Because of various problems with Blogger, I've copied everything as of November 26, 2012 over to WordPress. The new location is Ask the Scientologist. I am not deleting this blog and will still accept comments and answer questions here too, but any new articles will appear at the WordPress location. I apologize if this causes any problems.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Ask a Question

The old Ask a Question thread has gotten quite large and unwieldy.  It's still there and has some great questions, but please put any new questions into this thread.

I'm serious.  All questions and suggestions are welcome.


  1. Why doesn't Scientology have any songs about Scientology?

  2. Re: Songs

    The basic answer is in my post Scientology vs Creativity.

    They actually do have some songs, written by L. Ron Hubbard, of course. They will sell you the CDs in their bookstore. No, really, it's true! The music and songs are quite vapid and "upbeat". And strange.

  3. Was L. Ron Hubbard made up in order to scare Tom Cruise's children into being good people?

  4. You mean Chick Corea, David Amram, Isaac Hayes, never wrote a song or score explicitly about Scientology? Wow.

    Do you think the future (free of fair gaming) will include not only books but novels, poems and music about Scientology? Right now I'm writing a book about my life in the New Age and have no intention of leaving out the CoS "bits"--am I going to be sued for writing about my own existence?

    p.s. your site is on my homepage now!

  5. How do you think the current situation with the Independent movement vis-a-vis DM's-led COS will play out? Is there any way DM will move off his current post? Any way he can be moved off post? Would a "kinder gentler" led COS be a good thing, or would it just end up down the road no different than the situation it currently finds itself in?

  6. Do you suppose you could arrange all the previous questions/answers by catagory or some other way to make it easier to find previous questions?

  7. Hey, Bill!

    So, here's something I've always wondered as a public Scientologist. I've seen a few bits here and there posted about this, but nothing definitive.

    What happens to the elderly in the Sea Org once they are no longer fit to serve? I remember a lovely gentleman named Ralph who was the examiner at ASHO. He was an impeccable gentleman. One day, he was gone, and a few months later, I saw him at Peter Gillham's Store and he looked homeless. His hair was long and scraggly and he had a wild look in his eyes. I couldn't believe it was the same person! I felt ashamed that I didn't even have the guts to say "hello" to this sweet old guy.

    I had the idea that the elderly S.O. have a nursing home somewhere - but where? I know they throw folks out with medical problems (I remember Toby Cantine at ASHO who they kicked to the curb when she got cancer. I think they did the same with Barb Ellingson). But, do they really kick old folks to the curb when the org has no use for them because they have become disabled? I saw Ralph back in the early 90's. I can't imagine they still do such a they?

    Whenever I see some young person join the S.O. I want to ask them if they know what will happen to them when they get old, but I don't even know the answer myself.

    Thanks, Bill.


  8. Re: Songs

    As long as the songs do not use the words "Scientology", "Dianetics", "Hubbard" etc, those artists can (and may have) written music that they considered was about Scientology. But nothing explicitly about Scientology is allowed.

  9. Re: Independent movement and the church

    First, David Miscavige will not, ever give up control of the Church of Scientology. That's my opinion and I see no reason to change it.

    Therefore, the Church of Scientology will continue to become more oppressive, greedy and plain old evil.

    I expect the "Independent Scientologists" as well as the Freezone to do rather well. They all offer true believers a way to continue Scientology outside of the oppressive church.

    However, that doesn't mean the outside Scientology movement will thrive, or grow. Without the draconian thought control of the Church of Scientology, practitioners of Scientology can't help but notice that the explicit promises of Scientology simply are not happening -- for anyone.

    It is the consistent and persistent lack of results that spell the end of Scientology -- whether inside or outside of the church structure. Without the church's huge PR department, the lack of success becomes obvious.

  10. @Just Bruce

    Still figuring out what to do with the old Ask a Question information. I really like some of the discussions there and would like to do more with it.

    But that would take some time.

  11. @Vicky

    If the older Sea Org members remain in reasonably good health and are still capable of some work, they are retained on staff for as long as they live.

    However, as soon as they become unable to show up for work, or their health starts costing the church some money, they will be offloaded.

    No, there is no Sea Org run retirement home -- that would cost money rather than make money -- and the Church of Scientology will never do that.

  12. Hello, Bill. You are absolutely correct about offloading the older, non producing staff members. You may have put in 20 or 30 or 40 or more years on staff at Flag or in the Sea Org but that means absolutely nothing. Once you quit producing you are a down statistic and you are dumped (offloaded) to fend for yourself with no retirement income, no benefits, no medical insurance and unfortunately no contacts with the real world. It is cruelty beyond belief. Thanks for exposing this.
    With 60 years in Dianetics and Scientology I can assert that there is no retirement home, no care centers, no assisted living facilities for the long time faithful. There is no social security, no unemployment and only the golden shaft. I would love to see Anonymous do a protest on this point. Thanks for upgrading the way you view comments.

  13. I'm a huge Beck fan, and I'm pretty sure his Scientology spills over into his music, but it is so abstract it is not distracting. His album "The Information" is particularly riddled with Scientology themes, especially the song "Volcano."

  14. [Oops, "Volcano" is on the album "Modern Guilt," but my point still stands.]

  15. Just Bill,

    This goes little beyond the parameters of your expertise as an exscientologist, but I'd like your opinion on this: I'm talking to a friend about the last couple of posts regarding the sea org's treatment of the elderly, and I think an expose on this issue could be quite impactful, and possibly further turn up the heat under the church. My friend doesn't think it will make any difference.

    The church's policy regarding its elder members is just despicable, I think anyone would agree.
    But do you think this issue has any teeth, either regarding public opinion, or as in legal liability to the church?

  16. Nice format. Much easier to use. Thanks for the upgrade.

  17. Re: Church of Scientology elderly S.O.

    I am not a lawyer and can't speak to the Church of Scientology's legal liability. The S.O. contract is pretty useless as far as legal obligations. As in all church "contracts", the church has no obligations or promises and the signee has all the obligations. The church makes sure all "promises" for health care, vacations, pay, time off, retirement, etc are all verbal and unenforceable.

    However, the impact of such information on public opinion is a different story. An exposé on the Church of Scientology's treatment of their old and/or sick members would definitely impact public opinion -- it's already negative, this would do even more damage.

    Such an exposé, to be effective, would require quite a bit of research, interviews, etc.: tracking down old S.O. members who had been kicked out -- or their families; tracking down and interviewing social services people who had contact with such "discards"; researching stories from the Internet...

    I'd love to see it, or even a subset of that work. Unfortunately, I currently don't have the time for the kind of research it would require, so I can't take that on.

  18. Once a Person has sighned a billion years S.O. contract that Person should then also be looked after for at least that length of time as far as a decent pay, healthcare and Retirement care are concerned.

  19. Suppose DM gets rid of his drunk body. What is likely to happen?
    Is there any chance for someone to foot the bill?

  20. Re: What happens if Miscavige dies?

    Hmmm. I'm not quite sure what you are asking. If you wonder what happens to the church, I'd say the whole thing is so corrupted, with anyone still in "management" being pretty stupid, that it would quickly fall apart.

    If you wonder who would pay for his funeral, well, I assume they'd quickly cremate his body and announce he's "gone to join Ron at 'target two'", so there would be very little cost involved.

  21. Bill it is going to be a pity for all of the naive hard core scienos!
    Who would take advantage for all of his honestly earned billions?

  22. In navigating my way here, I discovered a new site
    that not only has the askthescientologist name but the home page is titled "justanotheguysblog."

    It doesn't look official, but it's a church site alright. Have you seen this? They are very obviously trying to divert traffic from your site, which means they covet your traffic - HA!
    Now, why does that remind me of the criminal level of exchange?

    It's weird to see the church being blatantly trying to be in stealth mode -and I'm aware that sounds contradictory and I guess it is. Apparently they think they're on the down low, but anyone who's been on the internet more than a couple of times or, say, has an IQ over 70, can tell immediately.

    While on the site, I believe heard crickets. Pretty lonely.

  23. Re: Another Ask the Scientologist

    LOL! Actually, as I understand it, this other site is being run by an "Independent Scientologist" who just doesn't like all this honesty about Scientology's real results. The idea of his site is to provide the "correct" Scientology answers to people's questions.

    Unsurprisingly, he isn't getting real questions -- because he isn't giving honest answers.

    Once again, I'll say it: Scientology cannot survive as long as Scientologists do not confront what Scientology really produces (or, more to the point, doesn't produce). This Scientology "true believer" attitude guarantees the ultimate destruction of Scientology. They have been warned.

  24. What are some of the wins or gains that you have recieved or are most commen amongst others?

    How long do these last or do all carry forward throughout the rest of your life?

    Is there anywhere else to attain these without Scn teachings?

  25. rephrase for clarity:

    What are some of the wins or gains that you have recieved or THAT are most commen amongst others?

  26. Re: Wins or gains from Scientology

    If you talk to Scientologists, they will inevitably say they "feel better", their "life is better" and other quite general statements. That's about it. Scientology makes lots of very, very amazing and specific promises. But Scientologists don't actually get those wins.

    My wins and gains were equivalent to that.

    I did have quite a few times where I felt pretty euphoric -- right after a session. This is extremely common. The euphoria can last minutes or hours. I believe this is what fools people into thinking they are "getting gains". But it doesn't last. After the euphoria wears off, things are just not that different.

    You see, this isn't just a simple "this action caused that result". If someone engages in some activity expecting spiritual gain, it is likely they will get some gains. It might be prayer, it might be fishing, it might be meditation, it might be Scientology, it really can be virtually any activity. People get such gains all the time from many, many activities. But that could very accurately be called the "placebo effect" -- they expect to "feel better" or have "new realizations about life", and so they do.

    No one in Scientology is getting any gains that are not happening for other people in many other endeavors. It's true. The fantastic promises of Scientology just aren't happening. Instead, Scientology "delivers" what every other self-improvment discipline delivers -- whatever people believe enough to create in themselves.

  27. Have you or anyone else come across any information as to where Hubbard lifted the ethics conditions from?
    Also, anyone come across a good critique of the admin tech by someone who actually knows something about Organizational theory? I am having difficulty finding anything.

  28. I just looked at a recently-produced (within the last couple of years) Scientology promo video--"Inide a church of Scientology," or something like that. At more than one point, the interviewed Scientologists mention how they routinely have "Sunday Services," weddings and "Christenings." I can see how weddings would be easy to accommodate, but what do they do with those Christian trappings? Christenings? And what portion of a typical "flock" actually shows up for services on Sunday morning?

  29. Re: Ethics and Admin Tech

    I don't think Hubbard lifted the idea for conditions and condition formulas from anywhere else. I could be wrong, but they are so very much like Hubbard's other creations, I think they are pure Hubbard. The conditions and condition formulas are only applicable and only "workable" in extremely simple situations -- and the real world does not fit Hubbard's simple formulas. Anyone, in the real world, who tries to apply Hubbard's formulas will find out very quickly that they simply do not work. In fact, they inevitably lead to disaster.

    I have occasionally seen comments about Hubbard's "Admin Tech" posted by people trained in real administrative technologies and they have never been complimentary of Hubbard. But a full analysis? Never seen it or heard of it.

  30. Re: Scientology's "religious window dressing".

    Yes, the Church of Scientology does have "Sunday services", "weddings" and "christenings". It is considered extremely vital to its "religious image", but has absolutely nothing to do with what Scientology actually does.

    In a real church, the Sunday service is the core of what that church is and does. Weddings and christenings have significant meaning within the religion. In Scientology, these things are tacked on window dressing and all Scientologists know that! No Scientologist would show up for Sunday service unless they were ordered to go. Most don't go anyway. Most Scientology churches wouldn't even hold a Sunday service, except they are ordered to.

    With a field of hundreds of "parishioners", a larger Scientology church would be lucky to have a half dozen at Sunday service, and that is after pressuring all their parishioners to "be there". Everybody in Scientology knows it's window dressing -- legally important to uphold the "religious image" but otherwise completely unimportant.

  31. In some old Sea Org advertisements I saw online, the language includes phrases like "this isn't the first time you've been together" or "this isn't the first time you've served proudly." Is there a belief that the Sea Org pre-existed Scientology and the members are simply re-convening after past lives? Please explain. And thanks for all of your great answers.

  32. Re: Sea Org

    Very much so. Hubbard heavily promoted the idea that there is/was a group of "dedicated, OT" individuals who have been battling Whole Track Evil throughout trillions and trillions of years of the past. Of course, you know that the Whole Track Evil is, today, psychiatrists, world bankers and big pharma.

    The motto of the Sea Org is "We come back". That is exactly what is being inferred with that motto. "The group" is re-convening.

    Of course, it wouldn't have been called the "Sea Org" in the past. Check out the reference to "Loyal Officers" in the OT III materials. Same idea. Supposedly the same group.

    All that makes the Sea Org sound very "OT", mysterious and very, very special. Whew! No wonder that whole gimmick mainly attracts young people.

  33. Thanks for that answer about the Sea Org. But I'm confused... if they are dedicated "OTs" who have been fighting evil for trillions of years, why do they need to become OTs through Hubbard's program? Or are Sea Org members given a sort of honorary OT degree and told they just need to work for the church, not to bother with the Bridge?

  34. Re: Sea Org - "dedicated OTs"

    Oh, dear! I can see how that is confusing. But trust me, LRH had it all worked out. You see, all these "dedicated OTs" were trapped along the way and "de-OTd". I mean, that's what the OT III incident was all about.

    So, even if they were OTs back then, they lost it. Now they have to become OTs all over again.

  35. RE: OT all over again.

    I guess this provides a clue as to where Miscavige got the idea of trotting out new, "correct" versions of books, etc. that people have to do over again.

  36. Could you explain how "knowledge reports" work? And how they are used by the church, but also by public scientologists?

  37. Re: Knowledge Reports

    In Scientology, Knowledge Reports are the "correct" way for Scientologists and non-Scientologists to report anything bad about the Church of Scientology or Scientologists. The format is quite loose, the report needs to include "time, place, form and event" (according to Hubbard). The report goes to the appropriate local church, and a copy is supposed to be sent to any Scientologist being reported on.

    In my experience, the copy to the Scientologist being reported on is never done, despite the policy. I think that's because most Scientologists, writing such reports, can't confront very well.

    But the most interesting thing about Knowledge Reports is their handling. Per policy, all such reports are just filed. Period. Nobody is even required to read them. Knowledge Reports are supposed to be filed and forgotten.

    Of course, if a Scientologist writes a Knowledge Report about David Miscavige or about any of Miscavige's lies, crimes, corruption and out tech, those reports will be acted upon quickly -- the person who wrote the report will be immediately declared "Suppressive" and expelled from the church.

    So, in other words, writing a Knowledge Report will, at best, do absolutely nothing, or, at worst, get the author of the report in a heap of trouble.

  38. Hi Bill,

    This is my first time posting on your site although I've been reading your wonderful and very insightful articles for a long time now. With all the time, effort, truth and sincerity you put into this site, I pray that you have brought many scientologists to see their "church" for what it really is.

    My question to you is about OT8. Do you know if the version that is on the internet where LRH states that Jesus is a pedophile and in a round-about way, claims that he (LRH) is the anti-christ (at least that's what I got out of what I read), is true?

    By the way, how far did you get up the bridge if you don't mind my asking?

  39. Re: OT 8

    Since I never did any of the versions of OT 8, I can't attest to which versions on the Internet are true. I actually haven't read the version you reference, however, I'd suspect the version you reference is not true -- it sounds like a fake.

    I have talked to a number of OT 8s who have left and who were willing to talk about it, and they definitely did not mention the things you mention (and they would have). Another reason I believe the version you mention is a fake.

    Thirdly, I, personally, don't think Hubbard even wrote the OT 8 materials -- any version. I think Miscavige wrote it based loosely on some of Hubbard's notes.

    As for me, I made it to OT 5 before I woke up.

  40. You have probably answered this many times, but can you refresh this thread with your tipping point of leaving or quote the URL that has the whole story. Thanks

  41. @Tipping point

    I generally don't talk about myself because this isn't a personal blog in that sense. This isn't about me.

    However, I can tell you my leaving took place in stages, first was my reaction to constant demands for more and more money, always a crisis, but never any results reported.

    Second was the events. Huge elaborate events announcing big "wins" and "successes" that never showed up in the real world.

    Third and final was being told I must disconnect from a family member or else. Didn't take a whole lot of thought, nobody breaks up our family.

    As you can see, my story is much the same as so many other ex-Scientologists.

  42. I'm curious about new Scientologists who simply can't afford to pay for anything more than a few introductory courses. I am especially curious about the struggling actors who may attend Celebrity Centre seminars. It seems actors without much money could neither begin to pay for auditing nor join staff without abandoning their careers. Do you have any information about such people or can you refer me to personal stories by people in such a situation?

  43. Re: Can't pay

    It was well known some years ago, within the higher levels of Scientology, that less than 2% of the people who take some beginning course, or read some book ever stay and continue up to an Advanced Org or Flag. I'm guessing those numbers are smaller today.

    If someone cannot pay, and cannot, or will not, join staff for the "free" services, then they don't get any Scientology.

    Basically, Scientology doesn't want them. You will hear this emphasized in Scientology -- "Scientology makes the able more able". Having money means, in Scientology, you are "able". No money, you don't qualify -- don't let the door hit you on the way out.

  44. Hi Just Bill,

    I think it's quite obvious that you do not consider Scientology to be a religion, that the organization is hiding behind a religious cloak.

    Yet many people refer to it as "the church", even ex-members who experienced a lot of anguish during their time in the cult. Even journalists use this term offhandedly, so I have the following theory:

    They've been drilling this term "the church" into the mainstream, they use it as often as possible jut so people start using it without thinking about it. If you repeat something long enough withouit being challenged, people will simply accept it. And by using the term church people will associate Scientology with religion, at least on a subconscious level.

    What are your tnhoughts about this? Has this ever occurred to you?

    BTW, your site is awesome, and it's really important. Keep it up.

  45. Re: "Church"

    Actually, there are aspects of Scientology that certainly could be called "spiritual" in nature. If some person wants to believe those things and wants to call what they believe a "religion", that's up to them. That's personal.

    But the organization of Scientology is very, very different. it is very obvious to anyone that L. Ron Hubbard set up the "religion angle" as a way to avoid taxes and skirt laws about false advertising, practicing medicine without a license and so on. Since Hubbard, the whole "church" thing has been hammered for exactly those reasons -- even when it is so obvious that their business doesn't operate like a real church at all.

    Yes, it is as you said. The "church" façade and the continual emphasis on that by Scientology is, and always has been, a way to hide their crimes, abuse and fraud and a way to attack whistle-blowers as "bigots".

    The general public, however, is learning. Scientology is no longer viewed as a real religion by most people. At most, they think of Scientology as a "cult", or worse. And that is a very good thing.

  46. Hi Bill,

    there's one thing most people who were never involved with Scientology are extremely curious about: What was going through your mind when you opened that manila envelope to learn "the truth" about Incident II?

    Jason Beghe stated that he didn't necessarily believe it, but he accepted it. I don't really know what he meant, maybe you could shed some light on this issue? Many people might think it's funny or weird, but for me it's kind of scary that people either believe it or accept it. I know they only let those advance to this level that are considered "safe", but still...

    I have posted on this site before and I've always appreciated your feedback and admired your honesty, I think it's obvious that your ability to confront has increased massively since you left Scientology. However, if you don't want to talk about this, that's all right.
    God bless you.

  47. Re: "Incident 2" and OT III

    I'd have to go along with Jason Beghe on this. It is pretty strange, but I accepted it.

    You have to consider this in context of the rest of Scientology. In Dianetics and Scientology, a person is expected to go "past lives" to "resolve" various problems. It is axiomatic in Scientology (and Dianetics) that the real source of one's problems if most often in some past life. If you don't "recall" past lives, it is considered a problem.

    And... most of a person's past lives turn out to be very, very strange. Weird civilizations, space opera, magic and so on. I'm not saying any of that is real, it's just what most people recall as past lives.

    In that context, OT III doesn't necessarily stand out as that unusual. More space opera, more strange civilizations, more of the same...

    I understand that the leaked OT III (and other) materials can, and will, look unacceptably strange, but that's because you haven't got the rest of the "Scientology experience" -- which truly is a good thing.

    I hope that explains a bit more why more Scientologists don't immediately reject the OT III materials.

  48. Do you post comments on other sites?

  49. Re: Do I post comments on other sites?

    Yes. Sometimes as "Just Bill" (or something similar), sometimes other nicks. I really don't post very much, though.

  50. Bill- Love the site!

    Question: it's February 2010 now, what is your opinion on where the "Church of Scientology" will be in say- 2015?


  51. Re: More prediction

    I've done some predicting, here and here, and those still look good to me.

    The key thing is that David Miscavige, and his little Church of Scientology will not change direction. They are incapable of doing so. The direction is crash and burn and that is an easy prediction.

    By 2015, I'm thinking it will be "crashed and burned", and the church, whatever is left, will be a shell -- either in L.A. or Clearwater -- with very few "churches" outside of that. It might linger for quite a while, billing itself as "the true Church of Scientology", but it really is mortally damaged already.

    The Scientology belief system will continue in better shape than the Church of Scientology. Some True Believer will undoubtedly form "The Reformed Church of Scientology" or some such -- but, again, the subject of Scientology has been thoroughly exposed for what it really is and what it really does, so I don't see the Free Zone or Independent movement getting much traction.

    Basically, in 2015, Scientology will be "old news", pretty much off the radar.

    It will live on in history as an example of what can be accomplished when the Internet takes up a cause.

  52. Have you ever witnessed personal violence, abuse or anything close in your term with Co$?

  53. Re: Personal violence, abuse

    Nope. My days in the S.O. were much earlier, and I never made it to the management base. Some very close friends, however, were very much witnesses, and victims.

    All I saw was the lower level fraud, lies and greed.

  54. Hello, Bill. I've got a two-part question for you, which I realize will call for some speculation from your well-informed point of view. Given the onslaught of really bad, Miscavige-focused press (now including a front page story in the NY Times):

    1. Is the behind-the-scenes strategizing limited to Micavige freaking out and barking orders to cowed underlings, or at this point are there other folks--inside managers, outside consultants, lawyers, whomever, who are making meaningful decisions (albeit with DM's final approval) about the Church's big PR problems?

    2. It occurs to me that Miscavige may want to take a leaf from Hubbard's book and remove himself from his official position, ostensibly turning everything over to others while covertly remaining the effective top exec from some shadowy location. What are the chances of that scenario playing out?

  55. Hey why Does Scientology use a cross (with some fancied up emblems) as one of it's primary symbols? It makes no sense at all to me- thanks!

  56. Re: Two questions

    First question, I cannot emphasize how much of a sociopathic dictator Miscavige is. He does not trust anyone and there are no suggestions from anyone that are acceptable. Absolutely no one will ever dare to make any meaningful decisions. Yes, Miscavige will demand solutions from his sycophants, but only so he can denigrate them and whine about how he has to handle everything (even when, ultimately, his solutions are amazingly just like those rejected solutions).

    In any case, every action taken by the church must have the Miscavige Official Stamp of Failure on it before it is implemented.

    Miscavige actually did once consult with a real PR firm about the church's troubles. You can imagine Miscavige's reaction when, after extensive research and analysis, the PR firm's suggestion was that they cut out all the "religion" and "church" bullsh*t and just try to run a legitimate business. Didn't go over too well.

    As for your second question, Miscavige will not ever "take a back seat" to anyone else, not even in pretend. Miscavige has destroyed anyone and everyone who had any intelligence, any leadership abilities or any possible following within the church. No one else will ever have any leadership position within the church -- even figurehead. Miscavige is quite insane on this subject, it would never even cross his mind to do as you suggest.

  57. Re: Scientology cross

    The cross was invented by L. Ron Hubbard when it became obvious that no one was falling for his "Scientology is a religion" angle. Ron determined that he really had to adopt many more religious trappings if he was to have any hope of convincing governments that Scientology really was, trust me, really, honestly a religion.

    The cross came in at the same time as "Sunday Service" was invented and the requirement that auditors must start wearing "religious garb".

    It's all part of the same fake religious stuff.

  58. You've certainly seen the NYT article, front page Sunday. Lots of celebrating on the net. What's your take on this? Do you think journalists will start piling on?

    Off the Wall question: do you think there is anything to LRH REALLY wanting demonic powers (a la Parsons, Crowley, etc.) or was it just a passing interest of his? I don't believe in demonic powers as such, but hypnosis, maybe, and bad intentions, for sure.

    I've read somewhere that the cross is an "ex'ed out" cross. I mean, who really cares, but it is interesting.

  59. Re: NYT front page article.

    News media publishes what sells papers and/or attracts eyes to web sites. Period. Journalists will cover the story because it's news and people are interested in the scandal, the abuse, the fraud ... and the celebrities. Editors will publish it if the legal department says OK.

    The St. Petersburg Times showed the big boys that the Church of Scientology could be reported on. The old days of berserker attacks from the church are gone and that has now been proven. This is significant. The big boys have sat on some pretty juicy Scientology stories out of fear -- now they don't have to. We can all thank the St. Pete Times for that.

    As far as Hubbard's study of dark magic, it's hard to know what he thought or what he wanted. It appears that he was very interested for awhile, but then gave it up completely. Did Hubbard think his "OT Levels" were better? Or the same? Or did he come to think Parsons and Crowley were running a con? Who really knows?

    Those who see Satanism or Crowley's Magick in Scientology are, in my opinion, reaching a bit far. I don't think it's there at all. I've studied a lot of Scientology, and it just isn't there.

  60. Just for fun?...

    If I've already completed OTVII and then drop my body while on OTVIII will I have to pay for all new auditing, books and other things when I come back to Scientology? If so, why?

    Would a scientologist be able to recognize LRH when he comes back? If so, how? If the return of LRH is confirmed and agrees with all changes of texts will DM step aside?

    If LRH comes back and disagrees with what DM has inserted, updated or deleted of his words that have been scripture prior to DM, will DM go to the RPF as a squirrel?

    When is LRH supposed to return? Or, is he busy doing his work on other planets? Did he list the planets on his out of body agenda in his scripts?

    When is LRH supposed to return? Or, is he busy doing his work on other planets? Did he list the planets on his out of body agenda in his scripts? Or is this data held secret like other? Are there any updates on the LRH completions from the OTs that are in communication with him?


  61. Re: Satanism in Scientology

    Perhaps by modern definitions there is no Satanism in Scientology but in this whole God, Man, Satan thing doesn't seeking godlike powers somehow challenge the authority of God?

  62. @Wallflower

    Great questions!

    Yes, when you came back, you would need to buy all new books, materials, etc. (I guess, unless you can find all your old ones and convince whoever has them now to give them up). Of course, they'd probably all be "revised" so you'd have to buy new ones anyway.

    As for re-doing all your levels -- the PR is that such Scientologists-come-back would just pick up where they left off -- but that isn't the way the Church operates. Of course you'd have to buy and redo everything all over again -- but you have to do that anyway, even if you don't die.

    As for LRH, no one, not even LRH, made any predictions as to when he would return.

    You can hear, in a number of Ron's lectures, about various times he "went off lines" at times and, when he checked back, everything had gone to hell in a handbasket -- and he had to kick people out, issue corrections, fix things and such.

    One can assume from all these previous times that Ron was away (albeit, not for very long, and he was still alive) that Ron knows he can't stay away too long and that those who are in charge will screw things up -- they always have.

    So, from all that, one would assume that Ron would come back to fix things up. He always has. And, yes, he would be quite upset with all the changes (KSW) and would kick butt. DM to the RPF seems likely.

    As to how he'd come back, the assumption always was that he was/is so OT that he'd simply come back as "LRH" -- looking like he did in his "prime" (or maybe better). After all, a true OT wouldn't need to "grow a body", he'd just "mock one up".

    Of course, the real question is: Why hasn't LRH come back? This is where everything is happening. This is where the major problems, and failures, are. If LRH is the true OT we all know he is, he already knows that -- and knows he needs to fix things. So where is he?

  63. Re: Satanism in Scientology

    Not really. There is no Satan in Scientology. Not even under a different name. Not even the concept of Satan exists in Scientology. And God is only acknowledged in the most vague terms.

    My personal opinion (and this isn't Scientology dogma - just my personal opinion) is that seeking to become godlike actually elevates God even higher -- a being so powerful that it can create godlike beings. Seems pretty cool to me.

    That's just a philosophical discussion, not Scientology.

  64. Hi, Bill. I just listened to an interview with an ex-scientologist (Larry Anderson, who starred in "orientation") and he said that church leaders lived high on the hog. Are there any leaders, other than Miscavige, who benefit from the CoS money and live lavishly as a result?

  65. Two Questions,

    1- I am worried about Senator Xenophon in Australia for speaking out publically on Scientology. In 2010, what is the risk to someone like him of being "Fair Gamed"?

    2- I was thinking about Michael Moore and some of the other recent high profile documentarians that are looking for things to expose and go after- are they afraid to go after Scientology like they would against an easy public target like George Bush in the last few years?


  66. Re: High on the hog

    Short answer: No.

    While some of the largess may leak from Miscavige's extravagant lifestyle to his current sycophants, it isn't much and it comes with a large cost -- if you attach yourself to Miscavige, your position is as a heavily abused slave.

    Only Miscavige has the very expensive, custom vehicles. Only Miscavige has multiple posh, private residences around the planet. Only Miscavige has the expensive clothing, food and drink. Only Miscavige has a private safe filled with cash and gold.

    His current sycophants might be allowed on his private jet and might join him as he cruises the Caribbean in his Freewinds almost-private-yacht, but they won't be having much fun.

    Very, very, very few people live as lavishly as David Miscavige -- and no one else in Scientology does.

  67. Re: Senator Xenophon

    The Church of Scientology is actively working as hard as they can to fair game Senator Xenophon. They have private investigators working hard to dig up (or manufacture) dirt on the senator.

    I hope the senator is being very careful and watchful, with friendly witnesses and cameras wherever he goes.

    Re: Scientology documentaries

    Trust me, these are coming. Scientology contains a lot of mystery, celebrities, abuse, secrets, crimes -- what's not to like for both fictional dramas-based-on-real-life and documentaries. Oh, yes! These are coming.

    The Church of Scientology can't compete with these films because all they have are lies and mind-manipulation tricks -- and no one wants to watch that. But their attempts will be quite entertaining and amusing.

  68. Marty posted this for all to look at regarding Clear and it only brings more questions...

    ...Clears are beings who have been cleared of wrong answers or useless answers which keep them from living or thinking. (Aud 4 UK):

    Is one's "wrong answer" replaced by a correct answer or just erased?

    If the answer is erased, what is the benefit?
    * Aren't you being erased" of "live and learn"?

    What if someone came to you with the same wrong answer after you are now clear and now you no longer have experience in your mind to correct, refute or even reply? Is this now a new experience that you start to contemplate based on your current knowledge of life? Aren't you now starting over with a wrong answer in a new experience and have to handle it over again once it's discovered?

    Wouldn't you have to understand the wrong answer to provide the right answer?

    If the answer is replaced, this to me is brainwashing.
    * Now you no longer have "live and learn". It's now the people telling you that your answers were wrong replacing your own experiences.

    LRH Clears

  69. Re: Wrong answers

    The concept is that if one, finally, sees the original, basic problem, one can then re-evaluate it and come up with a new, correct answer. There actually is no "erasing" nor "implanting of a new answer".

    In concept, one is fully aware of the whole process and remembers it fully for future reference.

    However, I've never seen, nor heard of anyone who actually fit Ron's definition of Clear, so this is all theoretical.

  70. Hello, Bill. I see that CNN (Anderson Cooper) is about to do another series about Miscavige's violence toward staffers. I wonder whether this press emphasis on Miscavige and his personal brutality doesn't actually trivialize the larger problems with Scientology--fraud, mind control, criminal harassment of critics, etc, put in place by Hubbard--in favor of the idea that the whole issue is that the top dog is a bad apple with a temper. What's your take on the MIscavige focus of the latest wave of press criticism? Will it prove effective?

  71. Re: Anderson Cooper

    It's all good. David Miscavige has made the church into his personal cult, rewriting everything, running all the events and stamping his photo into all the publications.

    He has destroyed all others, including Hubbard. It's now the Me-me-me-me Church of Miscavige.

    And now, with these stories, everyone can see what a psychopath Miscavige really is. And that leads inevitably to all the abuses, lies, crimes and fraud -- and not just Miscavige's. This opens the door to the underbelly of Scientology. Scientology is not going to come out of this smelling good.

    Trust me, this is definitely a Good Thing.

  72. I thought after I yelled at the three sea org types who came to my house (now I would be more likely to give them a list of websites to go to), I thought I wouldn't be contacted anymore, but I got a phone call.

    Is there no way to get away from these guys? Is there anything I can say that will effectively get them off my back? Maybe I should ask for a refund? No, that is like honey to them, right?
    This question is probably futile, but I don't like them contacting me.

  73. Re: Scientology calling

    Well, it all depends on what you want to do.

    o Do you want them to stop calling, mailing and showing up? Then you get them to declare you a "Suppressive Person". You might still get some communication, but if you answer each one with, "I don't think you should be talking to me, your 'church' has declared me 'Suppressive'," eventually all mailings, phone calls and visits will cease.

    o If you just don't want to talk with them, simply close the door, toss the mail and hang up the phone. Don't say anything, just hang up.

    When I was still "flying under the radar", I'd simply say, "Gee, you called at a bad time, call back in a week or so," and hang up immediately.

    o However, if you want to have some fun with them, then give them web site addresses, ask them questions and have fun conversations about all the logic flaws and contradictions in Scientology. Of course, that will result in the silly "Suppressive declare", but it can be entertaining.

    Your choice. Understand that the Church of Scientology can only react to things. You are in control at all times -- they are the effect of their policies, their dogma and their thought control. Getting Scientologists to do what you want is quite simple -- you just have to know the buttons to push. They have no choice but to follow.



  75. Who can fire Miscavige? And who can appoint his successor? Is it CST? RTC? Who? Actual names of the current people involved would be a bonus!

  76. Re: Who can fire Miscavige?

    Nobody. David Miscavige is directly and indirectly, overtly and covertly in charge and in total control of it all: COS, CST, RTC and any other Scientology organization. Period.

    No one has any authority over Miscavige. If someone tried to depose him, it would totally fail because Miscavige is the Church of Scientology and all of its entities. Miscavige controls all the money.

    The reason this isn't clear is because it it set up to give Miscavige deniability. He can pretend that he isn't ultimately responsible, he isn't receiving all that money. As usual, it's all lies.

  77. Re: Scientology calling

    Thanks, Just Bill, I think I will take your last suggestion and get them talking on MY terms. In view of recent events, I think I'll ask them if they think I can expect, if I return for services, to receive or witness any kicks, slaps or body slams. Then I'll ask them if L.Ron Hubbard has become an embarrassment now that much of his "biography" has been revealed as narcissistic self-mythologizing. Finally, I'll ask them what they think about the abuse scandals in the Catholic Church--do they sympathize with the Pope having to do so much onerous covering-up?

    How does that sound? Will I get my coveted "declare"? lol

  78. Hello, Bill. What's with the bagpipes and faux-Scottish buildings in Scientology? Is there some Scotland-themed lore in Hubbard's teachings?

  79. Re: Scottish themes

    LOL! No, all that comes from Battlefield Earth! You'd have to read the book to get it, but most of the heroes of the book were Scottish. Hubbard made a big deal out of it, so Miscavige does also.

  80. Hello again, Bill. I assume that Miscavige and his inner circle are freaking out over the snowballing press coverage that focuses on Miscavige personally. I'd love to know what is going on inside the upper reaches of the Sea Org and OSA these days. Obviously, short of a "mole" talking to the press, we're not likely to get a direct look at Miscavige's tantrums and strategies. Given that, what are the best sources to keep an eye on in order to gauge what is happening in the inner circle?

  81. Bill, I live near "big blue." The other day, I drove down L Ron Hubbard Way and found it bustling with activity (I think they are renovating an "ideal org"). There were lots of folks in blue t-shirts (with no logos) planting trees and carrying things around. I have seen the RPF before, but this group seemed a little different: they weren't running everywhere, for one thing. What do you think I was seeing?

  82. Hi Bill,

    as a German I find it quite amusing how everybody praises outspoken politicians like Nick Xenophone for his boldness and bravery, here in Germany any politician will routinely refer to Scientology as "a dangerous cult". I assume the moniker "land of intolerance" is well deserved.

    After reading a lot about Scientology over the last two years I get the impression that Scientologists really have an extremely warped impression about Germany. Do they really think it's a totalitarian country where local Scientologists are harrassed and perecuted by an evil government? (In a YouTube video an ex-member said that after he returned from a stint in Germany other Scientologists were struck with awe and regarded him as a "heroic survivor").

    Is that true? Were you informed about the danger emanating from Germnay while you were in?

  83. Re: What's happening in the inner circle.

    I can tell you. Same old stuff. David Miscavige is screaming, hitting, insulting, berating, slapping, pushing, blaming, accusing, swearing -- in other words, he's just doing the same psychopathic stuff he's (now) famous for. Hint: Miscavige can't change except to get worse.

    You might wonder what's Miscavige planning? He really isn't. He only reacts to things. To know what he's doing, look at what all the various blogs are posting. Look at what's being leaked. Look at the rumors of media exposés. Whatever you see, that's what Miscavige will react to -- and now you can predict what he'll be doing shortly.

  84. Re: Big Blue work crew.

    The most likely explanation would be that these were the "Estates Project Force". New recruits in the Sea Org are required to work for some weeks, while doing their "basic training", before they are assigned to their orgs.

  85. Re: Germany

    Nope. I wasn't told about Germany back then -- but that was quite a few years ago.

    Today, I'm sure all Scientologists are carefully indoctrinated about the "evil" Germany, the "evil" France, the "evil" Australia, the "evil" CNN and so on.

    Yes, Scientologists do have an extremely warped view of the world. To Scientology, the world is filled with great, evil conspiracies that are out to "destroy Scientology". They believe they are battling for the "very survival of this planet". This is why they give so much money and time to the church.

    It is incredibly sad.

    It is a shock to newly out Scientologists to find out that the Church of Scientology isn't and hasn't been doing "great good" around the world, and that their money just went into Miscavige's bank accounts.

  86. I saw that they had fliers to put in Scientology books at public libraries at the Operation Clambake website. Does putting fliers in their books have any effect on the Scientology movement? Do they spot check libraries to take this stuff out? Is it worth taking the time to do at a local library near me?

  87. I have never heard of any organized project to spot-check libraries for "unwanted inserts", but I do know that some members of the church do check some libraries. Most libraries are never checked, so adding Xenu fliers would probably work quite well.

    I also know that, once they have parishioner's money for the Library Campaign, the Church of Scientology doesn't care one bit whether the books actually get to any libraries, nor do they do anything to check any books that might (accidentally) end up in the libraries.

  88. Bill, I see where Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun are starting a "free Heber!" movement; apparently Heber Jentsch has been singled out for particularly intense abuse by Miscavige. While this may well be true--and nobody should be subject to the sort of abuse DM is alleged to dole out--my question isn't about the abuse, it's about Heber in the "good old days." Rinder, Rathbun, and their circle speak of Heber as a widely respected figure. Knowing him only from his media appearances in the 80s and 90s, he seems to me the furthest thing from respectible: he seems crazy, boorish, a buffoon who reached heights of ridiculousness in the name of Scientology that surpass anything from Rinder or Tommy Davis. Do you have respect for Heber? To what do you attribute the huge gap in perception of Heber between me (a non-scientologist watcher of his media appearances) and those insiders?

  89. Re: Heber Jentzsch

    I would really hate it if I was judged only by selected clips of times when I was acting most outrageously.

    That's what you see and hear on the Internet. Selected clips when Heber was over the top. He did that when he was "defending Scientology", but that was not the way he was at other times.

    I knew Heber, but not personally. I know quite a number of people who did know Heber personally. My impression, and the description from other people, is that he was quite a wonderful person - caring, intelligent, creative, funny.

    It is unfortunate that it seems the only image that will live on will be those selected, over-the-top clips that have found a home on the Internet. I think that Heber was so outrageous at those times because it amused him to be that way. He did have that kind of humor.

    So, to answer your question: Yes, I do have respect for Heber.

  90. RE: Heber J. Thanks for that reply, Bill. I guess it's easy to lose sight of the human beings behind the crazy actions scientology demands of them.

  91. Hi Bill
    I've go, I've got two questions, if you don't mind. I did some research on 'Key to Life' and 'Life Orientation' - blatant indoctrination, if you ask me. I've read conflicting information about these courses: They're mandatory to go OT - they've fallen out of favor. Can you comment on that?

    2nd question: Can you explain this ism, as-ism, alter-ism etc. in a short, concise way? I've tried to wrap my head around it, but it leaves me dazed and confused.
    Thank you for all this valuable insight, your site is awesome.

  92. Re: "Key to Life" and "Life Orientation" courses

    These courses were not, to my knowledge, absolutely required for a person to go OT, but anything can be "required" by the church for a specific person, if they are so moved. It can be quite arbitrary.

    And Miscavige is also fond of generating more money by sending down an edict that "everyone must now do ..." some course or process.

    So, it may be quite true that KTL and LOC became "required" at one time.

    However, apparently Miscavige is doing another "Hubbard was wrong" actions and is now rewriting KTL and LOC, so 1) the old courses are "bad", 2) the new courses will be now be required for all Scientologists, 3) Profit!

  93. I've got a question about auditing procedures. If the person being audited gets upset about something, in this case unrelated to the incident they're running, what is the auditor supposed to do? Do they just sit there and tell them to continue (as I just recently overheard) or are they required to help calm the person so they can then continue and have a beneficial session?

    Are there any official instructions on that sort of thing?

    The second sounds reasonable, but the first sounds evil and heartless.

  94. Re: As-is, Alter-is, Isness, etc.

    Oh, goodness. You really asked a doozy of a question. These concepts are core Hubbard concepts.

    I'll try to explain. I always thought these ideas were fascinating.

    First, you must accept one of Hubbard's core concepts: That matter, energy, space and time may be, and are created, changed and destroyed by "thetans" (people). (By "accept", I only mean in context with this explanation, I'm not trying to make you a believer.)

    The creation process is just that the person says it it there. As long as the person keeps saying it is there, it is. But, as soon as the person takes his attention off of that thing, it is gone. That is called the "as-isness" of the object.

    In order for the object to persist after the person forgets about it, according to Hubbard, the person must add a lie to the object -- something like "that's not mine". Now the object has lost its "as-isness" and will persist. That is called "alter-isness".

    The general collection of persistent objects in the universe is called "isness". That's "reality" and, according to Hubbard, is a lie.

    To get rid of these persistent things, the person "only" has to remove the lie -- for instance, accept ownership of their object. The object regains its "as-isness" and disappears.

    That's about it. Hubbard wrote books about it.

    I hope that explains those concepts better for you. It's a very strange concept - and is core to the Scientology belief system.

  95. Re: Question about as-is, alter-is etc.

    Thank you Bill, my confusion is I feel stupid =). Apparently we're talking about axioms here, so that's adding insult to injury.

    I vaguely remember something from the Philadelphia Doctorate Courses - the universe exists only because we all agree it does - is that somehow related to this?

    The basic question is: What is the point of this inversion? Is it to convince Scientologists to reject materialism in order to find true spiritual freedom? Nobody ever owns anything - only the nasty anti-social personalities think they do, right?

    Could it be that easy? Yes() No() Maybe()
    Thanks for your time.

  96. Hello, Bill. This is a rather off-the-wall set of questions that you may not be in a position to answer, but I'll throw them out in case you have any insights. I'm curious about the LRH Life Exhibition in Hollywood, and the people who work there. I toured through it a few times during the 1990s, most recently about six years ago. Question 1: It appeared to me that "plants" were added to our small tour group to make comments about how remarkable LRH was--does that sound right? Is that a Sea Org "hat"? (Once it became clear nobody there was a likely recruit, the plants wandered away from the tour.) The last time I went there, I talked with the two staffers (sea org members, I presume) who run the place. It was clear that they were embarrassed that some of the displays were really dated: pics of Travolta in 80s disco clothes, that sort of thing, which they tried not to include in the guided tour. They said that the display was about to be revised, though I don't think that has happened, at least not to the extent that they have publicized it. Question 2 : who determines when and whether their public displays need updating and what is the basis for those decisions? On top of that, any insights you have about the folks behind that display or the ones who work their now (do they have high or low staus in the Sea Org) would be very welcome. Thanks again for the great information on your site.

  97. Desperation or a plan?

  98. Holy crap! I forgot how to tie my shoes after reading this. I hope my toilet is as-is when I need to it

  99. Re: Upset during auditing

    In a correct auditing session, if the person getting audited gets (or is) upset about something unrelated to the session, this upset must get handled before the session can continue.

    That usually does not mean the person goes off to handle the problem. It normally means the auditor gets the "charge off" of the upset so the person doesn't have attention on it and can continue the regular process.

  100. Re: LRH Life Exhibition

    I believe that was closed. That would go along with Miscavige's plan to distance himself and Scientology from Hubbard.

    Plants? Sounds like it. It doesn't make much sense, but that doesn't mean they weren't doing it. I haven't heard anything about it. Makes more sense that they would plant undercover security people in a crowd.

    As for who is in charge of the place and who would see it got updated, ultimately that would be Miscavige. It was in the Int. Execs building, so it was under their budget -- which is totally controlled by Miscavige.

    Like I said, I'm sure that whole Hubbard thing is being phased out of Miscavige's church.

  101. Re: Desperation or a plan?

    This is so typical of the Church of Scientology's PR! It is a wonder anyone still believes anything these clowns put out.

    If you read between the lines, it means that "Criminon" put on a lecture, a seminar or distributed leaflets in "every prison". It means that they convinced at least one person in the prison to take a book or a class or something.

    They want you to assume they have a presence, are running courses, and have adherents in every prison, but they don't exactly say that because they don't!

    It's all fluff and PR. If you read their statements, and then the official's statements, you realize that it actually means that they tried to get into every prison ... and completely failed.

    These statements by the Church of Scientology pretty much guarantee that they won't get a second chance.

  102. Re: More about as-is, alter-is, etc.

    There is nothing in Scientology promoting poverty or doing without. Hubbard was not into asceticism personally, and he didn't preach it.

    However, he did lecture that MEST is a trap and, ultimately, one should be free of that trap. But, you see, one of the points about OT is that you can create all the stuff you want without it becoming a trap.

    So, that HDTV is fine, just as long as you created it yourself.

  103. Bill, I hear Tommy Davis described as a "top executive" and a "leader" of scientology. Do scientologists or sea org members actually view him as a leader? Did they see Mike Rinder as a leader when he held the spokesperson job?

  104. Re: Tommy Davis

    You may be confusing Tommy Davis and David Miscavige. Easy to do, since you see Davis, and never see Miscavige.

    Tommy Davis is only referred to as spokesman for Scientology, never leader -- nor top executive. I am quite sure no Scientologist has ever thought of Tommy Davis as their "leader".

  105. While I imagine most still-in Scientologists would have avoided watching the Anderson Cooper reports as "entheta", if one of them did watch it, what would they have thought of the unhinged reaction of the ex-wives? Would they have thought the women came off well?

  106. Re: Still-in Scientologists and AC360

    Well, they simply wouldn't watch. It is forbidden. They would have to do thousands of dollars of "Sec Check" auditing if they watched, assigned a lower condition and possibly even be "declared Suppressive". They just wouldn't.

    But IF they did, and if they were still 100% True Believers, then they would have thought the ex-wives where RIGHT and did a GOOD job "exposing what liars their ex-husbands were".

  107. Any idea why recent posts are disappearing from Minerva's blog? AC360 was gone ~last week and now the pre Mike Rinder BBC interview attack went from 4 rants to 3 today. I can only assume that Legal had to step in on OSA's desperation.

  108. Hi Bill,

    while browsing various blogs frequented by 'independent Scientologists' many people talk about "going exterior".

    I know that the so-called communication TRs (the initial ones) often induce hallucinations that can be regarded as leaving the body - there IS a temporary split between mind and body, but it's not spiritual.
    My question is: Are there other scenarios where this effect occurrs? Maybe during other mindbending rituals (whole track life repair, shedding of false identities and valences etc.)

    I've done quite a lot of research into this weird parallel universe, but I have the distinct feeling that I've just scratched the surface...

  109. Re: Going exterior

    For a long time, this was Hubbard's goal, get the person out of their body. Many of the early techniques he developed had that as a specific goal. Search for Scientology's "SOP" (Standard Operating Procedure) for more information on that.

    Eventually, Hubbard discarded this whole avenue, and he replaced "SOP" with his "Bridge" to Clear and OT.

    To my knowledge, today there is only one level/process in Scientology that actually promises exteriorzation, and that is one of the "L"s, L11 I think.

    Outside of Scientology, many Eastern Religions also believe in and promise the separation of the person from their body. To the Western mind, this can seem quite weird.

  110. Re: exteriorization

    The OT 7 mission holder at the mission where I got many services, Patrice Fishman, when I asked her about exteriorization, kind of laughed and explained that she didn't understand exteriorization with perceptics to be either common or desirable. She said she'd had a ballerina friend who one time found herself in a corner of the ceiling looking down on her body and it totally freaked her. Patrice was a direct person, so I assume this meant she had NOT had the experience of exteriorization with perceptics herself. Who would want to? What's the point? I prefer to agree with some metaphysical works (like a Course in Miracles)that the body is in the mind, not the mind in a body.

    Also, I think LRH found that exteriorization was a good ploy to get people thinking they were special and "feeling different." Both those effects can be the result of simple suggestion, right? What do you think, JB?

  111. Re: Exteriorization

    Well, you won't like my answer.

    I've been exterior. I wasn't under the influence of any Scientologist (ie in session) at the time, nor drugged, hypnotized or tired. It has happened several times. So, I, personally, think exteriorization is a real phenomena. It is not something I can repeat at will, nor can I show it to someone else (of course).

    I don't usually mention things like that, because it doesn't prove anything at all. But you did ask what I thought of exteriorization.

    You ask "What's the point?" Well, if a person is shown in this way that they are not their body, it means that they will outlive their body. I can't imagine anyone not being changed by that knowledge.

    I don't think Hubbard thought it was a "good ploy" since it was hugely unpopular and heavily resisted by many of the Dianeticists of the day. Hubbard actually lost a lot of followers when he started in that direction.

  112. I both like and accept your answer to my questions about exteriorization, Just Bill. Thanks for sharing your personal knowledge of it--I wish I could experience exteriorization, but may be too scared of it for some reason.

    I obviously didn't explain myself well in my post. I do believe that people can see their bodies from outside. I totally accept that many have had that experience, and it is a powerful indication of immortality. I don't tell everyone this, but although I haven't been exterior, I had two experiences of communication, one years ago with my sister who had just died a few months before, and one recently with my dad who has been dead forty years, that were utterly convincing. The personalities were "there" and I felt our communication as clearly as if they were speaking from bodies.

    Scientology uncompromisingly stating that we are immortal beings who have had many "bodies" was the thing that made me respect it and get services to begin with. But the whole rap about how if you don't join the Sea Org or go on staff you are losing your immortality turned me off completely.

    Life, the Universe and All That, imo, is way beyond these dramatic necessities people want to invent and, especially fun, impose on others. To me it is not a fun game--anymore. I'm sure I played it in more than one lifetime.

    Asking "what's the point?" was arrogant on my part. You are right that many people would love to have and would be comforted by experiences of exteriorization or communication beyond bodies.

  113. Re: Exteriorization

    Thanks for the clarification. It is too bad that there is no reliable technique for bringing about stable exteriorization. I'd certainly love to have that and it really would change the world.

  114. Maybe this is a dumb question, but here goes:

    Do any Scientologists actually read Dianetics? or any other of the massive books Hubbard wrote?

    I don't mean this in the sense of "How can they believe this silliness?" but in the sense of "how can they get through all this dense, poorly written text?"

    I tried reading Dianetics once, and it was just impossible for me.

    Do most Scientologists just skim Hubbard's stuff and claim they read it? Or do most really manage to both get through the text and comprehend it?

  115. Re: Dianetics

    LOL! You've hit on the very darkest secret of Scientology. To my knowledge, most Scientologists have not read Dianetics -- though they rarely admit it.

    There are some six books that are required reading before the OT levels, and, in many cases, that is the first time the Scientologist has read Dianetics or many of the other books. They are dense and quite difficult to read.

  116. Hi Bill,

    I quote from another blog: "LRH did have an immense love and interest in others and a great ability to grant beingness and didn’t like to see others feel pain or harm, this is lost on the majority of PTS Scientologists."

    The amount of denial/selective perception is staggering, but my question is: What is 'granting beingness'?

  117. Just Bill,

    Rinder and Rathbun, do you regard them as rebels against Scientology or just rivals of DM?

    Do you think it is true that if they would just come clean about ALL that they know about CoS, it would be the downfall of CoS, not just David Miscavige? I don't want to support them if all they want is lead a New Scientology.

  118. Re: Rinder and Rathbun

    You need to separate, in this question, the Church of Scientology and Scientology.

    Rinder and Rathbun very much support Scientology and very much want Scientology to expand.

    But, yes, they are also working to expose David Miscavige and (to a lesser degree) bring about the downfall of the Church of Scientology.

    So, to that degree, while they will work to expose the crimes, lies and abuses of David Miscavige, they will not say anything to harm Scientology.

    In my opinion, that's an impossible position, since it really is the flaws in Scientology that allowed the crimes, abuses and lies of the Church of Scientology to occur and continue -- and, unless these significant flaws are corrected, such problems in Scientology will happen again and again and again.

    And yes, I believe it they told all they know, it would be bad for both the church and for Scientology itself, so they will never do that. Much of what they do today is aimed at protecting Scientology.

  119. At what point in scientology are you no longer a WOG? Can only a scientologist be a non-wog?

  120. Re: WOG

    LOL! Well, according to Scientology, the instant you are exposed to Scientology (in a good way, of course), you are a Scientologist. That is, if you've taken a course, bought a book, been to a lecture, etc., then they can, and will, count you as a Scientologist. Even if you never have anything to do with Scientology after that, you are a Scientologist in their books.

    And, yes, since the definition of "wog" is, very specifically, "non-Scientologist", only a Scientologist can be a "non-wog".

  121. Hi, Bill. About Rathbun and Rinder believing in Scientology, separate from the CoS: does that mean they believe in everything Hubbard wrote, or is it possible they are less dogmatic? In their "independent" Scientology, are they in favor of "declaring" SPs, disconnection, "attack the attacker" and other such objectionable policies which, if I'm not mistaken, come directly from Hubbard?

  122. Re: More Rathbun and Rinder

    According to Marty's presentation on his blog, he is a 100%, never-doubt, pure Scientologist who believes in Hubbard all the way. One would assume this includes all the abusive policies as well.

    However, I wouldn't actually believe that. My personal opinion is that all these True Believer Independent Scientologists are not in favor of the abusive practices as set forth by Hubbard. They've been on the wrong side of these practices and I'd hazard they've had enough.

    That's nice, but it isn't sufficient. Anyone who still wishes to practice Scientology must now repudiate all the abusive policies and practices as written by Hubbard. They cannot just sidestep the responsibility by saying "it wasn't real Scientology". Hubbard advocated and did some pretty abusive things and all these things must be repudiated by any future followers of Hubbard.

    If they don't, then they are the enemy of human rights.

  123. Thanks for the quick response to my q about 100% belief in Hubbard's policies above. A follow-up, if you don't mind: Is Scientology constructed in such a way that one's practice is all-or-nothing with regard to Hubbard's teaching? Are there any non-fundamentalist groups of followers of Hubbard, who will admit and discard some of his "errors" while clinging to certain core beliefs?

  124. Bill, I read about Mike Rinder's recent run-in with CoS goons, and was struck by his account of meeting his brother, who asked for Mike's number so that they could meet for lunch, if he could get permission, that is. It boggles my mind how somebody could get to a place where they feel they need permission from their church (or employer) to speak to their own brother on their own time. Have you written anywhere about the process that turns people into willing slaves in that way? It's hard for me to fathom, any insights would be appreciated.

  125. Hi Bill,

    Why did they choose to aggravate Larry Anderson by not returning the money he didn't use for services? $120.000 should be peanuts for them, right? It must have been obvious that in this case he would speak out and create bed PR. Are they forced to act like this because it's standard procedure?

  126. Wow, I guess I've misunderstood this site and your opinions, Just Bill. That's okay, you're entitled, of course, but I don't agree at all that there are merely "flaws" in Scientology. In the past six months I've come to believe the whole thing is one, big flaw.

    I am among those ex'es who consider LRH to have been a conman and so everything he created was a con.

    The more I read now of what went on in the early, middle and late days (confessions from those who were supposedly in the upper echelons) everything Hubbard wrote, said and did was in aid of expanding and maintaining a financial empire--or at least his power.

    I'll add a question to this: do you think LRH lied about his past as much as some are claiming now? And if the things that are now said/known about him are true, how could Scientology be anything but lies?

  127. Re: Not 100% believers.

    It is my understanding that there are quite a number of Freezoners, and even off-Freezone, that do, in varying degrees, take what they find works and discard the rest.

    It isn't something newly out people can do, because that whole "100% Standard Tech, don't mess with it", indoctrination is very, very hard to shake.

    But, yes, some folks are working with only part of Hubbard's tech -- some are expanding on it.

  128. Re: Mike Rinder's brother, etc.

    I have written extensively about how Scientology can warp people's ideas and beliefs so that, eventually, people will do some pretty horrible things.

    Much of my earlier posts covered that. Search for "Thought Control" as a start.

  129. Re: Larry Anderson

    Who really knows why they do some of the incredibly stupid things they do. One important thing to remember is that leaving Scientology is a high crime to them, so they can only deal with those who leave as ENEMIES. That would be the bottom line.

  130. Re: Misunderstood my opinions.

    Not necessarily. My personal opinions are not always the basis for what I write.

    You see, when I want to talk to Scientologists, even "Independent Scientologists", I cannot talk to them from the same viewpoint as a truly ex-Scientologist.

    You cannot talk to a True Believer about how it is all fake and fraud because they wouldn't even consider it. When I write to Scientologists, I will always say there is some good there.

    Did LRH lie as much as many claim? Definitely yes. He was a story-teller and that's what he did, all the time.

    It is hard to determine what LRH was thinking. My personal opinion is that he was, very much, a conman, but I believe that, at one point, he actually conned himself. He became a True Believer.

  131. RE: misunderstood my opinions

    Thanks for the reply, Just Bill. It is best to speak to people in a way they can hear, I guess, but I almost wish someone I respected would have said to me when I was "in,"

    "Hey, you are believing in a dangerous con!"

    But they would have had to direct me to documents and affadavits, which are only recently accumulating on the net. Or maybe I wouldn't have listened--just dismissed them as being suppressive. Brainwashing sucks.

  132. Hello, Bill, and thank you again for your valuable site. I just looked at a video Marty Rathbun posted, wherein he (with Mike Rinder and John Sweeney of the BBC) is being pursued and videotaped at several different locations by a couple of guys in an SUV. The BBC reporter goes face to face with them, politely introduces himself and all present, and tries to get them to verbally acknowledge him in some way and answer whether they were sent by Scientology. They just stare and keep taping. Sending goons with camera to follow people around is creepy and possibly illegal, but I'm curious about the detail of their refusal to respond verbally, which to me just seems childish. Is there some "be seen but not heard" policy in the CoS? Is there a rationale by Hubbard or Miscavige that argues for this behavior?

  133. Re: "Seen but not heard"

    LOL! There is nothing specifically in standard Scientology tech like that, but then all the stuff about harassing and fair gaming whistle-blowers isn't in standard Scientology either. There is a lot of policy about that, written by Hubbard, that is "secret". I was never involved in that area of Scientology so I don't have knowledge of that stuff.

    It does seem pretty obvious that they were acting that way because Miscavige ordered them to do so. It's very humorous. Instead of making them appear "intimidating" is just makes them look really dumb and robotic.

  134. Hi, Bill. I live in Los Angeles. For many years, the sign on the "big blue" building that faced Sunset Blvd--seen by literally millions of passers by--read "DIANETICS." They've just spiffed up the building as an "ideal org" and it now reads "Church of Scientology." Dianetics is nowhere in sight. Are they phasing out Dianetics? What does this mean?

  135. Re: Phasing out Dianetics?

    That doesn't make much sense, but then David Miscavige doesn't make much sense. The book "Dianetics" has always been considered one of the main conduits for recruiting new members. If they abandon that, it would be a major shift away from Hubbard's key dissemination policies.

    However, I'm guessing you are right and Miscavige is, once again, violating Hubbard's "most important" policies on dissemination. It's what he does.

    He is desperate to make something work -- anything. Apparently, he's finally gotten to the point of making random and senseless changes. He has no idea what he's doing, if he ever did.

  136. Hi Bill,

    I read that the entire work of Hubbard is etched into titanium plates, sealed in vacuum capsules and stored in some nifty bunker to preserve it for eternity. Given how paranoid Miscavige is, wouldn't that make him nervous to know about all the proof he's changing everything? Do you think he's concerned about his legacy, that he wishes to be revered like Hubbard? Or doesn't he give a crap what happens after his demise?
    Do you know anything about this facility? Who has access?
    I really enbjoy your blog, please keep it up.

  137. Re: The Preservation Project

    Yep, that's the story: Everything of Hubbard's carefully preserved for eternity, so that, after the whole world is destroyed, some poor survivors could still have The Tech.

    Was it ever done? I wonder. The project was used to extract millions from True Believers, but I don't know of any evidence that it was actually done.

    I cannot imagine that Miscavige bothered to continue the project. He doesn't care about preserving Hubbard's words or his tech, and he has much better uses for the money -- his private jet, extravagant lifestyle and posh vacations are expensive.

    There are several alleged locations where the preservation project is supposed to be storing this stuff -- underground vaults and all -- but no one is allowed access and no one can verify that any of it is true.

    (One wonders how the primitive survivors of the destruction of the world were supposed to locate and then gain access to these vaults -- and why they'd even go looking for them in the first place. The whole thing stinks of Yet Another Big Con.)

  138. Re: Preservation Project.

    Thanks for the reply. How embarrassing that would be! A bunch of (presumably) highly intelligent aliens who would assume that we all believed in Hubbard's "scientific", "educational" and "religious" ramblings. I guess they wouldn't be surprised that the world went bust.

    Apparently there's a property somewhere in New Mexico where strange symbols are hewn into the rocky surface. Those are allegedly markers for arriving thetans.

  139. Hello, Bill. A recent post on Marty Rathbun's blog includes a copy of a "knowledge report" on an elderly Sea Org member. It appears that of this old woman apparently enjoyed reading a newspaper daily and found it informative (rather than "entheta"). Evidently, this is something of a crime. The author of the KR described her attitude about the newspaper as "bizarre." I have read on your blog how Scientologists in general and Sea Orgers in particular are forbidden from taking in media that is critical of Scientology, but is it really considered a breech of propriety to enjoy a magazine or newspaper at all? If so, what is the rationale they provide for this? Thanks.

  140. Re: Forbidden media

    Definitely. There are several levels to this ban.

    First, of course, most media contains truthful information (that is, negative information) about Scientology, so Scientologists are supposed to avoid this possibility.

    Second, any information that makes you feel bad is, by Scientology's definition, "entheta" as well -- you should avoid this so you won't get upset. You want to see and hear only "good news" so you don't lose your Scientology gains.

    And third, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the Internet are filled with "Wog" (non-Scientology) ideas and values. If you actually like newspapers, magazines, radio, TV and the Internet, it means you like "Wog" values and you are "off purpose". Instead of reading a newspaper, a proper Scientologist is supposed to be reading L. Ron Hubbard's words.

    So, yes, in Scientology it really is "wrong" to enjoy a magazine or newspaper. It shows you are not truly and properly dedicated to Scientology.

  141. RE: Forbidden media.

    Amazing. Thanks for the informative answer, as usual.

  142. RE: "Preservation Project"

    If no one is allowed access, who does know where that project stands? Do you think that some of the high-placed defectors (like Rinder and Rathbun) would know the truth about this project and whether it was actually completed? Is their anything in their "freezone" belief system that would inhibit them from spilling the beans?

  143. Re: Preservation Project

    I am getting more and more interested in this particular con. I do know that Author Services created "prototypes" for the Preservation Project, but I don't know of anyone who worked on the real project. I have never heard of anyone who has seen any of the finished products. I have never heard of anyone who has done any work on this project -- other than fund-raising.

    If anyone (Rinder, Rathbun, etc.) had any experience or knowledge of this project, they would tell about it. There is no reason not to. True Believers would still think the Preservation Project was a laudable thing.

    I'd say that no one has any knowledge of this project because it's pure con. This is even more of a con than the Library Project.

  144. Thanks for the reply. Do you think DM could pull off a large-scale con like that and keep his top brass (like Rathbun) completely in the dark about the fact it was a con? How would that work?

    Also, I gotta ask--what is (or was) the Library Project? Is that where parishoners had to buy a zillion LRH tomes so they could be placed in libraries who didn't want the books in the first place?

  145. This blog is better than therapy. I'd forgotten how for the time I was in Scientology I didn't read newspapers or watch television news. It is good to remember these things and sort them out now in my mind. I was very afraid to harm my auditing, so I took seriously all the recommendations from my reg!

    I still think some journalists ARE fear-mongers, but when it comes to fear-mongering, who tops CoS?

  146. Re: Preservation Project

    Oh, sure. Pulling off that con would be very simple. Since the locations are secret (but we know where they are) and the access is highly restricted, the project is secret and the finances are completely controlled by Miscavige, who would know? No one in the church would ever even ask a question about it. All would assume that "someone else" was working on it -- known only to Miscavige.

    Yes, the Library Project was that project. Millions and millions of dollars reged from Scientologists for full price books that never made it to the library shelves.

    The Preservation Project is so much better, since it is 100% profit -- there are no expenses at all.

  147. Re: Fear-mongering

    Yes, it is true that bad news sells newspapers (and news programs), that has always been the case. But there are reliable sources for news that is just news.

    You are certainly correct, no one spreads more "entheta" than the Church of Scientology.

  148. Hello, Bill. You blog is very informative--thank you for your work. With all of the public criticism of the church of scientology and Miscavige himself that has been in the media and online lately, it seems like MIscavige is keeping a very low profile, almost to the point of operating in secret. Who actually knows where he is and what he's doing? Are there any good online sources you can suggest to follow current happenings within the organization?

  149. Hello Bill,

    1. How can any government accept a "religion" and "church" that charges money for salvation? The sale of indulgences within the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages ultimately did not go over too well, so how can Scientology be allowed to do this to this day?

    2. Why is Scientology not already illegal when it is clearly based on some sort of bait and switch scam?
    They sell you a communications course etc, and all is good until they let you know that you need to spend thousands to go "clear" - and when you have achieved this you are suddenly required to pay even more money to move up the bridge to OT8 to become truly free and be saved from some horrible destiny. And they keep the whole genesis story, which is quite an important aspect of any religion, hidden until you have paid Scientology an outrageous amount of money. I seriously doubt that potential recruits, during their first contact with Scientology, are told that the total bill will amount to some 300,000-400,000 dollars.
    As far as I understand, bait and switch is illegal, is it not? So how come nothing is done about it and why have no one sued over this?

    Btw., great blog, this cannot be emphasized enough.

  150. Do intellectuals also fall for the Scientology trap? If so, what happened to always, always questioning your sources? There must be some point very early on where common sense and critical thinking just goes out the window. Do people just want to be fooled?

    A friend of mine, unsuspecting by nature, was introduced to some pretty weird cults/organisations (moonies, Herbalife etc.) but quickly rejected it when it became clear that they only wanted money, and after they became rather aggressive when my friend refused to give them money or even contact details. Aggressive behaviour/hard sells where people suddenly turn out to be not so friendly after all should be enough to make people realise that something is wrong.

    Are Scientologists just better at seeming benign and welcoming for a longer period of time? Is that why people fall for it?

  151. Re: Where is Davy?

    Miscavige has always operated in secret. That's his style. I don't know where he is and don't know anyone who is tracking his movements, but it really isn't hard to guess. Miscavige hates the Int. Base and he loves the Freewinds. With the Freewinds, he has his own almost-private yacht, hot and cold running servants, wonderful ports, fantastic shopping and restaurants -- and he is safe from arrest, extradition and government/court subpoenas. Where would you be if you were David Miscavige?

    As for the current, inside story? We all have to wait for the latest escapees to tell their stories. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall as Miscavige receives bad news after bad news.

  152. Re: Charging for salvation and Bait and Switch

    The Church of Scientology has tried to justify its business model by claiming that, in Scientology, "Exchange is holy". It is in their holy scripture that parishioners must "exchange" (that means PAY) for every service. Some governments have actually bought that excuse. Let's face it, it's hard to argue about religious belief, no matter how much it looks like a plain old business.

    As for bait and switch, it's a religion. Religions always promise heaven, nirvana, paradise, OT, whatever, but actually deliver, here on Earth, something else. That fact that Scientology promises immortality and god-like powers, but delivers much, much less just means they are a lot like many other religions.

    But make no mistake, the "Church" of Scientology should not be recognized as a religion anywhere in the world -- and, for the most part, it isn't. It operates only like a profit-making business -- and that's how it should be treated, and taxed.

  153. Re: Intellectuals falling for Scientology

    Today? I sincerely doubt that any intelligent person is falling for Scientology's line. There is too much factual information about the true results and actual failures of Scientology.

    Before the Internet and the ease of finding lots of information, and before the leaks and widespread exposure of Scientology's lies, it was a bit different. Hubbard dresses up the whole subject with some very detailed theories, axioms and such. Since it was, by definition, a "brand new subject", and since it dealt with the intangible realm of the mind, it was quite difficult to find any other sources on the subject. One had to make up one's own mind -- and, as I've mentioned before, some of the early, lower-level things in Scientology often do work, to some degree. With no other information, one could assume that, if these lower-level tricks work, the subject is valid. Of course, that's false logic and leads to the trap.

    Anyone trained in the scientific method, even in the early days, was not fooled -- but, sadly, that isn't normally taught in schools, even back then.

    So, yes, it was quite possible for relatively intelligent people to get fooled. Thankfully, that is no longer the case. Not only are Scientology's lies and failures widely exposed, but Church of Scientology staff are no longer very good at pretending to be benign, today, they really are only after your money.

  154. It's been 12 days since your last article. I am jones-ing. Another soon?

  155. I've always got a few articles in the oven, but I'm not going to server them up until they're baked to a crispy brown. LOL!

    But really, I've written so much, sometimes I find that I'm just repeating what I've already said. That's boring.

    And sometimes I find myself writing something that others have said much better. Again, boring.

    And, then again, now there are a ton of new writers writing the truth about Scientology, and I'm often happy to just read those instead.

    But there are new articles in the works. I just published a new one triggered by a recent discussion. Your patience is appreciated.

    Just Bill

  156. Oh, and lest I forget, every once in awhile, some Scientologist in a lower condition gets assigned to "handle" me by OSA -- and I get to have fun answering their crazy comments -- until they finally degenerate into insults and off topic rants.

  157. I've just discovered that "Freedom" mag has gone video, and their latest online issue is an attack on CNN, Anderson Cooper, and the "delusional psychopath" named "Rathbone." Two questions: 1. Whom do they think is the audience for this? Their counter-arguments are so off-the-mark (why didn't CNN broadcast all the events Miscavige attended?) or highly dubious (Cooper's witnesses are "best described as thugs") or completely absurd (those "thugs" are clearly are conspiring with each other, since two of them have similar goatees) that I can't imagine any uninvolved party thinking that "Freedom" has any credibility. (Maybe somebody who has a political beef with CNN would be disposed to agree, but the baloney is very, very apparent.) Question 2: the voice-over narration is written in exactly the same style that Miscavige uses in his event lectures. The "Freedom" narration and Miscavige's speeches are almost certainly written by the same person. Who writes this stuff?

    Thanks, Bill.

  158. Re: Freedom Magazine

    1. Who is the target of the Freedom Magazine?

    Gullible people.

    Actually, they don't know. Many years ago, they used to do surveys and research to find out who their target audience was and how to slant their stories.

    Today, it's all based on orders from David Miscavige. Period. Miscavige "knows" the "exact, right thing to say" so whatever he dictates must be perfect. No surveys, no research, no facts, no logic.

    Freedom Magazine is quite well known for its imaginative, convoluted leaps of logic, always "proving" that the Church of Scientology is Good and everyone else in the world is Evil.

    2. Who writes this crap?

    Dan Sherman, the "official LRH biographer" (who, apparently, will never write LRH's biography). Dan writes all of Miscavige's event lectures. You can recognize it by his turgid phrasing and meaningless puffery.

    Of course, every script has to go through Miscavige to get his corrections and his final Stamp of Failure on it.

  159. RE: Freedom Magazine

    "Conspiracy of thugs," gee, that sounds a lot like DM and his krewe.

    Along those lines, love that "Godfather" moment between him and Tom Cruise (the muerta handshake?) that got a lot of play on ABC's Nightline. Hilarious--and I'd say kind of gay looking, but I like gays.

  160. Hi Bill,

    please take a short look at this video:

    Apparently this is an attempt to 'cave in' the protester. I always thought caving somebody in meant aggressive/hostile bullying. What is really going on there? And: How can this happen?
    Don't they realize how much damage this does to their image? A world without insanity- LOL! Will the robot get into trouble, or will he be commended for 'showing ethics presence'?

  161. Re: youtube video

    Hmmm. I'm really not sure what that is. It isn't anything I know of to "cave in" the protester. While a Scientologist can be aggressive/hostile to "handle" a protester, more accurately "cave-in" would be the use of secret "key phrases" that Scientologists are taught have "special powers" to cave-in people. You've heard the famous "raped a baby" phrase. That's one.

    Obviously William is "confronting" the protester and obviously he was drilled on things to say. William is forbidden from communicating with the "Suppressive Person" which is why he tries not to respond to things said to him. The continuous flow of insults is very Scientological, but doesn't contain any key phrases.

    I don't know the background, but I'd guess that William previously knew the protester and has been found, by the church, to be "PTS" (a potential trouble source) because of this prior connection. I'd guess that William was ordered to "go and handle" his (used to be) friend. Hence the repeated instructions from William to "stop being suppressive" and so on. William definitely looks like he is being forced to do this -- and that means he's in Ethics trouble.

    No, they do not realize what this looks like outside of the cult. They no longer know that "normal" looks like.

    I'd guess the church will commend William for this.

  162. Okay, I AM a Scientologist, despite agreeing with most of what y'all are blogging about. Please feel free to ask me any questions. I will either defend or acknowledge whatever is true. I'm kinda on the outside looking back in to what used to be my religion.

    I'm "disaffected" now, but still hopeful. I can answer many questions accurately and as truthfully as I can and I promise NOT to invalidate anyone on this board.

    I still hope for reform for the CofS, which could still be a force for real improvement in this world, as long as we can root out the SP lunatics running the show, or shame them into real-world human rights submission.

    I support Anonymous and any other reform organization to the fullest and acknowledge that most of your beef with the C of S is legit.

    I want to communicate and create a bridge of understanding and create real reform. Most Scientologists actually mean well; they're just very misinformed, brainwashed and misdirected.

    Please, ask me. I don't have a good handle right now. Y'all call me something and I'll stick with it. Just ask. The church needs to change and I'm willing to do whatever I can muster the courage to do to see some kind of reform.

    Best Regards,


  163. Hello Bill,

    what exactly is the meaning of an "attested clear"? It sounds like one has to do some kind of exam but I doubt that. (I know what happened when Hubbard presented the first clear in the Shrine).
    Maybe you could clarify this? Do they just hand you a diploma?

  164. Re: "Attested Clear"

    Back in the early days of Scientology, when someone went "Clear" they were, indeed, tested. This wasn't like the fiasco at the Shrine Auditorium, it involved quite a bit of checking on the E-Meter to see if the person still had "charge" where they shouldn't.

    But that changed. Hubbard realized there was a huge difference between his church declaring a person Clear, and the person himself/herself "attesting" they were Clear.

    In the first case, if the church tested and then declared the person Clear, then the church was responsible if they weren't. In the second, if a person attested to it, and later they realized they weren't, it's their problem.

    So testing and declaring went out the window and attesting came in. This is true for every single level of The Bridge. The Church of Scientology is definitely not saying anyone has attained anything. It is the people themselves who "attest" -- and if no levels were actually attained, well, that isn't the church's fault, they did it to themselves.

    A very clever, no-responsibility solution to the fact that no one ever demonstrates the promised characteristics of Release, Clear and OT.

    Problem solved! If only you hadn't attested, if only you'd continued and continued, surely you would have eventually reached Clear and OT. It's all your fault you didn't.

  165. Dear Anonymous disaffected Scientologist

    A ex-church Scientologist who is willing to answer questions about Scientology honestly...

    Wish I'd thought of that. ;-)

    You do realize that you are posting this on my blog, and that I've been doing exactly that now for over 2 1/2 years?

    I was in Scientology for over 30 years, so I do know what I'm talking about. People coming here know that I will tell the truth, as best I can.

    Now, if you think I've been wrong in any of my articles or answers, please feel free to suggest corrections. I'd love to hear from you -- I am always glad to correct anything I've said which was wrong.

    Just Bill

  166. Bill, just above you mention the various never-achieved "states" of Release, Clear and OT. I've never heard of "release"--what is that claimed to be (or do), and does it represent a level on the "Bridge"?

  167. Re: "Release"

    On the Scientology "Grade Chart" there are levels or grades leading up to Clear. When a person "completes" one of these pre-Clear grades, it is called a "Release", meaning they have released some of their aberrations.

    So there is a "Grade 0 Release", a "Grade I Release" and so on, all the way up to a "Grade Va Release".

    The "End Phenomena" of a Grade 0 Release, for example, is "Able to talk to anyone on any subject. Willing for others to talk to anyone on any subject." and so on.

    It is pretty amusing to think of Scientologists, who claim to be Grade 0 Releases, being so afraid of reading so many things, being barred from the Internet, disconnecting from family and friends for fear of what they'll say ... "Grade 0 Release" yeah, sure.

    And it is like that for the other Releases as well. The promised gains are not, for the most part, visible in those who supposedly have completed those Grades.

  168. Thanks for the reply about "releases," Bill. It is pretty hilarious that Scientologists claim to be trained communicators: as a group, they have few rivals for inept communication and refusal to communicate. But many ex's--yourself included--do seem to be lucid communicators. Do you think this is just a matter of people with natural aptitude becoming restored after leaving CoS, or is there something in the experience--either within Scientology or in the process of extracting oneself from the mind control--that actually makes for clear communicators?

  169. Re: Clear Communication

    Just Bill, I hope you don't mind me commenting on Anonymous question. I look forward to your answer, but felt moved to share my thoughts.

    Learning to look other people in the eyes, learning to tell strangers what I observed about them without flinching and hear their comments on me without flinching, learning to wait for an acknowledgement before continuing to issue statements, learning to have an conscious intention for speaking, and especially understanding that the way we communicate with others affects our inner state and that of the other person--all these made a difference in my communication. I've learned from subsequent systems as well, even from aphorisms like "You are only as sick as your secrets." I'm endlessly curious about new psychological concepts and theories.

    But the communications concepts and drills in Scientology seem to have helped me.

    You'd have to ask others if I'm a good communicator. I know many people find me too direct and perhaps too open, but as far as my inner state goes, I feel happier the way I am post the Scientology communications course.

    But if anyone takes it, they should be prepared to run in the opposite direction right away and change their address and phone number. The CoS won't leave you alone once you've had a "service."

  170. Re: Communication and other abilities

    Was it Scientology? Or was it natural abilities already there coming out?

    Well, I believe that you can't "gain abilities" that weren't there to begin with, which would seem to argue in that direction, but this is all quite subjective. Each person's experiences are unique.

    I believe I, like the Anonymous who answered before me, had some gains from Scientology courses and processing. But what I can't answer is: Was the Scientology courses/processing necessary for me to have those gains?

    Personal opinion, no. I'm quite sure that I could have had similar, or even identical improvements via some other process. The fact that other methods of improvement don't necessarily come with Scientology's thought control or greed, and don't come with this "Bridge to Total Freedom" you-must-buy-the-whole-package thing, argue that the other methods are superior.

    Like I said, each person has their own experiences.

  171. Are you personally in communication with recent escapees? I hope so.

  172. Bill, in your experience, what is the approximate ratio of Scientologists who remain in Scientology (or who stayed in until their old age) vs. those who walked away?

  173. Re: Recent escapees

    People close to me are often contacted by recent escapees and do provide them with advice and support.

  174. Re: People who remain in Scientology

    It is nearly impossible to say with any certainty how many of those who are exposed to Scientology remain "forever". This is because the information about membership is so unreliable -- the Church of Scientology always lies about its membership numbers.

    We do know the actual membership numbers are very low (compared with the church's claims). As of 2008, ARIS was estimating 25,000 in the U.S. Given that we know there have been massive departures since then (that was just at the beginning of the protests and huge exposures), I'd estimate the number of dedicated, true members in the U.S. is now closer to 10,000 - at best. The situation in the rest of the world may be even worse, but I'd estimate world wide totals, including the U.S. as less than 20,000 - perhaps much less.

    The Church of Scientology continues to claim eight million members world wide - and admitted at one time that this inflated number actually represented the total number of people who were exposed to Scientology (we assume this means took a course, bought a book, etc.).

    If we take the church's word for this, then the ratio of people exposed to Scientology vs. the number of people who remained is about 400/1 - at best. About a quarter of a percent.

    If we take the church's occasional claim of 20 million members instead, then the ratio drops to 1,000/1.

    Adding those who left the church but still believe would not alter these figures much. It is doubtful that there are any more than a few thousand of those.

    When I was working in the Sea Org, we were well aware of this kind of drop-off in numbers. Those who have worked at the highest levels of the church have mentioned this as well.

  175. Hi Bill,

    Hubbard certainly didn't mince words and wrote a lot of things that are extremely controversial - some things are utterly ridiculous, but others make CoS really look bad (read: extremist and dangerous). That's why so much has been edited. Knowing that there are a lot potential PR disasters out there, are they trying to retrive the older materials to get them out of circulation? They are a bunch of control freaks, aren't they?

  176. Re: Control freaks


    But what most people don't realize is that Scientology is all about control. That's what they teach, and that's what they practice. For instance, they brag about how they have this "Communication Course" that's "all about how to communicate". No, it isn't. It is all about how to control people using communication. That really is what the course is all about. And their other courses are quite similar -- about control.

    So, yes, they really are a bunch of control freaks.

  177. I'm confused, and I'm writing to you, Just Bill, because you seem like you're genuinely concerned and not just axe-grinding against Scientology.

    We've got a close extended family, and in one branch of that extended family pretty much everyone is a Scientologist, and they've all been deeply involved in Scientology for 20+ years. The majority of their friends are Scientologists, they work with Scientologists, their kids all went to Scientology schools, and the children married Scientologists, by and large, when they grew up. But that's it; the rest of us are "wogs". In fact, one daughter in this branch of the family is not involved in Scientology at all, but those who are involved are still close with her.

    And that's why I'm writing. In one of your posts, you write the following:

    "A "good" Scientologist has, by now, "disconnected" from any and all family and friends who are not 100% gung-ho Scientologists. This is actually true. Miscavige's church requires total commitment from all its members. If a Scientologist had any friends or family who were not in Scientology, the Scientologist was required to work on them to get them into, and busy, in Scientology.

    So, typically, all a Scientologist's friends and family become separated into two groups: Those who did get involved, and those who refuse to get involved. See where this leads? All those who refused to buy into Scientology must be "suppressive" -- and the Scientologist must "disconnect" from them. As it is proven that Scientology actually appeals to less than 1% of the people exposed to it, this means that virtually all Scientologists have had to "disconnect" from more than one of their immediate family."

    However, I've never seen any of this stuff from my Scientology relatives. They make the occasional Scientology-related remark, pass along Narconon and Criminon links on Facebook, and they close their emails with "ML" (which I understand is how LRH was in the habit of closing his correspondence), but I've never seen any serious attempts at proselytizing, nor have I seen any "disconnection" type behavior from them. We see them regularly for holidays, family reunions, etc., but I've never seen any of the behavior that you mention here, and that I've seen written elsewhere on the Web about Scientology.

    So, what gives? Can people live normal lives as Scientologists, engaging with the non-Scientology world in more or less the same way as adherents of any other religion do, or can they not? I'm not defending any of the outrageous behavior that is regularly attributed to Scientologists: if it actually happens, it's disgusting and criminal. But when folks like me can't square what we observe of Scientologists we know with what is regularly attributed to them, it really undermines the credibility of the attributions.

  178. Dear Confused,

    I have to admit that I was making a generality where a more specific statement would have been better. I appreciate you bringing that up.

    There definitely are Scientologists who do not disconnect from their family -- and don't have to. But certain conditions must exist for this to happen.

    1) The Scientologists must not proselytize. They must, themselves, be happy to leave people as they are. This, by the way, isn't "good" Scientology behavior. Scientologists are supposed to work hard, all the time, to expand Scientology, pushing Scientology "solutions" on their family and friends.

    If they tried to do their duty, some, if not all, of their non-Scientology family would refuse and say something negative -- and the Scientologists would be forced to disconnect.

    2) The non-Scientology family members must not say anything negative about Scientology. Obviously, if they did, the Scientologists would be forced to disconnect.

    3) No non-Scientology family member may have tried Scientology and rejected it or, worse, run afoul of Scientology. Again, if that had happened, the Scientologists would be forced to disconnect.

    So, to be totally accurate, good Scientologists who properly work hard to bring all their friends and family into Scientology as they are all supposed to do would, eventually be forced to disconnect from their non-Scientology family when those family members refused to join.

    Your family was lucky that the Scientololgists in the family were sane about not pushing Scientology.

    Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  179. Thanks, Just Bill, for your reply to me ("Confused").

    I suspected as much about the conditions under which it would be possible for Scientologists to remain engaged with non-Scientologist family members, which is the major reason that I have not confronted them with, or even mentioned, any of the craziness that I regularly read about on the 'Net. It's also the reason I'm commenting here anonymously and have stripped out as many identifying details as possible. Not that they would likely find their way to your site, but I didn't want to force them into a situation where they felt compelled to choose between "handling" me and disconnecting.

    It's quite sad, actually, how brittle and anxious the whole situation seems. Given how much of their lives revolves around it, it has always been striking to me how absolute the silence is on that topic at family gatherings. It sets off very deep alarm bells in me, and

    Any advice you might have on how to engage with them about Scientology, however tentatively, would be appreciated.

  180. @"Confused"

    Whew! That's a tough one. If you start to talk about Scientology, you walk into a mine field of potential problems - most of which end up with upset and disconnection.

    Your best bet is to ask questions and listen. Ask what they wanted to accomplish through Scientology. Most Scientologists have not gotten what they expected - or anything close to what they expected - and have "forgotten" those goals. This question will open that memory back up.

    Ask what they wanted to accomplish in life when they were young. Most Scientologists have abandoned their earlier goals for Scientology goals.

    Let them know you are willing to listen without judgement and never say anything negative about Scientology (as this triggers automatic defenses) - let them say the negative things - and you just say "Oh, really?"

    But if you want to play it safe, just keep things the way they are.

  181. Just Bill, what is your opinion on the various ex-(supposedly)scientology forums? I don't mind stating my own:

    I find Ex-Scientology Kids full of sad and lonely "kids". The attempt of the the site to be "unbiased" only makes it sadder, imo. It does no one any psychological good to live with cognitive dissonance.

    Lermanet and Xenu seem full of anger, but still strangely obsessive re: CoS. Why need LRH be proved a liar in a million ways? Aren't a thousand ways enough?

    ESMB is such a mishmash. How can someone in one breath say LRH was a fraud and in the next extoll the "tech"? There WAS no tech. There IS no church. There is just an enormous fraud and if a lot of the exes would stop playing with their "dollies" and step outside the clubhouse to take a look around, they'd see that CoS was and is no different from a thousand other spiritual scams past and present. You might say, "oh, that would crush the life out of them," but, honestly JB, isn't a lie always harmful, no matter how 'benign'?

    Why don't they read, research and try to put their mistaken loyalties totally behind them? IMO, they are doing a huge disservice to those who need real clarity and help to get out.

    Except for your blog, I think I'm about to defect from Scientology forums that only muddy the water.

  182. Re: Ex-Scientology forums

    First, people have to come to terms with what they've gone through -- and I know that can be difficult. That may require going over and over the things that happened, trying to make sense of it all. I'm of the type that can accept that a lot of it just didn't/doesn't make any sense at all.

    Second, new people are coming out, and they have to start at the beginning -- and hash it all out for themselves. And argue and fuss.

    Third, there are those in those forums who purposely stir the pot, troll, bait -- and that gets everybody all riled up all over again.

    While I tend to be more forgiving of all of that, I don't visit most of those sites -- just because there's not much new to me -- I've read it, I've seen it. But I do understand that all of this is new to the recent escapees -- and so the forums do still have considerable value.

    As for sites like Lermanet and Xenu, their whole purpose is to debunk the lies of LRH, David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology. That's why they exist and what their job is. I understand you're finding it tiresome but they are just fulfilling their purpose. As long as there are un-debunked lies, they still have, in their eyes, more work to do.

    I'm surprised when one of my very old articles gets a comment -- and it happens pretty often, and it serves to remind me that there are still people coming out of that trap who need help.

    After all that, I will say that I do sympathize with your opinion. I suggest you quit those forums for awhile -- or even permanently. They have no value to you, and that's exactly the way it should be.

  183. I have asked this question many times and never received a good answer, maybe you can do better. How exactly did David Miscavige come into power? Hubbard didn't name him as his successor, in fact, didn't he name someone else completely? So how does this happen, if scientologists were supposed to follow Hubbard's instructions to the letter?

  184. Re: How did David Miscavige come into power?

    Hubbard left an entire executive structure in place at the top of the Church of Scientology to run it, and David Miscavige wasn't part of that at all.

    There are a number of stories on the Internet about all the steps Miscavige took to take over the church -- it is rather well documented, but I suspect you're asking a more fundamental question. How was it possible? How could he have pulled it off?

    The basic flaw was in the hidden command lines of Scientology. Hubbard was not supposed to be running the church nor getting paid by the church. This was a major legal no-no. He was absolutely not supposed to be doing that.

    But Hubbard just had to run the church. He couldn't stop. He also demanded lots and lots of money from the church.

    The way this was handled was that the communication had to be hidden -- reports to Hubbard and orders from Hubbard had to be completely hidden.

    The way it was all hidden was through an "independent" company called Author Services, Inc. (ASI).

    Allegedly, the company was only supposed to represent Hubbard's literary interests, but in reality, it was the major conduit between the Church of Scientology and Hubbard.

    And David Miscavige was head of ASI. This meant that Miscavige had absolute control over all communication to and from Hubbard. He carefully filtered everything to Hubbard to suit his purposes, and the fact that he was the channel for all orders from LRH gave him all the power he needed to do anything. He could claim the orders came from Hubbard, or were necessary to carry out Hubbard's orders, or simply let people assume he had authority from Hubbard to do whatever he did.

    The rest, as they say, is history.

  185. Was Finding your Hat in Life changed on the LOC course? Weren't you supposed to rehab your own personal purpose in life on that course?

  186. Re: Finding Your Hat in Life

    I'm sorry, I do not know. Perhaps someone else can answer your question.

  187. Do you find Minerva's latest post as dark and telling (or scary as shit) as I do?

  188. Re: Minerva

    Minerva? I don't know of any worthwhile blog by anyone named Minerva. Never read it.

    Just googled. Ah, forget it. This is a tempest in a teacup - Church of Scientology fighting Scientology -- teeny-tiny, collapsing, abusive cult desperately "battling" teeny-tiny Scientology. Who cares? For all of their claims and posturing, nothing important is going on there.

  189. Thanks, Just Bill, for writing this refreshing blog.

    My question is about the e-meter -- the device used by Scientologists to "observe" a person's mental "charge" and "reactions."

    So -- what is the e-meter actually registering?

    Scientolgists believe that mental mass is real because they can "see" it on the e-meter.

    Furthermore, many Scientologists believe that the e-meter helps them establish truth -- if it "reads" on the e-meter, then it must be so.

    Even I fell for it -- I ran OT III, and I figured that -- well, the e-meter is reading and F/Ning, so it "must be so," even though the whole thing seemed far-fetched and utterly unreal to me.

    I was recently reading a book about the brain, (Change Your Brain, Change Your Body by Daniel Amen, M.D.) and the book discussed that there are areas of the brain that respond to thoughts
    as if they are real.

    For example, if you THINK of a lion about to attack you, your brain will release adrenalin and your body will respond EXACTLY AS IF A LION REALLY WAS THERE ABOUT TO ATTACK YOU.

    If then occurred to me that maybe Scientology has it bass-ackwards. Maybe there is no mental mass. Maybe all the e-meter is registering is the BRAIN'S natural response to unpleasant thoughts.

    Which means that the e-meter is about as Scientifically useful as a Bunsen burner in an airless room.

    So what IS the e-meter actually "reading"?

  190. Sharron Angle, who is running against Harry Reid for the US senate seat from Nevada, is being accused of being some kind of Scientology dupe or front because she supports a crime rehab program called "second chance." What is "second chance," and how is it connected to Scientology? Do you think she really is a representative of scientology, or is that just political mudslinging?

  191. Re: The e-meter

    Short answer, "I don't know".

    I really should write up something about the Scientology e-meter. There is a lot of misinformation out there about it from people who haven't actually studied or used one.

    Of course, you have, and you know that it does do something -- but what?

    The problem is that it has never been scientifically studied. Non-Scientologists automatically reject it and believe it does absolutely nothing, that it can't do anything.

    To those who have studied and used it, it is obvious that it does react to certain thoughts.

    Barring any real research or any other explanation, I'd tentatively accept the idea that some thoughts contain "charge" (whatever that is) and the e-meter does measure it.

    But, like you, I'd sure like something more scientific.

  192. Re: Sharron Angle

    Apparently Ms. Angle is a Scientology dupe. It appears that she introduced some bill to support the "Second Chance" program.

    Second Chance is a Church of Scientology front group which utilizes Scientology's well discredited "Narconon" technology for "rehabilitating criminals".

    Second Chance is run under the direct supervision of the Church of Scientology via its "W.I.S.E" organization. Second Chance sends money from such government funding to the church via W.I.S.E.

    The Second Chance program was kicked out of the prisons in New Mexico when the government found out all their statistics were fake and the actual results were extremely poor. Turns out the results were not as good as no program at all!

    Any flak Ms. Angle gets for her support of Second Chance is well-deserved.

  193. Just Bill, I was under the impression that the e-meter measured the electrical resistance of the skin, which would of course change from how you hold the cans and sweat. It's a primitive lie detector and does not measure emotions, but how your body, well the skin, reacts to them.

  194. Re: E-meter

    The Scientology e-meter reacts to many things, sweat, grip, body motion and so on -- but it also does react to some thoughts as well. This has actually been proven rather thoroughly, even to non-Scientologists.

    It does not "measure emotions". It does not "read your mind". It does not "detect lies". But it can easily be shown that it does react to some thoughts.

    And this is one of the trapping mechanisms of the church. Stay tuned, I'll get my article written on this subject.

  195. Hello, Bill, and thank you again for your excellent site. It seems to me that Hubbard created Scientology to gain fame, wealth and power over others. (He may have thought he was doing some kind of social good, too, it is impossible to know.) But post-Hubbard, I find it difficult to understand what the whole Church (and related businesses) edifice is for. So, a few related questions: Is CoS just a scheme to personally enrich David Miscavige? What other real reason(s) for existing does it have? If it is just about making DM rich, any idea what he does with his wealth, or what his net worth might be?

  196. How could anyone choose to base the rest of their life on the words of just one man?

  197. Re: Miscavige's wealth

    No one outside of Miscavige's personal office knows what his net worth is. His real wealth, however, is that he personally controls every dime of the Church of Scientology's wealth. He pays himself a six-figure income, but all his extremely extravagant spending comes out of the church's coffers. He doesn't have to pay a penny of his own.

    What does he do with all this? He lives very, very well. Think about it, he can travel anywhere at any time and does so in better than first class style. Wherever he stays is extremely posh -- including his virtually-private yacht, the Freewinds. Anything he wants, anything, is immediately provided. He lives a lot better than mere millionaires.

    The whole Church of Scientology is more than just a money-making con under Miscavige, it is all about power -- power over people. He has the entire Scientology world grovelling at his feet -- and that is what it's all about.

  198. Re: "How could anyone choose to base the rest of their life on the words of just one man?"

    I agree that this is a questionable way to live one's life, but aren't most religions all about following the words of just one man?

  199. Hello, Bill. Why does Miscavige leave the "Super Power" building standing uncompleted, while buying and remodeling buildings elsewhere? Does he somehow benefit from that strategy?