(Article By Special Correspondent)
Recently I received a copy of the Scientology Seattle Ideal Org Building Fundraising Hat Write-Up By Mark Arnold, the Executive Director for Seattle Day. You can see the full write up here. Most of it is a detailed and complex structure for milking every possible penny from Scientologists in the local area.
He confirms that 10% commissions are paid on funds raised and also makes it clear that materials written by L Ron Hubbard are not the important references – the core reference for the fundraising is a book called ASKING by Jerold Panas which he refers to over and over. He also talks about “dinging” in his audiences with COB quotes (David Miscavige lies actually). L Ron Hubbard quotes have nothing to do with this because L Ron Hubbard despised the idea of asking for donations without giving back valuable services in return, a subject he covered vigorously in a series of letters loosely called the Safe Environment Fund Advices, or “SEF advices”. So not much from L Ron Hubbard in the whole discussion except to try and find “inspirational LRH quotes” of a generic nature to forward an activity that would have enraged LRH mightily.
Interestingly, Mark Arnold also confirms that Ideal Orgs have full video recording in all auditing rooms and how they boast about this being a step towards “increasing technical quality”. Not to mention increasing parishioner control by having your deepest confessions recorded for OSA use should you ever step out of line.
He also gives a detailed explanation of the use of “shills” (“A shill, also called a plant or a stooge, is a person who publicly helps a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the person or organization.”- Wikipedia).
It really makes the point that deception is an important part of Scientology fundraising.
Also very interesting is what Mark Arnold does NOT mention. He talks in his intro about what an exciting and rewarding project it was to help execute David Miscavige’s “stroke of genius” and says
“This hat write up describes how we in Seattle were able to raise $3,000,000 to purchase our building through fundraising from an average size field, including a world record $1.42 million in a single week!!”
There is no mention of the fact that after the “ideal” building had been purchased it took seven years to raise an additional eleven million dollars for a test center plus renovations of both buildings. I wonder if he still felt as honored and excited about the whole thing seven years and fourteen million dollars later. Especially after Jason Rosauer, a senior vice president and partner at Kidder Matthews, one of Seattle’s largest commercial real estate firms, took a look at the main building and estimated that it would cost “between eight and nine million to put up brand new.”
Here are some quotes from Mark Arnold (the boldfaces are mine);
There is a text book (more a large pamphlet really) to study on Fundraising that is the equivalent of Les Dane’s “Big League Sales” for the subject of “Sales”. This text is called “ASKING” and is by a guy named Jerold Panas. Study this text. It pretty much tells you what you need to know about Fundraising through doing individual interviews or visits. Someone wishing to do Fundraising should do this as the first step. It takes maybe an hour to read but it explains volumes and it does constitute the hatting on doing fundraising by visits and interviews. “Mark Arnold Executive Director, Church of Scientology Seattle
L Ron Hubbard’s writings are clearly not a factor in this activity. All that “exchange” and “conditions of exchange” gets in the way. Most hated by fundraisers is where LRH says that “something for nothing” is the exchange level of governments and criminals. So no LRH references for this hat write up.
…the Fundraiser must be enthusiastic about the Building cycle and have no reservations about it. The best tool to accomplish this, as well as to enlighten a prospective donator on the project is to have your self and your Fundraisers watch the 2004 LRH Bday event section (sections13-18 on the DVD) as many times as is needed to fully grasp what COB is saying here. In this section he totally covers why the Org Buildings must be big and why we must do this in a “Straight up and Vertical” fashion. He covers “The Why” for why we have been struggling up to this point (“Trying to do to little”) and shows features of our new Ideal Org Div 6es. Your Fundraisers should watch this until they have no more Questions about it and the necessity of it. This is crucially important.”- Mark Arnold Executive Director, Church of Scientology Seattle
This method of hanlding peoples questions is really interesting. People charged with doing the fundraising simply watch the COB video over and over and over and over until they have no more questions. You probably wondered about the robotic and illogical way that Scientlogy fundraisers conduct themselves – the answer may very well be right there.
So making the appointment is obviously very important. We tried to stick to the guidelines in the book as much as possible. We always tried to make an appointment and keep it. Only if we could not reach the person or he would not call us back did we use the option of “just showing up” at his house or business. ” Mark Arnold Executive Director, Church of Scientology Seattle
A very modern approach to getting interviews. You ask nicely once, then simply barge in on the person uninvited.
Through this and your presentation you get your prospect to the point where he agrees with the project and sees it must be done. Make liberal use of LRH. Pull the string on any BIs and ensure they are handled and the root disagreement handled. This is best accomplished by asking questions and listening to what the person has to say. As an example, one of our key public brought up that he thought Tech Quality was more important than a building and that we should be putting more into that. This we handled by enlightening him on the many aspects that are essential to tech Quality, like videos systems in every auditing room etc. ” Mark Arnold Executive Director, Church of Scientology Seattle
I love the “make liberal use of LRH” recommendation. However the point here is the written confirmation that all auditing rooms in these expensive new org buildings are indeed equiped with hidden cameras and microphones. So go ahead, unburden yourself- we just suggest you speak really, really softly
Pre-Regging: The next thing to cover as regards the Fundraising event is that in order to have a successful event it is very smart to have people handled ahead of time to donate at the event…. Pre-regging is a potent factor behind having a successful Fundraiser. Handle it that these pre-regged donations do not happen all at once at the event but are done when needed. Also, someone who has agreed to donate $20.000 can use his donation to play a game. Something like “I will do $1000 if 10 others do $1,000” can generate a lot of dough. A larger donator can do this several times through the course of an event. So your “Shills” (The technical term for someone who has agreed to donate in advance but appears to be doing it spontaneously) should be made aware they have a responsibility to use their donation to get others to donate as much as possible. Plan in advance to ensure your event is a success by having as much pre-regged as possible and used as above.” – Mark Arnold Executive Director, Church of Scientology Seattle
So glad to learn that “shill” is a technical term. I think “rube” and “mark” are a couple of other technical terms that are in use, but Mark omitted to mention them in this write up.
At the start of the fundraising session a good thing to do is to acknowledge those who have donated already by status, saving the biggest for last. Then just launch into asking for donations. We usually had one of our “shills” ready to go with a sizable donation, like $5000, to get things off on the right foot. You do not want your first donation to be $20 or some low amount. These do have their, place but not at the beginning of an event that you need to make $200K at. You want people thinking big.
So for those of you that went to a fundraiser and were shocked to see it immediately kicked off with a “spontaneous” and large donation, this explaination makes a lot more sense. People are not enthusiastic. They have to be pounded on for hours before the event to get them to agree to lead the madness.
Also, very important is that you get across to the crowd the full COB briefing in LRH Birthday 2004 event. This can be done by showing that portion of the event prior to Fundraising (Its about 40 minutes long.) but also should be done during your fundraising. I had the main points of this written up as a briefing that people could read and at events I would “Ding in” parts of it, like the “Why” of “Trying to do too little” over and over again. “Ding in” the “straight up and vertical” concept using the analogy of a session and the need to have the full Ideal Org or we don’t have the society around us “in-session”. We got to a point where, at an event, I could just ask for the “Why” and the audience would tell me “Trying to do too little.” Do this again and again over 5 or 6 events and it starts to sink in.” -Mark Arnold Executive Director, Church of Scientology Seattle
“Dinging” is another highly technical term that Mark Arnold is bandying around here. Similar to how those doing the fundraising get their questions handled, so it is that the public get their questions handled. Mark Arnold, as Lead Dinger, simply pounds insane statements over and over to attendees of his meetings. “The reason you can’t do enough is that you are not doing all of it immediately” and “the only way to expand is straight up and vertical” and other kooky statements are pounded into the “Dingees” (or perhaps they should be referred to as ding-dongs).
As you are moving through a Fundraising event you will inevitably hit slow points. …. 3. Have your “Shills” prepared to inject one of their donations or games, should they see things dragging. Your “Shills” should not be used all at once but instead throughout the event to get maximum effect to get others to contribute.” –Mark Arnold Executive Director, Church of Scientology Seattle
More technical stuff from Mark about how to keep the event moving. Notable that shills are used to kick the event off and to keep it moving.
The Deputy Fundraiser IC must therefore be a dogged, persistent type who has no back off on asking for money. She was authorized to get a 5% commission on money she followed up and collected. The other 5% (10% commission is authorized per the EDs on the subject) went to the other person who got the pledge in the first place or just was not paid. But cycles the Deputy Fundraiser had to reel in she got this 5%.- Mark Arnold Executive Director, Church of Scientology Seattle
I just have to wonder how many people who have stressed and strained to come up with some hefty donation were then surprised to learn that the guy beating on them to “go the extra mile for LRH” was actually going to be grabbing 10% of the take. Personally it makes my blood boil, because the big push on these donations is “do it for the cause”, but the guy saying that is actually doing it for the money.
In summary, the Scientology fundraising formula would include a combination of forcefully repeating the lies over and over and then creating deceptive events with fake spontaneous enthusiasm while paying hefty commissions for squeezing donations out of a small and very over-regged field. Then you get to feel good about yourself for paying roughly twelve million dollars to buy and renovate a building that would have cost eight million to build new. Not to mention spending another couple of million on a test center because the building you purchased for your main church has no foot traffic at all and is hopelessly mis-located. All done while pounding LRH references about “pupose” while kicking the other references about exchange and building policies under the carpet.