by ‘Special Correspondent’
(Editor Comment: Many thanks to SC for this highly informative and comprehensive article. We recommend this as a valuable resource for everyone – whether already out of the church, those who are just looking for answers or people who wish to offer support and help to friends and loved ones still stuck in the church).
THE END OF THE LINE FOR THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY AS WE KNOW IT
This may be of interest to those who are outside but still in, and looking, or it may be of interest to those who have left and may want to continue the game of disseminating and delivering Scientology.
To the “we want to close it all down” group, this article is just another sign of how things are.
A lot of this may have been covered before in various forums, but it is a worthwhile summary.
It seems as if we have three great sides to this tragedy.
- Current members or the field on one side
- The Church is in the middle
- Potential new public on the other side
Here we have the non-participating group, and the small group still taking part.
By looking at all the reports on all the blogs and many websites, thousands of videos, the majority of the field is a withdrawn, declared, disaffected, cautious, hesitant, non-participating group. Other than this vast majority, we have a small group of more fanatical, hopeful or not-yet-seeing followers still playing the game.
To quote a source “There are more ex-Sea Org members outside the Sea Org than there are current members in the Sea org.” Listen to Mark Headley on Surviving Scientology Radio, and many other very knowledgeable ex-SO execs. Download the interviews, get them onto a flash-drive and play them in your car while travelling. These interviews add a wide swath of context to what has been and is happening to the Church.
Dissemination to the non-participating group falls on deaf and suspicious ears. They don’t believe management, they don’t trust them. They see the Church moving away from what LRH wanted and are horrified. They see the claims at events and think it is unadulterated BS. Some of these non-participating people still believe LRH and some are concerned but believe the tech is valid, whilst others have moved away completely and are now anti. Some are never-ins but are interested in the entire saga.
The number of actual members in the world, is a debated subject. 40,000 seems to be a fair estimate. This is vastly different from the number of members claimed by officials in the Church. If you are sceptical of this estimate, visit the blogs, read some books and figure out your own estimate. Please do not simply reject the number out-of-hand.
The least you will know after doing this, is that Church’s claims are suspect, to put it mildly.
The Church in the middle
We have a ton of information about various “new off-policy” strategies that create Ideal Orgs that do not bring in new people, “new renditions of the tech”, that do not create auditors and a flood of new people, new ways of showing new public videos without human interaction, caring and actual two-way communication.
We also see tons of evidence of the rise of the IAS and its central role in Church strategies. “The IAS alone can guarantee the future of the tech and the planet and civilization”. LRH did NOT create the IAS. By reports, it has billions in reserves.
By simple logic, if the tech works as claimed, the tech and its application can help the survival of mankind. This would mean tech delivered by auditors and trainers. The reason orgs exist. Not the IAS. The IAS cannot guarantee anything. Delivery of tech to interested people can, per LRH.
Simple logic by experienced and fledgling entrepreneurs and observers alike, tells us that you cannot expand demand for the tech by building buildings. LRH says this of course. He says to balance the size of organization with demand, otherwise you are headed for trouble. The Church does not do this, and therefore loses those who know this strategy to be wrong. Longstanding productive members see this and slowly withdraw. Some may say it’s criminal. Others may say it’s brain-dead. Some euphemistically say it is off policy.
Either way, it’s clueless, brain-dead management in action.
We also see the actual result of these programs, which is to drive more and more people into the field, as disaffected and anti and under the radar, independent or declared.
The Church litigates, it is aggressive, it declares longstanding good guys and producers, it tears families apart, and essentially acts as a continuous source of very, very bad PR all over the world. It fuels bad PR, it creates bad PR and to anyone trying to let others know about the tech, makes life unbearable or at least extremely difficult. These statements can be researched as suggested earlier.
There are Church auditors and course supervisors still delivering results of some kind. Some paying members are still having wins. The Church makes sure we hear about these wins. Some are real, but many are suspect. The Church spins its stories and those outside read the stories and suspect their veracity or truthfulness.
Management has betrayed the trust of those outside or under the radar. Management’s word is not trusted. To use the tech of the Church, they are in treason to their members, to their founder and to all those who put their shoulders to the wheel for so many years. All staff, all ex-Sea Org, all ex-members, all disaffected or current staff or public.
If you read all of LRH writings from a strategy and policy perspective, you will KNOW that the current strategies by the Church are wrong, according to the man who wrote them. These current strategies are actually destructive to the subject. The Church is not the subject. It is an organization entrusted to protect and expand the use of the subject.
The Church claims massive expansion. Anyone can look and see and know that this is not true at all. Expansion under the management of DM is non-existent. To those still looking and wondering, just check the blogs and then your very own org or mission, or events attendance, and if you see what you see, it will be contraction, not expansion. This is true in all continents and for decades. This may be hard to accept, as a recent ‘I am concerned about the Church and am looking’, but your own research will show you that this is the case.
A friend completed OT VII and now has student hat, survival rundown, purification rundown, as added steps before OT VIII. His wife has the Basics (all books and tapes) as well, on her line-up. This is a very simple example of what is wrong.
According to the reports on the blogs and sites, the Church has a leader that is off-OTVII since 1993, is not admin trained, is not a CS (case supervisor that programs auditors and clients) and has never run a mission, org or Advanced Org anywhere or anytime.
Your research will show a court case transcript where DM is pinned down and pointedly asked about his admin training.
The reasons why he is running the show are numerous and a long story, part of any research you should do. What we do know is that he is in charge. He is directly responsible for the above scene. LRH has been gone since 1986, almost 30 years.
The current scene can be laid perfectly at the feet of the leader. If you imagine him being removed and replaced by a benign, smart, tech-savvy, tolerant, 21st century management team of, say 6 of the right people, you can see that things would change. Maybe too late? Another debate.
It is the leader. He has created the incredible mess that we see today.
He has no special powers. He has no special relationship to LRH. He has no stats to point to. Org expansion stopped when he took over. Research this point. Check it carefully.
Potential new public
Anyone the least bit curious about Scientology now has the internet as the primary source of information, about Scientology, and about anything else under the sun, moon and stars. It is a 21st century mega-database full of everything that may interest anyone.
In 2013, over 100 billion emails and over 19 billion text messages were sent daily. Chat messages exceed 40 billion per day. The sheer volume of information available and in use is almost overwhelming.
This includes the internet of blogs, books, articles, websites and the like, but also includes YouTube and its millions of videos.
Books, as a source of information, are not read by the vast majority of the over 6 billion population. [Research this point if you need to].
The LRH datum of “Books make booms” is last century. It was true at one point.
In the 21st century books can help current efforts to disseminate to an individual. But, not to the wider population. Why? Because of the internet and the vast amount of material negative to Scientology and the Church. The majority who hear about the subject may, possibly, read a book, but will definitely also read what is online.
What is online is massively toxic to the subject. Massively.
One Google search for “Scientology” or for “Scientology news” will show you that this is observably true. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of articles, sites, blogs, books and videos exist, describing the subject as insane, toxic, cult-like, controlling, weird, space-opera-like. There are also some positive stories, blogs, books and articles.
Anything positive on the internet is tainted, killed off by the toxic.
Throw a bag of vitamins into a toxic waste dump. What happens?
A friend clicked on an Applied Scholastics icon, and a video of the full story of OT III played out. This is one very small example. Interesting to say the least.
Books are not read in isolation anymore. They are simply part of an information stream.
The Church claims a great result in Haiti, with its Volunteer Ministers. Maybe this is true, maybe not, or maybe just exaggerated. The point is, it is the bag of vitamins into the toxic waste.
The FACT of the Church promoting its success, is what that adds to its bad PR image and reputation.
Underneath the above of course, it creates its own bad PR, through court cases, fundraising, being dishonest in its statements, its events, its media and membership claims, its depiction of the life of LRH, its denial of its own policies of disconnection, by forcing disconnection, by running the Sea Org the way they do, by the leader pouring out bad PR actions all year long, being violent, and controlling people, viewpoints and lives.
But when it promotes itself, the above is what happens. The bad PR expands.
Word of mouth: Individual contact
One-on-one discussions about Scientology can still work, as those who do this can attest to. A great auditor will create word of mouth promotion and will gain clients.
For those wanting to continue with the game, this is the way forward.
Broad public promotion will have toxic contagion.
Niche movement (Small religion)
Scientology will occupy a niche market for its services, delivered by independent auditors and ‘field groups’. Ron’s Org, Independent Practitioners and other Indy groups have been around for years. It is a still niche movement, it is small. Nothing wrong with that.
Scientology in all its many current manifestations will not ‘clear the planet’. That dream is dead.
The more avid followers of the original LRH writings may differ with me here. That is fine, but the above scenario is real. As an independent group, to really claim you are still going to ‘clear the planet’ is to lose members the same way the Church does. You will remain tiny. To claim ‘we have the tech and we are going to clear the planet’ is to lose credibility amongst thinking clients.
A good approach, IMO, is to plan, strategize, work out, ways to get the individual groups going, based on this 21st century reality, in which the dissemination of Scientology now finds itself.
It’s okay to be a niche movement.
To those that want to close it down, that is their right to so. Those that want to keep it going, that is also their right to do so.
An independent and honest movement offering services with realistic claims, is fine. People can accept or reject such offers. No problem.
The Church ahead?
What happens to the Church? This is a big debate. There are probably 100’s of different views about this.
The current Church is still chasing the ‘clear the planet dream’, and trying to do things that are in line with this. Big buildings, so-called massive ad campaigns and so forth. It is trying to behave like a ‘big religion’. It is in fact a niche religion, a small movement or group. It behaves as if it were huge. It is not. This is an interesting study of the make-up of the management of the Church.
In Church terms, a false beingness is a valence. It is trying to be what it is not.
If we simply look at the performance of the Church over the last 20 years or so, we can see it is not expanding. It is losing really strong, experienced, staff and members. It is contracting. In the years to come, if no fundamental (massive) changes happen, this will continue.
Mike Rinder’s site has good information on this subject and a graphic by Jefferson Hawkins.
It seems to have more financial reserves than it has active members, so a prediction would be that as it shrinks, it will still have funds to keep the doors open, even in modified forms, such as closing some orgs, combining or grouping areas or the like.
The official copyright and trademarks may stay with the small remaining core of controllers, over the next while, but the use of the tech will still be available despite this, as it is now.
This subject requires its own book or series of blog articles or documentary.
If you find just one single claim by Church management to be false, you must suspect all its claims, at least until you have checked them for yourself.
Buildings first, IAS always, very, very, very expensive e-meters, very, very expensive student hat courses, OT IX and X not yet out after 30 years, the character and state of mind of the leader of the Church, Golden Ages of Tech, the life of Sea Org members, the culture within the Sea Org and top management, the disappearance of Int Management, the Watchdog Committee, Management Bureau, Heber, Guillame, Senior CS International, one CS for everyone (Basics/Purif/Objectives regardless of past progress), non-case prerequisites for attesting to some OT levels, sec-checks during OT VII against LRH bulletins to this effect, illegal cancellation of past auditor certification prior to so-called Golden Ages, redesigning the FEBC org board, misuse of ideal org policy and massive misuse of finance policy, and many more, all current and past court cases and their outcomes, and many, many more items on the list; all of these are research points for you to pick up and follow.
Examples of Scientology’s disgustingly bad image deepening into the culture
To end this article, I thought this would be interesting. The bad PR of the Church, and by default, the subject, currently deepens as time goes on, and as long as current management continues to persistently push disconnection, idiotic strategies and actions that in turn foster more terrible PR, the situation just deepens.
A perfect example of this would be the current HBO Documentary fiasco. By it’s own actions (taking out full-page smear ads in major media, publishing vitriol and defamatory articles against everyone connected to HBO, Alex Gibney and the “aposates” etc) the Church is creating it’s own toxic PR.
A further sign that this is true is when we see more and more reference to its toxic PR in the culture itself; the arts, literature.
Besides the movies, videos, books and blogs on the subject and the Church itself, fiction literature now has it appearing in the story-line of the books. This has happened in other media but I have included a couple of examples of fiction literature.
James Patterson is one of the most widely read authors of fiction in modern times. His books have sold more than 300 million copies world-wide in many languages.
James Patterson with Emily Raymond wrote “First Love” for a younger audience. Here is a précis of a relevant part:
Axi and Robinson, a girl and a guy around 16 years old, for reasons you discover in the book, are planning a road trip.
’”We’re leaving this dump behind and taking an epic road trip. Oregon to New York City– with stops along the way of course.” Axi announces this to Robinson, and tells him some of the reasons why he has to come along.
“If you don’t come, who’s going to remind me to have a doughnut with my coffee?”
“You know I have a terrible sense of direction. What if I get lost in LA and the Scientologists find me, and suddenly I believe in Xenu and aliens? What if I get drunk in Las Vegas and marry a stranger? Who’s going to poke me in the ribs when I start quoting Shakespeare? Who’s going to protect me from all that? You can’t let a sixteen-year-old girl go across the country by herself. That would be, like, morally irresponsible—“
During the trip, they visit ER in a hospital. While waiting, Axi walks around and finds a chapel.
“It was utterly unlike the rest of the sterile white hospital. The front wall was a deep red. There was a plain wooden altar with LED candles flickering alongside it. There was no statue of Jesus on the cross, though—no Mary or Ganesh or Buddha or L. Ron Hubbard, either, or whoever it was people prayed to around here. There was just that red—the red of valentines, of blood. Faint classical music came from invisible speakers.”
From the book “Not Dead Yet”.
[This includes reference to official Scientology and the Independents!]
The main character in the novel, a detective, Roy Grace of Sussex CID, is married to Sandy Balkwill who disappears, not to be seen for some 10 years or so, in an earlier novel in this series.
Suddenly, and a little mysteriously, she returns as Sandy Lohmann. Roy Grace is now with another woman, and, unbeknownst to him, his first wife Sandy, when she left, was pregnant. His new lady, is also pregnant. Drama was about to unfold! We discover where she has been all this time.
“Sandy Lohmann was a woman who had cleared everything from her head; the husband who constantly let her down because he had to go to a crime scene; the father who let her down because he could never tell the truth about a damned thing in life; the mother who’d never had an opinion of her own.”
“The Scientologists operated the Clear, under their universal banner, THE BRIDGE TO TOTAL FREEDOM. They had helped her to clear the past out of her mind, and look at the world through fresh eyes. And they helped her to look after the baby.”
“It was while living in their headquarters near East Grinstead in Sussex that she had met Hans-Jurgen Waldinger. He had subsequently persuaded her to move with her infant son to Munich, where he introduced her to the organization he had helped to establish, called the International Association of FreeSpirits. The organization offered similar mental regeneration to the Scientologists, but in what she felt was less aggressive—and costly—process”.
From the book “Mad River”.
John Sandford features a main character, Virgil Flowers, in some books and Lucas Davenport, in others, in the Minnesota area within the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Davenport is Virgil’s senior. ‘Mad River’ has Virgil as the lead character. The novels are a great read with rip-roaring intrigue.
Whilst solving a tricky case, Virgil called his folks in Marshall (Lyon County Minnesota) and invited himself to dinner.
“When Virgil arrived for dinner, there were three freshly painted chairs sitting in the mouth of his parents’ two-car garage. His father collected furniture from the congregation, repaired it, painted it, and passed it along to anyone who needed it, except the twenty or so people who populated the local Church of Scientology, which he loathed.”
“If I go to hell, which would be very disappointing, I can tell you, after all my efforts, it’ll be because I really ……despise those people,” he said. He was in the mudroom, scrubbing his hands with ordorless mineral spirits.
“I can’t find it in my heart to forgive them,” he said. “It’s the biggest con job in the history of the United States. It makes what’s-his-name look like a piker.”
“Good old what’s-his-name was a jerk, that’s for sure,” Virgil said.
“You know who I mean. That guy who stole all those billions of dollars. The Ponzi scheme.”
“Yeah. Him. They make him look like a piker,”(*) his old man said.
“That’s interesting”, Virgil said. “I don’t think I’ve heard the word ‘piker’ and ‘Madoff’ in the same sentence before.”
“So now you have”, his father said.
* (Piker: lazy person, shirker)
Impact of this information
The above is just a snippet. There must be many other examples. I came across these and thought they were interesting.
Wendy in her comments on Mike/BIC blogs, once mentioned “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, by Stieg Larsson and its mention of Scientology. “The media have the ability to attract the craziest people to call in perfectly absurd tips. Every newsroom in the world gets updates from UFOlogists, graphologists, scientologists, paranoiacs, and every sort of conspiracy theorist.”
The above deepening morass makes new members a challenge for a large movement, never mind a small one. Discerning, interested people will still look and decide for themselves. New people interested in the subject would need attention from someone who cares, if the subject is to attract new participants.
If I tell you the car I have is a Japanese version of a sporty BMW, I have used positioning to create familiarity with you and my Japanese car.
There have been many reformed religious movements that have differentiated themselves from earlier versions of Christianity. The Church of England. The Calvinistic movement, the Dutch Reformed Church.
If the current Church is to survive it may have to re-emerge as a Reformed Church, differentiating itself from what has gone before. This would require a new set of leaders with empathy and vision and extreme tolerance. It would position itself as similar but different to the previous Church.
The emergence of such a reformed movement would probably in itself create further splits of those who are fundamentalists, and those would are prepared to throw out some of the policies that characterize the current Church.
After 2,000 years of Christianity, there are reportedly over 40,000 different Christian denominations.
A differentiated and modern and tolerant Reformed Church could have a no-disconnection policy, for example. You want to leave? Fine. Let’s have a celebration of all your contributions in the past. Thank you and go well. Do you want to split off and form your own group? Fine. Go ahead. Let us know if you fall on your head and we will help you get it back together. If you succeed, let us know what you are doing so we can evaluate its effectiveness for our own possible use. Sounds wild, but totally possible. No court cases. Just tolerance. No fights. Just help and assistance.
I said earlier that what happens to the Church in the future is a debate. I am not proposing the above as a solution, but suggesting one possible route.
Dissemination of the subject requires a 21st century approach. The Church is structurally and dogma-wise unable to do this.
“Books makes booms”, is dogma. It is hard, if not impossible for the Church to change this, in theory. Course hours are this or that only. The list of policies that are “held-down 7” dogma is long. Contradictory statements exist. Many. Freedom of association and speech versus ‘do not read the blogs’. What is true for you versus ‘KSW1’.
Current management has changed the dogma anyway (GAT I & II, Ideal Orgs, Executive CS’es for example), and thereby caused tons of defections and bad PR. So why could it not do so for positive reasons? Way to Happiness by free download, lectures on a flash-drive, the mind boggles.
Why can’t the change be positive? It is the intent of management, that’s why.
Any road forward would include at least one-on-one dissemination. The rest is toxic.
Keep the news flowing
Right now, we should keep the news flowing onto the blogs, keep people informed of the current Church happenings. This is a process that has been running for a while and needs to keep on doing so.
This all happens because of people who have made it their purpose to expose the truth about what is happening in the world of Radical Corporate Scientology. They are doing an amazing job. All help tremendously. And they are thanked for continuing to put the truth out there for others.
In addition to this blog (BIC), other links are suggested below:
In my opinion, start with the sites above.
Tony Ortega’s site also has very good articles but be warned that the site also contains references to upper level material. A recent ‘looking in’ may find some of the subject material and ‘we hate the subject’ comments too steep a gradient. If so, skip them.
The books by Mark Headley, Amy Scobee, Jenna Miscavige-Hill, Nancy Many, Janet Rietsman, Jefferson Hawkins, Lawrence Wright, Marty Rathbun all help widen the awareness and understanding of what has gone on in the Church.
If you are not sure that leaving the current Church is wise, read and read and read some more, .
I started this journey horrified at what I read and saw and experienced. Slowly the picture widened and became more complete. The data is compelling.
My opinion is you could start with the following (in no particular order):
- Amy Scobee
- Mark Headley
- Jenna Miscavige-Hill
- Jefferson Hawkins
- Marty Rathbun
To those who are looking, please continue to do so.
The current Church is worsening the image and repute of the subject. No question. It should not be supported in its current form. It is not what LRH would do, believe it or not.
2015 kicked off to multiple court cases against the Church coming to a head, the March 16 release of HBO documentary “Prison of Belief” and Louis Theroux’s BBC film ‘Stairway to Heaven’.
The promotion of the HBO documentary positions Scientology as follows:
|A comment on Mike Rinder’s blog: “There have been hundreds of media articles that mention the documentary picks for Sundance and almost all of them mention campus rape and scientology side by side”.“SUNDANCE 2015 LANDS SCIENTOLOGY, KURT COBAIN AND CAMPUS RAPE DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES”or“….includes high-profile documentaries including “The Hunting Ground” which explores sexual crime on college campuses and institutional cover-ups, and “Going Clear: Scientology, the Prison of Belief”…”|
Jonsty also commenting on Mike Rinder’s blog gives yet another deepening of the terrible PR:
|“I was involved with SCN for over 30 years. My son knows the whole story of my involvement along with all the reasons for leaving. In a chat last week he asked, “What in the world is with those people harassing the guy at LAX?” After I explained the situation he commented that the whole university had seen the YouTube video…yes, an exaggeration that “all” had seen it, but his comment is also telling in its own right. He said that people he knew thought SCN and DM were nut-birds, and this was not based on any discussion of SCN…it was just based on general reddit and YouTube viewings”.|
(This video has been viewed on YouTube in excess of 696,000 times)
There is probably a ratio of the number of new interested people contacted one-on-one or body-routed into orgs or missions, versus the number of those put off daily by the bad PR. This ratio is the product of current Church management.
1 introduced by missions and orgs
1000 put off by media and the internet?
For those wishing to leave the Church as an organization but who wish to use the subject or practice it, there are many sites that can guide you to a place that will assist you.
It seems clear that the only long-term viability in staying with the subject is the creating new auditors.
There are many blogs, sites and facebook pages of Indy / Freezone centres and groups that deal with the subject of training of auditors. With just a little research, you will be able to find many sites that will interest you.
Your thoughts, comments and contribution to this article are most welcome.