Old Wil Seabrook is at it again.
These STAND flunkies are entirely predictable. Anything that is a touchy subject for scientology (in this case, their merciless money-grubbing) is taken up and presented as if it’s a GOOD thing.
Let’s just dissect a few of Wil’s statements.
One thing that people ask me is why Scientologists make donations for their services. I think there’s an idea that help, especially of a religious nature, should be free. But once you start to examine that concept, it’s easy to see that nothing in life is ever actually free and that resources are required to do absolutely anything.
Everything requires some form of energy to run, whether that’s gasoline in a car engine, food in your stomach or investment in a business or nonprofit.
Of course, it is true that everything does require some form of energy to run.
What he omits of course, is the fact that you can run a car for 20 miles on a gallon of gas that costs $2. You don’t need to collect $4,750 for the gallon of gas, pretending that is the “energy” needed to get the car to move 20 miles. Scientology charges $4,750 for a gallon of gas, pretends this is what is necessary for their very survival and accumulates ENORMOUS amounts of money it doesn’t spend (like billions of dollars in cash) and huge amounts of money it spends on things it should NOT be spent on. Like hiring Private Investigators to harass people or paying for smear sites and videos. Or even buying fancy cars, shirts, shoes and food for David Miscavige. What Wil Seabrook pretends is that the excess $4,748 is “needed,” and it’s a complete lie.
Scientology is an applied religious philosophy, meaning you spend time studying and then applying it to improve specific areas of your life.
In order to facilitate this, Scientology churches offer courses, and there are a large number of volunteer staff on hand to help you understand and apply the materials you study so you get what you want to out of the course. Scientology pastoral counseling, or auditing, is also administered in our churches, by individuals who have often spent years of their lives studying and practicing Scientology and the techniques of proper auditing in particular. All of that requires an investment on the part of the individual and the group as a whole.
Did you notice what he did there. Scientology offers all these services and this requires a “large number of volunteer staff” — yes, that’s right — they are VOLUNTEERS that you don’t PAY!
Rather than asking people to tithe or give a specific amount of money weekly, monthly or annually, which is how many churches around the world can afford to operate, my religion asks parishioners to donate for the auditing or training they wish to receive.
The $4,750 gallon of gasoline. It costs scientology almost NOTHING to deliver auditing and training when you don’t have to pay anyone. They could collect a “tithe” and they wouldn’t make enough to stay afloat.
Does anyone other than a scientologist believe it actually costs $995 to stamp some CD’s of Hubbard lectures — those CD’s cost scientology less than 50c each to manufacture? Or $5,000 to manufacture a plastic-cased EZ Bake Mark VIII E Meter?
It doesn’t cost a million dollars for one of those gaudy IAS trophies and lapel pins they hand out. There is absolutely no cost — this is 99.999% pure PROFIT.
Like any other church, the Church of Scientology is a nonprofit. That means there’s no one within the Church’s structure who personally gains from parishioner donations.
It’s not like ANY other church. No other church has a price list, discounts and finder’s fees.
All donations are used to ensure each parishioner receives the best possible care and attention and also to help the Church expand around the world so that more people can be introduced to, and benefit from, the study and application of Scientology. This includes making the basic materials of Scientology free and widely accessible to people all over the world, including translating those materials in more than two dozen languages.
Just more of the lies. They could do all of these just spending the INTEREST they earn on their money and never collecting another cent.
I tell them that for me personally, every penny I’ve donated to my church has been an investment in myself, my family, my businesses and my community—one that has paid me back a hundredfold. That might sound trite but I mean it quite literally. I’m positive I wouldn’t be as successful (financially and in every other sense) or as happy as I am now.
Tell that to all the people who have filed bankruptcy or labor under enormous debts due to being regged…
Enrico Palazzo says
How does any current or potential Scientologist get past the fact you can’t create the acronym STAND from Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination?
Mike Rinder says
That’s the least of their problems. It’s why I call them STAAD.
But the bigger issue is how they can claim to be “taking action against” discrimination when they are massive discriminators and support outright anti-semites.
Actually it is an investment in one’s own degredation.
Todd Cray says
“Scientology is an applied religious philosophy, meaning you spend time studying and then applying it to improve specific areas of your life.”
So what’s the big reveal? THE SAME can be said for pretty much ANY religion or philosophy in existence.
“In order to facilitate this, Scientology churches offer courses, and there are a large number of volunteer staff on hand to help you understand and apply the materials you study so you get what you want to out of the course.”
THOUSANDS of churches (and other organizations) offer courses by professionals as well as volunteers. However, they manage to make these courses free or they pass a hat to allow for what would truly qualify as a “donation.” And these organizations don’t even “enjoy” the bountiful benefits of the admin “tech” to allow them to operate such a superior model of serving their congregations.
“Scientology pastoral counseling, or auditing, is also administered in our churches, by individuals who have often spent years of their lives studying and practicing Scientology and the techniques of proper auditing in particular. All of that requires an investment on the part of the individual and the group as a whole.”
NOTHING unusual about this either. Even the smallest, newest and least prosperous churches typically have staff who have spent years of their lives earning advanced university degrees. Typically, this is NOT done the scientology way where the expenses for this education revert right back to the “church” for offering this “education” in the first place.
Unlike scientology, these congregations pay their professionals to allow them to continue in their work. And somehow they manage to do so without forcing members to put money “on account” before they are permitted to attend church, receive communion, attend pastoral counselling, or become privy to “advanced” parts of the doctrine (the kind of doctrine that may make you perish from pneumonia if you don’t pay enough in advance, or that may have stopped you from attending in the first place had you been told about it at the beginning). These congregations even save a ton of money by NOT employing PIs as a harassment squad or hiring unemployable former journalists to create hate web sites. Could that be the reason that many of even the humblest churches manage to engage in real charitable activities?
The claim that all churches are equal obviously fails! As does the idea that an organization ought to be given respect (let alone religious exemptions) simply for pretending to be a “church.”
Jere Lull says
Additionally, I’ve never seen anything convincing that scn IS a church, except using a definition which allows the Mafia and other drug cartels be considered churches. Even the outlaw motorcycle gangs are getting on the “church” thang: it’s what they call their clubhouses: “going to church”. At least THEY have “Sunday services”: drinking and carousing about. scientology has NOTHING you don’t pay dearly for — up front every time.
Nancy Vasta says
Scientology is an investment in insanity.
Todd Cray says
“I think there’s an idea that help, especially of a religious nature, should be free.”
Uh, actually there isn’t. It’s fairly obvious that it costs money to keep the lights on. It is a fact that religious organizations (like secular ones) depend on contributions. It is equally a fact that a person seeking spiritual support can literally enter thousands of churches of various denominations and seek comfort, spiritual support and often even material help–all without putting out a dime. Try that at a “church” of scientology; security will be quick to eject you!
And to anticipate another scientology argument–“we are a new religion; therefore, we must work harder at raking it in”–there are equally thousands of churches GIVING generously to their members and community that are newer than scientology and that do NOT claim to have a world-wide organization of “millions of members” let alone a lavish program to erect fancy but empty prestige buildings.
If an attendee chooses to voluntarily participate in supporting a church the usual arrangement is that they will be encouraged to do so in accordance with their personal means NOT by being coerced into “fixed donations” that will take from them typically way beyond their means.
For a couple of decades, I attended a church where donations were given to and administered by an outside accounting firm. That way, the pastoral staff had no idea whether or how much a congregant was contributing and was in no way tempted to serve or treat them accordingly. Anyone attending the church was invited to see the books and inspect where the money was going.
I visited another church just once, a humble outfit in Detroit’s then crumbling inner city. I attended their service and asked them for absolutely nothing. A few days later I received a “nice meeting you” letter from them along with a check to help me out a bit as they had correctly sized me up as a starving student,
From their cross imitation to their fake clerical collars and terminology (“parishioners” etc), scientology apes the Christian religion in an attempt to pretend at legitimacy. The teachings of Christ and the apostles stress consistently that a person’s access to religious observations is indeed to be free and absolutely non-discriminatory with respect to financial means! So yes, there is indeed “an idea that help, especially of a religious nature, should be free.”
Obviously, there is a difference between a bona fide religion and an organization playing the “religion angle” (Hubbard’s words, not mine) in order to profit tax-free–to the point of having their religious exemption yanked once already–and conduct activities that would be considered unlawful (sometimes even criminal) were they to come from a secular organization.
When it comes to religions, the law is assuming a benevolence that is thankfully present in many churches; often churches of extremely limited means. Not accidentally but strictly per the founder’s policy, such generosity and goodwill will NEVER be found behind the fancy doors and security detail of a scientology “church.”
Imagine being technically alive, but not really. Imagine being dead, but not really. Hello hello, I am the soul of the founder of scientology. I now consider myself a walking ghost. Want to hear my story or not? My old church friends didn’t seem to want to before I got disconnected. The church didn’t seem to want to despite writing, visiting, calling. My old ship mates will change the subject so damned fast the second I even bring up the so called Ron card. Whatever dogma you want to believe about what Ron is doing in this life, I will tell you that I haven’t been doing it. First of all, the wins are enormous, at least I still attribute some of my past wins to scientology. On the other hand, the grief caused by the expanded awareness has weighed on me like a monster stack of bricks. I can tell you any number of things… Get this, I invested all I could into the thing and for good reasons. There have been many of projects embarked upon in our history. Currently I’m tapped, down to a few bucks, but my wealth wasn’t the aim. Doing something about degrading conditions was. Know that though I might not be the most empowered spokesman right now, I’m still doing what I can behind the scenes to make it right.
Loosing my Religion says
The soul of the founder? Still doing what you can to make it right?
Sorry but we are trying to close the place down.
It’s time to go back home.
Lynne Gerred says
Fair enough. Just know I tried to get the money back, and/or make a deal on everyone’s behalf as best as I could. They say the money is spent, from what I gather, on a enormous underground spaceship.
It is an investment in belief.
Not even “self belief” as the narrative underlying one’s investment has already been weaved by another.
One is arguably a scientologist to the extent one submits to its conditioning.
And the degree of truth one assigns to its archetypal manifestations expressed during therapy.
An investment in psychological and intellectual reductivism – a binary world of heuristic thinking, tribalism and religious absolutism.
An investment in the placebo effect – a contrived anagnorisis set deep within the preconditioned, closed-world narrative of L. Ron Hubbard.
An investment in delusion.
The STAND page remarks are glib, glib, glib. As a Previous-In, it is as if the words are dripping with goo. Not pleasant.
They always wax philosophical…then ask for the money! Always always always….give us money. If you don’t you are suppressing the PLANET! The whole freaking planet! Like they have a clue how big the planet is! They put that burden on teenagers shoulders to bear so they can enslave them with guilt. For the public who they think are dilettantes it’s… Pay now or the planet is going down!!!!! Megalomaniacal statements. 😏
There is no other investment you can make like an investment in the
Church of the Big Scam!
Every penny you put into this investment appears to go straight down the tubes and vanishes.
But in truth, it goes straight into one of You-Know-Who’s offshore numbered bank accounts – never to be seen again.
If you are ever approached by this scam that calls itself a church, just say “NO” and walk or run as fast as you can.
I’m a scientologist ” and you can ask me anything you like about it” and they do. Of course they do, they want to know where Shelly is, just like everyone else.
Some people don’t realize that LRH didn’t know everything. For Scientology to continue to exist it must evolve.
I could even believe “investing” in Scientology was a good idea if Scientology practices actually worked, the demands on my time weren’t 100% and never ending, and the prices weren’t so gougingly and ruinously high.
Loosing my Religion says
I don’t know if anybody is really going to read this STAND bunch of crap. But I hope he will think for himself.
What Wil says it’s just a classic poor sales/PR speach: “I tried it and it works!”.
Like when you go in a shop to buy something and the guy tells you always that the thing you are watching is the best he has in the shop, or it’s the one everybody is buying or even that he has it at home and it’s fantastic.
Just trying to sell. And scn is just that: always trying to sell something or demanding money without exchanging anything.
Bruce Ploetz says
Mike, I wonder if the bloated volunteer staff in the Sea Org is really a net asset these days.
True, they only get “paid” about a quarter of the poverty level in cash when they’re lucky, but they require food and lodging of sorts as well. Medical costs, when they are covered, also come out of donations. They are supposed to receive training and auditing, which requires more staff and some ratty facilities.
Older Sea Org are a definite liability since most have not worked enough to qualify for Social Security or Medicare. They can’t work anywhere in the public eye, a “Sea Org member” hobbling by on a walker is not a good look. If they just find them “unfit” after 25 or 40 years of service and dump them on a park bench, somebody in the media may pick it up. So they end up retiring to a clerical job buried in the back files somewhere and work ’til they drop.
Sea Orgers are constantly escaping, and are a source of endless bad publicity for Dave.
The days when they needed armies of manual laborers and offices full of clerical workers manning typewriters, filing cabinets and telex machines are long gone. What do these people actually do all day, besides shill for more donations to keep the lights on?
Here’s hoping Dave will discover a Hubbard dictum that was hiding behind the semicolons somewhere that inspires him to offload most of the Sea Org before the IRS figures it out.
Ms. B. Haven says
Interesting comments Bruce. I remember back in the 70s & 80s when the sea org recruiters would make their regular rounds to the missions hoping to acquire some fresh meat. Most of us were more interested in getting on with our lives, making some money to pay for services to move up the bridge to nowhere and just generally enjoying ourselves with no staff obligations. We would joke, somewhat seriously, that we would join the sea org when we retired. We actually believed the bullshit line about having all of our needs taken care of like food, lodging, medical, dental annual leave, etc. But you are right, “Older Sea Org are a definite liability…”
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bill Straass says
Hello Bruce: I have probably met you; It is my understanding that you worked for GOLD and I was the Repair Chief of the Freewinds from the cult’s purchase of it in Sept 86 until my positive test for HIV in June 02 from contaminated blood products received in Curacao in March 89.
This means that I worked a full (and then some) S.O. schedule for over 13 years while being HIV positive. In the last 5+ years I had full-blown AIDS which was undiagnosed.
As long as your stats are up and you can still fog up a mirror (as per an HCOPL), you can do your post. It does not matter if you are walking dead; with the hours we worked that was expected.
As a Sea Org member, I had no cash to give the church. Instead I (donated) many gallons of blood and sweat.
They never gave me a receipt for my donation.
I checked with Social Security and for about 15 of the 23 years I worked for the Church they show zero income- including many years after the IRS thing in 93 when they were supposed to pay something to SS.
When I was sent off of the ship to die my wife was not allowed to come with me but was told by the Captain that I would be dead soon (continued)
Dead Men Tell No Tales Bill Straass says
The Captain’s statement was not incorrect; by sending me away from the medical doctor (Dr Denk) to a chiropractor (James Keppler who told me when I met him that he had never treated anyone with HIVAIDS).
As both of these people (Keppler was not a licensed MD) had directly worked on LRH, the apparancy was that they had sent me to the best on the planet. But Dr Denk had ceased treating people with AIDS as the technology had advanced and so he sent these patients to specialists which is what he tried to do with me.
Keppler is one of these guys who basically think that they can revive the dead. As the ship personnel thought my death was imminent; it is no wonder they sent me to Keppler. However, their actions made my death imminent by ensuring that I would get no medical care.
They finally released my wife after my father made some vague statement about calling the FBI which, I am sorry to say that I talked him out of.
So here I was, all but dead, lying to my father to defend the people who were trying to kill me while holding my wife a prisoner. Shortly after my wife got off the ship, she called her sister who happens to work at San Francisco
General Hospital, which happens to have the oldest operating AIDS clinic in the world.
So the cult not only takes all the money a person can generate, it takes their actual lives. I only lived in the end because I got dementia and was no longer competent and it fell on my wife to choose my treatment. Yet the ship has done everything in it’s power to ensure that I would never see her again.
Although dying of AIDS is a terrible thing I could not wish on anyone, it is also true that having AIDS saved my life. I could have never left the S.O. any other way alive. Another year of the insanity that was my life on the ship and I would have self-terminated.
I know this is a long comment and perhaps overly verbose. I put in all the data because to do otherwise would leave any readers with questions.
George M. White says
In order to be a Scientologist back in the 1980’s it was necessary to have the grand cognition about money. The key to Scientology was that I accepted the fact that it was very easy to TAKE money from people with Scientology as the slick vehicle. I literally made multiple thousands for doing nothing and it was the easiest money I ever made in my life. People sought me out and literally handed me FSM commissions for answering a few simple stupid questions. I realized what Hubbard must have thought. Certain people just gave you money with no questions. These people did not even care if you had the truth. You needed only the most stupid answer for people who were desperate for even the hope of eternity. The money was so easy I finally felt guilty and left. I audited Kathy Feschbach and she rock slammed like crazy. Of course she did. As an FSM, she was stealing money.
TT Greco says
I’ve also audited Kathy Feshback and she had a very nice needle: I doubt very much your E-meter as most R/S ever reported were due to some meter malfunction. Hubbard himself was full of R/Ss which if true would have made him a total Psycho!
Scientology is all about “PR”: pablum regurgitated.
The Homi Novi must tell “acceptable truths” to the rest of us,
degraded meatsacks that we are. The theta sacrament of
L&B (lying and bullshitting) is practiced with Tone 40 precision,
for our own good, of course! We can’t POSSIBLY conceive of
or understand the pure GENIUS of El Con’s dreck until we, too,
have been indoctrinated, hypnotized, sec checked, face-ripped,
bitch-slapped, and bankrupted morally AND financially. Only THEN
can we fully grasp the spiritual devastation, emotional
disassociation, and utter financial and moral ruin that awaits us
at the “top” of Lafayette’s bridge to Crowleyian Hell.
What your “donations” buy, indeed…and, no, don’t change that posture;
we’re not done fucking you yet!
Mary Kahn says
Are you related to that ‘epic’ Sherman guy?
For all the years the Cult has always claimed that their Service is an investment for Eternity and is Priceless and therefore it can never be “Out of Exchange” not matter what.
Always giving the impression that You as a Parishioner is been given something that you in the end is “Out of exchange” with and that You shall be lucky that for ex it´s only your kids College fund that you´ve used or something other WOG-crap.
It´s so f-cking Devilish set up , it´s ridicolous.
Mary Kahn says
Scientology spin. Once you’ve been around the block with this church, it is SO easy to see the obfuscation of the truth. And then, of course, once you’ve heard or read Mike dissect it, you can see it too.
My disconnected son recently and for the first time called his aunts and amongst other things wanted them to tell him their grievances with scientology. They were so thrilled and thought it so lovely that my son was having this heart to heart with them. I told them I’m sure Sammy does love them but that he was being “handled” by the church to make those phone calls and his “heart to heart” conversation in allowing them to air their grievances was part of his “handling” and all the mushy mush stuff and how wonderful he was doing was called “Good Road Fair Weather.”
If there is some act of kindness coming from the church of scientology, I would ask anyone on the receiving end of it, to watch out.
Just more propaganda by the criminal organization known as the Cult of Scientology
Hello GrumpyCat. You hit da nail right on the head! Good for you!