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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Where Are All the Scientologists? Part 4

We are now past the time when estimating the number of Church of Scientology members was even possible.  The reason for this is that the number of church members for a country simply becomes lost in the margin of error of any poll.  The last ARIS survey simply dumped "Scientology" into "Miscellaneous", with numbers too small to note.  Of course, the numbers would be much worse today.

In addition, it looks like the number of people outside of the church, who might still consider themselves a "Scientologist" (and answer a poll that way) is already larger than the number of people in the Church of Scientology.  Unless a poll specifically asked "inside or outside the church," the numbers would be meaningless.

Another problem in determining who really is a member of the Church of Scientology is that most people who no longer want to have anything to do with the church will pretend they still believe -- so they can talk to their friends and family who are church members.

For clarification, here are the different stages most Scientologists go through when waking up and leaving Scientology:
  1. Scientologist finally admits that the actions of the church towards himself and others are abusive and wrong.  I say "finally admits" because almost all Scientologists already feel the church's actions are wrong, but they just don't admit it at first.
    This results in the Scientologist withdrawing support from the church while pretending they're still loyal.  This means they might still show up for the major events and may still take a course or buy a book, but that's about it.
  2. Next, the Scientologist starts talking with other Scientologists about the problems and abuses they see.  As they learn to trust each other, they share their own stories of abuse and wrongdoing by the church.  At this point they eagerly pass along reports from outside the church, like the ones from Luis Garcia and Geir Isene.
    This results in a fifth column inside of the Church of Scientology.  These Scientologists actually become a conduit from outside Scientology whistle-blowers right into the very heart of the Church of Scientology.  This completely destroys the carefully constructed wall between the church and the real world.  This development is significant.
  3. Then these Scientologists start to read the Internet -- the "forbidden" sites!  Initially, this can be very scary, since they have been assured that all sorts of terrible things will happen to them when they read these sites.  But they do and they are shocked and outraged at what they find about David Miscavige, Scientology and their church.
    This is the point where most stop having anything to do with the Church of Scientology.
  4. Sooner or later they stop pretending they are still loyal to the Church of Scientology.  From there, they may participate in some independent Scientology group, or may cease to have anything to do with Scientology at all.  The latter is most common.
In the past, we have all wondered how to reach and talk to the very loyal, very dedicated believers at the core of Scientology.  The dogma of Scientology has made them virtually impossible to contact in any practical way.

The Scientologists at stage 2 and 3 are the way this inner core can and has been reached.  Reports from outside whistle-blowers like the reports from Luis Garcia and Geir Isene are written by Scientologists for Scientologists.  They speak the language and they frame the crimes and abuse against the "Ideal Scene" that all Scientologists believe in.  Some of these reports are from well-known and trusted Scientologists.

The previously impermeable bubble that protected members of the Church of Scientology from reality has been torn apart.  The crimes and abuses of David Miscavige and other top Scientologists are now known about and discussed widely within the church.  I'm sure the inner core of the most loyal Scientologists are fervently denying these reports, but they know about them.  This shakes them up.

And here David Miscavige comes to help the inner core make up their minds -- and not in the direction he intends.  He is attacking them.

As more and more Scientologists leave, the few remaining, very loyal Scientologists will come under increasing threats and increasing pressure.  Where there used to be thousands of Scientologists buying books and courses and donating to Miscavige's latest money-making scam, now there are just a few -- and Miscavige expects them to take up the slack -- and his pressure on them is beyond intense.

In addition, because Miscavige has gotten the idea that the truth is getting through to his followers, he is suspicious of every Scientologist and he will demand more Conditions, more Ethics and more Sec Checks.

Get the picture?  The increasing pressure, suspicion, Ethics, greed and threats will now hit at the most loyal, most dedicated Scientologists.  Miscavige can't help it, he must demand more and more money while treating people with more and more suspicion.

And his most loyal, dedicated followers, who have now heard of, and dismissed, stories of crimes and abuse will get the full brunt of Miscavige's greed.  They will get abused.  Criminal acts will occur -- illegal charges on their credit cards, for instance.

That inner, unreachable core of dedicated church members is under attack -- by Miscavige -- and now they will get the truth, whether they want it or not.

We are in the final days, but what is going on will be mostly hidden.  We will only hear about it later.


  1. Dear Bill:
    This is perfect!
    Dwarfie Miscavige is unmasked for GOOD!
    Now the Scientologists only have to look and NEVER listen to him!

  2. Great insights here! Except i cringed at the "We are in the final days" ending note. Seems to me the final days are still around the corner yet (albeit fairly close at hand).

    And seems like whats happening right now is only the 2nd phase of 3 or 4 total phases to CofS being dismantled. With the next phase being one of lawfare resignations: members leaving and going straight to authorities for filing charges.

    IMO, that will be the start of the "final days" and followed by the last phase - prosecution and sentencing. Or so I hope. Because it seems there's still too many of the recently liberated members beating a drum of NOT making reform of Scientology a legal battle.

    And without an all-out lawfare war at the end of this struggle, the "final days" will likely go on for a few decades before the CofS finally dies on the vine.

  3. @AnonLover

    Well, you could be right about the "final days" thing. Yes, this collapse has taken and will take a bit more time.

    I was thinking more about the viable membership levels to keep up the façade. At some point there simply won't be enough people to man all the churches and "missions". And I think we will see the CoS reach that level sooner rather than later.

    Yes, there will still be an organization called "the Church of Scientology", but its ability to keep appearances up will be gone.

    However, if we consider the "final days" to be the clean up and final bringing to justice of all the criminals from the church -- that, indeed, will undoubtedly take considerably longer.

  4. Spot-on as usual IMO, Bill.

    This cult has died and gone where it belongs but the facade is still there that it is still open for business. But it's just a facade.

    A bunch of us Aussies went and protested at the Australian HQ for scientology a few weeks ago. The place was a joke - lawns unmowed, building badly neglected, staff looking like ghosts. It's in a nice neighbourhood and the difference between this building and its grounds and those of the houses around it were very marked.

    And so I believe it is internally - those leaving tell a story of desperation within the walls. It is just a matter of time before the facade does crumble away and we see the real state of "the world's fastest expanding religion."

  5. @Learning to Fly

    Thanks for the Australia report. Excellent news!

    Yes, I don't think staff are being allowed to do any normal upkeep. The pressure from Miscavige on the few remaining staff and public for money-money-money doesn't leave room for any other activities. "Desperation" is the correct word.

  6. The situation reminds me of the Churchill quote:"Dictators ride to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry."

  7. As regards the ARIS survey and public disclosure of being a Scientologist:

    When I was "in" Scientology, I would often be asked what my religion was. I NEVER said I was a Scientologist. Not once. Why? Because I couldn't ever get my head around what that meant. Did it mean that I "believed in" Scientology and L.Ron Hubbard? If so, no. Did it mean that I agreed with the Church of Scientology's policies and programs, subscribed to them and participated in their execution? If so, no. Did it mean that I only subscribed to Scientology "beliefs"? If so, no. Since I could never get my finger on what it meant, and it always meant I would be stereotyped based on what was said online by the Church websites or in Church PR programs or anti-Scientology sites or PR programs I always said no. In reality, I liked doing some of the courses and auditing but I never "joined" -- I was a customer buying services like I bought services from my local massage therapist!

    I don't know what that makes me.
    Still don't. A heretic? A customer? A panty waist dilletante? A coward? Who knows! I just wanted to do some courses and get some auditing and live my life!!!

    I stopped going in for courses and auditing while a while ago when the pain of being regged, pushed for money, more time, more committment, go on staff, etc. exceeded the usefulness and enjoyment of doing a course or some auditing.

  8. Re: Disclosure of being a Scientologist

    Yes, that was my experience as well. Perhaps most "Scientologists" feel the same way, I have no way of knowing.

    Good point.

  9. Great article. The simple manifestation of the facade coming down will be orgs and missions closing down in greater and greater numbers.

  10. Great stuff as ever, Bill.

    Though there is one question I have.

    At the moment, all the pressure, all the chaos, all the grief is coming from Miscavige, in the US.

    But over in the UK, there's Saint Hill, which seems to have enough authority to ignore many of the diktats from COB, and carry on doing their own Hubbard thing (which will, of course, still fail, but not nearly so quickly).

    Any thoughts on the matter?

  11. @David J Mudkips

    I'd rather doubt that any official church has any independence from Miscavige's abuse and insane orders.

    Do you have any information that Saint Hill is ignoring anything from Miscavige? If they are, that would be significant -- but Miscavige would never allow it.

    Seriously, there simply can't be any independent thought nor any independent action within any church. Anyone "following Hubbard instead of Miscavige" would be declared suppressive and would not be allowed anywhere near Saint Hill.

    Like I said, any information you might have would be much appreciated.

  12. Bill-

    Ive noticed that in your recent postings that the angry $cientology Trolls have disappeared. I was curious if they are still even throwing their pre-programmed hate notes?

    Thanks, and keep up the fight!

  13. Re: Scientology trolls

    Nope. No trolls. I love it when the OSA trolls show up. They always prove my points, they always make Scientology look worse and they provide entertainment.

    I think they've given up on Ask the Scientologist because I won't let them accomplish their goals. I don't let them distract from my point or derail the conversation. No stats for them.

  14. RE: Scientology trolls

    They tried to do the same thing with in the 1990s; Heldal-Lund turned out to be far more stalwart then the cult could imagine and they walked away. The Internet has turned out to be the "church's" worst enemy because the things they have tried to hide (past criminal activities, the tech, how people actually live in Scientology) are now out in the open.

    I've noticed that the Angry Gay Pope was unhappy because he was the "only" protestor at the Scientology Winter Wonderland parade this last year. What I don't think he understands is that there are a number of reasons why such protesting is down (horrible economy, Anonymous now involved in other projects, "church" has a lower profile, etc.) and that he is one of the few full-time protestors the Co$ has. The other issue is that the "church" is not falling apart fast enough for the Internet generation; they're used to things happening quickly. Frankly, I find it amazing how fast the church is collapsing....cults usually only collapse fast after the guru is totally discredited (the Swami Baghwan Rashjeneesh [sic] cult is a good example.)

    Keep on the good fight.

  15. @Strelnikov

    I agree. As you observed, many people expect instant results, and this battle hasn't happened fast enough for them.

    But the Church of Scientology has collapsed amazingly quickly, considering. Its concentration on image has helped it hide the collapse to some extent, but that won't continue much longer.

    I'm looking forward to the collapse becoming visible and unmistakable. Soon.


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