Monthly Archives: February 2012

Picking Apart the 31 Factors: Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we started looking at Marty Rathbun’s 31 Factors for Scientologists to Consider, the rickety framework upon which the Independent Scientology movement is built. There was so much bullshit in the introduction, we didn’t even make it to the first factor. Let’s continue, shall we? Here’s Marty:

One: Scientology has been taken over by a self-appointed dictator, David Miscavige, who has turned the Creed of the Church of Scientology, the Code of a Scientologist, and the Credo of a True Group Member on their heads and instituted the virtual practice of Reverse (Black) Dianetics.

Let’s not forget that Scientology was started by a self-appointed dictator, who was living out his fantasies of grandeur. Anyone who has read up on Hubbard knows how he fucked up his chance at commanding a ship. So what did he do? He got himself his own damn navy, buying ships with his parishoner’s money, and made himself the Commodore. Let’s be fair: For Hubbard, Scientology wasn’t just about making money; it was about living out the fantasies borne of his failures.

But I digress. As for the Creed, the Code and the Credo, as I said in the last blog entry, these are fancy PR jobs that are incompatible with Hubbard’s technology and intentions.

“Two: In his quest to attain power Miscavige forcibly removed no less than four Hubbard appointed executives senior to himself, and dozens of Scientologists who had created scores of huge, effective Scientology centers. Miscavige used threat of force and violence in clearing the path to control of all Scientology organizations and assumed the self-created position of Chairman of the Board. He was never assigned by Hubbard and holds a position that was not created by Hubbard.”

There is a lot of debate as to whether DM is the rightful heir to Hubbard’s throne. Aaron Saxton maintains that David Miscavige was Hubbard’s intended choice, and he explained why in this blog entry. It is true that the position of “Chairman of the Board” was never invented by Hubbard, but swapping titles is nothing new in the Church. Executives (including Hubbard himself) constantly change titles, usually to avoid legal liability.

Is Miscavige’s well-documented use of “force and violence” anything new? No, it’s part of the culture of Scientology. Hubbard may not have been much for fists (he probably didn’t have Miscavige’s small-man complex) but he was a legendary hot-head. Somewhere there’s an MP3 file of him screaming at a Messenger (one of the hot-pants-clad teenage girls he had waiting on him hand and foot) (if anyone has a link, I’d be grateful). Meanwhile, you can read these true stories of Hubbard and decide for yourself if he was any less tempermental than DM.

“Three: Since securing his position of power, the statistics of Scientology have steadily decreased in spite of Miscavige’s public proclamations to the contrary.”

That’s the problem with Scientology stats: No one really knows what is happening, although it’s clear that the Church is declining – mostly because the Internet has let the world know that Scientology is basically a UFO religion designed to milk people’s wallets. Remember, Marty still believes in Xenu… and the Introspection Rundown.

“Four: Miscavige has conducted a campaign to fortify his personal power by denigrating and depowering anyone who personally knew and worked with Hubbard. That includes, but is not limited to, the members of Hubbard’s family. The operation served to consolidate his personal power while immeasurably harming the vigor and image of Scientology.”

This is my favorite – in fact, it’s the one that inspired me to write this article – because it implies that Hubbard’s family was somehow special.

Scientology teaches that Scientology itself is more important than family, which explains the high divorce rate and the frequency of family disconnections. Hubbard was a terrible husband and a lousy father. He was a bigamist, denied the existence of one of his wives, and let the third one – the one he supposedly loved – go to jail while he went into hiding. Hubbard all but denied the existence of the children who didn’t go along with the program (a lie that Marty himself implied was true in his laughably awful Ode to L. Ron Hubbard). And let’s not forget Hubbard’s reaction when he found out that Arnie Lerma was banging his daughter.*

(* Okay, I don’t actually know if Arnie and Suzette were doing the nasty, but it’d be really cool if they were. Scientology may have infiltrated the Justice Department, but one of the guys who did the most damage to Scientology did some infiltratin’ of his own! High five! You know what I’m talkin’ about!)

“Five: Miscavige accomplished his coup by commandeering the only line of communication to Hubbard during the last five years of his life, plying Hubbard with embellished and false reports of a dangerous environment to keep him out of communication with Sea Org members and his family. The reports falsely accused Hubbard’s family and lifelong friends of selling out to the enemy and that Scientology orgs had been infiltrated by psychiatric and government interests. He prevented true reports from reaching Hubbard in order to make his actions appear necessary and on policy and to solidify his position.”

Bullshit like this really irks me. The implication is that Hubbard had no idea what was going on during the last few years of his life, and was somehow kept in isolation. Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit.

Hubbard went into hiding in order to avoid prosecution. He was labeled an “un-indicted co-conspirator” in the break-in that sent his wife, Mary Sue, to jail. We know that Hubbard was the micro-manager to end all micro-managers, and yet we’re supposed to believe that this uneductaed kid, Hubbard’s former cameraman, was suddenly able to isolate Hubbard from the Scientology empire he worked his whole life to build up? Come the fuck on!! Hubbard’s isolation was self-imposed, and the eyewitness accounts (let’s not forget that Marty wasn’t around) are that he was anything but isolated from Scientology.

I believe that Hubbard was still calling the shots, but he was unwilling to face the consequences of his ill-gotten gains… although he was all too willing to let his own wife face the consequences for him. What an absolute piece of shit he was.

Okay, I think that’s enough for today. I’ll continue this series if I don’t get bored with it first. (Update: I didn’t. Here’s Part 3.)

ML,
Caliwog

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“Crush regging” – why it’s inevitable no matter who runs the Church of Scientology

Debbie Cook is the latest in a line of high-profile Scientologists to say that David Miscavige is the problem with Scientology.

As outsiders, we know that isn’t the case – that the true harm in Scientology comes from the policies written by L. Ron Hubbard. But there is one aspect in which Ms. Cook has a point – the “crush regging,” Scientologese for the mad rush for money.

And now I’m going to tell you why that probably won’t change, even if David Miscavige is deposed.

The problem stems from Hubbard’s system of management by statistics, in which every job is assigned a statistic, which is the exclusive measure of job performance. But Hubbard’s idiotically over-simplified version does not use mathematically valid statistical analysis – instead, Scientologists are instructed to graph their stats and then judge their condition by eyeballing the angle of the lines on the graph. (Never mind that you can change your condition simply by printing your graph on a different size piece of paper.)

According to L. Ron Hubbard, if the line goes up from last week, your stat is in “normal” or “affluence” (“screaming affluence” if it’s really good) and all is OK. If the line goes down, it’s in “danger” and you’re in trouble. A sharp crash is “non-existance,” Scientologese for “deep shit.”

But the real problem comes if your stat line is slightly down or level, in which case it’s a condition of “emergency” – and long-term emergency is treated as danger.

That’s a key point: a long-term level stat is danger. So if Scientologist A sells $100 worth of services one week and $125 the next, she’s in affluence, but if Scilon B sitting in the next office sells $100,000 per week for 6 weeks running, he’s in trouble.

Now, we all know that there is a pinnacle of productivity in most jobs. In the real world, someone who sells $100,000 per week for a straight year will probably get a bonus and an award plaque. In Scientology, that same star sales person would get the Ethics Officer crawling up her ass with a flashlight and a baseball bat. In Scientology, there’s a constant demand for more, more, more. Never mind how demanding or demented David Miscavige is; that is what is written in LRH policy.

Now, for most Scientology jobs, there is a way around this: You have a “stat analysis” done, and find a reason that the stat is invalid. There is almost always a reason. Then you simply change your stat and start over. When you reach your pinnacle, you have the stat declared invalid again. Alternatively, one can meter one’s own job performance, improving just enough to keep the stat in Affluence but never working to one’s potential. I saw both things all the time during my tenure in a Scientology company. (This is one reason that companies that use Hubbard’s management “tech” only ever enjoy limited success.)

But when it comes to “registrars” – Scientology sales people – they can’t do that, because Hubbard put the registar’s stat in policy:

“The statistic of the Registrar is changed to the GROSS INCOME OF THE ORG. […] It is NOT how many people the Registrar sees, nor how many items sold but the gross income from all items sold.” — L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 14 July 1970, REGISTRAR STATISTIC

(This, by the way, is one of those things that makes me want to knock some Scientology heads together. Gross income? Hubbard is talking about a supposed religion here, you idiots! YOUR religion!)

So, you see, registrars can’t change their stat. And they can only meter their own performance for so long.

This is something Marty Rathbun and Debbie Cook can’t get around. Even if they took over the Chrch themselves, they would invariably assign the registrars the GI stat, and the registrars would inevitably hit a pinnacle of productivity, putting the stat in Danger and forcing them to keep making changes (per LRH’s “formula” for what to do when a stat is in Danger) until the stats start to go up. How do you do that? Well, sooner or later you get the idea to hit up your richest customers parishoners for donations, because that’s the only way to keep the stats rising. And when they dry up, you hit up everyone. And when they run out of money, you start advising them to mortgage their houses and max out credit cards. After all, LRH said that gross income must keep increasing. And as every Scientologist knows, LRH had all the answers to everything.

Marty, Mike, and Debbie can complain all they want about Miscavige’s focus on money, but that’s Hubbard policy. It’s not a new problem, nor is it exclusive to Miscavige’s management; David Mayo complained about it in the 1980s (MP3 link) and Paulette Cooper wrote about it in the 70s. The sad fact is that Miscavige, evil runt though he may be, is hog-tied by the policies of the Ol’ Fraud Hisself, L. Ron Hubbard.

And a long as Rathbun, Rinder, Cook, and other self-proclaimed Scientologists believe in Hubbard, they are going to run into the same problems.

ML,
Caliwog

Read more about Hubbard’s fucked-up system of management by statistics

Analysis of the Debbie Cook interview

Is Debbie Cook the new hero of the anti-Scientology movement? The anti-Church, pro-Hubbard crowd certainly seems to love her, and she’s getting a lot of sympathy from those who protest Scientology. Today, I want to take a closer look at some of what Debbie Cook said in her post-trial press interview. The pull-quotes are all from Debbie.

“I have grown up with Scientology my whole life. I feel that Scientology religion and Mr. Hubbard are kind and caring and wonderful, and I really don’t want people who don’t know anything about Scientology to hear these things that went on and to have it reflect badly towards Scientology, because really the reality is that this is coming from one person. These things that happened, these horrible things that I spoke about, are coming from one person… How many times in history has this happened, where you get some tyrant in charge of… a group of whatever size, or an organization or whatever, and, you know, it happens. It happens often.”

Ah, the Miscavige Is Hitler argument. Anyway, we see that Ms. Cook’s mindset is similar to Marty Rathbun and many other ex-Churchies. And this shows what a real problem we face. Unlike Marty, Ms. Cook doesn’t seem to be poised to open up her own auditing business. She really believes this — that Hubbard is altruistic and Miscavige is the problem.

How can this be? Obviously, Ms. Cook is well-versed in LRH tech. She’s read the policies. Those of us on the outside, we read the policies and it’s clear that Hubbard is scamming his followers. That’s why I like to quote Hubbard on this blog; his bullshit stands for itself. And yet people like Ms. Cook, who have been in their whole lives, just don’t see it. It’s amazing how the human mind can see what it wants to see and throw out the rest. Especially if it’s been carefully conditioned to do so.

“I feel that this will help the Church, and ultimately help Scientologists, and others, hopefully to recover it back to its origins, its original goodness and kindness, and… everything relaly that it was originally intended to be.”

We have no shortage of evidence that Scientology under Hubbard was no better than Scientology under Miscavige. I’ve written about why Scientology seems to get worse as you progress, in a blog entry called Dark Ride. If we skip ahead a bit, we get to another quote that shows where Ms. Cook is blind to the past – or at least has had it kept from her:

“I was there for 29 years… a lot of these that you heard about yesterday were things that happened in the last seven months of my being here… and that ultimately is what put me in the position of leaving.”

This is important. Remember, Marty Rathbun was complaining about these allegations — physical torture, intimidation, and imprisonment against one’s will — nearly a decade ago. Ms. Cook is saying she only saw them for the last seven months. Is she protecting herself? Is she in denial? Or did she really not see any of these things… because she did not want to see them?

Okay, I’ve skipped ahead here, let’s go back a bit…

“This has been a learning process for me… I’ve never been able to talk to an attorney, and so in talking to Mr. Jeffries, been able to learn so much about the law and the protection that you have within the law. There were a lot of things I really thought I couldn’t do until now.”

Again, more evidence of how Scientology works to isolate its members. This is a 50 year old woman, for goodness’ sake, and she knows almost nothing about her legal rights. Amazing.

“I’m hoping… [my actions] will open the eyes of more members, so that they will be more active in keeping Scientology to it’s purity and to its founders original intentions. I’m hoping it will create a reformation from within.”

**eyeroll** See above.

“There is also, as we explained, this other factor that [is] always held over your head, of, if you do just take off, well, then, the Church basically excommunicates you, and then, you know, all of your… family members who are Scientologists, your clients, all your friends of 20 years… everybody is basically made to stop communicating with you, and that’s also something that weighs very heavily… it weighs very heavily on you, In fact, it was a major factor in any delay.”

Debbie is, of course, talking about disconnection. Now, we’ve all heard Hubbard apologists insist that Hubbard cancelled the disconnection policy. In fact, Ms. Cook herself is about to do just that. Clearly, disconnection is alive and well, but that’s not the point.

The point is that Hubbard invented disconnection in the first place. He said the handling for someone who was a suppressive person (SP) was to handle or disconnect. One way to be declared an SP is to commit high crimes, which according to Hubbard policy*, include “Public disavowal of Scientology or Scientologists in good standing,” “Giving anti-Scientology information to the press,” “Testifying against Scientology in public,” and “Maintaining a relationship with a declared Suppressive Person.”

* Source: HCO PL 23 December 1965, ETHICS SUPRESSIVE ACTS – SUPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS – THE FAIR GAME LAW, by L. Ron Hubbard.

Remember, this is the religion and the man that Ms. Cook describes as “kind and caring and wonderful.”

Back to the issues of imprisonment, abuse, etc., we get to see that even Ms. Cook has bought into the PR:

“Those are not things, also, directed by Mr. Hubbard. Those are things that have been put in by Mr. Miscavige. it’s not supposed to be that way. Quite the contrary.”

Clearly, Ms. Cook has been isolated from the accounts by Sea Org members of the Apollo days, when Hubabrd would have people (including small children… sorry, “thetans in little bodies”) locked in the chain locker, sent to work in the bilges, or pitched overboard (even if they couldn’t swim). Or sometimes he’d just scream in their face.

“In fact, Mr. Hubbard cancelled disconnection in 1968. Cancelled it as a practice, because it caused hardship to families. It was Mr. Miscavige who brought it back in.”

Hmm. HCO PL 15 November 1968, CANCELLATION OF DISCONNECTION, reads, in its entirety, as follows:

“Since we can now handle all types of cases disconnection as a condition is cancelled.”

Nothing in there about families. And again I ask: Why does “kind” and “gentle” Mr. Hubbard get a free ride for coming up with the disconnection policy in the first place?

Furthermore, Ms. Cook seems to miss out on the fact that disconnection was “officially” reinstated in 1983, before Miscavige took over. From HCO PL 10 Sept 1983, PTSness AND DISCONNECTION, which justifies disconnection (as defended by Marty Rathbun) and goes on to say:

“Earlier, disconnection as a condition was cancelled. It had been abused by a few individuals who’d failed to handle situations which could have been handled and who lazily or criminally disconnected, thereby creating situations even worse than the original because it was the wrong action…Therefore, the tech of disconnection is hereby restored to use, in the hands of those persons thoroughly and standardly trained in PTS/SP tech…. The technology of disconnection is essential in the handling of PTSes*. It can and has saved lives and untold trouble and upset.”

* PTS: Potential Trouble Source, someone who is connected to a Supressive Person, i.e. one who is antagonistic towards Scientology or Hubbard.

The policy is signed by LRH. So no, Ms. Cook, Miscavige did NOT bring disconnection back. Hubbard did.

Debbie’s husband then speaks:

“Hubbard policy on those who wish to leave is that they should be allowed to leave.”

This is true. But Hubbard also said that once you leave, you were at risk of being declared an SP and you were pretty much out for good (you might be able to get back in with a lot of groveling and a lot of money). Hubbard probably knew that once people are out and exposed to life among “wogs,” they will see that Scientology is bullshit. I think Miscavige realizes this too. Miscavige’s barriers are physical, and they don’t work. Hubbard’s barriers are mental, and they do work. Debbie Cook’s own view of Scientology is proof of that.

Ms. Cook again:

“The things that are actually giving Scientology a black eye are things that are being put in that were never based on the writings of L. Ron Hubbard.”

This line of bullshit — and it is pure bullshit — is one of the main reasons I started this blog. With any luck, the public will see through it… and the reporters will report it. (I’m lookin’ at you, Tony Ortega.)

Lastly, Ms. Cook is asked how the Church could be reformed — what steps would have to be taken to recover the Church.

“I mean, you know, I don’t know that I know the full answer to that. I have certianly thought about it, but I don’t know. I mean, all I know is examples in history that have occured over and over again, you know. A group, you know, has a way of ousting the bad and recovering its original purposes and goals… taking a, the most basic, you know, basis, which it was conceived and getting back to its roots… I don’t know, exactly.”

A non-answer from one of the highest ranking Scientology managers? I think I know why Debbie can’t answer: Because the truth is that it can’t be done.

Scientology is what it is. And what it is, is bad to the core.

More than anything, I hope this is Debbie Cook’s first, teetering step into the real world. Hopefully she will keep her distance and not allow Rathbun and Rinder to get their meat hooks into her. Hopefully she will open her eyes and learn the truth about Hubbard and Scientology.

If that happens, then she truly will be a hero.

ML,
Caliwog

Picking Apart the 31 Factors: Part 1

Note: See below for original introduction.

In order to remind people of the modus operandi of the Independent movement – which is to use the negative publicity surrounding Miscavige to whitewash L. Ron Hubbard, so that true believers like Marty Rathbun (and possibly Debbie Cook) can continue to make money by selling Scientology – I wanted to take a look at one of Marty Rathbun’s first articles, 31 Factors for Scientology to Consider. Let’s pick this baby apart and look for the lies and half-truths. I won’t do the whole thing today, but that’s OK; Marty starts misleading in the first sentence.

Remember, as the South Park boys say: THIS IS WHAT SCIENTOLOGISTS ACTUALLY BELIEVE.

“Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard discovered methodologies that can enhance self-determinism, increase freedom of choice, and bring about higher states of awareness and beingness to those who practice them.”

Oh boy. Where do we start? With the word “discovered”? Or with the claims made for Scientology? This is the same bullshit claim that the Church uses. Ask any ex-Scientologist about the freedom of choice or awareness level in Scientology.

“Hubbard developed a method of confession that includes unconditional forgiveness and results in more able, happy and peaceful beings.”

Actually, Hubbard stole a method of “confession” that results in more able, happy and peaceful beings. It’s called abreaction therapy, and it’s one of many psychotherapy methods that involves looking at past traumas to figure out why your life is hanging up. Hubbard cribbed it for Dianetics, and it works, which helps draw people into the scam.

Now, a real Scientologist would whip out its* dictionary and show me the definition of the word “develop” and use that as proof that Hubbard did not actually claim authorship. Bullshit, says I; the implication and belief is that Hubbard invented it, which he didn’t.

(* Thetans (the Scientology term for our spirits) are supposedly non-gender-specific, so perhaps we should start referring to Scientologists as “it” rather than “he” or “she.”)

“Hubbard developed an ethics system that an individual can apply to himself to improve his worth to himself and to his fellows.”

Hubbard developed an ethics system that encourages people to report on everyone they know and turn their back on anyone who dares talk bad about Scientology. That includes children, parents, and spouses. One important lesson: You cannot trust a Scientologist. Hubbard taught his customers followers that the “group” (Scientology) is more important than any one individual.

“Hubbard established a form of organizational policy that is predicated on rewarding accomplishment rather than punishing failure.”

I’ve worked extensively with this organizational policy, and the whole reward accomplishment/punish failure thing is a major fail. Hubbard’s “management by statistics” means that if your stats are up, you are left alone, but if they are down or flat, you have to change things, no matter the reason for your “downstat” condition.

In some jobs, constant improvement is possible. But in others, it’s not. Imagine a fire department: Normally, if the number of fires is down, that’s a good thing. It means fire prevention education is working and the taxpayers are saving money. In a Hubbard-run fire department, the “fires put out” stat would be down and everyone would be in trouble. The fire fighters could become arsonists, but more likely they would invent a new statistic that they could keep improving for a while, and then when that one plateaud, find a reason that statistic was the improper one, send a few people to waste their time doing useless “lower condition write-ups”, then invent a new statistic, and keep it until that one tanks, too.

That last scenario is what happens at most Hubbard Admin Tech companies, and it’s why they spend a lot of time spinning their wheels instead of building their business. Hubbard insisted that his Management Technology was the only workable management technology ever invented, and yet you won’t find a single Admin Tech company on the Fortune 500.

“Hubbard set forth many of the fundamental values of Scientology and its organizations in the Creed of the Church of Scientology, The Code of a Scientologist, and the Credo of a True Group Member.”

Oh yeah? Here are some bits from the Creed of the Church of Scientology:

“That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.”

But not gay people or black people.

“That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.”

Although doing so may be considered a Scientology crime and get your ass kicked out.

“And that no agency less than God has the power to suspend or set aside these rights, overtly or covertly.”

And if you stay in long enough and spend enough money, you’ll learn that Hubbard says that Scientologists basically are God, and therefore they do have that power. Which is why they can send you to the RPF, the in-house prison camp that Hubbard invented, and keep you there.

From the Code of a Scientologist:

“1. To keep Scientologists, the public and the press accurately informed concerning Scientology, the world of mental health and society.”

Except for the PR policies about telling an “acceptable truth,” and the lies about the psychiatry profession, outdated and untrue, that Scientologists are led to believe.

“9. To embrace the policy of equal justice for all.”

Funny that, as right now the Church is trying to tell the courts that Scientology justice takes precedence over “Wog” justice. This is a belief that Hubbard espoused in policy.

I could go on, but you get the idea. You can read The Creed of the Church of Scientology, The Code of a Scientologist, and The Credo of a True Group Member (WARNING: All Church links) and see the bullshit for yourself.

“Thirty-one factors have been discovered that threaten the continued viability of this vital subject.”

Oh dear, I’ve filled up a whole blog entry and haven’t even made it past the introduction! We’ll start delving into the factors themselves in Part 2.

ML,
Caliwog

This was the original introduction to this article. Zapped in the interest of making this a better reference piece.

The Debbie Cook situation fills me with mixed feelings. It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Ms. Cook, although let’s not forget that she pushed the scam of Scientology on many others, and apparently wants to continue to do so. The publicity surrounding her case is a very real problem for the protest movement, as it pushes the perception that the problem with Scientology is the organized Church, and that Scientology itself is just a harmless religion.

Of course, Scientology is anything but harmless (or a religion, for that matter).

Sheila Huber: Must-See YT

If you havent’ seen Sheila Huber’s video interviews, you must, must, must watch them. There is nothing more educational for Scientology protesters than the tesimony of former Scientologists who are actually former Scientologists — not just those who have traded the David Miscavige for Marty Rathbun or the Free Zone.

In Part 1, Sheila tells us how she wound up in Scientology and the Sea Org, despite a fair amount of skepticism. Keep in mind, she got into the Church in the early 80s, before LRH died and Miscatige took over.

Part 2 tells about how Shiela got out of the Sea Org — including how they used her only son as a pawn to keep her going with the program.

There are four more segment of Ms. Huber’s video; search YouTube for Sheila Huber and you’ll find them. Watch and learn, and think carefully when you hear people say that aside from Miscavige’s beatings and the endless pursuit of money, Scientology is just a harmless religion.

ML,
Caliwog