The future of the Church of Scientology is looking very bleak.
Traditionally, Scientology recruits its new members from the gullible, the hopeful, the naive and the not-so-bright.
Except for the last one, these traits are more often found in younger folk.
Scientology requires people with little "real world" experience, people not skeptical, people not hardened by years of scams, lies, tricks and broken promises. They need people who are open to the possibility that something amazing, unusual and world-changing might actually show up in a store-front in their neighborhood.
Anyone else, on hearing the claims of Scientologists, would say, "Yeah, right. Prove it!" But young people, being curious, might just say, "OK, let's try it!"
And so the church could pull young people in and start their indoctrination.
But, because of the Internet, that has changed. Changed a lot.
I hope and think that young people are still as optimistic and curious as they've always been, but they are more skeptical. The wild claims, scams, tricks and ideas that have circulated through the Internet have inoculated them against just accepting anything they see. Now they look for more information. Now they evaluate and think.
And, always, they look to the Internet for more information. Hell, they google someone before going on a date with them.
And there, on the Internet, they find thousands of websites and blogs about Scientology. A few are Church of Scientology sites with their carefully crafted presentations, a few are rabid, off-the-wall sites, and all the rest present the real facts, unfiltered and extensive.
Anyone who is curious about Scientology can find out, literally, all they want from the Internet. Not only the happy-happy stories and carefully crafted presentations, but also the dark underbelly, the bizarre beliefs, the crimes, the abuses, the lies and the fraud.
That's it for the church! Because of the Internet, and all the hard work of those who have fought to put and keep all the information out there, the primary recruitment pool for the Church of Scientology has been shut off.
The only people left who just might be sucked into the church are the not-so-bright--the target of all scams and frauds.
And, to add to the recruitment problem, the church is losing members at an unprecedented rate. Anyone with any intelligence is waking up to the fact that the Church of Scientology is not as it claims, is causing an incredible amount of harm, and it is dying.
So, what is the future of the Church of Scientology? With the smart people leaving and only not-so-bright remaining and coming in, pretty soon all that will be left will be the Church of the Not-So-Bright, lead by the Pope-of-the-Not-So-Bright, David Miscavige.
We've seen that happening, and that will continue. Those in the church will not be able to figure out simple things--like why it all keeps going so wrong, no matter how many well-aimed, Hubbardized footbullets they shoot at it.
It can only get more entertaining.