We continue our discussion from last week about Committees of Evidence with Claire Headley, now covering the snitch culture of scientology and the subject of Knowledge Reports. It is one of the most important control mechanisms within the scientology world. As we normally do, I have included documents that give the whole story of things we mention.
Scientology Org Board outline, the full “7 Division Org Board”:
The “Hubbard Communications Office” Div 1 org board.
Department 3 “Inspection and Reports” is where the Ethics Officer is located
The Anderson Cooper appearance of the “Inch wives” — my ex-wife, along with Tom DeVocht, Marty Rathbun and Jeff Hawkin’s ex-wives. A perfect example of scientology rehearsed and drilled lies:
High Crimes are listed separately: List of High Crimes from Intro to Scn Ethics
We talk about Dev-T, one of the most useful terms Hubbard invented as there is no good equivalent in normal language for it. It means developed and unnecessary traffic. Something that is dev-t is wasteful, annoying. not needed, distracting — any and all of the above. Hubbard wrote a lot of policy letters on this subject. We talk about the list of reports including various forms of Dev-T. This is the policy letter that describes all these various types of Dev-T.
We also mention a horrific Scientology Day Care story you can read about it here on Tony Ortega’s blog.
Spectacular episode. The fast interplay of answers and reactions, just so entertaining and sadly tragically funny.
I say Xenu’s “body-thetans” on all those Scientologists, and tell every one of the lower Scientologists the secrets of Xenu’s dumping “body-thetans” on earth, just spoil the whole stepladder of quackery.
I say tell all the newbies
XENU CAUSED THE WALL OF FIRE
THE OT LEVELS 3, 4, 5, 6 AND 7 ALL DEAL WITH EXORCISING XENU’S EARTH DUMP OF BODY-THETANS.
Just spill the beans and reveal the secrets, and tell everyone who asks what are the ultimate spoiler alert secrets that supposedly fry their brains, but of course don’t fry their brains, it’s all just nonsense BS quackery sold as snipe hunting.
Xenu material just undermines the nonsense, so tell it to everyone, and ruin everyone’s idea of Scientology and reveal it as the snipe hunting scam that it is.
Give Scientology Xenu all the time, every chance you get.
L. Ron Hubbard gave Scientology the Xenu Achilles heel, so it’s all on Hubbard, and use Xenu to spoil alert the snipe hunting scam every chance you get.
Andrea "i-Betty" Garner says
This is in my top three episodes of the podcast. I never miss an episode so I was fully expecting the usual warmth from Claire (she’s my hot chocolate with whipped cream on a snowy day), the common sense interjections from Mike (my cup of strong Yorkshire tea when I need comforting), and the passion and fire from Leah (my fruity cocktail adorned with little umbrellas, twiddly things, and sparklers when I want a night of outrageous fun with my girls), but what I didn’t expect was the brand new reveals, or just how concisely this dense subject would be laid out with clarity, whilst somehow still managing to make me laugh my socks off. What a lovely trio you three make. Merry Christmas to you all!
Mike Rinder says
That is such a nice comment Andrea. Thank you. Back at you.
Andrea Garner says
And to you, Christie and the boys 🙂
This whole topic reminds me of a fun thing that anyone can do! Simply write reports on anything in Scientology that you are aware of that violates any Scientology policy!
We can report any alterations to Scientology policies and procedures that David Miscavige has implemented and send copies to every org!
How about violating policies on fund raising that provides no service?
Didn’t Debbie Cook discuss this in her email? I am sure someone has a copy we can check out!
I think it would be fun for David Miscavige if the orgs were flooded with mail jam packed with reports on his actions!
You can make copies of the reports and just keep sending them over and over!
Here’s Debbie Cook’s email as a reference!
Debbie Cook’s email PDF | Print | E-mail
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 20:23
December 31, 2011
I am emailing you as a friend and fellow Scientologist. As we enter a new year, it is hoped that 2012 can be a year of great dissemination and a year of real progress up The Bridge for all Scientologists.
Although I am not in the Sea Org right now, I served in the Sea Org at Flag for 29 years. 17 of those years were as Captain FSO. I am a trained auditor and C/S as well as an OEC, FEBC and DSEC.
I am completely dedicated to the technology of Dianetics and Scientology and the works of LRH. I have seen some of the most stunning and miraculous results in the application of LRH technology and I absolutely know it is worth fighting to keep it pure and unadulterated.
My husband and I are in good standing and we are not connected with anyone who is not in good standing. We have steadfastly refused to speak to any media, even though many have contacted us.
But I do have some very serious concerns about out-KSW that I see permeating the Scientology religion.
I have the utmost respect for the thousands of dedicated Scientologists and Sea Org members. Together, we have come through everything this world could throw at us and have some real impingement on the world around us. I am proud of our accomplishments and I know you are too. However there is no question that this new age of continuous fundraising is not our finest moment.
LRH says in HCO PL 9 Jan 51, An Essay on Management, “drop no curtains between the organization and the public about anything.” -LRH
Based on this policy I am communicating to you about some situations that we need to do something about within our religion, within our group.
Actions that are either not covered in policy or directly violate LRH policy and tech include the extreme over-regging and fund-raising activities that have become so much a part of nearly every Sea Org org and Class V org as well as every “OT Committee”. This fundraising is not covered anywhere in LRH policy.
Hardworking Sea Org members and the dedicated staff of orgs around the world aren’t choosing to do these actions. Nor are the OTs. I am sure they would be more than happy if they could just get on with direct dissemination of Scientology as they have done for so many years.
But the truth is that this is being driven from the very highest echelons within the Scientology structure and clearly there is a lot of pressure to make targets that are being set.
The IAS: The IAS was created unbeknownst to LRH in 1984 by Marc Yager and David Miscavige. This was supposed to be based on LRH policies on the subject of membership and the HASI, however the IAS is nothing like the membership system described by LRH which only has two memberships and is covered in HCO PL 22 March 1965 “Current Promotion and Org Program Summary, Membership Rundown” and states:
“There are two memberships…”- LRH
LRH lists there the INTERNATIONAL ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP and gives its cost at 10 pounds sterling or $30 US. He also lists a LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP which is priced at $75 US. There are no other memberships or statuses approved or known to LRH.
Furthermore, membership monies are supposed to go directly to the org where the membership is signed up, and the money used for dissemination by that org, in that area. This is covered in HCOPL 1 Sept 1965R Membership Policies.
“It all goes into the HCO Book Account in the area where the membership is brought and is not part of the organization’s weekly gross income. Membership monies go to dissemination”.- LRH
Currently membership monies are held as Int reserves and have grown to well in excess of a billion dollars. Only a tiny fraction has ever been spent, in violation of the policy above. Only the interest earned from the holdings have been used very sparingly to fund projects through grants. In fact many of the activities you see at IAS events are not actually funded by the IAS, but rather by the Scientologists involved.
Think about it, how many ads disseminating Scientology, Dianetics or any Scn affiliated programs have you seen on TV? Heard on the radio? Seen in newspapers? I haven’t seen one in the 4 years I have lived in San Antonio, Texas, the 7th largest city in the US. How many have you seen?
Donating anything more than a lifetime membership to the IAS is not based on LRH policy. The article “What Your Donations Buy” (The Auditor, The Monthly Journal of Scientology No. 51, 1970) is clearly talking about how the church uses your donations for Dianetics and Scientology services. Next time you are asked to donate outside of services, realize that you are engaged in fundraising and ask to see something in writing from L. Ron Hubbard that this is something he expects from you as a Scientologist.
New Org Buildings: LRH also never directed the purchase of opulent buildings or the posh renovations or furnishings for every org.
In fact, if you read HCO PL 12 March 75 Issue II, “The Ideal Org”, which is what this program has been called, and nowhere in it will you find 20 million dollar buildings or even any reference to the poshness of org premises at all as part of LRH’s description of an “Ideal Org”. Instead, an Ideal Org was one that delivered and moved people up The Bridge – something that is not part of this “Ideal Org” program.
LRH says in the PL that an Ideal Org:
“would be clean and attractive enough not to repel its public” – LRH.
This is all it says about the state of the building.
As a result of this off-policy alteration of the Ideal Org PL, we have the majority of top OTs, now deemed “OT Ambassadors”, heavily engaged in fund-raising activities that include “bingo”, “pirate dinners”, “knitting classes”, “hay rides”, and many other activities strictly revolving around raising funds for the required multi-millions of dollars to fund their “Ideal Org”. As part of this, people around every org are now asked to donate to their local “Ideal Org” instead of their own services or their own Bridge.
LRH says in HCO PL Org Ethics and Tech:
“GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS FROM SCIENTOLOGY in your org. Baby-sitting or raffle tickets and such nonsense.”-LRH
Yet these distractions are rampant as they are being used as fund-raisers to get money for the huge quotas being issued to fund the “Ideal Org”.
“If the org slumps… don’t engage in ‘fund-raising’ or ‘selling postcards’ or borrowing money. Just make more income with Scientology. It’s a sign of very poor management to seek extraordinary solutions for finance outside Scientology. It has always failed.”
“For orgs as for pcs, ‘Solve It With Scientology’.
“Every time I myself have sought to solve financial or personnel in other ways than Scientology I have lost out. So I can tell you from experience that org solvency lies in more Scientology, not patented combs or fund-raising barbeques.”
HCO PL 24 February 1964, Issue II, Org Programming, (OEC Vol. 7, p. 930)
The point is that Scientologists and OT’s need to be training, auditing and disseminating to raw public- not regging each other or holding internal fundraisers.
Out Tech: Over the last few years we have seen literally hundreds and hundreds of people who were validated as clear using the CCRD as developed by LRH now being told they are not Clear. This included hundreds of OTs who were then put onto NED as a “handling”. LRH clearly forbid any Dianetics to be run on OTs in HCOB “Dianetics Forbidden on OTs”. This is out tech. This entire technical “handling” was directed personally by COB RTC and was done on thousands of OTs. But it was based not on an LRH HCO Bulletin, but rather based on a single C/S instruction where LRH C/Sed one pre-OT who had not achieved the state of clear but was mid OT III and not making it. LRH directed a solo handling that the pre-OT was to do to get himself to achieve the state of Clear. This LRH C/S taken out of context was then used to implement a technical handling that was in direct violation of an LRH HCOB.
This and other “technical handlings” done on Solo NOTs auditors created great expense and hardship on Solo NOTs auditors around the world as they were made to do these handlings to continue on the level.
Then there are the “fast grades at Flag” that no other org has. How can it be that Flag has been delivering grades differently to the rest of the world for the last 3 years? Whatever the problem is, the fact is that having “fast Grades” at Flag creates a hidden data line and is a HIGH CRIME and the subject of an entire policy letter called HCOPL “TECH DEGRADES” which LRH has placed at the start of every Scientology course.
More recently the fad seems to be that nearly everyone needs to “re-do their Purif and do a long objectives program”, including many OTs mid Solo NOTs.
There is nothing wrong with doing objectives, but it is a clear violation of HCOB ‘MIXING RUNDOWNS AND REPAIRS” to have a person mid a rundown or OT level be taken off it and placed on an objectives program.
Solo NOTs auditors are also being made to get their objectives from a Class IX auditor at great expense as they are not being allowed to co-audit.
Flag has made many millions of dollars on the above listed out tech handlings because OTs mid Solo NOTs are forced to get these out-tech actions to be able to get back onto and stay on the level and complete it. Not to mention the spiritual effects of the out tech that this has on each OT.
I myself was subject to these out tech “handlings”, including extensive FPRD mid Solo NOTs. It took its toll in many ways, including physical situations I am still dealing with today. So I have some reality of the hardship caused.
LRH Command Structure: LRH left us with a complex and balanced command structure, with our orgs led by the Office of ED International. This office was considered so important that LRH created a special management group called the Watch Dog Committee whose only purpose was to see that this office and the other needed layers of management existed. LRH ED 339R speaks of this extensively as the protection for our Church. But these people are missing. And not just some. As of just a few years ago there were no members of the office of ED Int on post, not to mention top execs throughout the International Management structure.
You may have also wondered… where is Heber, the President of the Church? What about Ray Mitthoff, Senior C/S International, the one that LRH personally turned over the upper OT Levels to? How about Norman Starkey, LRH’s Trustee? What happened to Guillaume – Executive Director International? And Marc Yeager, the WDC Chairman? What happened to the other International Management executives that you have seen at events over the years?
The truth is that I spent weeks working in the empty International Management building at Int. Empty because everyone had been removed from post. When I first went up lines I was briefed extensively by David Miscavige about how bad all of them were and how they had done many things that were all very discreditable. This seemed to “explain” the fact that the entirety of the Watchdog Committee no longer existed. The entirety of the Executive Strata, which consisted of ED International and 11 other top International executives that were the top executives in their particular fields, no longer existed. That the Commodore’s Messenger Org International no longer existed. All of these key command structures of Scientology International, put there by LRH, had been removed.
There were hundreds and hundreds of unanswered letters and requests for help from org staff, written based on LRH ED 339R where LRH says that staff can write to these top executives in the Exec Strata for help. But this is not possible if all these execs have been removed and no one is there to help them or to get evaluations and programming done to expand Scientology.
Well, after that I got to spend some quality time with Heber, Ray Mithoff, Norman Starkey, Guillaume, as well as the entirety of International Management at the time, who were all off post and doing very long and harsh ethics programs. These have gone on for years and to the only result of that they are still off post. There is no denying that these top executives have all gradually disappeared from the scene. You don’t see them at the big events anymore or on the ship at Maiden Voyage.
David Miscavige has now become the “leader” of the Scientology religion. Yet what LRH left behind was a huge structure to properly manage all aspects of the Scientology religion. He put a complete and brilliant organizational structure there, not one individual. There never was supposed to be a “leader” other than LRH himself as the goal maker for our group.
There is a situation here and even if you have not been to the International Management Base you should be able to see that over regging and frequent tech changes are not OK and you have a responsibility to do something to Keep Scientology Working. You should be able to find and read the references on membership in OEC Volume 6. Find and read the HCO PL entitled “The Ideal Org” (Data Series 40). Find and read the references on org buildings, including HCO PL 24 Aug 65 II, Cleanliness of Quarters and Staff, Improve our Image. Also, HCO PL 17 June 69, The Org Image.
If you don’t want to make waves or put yourself in danger of being taken off the level or denied eligibility, then there are some simple things you can do. First and foremost, withdraw your support from off policy actions. Stop donating to anything other than your own services and actual Bridge progress. Simply demand to see an LRH reference that says you are required to make other such donations. No one will be able to produce any references because there aren’t any.
Stop supporting any of the activities that are being done to forward off-policy fund-raising in your area.
LRH says what he expects of a Scientologist – that is what he expects you to do. In fact he put it in HCOB 10 June 1960 Issue I, Keeping Scientology Working Series 33, WHAT WE EXPECT OF A SCIENTOLOGIST. Read it and follow it.
The other thing you can do is to send this email to as many others as you can, even if you do it anonymously.
Please keep this email among us, the Scientologists. The media have no place in this. You may wonder why I have not written a KR and gone about my business. The answer is, I have. But there is no longer anyone to send that KR to.
But you can and should write reports and bring off-policy to the attention of local org executives and local Sea org members.
We are a strong and powerful group and we can affect a change. We have weathered many storms. I am sorry that I am the one telling you, but a new storm is upon us. It’s waves are already in the media and the world around us.
The truth is that as a Scientologist you are more able, more perceptive and have a higher integrity. Scientology is supposed to allow you to “think for yourself” and never compromise your own integrity. And most certainly LRH held every Scientologist responsible to KEEP SCIENTOLOGY WORKING.
I am not trying to do anything other than affect a change in serious off policy actions occurring. My husband and I have most of our family and many many good friends who are Scientologists. I have not been real interested in sticking my neck out like this.
However, I also know that I dedicated my entire adult life to supporting LRH and the application of LRH technology and if I ever had to look LRH in the eye I wouldn’t be able to say I did everything I could to Keep Scientology Working if I didn’t do something about it now.
We all have a stake in this. It is simply not possible to read the LRH references and not see the alterations and violations that are currently occurring.
You have a very simple obligation to LRH. Don’t participate in anything off policy, and let others know they should not either. If every person who reads this email does nothing more than step back from off-policy actions we would have changed direction. If we took all that energy and directed it into auditing, training and raw public dissemination, we would be winning.
And that is what I wish for you and all of us as we ring in this new year.
Bruce Ploetz says
Report matters of concern directly to RTC using this link https://www.rtc.org/matters/intro.html
I am sure the top executives at RTC will be very interested to hear your concerns, MB. Just be sure to use a VPN so they can’t track your IP address and make a fake one-time email address. The form does not require an email address so you could literally fake one or leave it blank. Of course, no real name!
Even with those precautions I would have a tendency to use public WiFi somewhere and not my home system.
If you prank this too obviously it will just get trashed by the RTC staff. But if you take the tone of Debbie Cook’s letter, using lots of actual Hubbard references and demonstrating your sincere desire to help Scientology dig itself out of the hole it is in, some bits may end up on Dave’s desk! What a hoot that would be!
Good idea! Imagine ALSO sending these reports to ALL the staff and Sea Org members and parishioners!
And I mean both email and physical mail!
Send it to family members of staff and Sea Org members so they can read these and ask their family members about them!
It would be a gift that keeps on giving!
How are all the Scientologists going to explain that David Miscavige is helping Scientology by violating KSW and dozens of other basic policies!
Will he have to say he knows Scientology better than Hubbard? These can be fun family conversations!
Imagine a blended family with hard core Scientologists, Sea Org members, class V org staff and regular people who are not Scientologists!
The non Scientologists can sit there with the green volumes and point out that KSW is in every major course in Scientology for staff and public! It is the foundation of Scientology!
Then they can point out how David Miscavige is violating each and every point of KSW!
It is a lot of fun!
The various people in Scientology can try to point out how violating Scientology is not occurring or it is beneficial to go against the doctrine!
Lots and lots of contradictions in the doctrine and practices can be brought up!
David Miscavige has the opportunity to explain how his mad dash to build empty cathedrals and avoid inurement charges and his alterations of materials and reprinting them over and over is expanding Scientology while the orgs are empty and the number of people practicing Scientology is down to almost nothing and the services being delivered are almost nothing at all!
Thank you for printing this in full for us, Mockingbird.
Ten years ago when I received Debbie Cook’s email above I was questioned about it by an ex Sea Org member, a lady of some years who had been offloaded (I found out later) for health reasons and who was now helping out in various volunteer staff capacities at my tiny org, one of which was her acting as our staff EO because we didn’t have a regular EO by then.
In an Ethics Cycle with her as acting EO she asked me if I’d received an email from Debbie Cook. I told her I had. She asked if I’d read it. I told her I’d read it and I agreed with it 100%.
Before I continue let me say that this was a very nice woman. I liked her. She was helpful and non-judgemental. A kind, and supportive person. I was fine with her as my Ethics Officer.
Ok, to continue:
When I told her I had read all of Debbie Cooke’s email and that I 100%, wholeheartedly agreed with her on every point, she was shaken. Shocked.
I asked her why. I asked her if she had read it. (Again, keep in mind that this was a woman who had been in the Sea Org for over 40 years).
She told me she’d read it; the whole thing.
I asked her what SHE thought of it. Did SHE agree with it.
She replied that she did not.
Now I was the one who was shocked!
I asked her how she could NOT, point for point, with each point clearly backed up with LRH policy, LRH references, quoted – how could she NOT agree?
“Because it is ENTHETA and ENEMY LINE.” Emphasis mine.
That was her answer.
Wow. Did that blow me away. Quoting LRH, line for line, was “enemy line”! LRH policy was entheta? LRH was an enemy line?
My mind was blown!
But I kept my face blank, nodding my head to acknowledge her. Butter wasn’t melting in my mouth. I kept my cool and didn’t argue.
But right then, right at that point, I knew – I really, really KNEW with 100% certainty that something was very wrong, and not only with her.
She wasn’t the only staff and long term and highly admin and tech trained Scientologist ignoring and/or denying LRH policies to me.
That answer of hers cinched the situation for me.
Something VERY nutty was going on and it wasn’t only with her, not by a long shot.
I didn’t know what it was, but I did know that whatever it was was nuts and it making the staff nuts too!
I was UTR at the time. So I continued the withdrawal process. I quietly eased on down the road. By the time I stopped showing up at the org altogether they had all decided that I had “gone to the dark side”.
I was, at the time, mid-process in getting out, and from that point on I became more determined
And I’ll add that even now, 10 years later, recalling that answer of hers STILL puzzles me.
I STILL don’t get how it was or is or could be possible for a totally dedicated Sea Org member having been in for 45 years could actually BELIEVE that. No, I don’t get it!
But then, although I was in Scientology for 27 years I was never staff or SO, always public, so I could very well be missing something, not factoring SOMETHING in – right?
Well, if you really want to dig into the subject of influence, we have a wealth of materials.
The book Influence by Robert Cialdini is a great start.
The book Age Of Propaganda by social psychologists (both professors of psychology) Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson is very good.
I wrote a series on this.
We also have the classic A Theory of Cognitive Dissonance Theory by Leon Festinger.
Ultimately, I go back to the eight criteria for thought reform.
Lifton knew that sometimes the ideology is effectively the guru, sometimes the founder is, and sometimes the current leader is.
Dr. Robert J. Lifton’s Eight Criteria for Thought Reform
Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.
Mystical Manipulation. There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.
Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.
Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members’ “sins,” “attitudes,” and “faults” are discussed and exploited by the leaders.
Sacred Science. The group’s doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.
Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating cliches, which serve to alter members’ thought processes to conform to the group’s way of thinking.
Doctrine over person. Member’s personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group’s ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also. (Lifton, 1989)
If we look at sacred science and doctrine over person who has the final authority to n the mind of the individual follower determines where the truth and ultimately power comes from.
Our ability to believe is nothing new, hundreds of thousands of people have killed and died for Christ, Mohammed, various countries and kings, are all these things genuine and worth following? It is hard to believe they all have had sufficient evidence to support the loyalty displayed.
And we use terms like totally dedicated but we don’t see the internal mental and emotional processes, you don’t even know your own as you can’t observe them.
In reality I think we see ourselves and others as fitting in categories but in truth we have a wide variety of emotions and behaviors and they are not always what we think they are.
People who are sure they are brave run from a fight and people who are considered cowards protect themselves and others bravely and some people do both at different times. The point is that real people are complicated and not easily placed in stereotypes.
I remember economics professor Richard Wolff saying that if psychology has taught us anything, it is that people are complicated and full of contradictions.
I believe it is to some degree our natural state. We might want to be around other people but also to not experience some things that happen when we are around other people, for example.
This is amazing exacerbated in my opinion by the techniques used in Scientology.
Here is a quote from the book Cults In Our Midst by Margaret Singer.
“The more complicated and filled with contradictions the new system is and the more difficult it is to learn, the more effective the conversion process will be.” (page 67) Cults In Our Midst by Margaret Singer
Scientology has thousands of terms that are direct opposites to their original English meaning, by design to create double think and denial and confusion via contradiction.
The loaded language and hundreds of hypnotic techniques made far, far, far more complex to learn than necessary make it almost impossible to learn.
The complexity in the form of contradictory statements, multiple contradictory definitions for terms, Orwellian reversals, many thousands of neologisms and many techniques to learn combine to make Scientology overwhelmingly complex and exceedingly difficult to learn, so the conversion process is extremely effective on people who it is practiced on to a significant degree.
Just as the earlier abreactive therapy that was plagiarized from to create Dianetics, Scientology itself also reduces the independent and critical thinking of subjects and creates dependence on the authority.
Abreactive therapy when practiced as a hypnotic technique, like Dianetics and Scientology, created heightened suggestibility and dependence in subjects and gave the practitioners unrestrained command of the subjects.
Scientology follows this on some of the subjects, certainly not all and to varying degrees on the people it does influence.
Meaty stuff! I’m going to set aside some time to delve into this. Particularly “abreactive therapy”. I’m not familiar with it, but I’m intrigued at the assertion that Hubbard created his processes out of it. I will be pursuing this and will get back to you here on the blog about it. Thanks, Mockingbird.
People knew from the early fifties that Dianetics was abreactive therapy and hypnosis.
Here is an article by Jeff Jacobsen.
Dianetics: From Out of the Blue?
The following article was originally published in The Arizona Skeptic, vol. 5, no. 2, September/October 1991, pp. 1-5.It was reprinted in the UK Skeptics publication The Skeptic, vol. 6, no. 2.
L. Ron Hubbard, author of the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and founder of the Church of Scientology, was a science-fiction writer before penning the book that would launch his fame. Dianetics is a self-help book published in 1950 which claimed to include new and unique theories on how the mind works. Hubbard claimed that this work was totally unprecedented; “Man had no inkling whatever of Dianetics. None. This was a bolt from the blue.” (1) So there would be no doubt as to the originality of his ideas, Hubbard wrote that “dianetics borrowed nothing but was first discovered and organized; only after the organization was completed and a technique evolved was it compared to existing information.” (2) According to Hubbard, some philosophers of the past helped provide the foundation of Dianetics, but the remaining research had been done “what the navigator calls, ‘off the chart.'” (3)
Dianetics became a New York Times bestseller in 1950, and has since sold many millions of copies.
Was this a totally unique theory of the mind wrought from Hubbard’s “many years of exact research and careful testing,” (4) or was it a loose composite of already existing theories mixed with novel, unproven ideas? This paper proposes to show that, despite Hubbard’s claims of originality, many of the ideas in Dianetics were already existing and even in vogue before Dianetics appeared. Either Hubbard really studied other works before he wrote Dianetics, or he wasted years of his time re-inventing the wheel.
Although there are no reference notes in Dianetics to see what are Hubbard’s ideas and what are borrowed, we can quickly eliminate the idea that Dianetics appeared “from the blue” by Hubbard’s own statements. In Dianetics itself is the statement that “many schools of mental healing from the Aesculapian to the modern hypnotist were studied after the basic philosophy of dianetics had been postulated.” (5) Alfred Korzybski, Emil Kraepelin, Franz Mesmer, Ivan Pavlov, Herbert Spencer, and others are mentioned as resources in Dianetics, so we must assume Hubbard was crediting these people to some degree. He must certainly have known, then, of at least some of the research from his time which will be mentioned in this article. Hubbard in other settings acknowledged Sigmund Freud (especially through Commander “Snake” Thompson), (6) Count Alfred Korzybski, (7) and Aleister Crowley (8) as contributors to his ideas on the human mind. In a speech in 1950, Hubbard stated that he had spent much time in the Oak Knoll Naval Hospital medical library in 1945 during a stay for ulcers, where “I was able to get in a year’s study.” (9)
In fact, most of the theories and ideas in Dianetics can be found in scientific literature previous to the first publishing of Hubbard’s theories. Parts of Dianetics, for example, have striking resemblance to two articles found in Volume 28 (1941) of the Psychoanalytic Review..
Dianetics theory posits the existence of engrams. These are memories of events that occur around us when our analytical mind is unconscious, and they are recorded in a separate area of the mind called the reactive mind. A seemingly unique theory in Dianetics is that these memories begin being stored “in the cells of the zygote–which is to say, with conception.” (10) These engrams can cause problems for the person throughout life unless handled through Dianetics auditing.
Dr. J. Sadger, nine years before the introduction of Dianetics in 1950, wrote that several of his patients were not cured of their psychological problems until he had taken them back to their existence as sperm or ovum. He declared that “there exists certainly a memory, although an unconscious one, of embryonic days, which persists throughout life and may continuously determine an action.” (11) Sadger spends much time explaining how his patients’ memories of the time when they were zygotes or even sperm or ovum had affected their adult behaviors, noting that “an unconscious lasting memory must have remained from these embryonic days.” (12) There were “unmistakable dreams” of being a sperm in the father’s testicle.
Engrams, those unconscious memories of Dianetics, are said by Hubbard to be stored in the cells of the body and passed on to their clone cells and finally on to the adult being. Hubbard claimed to discover that “patients sometimes have a feeling that they are sperms or ovums… this is called the sperm dream.” (13) It was impossible, he claimed, to deny to a pre-clear that he could remember being a sperm. But Sadger wrote about this first, and Hubbard could well have read this in his “year’s study” at Oak Knoll Hospital.
Another coincidental discovery of Hubbard and Sadger was that mothers often attempt to abort their child. Sadger states that “so many a fall or other accident of a pregnant woman is nothing else than an attempt at abortion on the part of the unconscious, not to mention those cases where the mother seeks to free herself more or less forcibly from the unwanted child.” (14) Hubbard concurs; “Attempted abortion is very common,” (15) and in fact “twenty or thirty abortion attempts are not uncommon in the aberee.” (16) Again, not an idea “from the blue.”
Life in the womb was not very kind, according to one of Sadger’s patients: “Perhaps when father performed coitus with mother in her pregnancy I was much shaken and rocked. Shall that have been one reason that I so easily became dizzy and that all my life I have had an aversion even as a child from swings and carousels?” (17) Hubbard, in a similar vein, insists that the mother “should not have coitus forced upon her. For every coital experience is an engram in the child during pregnancy.” (18) “Papa becomes passionate and baby has the sensation of being put into a running washing machine.” (19)
There are at least three other similarities like the “sperm dreams”, commonality of abortion attempts, and fetus discomfort during parental sex. This seems quite a coincidence, but it is not known whether Hubbard read Sadger’s article. Suffice it to say that these are major ideas in Dianetics, but they are not new ideas.
The second article under discussion from Psychoanalytic Review deals with the unbearable conditions during birth and the affects of these in later life. Grace W. Pailthorpe, M.D., argued in this 1941 article that patients should be psychoanalyzed more deeply into the period of infancy, or at least to the ‘trauma of birth’. Otherwise no lasting therapeutic effect could be expected. Birth has traumatized all of us, she declares, and these unconscious memories drive us in our adulthood. “It is only when deep analysis has finally exposed the unconscious deviations of our vital force” (20) that we can recover and enjoy life.
In Dianetics, the reader is left with the impression that the ideas of birth and pre-birth memories and traumas, multiple abortion attempts, and fetal discomfort in the womb are new discoveries. As can be seen, this is not the case. And there are many other impressions of “new” and “unique” that are incorrect as well.
With Pailthorpe’s article, for example, we can also note the dramatic similarities of Dianetics with simple Freudian psychoanalysis. There is in both the return to past times in the patient’s life to search for the source of his or her current problems. Once these problematic memories are discovered and treated the problems vanish. In Pailthorpe’s article we have a man who was hopelessly traumatized by the events at his birth. He was cruelly kicked out of his “home” in the womb, and his resistance to this was assumed to be the cause of the immediate traumas of the nurse’s and mother’s attentions (which were “painful to the child’s sensitive body” (21)). These traumas caused headaches and social disorders in adult life. Psychoanalysis discovered the causes (birth trauma) and when these were brought to the conscious level with their meaning explained, the headaches and social dysfunctions were alleviated.
Dianetics follows this line of reasoning to a great degree. According to Hubbard, engrams (past traumas) are discovered in the pre-clear’s past, and bringing these engrams into consciousness (from the reactive to the analytic mind) alleviates the disorder. Hubbard claims that after auditing people (he had the pre-clear lie on a couch in Freudian imitation), “psycho-somatic illness…by dianetic technique…has been eradicated entirely in every case.” (22)
A theory in psychoanalysis known as abreaction is so similar to Dianetics (and preceding it by many years) that it must be mentioned in more detail here. A 1949 article by Nathaniel Thornton, D.Sc., gives a brief overview of abreaction and his views on its value. Abreaction began with Freud and was considered early on to be “one of the very cornerstones of analytic therapy.” (23) This is a method of freeing a patient “from the deleterious results of certain pathogenic affects by bringing these affects back into the conscious mind and re-experiencing them in all their original force and intensity.” (24) A patient of one of Freud’s colleagues, under hypnosis and “with a free expression of emotion” (25) was freed of all her psycho-somatic symptoms using abreactive therapy. Pierre Janet is credited in the article with utilizing abreactive therapy to restore painful memories to consciousness and thus relieving a patient’s symptoms. A patient being treated with this method must continually work through such painful memories until the patient “could accept the fact that the original experience no longer loomed up as a threat to him.” (26)
Thornton concludes that abreaction is a useful tool simply because “confession is good for the soul”, and that talking to someone about one’s problems is almost always therapeutic.
“Auditing” in Dianetics is a virtual clone of abreactive therapy. Auditing basically is searching through a person’s past until an engram is discovered, then continually reexperiencing the event when the engram (painful memory) was instilled “until the pre-clear is no longer affected” by the memory. (27) Hubbard takes abreaction to an extreme and declares that once a person has removed all his engrams, then Dianetics has done its job and an almost god-like human results. Once again, the similarity of an already existing theory on the mind is presented as a great discovery in Dianetics.
Alfred Korzybski, mentioned in passing in Dianetics, (28) owes a debt to Hubbard for making his theories well-known, according to some former followers of Dianetics. Bent Corydon, a former Mission holder of Hubbard’s Church of Scientology, has made a convincing comparison of Dianetics and Korzbyski’s writings, demonstrating that there is in essence little difference between many aspects of the two. (29) In support of this comparison, it should be noted that there was a “Korzybski fad” (30) sweeping through the science-fiction community in the 1940’s, of which Hubbard was a member, and that Hubbard, as mentioned above, had stated the contribution Korzbyski made in his research.
Corydon also mentions the book The Mneme published in 1923 by Richard Simon, wherein not only the idea of engrams, but the very word itself is used. The word “engram” is listed in the Oxford English Dictionary as deriving from Simon’s book.
Cybernetics, published in 1948, (31) compares the human mind to the newly developing technology of computers. Dianetics also tells us to “consider the analytical mind as a computing machine.” (32) Cybernetics speaks of “affective tone” scales, (33) as does Dianetics in a remarkably similar vein. (34) Cybernetics was a very popular work at the time Hubbard was writing Dianetics.
We have seen that many of the ideas in Dianetics which were claimed to be unique were in fact current in the study of the mind at the time of, or just before, the introduction of Dianetics. It is difficult to see whether Hubbard had studied some of these works during his “many years of exact research,” (35) but as mentioned previously he does acknowledge other researchers. At any rate, no book is written in a vacuum, so we may conclude from the evidence that Hubbard was aware of at least some of this research previous to writing his work. Barring acknowledgment somewhere by Hubbard, or a list of articles and works he had read, we can only guess as to the others.
It seems safe to conclude that the theories presented in Dianetics did not arrive “out of the blue” as claimed, but were instead a synthesis of previous, uncredited works. In that case, is there any reason to discount the ideas in Dianetics? There certainly is. There are outlandish, unsubstantiated claims made by Hubbard, including the possibility that cancer may be cured by Dianetic processing, (36) that colds and accidents can be eradicated, (37) IQ improved, (38) life extended, (39) and total recall enjoyed. (40) None of this is proven in any way other than constant mention of previous research. The problem with this research is that there is no tangible evidence of its existence. Hubbard in a lecture stated that “my records are in little notebooks, scribbles, in pencil most of them. Names and addresses are lost… there was a chaotic picture….” (41) A certain Ms. Benton asked Hubbard for his notes to validate his research, but when she saw them, “she finally threw up her hands in horror and started in on the project [validation of research] clean.” (42) He was putting this into the hands of valid researchers “whose word can’t be disputed” so Dianetics could be legitimized by the scientific professions.
Unfortunately, none of Hubbard’s claimed research, nor those of his valid researchers can be found today, if they ever really existed. And if the methods and statistical results of the supposed research are not available, they cannot be checked and duplicated as the scientific method calls for. Anyone can make as many outlandish claims as he wants, but the research must be accessible and reproducible to support those claims if he brandishes scientific validity.
Dianetics is designed as a how-to manual for psychoanalysis. Anyone who reads the book should be able to perform Dianetics auditing and help his fellow man become “clear”. “Dianetics is not being released to a profession… it is insufficiently complicated to warrant years of study in some university.” (43) It is better to audit someone, said Hubbard, regardless of how well, than to not audit at all.
But this seems a bit reckless. Auditing can produce “tears and wailings,” (44) and “a patient…that…bounces about, all unconscious of the action.” (45) Regardless of the auditor’s abilities, and regardless of how traumatic a session becomes for the pre-clear, “If an auditor…can sit and whistle while Rome burns before him and be prepared to grin about it, then he will do an optimum job.” (46) This sounds more like quackery than therapy.
Children often have engrams that are restimulated by their parents. Hubbard states that it may be necessary to remove the children from their parents if this is the case, until the engrams are processed. (47) Here again we have Hubbard making an outlandish proposal of splitting families in order to produce healthier people.
The cells of the zygote, according to Dianetics theory, record sounds during a period of pain (Hubbard often uses a husband beating his pregnant wife as an example, such as “‘Take that! Take it, I tell you. You’ve got to take it!'” (48) From this engram we are to believe that the child grows up to be a thief. Cellular recordings of sounds by the cells can even be in another language unknown to the adult or child and still cause similar problems. All of this, again, has no evidence accompanying it, and without such evidence it may as well be classified as mere science-fiction.
We have in Dianetics a work by a science-fiction writer who claims to have created a totally new and foolproof handbook of the mind with no documentation to prove his claimed research. This book has been actively sold by Hubbard’s Church of Scientology for many years, and yet it is simply a synthesis of already published ideas with bizarre, unsubstantiated claims thrown in. The theories in this book, other than those found in previous works by others, have never been scientifically validated, and in fact, one attempt came up dry. (49) There is little scholastic or societal benefit to be derived from this work. S.I. Hayakawa put it well in his review of Dianetics: “The appalling thing revealed by dianetics about our culture is that it takes a 452-page book full of balderdash to get some people to sit down and seriously listen to each other!” (50)
Copyright © 1990 by Jeff Jacobsen. For permission to reprint this article, contact:
P.O. Box 3541
Scottsdale, AZ 85271
Quoted in L. Ron Hubbard: Messiah or Madman?, by Bent Corydon and L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. (Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1987) p. 262.
L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health (Los Angeles: American Saint Hill Organization, 1950), 12th printing, paperback, August 1975, p. 340. (Henceforth Dianetics.)
ibid. p. ix.
Russell Miller, Bare-Faced Messiah (N.Y.: Henry Holt & Co., 1987), pp.230- 231.
L. Ron Hubbard, cassette tape, “Introduction to Dianetics,” Dianetics Lecture Series 1. 1950. Bridge Publications, Inc.
Stewart Lamont, Religion, Inc.: The Church of Scientology (London: Harrap, 1986) p.21.
“The History of Dianetics and Scientology” cassette tape.
Dr. J. Sadger, “Preliminary Study of the Psychic Life of the Fetus and the Primary Germ.” Psychoanalytic Review July 1941 28:3. p.333
Dianetics, p. 156.
Grace W. Pailthorpe, M.D., “Deflection of Energy, as a Result of Birth Trauma, and It’s Bearing Upon Character Formation.” Psychoanalytic Review July 1941 28:3 pp. 305-326, p.326.
Nathaniel Thornton, D.Sc., “What is the Therapeutic Value of Abreaction?” Psychoanalytic Review 1949 36:411-415. p.411.
Corydon and Hubbard, Jr., pp. 266-269.
Albert I. Berger, “Towards a Science of the Nuclear Mind: Science-fiction Origins of Dianetics”, Science Fiction Studies, 1989, vol. 16:123-141. p.135.
Norbert Wiener, Cybernetics; or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York, 1948).
Dianetics, pp. 90, 193.
L. Ron Hubbard, cassette tape, “What Dianetics Can Do,” Dianetics Lecture Series 2. 1950. Bridge Publications, Inc.
Dianetics, pp.154, 155.
Jack Fox, Alvin E. Davis, and B. Lebovits, “An Experimental Investigation of Hubbard’s Engram Hypothesis (Dianetics),” Psychological Newsletter 1959, 10, 131-134.
S.I. Hayakawa, “From Science-fiction to Fiction-science”, Etc.: A Review of General Semantics, 1951 Vol. 8 (4) 280-293. p. 293.
You are an angel to print this all out for me to read so easily.
It’s proof positive of Hubbard’s having lifted his procedures from others’ works.
Which is fine but then why claim to have invented it himself?
To answer my own question, I’m thinking possibly because he wanted to patent the procedures. Ok, I can understand that.
But then what I REALLY don’t get are his over the top claims of the benefits and results of Dianetic auditing.
Abreaction therapies Edit
In Scientology, Dianetics is a form of abreaction that science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard borrowed from the United States Navy when he spent three months in a San Diego hospital in 1943 with the complaints of an ulcer and malaria. Hubbard later wrote, in his autobiography My Philosophy, that he had observed abreactive therapy in the hospital, though in later life he claimed to have made the discovery on his own after being wounded in battle and given up as untreatable.
Introduction to Studies on Hysteria
Salman Akhtar, ed. (2009). Comprehensive dictionary of psychoanalysis. London: Karnac Books. ISBN 9781855758605. Retrieved April 27, 2013.
S Freud, On Psychopathology (PFL 10) p. 72-3
Akhtar, Salman (2009). Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis. London: Karnac Books. p. 1. ISBN 9781855758605.
Weiner, Irving; Craighead, W. Edward (2010). The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 10. ISBN 9780470170243.
Watkins, John; Barabasz, Arreed (2012). Advanced Hypnotherapy: Hypnodynamic Techniques. New York: Routledge. p. 57. ISBN 9780415956277.
Collected Works of C.G. Jung, volume 4, Freud and Psychoanalysis: Some Crucial Points in Psychoanalysis, Jung-Loy Correspondence (1914).
Otto Fenichel, The Psychoanalytic Theory of Neurosis (London 1946) p. 572
S Freud, On Psychopathology (PFL 10) p. 309
J Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking (London 2005) p. 55
Sands, D. E.; Hill, D. (March 1945). “War Psychiatry in the Merchant Navy”. Proc. R. Soc. Med. 38 (5): 217–26. PMC 2181173. PMID 19993044.
L. Ron Hubbard — Messiah? Or Madman?, Chapter Two
A Piece of Blue Sky, Chapter Two, Page Five
Hubbard initially described Dianetics as a branch of psychology. Jon Atack writes that the original Dianetic techniques can be derived almost entirely from Sigmund Freud’s lectures. Hubbard created the “Freudian Foundation of America” and offered graduate auditors certificates which included that of “Freudian Psychoanalyst”. Hubbard was influenced in creating Dianetics by many psychologists such as William Sargant’s work on abreaction therapy, Carl Jung, Roy Grinker and John Spiegel’s writing on hypnosis and hypnoanalysis, Nandor Fodor, Otto Rank, and others.[21
This is in response to your question about why Hubbard plagiarized the ideas from abreactive therapy and hypnosis which he recombined and renamed to present Dianetics.
I believe he did this for several reasons.
First, he found hypnosis unpopular with the public and wanted to pretend his technique was not hypnosis.
Second, he didn’t create or own or improve on abreactive therapy and it was already under the province of psychiatry and evaluated thoroughly as a failure that seemed to temporarily improve some patients but in truth hurts them and far more often creates heightened suggestibility and dependence in the patients.
This information was readily available and if he was honest about Dianetics he would have been prohibited from practicing psychiatric treatment without a proper degree and especially practicing techniques that were already discredited before he stole them.
Third, he relied on his own claim of genius for discovering the principles behind Dianetics to give him what he termed altitude aka prestige.
He read books on hypnosis and the idea that a hypnotic operator must have altitude is present through Dianetics and Scientology indoctrination. It’s a fundamental in fact.
“Any time anybody gets enough altitude he can be called a hypnotic operator, and what he says will act as hypnotic suggestion. Hypnotism is a difference in levels of altitude…if the operator can heighten his own altitude with regard to the subject…he doesn’t have to put the subject to sleep. What he says will still react as a hypnotic suggestion….With parity, such as occurs between acquaintances, friends, fellow students and so on, there is no hypnotic suggestion” (Education and Dianetics, 11 November 1950, Research and Discovery, volume 4). Ron Hubbard Source Jon Atack
Here’s a longer excerpt:
Any time anybody gets enough altitude he can be called a hypnotic operator, and what he says will act as hypnotic suggestion. Hypnotism is a difference in levels of altitude. There are ways to create and lower the altitude of the subject, but if the operator can heighten his own altitude with regard to the subject the same way, he doesn’t have to put the subject to sleep. What he says will still react as hypnotic suggestion.” (my italics; Education and Dianetics, 11 November 1950, Research and Discovery Series, volume 4, 1st edition, pp.324-5) source Jon Atack
Here’s a longer excerpt:
“In altitude teaching, somebody is a ‘great authority.’ He is probably teaching some subject that is far more complex than it should be. He has become defensive down through the years, and this is a sort of protective coating that he puts up, along with the idea that the subject will always be a little better known by him than by anybody else and that there are things to know in this subject which he really wouldn’t let anybody else in on. This is altitude instruction … It keeps people in a state of confusion, and when their minds are slightly confused they are in a hypnotic trance. Anytime anybody gets enough altitude he can be called a hypnotic operator, and what he says will act as hypnotic suggestion. Hypnotism is a difference in levels of altitude. There are ways to create and lower the altitude of the subject, but if the operator can heighten his own altitude with regard to the subject the same way, he doesn’t have to put the subject to sleep. What he says will still react as hypnotic suggestion.” (Hubbard, Research & Discovery, volume 4, p.324)12
One error, however, must be remarked upon. The examination system employed is not much different from a certain hypnotic technique. One induces a state of confusion in the subject by raising his anxieties of what may happen if he does not pass. One then “teaches” at a mind which is anxious and confused. That mind does not then rationalize, it merely records and makes a pattern. If the pattern is sufficiently strong to be regurgitated verbatim on an examination paper, the student is then given a good grade and passed.
Ron Hubbard lecture 29 August 1950, “Educational Dianetics.” Source Arnie Lerma
So, Hubbard wanted to establish himself as the authority on Dianetics and Scientology!
He wanted to confuse people and with altitude suggest a stable datum to align them, and take them out of that confusion via a hypnotic implant!
Quotes from Ron Hubbard on the Confusion Technique:
Now, if it comes to a pass where it’s very important whether or not this person acts or inacts as you wish, in interpersonal relations one of the dirtier tricks is to hang the person up on a maybe and create a confusion. And then create the confusion to the degree that your decision actually is implanted hypnotically.
The way you do this is very simple. When the person advances an argument against your decision, you never confront his argument but confront the premise on which his argument is based.
That is the rule. He says, “But my professor always said that water boiled at 212 degrees.”
You say, “Your professor of what?”
“My professor of physics.”
“What school? How did he know?”
Completely off track! You’re no longer arguing about whether or not water boils at 212 degrees, but you’re arguing about professors. And he will become very annoyed, but he won’t know quite what he is annoyed about. You can do this so adroitly and so artfully that you can actually produce a confusion of the depth of hypnosis. The person simply goes down tone scale to a point where they’re not sure of their own name.
And at that point you say, “Now, you do agree to go out and draw the water out of the well, don’t you?”
“Yes-anything!” And he’ll go out and draw the water out of the well.
Ron Hubbard Lecture, 20 May 1952 “Decision.”
So, according to Hubbard redirection of attention can confuse someone enough to achieve the depth of hypnosis. But that’s what his having the student always look for something to resolve that isn’t what he’s having trouble with does. He’s utterly confused. Hubbard had more to say on confusion and hypnosis:
“A confusion can be defined as any set of factors or circumstances which do not seem to have any immediate solution. More broadly, a confusion is random motion.”
“Until one selects one datum, one factor, one particular in a confusion of particles, the confusion continues. The one thing selected and used becomes the stable datum for the remainder.“Any body of knowledge, more particularly and exactly, is built fromone datum. That is its stable datum. Invalidate it and the entire body of knowledge falls apart. A stable datum does not have to be the correct one. It is simply the one that keeps things from being in a confusion and on which others are aligned.” – Ron Hubbard, The Scientology Handbook
RON THE HYPNOTIST
Structure/Function: 11 December 1952 page 1
“All processes are based upon the original observation
that an individual could have implanted in him by hypnosis
and removed at will any obsession or aberration,
compulsion, desire, inhibition which you could think of – by hypnosis.“
Hypnosis, then, was the wild variable;
sometimes it worked,
sometimes it didn’t work.
It worked on some people; it didn’t work on other people.
Any time you have a variable that is as wild as this, study it.
Well, I had a high certainty already –
I had survival. Got that in 1938 or before that. And uh…Ron Hubbard
I want to thank you for this.
This is a great example of the different reactions that Scientologists had to the Debbie Cook email.
If you give me permission I would like to quote you at my blog, with or without using the name Aquamarine, it’s your preference.
I think it shows that some people are loyal to different people and ideas.
Some people are loyal to Ronald Hubbard and some are loyal to David Miscavige. Some people have expressed loyalty to Hubbard and his doctrine but obeyed Miscavige because he has power and could cut off their bridge or access to their family members with n Scientology and take away almost everything in their life if they are staff or Sea Org members who have been deep in Scientology for many years.
Some people are by nature believed to be generally obedience and research by people like Stanley Milgram on obedience and Adam Grant on Givers and Takers (and Matchers) has produced a hypothesis that a significant portion of people (perhaps 60%) are generally obedient to authority and conform to group norms most of the time.
Both have several books available and published research in the field of psychology to examine.
The degree of obedience in Scientology is extremely high and it is what Robert Jay Lifton would call a fundamentalist belief system. You are meant to obey it as literally as possible within the interpretation of the leaders.
The question is, who do you consider the legitimate leader? Ronald Hubbard, David Miscavige or yourself?
In some fundamentalist belief systems a Guru is the authority, in some the current leader is, in some the doctrine is treated as the authority and the individual follower has to interpret it.
You’re welcome, Mockingbird! Being able to express my continuing puzzlement and particular experiences and reactions to my own cult experiences has been therapeutic!
Reading what others who’ve left the cult have shared as regards their own unique experiences has and continues to be enormously therapeutic. Along this line, please free at any time to quote on your blog and use my handle Aquamarine or Aqua anything I’ve shared here 🙂
Mockingbird, in addition to my recent response to what you’ve shared above, I’d like to single out 2 of your shared truths, plain truths; namely that 1) some people are naturally obedient, and 2) that others are, if not naturally obedient, at the same time quite obedient out of their fear for the consequences of being disobedient!
Relating back to my personal experience with this ex-SO member, (who I found out later, in her 70s had been offloaded after more than 40 years of service due to health issues), and given that, as gentle and kind as she was, I knew her to be as well quite perceptive and intelligent and self motivated and as such not necessarily a “naturally” obedient person, I would like/love/infinitely prefer for her reasons for calling Debbie Cooke’s email “entheta and enemy line” to have been because she had a VERY real fear of having her life ALTOGETHER destroyed by Miscavige should she NOT disavow ANYTHING written or said not in full agreement and compliance with “Command Intention”.
I have to thank you very much, Mockingbird.
You supplied the very obvious missing data with which I was not thinking.
KNOWN and experienced at the time:
She was a kind, caring, gentle and highly trained, intelligent and thoughtful person. Very patient and non-jusdgemtal, and excellent EO!
UNKNOWN at the time:
After spending nearly 50 years in the Sea Org, in her early 70s she had been booted out due to a health condition. You see, I knew that she had left the Sea Org but I didn’t know WHY.
ALSO UNKNOWN at the time:
What life in the Sea Org for its rank and file members was really LIKE. I had almost NO clue! In fact, I was SO ignorant about Sea Org life that (deep breath) as a public, all the time I was in (27 years) I thought THEY (the Sea Org members) had it easy, and that it was the Class V org staff that had it very hard! I swear, this is what I believed!
The above two “unknowns” were not being factored in when this ex-SO dissed LRH’s tech, so of course I was shocked.
But I see it now, I’m pretty sure. I’m pretty sure that she was in fear – total fear! There was so much about Sea Org life that she was witholding from me, things she could NEVER tell me about how she had lived for nearly all of her adult life.
Thanks again, Mockingbird 🙂
Loosing my Religion says
Nice episode. Always thanks Leah and Mike (and Claire) for the care you put into it. Someday it would be interesting to dwell on the NEOs (Non Enturbolation Orders) and how they work to put people back into the ranks perfectly and make them ‘meek’. Another nice control system from the humanitarian hubbard.
NEOs are the exact step before being declared suppressive. Just have anyone write any knowledge report about you and you’re fried.
Okay, I FINALLY got access to the latest podcast.
It is terrific and the references listed give a lot of context and the descriptions from Leah, Mike, and Claire Headley in the podcast add a lot more important information as well.
But, and I have a huge butt, er but, additional information is necessary for people outside of Scientology to understand this.
First and foremost, the emeter serves to fool people in Scientology into believing that EVERYTHING they think, especially everything they try to hide, is going to be KNOWN, sooner or later, by an auditor! And Scientology rapidly teaches you that every thing you hide gets told to ethics!
When I say think I mean that if you know about a crime, if you did something and told no one, if a friend tells you one secret, if you look at a person and are sexually attracted but tell no one and don’t in any way try to pursue them romantically, you expect this secret to be discovered by an auditor with an emeter!
And Scientology has some people who either avoid auditing and interrogation or learn by personal experience that the emeter is not REALLY capable of reading the mind or being infallible at detecting deception, it has happened, veteran Scientologists who had lots of auditing and interrogation have occasionally figured this out. Yep, that happens.
But a key factor is that if one person knows that the emeter is not infallible they are still surrounded by people who don’t know that! This means that you can have a lone person who is aware that they can hide some thoughts but crucially EVERYONE around them is acting as if they can’t!
So they know they have to never tell anyone their secrets and that if they see or learn about anything that someone else does that is considered a crime in Scientology that it can come out that they didn’t write a report because THAT person may confess and the fact that the person who knows the emeter doesn’t see all knew about it!
See? Your spouse may confess and in interrogation it could come out that you knew about their crimes and didn’t report them! Because your spouse thinks the emeter can see everything! And you don’t dare to tell them it doesn’t, because they would report that!
Without this missing piece of the puzzle, people are not informed why you are reporting everything and everyone, because you see the emeter as all seeing and the person running it as close to all knowing. Or if you know it is not infallible, you know everyone else thinks it is and they are likely to tell all because they think that they have no other options!
Really, the emeter AND the reports AND the interrogation go together to remove free will regarding the most sacred and private of communication – the innermost thoughts and feelings a person has in their own mind.
Normally, a person has discretion over where and when and to what degree and with who these are shared, but Scientology removes this as you either believe you can’t hide your feelings and thoughts and have to share them or it gets you to be unwilling to share them as the discretion over WHO you share them with is removed as you know that everyone else is convinced of this, so they report private communication and thoughts and they have no discretion over what they keep to themselves.
This is notably absent in other groups.
I have known quite a few Christians, Jews, and even Muslims. Many of these people share a belief that God sees all and knows all. They believe that God exists and will act on the knowledge of their behavior and character in the afterlife, perhaps rewarding or punishing them or something like that. Okay, that is easy to understand.
But crucially, they do not believe that other humans have this knowledge and they are capable of having private thoughts and feelings for themselves and they are able to have private relationships with family and friends that are not required to be revealed to the clergy with an infallible instrument (in their opinion) that makes privacy obsolete and no longer applicable.
So, a person in any of these faiths can keep things to themselves or share them with people they choose and those people in turn can have the same privacy. You can tell your spouse something and know they can choose to never tell anyone else. This affects ALL your relationships!
I think this is a key difference between a cult and a different group. Cults pretend to have something beyond the normal, unusual techniques or miracles and they are not being honest.
Robert Jay Lifton described the mystical manipulation used by Scientology in his eight criteria for thought reform and the emeter fits. It does SOMETHING and with the suggestions made over and over in Scientology it is portrayed as an infallible truth hunter and fools thousands of people! Suggestion plus expectation made by an authority is a simplified formula for hypnosis! Hubbard suggested over and over that his (well Matheson) meter was an infallible instrument that can’t be fooled and the people in Scientology often expect it is infallible and the highest authority in Scientology, Hubbard, repeatedly asserted the claims that the emeter can’t be fooled!
Dr. Robert J. Lifton’s Eight Criteria for Thought Reform
1.Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.
2.Mystical Manipulation. There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.
3.Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.
4.Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members’ “sins,” “attitudes,” and “faults” are discussed and exploited by the leaders.
5.Sacred Science. The group’s doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.
6.Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating cliches, which serve to alter members’ thought processes to conform to the group’s way of thinking.
7.Doctrine over person. Member’s personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
8.Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group’s ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also. (Lifton, 1989)
Rip Van Winkle says
And when you truly believe Hubbard you self-police because you want the carrot.
If you go past misunderstood words you will be compelled to do bad deeds, these will give you secrets, this lack of responsibility is not compatible with spiritual awareness. It will cause you to forget, to become criminal, and this is why you are stuck in a body on prison planet earth, never remembering your past, doomed to a dwindling awareness to oblivion.
So if you confess and tell all, self-police, and do the bridge, you get to be exterior creating worlds, able to remember trillions of lifetimes
Under extreme (extraordinary) pressure of heavy ethics and injustice and worse, sometimes you let your standards down, but eventually, you take responsibility for every single speck.
(rhetorical) …..How long does it take to recover from decades of that level of conditioning?
Funny how that while the topic is physical violence, the former Ms Rinder does not mention the alleged “wife-beating” that Mike perpetrated? Given the topic, one would think that would be foremost on her mind, no?
Beth Lewis says
I have a listener question (love your podcast!); has David Miscavige planned for his successor? I don’t recall him having children, but? I feel like Tom Cruise is waiting in the wings to temporarily take over the organization and then hand it to Connor Cruise.
Loosing my Religion says
Beth I’m not answering your question I’m just making a comment. In scn there is nothing written that establishes a line of succession.
Miscavige has no children and doesn’t love them.
When he dies as everyone has to, if there is still a form of scn there will be another fight at the top. Since there are millions at stake the more heartless will win.
Bruce Ploetz says
Staff member reports are bad enough when done as Hubbard decreed, but what often happens is even worse.
You can easily get into a “chit war” with someone – they write a “Knowledge Report” on you full of speculation and wild accusations. You get mad and write an even more ridiculous “False Report Report” on them. This can escalate rapidly, because by policy you are supposed to “cc” (carbon copy) everyone who needs to know and the routing of the report is supposed to go up from you through your seniors and back down to them through their seniors.
Suddenly all kinds of people are being drawn in. Of course, every report contains scandalous lies and exaggerations designed to defame the other side and force some kind of disciplinary action. CCs off to other organizations, higher executives, even Dave Miscavige are calculated to destroy your enemy.
I imagine C. S. Lewis’s Screwtape and his fellow demons clawing at each other in Hell as a comparative. Mercy, forgiveness, truth and decency are no part of a struggle to avoid an RPF assignment. Do or be done unto is the law of the Sea Org in these situations. Devil take the hindmost and sauve quit peut.
Bruce Ploetz says
Sorry, meant to say “sauve qui peut”, the French expression used when abandoning ship meaning “Every man for himself”.
I was on staff around 1990 and we would get into report wars where someone would write a report on me, the ethics officer would give me the report, I would disagree with the report completely. The ethics officer would say “well, just don’t do it again.” I would say it never happened in the first place.
Sometimes the person who wrote the report would see this and disagree, I would rip up the report! They would write a report on me ripping up the report! I would rip up that report! It would go on and on because the ethics officer was stuck. They have little threat to level at staff making zero dollars and getting zero enhancement.
You can’t take away nonexistent pay and you can’t take away nonexistent Scientology auditing!
Really, it resulted in staff quitting rapidly once they realized that they were supposed to sacrifice their lives with zero reward forever.
The Sea Org however, is a different story.
Rip Van Winkle says
Killing myself here…
“CC: God and Everyone”
staff in an org: Lord of the Flies
(thank you. You nailed this)
Interestingly enough, it’s been said many a time that “BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER”…………………..”YOU WILL BE JUDGED BY THE COMPANY YOUR KEEP”……………… “LAY DOWN WITH DOGS & YOU MIGHT GET FLEAS”…….or posisbly beaten, molested, raped…………..
Nothing can be more truthful than GOOD vs. EVIL……
Dotey OT says
I’ve been out now for five years (YAY!!!) and have forgotten things, but was reminded today how “trained into false ideas” I was.
Talking to one of my still-in clients over the phone. I’m sick (two negative covid tests) and sneezing while talking business. The guy asks “are you sick?” I could hear his mental machine kick in. I said “yes I am sick.”
All illness to greater or lessor degree, lol, and all foul-ups, lol.
Andrea "i-Betty" Garner says
Congratulations, five years is a big anniversary! Wishing you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas… and I hope you feel much better very soon 🙂
Dotey OT says
It actually is a big deal for us! Thank you for saying.
Merry Christmas to you and yours as well!
Loosing my Religion says
The knowledge reports are a real system of almost total control, to envy the old Stasi of East Germany to the point of making them look like amateurs.
When I was on the staff in SO I remember that one was always alert to what he said even in the break time. Otherwise, the KRs flocked. It was obviously absurd then, to think of making irony about something that was happening in the base. In that case the infos (high ranking people to whom a copy was sent for information) was longer than the report itself.
But one must be careful about what he writes as well, if what he reports is all true but disturbs a senior then he ends up in some trouble himself.
This IS scientology.
Yes, and if you even tried to interject some levity into the situation with a little tiny bit of humor or irony, you would get written up for “Joking and Degrading.”
Loosing my Religion says
Cindy absolutely true. As Italians often I tend to make fun of certain serious situations or comments in ways that may seem too ironic or sarcastic or not very serious to others, but it is just a way of being without malice.
For example, if within a minute a person repeats the same thing to me three times maybe I can answer “Wait a minute, I’ll write this point so I don’t forget it”. But it wasn’t always accepted and was seen as tone 1.1, instead of understanding that the guy was unnecessarily repetitive and couldn’t land on the heart of the matter.
Then they say that scn is fun! Sure, try to have stats down twice in a row and be ironic and one will experiment a lot of it.
I need to write a Things That Shouldn’t Be.
The latest podcast is not available on YouTube, so I have to wait several hours to a day before I can listen and then respond! Oh no!
Tory Christman says
I have some truly nightmare stories about KR’s and a ‘Committee of Evidence” run on me.
The worst was a totally screwed up, altered and top management consultants at
“Survival Strategies” did nothing
To ensure it was standard.
However, the worst for the group was my asking the head ” Ethics officer” at
AOLA: ” What exactly do you DO with all these KR’s? ” (In the mid 90’s).
He swung open a door and to my total shock, there were hundreds and hundreds of papers all just randomly pitched in there… Floor to ceiling, wall to wall:
” That’s what I do with them! It is
OUT of CONTROL! ” Fact.
Tory was that Gary? I remember Gary being in perpetual anguish over the impossible KR filing mess.
I always felt that Gary was a good guy who was just overwhelmed with his post as anyone on that post would be. So much in the org depended on him and what he would say, yea or nay, that that kind of pressure could have destroyed him. Does anyone know whatever happened to Gary? I hope he is out.
Mark Kamran says
That’s the guilt consciousness they are enforcing on each followers, and in turn the follower give away his/her control in the hands of some one senior to him.
This Paramid keeps on building to the top.
Followers feel guilty of not what they have done but what others have done ,if it is not get reported.
This blind faith on Masters and giving control to them, a.k.a Stockholm syndrome based on actual event.
Though it has been modus operandi of Cults for eons ,but got exposed by a Psychiatrist, interviewing the suvivors of that incident.
Jere Lull says
DANG! it’s O/T, but them two gorgeous girls in that picture!
Jere Lull says
McSavage dreams up some meaningless ‘statistic’, announcing that it’s rising like never before — because it wasn’t tracked ever before, and THAT means unlimited expansion. Oh, what a MAROON!
Mark Kamran says
Well any dictionary can be used to get him clear on word Statistics , but it won’t cover his shortcoming due lack of education.
School ,College and Universities are there for reason .
When you are sick ,u go to Medical doctor ,a University graduate.
House your living ,car you are driving, mobile in your hand….are came out of efforts of Universities and their graduates.
Yes Dairy Farming does not need college or University or even High school diploma, that’s why I have been suggesting them to move to isolation and start this business..
DM's Black BT says
Can you imagine how many folders and the thickness of each one, if people were actually allowed to write up Knowledge Reports regarding David Miscavigte’s crimes against humanity and the cruel and inhumane abuse?
Zee Moo says
Lron and Miscavige took a page out the ‘Young Pioneers’ (Soviet Union) and the Hitlerjungend and other total control groups and codified the snitching. Where there are snitches, there is money. That should have been a $cieno motto.
I have recently been asked about the size of Scientology and at first gave the pat answer of maybe twenty to forty thousand active Scientologists world-wide. But in light of the recent reports that Scientology is nearly entirely shut down from Tony Ortega and the New York City org stats that would be non viable for a tiny mission and the report that Flag is dead and cannibalizing the public from all the other orgs in an attempt to make it look like they are viable for the whales I have had to adjust my estimates.
Scientology may be shifting to a stage similar to the Christian Science cult which has empty reading rooms in cities across the country.
Scientology similarly has billions in cash and billions in real estate and an army of lawyers to protect it.
The actual current active membership may be in the two to ten thousand range worldwide or even lower.
If it really is this paltry then the recent efforts to buy up the real estate in Clearwater Florida around Flag may have a simple purpose.
David Miscavige may want to be able to counter the unpleasant reality that Scientology is dwindling far below a viable range to ever produce Saint Hill Size orgs as the orgs are becoming completely empty and staying that way.
He has no method to get people into the orgs, even though if he paid a decent wage and provided basic benefits he could staff the orgs with the remaining Scientologists and actually have a shot at getting people in the door, he will likely never spend his money in this way.
The vast majority of people in Scientology in the past were not well off and joined staff or the Sea Org but the poverty and abusive working conditions drove people off faster than they could be recruited. If these conditions were altered and the pay was good or even double minimum wage, he could staff the orgs and if the working conditions were bearable he could retain people.
But David Miscavige being decent to people is as likely as a bird flying, a penguin to be exact. It’s just not in him.
I think he is having the real estate in Clearwater Florida around Flag bought up so he can SHOW the whales that Scientology is expanding!
It’s a simple con!
I remember at one time Ted Turner was said to own the most private land in the United States, but it would have been foolish to think that empty land equated to his group having a lot of members.
My point is David Miscavige is focusing on stats regarding how much square footage he has and how many facilities are doing something and presented that at a lot of recent events.
It is a simple shift to meaningless stats as a way to pretend Scientology is expanding because a stat is going up!
It’s almost comical to claim lots of empty buildings equal expansion to fool people in Scientology and also to have something to present to the IRS to pretend he is using the billions in cash that Scientology has for charitable purposes!
Empty buildings that local whales buy while Miscavige grows the reserves into the billions provide zero benefit to society, just like Scientology!
Loosing my Religion says
Mockingbird, what you say is flawless.
I would add that (for example the case of downtown Clearwater) surely the intention is to translate it into something for PR and internal propaganda. He must bring something ‘amazing’ to the next events. Surely, as you say, he has no idea what to really do to bring in people in the orgs (both new and old).
So he will be aiming for some big shot to present to revitalize the still reachable field.
But he knows that now all roads are practically closed (internet, blogs, people waking up, etc.)
So I wouldn’t be surprised if, along with the big shot, he also put in a nice amnesty. His only chance to flow somebody in. Last one I think was in 1993.
Now all he has to do is get some stratospheric good news out of his hat that everyone needs to know.
I think he’s not going to actually spend money on improving the living and working conditions for staff and Sea Org members. He could find references on rewarding upstats and say in the face of suppression from society he will use Sea Org reserves and guarantee good pay and benefits for staff and Sea Org members! In the short run it would be a boom as some old timers would come back and the rate of people quitting would at least temporarily drop.
In most of the United States a wage between fifteen and twenty five dollars an hour with good medical benefits would get him fully staffed orgs.
It would not he enough in LA and New York City, but in over eighty percent of the country it would work and if he had a Sea Org appreciation program and pulled out references on rewarding the producers and used them as an excuse to give Sea Org members decent living conditions, good food, clean and bearable accommodations, meaning no longer overcrowded, and he picked kind and compassionate people to put in charge of other people it would make people stop leaving to some degree and get people to rejoin staff and the Sea Org.
It would not make unworkable technology work, Scientology has no actual solutions, but if people felt appreciated and rewarded it would act as a massive deodorant and make a lot of the stink be hidden for a time.
A huge amnesty and allowing people to reconnect if they just say they won’t attack Scientology may be a huge boost, too, because most critics of Scientology are disconnected family members. Take away the disconnection and many would be content to withdraw from the fray.
That’s my one second guess as what David Miscavige could try if he was actually interested in growing Scientology or retaining most people.
I think he isn’t and therefore won’t ever do any of these things.
Instead, he just wants to put an act on for the whales and avoid charges of inurement (personally benefiting financially from a charity that he administers) from the IRS, so he goes through the motions with his ideal org scam just enough to barely plausibly give the whales stats to look at and say they reflect expansion and to show the IRS that he is building cathedral after cathedral for Scientology and other religions can build churches as a religious expense, so he can too!
Even if they are empty and they are actually financed by whales like Joe Sgroi and Nancy Cartwright, so Miscavige is actually stacking cash from the orgs and IAS for himself! By the billions!
I can’t imagine what you would think if you were a public STILL going to your local org! Maybe the fiftieth program Miscavige comes up with will FINALLY cause expansion!! Maybe in 2525 Scientology will expand!
Loosing my Religion says
Mockingbird. Thank you. I understand what you mean. If that is the case, then the date will be 2025 and no later than that.
Disrupting all foundations (letting it all go to hell) to keep some whales good for a while with the orgs turning to moldy cellars is a planned suicide.
His big ego – which unnecessarily takes up a lot of space – is that of a lucid nihilistic sociopath who I doubt wants to give it up.
I am ready to bet 1 euro on a possible amnesty from here shortly.
Not yet mentioned regarding scn numbers is that apperntly large numbers of foreigners with modest English language skills continue to join the sea org and work for free room and board.
I have heard about this since I left Scientology in 2014, yet they keep having VISA problems and Covid may be making it even harder.
They might be staffing some posts this way but they are not going to be able to staff every post in every org this way.
How would you run a whole org of people who don’t know or believe in Scientology? It would be quite difficult!
This talk of staff from foreign countries with Visa problems just gave me an idea. If DM is having his people do unusual solutions” as in lying etc about Visas that are running out, which means a staff member having to go back home to his country, if DM did order some weird solution to this and it was against the law, this could be the way to nab Miscavige.
In the mid to late 1970’s it was unusual to see someone in a sea org uniform walking around the public areas at ASHO. At least that was my experience. I guess they are now a permanent fixture at many orgs.
Somehow I managed to meet a sea org woman and dated her for two months but she was more interested in the sea org than me so that was the end of it. Too many “attention units” back on the job.
MB, if the CofS provided real wages and benefits it would probably cost around $100 million a year each for staff (how many people is a fully staffed org, multiplied by about 140?) and sea org, and I don’t think they have that sort of cash flow anymore. DM built up $2-3 billion in reserves over the last several decades, which is an average of about $100 million per year, meaning it was effectively done on the backs of virtual slave labor, and even then paying workers decently might have pushed them into deficit instead – and that was during better times. Even during Scientology’s heyday in Hubbard’s era the business model relied on workers being low paid at best and often going without pay at all.
They’re now almost certainly no longer building up actual reserves, and most likely starting to spend them down (probably papered over by substituting cash for worthless IOUs from insolvent orgs). I doubt there’s any taste for increasing the burn rate by suddenly starting to pay workers decently – and I don’t know that it would do them any good.
I also suspect disconnection may have been the glue that has held an aging and irrelevant group like the CofS together. I think the reality check is the independent field, which has never found a way to grow, and is rapidly vanishing without anything compelling to hold it together.
We need a very granular analysis of how many people are actually staff and Sea Org members to start coming up with the cost and we also need to know how many billions in cash and real estate David Miscavige has.
I have heard that David Miscavige got more in donations than the ideal org cost. This was reported regarding the ideal org in Buffalo New York and Joe Sgroi and a lot of whales and much less wealthy donors gave a lot, millions and millions in donations then further rounds of donations.
This is a great model! Imagine getting people to donate seven million dollars and spending five, as a hypothetical example, then keeping the excess and repeating this dozens and dozens of times!
And we have people giving millions every year to the IAS! I do not know if the IAS raises a hundred million dollars a year or more but it’s a significant amount!
The key is the tax exempt status combined with huge donations either for nothing or that are well above and beyond the value of the projects being delivered. Simply, lots of these donations are for nothing at all and many others are for things like buildings and renovation and far more than the actual cost of the real estate and costs that Scientology has to pay.
You make a lot of profit when people endlessly donate millions for no return, like the IAS, or raise a fortune far above your cost for projects like Super power and the ideal orgs and on and on.
Bottom line, David Miscavige COULD pay SOME people decent wages and keep Scientology going!
He could focus on the ideal orgs, for example, or strategically pick a few orgs for public relations purposes and run a pilot program or find a reference that says certain areas should be treated a certain way or something.
He could simply try this in a few places and see what happens!
But I don’t think he will.
Jere Lull says
AFAICT, DM doesn’t really care about “St Hill-sized” orgs or anything resembling production or delivery. About all his tiny little rat-brain can care about is the Macallan. Otherwise it’s anesticized.
Jere Lull says
Christian Science at least is smart enough that their “reading rooms” are TINY, thus inexpensive to keep up. The tiny Tyrant™ just HAS to have the biggest, best and grandest to prop up his … ego.
I think the ideal org program and the “buy up as much property in downtown Clearwater Florida as possible with money from whales” program are both intended to fool whales into thinking Scientology is expanding when it is truly declining to a totally non viable range.
David Miscavige is fooling the wealthy bitter enders into thinking they are winning, when Scientology is undergoing massive shrinkage, perhaps down to just a few thousand members, and trying to go through the motions of spending money on improving Scientology with his myriad programs and new buildings to put on a show of actually running a charity.
The poor guy has to fool two entirely different groups and one is lost in the illusions of Ronald Hubbard and the other is rooted in reality and enforces laws.
It’s a tough thing to thread that needle.
No Jere, that isn’t it. They are big properties because he HAS to spend that much cash on real estate or risk loosing it all to the IRS.
Avoiding inurement prosecution? Uh oh, spaghetios!
MB, I think if you look at the 20 to 40 people we se in org event promo pics and multiply that out by the number of orgs worldwide, you get a realistic figure of about 5 thousand really active members at the local orgs, plus a few thousand more at Flag and other advanced orgs, and current estimates of around 3 thousand sea org. 20 to 40 thousand might be the number who still show up occasionally and hold IAS memberships.
Of course that’s from before the pandemic. There are reports both that they’ve suffered losses, and that the diehards are still coming in.
These are interesting numbers. I recall being told there were between four and six thousand Sea Org members worldwide back in the nineties, and it might be half that now!
The number of Scientology public and staff was maybe twenty thousand people total worldwide a few years before the pandemic!
So, if you cut this in half and make people stay home for seven months or longer, a lot of these people are not coming back.
Some people will be happier and simply not come back. Some people will find other activities.
I know that when the NHL had a season cancelled a lot of people in Buffalo realized that they were spending around eight thousand dollars a year on hockey tickets, parking, food and beer at the stadium for the family of four and saw their bank account go up by eight grand from just not going to hockey games for one season! They would never have stayed home but they had to!
Then they decided to watch the games on TV and use the money for other things, like gifts or a vacation.
Well, lots of people in Scientology spend way more than eight grand a year and in my opinion usually get far less enjoyment than hockey fans usually get out of season tickets to their local team! Or the NFL, NBA, or MLB!
I certainly have criticisms of the major sports leagues in America and North America but compared to Scientology they are wholesome and family friendly!
So, we have to accept that we need to reevaluate the status of Scientology today and we have to set aside our old numbers, because they may be off by a lot.