Let's pretend. Just so we can take a look at something, let's pretend that something that you are sure is impossible, actually happened.
Let's pretend that a Suppressive Person took control of the Church of Scientology. Of course you know that's impossible, but just pretend, OK?
How would you tell?
Upper management of the Church of Scientology is hidden away. Oh, everyone knows the Hemet location, the Hollywood building, the buildings in Clearwater, but, really, the activities and personnel of International Management are pretty well hidden. It's hard for the regular Scientologist to see what's going on.
So what would you be able to see if an SP was running things?
Sure, we'd expect reports of problems, crimes, beatings, abuses, lies to leak out from the Int. Base, but those reports wouldn't be visible to Scientologists. Those reports would just be rejected as "entheta", "hate-crimes" and "attacks". Scientologists wouldn't be allowed to see those.
Another obvious one would be that Scientology statistics would tank. But, then again, those are not displayed anywhere for Scientologists to see. Scientologists get that kind of information from the big events, and those statistics aren't complete. You see a graph, but no scale. You see the scale, but the time range is missing. You just see "3X" but with no data on "three times what?" No, you can't tell anything from those flashy displays, and the real statistics are hidden.
Another sign would be that all those who personally worked with Ron, especially those in top management, would be removed. You wouldn't hear of them, you wouldn't see them. But, since top management is hidden, that would be hard to see as well.
So how would you know? How would you be able to tell?
Understand, of course, that we're just pretending here.
Well, you know, there would be signs.
The first sign that might be visible is a change in emphasis. Originally, the Church of Scientology was all about selling books, creating auditors and getting people "up the Bridge". That's what was always pushed. "Come in for service!" "Get trained!"
With a Suppressive in charge, you'd see the emphasis change to money. Prices would increase. Instead of selling books and services, the church would simply ask for money. Pure donations, where nothing was given in exchange, would creep in, and then would be pushed, harder and harder.
Another sign would be in the general population of Scientologists. More Scientologists would be "in trouble". More Scientologists would have to jump through more hoops just to stay on the Bridge. More Scientologists would just back off, give up, move away, become "inactive".
This would lead to nearly empty orgs, empty course rooms, sparse staff and orgs struggling. While the big events would still tell tall tales of "booming orgs", your local org would not be doing well at all. Groups in the field, if any, would close. You'd see nearby orgs "combining", for instance, a Class V Org with its nearby Celebrity Centre.
Another sign would, inevitably, be Hubbard's technology. In the name of "improving" the technology, the Suppressive would make alterations, large and small. Probably the SP would claim that "lost tech" had been recovered, but the so-called "source material" would not be displayed. Training would be changed, and changed again. Most Scientologists, being trained on this "improved" version of the tech would drop out, unable to actually apply the tech any more. Again, course rooms would empty and completions would crash.
Then, the next sign would be Ron's lectures and books. The SP would "discover" that these were somehow "wrong" and needed to be heavily edited to "make them right". No one would be allowed to own the original, "wrong", versions. Only the SP's versions would be allowed.
Of course, this could never happen, we are only talking hypothetically, here.
In this pretend world, where an SP took control of the Church of Scientology, there would be many other signs, but they would be carefully hidden from all Scientologists.
However, because of all the hidden crimes, lies, abuses; because of the excessive demand for money; because of the failure to actually deliver; because of mistakes and corruption, there would be attacks against Scientology, and these would grow and grow. The SP would, of course, point the finger here and there and would, undoubtedly, use the attacks as an excuse to exhort even more pure donations from all Scientologists.
And, always, things would just keep getting worse for the church.
Of course, you know that this could never happen. Not in a million years. No Suppressive Person could ever take control of the Church of Scientology. Nope. It's impossible!
So, tell me, since you're so sure, exactly what safeguards are in place that make this impossible? The survival of the Church of Scientology depends on specific and powerful safeguards against something like this happening. Do you know of any?
I'm not pretending anymore.