A day later than usual, but here is the latest offering from Terra Cognita
Scientology Food Chain
I don’t remember where exactly, but somewhere L. Ron Hubbard talked about and created his hierarchy of churches in which new public would start their services at lower orgs and work their way up the lines, ultimately ending up on the Freewinds. He created this system because, as usual, he knew better.
This design system has never worked and Scientology churches at every level have been insolvent and failing for decades.
At the bottom of this hierarchy, LRH created Field Groups made up of one or more people offering basic, introductory Scientology services such as Life Repair and the Purification Rundown. These groups are fairly independent and designed to feed people to missions and Class 5 Orgs. Most Field Groups operate out of their homes.
Next up the ladder are missions. They offer basic, introductory services and are supposed to feed Class 5 Orgs. Many are small and struggling, with only a few staff. Some are larger and more successful than these orgs they serve.
Class 5 Orgs’ purposes are to make auditors and Clears and drive people into advanced Orgs for their OT Levels. There are around forty of these Class 5s in the United States. Current leader, David Miscavige, has a plan to make each of them “ideal,” staffed with hundreds of personnel. The “unideal” org near where I live, has a dozen staff at most, none of which are full-time. It too, has been insolvent for decades. I’m sure I could count on one hand the number of Clears and Class 5 auditors they’ve made in the last twenty-five years.
Per LRH’s model, Class 5 Orgs are supposed to be surrounded by—and control—dozens of missions. If Orgs are the hub of the wheel, missions lie at the end of each of their spokes. Most of these orgs are lucky to be associated with one nearby mission.
Next up the food chain are the advanced orgs: Saint Hills, Advanced Orgs, Flag, and the Freewinds. They’re all staffed by Sea Org members, their auditors are more highly trained, and each promote that they deliver better service than Class 5 Orgs and missions.
Saint Hills were designed to deliver the St. Hill Special Briefing Course—essentially a long course containing most of LRH’s written and spoken work. Ninety-nine percent of Scientologists bypass this org and its one course. And since DM cancelled the SHSBC some years ago, there is even less purpose for these superfluous orgs—who’ve been forced to offer lower level services that were designed to be delivered in missions and Class 5 Orgs.
Advanced Orgs deliver the confidential OT levels 1 through 5.
Flag, in Clearwater, is headquarters for Scientology, and is charged with delivering OT levels 6 and 7, the L’s, and few other rundowns. Flag is touted as the pinnacle of tech delivery and the mecca of standard perfection.
The Freewinds is an old, converted passenger ship where OT 8 is delivered. Why did Scientology go through all the expense to outfit a ship and not just deliver this one service at Flag? There is no good reason. The ship should have been mothballed years ago.
Poachers, Rustlers, and Thieves
What all these orgs and missions have in common is that they all poach each other’s public.
LRH’s system was originally designed so that Scientologists would move from lower ranking churches to higher ones in an orderly fashion. For instance, they’d do a communications course and receive their Life Repair at their local mission. Then they’d go to a nearby Class 5 Org train to become an auditor, receive their Grades, and theoretically, go Clear. A few would move to Los Angeles or England to do the SHSBC but most would go on to an Advanced Org—an AO—to begin their OT levels. After completing OT 5, they’d graduate to Flag for 6 and 7, and finally, fly off to the Caribbean for fun and games and OT 8 on the Freewinds.
Over the years, this model has degenerated to a Lord of the Flies, every org for himself paradigm. Higher orgs now offer services that were originally intended to be delivered at lower orgs. Lower orgs have been forced to suck it up, grit their teeth, and pretend this is okay.
Presently, Class 5 Orgs deliver all the same services offered at missions; AOs deliver all the same services offered at missions and Class 5 Orgs; and Flag delivers all the same services offered at missions, Class 5 Orgs, and AOs. Each of these church promotes that they provide better and more precise service than their lower counterparts. Flag even developed a special “Case Cracker” unit to “handle” the constant stream of failed PCs from lower orgs. (PC: short for preclear; commonly, anyone receiving auditing.)
Check Out the Latest Mag
One need but look at Flag or AOLA’s (Advanced Org, Los Angeles) list of completions posted in their magazines to see this pattern of thievery. The vast majority of these completions are from courses and auditing levels that should have been done at Class 5 Orgs and missions. It’s kind of pathetic seeing these advanced orgs reduced to delivering Life Repairs and Student Hats to pad their stats—and pocketbooks.
This whole pattern of lower orgs funneling people to higher orgs has failed. This failure has become self-perpetuating. The more that the public is turned-off about Scientology, the fewer and fewer people sign up for introductory services and go on to become Clear. As missions and Class 5 Orgs drive fewer and fewer truly qualified Scientologists upward, the more the upper orgs are forced to poach what few members remain at these lower orgs. This in turn, contributes to the failure and insolvency at these lower echelons.
Come to our Org! It’s the Best!
Scientologists receive email, letters, and magazines every day from higher orgs promoting services that, per policy, should be done at their local mission or org. For instance, someone living in Seattle will receive a flyer promoting they do the Purification Rundown at ASHO in Los Angeles. (Apparently, LA has better saunas than Washington. Something to do with the quality of the wood, I think.)
Instead of “pushing power” to lower orgs and missions, advanced orgs do just the opposite, stealing away every church member they can. It’s like eating their young. Instead of nurturing their “children,” advanced orgs suck dry their subordinate orgs and missions of every body and dollar they can get their hands on.
The staff at these lower orgs and missions aren’t immune from this robbery, either. When I was posted at a Class 5 Org, Sea Org missions would regularly tromp in and rip-off fully-trained personnel. If we were lucky they’d “instant hat” some new person still on the Comm Course and throw him on post a day or two later. He’d almost always fail.
This whole hierarchical org system is logistically inefficient and has never worked. It failed from day one. People tend to do their services at whichever org or mission is closest, especially at the lower levels of their Bridge. It makes sense to buy your butter and cheese at your neighborhood market. Not at some “fancy” store an hour up the highway.
After completing her Life Repair at her downtown mission, Sally can’t afford the time to drive fifty miles to the nearest Class 5 Org every evening for her next service. Especially if she wants to eat dinner with her husband and kids and stay awake at work the next day.
Oftentimes, the distance between orgs and missions are hundreds of miles. The distance between Class 5 Orgs and Advanced Orgs often exceed thousands of miles. People often “drop off the Bridge” because the distances are simply too great to continue.
Assuming the continued existence of Scientology, there is no good reason for their hierarchy of churches. Missions and Class 5 Orgs should be one and the same. Saint Hills are completely unnecessary. Flag and Freewinds are a scam; all of their services could easily be delivered at an advanced org.
This whole pattern is crazy. It doesn’t work now. It never worked from the outset. And yet, for some reason, church management not only clings to this disastrous scheme, but has been “strengthening” it by turning Class 5 Orgs into “ideal” monstrosities. What other successful organization in the world operates this way? No colleges, businesses, or corporations I can think of.
This pecking order-model of organizational Scientology has contributed hugely to its downfall.
Still not Declared,
Old Santa Barbara storyteller says
This happened a few years ago. A long time church member got married to a wealthy woman. She was newer to ther church.
They bought a package of auditing at Santa Barbara for her.
Santa Barbara treated her wonderfully and she had great wins.
A mission had been sent to Santa Barbara org from L. A. Day. (A struggling SO Ideal Org.)
Somehow this young woman got roped into going to L.A. Day for a special interview.
The next thing Santa Barbara Org knew, she had signed up for her next big chunk of the bridge with L A Day.
This was such a horrific poaching of a public from her native area to an out-of-town org. This was upsetting to the Santa Barbara staff and the few public who are aware that it had taken place. Not only was it horribly wrong, but the staff were not allowed to talk about it.
They had to somehow delude themselves that it was okay that their “public,” (non-staff church member, in their geographic location, eligible for ther services they offer) that they buffed out, that they spent special time on and treated so well, was stolen from them like a steaming pie off of the windowsill.
The missionnaires clearly saw that she was ready to be regged, (hard-sell sold) for her next steps, and somehow found out that she would be able to afford it, and swooped in and stole her.
For a struggling org, receiving a blow like that has to shake the foundations of certainty that the staff are doing the right thing and making a difference. It has to shake their team spirit.
Poaching is Alive and Well in the cherch.
I’ve seen them poach seasoned staff members too. The Missions are mad but they can’t complain or they get Com Eved.
Katy Lied says
This was a nice summary. Two follow up thoughts:
Once the Scientology Organizational Structure gets too duplicative, with too many orgs offering the same certs, then the rank and file members can start arbitraging their costs by selecting the cheapest place to get their training done. I think I read where scientologists flew to South America to get training done more cheaply, especially the members who were bilingual. At the very least, people should be exploiting the differences in foreign exchange because I doubt the Church would update their auditing costs every time there is a forex movement. Maybe you could provide a summary of what the Church did to prevent the free flow of members to various orgs for the cheapest training and auditing? I know there’s got to be something.
Also, when Miscavige cancels certs, do the cancellees have to retrain and re-audit at Flag? Could this be another money grab for Flag vis-a-vis the cheaper, smaller orgs and missions? I read in “Messiah” that LRH cancelled Clear certs and training certs all the time when he became enraged at someone, like Miles Hollister, for the crime of boinking Sarah, Hubbard’s not-Second wife.
Nailed it as usual T.C.
I’ll go ya even one step further. I, from my home could deliver the same abilities gained that ALL current parishioners are receiving from ALL of the above types of churches for only $1,000 per person. Delivered no later than one week after payment. Guaranteed!
That’s better, faster & cheaper than even the Indie groups out there.
xenu's son says
Good write-up Terra.
Thomas Weeks says
I would entertain the possibility that current structure is working just as it is meant to work.The current method gets the most money possible to the coffers of the COB by getting as much work possible done by Sea Org members. Sea Org members work for nothing and any profits got to the COB coffers. Also, this article seems to be written with the assumption that Scientology would be more successful if it was more easily available. That might be true IF IT WORKED, which it doesn’t. Making it more rare might help to take marks for more money.
Harpoona Frittata says
That’s an excellent point, Thomas! If the Holy Tech does not work as promised, then as more and more folks become aware of that fact, it doesn’t really matter how you structure the relationship between the various $cn sub-groups which are involved in perpetrating the fraud because it doesn’t work at any level of service delivery!
$cn’s shifting focus away from training more auditors in order to clear the planet, to a more straightforward donation-only model, in which no training or services need to be delivered, seems to be the path the cult is trying to shift onto. Unfortunately, the money that $cilons donate to the IAS for 3rd and 4th dynamic “social betterment” purposes ends up paying for lil davey’s mega lux lifestyle and a small army of high-dollar legal weasels, instead of doing anything that might actually do some real good for others.
Mat Pesch says
Spot on. Even with slave labor Scientology could not support itself by simply delivering Scientology so it turned to direct donations and refusing to return money on account. The entirety of Scientology delivery could be done from the Super Power building. You could throw the Sandcastle delivery building in if you want some extra elbow room. Look at all the “management staff” wasting their time trying to keep 100 dipshit orgs from totally closing. Look at all the duplicate functions. LRHs “brilliant administrative tech” is a bad joke. LRH claimed it was based on some space opera society that lasted a trillion years or some such. What was that boy smoking?
Terra Cognita nails the 95 feces to the church door again. The Mission network worked until ’82 when Lron killed it and kicked out the producing mission holders. Those who took over the mission network didn’t know the locals or the local conditions. Still, $cientology continued to grow because the field groups still sent new meat up the pyramid.
I cannot find any listing for present day field groups. Do they still exist? I see all the promotion and body routing going on at the Idle mOrgs. Where are the field groups and missions? Who is doing the initial selling? The mOrgs aren’t up to the task. Fancy video screens and crappy videos can’ sell the scam.
The 2 bottom rungs of the ladder to the bridge are broken, and without them, the ‘upper’ reaches will never get the new meat necessary to replace those who escape.
Clam death is no longer slow, it is accelerating because no one wants to study $cientology. Formerly loyal minions are hiding out and only the whales are keeping the scam afloat.
$cientoloy has become the Ebola coated kiddie porn of ‘religions’. Thanks to 4chan, Anonymous and South Park people would rather be Pastafarians or Jedi. Can you blame them?
$cientology, the Aftermath is a railroad spike sized nail in the vampires heart. Can legal action to take away the tax exemption be far away?
Terra Cognita says
Zemooo: “Ebola coated kiddie porn of ‘religions.” Nice turn of phrase.
Harpoona Frittata says
Plus, without an over-abundance of “raw meat” constantly being jumped into the cult to replace those who’ve already “blown,” once they caught onto the con, or got booted out after they went broke, the cult’s pool of potential recruits for staff has disappeared alon with them. Thus, no matter how much money the cult has in reserves, without new folks getting into the cult, it can not survive in the form in which the founder intended.
zeemoo, the new public in to scamology (through missions) was in decline WELL before ’82. Hubbard just wanted to suck as much money out before it completely died.
Because there isn’t much new “raw meat” public coming into Scn anywhere, now they are resorting to trying to recover SP’s, Dead Filed, and Disaffected old Scns. My UTR friend got a call from a SO member who told him his Dead File thing was not valid and he was no longer dead filed as a result. She went on to say that she found money on his account and that he could join the fold again and could just “donate” $3,000 to the church via her. There were reasons she explained that it wouldn’t work to use it for courses or auditing or books, so her solution was to just have him donate it for no exchange from the church. If the church weren’t so desperate for bodies in the shop, I’m sure my friend would still be dead filed if they had enough people in.
Jere Lull (37 years recovering) says
Hey! Pastafarianism is at least FUN, $cientology stopped having fun back in the ’60s, about the time that J&D came out. Since, staff are afraid to ALLOW fun and happiness to occur.
And there ain’t noless fun guy than Dwarfenführer, hisself. It’s only us “bitter defrocked apostates”, who can enjoy life, though it seems the best chuckles come from schadenfreude that comes from watching them frantically try to bail out a sinking Titanic with teaspoons
In my time on staff and in Orgs this occurred far less than the article implies and was never a big deal anyway, with about 1-5% of public members moving off or being “poached” by other Orgs to take up services there. I don’t think or have not heard that it has significantly changed over the years. And of course this would not include those who graduated up to the Org for the services required there, for instance someone at a Class V Org who now required Power would of course go to his local St. Hill for this service – this would be a natural progression anyway. The main reason for this low percentage (of “poached” public) is ironically stated in the article above – geographical. Most public members are going to and do stay locally if they can receive the service they require locally. This is not to say that what Flag are currently doing by offering quickie Grades (literally) which is a Class V Org service (well, full Grades are actually ) is ok, this is one example where the author has got it right. In fact this Flag offering is the only stand-out occurrence of this that I am aware of. Although this would be modified somewhat if the PC said “I want Flag auditors to run all my (quickie) Grades!” whereupon Flag could feel justified in delivering the service.
To state that this factor has “contributed hugely to Scientology’s downfall” is an exaggeration and is a complete red herring.
“I don’t think or have not heard that it has significantly changed over the years.”
“I don’t think or have not heard…”? How long have you been off org lines, Foolproof? It must be a looong time indeed, as what Terra asserted is EXACTLY as it has been happening for quite some time now. I can come and go from my class V org as I see fit, as they are so stupid to realize that I am an anti Scn guy. I have DIRECT communication lines with Flag as well, am part of EVERY mailing list of every major Scn org, and I am called by Scn terminals in a very frequent basis. I know all the different Implementation Programs of the different classes of orgs, especially class 5s, and I am good friends with many staff around the world who keep me posted of the latest. Are you in a similar position as mine, cause I can talk from FACTS?
The international situation with Scn is EXACTLY as described by Terra. Many higher orgs disseminate to class 5 org public to go there to do a certain service which the class 5 org is supposed to deliver to them, because with them (the higher org) it is “more standard”. I am talking about things like “The Basics” for Christ sakes! to mention just one item.
Perhaps you should start reading the different magazines from different orgs BEFORE attempting to counter-argument anything based on “what you have only heard or think”.
“To state that this factor has ‘contributed hugely to Scientology’s downfall’ is an exaggeration and is a complete red herring.”
“Red herring”? What the fuck is wrong with you guys Scientologists for crying out loud? For you knowledge, back before the “International Finance Police” led by young DM destroyed all the Mission network, the Missions were the strongest dissemination point of Scn. I mean, back then the number of “bodies in the shop” at many missions were 15 or 20x higher than the public of a “modern” class 5 “Ideal” org. I alone, was auditing 50 hours a week, weeks after week. Just in the HDF (“Hubbard Dianetics Foundation” department in Div 6), I used to CONSTANTLY have 10 students in DNs courses and 5-7 DNs PCs, which resulted in 4-7 constant Purification RD PCs and TRS & Objectives coauditors. And this was a mission with only 3-4 auditing rooms, a course room the size of a large living room, and a sauna 8’x6′. I alone was responsible for at least 15-20 bodies in the shop week after week; just me without taking into account the other public that other staff members were regging in or servicing.
Flag would not go in those days to reg anyone for anything that wasn’t an actual upper org service, not even for the Flag only RDs like the “Havingnes RD”, etc, unless the C/S who was part of the Flag tour determined that such a RD was a must. But he first made sure that any apparent need for such a RD wasn’t caused by previous bad service from the mission. But now all the Flag tours that I have had the “privilege” (haha) of attending, reg people for almost EVERYTHING, not only for what you call, “The Quickie Grades”.
I am being (most was until recently) called by several Advance orgs to offer me class 5 type (or even mission type) of sercices because with them “It is more standard”.
The missions were making good money but LRH got greedy. The tech has always been bullshit and highly unworkable as advertised, but at least for most of us staff it wasn’t about money or empty stats. The SO “ethics” presence wasn’t so much part of the scenario, so that crazy world unknown by most of us (later on I did had the “privilege” to know that world, haha) had not yet perverted the missions. It more or less followed the line: Field group (FSM, books sold, etc), Mission for quite a while, then class 5, then Flag or other advance orgs.
LRH had devised it that way as he well knew that indoctrination is a gradient process that takes TIME, and he – being a smart psychopath (DM is a stupid psychopath) – wanted to make sure that his hypnotized subjects were ready enough for his cosmological bullshit.
After your rant above, exactly how many people do you know who actually have been ripped off by higher orgs before you talk about “facts”. Being offered something is not the same as taking it. And no one is denying that the Mission Network was smashed. You also consume a whole long paragraph stating exactly what I stated about Flag. And as for someone who seems to think that Scientology doesn’t work, you spend an awful lot of time trying to convince people it doesn’t. I repeat: this factor did not “hugely contribute to Scientology’s downfall”. For me this was Terra eking out a “major” story based on a minor outpoint which is quite usual for Terra. And even with Miscavige doing his best to destroy the Orgs, strangely enough they are still there. I suggest next time you read what I stated before launching off into a hot air diatribe.
“After your rant above, exactly how many people do you know who actually have been ripped off by higher orgs before you talk about “facts”. Being offered something is not the same as taking it. And no one is denying that the Mission Network was smashed. You also consume a whole long paragraph stating exactly what I stated about Flag. And as for someone who seems to think that Scientology doesn’t work, you spend an awful lot of time trying to convince people it doesn’t. I repeat: this factor did not “hugely contribute to Scientology’s downfall”. For me this was Terra eking out a “major” story based on a minor outpoint which is quite usual for Terra. And even with Miscavige doing his best to destroy the Orgs, strangely enough they are still there. I suggest next time you read what I stated before launching off into a hot air diatribe.”
Yawn, yawn, yawn, big yawn, big yawn, zzzzzzzzz…………….
You are not making ANY sense as always, Foolproof. But, wait a minute; you are a Scientologists. You are not supposed to make sense, 😉
Well I have stated the truth as observed, even the unpalatable stuff, whereas you (and Terra) have altered and exaggerated things to suit your own anti-Scientology agendas.
Ron-bot troll alert.
“Well I have stated the truth as observed, even the unpalatable stuff, whereas you (and Terra) have altered and exaggerated things to suit your own anti-Scientology agendas.”
Oh, dear! What a marvelous research subject you are concerning the obstruction of critical thinking that Scientology represents. For your knowledge, 99% of the people who participate in or read this blog, and 99% of the population who has ever heard anything about Scn, HAS an anti-Scientology “agenda”. Wake up and smell the coffee, buddy. Our “agenda” is to end the Human Rights abuses that the use of LRH’s policies in a TOTALLY unadulterated form, have caused in thousands of individuals in the name of “freedom”. And YOU, my dear friend, by blinding defending LRH while erroneously attributing all the abuses to DM, are an accomplice of such crimes as EVERY Scientologist who oppose the criticism of Scn’s many destructive facets, is guilty of.
For me, you and other KSW supporters and LRH sympathizers, are not any less criminals than the ones from the CofS, because in your particular case, you Indies guys and gals HAVE ALREADY been exposed to all the documented EVIDENCE against Scn and LRH’s OBVIOUS methods of thought control, incredible blatant lies, and abusive tactics to deal with the “critics”. But in spite of the OVERWHELMING evidence, you choose to remain blind to it all, and fail to PUBLICLY recognize and acknowledge where LRH was very wrong regarding his many violations of Human Rights.
I can’t excuse any of you guys as being under the “undue influence” of it all, because unlike the still-ins, who can’t even read the internet, you guys and gals have ALL the necessary WELL RESEARCHED books and documentaries at your disposal, and you either REFUSE to unbiasedly take at look at them, or dismiss it all with all kinds of stupid and silly “conspiracy theories”, such as the ones that delusionals crooked ex-lawyer Merrell Vannier and MS2 member of the board of directors Tom Martiniano use to ease off your cognitive dissonances with the subject of Scientology.
Would you do me a special favor? Get a real life, buddy, 🙂
Jere Lull (37 years recovering) says
Thetaclear: Have you perchance heard the age-old Usenet wisdom:”Don’t feed the trolls!”? Ignoring FOOL dropped my bloodpressure by 12 points a while ago.
Thetaclear, when you were auditing 50 hours a week in the mission, did you get the sense that you were helping people?
“Thetaclear, when you were auditing 50 hours a week in the mission, did you get the sense that you were helping people?”
Of course I did, Spike; otherwise I wouldn’t have lasted not even a week in Scientology.
I was doing “Scientology Introductory Processes and Assists” type of auditing, but mostly I was doing Book-one auditing straight from the DMSMH, with which I was having lots of success. I was usually between 7-10 hours in the chair daily for 7 days a week. I had just recently gotten into Scn after having read the whole DMSMH 2x while I was at the engineering college, from which I dropped out to become staff to “save the planet”.
All my years as a Scientologist I was what is considered an “squirrel”; a rebel who refused to blindly follow whatever anyone thought to be “the correct” way to do something. As much as I admired LRH – which was a LOT back then – I never attributed to him the infallibility that most Scientologists attributed to him. Even though that I was obviously under the undue influence of it all (only because I wasn’t aware of the lies about LRH), somehow I still retained my ability to think for myself as regards to deciding the workability or lack thereof or any Scn process or procedure. So even that I more or less followed the Bk-1 technology as written in DNs, I never did it in a robotic way, but adjusted it as I saw fitted the circumstances of that particular PC or session.
You also must take into account that BK-1 is almost a copy-paste of something called, “Abreaction Therapy” studied and researched by the late Dr. Sigmund Freud (and others from his time). You can verify this by reading the transcripts of Freud’s “Two Short Accounts of Psychoanalysis” conferences. The book is available at Amazon.
The point is that Abreaction Therapy was quite successful; it had even been successfully used to alleviate war trauma. if you read Freud’s work concerning it, you’ll discover that most of the concepts of book one (“earlier similar”, “Command Phrases”, “Chains of incidents”, the “Reactive Mind” as the “Subsconcious”, etc), are part of Freud’s research. All that LRH did was to change some names, and to give it the resemblance of a structured easy-to-use method. So it should be no surprise that Book-one into the hands of those who REALLY could understand and apply its theory, could ACTUALLY be a successful method of alleviating emotional traumas.
But as much as I was successful using Bk-1, I was considered by most of my PCs as something “apart” from the organization. In other words, there was the organization with its staff doing all kinds of silly handlings on my PCs which they found quite odd and even a bit crazy, and there was me as an auditor which they (these PCs) felt was something very different from the organization. Most of them became my friends who trusted me with their most intimate things, and who frequently sought my advice in many different things in their lives.
Of course, I attributed my success to “understanding and following LRH’s works conceptually” where most staff were just robotically and with no actual understanding, following Scientology. The real reason for my success – I found out some decades later – was due to my OWN judgment as an auditor totally independent of LRH’s views.
Thank you, Thetaclear, I know how valuable book one auditing can be for a person. Thanks for sharing your story.
Yes, correct. In the early 80s already plenty of SHSBC-UK mail went across the Atlantic to scoop up Class V Org PCs disgruntled with their local CO$. Some people went for it instead of leaving SCN.
“I don’t remember where exactly, but somewhere L. Ron Hubbard talked about and created his hierarchy of churches in which new public would start their services at lower orgs and work their way up the lines, ultimately ending up on the Freewinds. He created this system because, as usual, he knew better.”
Not only because “He knew better, as usual”, but because after LRH’s failures with the first Dianetics foundations – where other people could ALSO make money with his scam, and where he failed to properly pay his “investors” – Scientology became what I call a “mental/spiritual pyramid scheme”.
In such a scheme, others are lured to this insidiously fraudulent scam by offering them something of value (“Personal freedom, super powers, and immortality”) which is never really achieved (by the way Scn is set up; “The Bridge to Total Freedom”) until the very end of the line – Flag and the Freewinds with its OT7 and OT8. Of course, that goal is totally unreachable in Scn.
The Bridge itself is a gradient scale of indoctrination, thought control/reform, and conditioned behavior. Each section of this mental pyramid (Field groups, Missions, class 5 orgs, and advance orgs), is the proper gradient in this indoctrination process so that, when one finally arrives at the confidential stuff that we all had been expecting to arrive at for so long, we wouldn’t be so much baffled and shocked by the absurd mythological cosmology of it all. In other words, we would buy it out of a conditioned behavior and created mental framework.
If no prior indoctrination would have taken place before the “upper stuff” Scientology, most of us would have probably run like hell out of it.
In this spiritual/mental pyramid scheme, LRH was getting tremendously rich while the Scientologist public were heavily going into debt, and where LRH had at his disposal one of the biggest (and “legal”) slave force of modern times; One where these slaves were earning a mere $.40 to $.60 an hour and many of them (like me when I was a mission staff) even less than that, all the while being improperly fed and medically taking care of.
The system never worked because as with all scams and pyramid schemes, Terra Cognita, it is doomed for failure even before it begins. Karma is a bitch, isn’t it? 🙂
Thank you for all of this.
You are most welcome, Secretfornow, 🙂
Thetaclear, what you say is true. Our mission was in the middle of nowhere, as far as orgs go and was a completely different scene from the orgs. The couple that started our mission had only ever been public and were “whales” so were always treated with kid gloves. Their Scn was not the same Scn the Los Angeles public experienced (except for maybe Celebrity Centre public). We never really talked about Scn being a religion. In fact, I remember when the orders came down that we HAD TO put “Church of Scientology” on our sign,which read “Dianetics Foundation” until that time – our mission holders were not happy.
When the new mission holders from the L.A. area took over, they changed it to be more like what they experienced in L.A. And that’s awful steep for new people to deal with. Yeah, so they don’t.
“Thetaclear, what you say is true. Our mission was in the middle of nowhere, as far as orgs go and was a completely different scene from the orgs.”
Yes, my mission was the same; in the middle of nowhere and in an island to make it worse, or was it better? 😉
“The couple that started our mission had only ever been public and were ‘whale’ so were always treated with kid gloves.”
Excuse my ignorance (I am not a native speaker), but what do you mean by “whale”? I couldn’t find a suitable definition.
“Their Scn was not the same Scn the Los Angeles public experienced (except for maybe Celebrity Centre public). We never really talked about Scn being a religion. In fact, I remember when the orders came down that we HAD TO put ‘church of Scientology’ on our sign,which read ‘Dianetics Foundation’ until that time – our mission holders were not happy.”
That was the same attitude that my mission holder had when she was ordered to do the same, as the sign for many years just read, “Centro de Dianética” (“Dianetics Center”). We also never considered it a “religion” and when we “did”, we knew it only had to do with “protecting” ourselves against government “oppression”.
“When the new mission holders from the L.A. area took over, they changed it to be more like what they experienced in L.A. And that’s awful steep for new people to deal with. Yeah, so they don’t.”
In my case the more gentle mission holder was replaced by a SO who had been sent to our mission with her husband because she had kids. And she brought with her all that so arrogant and militant SO bullshit attitude. Then everything went to shit and the stats plummeted.
Thetaclear, I’m a never-in,so all that I’ve learned has been from articles and commenters here, at Tony Ortega’s site, and other sites that explain Scientology or what happens within Scientology, such as ExSMB; and from the large number of books written by blown Scientologists and researchers.
“Whales” are rich Scientologists who donate large sums of money to Scientology, especially the IAS, and get fawning treatment, recognition, and trophies for it. They are treated as if they are better than other people: “big beings”. They’re “whales” in a small pond.
Yes, thank you rivercs – that’s exactly right about whales.
Joe Pendleton says
Whales are the REALLY big money contributors to the CoS. Sometimes a very rich prospect who hasn’t turned over his money yet is also called a whale.
Thanks Joe Pendleton! We had a spanish word for that in our Mission, but I can’t recall it now.
“Whale”, a very wealthy Scientologist, who has made considerable donations to the C of S.
We also never considered it a “religion” and when we “did”, we knew it only had to do with “protecting” ourselves against government “oppression”.
This is EXACTLY the PR story we had, too.
“This is EXACTLY the PR story we had, too.”
Yeah, I imagined you had. It seems that those Missions that were mostly away from the interference of orgs, in isolated areas – such and yours and mine – shared many common denominators.
Thetaclear, very much so. We had more of a “psychological feed-good” vibe – lower Bridge; communication, problems, upsets, hostility, change your condition kind of thing going on. No mention of religion or OT powers or any of that woo woo stuff. Just your average, everyday kind of stress that everybody on earth deals with.
I can still recall being on staff at a Mission (in the Mission holder’s home) when a knock on the door was opened to two SO Missionaires. The owner of the mission asked what they wanted and they asked to come in. As classes were in session in living and dining rooms, the MH said “No”. and asked what they wanted. They were serving an order that the MH *HAD* to wear ecclesiastical garb at all times. He said, “This is my home and my mission. The answer is “NO”! And closed the door. He later told me that he had no further word on it.
Terra Cognita says
Thetaclear: Thanks for filling in the gaps–so elegantly.
“Thetaclear: Thanks for filling in the gaps–so elegantly.”
You are most welcome, Terra Cognita. Thank you for the validation! 🙂
I’m greatly benefiting from listening to Chris Shelton’s videos. (I have a way of doing it now and not getting in trouble)
I know all about Scientology, Hubbard, staff, and the Sea Org from inside the bubble. I’m finding it quite calming, relaxing, and soothing to hear it talked about, deconstructed, and exposed by an experienced Ex. Scio.
I’ve read the Out books, but it’s quite another thing to actually hears words SPOKEN about it all. It’s very therapeutic.
I realized a funny thing about myself and SCN today while listening….
When I got in, I got in Immediately and fully. My best friend told me about it and I approached the OCA already open to it all, in the mindset to just accept it all – and so I did. With that OCA and the deeply evaluative interview which followed – I was basically IN forever. (teenage sponge)
And the same thing happened when I popped out. I pretty much just literally popped out one day – AWAKE – (and horrified, exhilarated, etc)
and since then, learning to cope and adjust and …. studying! Gathering data which helps me along.
But the basic was done already. Just,….out. No hesitation or uncertainty, fully done zip finished, aware that it was all 100% bullshit.
I hadn’t thought of how bookend it was. I got out the same way I got in.
It’s an interesting thought for the moment.
I agree about the videos being therapeutic. Also there are many radio interviews. I wish I’d just ‘popped’ out. I had to get completely out of the $ environment first and even then it took 3 years. Something else about the videos, I can get chores don’t while I listen :). I’m glad you figured out how to not get caught 🙂
yes! Chores and soothing verboten words. 🙂
I’m glad you were able to wrest yourself free. Mine was quick, but it was quick like realizing the person strangling you is a “not a nice person” just before the last breath. Great trauma can effect great change. Oh my, I’m wise this morning. Ha!
……..what’s also nice about listening, is how frequently I am hearing my own thoughts and realizations echoed. It’s amazing to hear him say things exactly as I’ve experienced. All in all it makes me feel soooo less alone. I’m not special at all – it’s happening to others with the same ideas and prior experience and so on.
and to hear someone else also describe the “loss of certainty and answers” is just, “YES! YES! YES!” – I may take time someday to write something that really captures that concept with concrete examples and attempt to really describe the vast scope of those answers and certainty.
Just saying things like, “I lost everything I knew” doesn’t tell the story. This is a story that seems to have a driving need inside to come out in a way that really explains it.
or maybe….sometime…. I can just get bored with it all and walk away. 🙂
Notreally Myname says
I cannot apologize enough my dearest bestest friend …. i wonder if I had told you outright years ago how ‘out’ I was if that would have made a difference. I kept the secret though, concerned about disconnection. I’m so glad we are still best friends and can now talk about anything/everything once again.
never any blame, Kid. Nope. It’s just part of the story.
I remember when I was on staff that our org would send out PPO missions to orgs in Chicago and Boston to recruit staff to come to Nashville. They always came back empty handed.
I mean, how low can you sink?
And then there was that time when I got a call from Boston Org. Seems that they were trying to recruit one of their contracted staff into the Sea Org and wanted me to move to Boston and take his place on staff at the org. They promised me a moonlight job and the whole nine yards. The whole thing fell through when they were told that the staff member would have to fulfill his staff contract before joining the SO.
Ah, well. Cue the Laurel and Hardy theme song.
TC, as usual, brilliant article.
Having been in for awhile I observed the demise of the field auditor and mission system.
Which was a huge source of new members. As you say it’s dog eat dog.
This issue coupled with the tdeal org, IAS social betterment fund raising has scams is killing off the few members the cult has left.
It’s amazing Scientology has lasted this long.
Terra Cognita says
BKmole: Good point about the issues of ideal orgs, IAS, etc. Every cent they suck up is one less for the poor missions and Cl 5s.
Yes. And the field auditors and missions now are better off going indie.
I’m out of the staff loop these days (yay) but ….
Missions were never allowed to deliver the classed auditor levels. – Level 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. You could go to the mission and do basic courses, the purif, and get audited through NED. You couldn’t attest to clear at a mission ever. You had to do the Clear Certainty Rundown (or its predecessors) at a class V or or above.
Class V orgs trained auditors to Grad V and cleared people. (supposedly)
When I was last at AOLA they did not deliver training, except for Solo Courses and PDC course. AOLA was for the Clearing Course up to OT V, mainly an “auditing org”.
For training you went to ASHO or LA org. ASHO delivers the Auditor training levels from Student Hat through the VIII course. It’s a training org and was also there to take PCs to clear and through OT preps, then they would be sent over to AO.
AO did not deliver grades to PCs. AO did not deliver the purif, objectives, or any of the lower level auditing. AO was for clears and above.
Maybe all this is different now. The BC and VIII course are not delivered, we know that.
Flag AO delivers as per AOLA, and the Flag Building does everything else.
and Yes, upper orgs are touted as “better” and one should do services there if possible. Class V org staff swallow their opinions about this, especially hard to do when these upper orgs include auditors the class V org recruited, trained, and then had stolen by the upper orgs from An Urgent Sea Org Mission come to town.
Secretfornow, when I did my Class 4, 5 and Grad 5, I did my training at L.A. Org and my internships at AOLA. On each of my internships, I audited (paid) Life Repairs, Objectives, Grades, etc…pretty much anything anybody paid AOLA for. That was about 1990-1992ish.
interesting. I did auditing services at ASHO around that time.
I do know things flip around and change along the way. Various “solutions” get applied as we know, and then later are changed again. (new sets of heads to roll)
There was a time also that AO was paying non SO auditors to audit, or allowing them to be staff but not SO. I think that may have been short lived.
When I did my OT levels at AO there were no lower grade actions being done there, you’d be shunted to ASHO for it. Late 90’s.
Secretfornow, I do seem to recall the last of the paid non-S.O. auditors being “weaned-out” while I was there. In retrospect, that could have been part of the reason I was auditing paying public as an intern. I dunno. Renee Duke did my CCRD at AOLA in 1988 or so. I just remembered that. She was non-S.O. I remember her having OT7 materials strapped to her body or something like that and I asked her what the hell is that???? LOL I was CLUELESS back then. Ohhhh the days of clueless oblivion…
….. students who are on Class IV, V, VI internships DO audit paying PCs in the HGC per Hubbard policy. They are a boon to execs running the tech area. You have your staff auditors who audit these paying public, and then you get the students who’ve progressed to interships as an added resource. They up your delivery capacity and it doesn’t cost the org anything. BAM! Stats go up, get those guys in the chair! More WDAH, more Completed Intensives, Paid Comps, etc. (more re-sign, more cash)
While I enjoyed these benefits as an exec, I also had a private disagreement with it, one of those unresolved things I kept pushed back from my own self. Interns make more mistakes of course, (“audit – cram – audit – cram” right?) and yet the auditing was the same price and of course there are no rebates or re-credit or anything.
I would think of being a PC paying 4-8 thousand dollars an intensive, then having to do correction lists because my intern auditor messed up, and it’s still “hours peeling away off my account”
Later on my own paid bridge cycles … I thought of this MORE, as I wasted hours upon frustrating hours in sec checks, having to go back in to “re-check” flattened and FNed questions – the C/S or bankers or something wanted more of my time used up. I spent thousands of dollars on those re-checks.
Funny on the VII stuff. Oh, there was so much mystique to it. (insert ooohs and ahhhhs) Until it’s you and you’re tied to that crap and your whole life is a prison of VII. vomit vomit vomit.
secretfornow – TOTALLY. I felt guilty auditing paying public! I’m pretty vain and I studied and trained hard to be good, but come on!!! I should have been auditing students and staff, not people paying that kind of money for pro auditors! It really put me in an awkward position. How could I possibly be as good as an experienced auditor? I felt so guilty if I got crammed on something.
I didn’t get many crams though and in retrospect, I think because I did absolutely CARE about the person in front of me, I could “wing it” and resolve anything to F/N VGIs. Of course, most of the male PCs I had thought I loved them and wanted a relationship with them. Even some females thought the same thing, which freaked me out. Whatever. I would do TR0 bullbait on it to flatten my buttons and carry on. The PCs never knew I was freaking out on the inside, but I did. LOL
I did care about them and my goal was for them to be happy because of their auditing with me. I have no regrets about any of my auditing of others. I know I helped them in some way, even if it was by my sheer desire to do so, regardless of what tech I used.
OT7- Oh the naivete, huh? Damn us. 😉 Live and Learn. Live and Learn. Ugh.
we may be an aging group of fools who threw our lives away following the ravings of a lying fat man obsessed with power and aliens…
but we’re also a bunch of people who would work our guts out seven days a week for no money, live hand to mouth, put up with all kinds of injustice, belittling, and shouting … just
for the privilege
of trying to help
the person in front of us.
We’re a good bunch, we are. I hope you’re having as much fun as I am, discovering new little ways to join in and help, small civic opportunities abound. It’s rather soothing.
(and THANK YOU for all of your caring. You sound like someone I would have loved to work with. I was horrified to find myself falling in love with my auditors. I got used it to. Every one of my great auditors I was in love with, but I also knew it was to be expected. Just something to confess here and there!) 🙂 🙂
I wonder if someone more balanced had taken over in the years after Hubbard went into hiding to the present if the con could have continued longer and if any of us would care. I’ve been reading a book about the Mormans and they were extremely unpopular with their polygamist, racist, and patriarchal beliefs and arrogance that they were the only ones on the path to righteousness. I’m just getting to the part where they changed to be more politically correct. There are still many fundamentalist groups who practice the actual teachings of Joseph Smith which is just as whackadoodle and destructive as Scientology. I know a lot of people don’t care what others believe as long as they aren’t hurting others. I think we should care. Lack of critical thinking can lead us down a primrose path to destruction.
I sometimes think that we all should be happy that an incompetent leader is at the helm of scientology. Imagine if some capable person had been at the helm. The organization could have been maybe accepted as something bordering respectability, kind of like the Mormons are today..
As the whole con of Hubbard was based on lies and the self-serving goal of getting rich while having his ego stroked, it is clearly an organization that should be ridiculed and hopefully eradicated. (There are many other “religions” that fit that bill too.)
So I am glad David Miscavige is running the whole ship of lies into the rocks and under the waves.
Mormons are pretty respectable because they could adapt and were founded by someone primarily driven by religious belief. I’m no Mormon, but Smith and Young do not appear to have been in it for cash or suffered from paranoia – both of which apply to Hubbard. It’s a genuine religion, albeit completely wrong in my opinion. Further, it is very similar in practice to many churches, even if the beliefs are different.
SCN could have become another crazy new age group, but it is too different to have become mainstream.
No, Joseph Smith was not in it for the money; he was in it for the nookey; oops, I mean, “fulfilling God’s commandment to take multiple wives.”
Any study of Joseph Smith’s life will show that Mormon ism and Plural Marriage (polygamy) were not about the ‘nooky ‘. Joseph Smith died for what he believed in. His wife, Emma, was ready to divorce him when she learned about the commandment to practice polygamy. So, no.
‘ nooky’ was not the motivating factor.
Terra Cognita says
WhatAreYourCrimes: Interesting point of view about the competency of leaders. Reminds me of one of those alternate universe stories where Germany won WWII.
On the subject of alternate religions, is anyone following the story of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia? After a court ruling last week, they are now banned. The Government has closed down their Kingdom Halls and banned their literature and activities, and their appeal to the Supreme court was denied. There are reportedly 175,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
Is Scientology allowed in Russia?
Whackadoodle!! Word of the day!! 😀
Old Surfer Dude says
I dated a Whackadoodle once. I had no idea what she was talking about! And she kept hitting me on my head.
I can’t wait till the day comes and all these buildings become Starbucks, bowling alleys(lol) counsiling centers and community outreach centers. So they can repair all the damege this Criminal Organization has inflicted.
Court Houses and children’s hospitals where they can help repair all the broken families. That is my wish! That is a bridge to total freedom not this farce they have going on
The CoS has done one good thing and ONLY one good thing: restored a lot of run-down old buildings that would have been lost.
Old Surfer Dude says
Face it, Mary, Scientology is completely F.U.B.A.R.
“…I don’t remember where exactly, but somewhere L. Ron Hubbard talked about and created his hierarchy of churches in which new public would start their services at lower orgs and work their way up the lines, ultimately ending up on the Freewinds. He created this system because, as usual, he knew better….”
OEC volumes 0-7 and the Management Series, plus the other items on the OEC/FEBC Course Checksheets that one studies. Then the private final despatch traffic in the late 1970s from Hubbard, and if you were Flag Bu management level or thereabout as staffer, you’d have read the key Central Bureuax Orders and Flag Orders and Flag Ship Orders and COLRHEDs and Aides Orders but you’d read the whole year by year progression of management of the Scientology movement, starting from the old “How to Live Though An Executive” which gives the basic theory of Hubbard to the movement, and his retaining managerial theoretical “advisor” role to the end of his life.
I’m no saying read all Hubbard wrote, but when I was an OEC/FEBC Course Supervisor, I presumed that those at the top managerial positions WOULD read the whole long drawn out evolved theoretical setup writings of Hubbard’s, and it’s not just one or two policies. It’d include even his final Ron’s Journal the one about the “Proof” for his final endorsement of INCOMM and RTC publicly.
The “Command Channels” Booklet which from overhearing Mark Ingbar talk about during that late 1980s time slot when Mark Yager moved up to “IG Admin” position, I think Mark was somehow landed with the final final late 1980s “command channels” final booklet issue authority.
Anyways, simple statements and your point is believable, but the details and history, and all the backstories to all the evolving changes in the setup, yes it’d all be Hubbard’s fault.
Hubbard’s admonishment in the final pages of DMSMH about asking for help “building a better bridge” that passion he somehow kept pretty much to the end.
Although the “Going Clear…” book final pages, and the “Going Clear….” movie interview with Sarge, AND the Kindle expanded edition of the “Going Clear….” Kindle book contains a tiny bit MORE of the Wright and Sarge interview which is SO important it irks me Wright edited possibly out of his interview some of Sarge’s comments that to experts would be important for those of us who are interested in ALL of the details of Hubbard’s final life moments at the Creston Ranch. (I wish he’d at least transcribe all that Sarge said and make it available.)
And then, to answer WHY would Hubbard act like this universal god sent “guru” fount of knowledge and wisdom to earth, well, to me, Martin Gardener’s “Fads and Fallacies….” 1950s book talks of the mid 20th century crank pseudo-science bunch of people, and Hubbard has the characteristics of that bunch of people who are crackpot crank pseudo-science self proclaimed world-shattering “geniuses”
In their minds and in the minds of the followers who buy what the “genius” “Master” wisdom purveyor unprovedly claims.
If only the Hubbard “L’s rundowns” pseudo-therapy quackery worked and made “soul flying” out of one’s skull a try soul ability one could attain, like the ability to ride a bicycle. Then the whole multi echelon setup would lead to actual soul abilities, and specifically to the out of the body soul flying ability, attained solidly, for real.
But, since it is not being done, the whole ladder is kind of NOT worth spending much time at, until some “OT” Scientologists who are actual soul flying, soul astronauts who can pop out of their skulls at will and do supernatural things without their bodies, I think the whole subject ought be understand as NOT delivering the “OT” soul-flying promises, at least not just yet.
If there were just one or two soul flying Scientologists who did some supernatural powers demonstration, to tide over people not just outright quitting.
I say say “Quit Fast” as in KSW #1, “….if they are going to quit let them quit fast…..”
That to me is the only sensible course.
And do oneself outside adult education instead. And skip the Hubbard lineup of edited world wisdom.
chuckbeatty77, agreed. Quit and quit fast!
What management system needs hundreds of thousands of pages of policy???? OMG, really?
Uh, the Federal Government?
Alcoboy, good point. Forgot about them.
I did work for the federal government for a little minute and the policies I had to study for my job, fit into a booklet about 100 pages long. I did not have to learn or even read the policies for all the other divisions, fortunately.
Just tryin’ to help out.
Terra Cognita says
Chuck: Thanks for the references.
A diamond says
Great blog, once again Terra Cognita! They have very slowly been imploding and they can’t even seem to smell their own dynamite. KAW – Keep Aftermath Working!
Terra Cognita says
A diamond: KAW.
Todd Cray says
Thanks, TC. In years of cult watching I have never found this explained so concisely and clearly.
Terra Cognita says
Robert Almblad says
Oooops, hit send before I was done
Current cherch management has literally no experience with “WOG” business management practices. Instead, they were brought up on a steady diet of conning big bucks in exchange for nothing. It reminds me of a small village in the middle of the cornfields of Illinois that was built by a religious cult 50 years ago with no knowledge of construction, The houses were hilarious, small doors, lopsided windows, etc… that’s what the cherch organization looks like today.
Ann B Watson says
Thank you Terra Cognita, The entire bridge fell apart or twisted itself apart not only with Ron but dm has his hooks in as well. It is past time for the entire empire with no heart, mind or soul to fall. I read every one of your pieces, but I do want you to know how vital they are to all our stories that link the chain of the extreme treatment we received when in. All these personal experiences are telling the world what really goes on behind the torn cloak of religion. ?
Terra Cognita says
Ann B Watson says
Most Welcome Always.
Idle Morgue says
It did not make sense Mary because you managed to maintain common sense and had not “trained” or audited it out!
Thanks for the explanation, Terra Cognita. I have more insight now into some of the posts I read. Good job.
gato rojo says
Great article, Terra.
Just a couple of my thoughts—Any possibly sensible, workable organizational ideas Hubbard put in place were never given a chance due to the opposite illogical, psycho organizational ideas he ran in on staff, which somehow appealed more to certain sea org personnel. Specifically the “fire-breathing product officer tech” which would just rip up any sort of production line and the personnel as well. “Get money in here or you’re dead meat!!” “I don’t care how you do it, just GET IT DONE!” “What are you guys looking at?? YOU didn’t make this guy produce anything either! What are YOUR overts?” And a thousand variations including hurtful and gross mental and emotional attacks on the staff. Even physical sometimes.
So yeah, it’s pretty easy to see that any sort of rules about who delivers to which type of public went into the trash with staff trying to keep the attacks and other crap at bay, just trying to live another day. This has been true for any job that needed to be done in any cherch.
In an eye-opening contrast at one of the first places I worked after escaping, I had a wonderful opportunity to work in a company that was doing great, growing every year, new products, pleasant managers and executives and happy staff.
The first meeting I was in where a rather high-up manager addressed us went sort of like this: He was calm and happy and told us about some new technical things we needed to learn. Then he told us in a pleasant and peaceful manner that he wanted to see us get a certain amount of things done by a certain time. (OMG–he’s PRODUCT-OFFICERING us! But not screaming.) Lots of people were nodding Yes. He then said that dinner break would be a half-hour late so the caterers could get everything set up. A few sounds of approval could be heard. He said anyone could still go out to eat for their break but the idea was to bring good food into the shop so everyone could have a little more time to work and get everything done in time.
Did everything get done in time? Yep. That company is expanding. Scn cherches not so much.
Terra Cognita says
Mary Kahn says
…But …. Now the Ideal Org scheme is suppose to make baby orgs, missions and field groups, which made/makes even less sense.