Category Archives: Debbie Cook

Ex/Anti-Scientologists vs. Independent Scientologists

Recently, Emma announced that she was going to stop running the Ex Scientologist Message Board and get out of the Scientology protest racket. Here’s a sampling of how her readers reacted:

“Good for you, Emma.”

“Bon voyage and thanks for the memories! … I for one will never consider you a sellout, liar, OSA, bitch, or any of that other stuff — you’re simply a human being who did a fine thing in making this meeting place possible for all the rest of us, and we thank you.”

“Thanks Emma, and goodbye. It’s been great. Will miss you and ESMB.”

“My heart sunk when I read your post, but I totally get it. ESMB has served an amazing role in helping people. You did a wonderful thing and devoted many years to making sure it was a safe haven… It was a great gift to so many. Thank you Emma, for helping me heal. Now it’s time for you to spread your wings and live free of your past. Godspeed!”

“I can’t even begin to properly exress my gratitude to you for putting this board here and keeping it here through all the crap that you have to deal with!”

“Time for a peaceful, loving life now, Emma…..filled with lots of fun for you and your family. If anyone deserves it, you do.”

Now, here is a sampling of how Marty’s Independent Scientologists reacted to the news that Debbie Cook agreed to walk away from protesting in exchange for the Church dropping their lawsuit:

“Shame on them. They got bought again. And they allow it to continue. That’s ‘Personal Integrity’?”

“There is no way Debbie or Wayne would have signed this document unless there was a HUGE amount of money involved. What a crock!”

“Well shame on them. They made another deal with the devil.”

“Shame on her. She took money knowing what the donors expected of her and it was far far from what she delivered.”

“Debbie let us down. She did not have the guts in the end. She let herself silenced? She must be very PTS…still.”

“Betrayl after trust? After the money and support that was flowed to Debbie and Wayne… pitiful.”

“The likely possibility that the she got bought off doesn’t surprise me. Perhaps she should be renamed ‘Debbie Crook’…She was a sell-out and has now committed herself as a sell-out for the rest of her life.”

“She has effectively pissed on and off anyone who has ever called themselves a Scientologist.”

I hate to advance Scientology’s “us vs. them” mentality, but today I am proud to say that I am one of us, and not one of them.

ML,
Caliwog

Advertisements

Debbie Cook: The Caliwog post-game wrap-up

In case you haven’t heard, the Church of Scientology has settled its lawsuit with Debbie Cook. The outcome, according to The Tampa Bay Times, is that Scientology drops the suit, neither party gets any money, and Debbie and her husband Wayne agree to keep their mouth shut about all things Scientology. (You can download a copy of the judgement from Marty’s site.)

Results: Marty and his Scilons are pissed. And Caliwog is happy for Debbie.

Before I get into why, let’s quickly recap what happened. In 2007, Debbie, a former Co$ exec, and her husband left the Church after signing non-disclosure agreements in exchange for $50,000 severance each. This past New Year’s Day, Debbie Cook sent an email to Scientologists railing against the Church’s fund raising culture. Per L. Ron Hubbard policy, the Church sued Debbie Cook. While trying to get an injunction to shut her up,the Church put her on the stand, a move that backfired. Under cross examination – and under oath – Debbie revealed lurid details about the abuse she and other Church executives suffered. Her testimony made headlines.

(Debbie referred to herself as the girl who kicked the hornets’ nest, but it appears that the hornets’ nest may have been her!)

And so, for once, the Church did the smart thing: They beat a hasty retreat, although they did get a promise from Debbie not to speak out and not to get involved with any anti-Church groups (i.e., Independent Scientology).

I see this as a major, major, MAJOR win.

Remember Bob Minton, who fought the Church of Scientology with his considerable energy and fortune? The Church went after him with all the might it could muster, and eventually he buckled under the pressure.

“It was like the Terminator was after you,” Bob famously said. (This was in 2002, when Mike Rinder was head of OSA and Marty Rathbun was Miscavige’s chief thug. Go figure.)

Well, with just a few hours of testimony, Debbie Cook shut down the Terminator.

From what he’s writing on his blog, it seems like Marty is feeling a bit betrayed. “I have to take some time to evaluate this treachery,” he writes. And he seems to think the Church is lying about not paying Debbie anything to keep silent, although I can’t figure out how any rational person could come to that conclusion; after all the Church sued her, not the other way around. I guess Marty can’t fathom the idea that someone would keep silent without being bought off. The idea of simply getting over it and moving on is, apparently, completely foreign to them.

I can see why Marty and his band of merry Rondroids are pissed; they donated money for Debbie’s legal defense, and she turned her back, walked away, and agreed to keep her trap shut. Scientologists do not give for the sake of giving; they expect something in return. This is down to LRH’s policies about “exchange,” which I’ll write more about next week.

Of course, seeing what happened the last time they tried to keep her quiet, I doubt the Church will do much if she does speak out again. But I also know that Scientologists take their promises pretty seriously. They have no trouble lying – er, telling an “acceptable truth” – but when it comes to agreements, they tend to be pretty honorable. I have a feeling we won’t be hearing much from Debbie and Wayne.

And as I said, I for one am happy for them. Yes, it would be great to see Debbie speak out more about the Church. Yes, it’s sad that she’s volunteered to let the Church limit her freedom of speech.

But separating herself from both the Church and the independent Scientology movement gives Debbie the greatest opportunity to put Hubbard and Scientology behind her and move on.

We often talk about what constitutes being “out of Scientology.” Some say being “out” means getting away from the Church. Some say it’s when you realize that LRH was a fraud and Scientology is a con-job. I usually take latter view.

But the healthiest thing, the most out one can be, is when you put it all behind you. When Scientology is no longer a part of your life at all – when it has no importance or significance – that is when you are truly out. That is when you are truly free. That is when you have truly moved on up a lot higher.

Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate those who don’t break away entirely, who see Scientology for what it is, but stick around to help others out and make sure outsiders see the truth.

But I never begrudge anyone for getting out and getting healthy. And I hope, with every fiber of my being, that that is what happens to Debbie Cook and her husband Wayne.

Congrats and good luck, guys. And welcome to the Wog world. You’ll soon find it’s not the horrific place that Hubbard made it out to be.

ML,
Caliwog

“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

The Debbie Cook disintegration

I suppose the Debbie Cook situation is too big a thing for me not to comment on it.

In case you’re not familiar, Debbie Cook is a former high-ranking Scientology executive. Over the New Year weekend, she sent an email to 12,000 Scientologists complaining about the Church’s emphasis on fund raising for ornate Ideal Orgs and forcing Scientologists to re-take “levels” that they do not need. Ms. Cook blames David Miscavige for the destruction of the Church’s management structure, and quotes LRH policy saying that selling Scientology, not fund-raisers, should be used to make money. The letter (authenticated by other sources) can be found at this Marty Rathbun blog entry.

So what does this mean? Well, for one thing, it means you should stock up on popcorn!

I’m taking a wait-and-see attitude towards this one. Debbie claims she is a member in good standing of the Church, and is not in communication with those who aren’t (i.e. Marty and his crew). Her outlook is clearly similar to many Independents – that LRH’s tech is basically good, and David Miscavige’s implementation is bad – although she lacks Marty’s vitriol towards DM. (I’m sure that will come in good time.)

I have often said that David Miscavige is following closely in the foosteps of L. Ron Hubbard. Debbie’s email bolsters the Independent argument that DM is mis-managing the Church, counter to LRH’s intentions. I can’t argue her with the policy she quotes; LRH emphasized exchange (i.e. no something-for-nothing) (although he did have financial mechanisms in place to accept financial “gifts”). Ms. Cook’s policy quotes clearly show LRH’s intention to use Scientology services as the main profit center (something I would think the IRS should take notice of). As for DM’s provenance, there is little evidence available to the public of what LRH actually intended for Church management after his death.

I would imagine that the reason for David Miscavige’s emphasis on fund-raising is that Scientology simply isn’t making money the way it used to. When LRH was alive, he continually updated the scam Scientology to adapt it to modern times. Since his death, Scientologists have continued to beat the same dead horses. Their vilification of psychiatry, for example, which may have had merit in the 1950s, seems ridiculous and ill-informed today. But with no new policies being written, and their conviction that LRH had all the answers, what else can they do but keep on keeping on?

David Miscavige is the product of a Scientology environment – the “Homo Novis” who is dedicated to fulfilling his purpose, no matter what. He’s exactly the kind of sociopathic bastard that Scientology tries to create. You’ll see similar personality traits in other Scientologists, especially when they get angry. (See Aaron Saxton’s video interview for a candid discussion of just how ruthless Scientologists are supposed to be.)

Anyway, as always, I have mixed feelings about stories like these. On the one hand, anything that exposes the truth about Scientology is a good thing – and Scientology’s endless “regging” for money is the truth.

On the other hand, this story does, in some small way, perpetuate the myth that David Miscavige is the source of Scientology’s bad practices. To be fair, Scientologists like Marty Rathbun and Debbie Cook are too young to know how bad things were when Hubbard was running the show. It’s a classic example of “Good Old Days” syndrome.

Fortunately, there are still people who remember that the Good Old Days were anything but good. Like this person.

So, as I said, I’ll wait and see. As I’m sure Marty Rathbun will. After all, this could go two ways for him.

If Debbie Cook ends up being an ally, this could be a windfall for Marty’s burgeoning Scientology business, with the potential to bring in a lot of customers with big pockets.

On the other hand, if Ms. Cook is laying the groundwork for her own auditing business, then I’m sure Marty will be quick to give her the David Mayo treatment.

As for me, I’ll continue doing what I do best: Talking about the real practices of Scientology as dictated by L. Ron Hubbard. Despite Miscavige’s attempt to accelerate the emptying of parishioners’ pockets, it is within “the Tech” that the real evil of Scientology can be found.

Let’s keep our eye on the ball – as long as people are reaching for information about Scientology, it is the obligation of the protest movement to see that people get the real truth – not the skewed version of those who, like Hubbard, Miscavige, and Rathbun, seek to profit from its followers.

ML,
Caliwog