Elma, WA 98541
November 2, 2000
This is an essay on quot;Scientology: Control, Freedom, and Responsibility." It analyzes how control, freedom and responsibility operate together or clash within the organization and how this interfaces with the non-Scientology world. It is necessary for me to use some of the terms of the subject of Scientology in order to describe adequately the inner and outer workings of the Church of Scientology. Fair use quote is invoked; there is no intention to violate any copyright laws.
For those readers who are not familiar with the nomenclature of Scientology, I will include a short appendix of definitions.
Why the Title?
There was a phrase commonly in use by Scientology auditors called “peeling the onion.” It was applied to an individual’s case, or “reactive mind” and it meant that a person’s case was in layers. You could get a bit off the top, but to really repair a person’s life and bring about freedom for that person to expand into higher states of existence, it required a in-depth approach, slowly but surely unwrapping the hidden layers of the mysterious aspects of the mind.
The top of “peeling the onion,” is understanding what draws people to Scientology. I’m not referring here to the methods of control that are used by the COS to draw people into the organization, I mean the basic concepts that Scientologists find so much to their liking that they don’t budge easily from their positions. When you know what their stated goals and purposes are, then you know what makes them tick. Their dedication to those goals cannot be questioned. Their belief system is very strong, and they are taught that those who oppose Scientology are the bad guys, the Suppressive Persons. If you criticize, it is considered an attack on their good intentions. They are taught never to defend their position.
One also needs to understand a little about auditing, because that is the spiritual side of Scientology. Auditing consists of an “auditor,” a person who listens and directs, and a “preclear,” the person receiving the direction. It is supposed to be approached from the view of rehabilitating the preclear’s power of choice. The preclear is considered to be a spiritual being, an “awareness of awareness unit” –referred to as a “Thetan” from the word Theta, or thought. In auditing you are trying to move the preclear or Thetan from feeling at effect over to gentle cause. That is what the COS, Church of Scientology, is supposed to be doing, delivering quantities of well-done auditing hours that result in clearing the mind and producing freedom for individuals. When this is done, the preclear interfaces with society in a happier, more productive manner, and gives Scientology the credit. It is called making Scientology known and well thought of.
Auditors are not supposed to force a preclear to go on being audited if they do not wish to continue. “…it will give the pc (preclear) a heavy loss. There is no excuse for it. It invalidates the pc’s cause….” Reference is HCO Bulletin of May 1969 Issue II, Revised 12 October 1969 by LRH. This is important information to know, because then it is easy to spot when the COS is doing something regarding the LRH tech that they are not supposed to be doing by their own agreements. In almost all complaints you will see an element of this essential auditing understanding being violated and misapplied.
The stated aim of Scientology is to clear the planet, which means auditing preclears and “clearing” them of wrong answers as a first step. The stated purpose is to have a world without insanity, criminality and war. It is this dream that magnetizes people to Scientology. In the mind of a Scientologist, Scientology brings them hope for his own self and future, and a potential to help make a better world for their kids. On the spiritual side, they look for the ability to control their destiny in some other lifetime, or at least be in charge of their afterlife. They are looking for knowledge you could take with you after the grave!
If you look further into this future world that has been “cleared” you will find that it would be run by the COS. The concept of “clear the planet” even if not written, contains the idea of a world run by Scientologists. Of course, closer inspection shows it would not be run by Scientologists as individual people as most Scientologists assume, but by a very few people who control the CST (Church of Spiritual Technology, the RTC, (Religious Technology Center) and CSI, (Church of Scientology International). Therein lies the danger. It isn’t a democratic organization. It is a totalitarian organization that could rival China. Only it is on our turf.
You won’t be able to convince a died-in-the-wool COS member of any bad facts, because he won’t take out time to look at them. He has been trained to keep the show on the road, and not be diverted by those who would try to put him off course. So what do you do? You peel the onion a little more.
There are those who will oppose a worthwhile purpose, for gains of their own. They may hide their intentions, perhaps even from themselves. The bad guys aren’t the ones out front, like you and me, demanding change, trying to fix a problem as we see it. The bad guys are the ones with the hidden agenda, and the problem persists because we don’t know who they are. Hopefully we can somehow follow the money tree back to a source or sources. Someone connected to the COS must be benefiting from money. It isn’t the staff; they are lucky to be fed well. It isn’t charity. COS doesn’t do any.
So what does one do to inform people who won’t listen to your complaints? Once there was mass exodus from the COS. It didn’t happen because someone on the outside pointed out problems on the inside. It happened because the problems on the inside were effecting these people strongly, and because the original group that helped establish the churches were a hardy, self-determined bunch that recognized that Scientology as we knew it then was no longer Scientology Today. It happened because Scientologists who were taking responsibility were being usurped on control. It was an internal problem.
Could a mass exodus happen again? Possibly. The new order has been pretty much accepted by those within the churches. I do expect slow but steady exodus from the COS, and for it to fall into three categories:
a) Those who were lucky and made the gains they expected. They will be able to be more objective, and when things don’t make sense as it should within the COS, and they discover they cannot fix it from inside they will leave. They will leave feeling upset and betrayed.
b) Those who come in, spend their money, and don’t get what was promised. They will be angry and feeling abused, even scammed.
c) Staff that just can’t take it anymore. They don’t understand what is going on, they just know they can’t cope any longer. Or, they do know what is going on, and can’t do anything about it.
Then there could be another scenario where staff leaves because the Church itself simply isn’t pulling in the funds to stay viable, where public opinion has turned so against the COS that the money stops coming in. Where legal suits against the Church begin to do serious damage to their Treasury. This type of situation slowly begins to force staff to reconsider their positions, but it is very hard on the staff. Maybe we should have a staff “crisis line” in the Los Angeles area so that people wanting to leave and having no place to go and no money to aid them could find sources of help.
Of course, there are those who will find it very, very, difficult to leave, even if they have thoughts about it, particularly those high profile cases who interface with the public and tell them how good Scientology is, like John Travolta. Key people will be controlled, possibly even blackmailed, to stay in. It may not even be an overt statement of blackmail; it can just be that the celebrity or other key person in our society who is a Scientologist knows that the COS has their most innermost secrets which could be revealed if they were ever considered “fair game.” The COS doesn’t need to state this verbally. The situation is known to anyone who has been in Scientology any length of time. Not every nasty thing a person has done in his or her life is covered under Confessional privilege.
It is possible to “peel the onion” deeper by looking at the group function of Scientologists, as they interact within the Churches of Scientology. The onion has a lot of layers; we can only pull them off bit-by-bit, with particular attention to those points that are contradictory in nature to their own purported intention to clear the planet.
The Founders's Intentions
Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, a science-fiction writer of the 1930s, who, beginning in about 1949, became author of a vast number of Dianetic and Scientology publications until his death in 1986. It would be hard to peel the onion without taking some look at the founder, his intentions, and most certainly, his legacy, the Church of Scientology. On the other hand, at this point in time it really doesn’t matter if LRH’s intentions were as good as he presented them, or if he was motivated by power and greed, or both. What matters is what is written, for what he has written is what has been passed down as a heritage to this planet. “If it isn’t written, it isn’t true” is what is taught to Scientologists. So part of the onion is what is written, and how it impacts families and society. Part of the onion is who controls the written works, currently the CST. Another part of the onion is that his works are slowly being re-written by the RTC so in the future it may be a new onion altogether.
Even though it might not be essential to the resolution of today’s Scientology problems, giving a few words about a man who wrote so many himself may help fill in a gap in understanding. I always thought of Ron, as he preferred to be called, as a games maker. Creative, active, talented, he drove himself and expected others to keep up. He had a remarkable memory for names and faces, and could put you at ease in an instant.
Back in the year 1950, LRH was trying to make a living as a writer. When his book “Dianetics, the Modern Science of Mental Health” became an overnight success I’m sure he was elated. Did this also surprise him? I think it did. Surprised or not, he had something that was making impact on the society. Folks spoke both for and against his theories. People flooded to his door wanting to know more.
I am sure when he wrote the DMSMH he did not expect to be running organizations, but the fallout from the book was there, and that required him to do something. He started The Hubbard Dianetic Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and also in Wichita, Kansas. When the Foundation clashed over the subject of past lives, LRH disconnected from the Foundation, selling the rights to DMSMH to Don Purcell, for $1. It was many years later before the Church of Scientology finally regained the copyrights, and later yet when the CST (Church of Spiritual Technology) the current senior organization, obtained the copyrights.
Selling his copyrights is not the picture of a man who was planning to build an empire or an organization where you can sign up for a billion years. LRH had his own personal family troubles back in the early 1950’s. He was still trying to make a living, and continued to write and give lectures. He set up the Hubbard Association of Scientologists, or HAS.
He was in demand. Old Dianetisists and new Scientologists were eager for more “whole track” information and they slurped up his lectures. This idea of “whole track”, having lived before, was a very radical idea in the US. Definitely not mainstream in the 1950’s.
Running an organization took a lot of work. About 1957 LRH confided to a then friend of mine about his problem. Did he (Hubbard) really want to continue this role in Scientology that he now had thrust upon him? Or should he just take off and do something else? Church Scientologists today tend to believe that LRH was this almost God-like person, who wanted the best for mankind and was ready to stay with them for a billion years, and surely will come back to pick up where he left off. In reality LRH had just set a ball rolling with his DMSMH and when people showed up, he coped. There wasn’t a long-range plan in 1950. That plan formed later (1953) when he began to see how this subject, turned into a religion, could make money.
This is not to say that LRH doubted his tech, or that he doubted that his tech would benefit the planet. He just wasn’t the altruistic person that many Scientologists would like to believe he was. He was money and power motivated.
He was coping when he changed Scientology from an “applied philosophy” to a religion, and he later changed Dianetics from the “science of mind” to a “science of soul or spirit” to give validity to that change. Before he incorporated his first Churches, the Church of Scientology in Phoenix, and the Church of American Science in Phoenix, there was a problem; how could auditors deliver auditing if the various States in the US would not allow an auditor to practice? A Dianetic auditor couldn’t hang out a shingle, not unless he also had the acceptable college degrees. A religion solved that problem very nicely. Ministers were permitted to counsel others. Therefore, all auditors were now ministers. Problem solved.
It serves no useful purpose in peeling the onion to argue whether or not Scientology is truly a religion. The Courts in the US agree they are. The Courts in Germany say they aren’t. Since I live in the US I will approach this subject from the viewpoint the Scientology is a religion. Scientologists in the Church could probably say, “Oh, you need to take a Minister’s Course and be ordained to be a Minister,” but that wasn’t the way in the 1950’s. So, if you really want to know what Scientology was, you study the history. Unfortunately, that probably won’t peel the onion very much or solve today’s conflicts.
One other thing about L. Ron Hubbard that is pertinent to the understanding of the Churches of Scientology is that the Hubbard did change over the years. While his early works seemed generous, as in the example of his chapter in the Creation of Human Ability, entitled “The Factors” where he ends by saying “Humbly tendered as a gift to Man by L. Ron Hubbard April 23, l953”, his later policies, particularly those after 1965, were more frequently designed to enhance or protect the organization, getting the statistics up, suppressive persons out, and the money in. Perhaps it was because he had learned a hard lesson. The first Churches of Scientology were really poor and struggling. I think he believed at first if you just let people get on with it they will do a good job and all would flourish and prosper. Watching the struggling orgs must have been painful to him. He writes, he lectures, he tells them how, and still only a handful seemed to be succeeding, and those mostly were the Field Auditors and the Franchises (later called Missions). Frankly, I believe he lost respect for his followers, and became the hard taskmaster. He didn’t seem to have the capability to understand how people could NOT be able to do things. It seemed to infuriate him. It was like underneath he believed that people really were deliberately doing less than he expected, that they were refusing to make things go right. To counteract this perceived non-compliance he tried to apply more and more force to keep the “bank” in line and get the jobs done. His policies began to reflect this attitude.
In his early works, LRH tended to make Scientology autonomous, giving us the tech freely to use. In later years, much of the tech became “confidential”, and available only to those who paid dearly in time and money to learn the inside secrets. Eventually the policies took away autonominity, causing Field Auditors to pay a percentage back of their auditor earnings to the organization. At that point, the use of Scientology became completely controlled by the COS. Any group that attempted to use Scientology to help the public was promptly annexed by the COS. Narconon, Apple School, and later W.I.S.E. fell prey to new policies.
There is no question in my mind that were the Churches of Scientology to continue to expand unchecked over the planet, that “everything” would eventually become under the control of “those in power” within the Churches. The pattern is there in past behavior. While those connected to the Church may consider this a good thing, the way to clear the planet, I feel they are blinded by their purpose and not able to see what is really occurring within their own groups. They are not distinguishing between controlling the planet and clearing the planet.
Picture it this way: Everything and everyone would eventually be subject to their unbending policies. It would be rule by enforcement. If you didn’t agree with the policies, you would be “out”. But in a world run by COSs there would be no place to go. My way or the highway…but the highway would be owned by the COS! You don’t get a vote.
LRH once said that he preferred a “benevolent dictatorship” as a method of government. Now, a dictatorship exists, with no one at the top claiming the dictatorship or being beneovolent. As a matter of fact, it is difficult to find out who is running the show currently.
Inside the Churches
The idea of control, freedom, and responsibility as a trio is not a Scientology idea. Scientologists are taught “KRC”, which is knowledge, responsibility and control. It is the top triangle of the Scientology symbol. Staff members have very little personal freedom. At times, especially in the Sea Org, they may have none at all. This is a strange contradiction in a group that says that Scientology is the road to total freedom.
Perversely, those on staff are usually not aware of the extent of infringement on their rights to personal freedom. They do not see that their freedom is being abused. After all, they chose to be there and do their part in “clearing” the planet. Mostly they are too busy or too tired to think about it.
Knowledge is limited to LRH writings. There are policies for almost anything you can imagine, like a policy on the subject of “how fast to eat”, a policy not designed for your health, but for optimum use of your time for the Church’s purposes. The writings are divided into two main categories, tech and admin. If you are studying to be an auditor, you read the red ink on white paper bulletins. If you are in the administrative part of the organization you study the green-on-white policies. Of course, there is some overlapping, but relatively little. There are also blue-on-white Flag Orders.
Flag is a word from Flagship, stemming from when there was a real Flagship in the Sea Org. The Sea Org is considered the most elite of the organizations, and you sign a billion-year contract with them when you join. When the Sea Org sold their ships and moved to land, “Flag” or headquarters was installed in Clearwater, FL where it remains today.
The knowledge as written in the bulletins and policies can be positive education. If you were not a Scientologist and picked up some of the material to read, you could probably find information that you could use to better your life or working conditions. A person attending a Scientology course will most likely come out of it with an improved ability to communicate or to read, for example. Some basic courses are not very expensive, and you receive friendly handling. The new graduate takes his skills into society and to that degree he, in some minute way, is making a positive change. This is the positive part of the COS’s interfacing with society.
The problem is, there will be no stopping until you are a “believer” in Scientology. You will be on their mailing list, probably forever. So what is wrong with this, you might ask, if the knowledge is helpful?
Not all knowledge in Scientology should be placed in the category of helpful. There are policies designed only to help Scientology grow. There are policies that teach you how to handle enemies (of Scientology). There are pricing policies that could bankrupt you. The one policy I have never seen is how to recognize a scam.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying it is a scam. Scams have no valuable final product; they just take your money. Scientology does have valuable final products; how valuable remains in the eye of the beholder, but in any case the product depends on the ability of the Church to deliver what is promised. However, once you are turned into a “believer” you will do everything you can to get your next course, your next level of auditing, and they will take your money.
Does anyone know where the money goes? I don’t. In the by-laws of the CST there is supposed to be a fund set up for helping those who can’t afford Scientology but want it. Has anyone ever heard of anyone receiving this benefit?
Senior Policy in Scientology is, “Always deliver what is promised.” That is what LRH said to do. So why then, are there disaffected people, screaming on the Internet? Are we all SPs (Suppressive Persons) as Church members would lead you to believe by studying their knowledge (policies) on SPs? Of course, there are many individual reasons for disaffection, but mostly they will fall under the above. They weren’t delivered what was promised. The product wasn’t, at least to them, as advertised. Or they saw the “secret scriptures” and their belief system simply couldn’t accept it. Or they didn’t get what they paid for at all. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. It doesn’t even cover why staff members leave, which is further down in peeling the onion.
I’d like to share a little knowledge I didn’t learn from Scientology. It is how scams work. The scammer wheels you in. He starts with something of interest to you; he finds your vulnerability. He presents you with something that looks legitimate to you, something you could want to have. He has excellent communication skills, makes you feel like he is trustworthy and your friend, and will probably direct you to documents that look official and real. He involves you in the process. As you become more and more involved, and the “game” becomes more and more interesting you are more willing to take your new friend’s suggestions. Scam artists rarely ask for money at first. Yet, from the moment one contacts you and you don’t say “no” right away, you will be spending your hard-earned dollars. It may just start out with a long distance call, to talk over the proposition, or a personal meeting where you drive and spend your gas dollars to meet somewhere. The more you spend for something the easier it becomes to spend more.
Within Scientology, there are no trained scam artists. There is no one there who believes he is scamming you, or at least if he begins to think he is he won’t be there long. But, the methods are similar. You come in for a “free” personality test, and soon someone is evaluating it and telling you about what you are interested in, primarily you. The test will show that there are personality traits that could stand improvement, and you have to agree because those tests do reflect pretty well how you are. You are unhappy, it says here, and you nod. Or you have trouble controlling your temper, and you nod. Whatever it is they have you hooked, and now they go for their first sale. It won’t cost much. Maybe they will even give you a freebie. So you show up, and you begin to be involved. The communication is good, people seem to like and accept you, and soon you are hooked. Gentle pressure and a nice smile get you onto your next course. And, while it probably is not a common practice of the COS, I do know of Registrars (those who sign you up for courses and auditing) who did take clients to bed to secure a promise to sign up for a course. Anything to get stats up! What that example really shows is how the pressure to get stats up can effect the individual staff members.
The power of this group is based on their own belief system that Scientology is truly the bridge to total freedom. They believe that the wonderful goal of a planet without insanity, criminality, and war can only be achieved by clearing people. Clearing, of course, is one of the products they sell. Scientologists believe in what they are selling and don’t have hidden evil intentions that the true scam artist has. Unfortunately, it makes the sales pitch even more effective.
One of Scientology’s more famous policies, called Keeping Scientology Working, has a line that states that Scientology isn’t a perfect system, but that it is a workable system. So when things aren’t quite right it is easy to consider that you weren’t promised a perfect system. And, of course, when things aren’t right, it is your job to “make it go right”, the Scientology form of responsibility.
Control and Responsibility without Freedom
In Scientology, everyone is responsible for his own condition. No exceptions. One’s condition on staff is monitored by stats. (statistics). Every post, even the HCO Expeditor (called “gofers” in ordinary society) has a statistic to keep. Statistics must go up. If you wrote a hundred letters this week, you should target at least one hundred-one for the following week. (Actually, that wouldn’t be an acceptable target by your Senior who will probably want a much higher production level.) But, let’s say all you have to do is make one hundred and one for stats to be up. This might go along all right for awhile. Sooner or later you are going to have to find faster ways to write the letters. Quality may drop out in favor of speed. You find staff in other departments to write a few. You bring pen and paper to public waiting for services, and ask them to help. Find a friend to help you out. Chit people who are supposed to contribute to letter writing for not doing it. Desperation city! Of course, the policy is that letters are handwritten, so that lets out faster methods like computers, so you are having to be responsible for something that sooner or later will go out of your control. It is a no-win situation.
Eventually your stats drop, and now you are in the condition of Emergency, and have less personal time, less money (you are penalized) and you have a formula to apply to get out of the condition, which consumes a bit of extra time. Your stats go up again, but perhaps not as far up as they were. Still, up stats are up stats and all is well for a week or two. You have taken responsibility for your post.
So let’s continue a bit. Assume you are the letter writer, and you have a bad day. Let's say you have a toothache. You route yourself to the medical officer, and maybe even get a dental appointment that you will have to pay for out of your own meager salary (how much a week? Currently I don’t know, but was about $10 or so a week when I was there). You aren’t thinking too well over the pain. Someone gives you a touch assist, which probably won’t work since medical attention is needed. You are off your post for awhile, getting behind on that letter writing. Your stats drop to Danger. Now you Senior appears, starts writing letters herself, gives you the Junior Danger Formula to write up, your pay just about disappears, your fellow Scientologists are looking at the fact that your post is in Danger and you know you aren’t getting any respect. After all, a person is responsible for his own condition and the condition of his posts, and they give no quarter. (A little known phrase –like no mercy, no excuses accepted). So you do the Danger formula and all is well for awhile, but sooner or later your stats are going to crash again, because you are in an impossible situation and no one in the org will admit that that is an impossible situation. “Make it go right” is the only answer.
About the third or fourth time that your stats hit danger, your Senior is probably pretty annoyed. After all, your stat effects her stat, and if you don’t do well, she will have a harder time. She sends you to Qual (the correction division) to find out what you don’t understand about letter writing policies.
So over the policies you go again, and if Qual can’t find anything misunderstood, well there obviously is nothing to correct. So off to Ethics you are sent.
Ethics checks you out to see if you are PTS (a potential trouble source) or connected to someone hostile or antagonist to Scientology (hope you didn’t read A.R.S) and, if you aren’t, makes you write up all your overts, (things you did that were wrong). Then, if all OK he sends you back to write letters. But, oh, oh, he finds out that Aunt Elsie thinks Scientology is a scam. Time out to “handle” Aunt Elsie who doesn’t want any good roads, fair weather crap, being ninety and hard of hearing. You return and say she won’t listen, and is still antagonistic. That makes you PTS, and no PTSs are allowed to work in Division One that handles public. Your letter writing job is down the drain; they reassign you to Estates mopping floors or something. Now you have a new stat, and eventually a new problem.
The pressure is always on to get stats up; peer pressure is very strong, because they all agree that upstats should be rewarded, and downstats should be penalized. Every single post has this same problem. It is completely bizarre. I have no objection to rewarding upstats and penalizing downstats, but when it is continually used this way, it is conditioning. It is making obedient rats for the rat race. Do I need to point out here that conditioning is the exact opposite of clearing?
It would be different if the control and responsibility worked hand-in-hand. The letter writer could get personnel to hire an additional letter writer. But he can’t. He is not in control. He can make a request to Personnel, but Personnel isn’t going to listen, Personnel has her own stats to keep, and holes in the organization to fill, and your request will not get priority. There is never enough staff to go around.
This bizarreness is accepted as normal, and once you have accepted that it is your own fault, this lack of “making things go right”, a little bit of self-doubt starts creeping in. This is the beginning of the abuse cycle. Stick around long enough and you will invariably wind up with “heavy Ethics,” Committees of Evidence, and other control mechanisms such as the “overboards” (throwing people off of a ship in the ocean) that LRH indulged in for awhile, or the RPF (Rehabilitation Project Force) the Church’s equivalent of prison. You will do lower conditions formulas, accept that you deserved them (or pretend to if you think you didn’t) beg to get back into the group, and work harder to keep Scientology working. That means, making sure your Juniors keep Scientology working, too. More pressure. No excuses. No quarter. You become part of an abusive system.
Worse than that, you may not see you have become part of an abusive system. You are now contributing to abuse you don’t even recognize as abuse. You are now a fully hatted staff member who understands that this way of treating others is “normal”.
Scientology’s saving grace is that there is auditing, and in auditing you can remove the trauma. Yet, there are two problems here, first, staff members have relatively little access to auditing. Second, it doesn’t do much good to audit someone and remove the trauma just to put him back into the same situation, or system, that caused that trauma in the first place.
A staff member has to discover for himself that he is being abused, and this in spite of training that victims are not appreciated, even if you are one. You can’t take Scientology away from Scientologists; that is like sentencing them to death. It is their life-blood.
What is Scientology?
Scientology is a body of data covering life, life sources, and the human mind. It contains therapy and drills that have been shown in many cases to improve a person’s sense of self worth, and increase his certainty and confidence as a spiritual being. That is the spiritual side of Scientology. That information appears in books and bulletins.
Scientology is not the Churches of Scientology. The Church is a militant organization without the guns. It is commanded from the top down. You say, “Yes, Sir.” You wear a uniform. Like any military type organization it is heavy on control. It was set up to control, to be a machine that would move a new person from point A where he first contacts the organization, through various steps of auditing and training, to point B, the other end of the bridge to total freedom. Problem is, point B is not yet established. There is no end to the bridge.
It creates a tremendous confusion when Scientology and the COS are considered the same. Scientologists within the Church believe that anyone not in good standing with the Church isn’t a Scientologist. They are either a “wog” (uninformed person, species human) or they are SPs because they have left the group. However, LRH did not consider the Church and Scientology as the same thing. Here is an excerpt from the by-laws of the CST, the Church of Spiritual Technology, and top of the hierarchy:
"Religion of Scientology" and "Church of Scientology" shall not necessarily be co-terminal. That is to say, the terms "religion of Scientology" and "Church of Scientology" shall be co-terminal only so long as Churches of Scientology continue, in the opinion of L. Ron Hubbard during his lifetime, and in the opinion of all of the Directors and Trustees following the death of L. Ron Hubbard, to espouse, propagate and practice the religion of Scientology.
Would you like to know how heavy on control the organization is? The CST controls all the written and taped materials of LRH. Either the CST leases the copyrights directly to the lower ranking Churches, or does it through the RTC, Religious Technology Center. They are leased to the Church of Scientology International for six months at a time. If the CSI doesn’t comply with certain mandates of the senior organization, they can pull their right to use the copyrights. That is why strange practices like insisting their upper level solo auditors appear periodically for Security Checks (at the solo auditor’s expense) whether they want it or not, occur. There is no recourse; it is currently a machine that signals when it is time for the Security Check.
I don’t know what the laws are in the United States regarding companies Security Checking their personnel and their customers, but I can well imagine that if companies started using lie detectors on their personnel and customers (and charging them for the privilege) it would be instant grist for the mill of 60 Minutes. “Oh, yes, Mr. Jones, before you can purchase a new, updated automobile, we need to have you step into our office so we can ask you a few questions. Cost, about $300 an hour. So here is your first question, “Have you ever said anything bad about our company to anyone?” “Have you ever copied any of our company’s confidential material.” “Have you ever stolen anything from our company?” That sort of thing.
The public associates Scientology with the Churches of Scientology. Of course it is associated, but it is not the same. The Churches could all collapse and Scientology would still exist, and it would exist without the existence of “Sec Checks” which are symptomatic of a police state. This would be beneficial to society, because it isn’t the technology of Scientology that is harmful; it is misapplication of the technology by poorly trained auditors and the abusive totalitarian nature of the COS that causes damage. It is the militant Church that gobbles up small businesses that were independently owned by Scientologists, and makes them report their statistics to the CMO (Commodores’ Messenger Org) or Flag, and pay their percentages. Taxation without representation anyone? It is the militant Church that receives statistics from organizations that “really aren’t a Scientology org, just use the study tech” like the Delphian Foundation in Oregon.
The Freezone is an area of Scientology not recognized as Scientology by the COS and its members. It consists of former Church members, many of whom are now labeled as Suppressive Persons. These people still believe in the workability of the technology and their solution is to pick up people as they fall out of the Church, clean up their cases, and run out their negative Scientology experiences. They want to show COS adherents that they can receive auditing and have case gain without the control factors the Church runs in on them, without having to “make it go right”. Some Freezoners still hope to reform the COS. Good luck to them.
The Freezone’s answer is not for everyone who leaves the COS. There are those who consider they have been so badly harmed, their families alienated, the experience so painful they don’t even want to talk about it. These are what Scientologists themselves would term “overt products”; they came into the churches and went out worsened. These “overt products” tend to act as enemies of the COS, and they rejoin society with pain in their hearts, and usually without any money. Not so good for society or Scientology.
I used to wonder about psychologists telling people who have been abused, “It’s not your fault”. I’m beginning to understand, but it hasn’t been easy as I spent thirty years in Scientology, and the idea of “you are responsible for your own condition” doesn’t give any leeway for victims. Within the COS organizations it is automatically understood that it is your fault if things don’t go right, even when you don’t have control, and when you don’t make it go right you can lose your freedom to the RPF.
Many people who leave the COS refuse auditing. I can only suggest that they seek a friendly exit counselor, or an unfriendly legal counselor, and make full use of our Justice System. Just as with any company that offers a service or product that turns out to be faulty, there should be compensation. Scientology Churches shouldn’t be any less liable for their mistakes than Firestone.
Interfacing with Society
How do the organizations of Scientology interface with society? For the most part they don’t. When they do it is through front groups such as the Delphian Foundation, or Narconon. What they really do is try to parallel the functions of society. A government within a government so to speak. When they do interact with society it is usually after they have taken over control of a group started by independent Scientologists, at least that is how they did it in the days when there still were independent Scientologists. If you think that there is no intention to rule the world, take a look at this quote:
"Somebody some day will say 'this is illegal'.
By then be sure the orgs say what is legal or not."
--- L. Ron Hubbard, HCOPL 4 January 1966
If the COS is taking responsibility for any part of society through their front groups, it is always with idea of furthering their own goals as a group. On the other side of the coin, what responsibility should society take for a group, which, if left to their druthers, would annex them? How can society be responsible for something, decide what controls are warranted, if any, if the subject remains a mystery? One thing we can do is to keep our nations and their representatives honestly informed about the COS.
There is a front group called Criminon, started by COS, not by a private person to the best of my knowledge. Criminon is there strictly for public image, to make COS look like one of the good guys, going for help and reform, and all of that. Problem is, Scientology wasn’t designed to help criminals. They don’t have the technology to handle either criminals or the insane. This is not to say that some cannot receive some benefit, but Scientology was designed to make the able more able. Scientology is not Christian organization; they don’t go chasing off to look for lost lambs. The group therapies being used in some prisons are far more effective in bringing about a change of heart for criminals than the Scientology technology or their Ethics system. There may be COS members who will argue this point; perhaps even some Freezoners may disagree with that point. While there is a tiny portion of Scientology technology designed for the more difficult cases, that technology takes a highly skilled professional auditor, a willingness on the part of the criminal to stop their overt acts against society, tons of auditing hours, and even then there is no guarantee. Even if they make gains, they could slide back because of their old friends and connections. This is a very difficult thing to handle, so difficult that the COS has their Ethics Officers routinely route out of the COS criminals and people who are “crazy” (they call them Type III Potential Trouble Sources).
I hope the COS isn’t using Criminon for a recruitment pool to get more staff, because that is a truly terrifying idea. The COS is already a totalitarian form of government. Picture what it would be like if ex-criminals decide to make it their new home.
Do We Need a Chapter on Abuses?
I think not. They are well documented elsewhere, and available through any Internet search. Perhaps a quick synopsis, just to remind others that all is not well within the COS, and perhaps mentioning a couple of things I haven’t seen elsewhere. Also, to point out that control, as defined in the technology of Scientology as, “positive postulating, which is intention and the execution thereof” (Scn. 08, page 36) is not the control as applied by/to the majority of staff members. In the effort to get the stats up every manner of control is used, threats, orders, Ethics handlings. RPF has been used by individual Seniors as a threat to obtain compliance from their Juniors. “Get your stats up or you’re going to the RPF.”
The RPF, Rehabilitation Project Force, is where staff members are sent when it is deemed they are not fit to work in their respective org. They are not allowed to communicate with other Church Members. They are locked down at night. They go on short sleep. If Johnny Doe was a staff member of, for example, AOLA, Advanced Organization at Los Angeles, and AOLA sends him to the RPF, his food rations will depend on the overall statistics of AOLA at the time. AOLA had a bad week statistically? Then AOLA staff may be on rice and beans for food. In that the case the RPF connected to that org gets even less food, bread and water? Johnny Doe may go hungry.
The RPF has a stat, too. Stats go up when there are more people in the RPF! This, of course, makes a good reason to keep them there. Since the purpose of Scientology is stated to be to free people, here is an example of the exact opposite behavior in the militant Sea Org.
One ex-CMO (Commodore’s Messenger Org) person I know had been repeatedly threatened that he would be sent to the RPF if he didn’t get his stats up. “I won’t go.” was his reply. Do the policies of Scientology permit you a choice? Of course they do. You can continue to put up with the abuse, consider it justified, and eventually become an abuser yourself, or you can leave…provided you do it before anyone locks you up.
The Right to Practice One's Beliefs
We live in a world that interacts; no person is an island unto himself. What we do now in regard to the Church of Scientology may effect the future of the planet. There is no question that since the Churches, at least in the United States, are accepted by the Courts as a religion, that people should have the right to join the COS if they wish. That is in our Constitution, and it protects us from making rash decisions. The same Constitution permits us to warn others if we see danger. In response they may accept what we say, or throw it out and do as they please, just so long as they aren’t breaking the law.
It does come down to a personal choice. For example, when one of my daughters started participating in Scientology, I warned her to keep an eye on her pocketbook. So when she proceeds to spend many thousands of dollars, should I just drop it there? She is an adult; it is her money. She seems satisfied with her auditing, but that isn’t where she spent all of her money. She made a personal unsecured loan of several thousand dollars to an “OT VII” for that person’s “bridge.” I hope she can collect her returns. Is she doing better since she joined? I think not. Financially she is troubled. I guess only she really knows if she is better off than when she started participating in Scientology.
Of course, she is disconnected from me now, since I am deemed a Suppressive Person. True, this system will prevent me from giving further advice. It also breaks up families. I wasn’t declared SP for saying the above, actually I don’t know exactly why and when I was declared, I wasn’t informed. I can assume it is because I wrote a letter to the then Guardian’s Office saying I was leaving the Church. Until my daughter was told to disconnect from me, I had no idea I had been declared SP. If an Ethics Officer had heard that I had told my daughter to keep an eye on her pocketbook, that would have been considered very anti-Scientology. Yet I worked in mail order for a number of years, and always told people starting new into mail order, “Don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.” Is that suppressive? No, it is common sense!
My mother was once declared a Suppressive Person because she wouldn’t loan me one hundred dollars for an auditing action I wanted, but was willing to loan me money for other things. I had to disconnect from her; if I didn’t I wouldn’t have been permitted any further auditing or training, an unthinkable future at that time. There would have gone the dream that motivated my life. Therein lies a form of control within the Church that is damaging to not only to families, but also to one’s self. No one should be forced to choose between giving up his life’s motivation and seeing a family member. No one should be forced to do something that they could later regret. The disconnection policies as practiced by the COS are simply wrong.
I’m sure there are many family members who have faced the dilemma of what to do when your friends and relatives disconnect. Do we just let it lie, and hope it will eventually blow over? Or do we seek some form of Justice? Legal actions alleging alienation of affection would be very hard to prove. Now that your loved one has disconnected from you, he has done something against you, and the nature of the mind is to justify one’s bad actions rather than admit them. Disconnectors will almost always say they did it on their own choice, once they have been subjected to reading enough policies, and have been told by the COS that you are a Suppressive Person.
There may be a time and place for disconnecting from someone, but no one should say, you must disconnect from Pat Krenik, because we, the Church of Scientology have labeled her SP. More than that, no one should label someone as a Suppressive Person, and use that to make ones family and friends think less of one. My grandson disconnected from me and the worst thing I ever did to my grandson was scolding him one time for really bad table manners. I love my grandson Rory Stevens, and I hope someone reading this that knows him will tell him that.
Is there an answer to the COS’s policies on disconnection? It falls into the category of stop the abuse, because this is another abusive practice. Like a symptom of a disease, it is not the disease itself. The first step in treating a disease is containment. You keep it from spreading. You quarantine it. There isn’t any way that I know of to settle the problem of broken families and disconnection by addressing that as the problem, because it requires communication to resolve a problem, and that assumes someone willing to talk with you about it. The COS is withdrawn and not interfacing with society on this subject. Since there is no arbitration, and no room for arbitration there is no resolution of this problem. It is just a part of the puzzle and we need to keep peeling the onion to find more parts of the puzzle if we are to do anything effective about the organizations of Scientology.
Throughout the entire org history, one could see the rise and fall of power among the Executives. Someone moved to the top, a few months later he was demoted. It was like watching world history dramatized, only in a short span of time. First he is the Captain of ASHO; six months later he is in the chain locker. One really learned that power is temporary, and everyone crashes sooner or later. Unpleasant as that may be, it was a reflection of life, and a learning process.
Something strange has happened since David Miscavige stepped into power. He has been there over twenty years, and still maintains his position. Now, that is a puzzle piece. He claims not to have anything to do with the running of CSI, the Church of Scientology International. Who is running the Church? While we know that the CST is the top corporation because it controls all the copyrights to the written and taped works of LRH, and while we know it is in the hands of the Trustees we don’t know the names of the Trustees. Is David Miscavige also a Trustee or on the Board of CSI? Is he on the Board of the RTC? Who is being responsible for the organization? Who has the power to change any of the conditions within the group? Who has the right to change a policy that has been proven to be unworkable? Would they if they could? That is what makes it scary. We no longer know who are really running the show, and what their intentions really are. They hold a powerful technology that when run “wrong way to” can cause damage, and David Miscavige has been known to intentionally misuse the technology that way. No one knows where the money goes that keeps moving up to the top. Where is it kept? What is it used for? Certainly not for charity, as we all know well.
I believe it is our job, those who know and understand the potential danger of this group to society, to make sure we keep them honest and straight. They claim to have taken the responsibility to give us freedom…then let us make sure they deliver it, or bust. Keep the legal pressure on whenever we see that someone worsens (or dies) as a result of misapplied, misunderstood policies or plain abuse or neglect. Keep the legal pressure on regarding the children in the orgs. Make sure all children are going to school or complying with State laws regarding home schooling. Just because the orgs are Churches doesn’t mean they don’t have to follow the rules set down for the rest of us.
See if there is some legal way to find out who the current Directors, Special Directors and Trustees are in the CST, RTC, and CSI. These are the people who are supposedly responsible for what happens in the Churches. There are some interesting clauses in the by-laws of the CST, concerning who can take over a Trustee’s position if it is vacated, and the qualifications for those holding those senior positions. I would be very much surprised if everyone there was qualified per CST’s own by-laws. I would also be surprised if David Miscavige doesn’t hold several positions, such as a Trustee or Director in more than one of those organizations. How else could he stay on top?
We could have a central point where people could send in any news blurb, no matter how small, that has to do with Scientology Churches. If someone really wanted to they could search past newpapers for mention of Scientology, because there have been things that happened that were covered up quickly and not brought to the public’s attention.
In all fairness, some things that may have happened may not have been the fault of the group or its policies. Individuals make up the organization, and people can make mistakes or make decisions that are not the fault of the COS itself. Psychiatrists have a certain suicide rate, that doesn’t necessary mean they all gave bad therapy. Most of the people that come to psychiatrists have severe mental problems, and many are already suicidal. The Churches really should have a much lower rate of connected suicides, since they do not accept these difficult cases for auditing if they spot them. What is odd is when a person, who has been accepted for auditing, apparently reaches OT III or so, suddenly jumps off of the roof of AO. That is the sort of thing you look for.
We need to lobby our representatives regarding laws that permit people in Churches to work for pittances. A good worker deserves his pay. Perhaps there could be some exceptions for those who take an “oath of poverty” as part of their religion, but there has to be a way that a minimum wage law could be passed to cover workers of any churches. There would have to be a way to circumvent all COS staff members suddenly taking an oath of poverty! Farmers can cry “poor mouth” and not pay migrant workers because they will go bust. But the Churches of Scientology are charging big bucks for their services; let them pay their staff. It is demeaning to a being to work for very little or nothing. It is really a cousin to slavery.
I think it is a good idea to keep up protest marches. Let the signs continue to reflect the abuses, so that the public will know COS is not a safe place to work, as well as posters that put attention on the abuses within the organization that staff can recognize. “Where did all the money go?” “Anyone on rice and beans this week?” “Donate to the Lisa McPherson Trust Fund”. “Is anyone wearing Ron’s hat?” “Stop abuse.”
“Does Flag have a prison?” “Ex-IRS agent on Board of CST?” “Are staff children adequately cared for?” “How many members does the Church claim to have?” Any Church Member that sees it will have an unanswered thought in the back of his mind. He may shove it aside, but sooner or later, when it is his turn to do a Doubt formula, it will pop back up.
One might find out if there is another building near Flag where Sea Org members have headquarters. They used to have one. It would be a switch to picket there.
What the Churches of Scientology Could Do
That is, could do if they would. With all the technology they have you would think that they could find out what they are doing wrong to cause such antagonism.
If they would just honestly inform the public instead of Keeping Scientology Secret, that would be a start. Post publicly who are the Trustees of the CST, the top COS organization. Internet would be handy. Post when changes occur. We need to know who is running the show. We want to know who is running the show. We cannot clear up or handle grievances if we get some underling who has no power to change anything. You are supposed to be a Church, for God’s Sake, please don’t hide things. Show us who are in charge of what; who can make or change policy.
Get rid of the “don’t communicate with SPs policies.” You need to take time to communicate to the people you have declared Suppressive Persons. But then, you need to have the power to do something about the complaints beside Sec Checking us. In particular handle the grievances regarding the disconnection policies. It is just wrong to break up families. Over what? A difference of opinion? Quit considering that everyone who opposes something about Scientology is a SP. Man is basically good, remember? Save the SP declares for the serial killers.
Publish all stats for the organizations quarterly, just like any stock corporation would do, or, since you are a private, closed corporation, at least publish it for members in good standing. How can anyone in your group do an adequate Doubt formula without adequate statistics?
And the one last thing I don’t believe you would ever do. Say “I’m sorry”. I’m sorry that our policies have broken up your families; it won’t happen again. I’m sorry that we have used “heavy Ethics” in the past. It was a wrong thing to do, and has cost us our public image. I’m sorry we have incarcerated people into the RPF; it isn’t our job to hold prisoners. I’m sorry that we have abused our auditors and cancelled certs. Certificates earned should be able to be held forever. I’m sorry we have charged so much for an E-meter; we will rectify that immediately and lower prices so more people will find it easier to become auditors. We will charge no more than double what it costs us to make them.
And I’m sorry that anyone in our group has ever used the auditing designed to free people for punishment or control, or financial gain for the COS. We will immediately cancel any policy that lets us misuse our tech against anyone, whether conceived to be an enemy or not. We have come to our senses and realize that when we use our technology to harm anyone, we are committing crimes of mental assault.
All Policies that enforce disconnection are hereby cancelled. All SP declares are hereby cancelled. All overts ever told or written within the auspices of any Church are hereby considered forgiven by the Church and all such writings will be destroyed. Amen.
If the Church of Scientology is allowed to spread unchecked it will infiltrate our government, divide our families, and cause serious damage to the pocketbooks of people who join with them. The potential for harm is a serious matter. While some useful purpose to society and individuals may be served along the way, one cannot have freedom under a totalitarian rule. The one thing we can be sure about in the COS is that their membership does not have a vote.
We can always hope for reform, but that would have to come from within. Those in power now will not be eager to relinquish their positions, and the pattern of abuse that was present over twenty years ago is still present.
What we can do is to contain it. We can keep it from spreading. Like a contagious illness where “quarantine” is a solution, the first step is to limit the liability to society. There are many ways to do this, and once there is enough agreement that this is the direction to take, new ideas of how to do this will be contributed.
There may be those so angry they would like to destroy the COS, and if they feel that strongly then have them take any legal means they have available to do so. Actually, enough suits that are not frivolous would stress the finances of the organization. They do not have endless amounts of money, and they often have cash-flow problems. Just look at the history of any one of the Churches as to how they pay their rent or bills to verify this statement.
Containment has the advantage of leaving a window of opportunity open for reform. If some really fair-minded staff could ease their way into the Director and Trustee positions of the three top organizations, CST, RTC, and CSI, and would and could change a few policies that have been proven to be unworkable, then there is still hope for the COS. If not, I believe it will eventually be hoist by its own petard, as the saying goes.
Meanwhile, it is important to insure the safety of others by Keeping the Internet Working.
It is essential to continue collecting data and posting information where any simple search can reveal the truth about Scientology. An outreach program where our Senators and Representatives are properly informed as to the hidden take-over nature of the COS might be in order. Lobbying for better working conditions for any Church staff might be an excellent way to get into communication with our legislators. If we don’t do it first, the COS may establish key people in the government as friends, or even have people running for offices, if they haven’t done so already.
Keep the pressure on the COS by picketing, and gathering data about any law breaking that might be occurring. Insist that the COS follow the rules of the societies that give them their rights to exist. That means their children should go to school, per the laws of their countries or states, or, if home schooled, should be tested. Children in the COS live very poorly, generally speaking. Sea Org children have little private space, and often have just one person supervising many children.
Continue to provide support systems such as crisis lines and temporary homes for those who would like to escape the COS but have no place to go. Put the phone numbers on the picket signs so staff members can learn of these options.
Search into their top legal structures for information. True, only a corporate attorney could understand all the legal implications, but I believe when a State sanctions a non-profit corporation and that corporation sets up by-laws that require certain qualifications be met for people to be Trustees and Directors, and then those Trustee and Directors don’t meet those requirements, it should have some sort of legal impact. At the very least investigation into this area will help us to know who is really running the top echelon Church organizations.
The onion to be peeled consists of raw data. Complete resolution to the problem can only be done when enough data can be converted into information. Information starts to show the truth of the problem rather than the façade, and puts us nearer to a sensible resolution. Implement what can be done now, and keep gathering information. Perhaps we will all be enlightened some day with one gargantuan cognition on Scientology!
Abreviations, Word Meanings, Sources
Copyright © Patricia Krenik 2000