Yesterday, Mike Rinder posted an entry on Marty Rathbun’s blog entitled Scientology Idle Org Strategy: a sad tale. In case you’re unfamiliar with the whole the Ideal Org thing, it’s a Church of Scientology project to create big, lavish Church buildings (organizations, or “orgs”) to attract more prospects. The Church has been driving hard for donations to buy, build and renovate Ideal Orgs. Independents call them “Idle Orgs” because so many are behind schedule and the finished buildings aren’t attracting new people as promised.
Mike quotes a mailer in which the Church of Scientology does something unprecedented: They explain truthfully why things aren’t going right.
A typical Scientology promo piece about an Ideal/Idle Org says, “We’re so close to our goal! Help get LRH tech grooved in around the planet! Donate $250,000 and become a Patron Savior Meritorious!” Instead, the piece that Mike quotes gives an honest answer about why the Santa Ana Ideal Org isn’t finished yet. I haven’t seen the original, so I’m relying on Mike’s transcript:
“Why is renovation not started and completed? At the time we purchased the building…the plan was to sell our current building [to] provide the money needed to renovate…. Since then, the real estate market has crashed and the valid and available buyers reduced with the economy. The current church facility has not yet sold.”
When I read that, I could hardly believe it was a Church promo piece. They gave a plausible answer! They told the truth! They didn’t blame the problem on SPs or entheta or the psychiatric profession! They gave a reasonable explanation that any rational person could understand: They used the same strategy employed millions of homeowners – buying a new house, then paying for it by selling the old one – and it didn’t work. Plain and simple. And honest.
In fact, I probably wouldn’t believe this was a real Church promo piece except for one thing – the way Mike Rinder responded to it.
As a guy who spent years as one of the Church’s professional liars, you’d expect Mike Rinder to comment on such blatant and unusual honestly. But in typical Independent style, he completely misses the point, writing instead about how the Church hasn’t used LRH tech to develop funds or expand membership and how David Miscavige is full of shit and wrecking Scientology. Holy hell, Mike, here you and Marty are supposedly calling for the Church to change its evil ways – and yet when they take a tiny step in the right direction, you cite it as a bad thing!
But wait, there’s more! In his post, Mike repeatedly refers to Church members as “sheeple.” And yet his post is followed by 300 comments (and counting) from the Cheerleaders, including several by Marty Rathbun hisself, almost all of which echo Mike’s viewpoint: They disparage DM and Co$ loyalists and ignore the unprecedented display of truth. I even posted a comment pointing it out and so far not one of Marty’s parrots has picked up on it. Suggestion to Mr. Rinder: Clear (look up the definition of) the word sheeple.
This post absolutely made my day. I am deeply concerned about the fledgling Church of Rathbunology, but then something like this comes along and I realize that perhaps I don’t have all that much to worry about. Marty and Mike may not have shot themselves in the foot yet, but clearly their aim is getting better with practice.
Read Mike Rinder’s original blog entry here.
P.S. There’s one last bit of truth and irony in Mike’s rant. He says, “The promises this week are no better than the promises last week, last month, last year or last century.” Mike, did you mean “last century” figuratively or literally? Because if you meant it literally, you’ve done a perfect job of summing up my views on Scientology.