories and the current scene in their area, copies of emails and promotional pieces.  It is greatly appreciated. I am working to put it together into cohesive posts.  Keep the information flowing. 

Mike Rinder


  1. Roy says

    The Mission holder in Chula Vista Ca. had a space that was essentially closed except for one hour per week when he checked the fax machine. Over a period of years there was little attention from upper management or the local San Diego Org. This “mission” was obviously a prop for statistical reasons and he was literally ignored. When he decided to announce his intent to close it, he got LOTS of attention and threats to keep it open. And he was pressured into opening it in the first place. The apparency that Miscavige cares about these locations beyond having a street address is paper thin indeed.

    • Mike Rinder says

      Interesting Roy. Matches with a lot of other data that has come in.

      The “massive international expansion” exists only in Miscavige’s mind.

      I think he might be trying to emulate LRH’s success as an author of fiction….

  2. Robin Adair says


    Many of these so called “Missions” wouldn’t even qualify as gung ho groups.
    Others are just post office boxes.
    Some have probably folded and are still listed on their website.
    In other words any increase is more than likely a false stat.

  3. PlainOldThetan says

    Mike: It’s a pipe dream that the Mission-Org scheme is working as DM envisioned. Having lived in Los Angeles county for 35 years, I can tell you that any Mission that is more than a half-hour’s drive from an Org is definitely NOT in that Org’s field. You can’t really send a pc or trainee on a 70-mile round trip daily when selecting them to an upper Org. It’s just plain impractical and loses its romance after a few months and several thousand dollars in gas. I have raged about, and continue to rage about, the fact that Ideal Orgs are labeled “Ideal” even when there are NO missions within a half-hour’s drive. Labeling something “Ideal” by fiat don’t make it so. The emptiness of the so-called “Ideal Orgs” is testimony to that piece of the failed DM Ideal Org strategy.

  4. One of those who see says

    I’m a little confused about NY. In the early 80’s I believe they had 2 missions, Geltmans and 5th Avenue, which was later on Hudson Street. They closed down then. 5th Ave in 1982 I believe. Not sure about Geltmans, but I think it was shortly after. Then I think there were no missions for a while. Not sure of my data. Anyone else have info.

  5. One of those who see says

    The one thing Scientology should be trafficking in is The Truth. The Church isn’t. Any real success they have is when they are working in Truth. At the moment, there is enough truth to keep them barely breathing. With all the lies they are committing suicide. The Independent Movement seems to have naturally taken up the banner of Truth. This is of course the correct road. Even with the disaster that the Church has become, Scientology will survive because of the great amount of truth in it. There is so much good in Scientology, lies and exaggeration are not even needed. What you are discussing here Mike is a KEY insanity in the Church.

  6. ExAOLA says

    Charlotte mission in NC is all but closed with it being housed in the mission holders office building. Last time I checked it was open one day a week with no new students in years.

  7. Undisturbed says

    I live in Santa Monica and confirm that Santa Monica mission had a location several years ago on Ocean Blvd and then moved to last location on Wilshire Blvd. It has been closed for several years now
    Also the Malibu Mission was once on Pacific Coast Hwy in Malibu (a very busy 4 lane highway) but moved several years ago to the Point Zume shopping center (in northern end of Malibu) and when last I was by there (maybe 1 year ago) it was open a pathetic maybe 8 hours a week and did not look big enough to even have a comm course inside.
    Truly a sad state of affairs, even here in beach communities of Los Angeles.

    • Persistence says

      The Malibu “Mission” is now being run out of the mission holder’s home as it is not allowed to close.

  8. says

    The amazing thing is that some of these Missions used to be very successful, such as Teaneck NJ, Clearwater, Belleair. Teaneck is gone, and the other two are struggling. Looks like dm cannot help himself, but destroy the missions.

  9. george says

    Mike these are the stats that were the main persuader for me to leave the church. If it were doing well, lots of pcs going clear and students coauditing, AND I COULD SEE IT, Debbie Cooks email would have had no effect on me and DM loosing his cool every now and then (sorry to say) I would have forgave. But the bottom end of the bridge is blocked and DM is doing his best to block the top end too. Whats interesting is that every now the then some bright Thetan gets the tech and opens up his country but then even they then faulter. I remember Japan when it first opened up and was going to be the next big thing. Never happened. This site is an eye opener, someone posted on Martys site, its gives the state of the missions in California.

  10. Paul Jay Salerno says

    Excellent post again Mr Rinder. With any luck the Narconons will vanish at the same rate soon.

  11. Marta says

    Heh. “..there just is NO evidence of the monumental expansion — or any expansion at all!” And backed by the numbers. Way to call Bullshit, Mike.

  12. Poison Ivy says

    MIke, as a “never-in” Scientology watcher/Bunkerite from Tony’s Blog, I have a lot of respect for you and Marty and how you have helped others escape from the unholy prison of the church. It is so nice to see you doing your own blog. Lots of great info here. Still sometimes can’t get my head around the magnitude of Miscavige’s institutionalized lies. I loved your comment on “Shermanspeak” at Tony’s place today – as a professional writer the language used by Miscavige (and on most of the Scientology materials/videos) is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Congrats on your new forum!

  13. Hartley Patterson says

    Thanks for all the data. I’d really appreciate anything with sources that I can add it to my counts, which presently run from 1998 to 2009. Only by tabulating the figures do trends emerge: The 1978 info is particularly interesting.
    The official number of Missions peaked around 2007, just before Anonymous, at about 380. It seems to have stablised again at around 320. The many Missions in Eastern Europe existed I suspect because travel is too difficult.
    I don’t believe any of the ‘African Missions’ listed in 1993 were anything more than a bookshelf.
    The SMI list used to be accurate, but I suspect at some point central Mission support was gutted, maybe as you suggest the intention was to shift responsibility for them to the Ideal Orgs.

  14. says

    I was a staff member at the Santa Monica Mission in the mid 90’s. It was a part time mission, open nights and part of the weekend. There was never more than four or five people on course the whole time I was there, and I knew of no pcs because there was no auditor on staff there.
    I was also a staff member at the now defunct South Pasadena mission. That mission closed after the mission holder was recruited on to staff at the LA Org by Ray Mithoff to make it go “Saint Hill Size” in the 1990’s.
    That whole Miscavige scheme of orgs setting up groups and missions around itself – so as to give away all its new customers to other organzations – is completely idiotic. It is clear that who ever hatched that scheme, as well as those who sat around watching it, never knew what it is like to work in a service org or mission. It is clear to me that Int Base was filled with people who never actually worked in a service org.
    Is that true?
    It goes back to Hubbard, of course. Even the idea of Missions, Class 5 orgs, Saint Hills and AOs is completely unworkable.
    For example, I worked in a mission in the middle of the cornfields in Peoria, IL that had 4 full time staff. We had 2 Class 8 C/Ses, a class 6, and me as “ED”. I was actually admin support for their delivery. But we were only a “mission”. So we couldn’t train any auditors. They had to go to Chicago or St Louis for that. Guess what? It rarely happened. Actually, it virtually never happened. The whole technical hierarchy scheme of the org or mission itself was a layer of arbitrary bureaucracy that few even questioned. And it would not have done any good if you had.
    Scientology does not contain the technology of expansion. Every organizational expansion I have ever seen has been destroyed by another Scn organization, like tigers eating their young.

    • Mike Rinder says

      Allen — the groups and missions around orgs is from LRH policy. And it has been successful in earlier days. There are plenty of people in Int Mgmt who worked in delivery orgs. Not all of course. but there are enough. Ray Mithoff, Guillaume Lesevre, Mark Ingber and plenty of others.

      • says

        Well can you imagine what it is like to be working in a mission, day in and day out, with highly trained people, one of whom was trained by LRH himself, and you have people who live in town or nearby, who are totally willing to come in 3 to 5 times per week to do training to become auditors.
        The Class 6 was a Pro Sup.
        The two Class 8s could handle anything necessary to train a Class 4 auditor.
        But the expansion that was sitting there waiting to happen was totally bogged because of the rule that a mission can not train auditors.
        And remember the war between orgs and missions about how missions were bogarting public and not flowing them up to orgs?
        Of course they weren’t. They have to survive. As any organization has to.
        Why have any difference between a mission and an org? Why not just have people who can train others to a certain training level? Why does the kind of organization it is called cause all these rules to kick in?
        I looked at myself one day and realized that I had spent 7.5 years of my life trying to have a career selling a PHILOSOPHY in one of the most materialistic societies on Earth, and the people who were running this organization, my seniors, had all these RULES and STANDARD ADMIN and PRICES they were charging that were just completely retarded.
        And then we find out they were running around in fake Navy uniforms BEATING EACH OTHER UP!
        Wow. What possibly could have gone wrong there?

  15. says

    These “missions” are a joke. They list a “Portland Mission” at 8210 SW 25th here in Portland. I went down there to see it a couple of years ago – it’s a used clothing shop and a meeting room used by the Portland Chess Club – no Scientology in evidence. There are NO missions in Portland.

    • Mike Rinder says

      Jeff — I dont doubt it. And Portland is the NEXT Ideal Org!!! What a sad joke this is. Joke because it’s really a study in outpoints. Sad because the clubbed seals buy it all…

      • Kristina says

        I met the mission holder’s daughter of that mission a few years ago when we were looking for a place to rent in Portland. The place was listed on Craigslist for rent. I had no idea it had been a mission, but did a google search before we went to look at it and found out. When we went to see the place, I got around to asking her about it having been a Scientology mission. She went on to tell me how the staff had been ripped off (my words) by the Portland Org as part of the ideal org thing — but she said she was fully supportive of management’s plans and said she knows once the ideal orgs are completed, then management will get around to creating ideal missions, so it was just a matter of priorities.
        — You gotta love ’em.

  16. says

    Great work, Mike! I did a recent phone survey of the 62 orgs that reported 0 book sales in the November bookathon and found that a dozen didn’t answer their phones and a few others were not open during stated business hours. Madrid, an Ideal Org, did not answer their phone on the occasions I tried calling.

  17. Nomnom says

    For the record, worldwide in 1978 there were 79 orgs, 172 missions and 141 groups.
    Orgs: Australia 5, Austria 1, Canada 5, Denmark 6, France 1,Germany 1, Holland 1, New Zealand 1, Rhodesia 1, South Africa 6, Sweden 3, Switzerland 1, United Kingdom 9 and the US 38.

  18. says

    Apparently, the Ron’s Org missions in Russia are doing rather well. Maybe they could give the Demented Midget a few pointers on how to create expansion.

    • roger weller says

      there are 22 rons org locations in Russia, Max recently told me that. that is pretty cool.

      • The Watcher says

        Your enthusiasm is appreciated Voltaire but lets keep it quiet please.
        LRH did write a policy about such discretion.

  19. gato rojo says

    Where are all the new groups that make up that 10,525+? That stat is padded with all the indy groups and practicing individuals! LOL….

    • Mike Rinder says

      GR — nice to see you here!

      That figure is padded with make believe….

      They count every business that ever used LRH tech, ever tutor, every Volunteer Minister, every Dianetics group, every “human rights” group… Anything, anywhere and then they multiply it by X or Y or Z — whatever takes Miscavige’s fancy that day…

      • roger weller says

        it is a total joke, i think the big Scientology boom of the 70s is over,never to return,but all they need to make 300million a year is get 1,000 people to do the bridge a year, the orgs needs to find about 10 peoplea a year to go to flag,then if they I.A.S. reg them for another 300,000, that will be 600 million.
        if they were smart, sell of these big buildings and have 100 upscale missions with 6 or so staff, give good service and get them to flag. the ideal orgs will never work even if dm leaves and somene else takes over, IT is just a scam to make money and get people to work for free and say there planning on clearing 8 billion people. i wouldnt want to live on this planet if it was run like a scientology org.

    • very anonymous says

      That official number most probably counts every single FSM, WISE company and whatever else we have out there, as after all, every individual has a full org board, or should I say IS a full org board.

      The problem started in the mid 70s, if I remember correctly, when PR talked about millions of scientologists and then could not erase that from the first WIS. So PR was stuck with a lie. I can’t say why I know the full membership without staff never was above 100,000, but others may corroborate that figure.