See earlier Terra Cognita: We Deliver What We Promise, Getting Emotional, Intention, Clear Schmear, Do Not Evaluate for the Preclear, The E-Meter, The Is-Ness of Is-Ness, Cause Over Life — Really?, BT’s in the Belfry, Two New Conditions!, The Condition of Liabilitiness, Condition of Doubtfulness The Mind, The Way To Happiness: Really? A Story, Auditing: a PC’s Quest for the Holy Grail, The Knowledge Report, Integrity, The Almighty Stat, The Reg, The Horrors of Wordclearing, Why Scientologists Don’t FSM, Respect, The Survival Rundown – The Latest Scam, Communication in Scientology… Or Not, Am I Still A Thetan?, To Be Or Not To Be, An Evaluation of Scientology, Fear: That Which Drives Scientology and Justification and Rationalization.
Scientology’s Only Hope…maybe
Scientology orgs and missions have occasional good weeks where they can afford to pay the staff and stock the bathrooms, but per every conventional criterion for financial success, not one has ever been solvent. If not for free labor, advance donations by dedicated whales, and a blind staff, they all would have had to shutter their doors years ago. And yet, the mother church perpetuates an unworkable system without acknowledging decades of mismanagement and insolvency.
The grand experiment that LRH envisioned has failed.
These are some of the reasons Scientology orgs are insolvent:
- Suppressive senior management.
- A bloated organization. The Org Board looks pretty but is not applicable or necessary to deliver Scientology technology.
- Diverting donations to needless causes and activities:
o Ideal Orgs.
o Sea Org Reserves.
o Int Base.
o Gold and Bridge (who continually put out overt and outdated products).
o Ancillary organizations (Narconon, WISE, Way to Happiness, CCHR, etc.).
- Suppressive application of Ethics.
- Inflated prices for services. The average Earth human cannot afford the Bridge. Instead of trying to get more people in by charging less, Scientology charges more, essentially excluding the vast majority of the world.
- The Internet, social media, and print media spread truth about the church.
- The church isn’t willing to change. Research and development is considered criminal.
- Not delivering products that were promised.
- Purchasing and restoring unnecessary buildings (ideal orgs).
- Reliance on policy and technology that doesn’t work.
These are a few of the reasons orgs are able to keep their doors open.
- Staff is paid little to nothing. Essentially, they’re volunteers.
- A few rich patrons pay for basic necessities.
- Churches are exempt from having to pay taxes.
- Staff are cowed and afraid to leave.
But What if the Tech Worked as Advertised?
Assuming for a moment that Scientology tech worked as advertised, is solvency possible? Even if the aforementioned reasons for the church’s failure were eliminated, could orgs actually flourish and prosper? The answer is no.
Too much time and effort has been invested in the current system. A steadfast belief that change is harmful and dangerous is too ingrained in the minds of the faithful for any kind of meaningful transformation. A supertanker has a better chance of swerving through a pod of dolphins than the church has of changing.
Let’s pretend that all these new Ideal Orgs reached the size of old St. Hill and paid all 250 of their staff a living wage. Wait. 250 is impossible. Let’s cut the number of staff to a reasonable 100 and pay them $15/hour and have them work a measly (by Scientology standards) 60 hours per week.
100 staff x $15/hr x 60 hrs/wk = $90,000 Org payroll per week (or $390,000 per month).
(BTW, in my neck of the woods $15/hour wouldn’t cover the rent.)
But wait, there’s more to solvency than payroll! Additional revenue is needed for expenses: insurance, utilities, capital reserves, Sea Org reserves, admin supplies, promotion, postage, cleaning supplies, etc., etc., etc. Again, let’s be conservative and pretend we can cover all these expenses for $120,000 per year—a mere $10,000 per month.
Monthly Payroll ($390,000) + Expenses ($10,000) = $400,000.
An org would need $1,000 per month from 400 hard-core, donating public to sustain itself.
Let’s get wild and pretend that the reg sells 12.5 hour intensives for the discounted price of $3,000. And let’s pretend that since the org is “ideal,” they actually deliver what they sell. In order to reach their goal of $400,000 for the month, they would need to sell around 133 intensives.
$400,000 / $3,000 per intensive = 133.34 intensives.
133 intensives x 12.5 hours = 1662.5 well done auditing hours per month.
There isn’t a Class 5 org in the galaxy that’s ever come close to these numbers. Not when LRH was “running the show.” Not when DM took over. Not when applying policy or not applying policy. Not on Marcab. Not on Arcturus. Never. Nowhere.
I admit these numbers are ridiculous. Then again, if an organization was going to call itself “ideal,” I expect it would pay its staff and maintain the premises.
Ed note: While this is generally a true statement, it is not absolutely true. The FSO delivers more than 1,000 hours per week. DC org in early 70’s was doing 1000 WDAH a week or more. I remember DC back in the day used to compete with Munich and Miami as the top orgs on the planet. Funny, the ED of DC from that time is a close friend today, as is the ED from Miami. The ED of Munich, Jens Bogvad passed away. Of course, none of those orgs are anywhere close to that level today – the success of those orgs was the personality, charisma and drive of their leaders. Less than 10 orgs in history, including the FSO, that have done that many hours in a month. And given there are the same 150 orgs today as there were 20 years ago, and that there has been 50 years to get the kinks worked out, it is pretty obvious it is NEVER going to happen.
What’s the Solution?
The only chance Scientology has of surviving is to go the independent route: individuals or small groups delivering services without interference from a bloated and intransigent mother church squandering everything it touches.
Much like teachers and practitioners of psychotherapy, self-help, and other religious practices, independent Scientologists must be allowed to hang out their own shingles and deliver their own brand of tech without worrying about fair-gaming, copyright infringements, and monthly dues. Independents should freely use LRH’s tech however they see fit and charge whatever they want for their services. If their brand of Scientology improves lives, great. If it doesn’t, people will go elsewhere.
Many have already gone this route. Good luck to them all.
You Really Want to Save the Planet?
If the Church of Scientology practiced what they preached, they would recognize their decades of insolvency and change their operating basis. If they were really smart, they would remove all the copyrights from their sacred texts and distribute LRH technology to whoever wanted it, free of charge.
There’s no need for a “mother church,” other than to dispense books, lectures, and course packs.
Advanced orgs are obsolete, even to deliver the OT levels (whose confidential materials have been read by Internet users for years now with no deleterious effects). And since these higher orgs have never made a true OT anyway, why not give independents a chance?
Still not Declared,
Re: You Really Want to Save the Planet?
If scientology really wanted to save the planet, they could start at PAC Base, in Los Angeles, by turning the Pacific Grill & Barbecue on L. Ron Hubbard Way into a soup kitchen and feed the homeless. Such a kitchen cooks twice a day, five days a week, a block away at Hope International at the corner of Fountain Ave, and Edgemont. Hope Int., however, can’t keep up with the demand.
Maybe scientology could do a real survey in their neighborhood to find out, really find out what is needed and wanted.
Ho, Ho, Ho, “Scrooge McDuckavige”!
Fred G. Haseney, an “extremely bitter ex-scientologist,” (1977 to 2014).
Terra is absolutely correct. Even at the time when Hawkins was bringing billions in with his adds, the individual organizations where crushing. The inflated board and being robbed by Miscavige is killing the orgs.
The fact that Scientology does not work, is not really a factor at the lower levels. Dianetics works to a degree, the grades work to a degree. With a proper price structure and with advertising people could be driven in by the groves. That is not enough to survive.
They need to shrink the form of the org. An ED and secretary is all the admin it needs. A coordinator for each ten auditors. One course supervisor. That’s all. They should forget about ethics. They should do away with all the stupid fascist policy.
At the international levels they should have a manager, an CFO, and a marketing unit. They should have a research unit that could in time make the lowers level actually work. Altogether no more than twenty people.
For every 20 or so auditors there should be a Case Supervisor who follows the new ones daily, and the old ones weekly. He reports to R&D on needed improvements.
The Sea Org has to be disbanded. People working for Scientology have to stop being volunteers/slaves and start being professionals.
KSW, PTS, conditions etc. should be abandoned. The OT levels should be abandoned.
Scientology could be successful, but they need a drastic change. The chances of this happening are zilch. However, it could happen with independent groups. If they only listen.
Mike Wynski says
“Assuming for a moment that Scientology tech worked as advertised, is solvency possible? Even if the aforementioned reasons for the church’s failure were eliminated, could orgs actually flourish and prosper? The answer is no.”
I think that you are incorrect in that one thing. Even if orgs ONLY delivered up to Grade 1 (ACTUALLY having each PC obtain the stated EP of Grade1), you would NOT be able to keep people away with guns and could EASILY charge $30k for just that Grade. Unfortunately, that EP has NEVER been obtained. Despite what any scamologist lies about.
However, you are totally correct I feel, in your overall reasoning and logic for everything else you covered.
RAVE SUCCESS STORY – BPI
I have just completed the Purification Rundown! I am now free of all residual toxins and harmful effects from Scientology imposed mind control and manipulation.
I would like to thank the many bloggers, critical thinkers and authors who helped me get all the kool-aid out of my system – and most of all, to myself, who stuck with me through it all and made these glorious wins possible. I couldn’t have done it without you!
In closing, I would definitely want others to achieve the knowledge I now have, even Dave!
Hip, hip, hallelujah!
John Doe says
Scientology is a self-destroyed brand.
KSW #1, the policy that is hammered into the minds of all scientologists, prohibits innovation, updating, and further research. Therein lies the seed of scientology’s destruction. Every day is another day the subject grows more stale.
A growing body of empirical evidence shows the orgs are getting more and more empty. No new customers.
Miscavige is continuing to dance the same dance steps of all the despotic tyrants in history before him. Odds are overwhelmingly against him personally having any kind of good ending.
Yes, it will continue for a while on the momentum 4 billion hoarded dollars can provide, until the lawsuits start draining that away.
Mark Granger says
Scientology must either change or die and it can’t change.
If the COS had been looking at their real stats (not the inflated made up ones seen at events) and applying the correct conditions, this crap may have never happened. Plus real PTS technology…..
“The sun never sets on Scientology.” L. Ron Hubbard
“Scientology has been eclipsed.” The Wit and Wisdom of Saul Meshugeneh
Scientology or an evolved progeny of it will have to demonstrate practical usefulness. It will need to be able to treat PTSD or low self-esteem effectively in order to survive. Can it help with depression? Scientologist movie star and liar, Tom Cruise, says it cured his dyslexia! It must be able to do something more than yield a momentary, euphoric optimism about the future. It must be able to do something more useful than give a vague sense of satisfaction that you’ve gotten rid of a lot of ‘mental mass’, you know, that stuff that clogs your mind, is self-generating and comes in infinite supply?
I Yawnalot says
Similar scenario could be aligned for organisations like the Mafia or Triads. Without corruption, criminality and stand-over life threatening tactics they’ll be in the same playing field and rules as the rest of us and fall in a heap. But with their money gotten by illegal means they often go legit in certain ways and now blend in. How in the fuck would that ever be controllable when the very legal enforcement that is meant to stop such things is in on the game or shackled by “sold to the highest bidder” lawyers having a superior understanding of the policing systems. Corruption is of an unknown quantity and quality but is rife everywhere, from banking to farmers being paid not to produce food in a world that has starving millions. A focus on Scientology is one of the easiest to see if you’re been in it for awhile and have got more than two brain cells to rub together. It is so far removed from sanity I feel the whole thing should be erased, but how do you do that? Public outcry and media “flavor of the month hysteria” seems to be the only way. Push the public outrage button and force senators etc to act seems to be the only course of action to take. The legal system is asleep to such things unless woken up by some sort of revolution.
They just busted the Russian Govt for state sanctioned doping of their athletes in major games and the Olympics, it’s been going on for decades. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-10/russian-doping-aoc-australian-athletes-condemn-cheating/8109300 How do you fix that?
I do however, have faith in individuals making a difference and before they either go corrupt, get too old or are simply made inert by either internal or external overwhelming influences, good things can occur. Mike and Leah are doing a fantastic job in getting something done out there to handle Scientology. But the arrogance of Miscavige is unreal, he’s not human. He’s immune to embarrassment, it juts pisses him off, the guy is insane.
Scientology is truly a corrupt social disease in its organised form. Curing it is indeed difficult.
Bernie Wimbush says
It is possible to run a Scientology practice viably. To make the tech work one needs to understand it and not get stuck in some of the “policies” which are not part of the workable tech and come from other religions by way of verbal tech or verbal policy such as karma and punishment. And avoid the CoS or it will use ‘fair game’ on one.
For instance the tech admin ratio originally meant one income earner to one non income earning admin person.
I am of the opinion that Hubbard became PTS because he didn’t spot suppressives. He tried to use force (or punishment) to handle isness which is explained in the axioms as unworkable. Look at KSW, and see the use of the language of suppression. The concept of standard tech contains so much force that it is unworkable.
Freedom is about power of choice.
It is possible to get results that are worth the fee. In my time out of the church I have made many millionaires who have each realized that it is easier to make money than spend it.
The only chance the CoS has is to realize that there is a trap held in place by emotional charge which prevents itself being handled. It is a matter of auditing out that charge and studying the materials for understanding, not roboticism. And we know how much study time is avoided in orgs.
It is going to take a long time, which can be speeded up by handling the abuses that pass for Scientology.
Harpoona Frittata says
“It is possible to run a Scientology practice viably.”
Do you mean “theoretically possible” or proven in practice to be possible?
Over the years since Elron’s demise and lil davey the diabolical’s rise to absolute power, the indie movement hasn’t exactly flourished, so there’s scant evidence to support that assertion that I can see.
If the corporate cherch’s monopoly on $cn, and it’s efforts to squash “squirrels, were brought to an end, then in that “level playing field” environment your assertion could be put to the test. However, I agree with John Capitalist’s remarks on why, even under those liberalized conditions, it would be unlikely to thrive.
As for Indies flourishing, I know Trey Lotz in LA is flourishing and delivering auditing 6 or 7 days a week. And Randy Smith is flourishing. I heard that the guys in Israel, Tammy and her husband at the Dror Center seem to be flourishing. There may be many more who are whom I don’ t know about. So there is delivery going on in the field and some are prospering and flourishing.
Mike Wynski says
Verified stats Cindy or it is bullshit.
Mike Wynski says
Sorry Bernie, your hypothesis has never panned out. People can run groups outside church control now. No ONE has run an org that is viable. “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”
John Doe says
“In my time out of the church I have made many millionaires who have each realized that it is easier to make money than spend it.”
Granted, I have no context for this statement you made, but at face value, it is absurd.
If it were true, everybody would be multimillionaires, anxiously attending seminars such as “Learn to spend freely: how to keep from drowning in all the money in your bank account.”
Time to pack your bags. You’re done.
In my view Scientology will always be an entry level beginners intro to the mind and the soul.
But for Scientology to be a benevolent entry level to the Spirit therapy, it has to be purged of the doctrines which are born of Ron’s egotistical and distorted mental state.
Scientology will never take a soul for the ignorant state to total freedom. That is because Scientology was created by a man who was not free, not liberated.
Liberated and free soul, men and women of wisdom, never consider suicide an option as a technique to free oneself from suffering.
The best that Scientology can ever become is a wake up call. Then when the limits of Scientology are attained (a beginners understanding of the soul and Spirit) the student moves on to more advanced levels of the solo self evolving process.
And that will always be meditation. In meditation the mind becomes the impediment. Scientology only deals with the mind. It also adds delusions to the process,
The Spirit, The Static, Nirvana or God, Total Freedom……can only be known and attained by going within and awakening our intuitional powers of direct perceptions of truth.
And that is the ultimate solo session. Only you and the great cosmos. Where the ice cube of ignorance is melted in the boiling waters of Spirit.
Harpoona Frittata says
$cilons are an endangered species that is disappearing from the earth at about the same rate that it’s own celebrity members are now disappearing from public view and barricading themselves against Hurricane Leah.
The reason for their dramatic decline in numbers was only recently discovered by the same research
scientist, Dr. Stanley Prusiner,, who discovered prions, the infectious disease agent that causes Mad Cow disease https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_B._Prusiner Prusiner and his team of acclaimed researchers discovered that this new and devastating Mad Scientologist Disease (MSD) has been decimating the ranks of $cilons for some time now, but in recent years it has reached such epidemic proportions that the entire species is in imminent danger of extinction.
There is no known cure, and continued affiliation with $cn has resulted uniformly in dementia, followed by death, in every single case thus far investigated. Only disaffiliation from the group, coupled with a drastic regimen of de-toxification, can save those afflicted by this devastating disease.
CDC spokesperson, Anthony Fauci, warned that preventing folks from becoming Scilons in the first place is, at present, the best path forward until a vaccination against it can be developed.Meanwhile, $cilons continue to suffer ever-increasing losses and it is predicted that, at this rate of decline, $cilons could go completely extinct within a decade or less.
The party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
They’ve burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away
It’s time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up the piper must be paid
The party’s over
The candles flicker and dim
You danced and dreamed through the night
It seemed to be right just being with him
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party’s over
It’s all over, my friend
The party’s over
It’s time to call it a day
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party’s over
It’s all over, my friend
It’s all over, my friend
This is spot on. As former Class V staff I watched staff struggle week to week on low pay. Most either moonlighted or had a family member who helped support them. The promise of the Universe Corps coming when the org reached Saint Hill Size was the carrot that was dangled many times to them. If not for the public (and staff) who kept donating their money, there would have been no org. In my org, whenever a new program came out (IGNB339 for example) staff were pulled off post for months to complete the program -which never happened. Many of the staff who routed out were never to be seen again, myself included. I drank the koolaide for a long time. In my opinion, when the fundraising ramped up in the early 2000’s and when GAT came out that’s when I saw a shift in everything.
I meant to say IGN29 and 339R. Oops I must have an MU.
Harpoona Frittata says
Aww, the Universe Corps! What a grand idea which was dangled on a stick like a carrot in front of the hard-working, underpaid and stuck-on-the-bridge org staff until it became such an unfulfilled promise that it’s no longer mentioned in polite $cilon company.
And speaking of golden, multi-orgasmic carrots, what about all those poor aging $cilons who’ve topped out on the bridge at OaTy 8 and have already put money on account to pay for the OaTy 9 & 10, where they’re FINALLY supposed to get the real OaTy suppa powerz they’ve been waiting for!? They sure can’t be all that happy, waiting on the Front Porch of Eternity for what now must seem like an eternity to them!
The cult has always been long on promises and short on delivery, so, umm, can we please just quit mentioning the Universe Corps and OaTy 9 & 10? It’s just getting to be cruelty to animals to remind still-in $cilons about all that…wouldn’t want anyone to come to the wrong conclusions there and decide to route off staff or quit donating money to the cult for paper IAS statuses, would we?
I agree. During my time on staff, I saw numerous staff members who moonlighted because staff pay wasn’t enough to live on. And,yes, the Universe Corps and Saint Hill Size carrots were dangled in front of us, too.
I am of a firm belief that a reformation is in order. How that will come about, I have no idea.
Chuck Beatty nails it. If $cientology were just a business, it would be in Chapter 11 (or is it 7?) and the assets would be auctioned off to pay the bills. So how does a mOrg stay open? The staff don’t need pay, they are in actuality ‘volunteers’ and don’t need a paycheck. Most, if not all, have outside jobs to pay the rent or eat.
The $cieno brand is poisoned skittle and no one wants to go near that bowl. So how do the mOrgs stay open? They have to pay for rubbish removal, electricity and water and sewage bills. Are the local whales paying those bills? Or is the offshore slush fund being tapped? Either way, the whales are being bled dry and the slush fund is drying out.
The implosion is going to happen in 1..2…3….4………….
I reckon that if scn were serious about anything other than making money then quite simply they would not charge what they do for services and materials. Per the recent ‘Holiday cagalog’ a meter costs $5000, a ‘listening system’ costs $400, can anyone even remember paying that much for a CD player, ever?
These are just a couple of examples, I’m sure all of us can think of others.
What never ceases to amaze me is that the class V orgs stay open at all, most of them are deep in the red yet somehow they manage to limp along for years.
Ms. B. Haven says
mimsey bosogrove sez:
“The missions made plenty of money in their hay days – why was that? ”
I would disagree with this in general. I believe that it was true that there were several mission holders who made some good money back before the ‘coup of 82’ that gutted the mission network, but that was the extent of the prosperity. When I was on mission staff at a successful mission, just about everyone was also moonlighting just to make ends meet. No one made a living wage and no one had any sort of benefits like health care, pension, etc. The only one who wasn’t moonlighting was the mission holder and he was getting by because he had three missions. The only people I have known who did well financially were field auditors. But, the bottom line is, you’re only going to make so much per hour for your efforts and depending on how efficient you are and if you can deliver what you promise. Therein lies the problem. Scientology is a scam. There is no 100% workable ‘technology’. I think the only reason that a field auditor gets by is on the power of their own beliefs and somehow transferring some of that belief and confidence to their clients. The placebo effect is very powerful and usually not sustainable.
Mike Wynski says
Correct Ms. B. I knew several staff in Northern CA missions (pre-’83) where the Mission Holder made tons of cash but the staff either had to moonlight or have a spouse that supported them. None of the staff (except for the Mission Holder’s spouse) made at or above minimum wage.
“Occasionally you’ll find a scene wherein a person’s or area’s PR is
greater to him than his production – PR, personal PR, means more than
production. And that is a characteristic of a suppressive. He’ll fog
the situation up with big PR about how good it is so it can’t be
handled.” (Ref: HCO PL 15 Mar 77R “DATA SERIES 41R”)
Admin Know-How Series 15
USES OF ORGS
There are two uses (violently opposed to each other) to which Scientology orgs can be put.
I – To forward the advance of self and all dynamics toward total survival.
2. To use the great power and control of an org over others to defend oneself.
When a decent being goes to work in an org he uses 1.
When a suppressive goes to work in an org he uses 2.
When you get in ethics, the decent one raises his necessity level and measures up. The
suppressive type blows (leaves).
It is of vital interest to all of us that we have orgs that serve to increase survival on all
dynamics. And that we prevent orgs being used as means to oppress others.
The answer, oddly enough, is to GET IN ETHICS exactly on-policy and correctly. And we
No one will make it alone, given the dynamics of the situation. So training, cramming, internships and experience are vital to any future. But imho, this is not the time and place for this……there is a lot of healing to be done.
(Just change ‘Johnny’ to ‘Ronnie’)…..eeire…….
Harpoona Frittata says
I’m always amazed at how accurately Elron actually specified the objective signs that an SP was in charge of a $cn division or org and how completely $cilons aren’t using his policy to evaluate the current situation in the cherch. And this HCO PL is right on the money in exactly that respect!
Lil davey the Super SP I/C has been using his power and absolute control over $cn’s considerable resources to protect himself for decades. Elron’s solution there is to “GET ETHICS IN exactly on-policy and correctly.” However, just as Ethics policies and procedures were never designed to get Elron’s own ethics in as head of the cherch, they’re also not suitable for getting lil davey’s in either!
There is no oversight or reform mechanism that’s built into the system which is designed to deal with situation in which an SP has taken over all control of the cherch and now rules it as an absolute dictator. And just as it is with countries under dictatorial rule, the only means of change are through a coup which topples the dictator from power, or through outside intervention.
And I am always amazed at the astounding glibness of so called “graduates of Study Tech”. And the mest embued ‘hidden standards’ of people who have claimed and attested to ‘case gain’ And the lack of understanding of different levels of scn orocessing and ‘theta’. For example, “function monitors structure”. A variation of postulates being senior to mest. Completely not understood. The PURPOSE of the Sea Org is to GET IN ETHICS, ultimately on this universe. Lol,,,universe puts Ethics in on you, if you fail…
Ah well, I would offer in response to your last sentence that binary logic, while useful, is limited only by the powers of the observer and their capacity to dream alternate solutions.
Tom: “Ah well, I would offer in response to your last sentence that binary logic, while useful, is limited only by the powers of the observer and their capacity to dream alternate solutions.”
Or as LRH put it: “The more thetan you have present, the less policy you need and the better things run. Only a thetan can handle a post or a pc…sheer policy is poor stuff
as it seeks to make a datum stand where a being should be.” (HCO PL 23 Oct 63)
Good comments, Tom and Harpoona Frittata.
Mike Wynski says
“Occasionally you’ll find a scene wherein a person’s or area’s PR is greater to him than his production – PR, personal PR, means more than production. And that is a characteristic of a suppressive.”
Exactly Tom, this is what Hubbard did with his claims of booming orgs. He did it to mask his lies about workable tech and Admin.
John P. Capitalist says
Terra Cognita writes: “The only chance Scientology has of surviving is to go the independent route: individuals or small groups delivering services without interference from a bloated and intransigent mother church squandering everything it touches.”
If that’s the only chance Scientology has, then Scientology is absolutely doomed. When I first started following Scientology and speaking out against the cult in 2011, it appeared that some form of “independent Scientology” could be viable. I suggested in several comments on Marty Rathbun’s blog that a decentralized form of organization modeled on the open source software community process (the Linux operating system and many other important software components) could be used to create an organization that would collaborate to bring Scientology “tech” to the world and such an organizational form would be unable to embody any of the evil that the structure founded by Hubbard and run by Miscavige now does. As I recall, others had made similar suggestions, and were received by … crickets.
Attempts to create umbrella groups such as iScientology and Milestone Two collapsed almost as soon as they were created, despite the individual credibility of their founders. The “Freezone” and “Ron’s Org” groups have been dwindling in that time… I’d bet that the most recent Freezone convention attracted fewer than half the already small number of people that attended five years previously. The South African “Back In Comm” site went dark almost a year and a half ago — I would have thought that an independent South African Scientology community, always isolated from the “mother church,” would have been viable precisely because of the distance from the oppressive atmosphere and continuous demands from Headquarters.
And I would bet that the best example to date of an independent Scientology organization, Dror Center in Israel, is not exactly lighting the world on fire since breaking away in mid-2012. I don’t have any reliable stats, but I’d be surprised if they are pulling in significantly greater numbers than they did when they first “declared independence.” Sure, they may have a few new faces, but I would also expect that they’ve lost longtime customers so their net change in membership is close to zero, and they’re still drawing two or three dozen regular customers at most. That’s enough for the Lembergers to live on but not enough to expand significantly.
I continue to believe that Scientology is doomed because the tech broadly doesn’t work well enough to stay in business. Yes, there is some number of people who got life-changing wins from various Scientology processes, but I continue to believe it’s no better than the effectiveness of any other oddball self-help technique. Think: primal scream therapy or walking on fire at a Tony Robbins seminar, among many others.
Even at “more reasonable” prices where hourly auditing rates are consistent with seeing a competent licensed therapist, I don’t think the “bang for the buck” for the actual results that get produced will be economically viable. I see my therapist once a week for $150 per hour, about 3x per month. That’s about $6,000 per year, and I get good results from that, making significant progress on a specific set of issues. Given the number of intensives that people typically undergo, even at “reasonable” rates, people will blow through a lot more hours of Scientology than I do of therapy, and for a lot less benefit. People are more sophisticated today and new potential customers will look at Hubbard’s 60-year-old made-up stuff and think, “WTF?” In other words, the marketplace for self-help is a lot more competitive.
So if the product isn’t that effective even at reasonable rates, the only thing that will keep people coming back to buy it is a highly coercive organization that keeps them trapped using both attraction (“your eternity is at stake”) as well as punishment (sec checks, OSA, disconnection and an enormous array of other intimidation techniques). The failure of independent Scientology auditors to build sustainable businesses in the last five years proves this — if the “tech” works, they should all have waiting lists of former Scientologists pounding on the door to get auditing appointments. But without coercion to keep you practicing “the tech” people will always inevitably wake up to the fact that it doesn’t work well enough to justify paying for it even at a more “reasonable” cost.
And even if courses were free, spending 20 hours a week “on course” won’t deliver enough benefits to justify the opportunity cost of a large percentage of one’s free time.
Lois Reisdorf (Lowie) says
Hi John P, I think you nailed it on the head. Thanks.
I don’t, as much as I value his well educated input, he has never experienced a well delivered auditing session. There is something to that.
Mike Wynski says
Lany. He is just stating empirical fact. “experienced a well delivered auditing session” doesn’t change those facts. That you think it does is … interesting.
Idle Morgue says
The Orgs are dead!
With Hurricane Leah’s latest blow, more and more trapped in Scientology are “Going Clear”.
I heard from someone still “IN” but UTR – that more people are leaving including the dwindling staff members.
John P. Capitalist, have you done OT II? The reason I ask is because that is one example of auditing that I have noticed many posters on various blogs say how dramatically it changed their lives for the better – some of whom did it in the CoS, others with independents. I also wonder if other practices such as yours ever have that type of huge gain in beingness and ability.
John P. Capitalist says
The problem with saying “many posters on various blogs say how dramatically [OT II] changed their lives for the better” is that it’s anecdotal evidence. In other words, while their stories may be true, all of them together do not constitute statistically valid evidence that Scientology works. While some people have life-changing wins in Scientology, some people have life-changing wins while driving down the road and they just have some realization. You need statistical evidence measured according to a specific set of rules to measure how successful anything is. If you were going to do that with OT II, you would need a random sample of all people who did OT, including those who got absolutely nothing of value.
My bet is that, across the population of all people who did any Scientology “tech,” you would find that only a very small number of people got any measurable benefit from it. And I will bet that the percentage would be approximately the percentage of people who had some random epiphany about an issue in their lives while shopping in the frozen foods aisle at the supermarket or anywhere else.
Who delivers the OT 2 level is irrelevant to the overall effectiveness of the OT II tech. I bet those people who did OT 2 from “independent Scientologists” were already longtime Scientologists who were close to being at the point where they could do OT 2 when they left the “official” church.
On the other hand, I believe that the chances that someone would read Dianetics, get themselves to any sort of “independent Scientology” group and stick with it long enough to go from rookie to Clear much less from rookie to OT is approximately nil. There just aren’t enough results for all the time invested in Scientology (even if the cost is lower at an “independent” group) to make it appealing to people. The only thing that will get people to stick around to receive something of relatively low value for all that time invested (regardless of the dollars they spend) is the coercive organization of official Scientology.
John P: “You need statistical evidence measured according to a specific set of rules to measure how successful anything is. If you were going to do that with OT II, you would need a random sample of all people who did OT, including those who got absolutely nothing of value.”
I would have to agree with that, of course. And I hope you realize that the same thing applies to the negative experiences you apparently have had or have observed.
Also, your speculations and projections are more extreme than most of the others I’ve heard. But there again, actual statistics are what we do not have.
John P, Maridli. When the tech is correctly applied with an auditor who really apply auditor’s code, it is life changing. More than 20 years ago I had few repair sessions in Flag which changed my life for the better (I was younger, started a very successful new activty, had a huge space).
Good auditing means auditor with real TR0, no comm cycle additive (even sort of little opinion, unmocking slightly the PC) to have such a result you need a perfect qual, and ethics.
The church is run by an SP, so everything is perverted, and the field don’t have group with real qual and ethics. So the PC is not carried by a third dynamic. He is not safe, he depends on the auditor understanding of things, his frame of mlnd. Also one need a standard course per “what is a course” only then understanding of the tech can occur.
I am not a kool aid, even if look like one. Applying tech correctly is not robotic. Not to spot outpoints and actual suppressives intention s what as done in scientology and scientologist. Not to throw Miscavige through the window is an exercice in reasonableness equal as waiting for the full destruction of germany before succeding to kill Hitler.
Suppressive management, it is the first item on the list Terra Incognita. Scientology prior to 1980 was incredibly enjoyable and source of freedom. Altered on it’s intention it became a totalitarian empire.
But auditing delivered with slack TRS (because they don’t want to look too robotic) no correction of auditors based on standard tech, and it’s not contradictory with standard tech, a real research to improve. But done by people who already know and can practice standard tech to flubless results. It’s not a valence of flubless son of a bitch, or nazi RTC. It’s deep ethics comittement to the responsabiliy of helping your PC using the tools of standard tech (well understood, not rabotically applied)
And under what some could consider like a harsh disipline to train an auditor, you will have a free PC.
Think of the discipline it take, not to evaluate, to always duplicate and properly ack your PC, being totally smooth and natural. The creation of this auditor beingness. And to run the process to FN Cog VGI’s. The EP, this the magic. When the cycle end up so many time with FN Cog VGI’s. Life is not geared to losses, but to wins. And suddenly life changes for the better.
And this occurs with unconditionnal tech in. but to put tech in, ethics has to be put in, and as long as “COB” will run the church it will not happen. It will be an horrible scam, racketting money.
And on the field, building a workable and totally winning organization is difficult.
And John P, it’s true it is terribly difficult in the church and in the field to disseminate a new customer. While I have been giving coffe shop sesssions to non scientologists who would speak on their troubles. They were very happy. But I couldn’ have told them that it was scientology, I was to affraid to have a bad reaction.
The reason is that there is an ARC broken field of huge magnitude. Porbably 95% of people who were scientologists are ARC broken, including most of those still in the church. They all need to get the charge off on injustices, wrong indications (out list is the worst BPC). If one day the church get liberated of Miscavige, that will be the first action to do. Individual rehabilitation of each scientologists. And then after a while of cleaning the charge, the tide will change.
FG, on the above two posts and on the other one you posted on this thread, very well said.
Your explanations of finance are always illuminating. Thanks JP.
I Yawnalot says
Wow! A businessman’s view of the spiritual business model. Can’t disagree with any of that really, organised Scientology is a corrupt mess and you are right in as far as no valid evidence has even been produced in the mainstream of any valid evidence Scientology actually works. Many other therapies produce similar wins apparently. If I had any evidence of my wins in the subject I sure wouldn’t bare my ass for public inspection of it, that’s for sure.
Technically there is one thing in Scientology I think that shows promise but it is also it’s demise in technically proficiency as not many can handle it easily – the 1st 3 things on most correction lists. Out-int, out-list & out ruds and in that order of importance. In Scientology they use to be very important tools, perhaps they are not needed elsewhere but I can’t deny seeing the effect of them left go unhandled. Too easy to adopt the route it all doesn’t work anyway but I’ve sure seen a couple of practitioners in other religious practices that could sure use a different approach to handling the headaches and body aches they develop. Booze and Catholics seem to be close friends in my family connections. I’ve actually got a Catholic Priest on my wife’s side of the family, great guy but I sure can’t take him on in the drinking dept. Geezers, he can put them away and seem perfectly sober.
Ain’t life a mixed bag?
“…the 1st 3 things on most correction lists. Out-int, out-list & out ruds and in that order of importance. In Scientology they use to be very important tools, perhaps they are not needed elsewhere but I can’t deny seeing the effect of them left go unhandled. Too easy to adopt the route it all doesn’t work anyway but I’ve sure seen a couple of practitioners in other religious practices that could sure use a different approach to handling the headaches and body aches they develop.”
So true! Those 3 things are good examples, among others, of what I believe is unique in Scientology and make it worth salvaging – like an endangered species.
Old Surfer Dude says
That’s one of the things I cherished when I was on staff: free time. When I left, I had all the time in the world….still do.
Mike Wynski says
Correct analysis John P. It is correct because it is proven in the real world.
Groups like Scientology are fueled by hope and belief in something.
For Scientology, the hope is soul improvement, through the reading of Hubbard’s “tech” ideas, and through the crank pseudo-therapy/exorcism.
Newcomers provide the hope, Scientology sells them tidbits of info they may not already know, and past-lives crank therapy and “body-thetan” exorcism done on the secret “upper levels” (OT 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7) is a long drawn out runway and at the end they never do sou-fly off into the sky out of their skulls with their new ESP soul abilities to change our civilization.
It’s a long drawn out soul-powers peddling operation.
People provide the hope that they will get the goodies, all through history, so this is sadly human history going on, and Scientology’s a tag-along operation fueled by people’s hope that they are actually achieving the dream of soul improvement, soul-flying, etc, etc.
Hope in the supernatural seems a component to this operation difficult to stamp out or help reframe young people’s thinking to avoid this massive pitfall of a group.
Well, Chuck, that works only up to a point. Then when the newcomers start getting regged out the wazoo, that’s when they bail.
Hmm, well given the current state of affairs you are right that no local org is going to get 400 members donating $1000/month.
However in a scilons “Ideal Mind” it is quite conceivable to do so.
If the Co$ hadn’t destroyed itself and ruined its reputation so thoroughly and it could deliver decent auditing results then one could imagine a successful org with many thousands of members.
The problem is their operating basis is completely fubar. They are bound and determined to upset their members with ceaseless demands for money, draconian ethics application and stupid statistic pushing.
Mgmt by Statistics and Ethics was the deathblow to any chance they had of succeeding. Add KSW #1 and you have a complete formula for disaster. Death by Cult.
Could have been different, but it isn’t and it sure isn’t going to change so long as it continues to follow the policy of LRH & DM.
Goodbye Co$. The sooner its members wake up the better off the world will be.
mimsey borogrove says
If your insolvency model was accurate – how did Scientology amass $ 1-3 billion? My understanding was not that they were insolvent, but a vast amount of money was vacuumed up lines, leaving the orgs penniless. Another problem was refunds – they were paid out of the orgs income, not money that had gone up lines ( unless a nasty suit or pr hill ten required a payout. Those were the big reasons orgs were broke – they were designed to send $ up lines. The other point – the tech admin ratio was off the rails it very true. Orgs were admin heavy, what with all of the duplicative networks trying to manage Scientology.
The missions made plenty of money in their hay days – why was that? How did the differ from the orgs? They are your model of success if one were to want a successful Org.
Currently yes, there are groups and individuals all over the world delivering services based on LRH’s write ups.
The services delivered by individuals will end the moment that person dies, or decides to do something else. This poses a limit in its continuance and, eventually the no delivery at all.
The groups, such as Dror, Frankfurt, and a few others will continua until the people leading those groups also die, gets to old to continue or whatever. What will happen to the group? It will survive for a while, but more likely will decrease in size and delivery after 5-8 years of the disappearance of the ones leading it.
Scientology is NOT the only thing in the world – there are many, many books and activities that can help individuals; so, make the books and LRH write ups available to whoever may want them, but above all, let people choose what they want and allow them to lead their own lives.
The last will be a well intended philosophy/religion; anything else will be (and is-has been) a business.
My son and daughter are on solo not’s. They are on their 30. In the church they would not have had a chance to do OTlevels (money, eligibility, non recognition of their beingness not kool aid…) My son is trained as an auditor to grade 1.. They are highly interested in tech while doing buziness and artistic activities. They actually really duplicate totally freely scientology. They can one day deliver auditing. Scientology will not die but may decrease. But the results are amazing. Out of contact with the church I can see my kids experiencing great wins and actual OT phenomena as it didn’t occur inthe church recently. Of course there are other practice in the world, and thay can probably give also amazing wins. The time were scientology was alone in the market is long gone. The world has moved.
What I find noteworthy is how people will praise how wonderful scientology is instead of praising life for how wonderful life is. I believe this attitude has its roots in the general notion of Hubbard’s that life was the adversary and scientology was the tool to beat it into shape. Life had to be overcome.
In truth, fear of life and living is the problem. When that fear begins to diminish one discovers who they are and how wonderful it is to be alive. It feels good just to exist! It’s unfortunate if it requires being indoctrinated into a religion with its complicated methodologies just to feel good about life but I suppose it’s better than nothing.
Wognited and Out! says
Scientology Takes ALL
You Give ALL
Equals David Miscavige lives a lavish lifestyle using parishoner’s money to Keep Scientology Scamming
End of Session!
Old Surfer Dude says
Thanks, WAO! I feel better already! You’re good! Can I pay you in wine?
Dammit, OSD! You know that little Davey will only accept payment in high grade scotch!
I Yawnalot says
I don’t think that type of session ever ends with Scientology, it’s an unlimited, ongoing process but you sure know your tech tho.
The unworkability of the org structure/admin tech (the illustrious 3rd leg of the Bridge to Total Freedom) is the blatant, in-your-face failure of Scientology.
The degree of this failure is enormous when you think of the free labor and the constant drumbeat of sell, sell, sell that goes on.
Just compare the typical org with virtually any other organization. The gulf between something that WORKS and the failure of any Scientology org structure is obvious. Ridiculously and embarassingly so.