There have been a number of debates about what will happen next for the Church of Scientology and for the belief system of Scientology itself.
Some contend that, after David Miscavige has gone (in whatever manner that happens), someone or some group can take over and reform the church, getting rid of its abusive, criminal and fraudulent policies. Some merely hope for a reversion to "pure L. Ron Hubbard" Scientology. Some declare they will not rest until the Church of Scientology has ceased to exist.
But all these debates miss one very vital piece of information: Scientology has been destroyed -- not the organization, the belief system.
Let me explain why, in my opinion, this is so.
When L. Ron Hubbard created Scientology, he used two very powerful, and related, mechanisms to create and sell it: Secrecy and mystery.
Secrecy was important, because truth was an enemy to Hubbard's goals. Hubbard told many lies about his life, about his accomplishments and about his actual work. It was important that the truth about his life and work remain secret. In this way, he could pass himself off as "master of all knowledge and disciplines". Later, his location and the actual location of church management had to be secret. The church's statistics, and just about everything else, are secret.
Of course, this culture of secrecy allowed tremendous abuses to take place that are only now being revealed.
More importantly, mystery was very key to selling Scientology. As time went on, more and more of Scientology needed to be "kept confidential". The Power Processes, the Clearing Course, the OT Levels, the Ls, and more.
Most non-Scientologists believe these levels were kept confidential because they were actually bogus, which isn't entirely true. Certainly these levels are bogus, no one actually gets the results promised, but the primary reason so much of Scientology is confidential is because "mystery sells". Hubbard was very well aware of this, he actually said so many times. Mystery sells. If you refuse to tell people exactly what you are selling, but drop various hints about how "absolutely amazing" it is, you can sell anything.
True Believers of Scientology firmly believe that, somewhere within these mysterious Upper Levels of Scientology, amazing and wonderful things will happen. They have bought the mystery. Because all details are hidden, because those who have, supposedly, reached these upper levels are pledged to secrecy, because the vague promises are so amazing, they believe. Mystery is very, very attractive.
Secrecy and mystery -- the two primary tools to ensure Scientology's success.
But no more. The only people who are still in the dark are the True Believers. Everyone else knows the full facts about Hubbard's life, his real accomplishments, and all his failures. Everyone else knows exactly what is on all the Upper Levels, and they know the real results and failures of Scientology.
How can you sell people on the concept of Hubbard being "master of all knowledge and disciplines" when they know what a consistent failure he was?
How can you sell people on the mysterious OT III "Wall of Fire" when they all know how absurd, illogical and stupid that "dangerous" story really is?
How can you sell people on how powerful the OT information is -- that it will kill you if you're not properly prepared -- when anybody can read the damn stuff without even a sniffle?
How can you sell people on the amazing "abilities gained" from Scientology, when everybody can see, quite clearly, that no Scientologist has ever demonstrated those promised gains, no matter what level they've attained?
How can you sell people on the wonderful solutions and results from Scientology when they can all see the actual failures, and only failures, from these "solutions"?
The Internet, the critics and Anonymous have ripped the curtain away from Scientology's "Great and Powerful Oz", revealing fraud, scam, failure and lies.
The curtain cannot be repaired. There is no more secrecy. There is no more mystery. And Scientology simply cannot sell itself without those things.
Scientology: Stick a fork in it, it is done.