The question as to how big scientology really is comes up often.
The organization does not make its membership figures known though they have a good count with the total number of IAS members. Of course even that is inflated as it is notoriously difficult to get OFF a scientology mailing list and as long as they can still send you junk mail you “count” on their statistic.
Over the years, spokespeople have variously claimed 4, 6, 8 or 10 million “members” but then refuse to define what a “member” is though a few times they have stated it is “anyone who had bought a book or taken a service EVER.”
Lately they have been less inclined to put a number and just say “there are millions of scientologists” or even more passive “millions of scientologists are happy with the leadership of David Miscavige.”
Attendance at their international events is a good gauge of really active scientologists as non-attendance to bow before Dear Leader is tantamount to a crime against humanity at this point. That has NEVER been more than 40,000 and it’s been declining since the 90’s – perhaps by half.
But occasionally they put out something in their own words that inadvertently gives some more accurate insight into the shrinking world inside the bubble of scientology.
You just have to know how to read and understand it.
Here is the latest from “Ron’s Home” – the First Advanced Org.
This promotional item proudly announces the accomplishments of AOSHUK, which, according to their announcement, is the best Advanced Org on earth. They are the “champions,” meaning they have expanded faster over the last year than any other Advanced Org on earth.
There are only 3 others — Los Angeles, Sydney and Copenhagen. The fourth, in Joburg, just opened so it was not in this competition — it will eat into the market share of the other 3 AO’s. So it represents more than 25% of the worldwide total for scientology.
So, let’s analyze these numbers, starting with “Since February.” No doubt they are counting the months of February and March, but it could mean “in the last month.” So, let’s split the difference and call this 6 weeks.
29 SRD completions
79 Auditors made
22 new Clears
125 OT completions
31 new OT V’s.
We can pretty much ignore the SRD — this is a low level service that has nothing to do with an “Advanced Org” other than they are forcing people to do it because they don’t have any other service to put them on.
79 auditors made sounds somewhat impressive — until you know what this stat means. It counts one for ANY COURSE COMPLETED in the Academy. So, to make a Class V auditor (which is a Class V org level auditor) there are numerous courses that count on the way: Pro TRs, Metering, Dianetics Book Auditor, Level 0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5). So you can basically divide that number by 10 to get the number of actual auditors made. And because they do not say “17 Class V auditors made” you can bet the number of Class V’s is actually 0.
22 New Clears. 4 per week (most orgs in the UK are forbidden to make clears as they do not have the requisite technical staff). Let’s just limit this to the UK and estimate (VERY generously) that this represents HALF the Clears made in the UK at any given period (I would guess it is likely 90% given the moribund state of the orgs in the UK). But less than 10 total Clears a week means they are going BACKWARDS on “Clearing the UK” as the population is growing 1,000 wogs to 1 for each Clear they are making. The UK is getting LESS CLEAR. “We are wogging the UK” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
125 OT Completions — another misleading stat. Each level counts. Solo Course Part 2. OT 1 theory. OT 1 practical. OT II theory. OT II etc. When you consider this is more than 25% of the total OT’s made in Advanced Orgs on planet earth (some are made at Flag too) it tells you a LOT about how big scientology really isn’t. And this is a reflection f how many people are arriving from lover level orgs to move through the OT levels. A quarter of the orgs is about 40. 125 in 6 weeks is 20 per week. That is generously about 4 new starts on OT levels from lower level orgs. Or one every 10 weeks from each org. Tells you how dead the orgs really are.
And the final number is the most telling of all.
31 new OT V’s (NOT’s). This is how many people are ready to now go to Flag to do Solo NOTs. 5 per week. Let’s be generous and say the other 3 AO’s also do 5 per week (possibly at AOLA, not a chance in AOSHANZO or EU) — 20 people a week READY to go to Flag. If even half of them go, Flag is empty. 10 arrivals per week is nothing for a facility with 500 hotel rooms!
And their target of 10,000 will NEVER be met unless they continue to count the dead people on their total… the old are dying off and the vast majority of those at the “top of the bridge” ARE old. It is generous to even believe that half of them will go to Flag. Most of them are financially exhausted once they complete NOTs and it requires some hard work and saving to afford to go to Flag and spend 6 weeks trying to get through the OT VI course.
There is no doubt, scientology is dying on the vine.
Remember, this is THE BEST Advanced Org and they are PROUD of these numbers.
These people, and scientologists in general, cannot confront how many people there are in the UK, let alone the world.
They say they are “changing the world” and “bringing sanity to this sector of universe” and “clearing the planet” but in truth they are not even a discernible presence in the world. And they are further away from these goals today than they were 50 years ago.
Unfortunately, this does not mean they cannot harm those who are unfortunate enough to come in contact with them. Which is why it is 8mportant to continue exposing their abuses.
A ÇofS video let slip a reference to ¨our group, a unique group, which contains many thousands of truly well-intentioned individuals¨ by prominent member and ceremony officiator Jeff Pomerantz, as can be seen in a close reading of the transcript posted in today´s piece over at Tony Ortega´s Underground Bunker.
Roger Larsson says
To be number ONE out of 7,7 billion is really something.
It’s like being Jesus or God in a cult selling stuff for money.
Mammon counts the numbers involved.
22 new clears?
My goodness. At that rate they will clear the entire planet by … ummm …. NEVER.
I bet someone went to the Hole for publicizing that stat.
Jonny Jacobsen did a series about it
Slightly off topic but I never got how Hubbard referred to non scientologists as “wogs”. Here in Australia that term has traditionally been a derogatory word for people of ethnic origin like Greeks or Italians.
Paul, that’s actually the worst part, many of Hubbard’s followers from places like Australia and the UK, and even better-read Americans, would have been familiar with the derogatory connotations of the term, and yet still went along with its use to refer to outsiders. Even if some who didn’t know better were fooled, as I recently pointed out to “Foolproof,” many accepted it while knowing how awful it actually was.
Of the many who knew, either no one dared, or no one succeeded, in pointing out to Hubbard that it was an unacceptable way to refer to fellow human beings. That’s also the way that actual crimes against humanity start out.
In the film, “Out of Africa”, set in the 1910s and loosely based on the author’s experience of owning a coffee plantation in the Ngong Hills area of Nigeria, an argument ensues when stuffed shirt British Colonial type at a white-only club castigates Baroness Karen Blixen for her plan to start a school for the children of her African coffee plantation workers on her own property. She felt strongly that these children and in fact all Africans should be taught to read. In a tone of angry contempt he tells her that she is wasting her time and money “on a bunch of wogs”. It can be assumed that this term used in the movie dialogue, “wogs” came from the auto-biographical book although I can’t vouchsafe this as I haven’t read the book. What is certain is that “wog” at this time, and in this place, was not a complimentary term when referring to Africans.
Mr. Goodkat says
‘Wog’ in the US Navy refers to someone who has not crossed the equator thus becoming a ‘shellback’. Often times there are other words before wog such as ‘filthy disgusting wog’.
Mr. G, that possible etymology has been brought up in the past, but it’s ultimately tangential, at most.
Your explanation of how it was still demeaning or derogatory even in the context of the Navy, shows that it’s nonetheless highly inappropriate – particularly when it comes to use by a nominally humanitarian and spiritual group.
And as I’ve pointed out elsewhere, regardless of how Hubbard came upon word, it’s beyond the pale and totally cult-y, that once he got to England where many people would have been quite familiar with the nasty, perjorative connotations of the term (it was infamously used there in the late 1940s), that he not only continued to use it, but that none of his more savvy followers raised enough of a stink to get its used discontinued.
Imagine, for instance, that a foreign guru who’d only run across use of the n-word in American popular music and didn’t fully understand its implications, came to the US and started using it to refer to non-adherents.
Mr. Goodkat says
As a never gonna be in, and member of the US Navy, I was only stating the fact that we call Sailors who haven’t crossed the equator wogs. Please do not be offended if you’re from anywhere it is considered offensive, I am uncultured swine and know very little of the world outside America.
Tom Cruise Needs A Hemmoroidectomy says
Hey here’s something fun to do! Let’s read this 612 page PDF document entitled “The Technical Bulletins of Dianetics and Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard FOUNDER OF DIANETICS AND SCIENTOLOGY Volume
XIV: THE O.T. LEVELS” and learn everything you ever wanted to know about OT from the man who wrote it himself. C’mon you lurking Scientologists let’s have some fun! Best of all it’s free! Why pay hundreds of thousand of dollars and waste decades of your life so you can finally access this horeshit bad science fiction garbage — when you can smell it for FREE? See
A SIMPLE CASE OF: RECTAL CRANIAL INVERSION…
Tom Cruise has his brains up his arse.
Ammo Alamo says
Quick, Robin, get the Bat-Cranio-Rectum-Vacuum Cleaner! Alfred was just using it in to suck the stupid bats out of the Bat-Belfry!
I wonder though in all seriousness if TC is just as brainwashed. I heard pieces and parts that he and John T. Know “enough” but how will we ever know for sure? I caution my judgment until then since I do believe in religious freedom. But when there is harm to others why do the blinders suddenly flap up? It is such a mystery and all the documentaries dance around who knows what (from auditing sessions etc) about these more famous members.
I mean seriously they NEVER look at the internet!?! I’m facinated.
Bobble Head Alert!
Delivered. Its adorable! Now, to decide what shelf will be his new home…
Just thought of other things the SP Boutique could sell:
SP rings? Bracelets with the SPs initials? Wait! I got it…earrings! Long, dangly ones for pierced ears, with “SP” engraved on them, swingin’ around…925 sterling silver would be nice but that would make them too expensive, so I’d say bronze with 925 sterling overlay, or just bronze. Bronze jewelry is great!
Heavens, there are no end of possibilities: Mugs, scarves, monogrammed SP flatware, bobble heads of everyone of course…pillows, ASH TRAYS, LOL!
Don’t mind me, I’m always full of ideas and besides that decaf I drank earlier was most likely NOT decaf, but CAF.
Aqua my dear….I was hoping for a DART BOARD with the face of a well known Tiny Tyrant DICK TATER in the center…..with exceptionally LONG EXTRA SHARP DARTS to throw.
But then again……that’s just MY input.
P.S. Mike….I am TRYING to remain a lady here, but it’s awfully hard when I read all these sad hurtful stories & watch Aftermath & read the books etc…….I am fuming….
An Ideal Dartboard! Wait! How about HIS face with “Provable Bullshit” written underneath. Hmmm… Make the price low and each of us could buy numbers of them and DONATE them to various pubs that feature dart-playing, or would like to. This would be OUR SP version of the cult’s Library Campaign. The goal? A Provable Bullshit Dartboard in EVERY American pub that needs or wants one. Proceeds to Aftermath of course. Make a bullseye, feed a blown Sea Org Member… GOOD IDEA, Balletlady!
I swear to God they look like a pack of aliens that have occupied human bodies. Just absolutely bizarre beyond belief. I can pore over that photo for minutes at a time, blowing it up and scrutinizing it, and my sense of sick fascination just continues to morph and grow. It’s like a GD car wreck with exploded bodies all over the road and you just can’t help but to slow to rubberneck and gawk at the carnage. Jim Jones style Guyana shit right there.
Want to see what they really look like after following the Scamology program?
I have some before and after pix of Kirstie Alley. Not sure I can post them here but I’ll try.
Wanna know how big Scamalogy has become?
I guess it’s true what they say. Scamology will make big, big, BIG changes in your life.
As re before and after Scn and Kirstie, she had a serious cocaine habit.
Cocaine kept her thin. Cocaine wreaks havoc with your adrenaline glands. It kills the appetite and gives tremendous (false) energy by putting the adrenaline glands into constant overdrive. When she got into Scientology she kicked cocaine and, with her adrenals shot by that time, started to crave sweets and starch. She blew up like a blimp and has been battling her weight ever since. But once you wreck your adrenaline glands, via alcohol or drug addiction, it takes a long time to build them back.
You have to de-sress your life and take a full compliment of vitamins and minerals and eat plenty of lean protein and green vegetables and fruit and a moderate amount of fat, consistently. Dieting is NOT going to work.
In order to stay reasonably slim, and ex addict with broken down adrenaline glands is going to be resisting and managing sugar and starch cravings for the rest of her or his life while at the same time, avoiding junk food and feeding when and if needed on the healthy stuff. Weight gain is inevitable because healthy food can be fattening too, but after time goes by and the adrenalines become healthy again the tremendous cravings for sugar and starch subside.
Some people have the discipline to do all this, and some don’t.
Now, the cult doesn’t care how fat Kirstie Alley is so long as she keeps donating. In fact, it could be surmised that the fatter and unhappier she is, the more she is their creature to do their bidding.
Very sad indeed. I never had a weakness for cocaine. I tried it a few times and it always seemed like a stupid drug to me. Same with alcohol.
I saw one of the best Rock & Roll movies I’ve ever seen recently. It was about Tom Petty and it was called “Running Down a Dream”. He said something about cocaine. He said, “All it does is make you want more”.
I’m glad he managed to overcome his addiction to cocaine. Some people are just more susceptible to some drugs than others. It’s said he died from an overdose of some opioids including Heroin and Oxy Contin.
One of the most talented musicians ever. I always loved his music and still do. Seems like these synthetic opioids have become the scourge of our time. Huge numbers of people are dying from them. More so than almost any other drug.
The only other truth I know is that Scamology never helps anything. It just makes everything worse.
It is sad, Skyler. I have (had, actually) a close friend for years who was addicted to both alcohol and cocaine. She stayed very slim and young looking but her personality changed. She really got mental. She started over-reacting…that’s an understatement. She had been bright and clever and amusing…she changed, became angry, grief-filled, bitter – impossible to be around, although she looked great. For years she was afraid of getting clean because she dreaded gaining a lot of weight. Another person I knew died when he was 44. Extremely handsome, clever. A cokehead, addicted for many years with no obvious bad effects, he had a sudden heart attack while riding one of his motorcycles and was dead on arrival at the emergency room. I thank God I was never tempted to get into drugs, legal or illegal, nor have I ever been much of a drinker. I thank God for this blessing and I’m sure you do too.
Rip Van Winkle says
I dunno…if I was her EO, I’d handle her in ethics to take responsibility for her condition, she needs to set a good example as a celeb because she has a world stage and visibility.
As an OT, being cause over her diet is a no-brainer, any slacking is just out ethics. A full ethics program over this lifetime, food/eating/body O/Ws, RPEC, false data stripping, a full study and MU handling/crashing MU handling on food and the body and how to care for it. Conditions, conditions and exchange by dynamics, and a new admin scale to round it out.
Probably arrange for a Scio to be hired by her as a personal watchdog/companion/aide during the time of getting a handle on the weight and getting in shape.
She’d have a first class 100 percent unreasonable ethics handling to terminatedly handle the sit.
That’s the stupid ass way I used to think.
That’s the shit that comes to mind when I read things.
I can feel sooooo far away, feel like I’ve come a zillion miles and can see daylight..but I can also just turn my head and it’s all just still there.
At least I know it’s a lie.
Rip, I hear you, but you know, in the end, after all the training, MU finding, auditing, etc., it comes down to one thing: will power. They body is the body. Its a body. It craves what it craves. You have to retrain it, manage it, be in control of it.
You just decide that you are in control of your body. You don’t have to be a Scientologist to do this. All you need is a very strong desire to eat less, eat healthy, stick with it and succeed. You have to tell the body that its not going to die if it doesn’t get that lasagna or cheese danish. You have to pull a Nancy Reagan with food and “just say no”. Or, you eat the lasagna but only a very small portion. Portion control works for some people, others not. There are millions of diets and eating plans out there. They all work.
There’s a plan for every one. The thing is, sticking to it. Nothing’s going to work if you can’t stick with it. Scientologists or not, some people have the will power, others don’t.
Rip Van Winkle says
I guess we all have our areas of weakness… I’ve always considered weight as something one can control with willpower and determination. I’ve quit smoking and have also lost weight, and quitting smoking was much harder. But maybe I’m also genetically blessed – we don’t have lots of obesity on either side…. I dunno, but I do have obstinate willpower when needed.
I worked in HCO, Qual, and have been a senior exec as well a a bunch of other areas and orgs…. so my comment was just a spewing of what came to mind in response to this part of yours:
‘Now, the cult doesn’t care how fat Kirstie Alley is so long as she keeps donating. ”
…unbidden, the old “unreasonable attitude” was just THERE, and I spewed the mindset I would have had and acted upon had Kirstie been routed to me.
As I work on stripping scn off myself and opening my mind to the ideas of others and history…. I tend to purposefully stay away from thinking the old thoughts…. I try to stay away from examining things “from the old viewpoint” … and included in that is trying to not use any cult words.
I know these are important steps in freeing oneself. So in a way, I kick myself when I DO just spew the cult think and mindset. …
I can be conflicted about this……
but communicating the exact crazy mindset and actions is also helpful, ..sometimes Never Ins seem to appreciate it…and sometimes it can point up to me how far I’ve come… how differently I feel and think now.
Thanks for chatting.
RUNNING OT III
When running OT III the Solo Auditor handles Body Theteans as he would any other pc, for the general idea is to run them standardly and not to ARC Break them. He does not scan through anything in order to find body thetans.
When a Solo Auditor can find no more BTs, he can attest or run a pressure area down and handle as per his running instructions.
The pre OT could be exterior and the interiorization process can be run in Review to help him through.
Here are three reasons why a pre OT might have trouble whilst running BTs on Incident II:
1. It is the wrong area.
2. It is not the volcano of the BT being run.
3. It is not an Incident II but another incident of a different date.
Check 1 and 2 if you are having any difficulty in running Incident II and handle by locating the correct area or finding the volcano of the BT being run.
If it is not a II simply check for the date and if different, run it.
Copyright (c) 1970
by L. Ron Hubbard
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
L. RON HUBBARD FOUNDER
Tom Cruise is the “only one who can help” with exploded bodies all over the road.
After all, a simple touch assist will miraculously bring those people back to life.
Isn’t that amazing? It’s almost like he’s utterly delusional and full of shit.
Michael Leonard Tilse says
In 1984, while being temporary Qual Sec at SMI International, (posted because the ex-CIA guy was leaving the post) I got in trouble because I called attention to the international statistics of scientology missions and forming missions was being inflated and mis-reported to boost statistics.
Only one of the things I got in trouble for.
Joe Pendleton says
Aaron Smith-Levin recently did a video where he broke down org by org the probable number of Scientologists worldwide … Came out to about 25 -30,000 as I recall. Can’t provide a link on my kindle, but it’s on youtube. Check it out.
Thanks for the reference. I tracked it down and had a quick look at the beginning of it, and he’s saying somewhere numbers are somewhere hard to pinpoint between 15,000 and 50,000, but really 35,000 as a “generous” maximum, broken down like this:
5,000 Sea Org
6,000 Class V staff members
1,000 mission staff members
To begin with, a number of people who follow Scientology closely and have some informed sources, are saying there are only about 3,500 Sea Org left after recent reductions. That’s 30% less.
Then, that many Class V staff members would be about 40 staff members per org. Average orgs seem to have more like 25-30 from various indications and reports, plus a significant number of those are part-timers; photos after the opening of the new Orlando facility show about 18, and an insider report of the aftermath of another “ideal” opening was in the same ballpark. That’s 30% or more less.
The few, mostly small, missions left, for instance only about 45 in the US and fewer than 10 of those with a public-facing location and run by anyone other than the mission holder themselves and maybe a partner, don’t account for that many staff members either.
On top of that, a lot of part-timers at the missions and orgs are probably in the count of public, and area mission public and staff show up at the org’s largest annual events. And I’ve already pegged the number of public around 15,000, or again about 30% less than Aaron’s estimate.
I’d agree with Aaron that 35,000 is a generous estimate, and an upper limit. But I think a realistic and likely number is about a third less, or around 20,000, and that at this point it could even be more like the 15,000 minimum he suggests, and possibly even lower if some are right that Scientology has shrunk drastically.
A good example of how orgs are suffering, and reduced to a real minimum along the lines of my estimates, if not even less, is the St. Louis org that we got detailed insider information and stories about a while back.
Proof of Less Than 35,000 Scientologists Worldwide
I was a NOTS Auditor for several years in the Universe Corps. We made 5-10 OTsper week in the 90s for many years. And we didn’t count the Solo Course etc. this is pathetic.
I did a few Sea Org Missions at AOSH UK in the 80s and it was a joke even then.
Andrea Garner says
Richard at London’s Ideal Org told me in the Autumn that there are 20 million members worldwide. He was a sweetie so I just smiled and nodded 🙂
Mike Rinder says
That is counting BTs
Robert King says
What is a “BT”?
Mike Rinder says
Body Thetan. A disembodied “thetan” (spirit) that is attached to people and causes pains and emotions. Each person has thousands and thousands of these that are effecting them and are “audited” away.
Hmm … I wonder … have you ever known an auditor named “Audrey”?
I would guess that would be a lot of fun. You could make up songs about “Audrey the Auditer”.
Sorry. I’m feeling kind of silly this morning and I promise it is not due to taking too many pain killers either. Honest!
Although, I must confess. Every time that I do need a pain killer, I flash back to the four Scamologists who surrounded me during one of my four visits to the Scamology Center back in 1976 and chanted at me, “You must never take any drugs. Never any kind of drugs. Never. Never. Never.”
I wonder what they would do if a doctor tells them they must take Penicillin or else one of their legs will become infected and will have to be amputated. Would they choose amputation? I would hope that instead, they would choose to amputate LRH and his stupid cult.
Skyler you jokingly asked if there was an auditor named Audrey? Actually I do know an auditor named Audrey. She is also OT VIII. And being Class VI auditor and OT VIII, she has a number of health issues: heart attacks and trouble and more than one stroke.
I was just trying to be funny. I’m sorry if I seemed callous.
Robert King says
What does the “church” do with the people who they are keeping lockrd up and never to be seen or heard from again, when that person dies? Isn’t it against the law to not notify the authorities? Do they just blurry them ??? There’s got to be some crime in there …think???
Indeed there is a crime. I’m not sure exactly what it’s called. I seem to recall it might be something about an “Indignity to a Human Body”. But the logic behind it is that when someone dies, there is always a very small chance the cause could be some deadly virus that could spread to other people. Therefore, the location of the body must be known in case a coroner needs to check it out to make sure there is no danger of some disease spreading through the population.
The 20 million number seems to be the sort of officially tolerated rumor mill (I forget the Scn term) propaganda that’s been floating around for a couple of years – unless there’s actually some policy to use it for internal motivation and recruiting purposes (though not with the media, who might fact-check it). If I recall, Kristie Alley has used it, and visitors to Austin and at least one other org have been told it by the lower-level staff they encountered.
One has to wonder, of course, how anyone in a more or less empty org could think such a thing without stopping to wonder about the implausibility of it. That probably says something about the “out reality” and lack of critical thinking skills of those who remain.
If they had 20 million members, that would mean that if they had full penetration into even the far reaches of every country on the planet, it would be about 1 out of every 400 people. In London that would mean around 35,000 members – while, in a wealthy city in one of Scientology’s long-term stronghold countries, they have 1% of that at best.
Kat LaRue says
The only thing that worries me a bit is how this thing is going to end. I know it WILL end- that is already established, and seeing them scramble to create the illusion of prosperity as they lose members pretty much tells you all you need to know. They wouldn’t fight this hard to create fake people, hire click farms, make small events look bigger and try to pretend that their front groups matter if they were booming. Any booming business can lose a member or two and not throw a hissy fit. (I’m sure they would fight to keep people, but not this hard. Nor would they spend this much money on it).
I run the likely scenarios but can’t figure out the endgame completely. There are too many variables. That said, all anyone can do is be waiting with emotional support and caring when people start jumping ship.
That and stay busy drilling holes in the hull (lol)
I would like to go on the record and predict that DM will not be able to stand becoming a nobody (in his mind) and will make up some bullshit about how they are all going off to some new planet and invite everyone down to a big party with free cold cuts and then he will serve some KoolAid and you know the rest.
It’s just such a shame that so many sweet and caring people were duped and will go out together with THE MONSTER in that way. So sad.
I wish I knew what will happen to the millions. There won’t be more than a billion when it ends. I suppose the lawyers and bankers will get it all.
Kat LaRue says
I think most of their money is probably tied up in real estate and some big ticket “toys” for Miscavige. I don’t think they can sit on a lot of cash. If the whole thing crashes at some point, I think we’ll start seeing them selling off properties.
The big problem with selling real estate is that Miscavige has pushed his “ideal org” program so hard and for so long he may resist it at all costs.
We will see…
Kat, my best guess is that they are holding on hoping that something will turn things around – and of course there are real true believers who expect Hubbard himself to return and straighten things out. I think the straightforward shrinkage scenario, is that they just hold out as long as they can, eventually ending the “ideal” org program, reducing local orgs to skeleton staffs and abandoning some of their administrative and organizational properties in LA and Clearwater, and finally resorting to starting to spend down reserves. A strategy like that could get them to the end of of Miscavige’s tenure; but some sort of crisis or outside challenges that they no longer have the strength to weather, is apt to complicate that. A new regime that was willing to sell off oversized orgs, and blame it on something such as Miscavige having been “off policy” (among other things he’s likely to be scapegoated for), could keep things going for a long time if they didn’t face other existential challenges.
Christian Science has been faced with similar challenges for a long time, and actually started closing churches as long ago as the 1940s. But they’re so large, and have enough assets, that they have just lumbered on, and it’s not clear what the end game will be for them, either.
Kat LaRue says
Please don’t mention that particular cult. I just can’t. I don’t mean to be rude. That’s how my husband died- his parents were members but he wasn’t. Didn’t matter.
Christopher Baranet says
I’m guessing that if you take the stat of “bodies in the shop”, worldwide, for the last week of the Birthday Game.
Divide that by 7, you would get a close approximation of the actual numbers of Scientologist ?
I’m pretty sure there are more Pastafarians at present than $cientologists.
Paul V. Tupointeau says
Ramen to that !!
Kat LaRue says
Penne sure that’s true (I know- that was bad!)
And there are more official jedi knights in UK than scientologists XD
(Members of the Jedi order, it’s not an April fools joke)
Peggy L says
Gee, I actually understood that. Plus, since minni mouse isn’t responsible to anyone since he doesn’t have to worry about being audited and no one within the cult would dare to question he can tweak the numbers any way he wants. Just as long as he keeps the big donors in their happy place feeling like they are actually doing something worthwhile then all is well.
Kat LaRue says
How does he get away with not being audited? I’ve always wondered how he could manage that.
Peggy L says
I meant an internal audit Kat because no one within the cult would dare to challenge how he comes up with his calculations. (I think Marc Headley talked about this in one of the Aftermath shows) I don’t think the IRS would audit him but I really don’t know anything about how that works due to the cult’s status as a church.
I do know because of the type business I used to work at is that with free publications, like the cult’s way to happiness, you can claim that you reach, (pick a number, 100,000? customers), just because you print 100,000 publications and leave them at businesses, etc., or mail them, any of those tricks, to make the claim to investors, that the information reaches that many household or individuals. At that time the calculations were for each household they used 2.3 people (no idea what a .3 person was!).
As for an audit by the gvt. someone else here would be able to answer your question.
Carla Golden says
I have just recently watched season 3 and was flabbergasted by what this cult has done to people. I applaud you Mike and Leah for speaking out and helping others. You are literally saving lives.
That’s a nice analysis that exposes the state of things. I’d point out that it extrapolates to about 200 clears a year being made in the UK, which probably includes a significant number of foreigners coming to Saint Hill. The numbers probably aren’t even at the level to replace those dying off – and many of those long ago blew Scientology anyway.
As I’ve noted before, I look at the big picture of their membership like like this:
* Typically promo photos show a core of about 35 to 50 members that local orgs can count on to come to various events and fundraisers. Given approximately 140 local orgs, if those photos represent the average the would point to about 5,000 to 7,000 active members total; while there are also folks in Clearwater and others who almost exclusively go to higher-level orgs, any numbers there are probably canceled out by lot of small and failing orgs like New Haven and even Philadephia (in a huge metro area) that we rarely even see anything from and that and are almost certainly even smaller.
* We see some signs, and have some reports, that orgs like Chicago have 100 to 150 members in their entire “field” that they expect at their biggest annual events, which if average would indicate 15,000 to 21,000 members across all the orgs. But I can’t recall ever seeing a photo of a local org event other than an “ideal” facility opening with lots of out-of-area attendees, that has even 100 people in it, so even if there might be a higher number like that technically still in good standing, the number that Scientology can count on is towards the low side.
There are additional pieces of information, from numbers of e-meters made to online activity, that point to a number trending down towards 10,000. There’s nothing I’ve seen that suggests a number over 20,000.
Gordon Weir says
$ci has been exposed for what it is to anyone who can read a newspaper or a magazine, has a TV and/or a computer. We see right here on the blog the various orgs trying to attract staff. We see on various YouTube videos that there are a number of staff and sea org that are not US citizens. These are not the signs of the world fastest growing religion. To the contrary $ci continues to schrivel.
When my son wanted to join the SO, he was already on staff at a Class V Org. He inadvertently let the cat out of the bag on how poorly LA Org’s stats of new people in was. He said there weren’t many people coming in new and the org was pretty empty and so his solution was to join the SO, “where I can really make a difference.” and he felt it would be different in the SO and that then he would find out where all the people were and would Clear them all etc. The sad truth is that what he saw at LA Org is endemic to the SO as well, so his solution of joining the SO to make more of a difference was not going to work. Not at this time with this cult and this leader.
Mindy Z says
I hope he has disassociated with them…
I hope you chained him up and locked him down until he regained his senses.
There are EASILY over 100,000 people that at some point in the last 60 years have done some service at a Class V or higher org.
There are at MOST 500 public (NOT OUTER ORG OR BASE STAFF) doing regularly scheduled major services in a US org in any given month.
That alone tells you it is solely inertia that makes an apparency of life in scamology.
Even scamology in the wild (not under DMs control) is dead as a doornail. People don’t want to join criminally insane cults. Who woulda thunk?
When I was in the SO, now more than a decade since I left, in one’s day to day activities, the Church all seems so big and important. But even then I had been able to take a look from a different view and be totally aware that it was not big at all, and shrinking. I had access to the long term International stats and could see them declining for over 15 years, and could do the math with the raw numbers. This was yet more data that prompted my departure.
Connie Peebles says
I dread thinking I am counted because they send me junk-mail. I teach Theology, have a Masters degree. I always begin the school year, “I will never make fun of any religion except Scientology because they are a cult.” Now I find out they maybe counting me as one of their members. Wow!
Cat W. says
Check out Aaron Smith-Levin’s YouTube video on how to get off Scientology’s mailing list:
Thank you Cat,
I enjoyed that Youtube video. But, I was surprised Aaron did not suggest sending one or more of The Aftermath Foundation’s business cards together with the letter sent in the Business Reply Envelope.
I would think that people should always send one or more of those cards together with anything else they send in the Business Reply Envelope.
Someone once said in an episode of the TV program Aftermath, that the decision to leave THE SCAM is like peeling an onion – it happens one layer at a time until people realize that it’s pointless to continue sacrificing their lives for no good reason. So, every time someone sees a business card, it’s like peeling away one more layer.
Sarita Shoemaker says
I remember counting people that learned how to do assists on our “Auditor” count at LA Day when I was the Div 6A Sec as well as the Purif I/C. Their “hours” were gathered as well…
I live in the UK and I am totally unaware of any scientology churches or the good work they claim to do…It’s very clear to me that these practices are either very rare or non existent.
I have interacted with them on one occasion when they came to the UK a few years ago and I came across them by accident and I have to say I gave them a piece of my mind,which was rather fun!
Your blog makes very interesting reading mike and it’s good to know that you and all the ex members are making an impact on scientology.
Keep up the good work.
I hate being counted since I still receive their trash in my mailbox. Although its slowed way down since I started returning it to them at my local mission with Aftermath cards.
But do they count deceased people as well? My mom passed away in 6 years ago and she still gets their mail.
(Way to keep track of your OTVIIs you stupid midget.)
Christopher Baranet says
Write to ” COB” and ask where is Guiillame Lesevre ?
Like I did. You will immediately be Dead Filed and all mail stopped.
VICTOR SUNSTAR says
GEE… $CN keeps highly accurate statistics from their every Thursday stats reports — JUST LIKE THE NAZIS DID…
Tom Ufer says
When it comes to membership numbers, every day is April Fool’s Day.
Chris Shugart says
It doesn’t matter how they choose to spin their numbers. I think it’s important to not lose sight of a likely vital statistic: Former members outnumber current members in good standing. The only thing that’s virtually impossible to determine is by how much. All of us were there at one time or another and remember how it was compared to how it is now. Don’t ever forget that.
Mike Rinder says
That is a great point
Mike, great article. You mention “…the 6 weeks it takes to do OT VI and get onto VII.” Well when I did it in around 2000, I saw Dr Megan Shields (RIP) was there doing same thing. She said that she had alloted 5 months to do OT VI (the training Solo Course you do to get onto VII). I asked how she was doing on that target. She said she thought she’d be done and home in 5 to 6 months. (not weeks). I remember at that time it was taking people that long or longer to get through the OT VI course. So if they are promoting that you can do it in 6 Weeks, that is a lie. Unless they’ve figured out how to quicky it. But how many working people or business owners do you know who can let things slide for five to six months???? Not many. That’s another reason why some OT V’s stop and don’t go right onto VI and VII.
Also, those people are no longer seeking out independent or freezone Scientology the way a fair number used to. When people leave the CofS nowadays, they’re done with Scientology, except for a miniscule number that apparently aren’t even enough to keep the old indie movement from virtually vanishing.
The reality check about the “subject” is if there really was some significant “good” in it or it were “workable” as some theorize, someone or some group somewhere on the planet would be able to make a go of it, and would be thriving. But that’s not happening, and never really has in the 68 years that people, including some of the most prominent contributors and supposed bright lights of the “tech,” have been giving up on Hubbard’s organizations and trying to strike out on their own.
FWIW Several of us old time folks still get together and enjoy talking about the good times we did have (rehab wins). Only two still audit for money, the rest of us maybe do 2-3 solo sessions a year.
The 3,000 that have spoken out represent maybe 10% of those who are out and silent: So, yes we outnumber them.
What I see and read about the cult now days I would never step into their web.
Zee Moo says
Determining who is an ‘active $cientolgist’ is an impossible task. How many show up to see Lron’s Birthday party DVD? How many watch the New Year’s party DVD? How else can you prove your fealty to Lron and his most loyal apostle?
How many are actually ‘on course’ and moving up the bridge?
$cientology is now a ‘Boutique experience’, one that sells you your past lives imagination back to you and then at the top of the Bridge, tells you you made it all up. Thankfully, the skills needed to sell you that crap are going by the wayside. A video kiosk can’t find your ruin and sell you a ‘cure’.
ZeMoo, OMG your comment gets the award for best comment of the month or year! Yes this sums it up completely! “$cientology is now a ‘Boutique experience’, one that sells you your past lives imagination back to you and then at the top of the Bridge, tells you you made it all up. ” Exactly. And “A video kiosk can’t find your ruin and sell you a ‘cure’”. True also
Xenu's Son says
I was one of those dupes.
Paid to discover all my misdeeds in past lives.
Then on OT VIII I paid to find out the “Pictures” of my past lives were from all those space cuties.
Michael Leonard Tilse says
Did you consider that the only reason OT VIII reveals that your ‘past life pictures/memories’ are from body thetans or other beings is because they have to have *some* explanation for them.
Otherwise, it would be you making them up. Because they cannot be proven to be past lives of anyone, let alone some specific person.
Not having those past lives *yourself* keeps you from looking into them or verify them, while still keeping with the central mantra of scientology: “you are a spiritual being who lives endlessly.”
But that fails too. The honesty of scientology becomes suspect when all that money you spent to audit your past lives was for nothing. They could have had you auditing the BTs from the beginning.
But if it was all other beings, where are your *real* past life memories? Why is your whole track as yourself still shrouded and in doubt?
When you face that we are all single-lifetime fragile collections of chemicals banging together and consciousness is an artifact of our evolution and belief is one structure of how we see the world, then scientology has nothing to offer. Never did, never will. It is only a tool to gain power over others, control their lives and extract from them every bit of value they might be capable of producing. It was never to help mankind. It was solely and only to enrich ron hubbard and now david miscavige.
Xenu’s Son, that reminds me of a question that I have for George as well, if he’s around – were the “pictures” of past lives actually all attributed to BTs, or were a few still supposedly real?
As I’ve often commented, research into areas related to false memories shows that they are all spurious phenomenon, though to be open minded I’d grant the possibility of a few genuine cases being found. But I’m interested to know exactly how Hubbard and Scientology contextualized them in that final OT level.
ZeeMoo, the real question, is how many loyal scientologists there really are. Even Miscavige and whoever else at the top has the raw numbers about things like IAS membership and “bodies in the shop” at local orgs, don’t know how many are just UTR, and may even have learned to fool the meter. Like most totalitarian leaders and regimes, they don’t really even know for certain who they can trust not to abandon or betray them. My sense is that disconnection and some other repressive policies are almost the only thing holding the CofS together, which is why Miscavige keeps them in place, and that if those policies were truly discontinued, membership would shrink by half within a year, followed by virtual collapse of the organization.
I love your description of the ‘Boutique experience’ experience, that really captures how the sham of past lives are leveraged over the “bridge.” I also just found out that Keith Raniere of NXIVM was using supposed past lives as a tool of manipulation in quite a number of ways similar to other aspects of the ideology in Scientology, such as to justify underage sex.
I’ve provided possible gauges of the number of active members in another comment.
“Determining who is an ‘active $cientolgist’ is an impossible task.”
No ZeeMoo, it is simple. Are they on they actively on the Bridge?
Cindy White says
It will still be a sad day until Scientology is wiped off the face of the earth. Can’t wait to dance on the grave of Scientology
jere lull (38years recovering) says
Todd Gieger said:”So What’s the Count?’
A lot closer to zero than the sometimes-claimed “Millions”
IIRC, the best-guess of the highest number of 40,000 (worldwide) was in the blog post.That was in the ’90s, and it’s been dribbling away consistently since, Particularly since Anonymous, then “Hurricane Leah”. The SPs are proving to be much stronger than the extant OTs, since they’re afraid of aN “SP” DOG,fee Xenu’s sake!
jere lull (38years recovering) says
How big is scientology?
Slightly bigger than its diminutive leader and his inner circle, but that’s virtually nothing.
I’m pretty sure I can connect with more Wiccans through my known-Wiccan friends than are actual scientologists.The Society for Creative Anachronisms has more members attend the Pennsic wars each year.
If these are the numbers in the biggest and most important AOs, imagine the figures in small places like Missions or even Orgs.
Lets take a real example. The other day I visited the city of Guadalajara, Mexico that has had an Org since the ’70s. There are two public that take services, so sporadic, that no completion has occurred for weeks on end.
So, yes, Scientology is practically dead and, just to prevent the few that reach this cult to be mentally abused, I agree with your offer to continue to expose the criminal leadership of this cult.
Thank you Mike for keeping this blog.
Laurisse S. says
Thank you SILVIA.
I have added Guadalajara as a priority. Once Jalisco goes IDEAL the org will be booming!
I will send Pedrito right away to start regging.
Dictated but not read.
Another example of padding the numbers. Look at the number of “followers” that Edward Parkin has on Twitter. Then look at the list of said followers. All bought and paid for by Scientology. Such a scam.
As the cult’s PR dolts always adjust data in their favor (lie) and the year was not specified in that promo I suspect it was actually February 2018.
Even with the amount of money they milk off their members and the donations they get from their high rollers and their tax exempt status and slave labor I just don’t see how they can stay afloat. Isn’t the bulk of their assets locked up in not so liquid real estate? I would think they have to start mortgaging properties soon to keep the lights on.
In most organizations, the largest cost is personnel – but in Scientology, that is virtually nil. I did some figuring a while back, and if I recall, it seem that if they started paying staff and Sea Org just minimum wage, which require Social Security payments as well, it would cost the CofS about $100 million per year. The “slave labor” is a bigger contribution to keeping them in the black, than you might think.
And in normal churches, a 10% average tithe of income by members, is on the high side if anything. But I’ve seen indications that active members spend up to a third or even as much as half of their income on Scientology, some of it coming from depleting assets. So between stripping rank and file members for cash in a way that is extraordinary, plus getting money from “whales,” Scientology’s income is probably higher than might be expected. And it’s apparently still enough to keep their leader in extravagant style, and run their headquarters operations including paying for all the lawyers and PIs, plus doing 4 to 6 “ideal” facility upgrades a year.
Indeed. They milk the public for every cent they can get. It makes me sad to see their smiling faces in the freedom magazine. The poor sheeple so happy to be fleeced. They give for good causes not realizing it all ends up in the same place.
And look, they get big certificates in frames and huge trophies to go with them. I imagine they will be able to use them to insulate their cardboard shacks when they can’t make the mortgage anymore. Unfortunately, they can’t hock the trophies as they have no real value.
What is important to them is that somebody is patting them on the back, somebody is telling them that they’re important and that what they’re doing is important and worthwhile and that what they’re doing will change conditions for the better, permanently. That’s what the cult tells them to get them to donate and that’s what they believe, and the pins, plaques and tin horn trophies they get are symbols to them of their having achieved a degree of greatness that makes what they gave up – their credit worthiness, their children’s education, etc., investment income, etc., – all worth it.
The cult says WONDERFUL things to you when you donate.
For someone who is an under-achiever, or, dealing with grief and loss and swamped with despair and sapped of energy, or for someone who is insecure within himself or herself no matter what he or she does, or for a narcissist requiring constant praise and not getting it life, in short, for anyone whose life, in any number of ways, and for any number of reasons, simply sucks, this kind of treatment from a cult – its called “love bombing” – can become ADDICTING, and make a person feel great about donating money he or she can’t afford.
I speak from experience 🙂
No HeyJax. MAYBE 10% is in real estate. Most (MANY hundreds of millions) is liquid.
Wynski, the CofS has vast amounts in real estate. For instance, they spent $37 million dollars just to buy the property for the AO in Australia, not including renovations, and there are a number of major international center like that including of course Saint Hill. Each of around 40 “ideal” facility buildings cost $1 or more to purchase, in a few cases much more, with millions more in specialized renovations on top of that (which will have been booked, even if likely not recoverable at sale). Their various major properties in LA and Clearwater are estimated at $400 million and $200 million respectively, so the sort of things can be seen that constitute the estimated $1.5 billion total in real estate assets that Jeffrey Augustine has come up with, based on $1.7 billion in book value shown in IRS filings:
Then he estimates another $1.5 billion in cash reserves, which is in line with figures I’ve seen from other sources. So it’s more like 50% in real estate.
A dishonest organization can claim to have any number of members they choose.
All they need to to is go to some location – like Caracas or most any other place in Venezuela – and arrange to have a few people offer the citizens a little food or maybe even a little water in return for their signature saying they are members.
But they don’t really even need actual people to say they are members. It’s pretty easy to find a way to learn the names and maybe addresses of people living in a city. Or maybe children going to school. Or maybe children who do not go to school.
It may even be easier for a dishonest organization to just copy names from some other source or even just make up a bunch of phony names. After all, why not? In that way, they don’t need any signatures.
They could just take the top (most commonly used) 100 first names for females and the top first names for men and then the top 100 last names and one of their “clears” who must be a genius could create a computer program to randomly spit out names formed by taking a first name and optionally a middle name name and a last name and then just claim those are names of “members”.
After all, surely we have learned by now to never believe anything this monstrous cult says. How will they decide how to fake a list of names? Well, isn’t it obvious? They will estimate the cost of each method and then use the method that costs less.
As a matter of fact, I bet they could find some marketing company that will pay them for names on a scam mailing list. All that is required is for them to say these people were contacted and asked to contribute money to some ficticious scam and they then agreed and sent them money. That would do the trick. They could actually make money by supplying ficticious names for a scam marketing company to inflate their own scam. Wow! A scam within a scam within a scam within a scam.
Would you really ever put anything past them?
Old Surfer Dude says
Ok. Here’s what I got:
Keep you your thoughts, words & actions, loving, compassionate & kind. Everything you think about goes out to the universe, and comes back the same. So if you’re angry all the time, that’s what you’re going to get in your life. As the old saying goes, ‘What goes around comes around’. It’s really as simple as that.
OK. I’ve got to go and check out the waves.
You’re right, OSD! Thanks for providing a reminder of this. I needed it 🙂
Todd Gieger says
So what’s the count?