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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Scientologists: What Went Wrong?

More and more Scientologists are recognizing and acknowledging that the leader of the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, has destroyed Scientology. In Scientology terms, David Miscavige is a textbook “Suppressive Person”.

Some Scientologists are simply stepping away, some are staying, gritting their teeth, hoping for better days, and some are calling for a “new leader”.

A new leader? That’s it? That’s the solution?

No.  Until Scientologists analyze, understand and handle the fundamental reasons why David Miscavige came to power, was able to do so much damage, and was able to continue to do so much damage for over thirty years, Scientology as an organized religion, is doomed.

David Miscavige represents a fundamental failure of Scientology. Until that is acknowledged, disasters like Miscavige will happen again and again and again – because there is nothing there to stop them.

Let me expand on this. According to L. Ron Hubbard, there are three pillars to Scientology technology: Ethics, Tech and Admin.

Ethics tech failed in the most fundamental way. Scientologists knowing and applying all that Ethics tech over many, many years failed to detect and handle Miscavige, although his destructive actions began quite early in his career. Additionally, Ethics tech failed to protect all the good people that Miscavige destroyed over his career. There were hundreds of “highly trained” Ethics people who completely failed to catch this sociopath and completely failed to protect the innocent victims of Miscavige. You have to be asking yourself, "Why?"

Auditing tech failed as well. Miscavige failed to complete his training at Saint Hill. Miscavige received auditing all the way up to OT VII, but no auditor caught his crimes, his insanity. No Case Supervisor detected “no case gain”. No one noticed or handled him when he stopped auditing entirely (supposedly a very bad sign). In addition, one of the primary duties of anyone “tech trained” is to defend Hubbard's technology from any alteration and this didn’t happen at all. Miscavige romped through all of the Scientology technology, changing everything and no one stopped him. Auditing tech failed to do what Auditing tech is supposedly designed to do. Again, why?

And finally, Scientology’s Admin tech failed completely. All those checks and balances, all that policy, all those people who were so carefully trained in the “right” way to do things – Miscavige threw it all out, along with the most experienced staff. All the many, many volumes of Scientology policies, all those thousands of trained Scientologists completely failed to stop Miscavige's crimes, abuse and destruction. Scientologists need to ask "Why?"

Scientology failed in the most fundamental ways.

And it will fail again, even under some “new leader”. Decades ago in Scientology, there were a lot more people who were better trained and had more power and more experience, and they failed to stop Miscavige and his disasters. What makes anyone think that things would be better today?

According to Scientology, it is not the people that failed. Thousands of Scientologists have been trained in these Scientology technologies, some to the very highest levels. These people successfully completed their Scientology training. Graduates of Scientology courses are, by Scientology’s own claims, always able to apply the subject 100% successfully, 100% of the time. Scientology says that if they don’t, they will be found and corrected. By Scientology’s definition, all these Scientologists were exactly, correctly applying Scientology technology.

And every single one of them failed to detect and stop David Miscavige.

This is a significant failure of Scientology training. This is a fundamental failure of Scientology.

Scientologists had absolute faith that Scientology technology would protect the church from any failures.  Now, no one with any awareness and intelligence would put any faith in Scientology to avert any future disasters.

Ultimately, Scientologists need to figure out why Scientology technology failed so badly.  If they don’t work that out, if they refuse to look at that, but just have faith that “Scientology is perfect and will protect us”, then they are all truly doomed.


  1. A very wise man once said that the government is the aggregate irresponsibility of a people. i.e. the government will take care of it all so I don't have any responsibility.

    This is so true of the C of S. In this instance "the leadership knows what it is doing" therefore I don't have to take any responsibility.

    A critical step that has to be done is for Scns to really come to terms with what the UN Declaration of Human Rights means and that it must apply to the C of S 100%. And that may mean shaking out some real cobweb, snakes and other critters.

    When the dust settles on that, Scns really have to confront the real meaning of their own codes and creeds and learn to use them as an overarching principle. They are good codes, they are simply not given the priority they should have.

    Then a really good look at what the hell is going on with the application of ethics will need to be undertaken and those materials brought up to date and in alignment with human rights, the creed, and the codes. That will probably have to include some kind of righting of injustices.

    Same for the administrative policies and management structures. That includes outrageous PR blunders, things Scns do to others that antagonize the shit out of them and various misrepresentations made by the C of S.

    Then the actual auditing technology can be addressed, possibly for the first time.

    IMO if these things are done, and done well and truly and diligently, then its going be a rough century for the C of S and for individual Scns.

    Thank God most non-Scns are good, caring people who understand that things can and do go terribly wrong at times. I even see them pitching in and trying to be helpful as much as they can. That's a wonderful thing and I for one appreciate their concern and willingness to help.

    Thank you for that.

  2. "IMO if these things are done, and done well and truly and diligently, then its going be a rough century for the C of S and for individual Scns."

    I see I left out a word in this paragraph. It should have said:

    IMO if these things are NOT done, or NOT done well and truly and diligently, then its going be a rough century for the C of S and for individual Scns.

  3. What went wrong?

    Scientology has been, in my view, mostly composed of individuals who handed Ron and/or Scientology the power over their lives, who are attracted to or in need of an external influence guiding it.

    The system was setup to replace individuality with "groupality".
    Independence with dependence. Want with need. Objectivity with subjectivity.

    So what went wrong?

    It was never right.

  4. Thank you for this very detailed and well written blog. I especially like this post - it's dead on and calls for confront on the current situation.

    I haven't heard about the status of the Freewinds. Last I heard, over a year ago, was that it was docked in Curacao. Is it still undergoing repairs or is it sailing again?

  5. Re: Freewinds

    Yes, the Good Ship Freewinds is sailing again. No, it wasn't actually "undergoing repairs". The ship was filled with blue asbestos (the deadliest kind of asbestos) and it was leaking.

    The ship was being renovated to remove or seal the asbestos. Usually, when one of these older ships starts leaking its deadly asbestos, they just tow it out to sea and sink it -- it's considered the safest thing to do. No sane person would want to spend any time in such a ship.

    As for Curaçao, the very, very bad behavior of the Church of Scientology and the Freewinds in Curaçao lost it that home port. Now the ship is home-ported in Columbia.

    And, yes, it still has blue asbestos in it -- "safely sealed", of course.

  6. Just Bill,

    Thanks for you quick reply. I read Lawrence Woodcraft's affidavit about the blue asbestos. If his affidavit is true, and Church officials said that they did not remove the blue asbestos because Hubbard did not specifically state that it was harmful, then there is something SERIOUSLY wrong . . . .

    And they say the 'wog' world is insane . . .


  7. I know right? Cognitive dissonance in the real world. Plus Miscaviage's Fair Game as I've experienced it is so lame. ZZZzzzzz at this point. I was hoping for a challenge and all I got was loserville....

  8. Re: What Went Wrong?

    Excellent article, thank-you.

    IMO, one of the largest hurdles to overcome for those attempting the reform of Scientology is also that which could potentially destroy it as we know it.

    That hurdle is that the entire subject is organized around a single authority figure. The person that can be in this role is really only LRH. We all know how much emphasis has been placed on "Source".

    LRH has been gone for over two decades, but the pattern and mindset of Scientologists of having a single authority remains.

    So here is the dilemma: How do you edit out the parts of Scientology that are unworkable, or destructive, and leave in the good parts? More importantly, WHO do you elect to do this? The obvious answer to most non-Scientologists is that individuals would just decide these things for themselves.

    That, however, is not an option for Scientologists. They are carefully indoctrinated against having ANY ideas about changing ANYTHING in Scientology. Just read the HCOPL Keeping Scientology Working.

    But if enough Scientologists were to confront having their own ideas about the subject, then the likely outcome is that the centralized aspect of Scientology would begin to fray and dissolve. This movement is happening now and gaining momentum.

    So how could DM come to power and remain there despite his destruction and despite the ethics, tech and admin tools to detect and depose him? I propose that the primary reason is that for most Scientologists, keeping intact the "source-ness" of LRH, or ANY authority figure is more important than actually applying the materials themselves.

    I think Scientologist understand that if a nullification of LRH's "ultimate rightness about everything" occurs, they would be charged with the responsibility of deciding themselves what was correct or useful, and they just can't bring themselves to go there. It's understandable, considering what a daunting task it is to just read all the books and listen to all the tapes, let alone evaluate them as you go!

    So should a new leader emerge, well, he/she is doomed to failure as certainly as DM was doomed, because NO ONE can be LRH except LRH.

    I think this is THE fundamental failure of organized Scientology.

  9. Wow, another great post, Bill. I can't really add anything to the conversation that hasn't already been said by you and your intelligent posters. Thank you for everything. I always look forward to your posts every week. Big hug.

  10. "scientology" has gone, boys. It's cold meat already.

    Take the best out of it which is RON's initial *intent* to promote cognitions, thus truth, thus freedom.

    And take all the DATA (scientology IS data) as a map and find who misinterpreted it and the wrong paintings in it and the misleading pieces and find out WHY they are intermixed.

    Cognitions are like twofold swords - it simply depends on Your kind of intent what results the use of a tool will deliver.

    You can "use" it or "abuse" is - scientology was abused - reinvent it !

  11. I really appreciate this resource; really good job. I've never been a Scn but I would describe myself as well versed on the topic. I think the answer to the basic question you pose of what went wrong is very simple: while there are many, truly useful aspects of Scn that people find helpful, the reality is there are massive amounts of it that are really non-workable. The "totality" of Scientology does not add up to anything significant. And Scientology, in my experience, makes Scientologists incredibly incapable of confronting this obvious reality (you touched on this in your more recent post). Yes, they may know it's not all true, but they can't do anything with that knowlege but smile and attest. Critical-thinking skills are reduced rather than improved. Right now on scientology-cult (Revolt in the Stars post) there is a long explanation (rationalization I would say) of why premature exposure to the OTIII story hasn't killed lots of people. Basically it says that simply reading it isn't the problem but instead that you have to run it, and doing that requires all the courses prior to that. In other words, you have to be a believer to be potentially impacted in a negative manner. I've never seen such a detailed attempt to try to explain what others can explain much more easily: it's nonsense. And here is the proof: all the OT's in all the world couldn't spot Miscavige and do anything about it (just like they couldn't spot Slatkin), because the gains of being OT just don't amount to anything in the real world. And again, I'm not saying it is all bunk, but until Scns can openly differentiate what works and what doesn't, they really are going to be stuck with a truly bad scene in the formal Church. Whether the so-called independent field can offer a better product or not, time will tell. I remain skeptical.

  12. @brendon
    Re: "Right now on scientology-cult (Revolt in the Stars post) there is a long explanation (rationalization I would say) of why premature exposure to the OTIII story hasn't killed lots of people. Basically it says that simply reading it isn't the problem but instead that you have to run it, and doing that requires all the courses prior to that."

    It is not such a big deal to read this material. Many many have and have not suffered any noticable harmful effects. It is a different thing to run it.

    One can read about driving down the Pasadena Freeway at 125 MPH with impunity. Doing it is another matter entirely.

  13. @Just Bruce

    You know, that whole "reading is OK, but running it when not prepared will kill you" rational sounds reasonable, until you look at all the people who ran OT III and then were found "not to be Clear", "Grades are out", "basic are out", and so on and on and on. Since those people were not "prepared for OT III", why didn't they die?

    Answer: Because OT III has never and will never kill anyone. That whole "it will kill you" is bogus to make it seem super powerful, to rationalize keeping it secret and to rationalize its very expensive price.

    Also, to keep raw public from laughing themselves right out the door.

  14. Re: why didn't they die?

    Well, hell, Bill. I don't know why they didn't up and die! Not very cooperative were they?

    I don't disagree that the whole "lethal" nature of the material on that level has been discredited.

    This is not the only example of hyperbole used by the church or LRH, just probably the most dramatic, and in the end, the most self-defeating: it is this material that has been most used to riducule the whole subject of Scientology.

    My point, however, is that there is a difference between reading the material and solo auditing on it. These two things are substantially different. Whether one could die from running it incorrectly, hell, I don't know, but what I do know is that people can get pretty damned upset, even to the point of getting physically ill if they have something go wrong on that level.

    I don't think that such a degree of effect happens just from reading the material.

  15. @Just Bruce

    Please be aware that I am not attacking you, just the idea of "powerful and deadly OT levels".

    There are thousands and thousands of people who have officially run OT III materials. Do believers in the "powerful and deadly OT levels" believe that every single one of those people was fully and "properly" set up? Impossible, yet none died in the manner described by Ron. Not one. I worked at one of the AOs and, believe me, we would have heard about it -- obviously as a cautionary tale, if nothing else. It. Never. Happened.

    Add to that the Freezone and farther afield folks who, you know, have run OT III without "proper" preparation -- and none of those folks died -- at least not from fatal OT III exposure.

    All the evidence shows that the OT levels are not and never have been "powerful and deadly".

    But true believers will continue to believe it, and make up reason after reason why none of the evidence actually shows any deadly effects.

    Well, that is perfectly fine. Can't really argue with true believers. However, I reserve the right to point out to others the obvious problems with that kind of blind belief over simple facts.


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