Today’s post comes from Mike Rinder (hi, Mike!), former Co$ spokesman and Marty’s #2, and it outlines David Miscavige’s lavish spending of Scientologists’ money on important ecclesiastical activities like scuba diving and a private dining room on Scientology’s asbestos-laden ship of dreams, the Freewinds.
This is a great time to illustrate a point on which I agree with Marty, Mark, and their New Reformed Church of
Rathbunology Scientology: The Church is chasing their parishioners down for more money, more money, more money (Scientologists refer to this as “regging,” pronounced with a J) and then misusing those funds in a style that makes Imelda Marcos and her shoe collection pale by comparison. And that just ain’t right.
In a piece entitled “What Your Fees Buy,” L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “I know that Dianetics and Scientology services should be free and I wish they were.” To which I always wanted to ask the Ol’ Fraud: So why aren’t they?
Most major religions survive on donations – but they don’t tie them to their scriptures. Walk into any synagogue or Christian church and ask for a bible. They’ll give you one. Want a Book of Mormon? Call up the Latter Day Saints. They’ll back a truck up to your door and shovel the damn things into your front hall. Too shy to ask? Check into a Motel 6, open the nightstand drawer, and there’s your Bible, courtesy of the Gideons. Everything they believe, even the weird stuff, is yours to peruse, free of charge.
Now try walking into a Church of Scientology and asking for a copy of OT3 (the one with Xenu and his volcanoes). They’ll deny it even exists. (That’s akin to asking a priest if Jesus was really born to a virgin, and having him say “Jesus? I don’t know who you’re talking about.”) Ask them for a copy of Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health. Oh, they’ll give you one — but not for free.
Because LRH, financial genius that he was, came up with the concept of exchange. Nothing is free; everything must be paid for. Even if the exchange isn’t fair, it must exist. (That’s why Sea Org members are paid a pittance, rather than not paid at all.) It was a brilliant idea that allowed LRH to condition his followers to either pay or work for Scientology services. Planting that little bug in his followers’ ears made LRH a very rich man.
Of course, the subject of exchange is conveniently forgotten when it comes to taxes. The Church of Scientology uses all the same public services that taxpaying Americans use – including, as we learned in this post, Medicaid -but they don’t pay for them. I don’t know where Marty stands on that issue, because he hasn’t talked about it on his blog, which leads me to believe he’d like to leave that stone unturned. Probably a wise idea, as it sets the stage for Marty’s future Church to evade taxes, too.
Anyway, a great article, Mike. I honestly believe that when Marty takes over, the mass regging will stop. Prices will drop. The private dining room on the Freewinds will go away, and you and Marty will eat right alongside your flock. OT3 still won’t be given out free of charge; nor will Dianetics. Parishioners will still believe that psychiatry and drug companies are evil, that misunderstanding a word can cause a dizzy spell, and that the proper way to treat a person for a psychotic break is to lock them in a room and stop speaking to them.
But at least you guys won’t charge as much to do it.
Original post: Ship of fools