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.