This article was sent to me some time ago from a Scientologist, before Ask the Scientologist even existed. It was published elsewhere, but I'm finally posting it here, to give it an official place to live.
It is odd to me that the answers to these questions, which are perfectly normal questions, are not available. Ask any Scientologist in the field these questions and they don't know. This is alarming, and strange.
This is the document I received:
Seven Questions Every Scientologist Has the Right to Ask
The following list was compiled after discussions with a number of Scientologists. There are questions we all have about current Scientology events, sometimes unstated, sometimes just nagging feelings. The list below is intended to get such questions out in the open where we can discuss them in a forthright manner, and, hopefully, find answers.
1. Who runs our Church?
This is not a minor point, yet, outside of half a dozen familiar faces that appear at events, Scientologists in general do not know who is in charge of the Church. LRH (L. Ron Hubbard) designed a system of Church management that involved managing committees and oversight groups who would act as a system of checks and balances within the Church.
So who are these people? Specifically, who, by name, are the executives of RTC (Religious Technology Center), the members of the Watchdog Committee, and the International Executives under ED Int?
Why is this information kept secret? Shouldn't we know who the people are on these posts, and their qualifications (such as training and auditing level)? And shouldn't we know when they are removed or demoted, and why?
2. What are the stats?
LRH stresses the importance of managing by statistics. Yet the average Scientologist has no idea of what the international statistics are. The stats shown at events are typically short-term. Yet, long term, what are the statistics of such things as Clears and OTs made, Auditors made, membership numbers, books sold and so on.
In other words, how are we doing? And specifically, what do the statistics look like long-term, from back when LRH was on the lines? How do today's stats compare to, say, the mid-1980's? Wouldn't you like to know?
3. Who owns the copyrights to LRH materials?
It is supposed to be CST - the Church of Spiritual Technology. But who is that? Who are the people on their Board of Directors, by name? Where is CST located? Shouldn't we know this?
4. What happened to broad dissemination?
There used to be big campaigns for Dianetics in the 1980's, with TV ads and so on. It seemed like Dianetics was everywhere. What happened? Why don't we have big campaigns like that anymore?
5. How did this practice of regging for pure donations get started?
We are regged for everything from IAS donations to the Superpower building to the local org's building fund.
Yet such donations without exchange for services were never done when LRH was on the lines. Donations were for services. With the forming of the IAS (International Association of Scientologists), this idea of just regging for pure donations got started, and now it seems like a major push from the Church.
Why? What is this based on? Why was it not done when LRH was on the lines but is done now?
6. Where does the money go?
Between donations and services, we give a lot to our Church. Shouldn't there be some sort of accounting for how it is spent, such as one might expect from any church or charity?
Certainly there are orgs to support, but the Church doesn't found or support hospitals, orphanages or charities like other Churches do. Entities like Applied Scholastics, Narconon and WISE all tithe to the Church. Local organizations send a portion of their income weekly to Management.
Flag sends the bulk of their income to Management. Money flows up the lines. How is it then spent? Don't we, as the ones donating, have the right to know?
7. Are the revisions to LRH materials on-Source?
Books have been and are being edited and recompiled. Tape lectures have been and are being edited. Compilation books are appearing "based on the works of LRH." Are these materials faithful to the original LRH works? Who is doing these revisions? Based on what?
How can an individual Scientologist know that the materials he is provided with are correct? How can we, as individuals, enforce "Keeping Scientology Working"?
You may personally have other questions. The point is, don't we have the right to ask such simple, obvious questions about our Church and expect answers?
If you agree that there should be more openness, more transparency and more accountability within the Church, pass these questions to your friends and discuss them. Take them up with your local Org or Mission. Write to International Management about them. Make your voice felt.
Beware of those who try to keep you from asking these questions, or any others you may have. There is nothing wrong with asking questions. You do have rights, and you do have a voice in your Church.