The Mission network, once the front line of scientology dissemination, is a broken down, tiny shadow of its former self.
Back in the bad old days, Missions were large, prosperous and brought in the majority of new people to scientology.
In his infinite wisdom (really his growing paranoia), L. Ron Hubbard decided the Missions were seeking to rip off “his” orgs. They were “stealing” public and making too much money, so the infamous Mission Holder Convention of October 1982 in San Francisco was the beginning of the end. Some think this was all the work of Miscavige. They would be incorrect. In fact, when an audio recording of the SFO Mission Holder convention was sent to Hubbard he was so thrilled that the Sea Org had “put in ethics” on the Mission Network that he ordered a transcript be published and distributed as an ethics gradient for all the other missions.
The Mission Network was subsequently raped and pillaged by the “Finance Police” and it has all been downhill from there. (See article here if you are unfamiliar)
There was a small effort to revive the dying breed by persuading celebrities to open Missions. Anne Archer opened one in Santa Monica. It soon closed. Same with Lisa Marie Presley and Isaac Hayes in Memphis. Jenna Elfman opened one in San Francisco, I think it still exists but it’s a non-entity these days. John Travolta bought a building and opened one in Ocala. It’s an “ideal” Mission — and in keeping with the Ideal Orgs tradition it is completely empty. I went in there once, the Ukrainian receptionist had no idea who I was, and invited me to come back on Tuesday when someone would be there who could explain Dianetics to me (there wasn’t anyone else in the place on a Saturday afternoon).
Now we see this from one of the few missions remaining in the LA Area — the largest concentration of scientologists anywhere on earth.
They are proud of the fact they are open 3 days a week! For 2 hours on 2 days and 3 hours on the third.
This is not what you would call “flourishing and prospering.”
If it is like this in Los Angeles, imagine what the Missions are like in other states countries — where they still exist.
The good news — the feeder line of new people onto the Bridge is kaput.