There was a time when they were very good at it. The HCO/OSA machine were able to corral people and quickly cut off contact from any dissenting elements. However the advent of the Internet with its broad & instant communication has made this control less and less effective.
This, combined with the internal disestablishment of HCO & OSA, has to a large extent neutered their ability to tightly control dissent. OSA is a shadow of what it used to be. What happened last year with the 18 declares would not have happened 10 or more years ago. Back then the church would have been far more effective at reigning in the wandering sheep while only having to declare a small handful of people as “heads on pikes”.
For the most part any remaining control is reputation only. The church has a reputation of being really good at investigating and routing out disaffection. It is simply no longer true. On the external front this was stated quite boldly in this article at PageSix: No one is scared of Tom Cruise or Scientology anymore.
We are aware that there are a large number of people who read this blog who are under the radar who don’t want to rock the boat due to family or business reasons but who are, for all intents and purposes, “out”. Be aware that your concerns are largely based on the big bad reputation of the church. It is a reputation that is now less and less deserved. This is not to say that they are completely unable to be vicious because they certainly can be. However you will find that the boundary you believe exists has been pushed back a lot further.
So when you see something wrong, say something. Open up comm with your close connections that you think don’t want to hear what you have to say. It is very likely that you will find more people willing to engage in a conversation on the matter. Of course go lightly at first to test the water but you will probably be surprised. Remember that they believe they are the only people seeing the problems and it is a massive relief to find others who have made the same observations. Someone who was dedicated to Ideal Orgs a year ago may well now be questioning the extent of the excessive fundraising.
We are nearing the end of the time of internal fear of the corporate Scientology system. It is undermined every time another person speaks out. It is undermined every time a Scientologist points out to another Scientologist that something is wrong. At every turn there is less to fear.
The system will ultimately be undone by the slow erosion of the people and structures that have supported it. Every person that stops going to fundraisers or who doesn’t take a call from a reg erodes it just a little bit more. Already we see the impossibility of enforcing disconnection completely. Yes, families and friends have been disconnected but when you look at the greater network we see so many in good standing Scientologists still connected to those on the “dark side”.
The church is in slow retreat. We can all do something to help it along.