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HOW SCIENTOLOGY COERCED A CHILD TO HAVE AN ABORTION: THE LAURA DECRESCENZO FILES

HOW SCIENTOLOGY COERCED A CHILD TO HAVE AN ABORTION: THE LAURA DECRESCENZO FILES

—————- In anticipation of her biggest day in court yet, Laura DeCrescenzo and her attorneys hit the Church of Scientology with 928 pages of new filings —————- Details from 18,000 pages of evidence show how Scientology manipulated a child to keep her working under slave-like conditions —————- A key document describing DeCrescenzo’s unwillingness to have her coerced abortion is missing from the evidence Scientology was ordered to produce By Tony Ortega Wednesday afternoon, Laura DeCrescenzo filed explosive new information in her four-year legal odyssey against the Church of Scientology, submitting 928 pages of new declarations and exhibits in anticipation of a crucial October 23 hearing in her lawsuit against the church which alleges abuse, including allegations that she was forced to have an abortion at only 17 years of age. Key to the new filings is information gleaned from thousands of pages of previously secret files that the church fought mightily to keep under wraps. But on Monday, the U.

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Buzzfeed Takes a Close Look at Scientology's "Ideal Org" Financing

BuzzIlloWhat timing — just hours after The Atlantic magazine apologized for running a paid “advertorial” about Scientology’s “Ideal Org” program, Buzzfeed has published a lengthy investigation of the church’s building program that writer Alex Klein has been working on for quite a while.

He contacted us several weeks ago, and it was obvious then that he’d been doing his homework about Scientology leader David Miscavige’s aggressive real estate caper.

As we pointed out just last night in our story about the Atlantic, Miscavige (through his spokespeople) answers nearly every criticism of Scientology by touting all the new buildings that he’s been opening up around the world. But former Scientologists tell us that the constant fundraising for these new “Ideal Orgs” is actually one of the key things fueling internal unrest in the church, and driving away longtime members.

Now, Klein has dug into the financial numbers behind two of the Ideal Orgs in particular — in Seattle and Orange County, California — and the results are startling.

Relying on interviews with former Scientologists who donated to and helped organize the Ideal Org purchases, Klein repeatedly finds that Miscavige and the international church are raising far more money than is being spent at the local level. And with Scientology answering to no one as a non-profit that doesn’t open its books, it’s impossible to know what Miscavige is doing with the huge amounts that aren’t accounted for.

To put his story together, Klein talked to a who’s who of ex-Scientologists and researchers, most of them familiar names here at the Underground Bunker: Mike Rinder, Luis Garcia, Hugh Urban, Mark Bunker, Lynne Hoverson, Bert Schippers, and Amy Scobee’s stepfather, Mark Elliott.

Give it a read and then tell us your thoughts.

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kim.obrien.775 Kim O’Brien

    “It’s… a mindfuck. Just a total mindfuck.”

  • sugarplumfairy

    Alex Klein quotes Amy Scobee, “Scientology is not about the person any more,” she says. “It’s about the assets.”

    I don’t get how even people who have been out for a while and have access to all the info out there about co$, don’t see that it was ALWAYS about the money..

    Thanks, Tony.. It’s been almost 24 hours without any new co$ exposes.. I was getting worried..

  • richelieu jr

    What? That is totally untrue! Wait! What’s that over there?

    Why, what an ideal building! How on Earth (Teegack) did it get there?

  • LongNeckGoose

    Alex Klein has provided an excellent overview of the “Idle Morgue” scam. The central Scientology organization is like a multinational corporation whose income now comes from high rents and ultra-cheap labor. On the other hand, unlike most corporations, it is totally unregulated and produces nothing of value. Also, there aren’t many so-called Chairmen of the Board who have the ability to imprison board members (or even family members) who disagree with him. Yet, sensible people who have built businesses from scratch take out second mortgages and basically hand the money over to this man to use as he sees fit. Wake up!

  • Anon Nom Nom

    You’re a goddamn pro, Ortega.

  • http://twitter.com/media_lush media_lush

    It rains, it pours, I lulz….. how about this from todays’s The Sun:

    ‘Scientology leader dresses his beagles as captains and makes followers salute them…’

    Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4746361/Sensational-claims-about-the-world-of-Scientology-from-book-unlikely-to-be-published-in-UK-but-can-be-revealed-by-The-Sun.html#ixzz2I6z0G0g5

    On a more worrying note my http://scientologybollocks.blogspot.co.uk just comes up with a blank page… no note, no error, no nothing… my other blog is unaffected so it’s not an issue with my blogging account…. hmmm disturbing

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Eckert/100002715429426 Robert Eckert

      Links fine for me, and I’m over in the US

      • http://twitter.com/media_lush media_lush

        yeah, fixed pretty quickly.

        Anyway – here’s an open request to any tabloid editors who read this blog [and I know loads of you do]:

        I’ve mentioned this a few times in Tony’s blog over the months and feel another mention is always worthwhile…. especially as scientology is such a hot topic right now and editors must be looking for an exclusive.

        The interesting thing about this story is that it’s impossible to find on the internet.

        Back in the early 90′s in the UK The Face magazine [and I think The Express paper subsequently] ran with a story about Cruise having a sex session with a male masseuse. From what I remember the masseur refused to back down/withdraw his story and the OSA bots and scion lawyer machine went into overdrive and took the magazine to court.

        Long story short he won with substantial damages as it was pretty much impossible to prove. The Face faced closure due to the amount of the award but Cruise ‘magnanimously’ accepted a token amount and a massive printed apology [same with The Express, I think]…. he then came out with a press release along the lines of ‘no matter what it takes or how much it costs I will always vigorously defend my reputation etc etc (looking back it reminds me of the scion botspeak DM has mastered).

        I think it was the fact he had the power to shut down a relatively major magazine and scared the crap out of the Express editors that made him pretty much untouchable for the next decade and a half.

        Now the interesting bit here is that I also followed this story in Private Eye magazine and they gave out the impression the guy was telling the truth and was paid off with the secret stipulation that he had to appear to lose.

        His name was printed and I’m sure there are some old hacks who have a detailed back-story.

        On a final thought I wonder if Tom has had any contact with tiny fists in the past couple of weeks or so…. even he must see the writing on the wall by now and realise that they’re both teeny tiny beings and pretty much the laughing stock of world media right now.

    • DeElizabethan

      Gettin’ hit from all over, so many links.
      “In response to the claim Miscavige made members salute his dogs, the Church said: “This tall tale has changed with each telling. We traced the story to anti-Scientologist and apostate Amy Scobee, whose inconsistent telling of the tale includes the changing of the colour of the sweaters and different ranks of the dogs.”

      Read more: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/4746361/Sensational-claims-about-the-world-of-Scientology-from-book-unlikely-to-be-published-in-UK-but-can-be-revealed-by-The-Sun.html#ixzz2I7ROhsjK

  • whingeybingey

    How could that timing have been any more perfect?! I thought it was a very powerful piece – not so much that there was new information presented but in the way it was put together. The graphics and photographs also added a lot to the effect. However, for me it was the ending, where Schippers talks about how he just wants it to stop that had that in your guts emotional impact. Alex, respect. It was awesome. Congratulations on a great piece!

  • John P.

    Alex Klein’s article is well written, especially in how it makes a lot of these bizarre concepts and the cult jargon accessible to people who aren’t familiar with the cult. He’s captured the math quite well — Miscavige is making $5 million to $10 million each time he runs this scam (except for Super Power, where it’s an order of magnitude higher). It’s good of him to point out that the cult keeps the proceeds of the sale of the old building, too, which I had forgotten to include in my previous mental model of how much they might be making.

    The other thing I have to commend him for is for not falling into the trap of thinking the point of the scam is to use the tax-exempt status of the cult to boost profits on a sale; I don’t think they are good enough real estate investors to beat smart guys who pay full taxes on the profits… I don’t want to get on that rant again, since I’ve made the argument in detail previously.

    The timing on this couldn’t be better if it were planned — last night the Atlantic advertorial blew up and today, we just happen to have an article teed up and ready to go dismembering the lies in exactly what the Atlantic copy touted. Sometimes even coincidence can be a bitch. I would hate to be one of the drones at Int Base when Davey gets word of this new disaster, while he’s still seething at how a simple ad buy for a couple thousand bucks garnered 2,060 negative stories (if you search Google News for “scientology atlantic [without quotes]) as of right this minute. Not quite as many negative stories as the TomKat divorce, but for maybe $5,000 invested in the Atlantic campaign, that’s a pretty impressive piece of scorched earth. And now this… I can almost understand why coincidences like this feed Miscavige’s paranoia.

    • whingeybingey

      It was apparently $50,000 bucks they paid the Atlantic

      • Midwest Mom

        Now we know what Davey did with the Headley’s $43,000.

        • http://www.facebook.com/gayle.smith.3994 Gayle Smith

          Considering the outcome, I’ll bet the Headleys are seeing that as a wise investment now. *g*

        • whingeybingey

          Well, he’ll probably get it back from the Atlantic I suppose. I wonder what he’ll do with it next? Maybe it will be the gift that keeps on giving!! Lol!

    • Ze Moo

      “Fireman late for a fire once; unlucky. Fireman late for a fire twice; coincidence. But fireman EARLY for a fire….” The only commonality in all of the recent CO$ foot-bullets is Dave Miscavige. His known obsession with micromanagement is the reason CO$ public relations is as poor as it is. The amazing thing about the Atlantic debacle is how far, how fast and how nasty the backlash was. Even Der Spiegel (a leading German newspaper) pointed fingers and laughed at the Atlantic.

      The E! networks Chelsey Handler did another ‘how stupid is scientology’ story on her show last night. She has done many Tomkat stories and makes fun of scamatology quite regularly. If the CO$ can’t shut her up, how can they shut up anyone? Giovannia Ribisi did her show last month. If he can do it and not get into SP sec checking trouble, the cult has lost its clout.

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I am frustrated that the article uncritically quotes people claiming that Scientology was ever anything other than a con game and a cult. I am also frustrated that the article compares the Xenu junk with stories from other religions that seem weird at first glance. No. Other religions have good stories, and their stories attempt to tell us something about ourselves and the world we live in. The Xenu myth is simply garbage from every angle.

    • Vistaril

      The linking with Scientology with bona fide religions has long been a cult strategy to reinforce the religious cloaking. (Also – just to be a pedant – watch out when calling the Xenu story a “myth” for that reinforces the Xenu = metaphor PR tactic dating back to the 1980s. The Xenu story, according to Scientology scripture, is a literal truth.) The buzzfeed article is also a little annoying in that there’s the repetition of the lie that it was David Miscavige who was responsible for the looting of the missions in the early 1980s. While it was definitely Miscavige “on the ground” doing the “instant declares” and reaping the money, he was acting on L Ron Hubbard’s explicit instructions. As the pace of 2013′s media blitz heats up, journalists would do well to fact check anything provided to them by the Indepedents.

      Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . I know, I know . . . moan moan moan. I don’t mean to be a wet blanket. Overall, its an excellent article, well timed, well written, and I appreciate Alex Klein’s efforts with this. MOAR!!!

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        It’s not moaning. It’s called fact checking. I agree Alex Klein did a superb job of research and compiling it into a digestible format. I appreciate the difficulty in what can be a difficult translation and transition process. The gaping flaw in his piece is relying too heavily on the still deluded True Believers.

        “But even while raising millions, the scheme is driving what Scientology watchers and defectors describe as a second reformation. Not since the early 1980s — when a young David Miscavige stripped Scientology’s local missionaries of their corporate autonomy — have defectors spoken in such hushed, messianic terms, about promises betrayed, parishioners bilked, and an empire, crumbling.”

        I was one of those defectors and I didn’t even know who the hell this Miscavige character was. Fraud, financial and otherwise and human rights abuses were the reason we left, not Miscavige. I now know that this was so from the very beginning. Also, it’s just pure bullshit that ex members are looking for a second reformation, except for a few hundred scattered believers who will hand on till the end. To be clear, that’s about 30,000 who are gone for good and 200 hanging on.

        “Then, for speaking our minds and trying to improve the group form within, we were labeled anti-social personalities … It’s an interesting philosophy, developed by L. Ron Hubbard.” Tony Dephillips. “As Marty Rathbun, second-in-command at the CSI until 2004, explains, “We used rent, lease, and mortgage as justifications for payments to management. That’s the philosophy.”

        Yes, and that Hubbard philosophy you are trying to promote can be summed up in one word: Scam.
        And Marty knows there are more than just rent demands and how excessive they are both in amount as well as extraction methods. Also, that grand philosophy includes miles of Hubbard’s instructions on how to spot con artists and suppressives, yet for decade after decade none of these people could buy a clue and it wasn’t until They were spanked did they stop and still no clue that it was Hubbard’s philosophy that made them deaf, dumb and blind in the first place.

        Other than Those facts, it’s lovely to see fresh exposure in the morning. This is why I say that instead of trying to hurdle the religious cloaking barrier, the entire 501c non profit rule that these organizations have no financial transparency may be coming to an end soon. The IRS has repeatedly stated that there are so many of these entities now that unless someone complains and has already done the work, the docs, iron clad evidence, they do nothing, allegedly because they are understaffed and underfunded. Ironically, it may be Miscavige’s worst mistake to use Narconon as a multimillion dollar entity. It is secular and does not have the same protections but it’s financial trail of crumbs leads right back to his doorstep. Ooops!

  • scnethics

    What a great article! A real pleasure to read.

    I am so glad I’m not a scientologist anymore.

    • DeElizabethan

      Reading what they said also brought back some memories and glad I have no part of that con anymore. I loved reading too.

  • No more

    This is becoming a part-time job just keeping up with the latest! Did some recon and went to the New Year’s event in my area. Just to give you some current data on numbers: only about 70 people were there and about half of them were local staff and out-of-town staff from upper level organizations (orgs). This used to be one of the biggest events of the year and this turn out was pathetic. The level of enthusiasm was somewhere below “golf clap”. Right away it started out with the bald-faced lie that there are over 10,000 groups and soon after went into the easily disproved “Library Campaign” which included the newest bat shit crazy claim that EVERY library in the world had a copy of a new DVD release of the book “Fundamentals of Thought”. WHAT? I couldn’t stay for the whole thing and left about 2/3 of the way through. The cognitive dissonance was about to cause my head to explode.

    Just thought this might add to the already amazing first 15 days of January!! Or is it BAM-uary!!

    • scnethics

      Great info! Thanks for taking the time and enduring all that unpleasantness. It’s really encouraging to hear real stories from on the ground about how poorly they are doing.

      • No more

        Didn’t mind taking one for the team. I travel a lot and have dropped by almost all the orgs in California in the last year and noticed what so many others have; nearly empty parking lots, neglected landscaping and upkeep. An org in my area raised 4x the amount needed to purchase it and explained to the parishioners that the extra was for interest on the loan. Were they using mafia loan sharks? I guess math skills aren’t required for going up the Bridge.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Wow and Woh! Thank you so much. These reports have been consistent for about 2 years now. But this bit about 4x to cover interest. Question: Did that lightbulb go off for the entire room? Can you say who said this, as in, Sea Org staff or? and from Int or ? without identifying. It would be helpful to know what post and what level it came from. Also, love the “golf clap” description. Delicious.

          • No more

            I can’t think I was the only one who had the lightbulb go off over such an illogical assertion. The person telling us this was a Sea Org member but I don’t remember from where. You know you can’t just raise your hand and say, “Ah, excuse me, about the interest on the mortgage…”. I just had to add it to my list of reasons to stay away…except for the little infiltration on New Year’s!

    • John P.

      Without asking in a way that would risk your identity, is that org in a “top 10″ US metropolitan area? That would be LA or Clearwater at the top of the list for Scientology members, and the other 9 large metro areas: NYC, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Philadelphia, Washington DC + Baltimore, Miami, Atlanta, Boston? Or are you in a smaller metro area? I’m asking because it would be useful to try and back into an estimation of the number of public that are currently active in the US from this, and in order to pull that off, I’d need some sense of the size of the city where you went. Thanks!

      • No more

        I actually changed the facts to fuzz out my face! This was actually an event for 3 churches in a large metro area of about 4-5 million which has a pretty large church population, relatively speaking. They said they were going to have 1,000 people there and by the time of the event I heard that they had 500 confirmed attending and then there were actually less than 200. I divided it into thirds to try and disguise where it happened. I have to say I am honored to have you reply to my post! I really enjoy reading your comments.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=664333811 Paul Sheehan

        John I can say the DC ORG without a doubt is pulling in on a good week about 10-15 public, 20 would be max and that includes NOI members. The new National Affairs Office looks completely dead and is used only as a meeting place for RP reasons.

        I also find it interesting that I don’t see the same public very often. I think they go in for a course and leave for any number of reasons that are all to easy to comment on. The amount off staff tat are also gone is noticeable as well.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Any idea what ratio the NOI is to non NOI? The beginning courses they are on are either prepaid or at any rate the cheaper courses. In business, this would be called “leader” items to get customers in the door but no profit is made. What % of staff would you say have left? Tks.

  • cultwife

    “I moved up the ranks because I wanted the spiritual salvation,” says Schippers. “But I never got it. The spiritual salvation I was looking for turned into spiritual rape.” Wow, that got me. Could anything be more cruel?

    • CoolHand

      I know the feeling: “Or how about this – imagine you being fully convinced that you are on
      the absolute best spiritual path for yourself, with ‘certainty’ that you
      are finally learning the secrets of the universe and going to wind up
      with absolute spiritual enlightenment – only to find out first that
      you’re discarded as soon as you dare to question them. Then, you
      continue your quest for answers and find out that much of what you
      believed in was based on lies, twisted information, borrowed concepts
      and even delusions. You suddenly become unsure if any part of your time
      with Scientology was based on anything real, digging through the
      remains to find some sense of yourself.” – https://12yearsofjudgment.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/the-biggest-betrayal-of-all/

    • scnethics

      Agreed.

    • Bert Schippers

      Not sure, I’d rather have been physically beaten repeatedly.

      • whingeybingey

        Is there any chance of getting your money back, Bert? Surely the promise of recognition for your contribution was an informal contract?

        • EnthralledObserver

          Not that I’m a professional, but that sounds like it might be the case to me too… Bert, Did you keep any documents or publications where they made those promises and named you as a future candidate?

        • Bert Schippers

          I agree, however the church knows how to extend legal battles nearly forever, so unless you have lots of $ it’s difficult to get to a win. At a point you decide to get on with your life, now free, and try to forget how much you’ve been screwed. I’m doing that now, as best I can!

          • http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com/ nobs

            Well, Bert, you’re in some damn fine company: Paul Haggis, Jason Beghe, Tory Christman, Jeff Hawkins, Marc and Claire Headley and so many thousands more. In our house, we occasionally wear hair shirts and flog ourselves for our stupidity. Then we dance naked around a fire, singing silly songs and maybe drinking a few beers and congratulate ourselves for getting the f**k OUT. I’m so happy you’re out.

            • Bert Schippers

              Thanks nobs! Total freedom is a wonderful thing!

          • whingeybingey

            Yes, I understand. Sometimes it’s better to just move on and not look back. There’s no reason why you can’t earn more money, and not having the constant financial drain of the cult can only help. Best of luck!

      • BuryTheNuts2

        That line stood out to me too, as the perfect summation of what they do to people.
        What are the chances of a class action suit? Or is it too little, too late?

        • Midwest Mom

          The statute of limitations for a consumer class action lawsuit depend on the type of fraudulent activities and the state in which the activities took place.

          Class action lawsuits are actually the most promising way to litigate against the Co$.

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Only one thing: turning your own children or parents against you.

  • sizzle8

    Miscavige really blew his feet off with this Atlantic fiasco.

    The Google news feed is just clicking like a Geiger counter at Chernobyl.

  • villagedianne

    Ironically, the church’s second real worst enemy, (next to DM), Tom Cruise, may have started the ideal org craziness. Reportedly, Cruise happened to mention to Miscavige that a rich friend of his in Spain went into an Org and said the place looked seedy and run-down. After that Miscavige started the the whole Ideal Org push.

    • http://twitter.com/Scientology_411 Scientology_411

      And now they have ultra-expensive seedy, run-down orgs that are largely empty. Well played Mr. Miscavige, well played.

      • cultwife

        I imagine they’re about as spiritual in feeling as Xanadu in Citizen Kane. Maybe people do crossword puzzles there.

    • BosonStark

      That’s exactly in line with the ideas and information in Wright’s book (from reading the excerpts I have). That is, Cruise and Miscavige have both adopted the ethos that the perfection of appearances through the accumulation and tending of fine material things, is the way of perfecting oneself, shielding oneself from ordinariness, and thereby drawing people to Scientology.

      Only Scientology could make two H.S. dropout big beings like themselves, so special!

  • Puppetmama

    What a great week! I wish I had more time to lol around and enjoy it.

  • whingeybingey

    I just had an interesting thing happen. If you do an image google for “david miscavige ideal org spoof parody” you get a message saying four results have been removed and to go to chillingeffects.org or something for more information.

    • whingeybingey

      When I go to ChillingEffects.org I’m getting this:

      • DeElizabethan

        Wow, legal request, nice find. Are there any out there for us to see?

        • whingeybingey

          No – not relating to the ideal orgs and very few others. The legal request seems to have done the trick.

  • Anononyourside

    Some of the most beautiful old cathedrals in the world belong to the Catholic Church, and some of most incredible modern architecture is found in churches and synagogues, but can you imagine any religion taking out advertising to tout its buildings as proof of its credibility? The mind boggles. Just as Miscavige thinks he’ll defuse the outrage over his violence, not by saying it doesn’t exist, but by saying the other guy did it, he thinks he will gain respect as a “religious” leader by constantly harping on the buildings. To say he doesn’t get it is an understatement. The good news is there is growing recognition of Miscavige’s insanity. With increased publicity of his abuses and money madness, maybe the government will get some courage and shut Miscavige and his operation down.

  • SP ‘Onage

    Damn fine article and very very well written. Much respect to Alex Klein at Buzzfeed.

  • DeElizabethan

    That was amazingly interesting and good. I hope this article will get more exposure and grow into other areas. So well done and tells it from the donors perspective. I sure hope the IRS is taking this all in. More truth, love it!

    • SP ‘Onage

      I’m pretty sure they cook the books.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Those books are very “well done”.

  • http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com/ nobs

    This is me picking nits: from Mr Klein, “Under Hubbard, the central church marketed its books and seminars
    directly to parishioners and converts, charging local Scientology
    franchises a small fee (about 10%) to do business. They also
    occasionally asked for goodwill donations — for a charity project or a
    new center.” In fact, I don’t believe that Hubtard ever asked for $ from someone without that person getting something back — a book, a course, auditing. I want every article to be as thoroughly checked as a Tony Ortega article. Please. Thank you.

    • DeElizabethan

      Oh Nobs, I remember back in the early 70′s, that there was always an exchange as Klein said for courses, books, services. Only donated once in 8 years, about 50 bucks toward a new center and was never asked again that I remember and wouldn’t have given more either.

  • SP ‘Onage

    And just think, over two years ago we were bitching about main stream media being a bunch of chicken shits, because Tony was the only journalist who had the balls to take on scientology. Oh, how times have changed!

    • DeElizabethan

      Does it seem that since Tony got his own blog and doing own thing has spread out and able to influence and line up the word better?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dee.fogger Dee Fogger

    This just showed up in the comments to the Buzzfeed article:

    “Why all the hate against Scientology? I’ve been a
    Scientologist my whole life, and I’ve seen the good it can do.
    Scientology auditing saves lives. Just
    because the “books are closed” you are assuming the church is hoarding
    the money – has it never occurred to you that maybe that money might
    have been used to save lives?”

    I’m not sure whether to take the serious route with this person or go for a laugh.

    • SP ‘Onage

      Must be Louanne. Doesn’t he/she ever sleep?

    • DeElizabethan

      Had a ‘serious’ laugh, maybe that person’s whole life is only 16 years old or younger and of course mind warped, commenting as asked to do, and believes it?

    • http://www.facebook.com/dee.fogger Dee Fogger

      I attached the video “The Unfunny Truth About Scientology” from Youtube. With the comment “This is why”. It lasted 20 minutes before she deleted her comment and my reply video with it.

      • DeElizabethan

        Bravo!

      • whingeybingey

        I think that was an excellent response. Interesting that a Scientologist actually came looking. It seems to me that he or she was probably genuine.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Eckert/100002715429426 Robert Eckert

      “My existence, though grotesque and incomprehensible to you, SAVES LIVES…”

  • Deckard__Cain

    This article answers many questions that I had, including a general margin of funds left over from the building costs + renos. This article is amazing. I hope Alex Klein keeps his pets indoors and his trash filled with dirty kitty litter.

  • Deckard__Cain

    That picture of Miscavige looks like Alfred E. Newman of Mad Magazine fame. He has that same look.

  • J. Swift

    Alex Klein presents a well researched story of how something as simple and straightforward as purchasing an old building can become a vile financial scam in the hands of the Church of Scientology.

    Yet this is exactly what Scientology excels at: Turning the mundane into grandiose space opera awash in financial fraud, lies, brutality, and exaggerated promises of an ultimately Quixotic, and even destructive, form of salvation.

    The Church of Scientology Ideal Org scam is nothing more than a series of scams in nested boxes:

    1. The Tech is copyrighted.

    2. In order to have access to the copyrighted Tech, one must be a member in good standing of the IAS.

    3. The copyrighted Tech can only be delivered inside of RTC-licensed buildings.

    4. In order to get inside of these RTC-licensed buildings, one must be a member in good standing of the IAS. This is the Scientology equivalent of getting the Mormon “Temple Recommend.”

    5. As the existing RTC-licensed buildings were deemed downstat, money for new upstat Ideal Orgs was raised from IAS members.

    6. Because these new Ideal Orgs sat empty for years and have remained largely empty after being opened, most of the actual delivery of the Tech has taken place at the existing AO’s, CC’s Flag and on the ship.The Church of Scientology has in fact been able to deliver its three needle swing Tech just fine without the Ideal Orgs.

    7. The Ideal Orgs are nothing more than David Miscavige hobby-horsing in the valence of a dramatizing interior decorator while making, as John P. noted, $5 to $10 million per copy. This is admittedly Impressive for a high school drop out.

    8. Aided and abetted by the talents of people such as Danny Sherman and Jeff Pomerantz, David Miscavige succeeded in, as I said, turning the mundane purchase of old buildings into grandiose space opera.

    9. Apparently a magnet for humiliating PR disasters, David Miscavige put a cherry on the cake of his Ideal Orgs yesterday. That cherry was his self-aggrandizing advertorial in the Atlantic.

  • Tory Christman

    And the hits just keeeeeeeeeeeep on comin! I left in 2000 due to David Miscavige’s insanities, esp. re finances. He’s been a pig as long as he’s attempted to run the joint, and it’s FINALLY catching up w/ him. As I’ve said for 12 years now, Davey: You can RUN but you CANNOT HIDE. Oh baby! And this only January! :)

    • Tory Christman

      PS: And thank you to Alex Klein and Tony O! Both of you are invaluable.

  • http://twitter.com/Scientology_411 Scientology_411

    What an epic week so far! I wonder what the big story on Wed will be?

  • EnthralledObserver

    You know, I’m a bit confused as to why a religion, with tax free status, and supposedly existing for the public’s benefit, would be granted the privelige of not having to open its books for accountability in the U.S. That just doesn’t make sense to me. They could honestly be conducting literally ‘any’ kind of business/scheme without scrutiny – and those are the perfect conditions for unscupulous individuals. How does the IRS know that the ‘church’ is using the funds for projects related to ‘religion’ that would fall under the category that allows exemption if they can’t look. This is ridiculous – what idiot determined that religions were always going to be led by upstanding and law-abiding individuals???
    It’s pretty fucking obvious that David Miscavige’s need for expensive clothes, over the top food, flashy toys, priveliged modes of transport, extravagant lodgings and pampering aren’t ‘religious’ activities that would qualify for tax exemption. Are they blind?
    Not to mention, I hear this fucktard’s name a lot, but isn’t it about time the slimeballs propping him up and no doubt also lining their pockets were named and shamed too. Who is doing Marty’s, Mike’s, Tommy’s jobs now – fucktard might be making the decisions, but he isn’t doing everything literally himself. Can we get some of their ‘financial positions’ and make that public to prove these slimeballs are making themselves personally rich off this scam of a cult.
    At Wiki, I once saw Miscavige’s net worth listed at $50Million… WTF? Now this was only a handful of months ago, and I notice it has been removed since. But, seriously, WTF… this fucking prick is Sea Org, right??? How the fuck did he manage to enrich himself personally to the tune of 50 million dollars without the presumed help or direct ripping off from that WAR chest slush fund. C’mon – some journalist ought to dig into that, surely!!!!!???

    • Ze Moo

      I would thing a simple Dun and Bradstreet check or a credit report would tell us Daveys net worth. The problem is how to total up the cayman island and swiss accounts. I would thing the FBI has looked into this and would have done something if they had cause. They are probably still pissed off at operation snow white and looking for payback. No Davey’s hidden most of his ill gotten gain, the 50 million number is just his walking around money.

  • koki

    the GREATEST REALITY SHOW EVER.
    big hello from LRHs Bulgravia.

    P.S. sorry Tony….I just have to do that…. ;-)

    • sugarplumfairy

      I love the greetings from lrh’s Bulgravia..

  • Paytheprice

    Trouble is that you can bet on DM already has an exit plan when it all goes tits up. He will walk away with millions if not more than a billion and be in a safe haven laughing his ass off.

    • sugarplumfairy

      Well, we saw how lrh spent his last years, running and hiding.. It didn’t look like much of a life to me..

      and look at mcafee.. In this day and age, people can’t hide, no matter how much money they have..

      • Observer

        I’d love to see Davey end his days hiding out in an old RV in the middle of nowhere, bloated and disheveled …

        • Midwest Mom

          I’d love to see him behind bars with Bubba and Big Mike “The Psych”.

  • jensting

    “It was around then I realized, I was in a fucking cult” Bravo!

    This is the kind of story we need. I’m glad that we’re getting more and more of those.

    Last year we had all the TomKat divorce brouhaha which dovetailed nicely into the Naz Boniadi debacle. While it’s good to get the abuses out in the open and talked about, it’s even better that it’s no longer driven by an interest in the celebrity victims.
    So, we’ve come from the “Xenu – ha! ha!” articles trough the celebrity driven articles and are hopefully now coming up for a whole raft of investigations into the actual abuse (Nancy Many and Jenna Miscavige, to name but two).
    I’m happy…

  • Observer

    Wow … in just over two weeks 2013 has already been almost as bad for Scientology as all of 2012! I’m liking this trend.

  • 1subgenius

    Detroit Ideal Org. That baby wasn’t cheap. Very prime real estate, good solid building. Virtually nothing has been done to improve it.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      That is a nice building!
      Don’t hold your breath.

    • 1subgenius

      Oh yeah, there was one small improvement. (Notice the inviting chain on the door, too.)
      Ooops pic didn’t upload.

    • Midwest Mom

      Not an “ideal” location for parking, though, is it?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Eckert/100002715429426 Robert Eckert

      Where is that? Visual recognition makes me almost sure I’ve driven by it, but I can’t place it.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    BAMuary 2013 is carrying some serious weight.
    It is a daily deluge and it is water boarding David Miscavige.
    Spectacular!

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      I’m working on February now…. so far, “Fibuary 2013″

      • Midwest Mom

        “Fibuary”. I like it! I wonder what Davey will give us for Valentine’s Day this year?

        • moxonmoxoff

          maybe he’ll let you suck his c*ck on hollywood blvd.

  • BuryTheNuts2

    Dave and his “communicator”.
    For anyone new that may not realize how closely they…uh…communicate.

    • Midwest Mom

      Ugh!

    • 1subgenius

      Wow, I hadn’t seen that pic before. Quite an ecclesiastical leader.
      Holding the legendary Scotch.
      Must go viral.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mila.minderbinder Mila Minderbinder

      Is that a real or photoshoped picture? Because I have seen pictures of Laurisse [the communicator] before and she never looked hot. That looks like some other chick.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Nope, that is her.

    • villagedianne

      This was exposed as a shopped image some time ago.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        Ah Ok, then.

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Profile of Lou to compare. She just luckier in the pic on the jet.

      • N. Graham

        It’s a shame Shelley can’t be there too.

        • http://www.facebook.com/gayle.smith.3994 Gayle Smith

          I’m sure she’s there in spirit.

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

    I wish Cruise would get somebody to read him that article.

  • Chocolate Velvet

    The momentum is building. So exciting. But probably not for li’l Davey and friends.

    It’s like I said, COB; everything you touch is blowing up in your face.. How does it feel? How’s the PR campaign going, Davey? Kaboom! That’s how… ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/mila.minderbinder Mila Minderbinder

    It’s stories like that that eventually will draw the attention of IRS. The end if nearing. Seriously. It might be another five years, or ten years, but Scientology will lose it religious status. No matter how careful they are, at some point, at some place they did slip in their machinations and they will be caught.

    • jensting

      .. at the same time that narCONon might have to start claiming “religious” status so as to deflect all those lawsuits.

      The criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology is no stranger to pleading two opposite arguments in different courts, viz the “purely business” status of the lawsuit against Debbie Cok and the “purely religious” defence in the lawsuit brought by some of the sources to the Buzzfeed article. Oh look: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/02/scientology_wan_1.php

  • http://twitter.com/SnippyH Snippy Haines

    Jan 2, 2013: Foreshadowing!

    Scientology Giving this “Internet” Thing a Whirl
    —————————————————————————————–
    HOT NEWS
    GRANT BRIEFING UPDATE
    SCIENTOLOGY INTERNET CAMPAIGN

    The IAS-sponsored Scientology internet ads continue to run day in and day out.
    The foreign language internet ads have been running in hundreds of countries,
    targeting specific areas in the vicinity of Ideal Orgs including Russia , Mexico, South
    Africa, Italy, Spain, UK and more.
    —————————————————————————————–

    According to the Onion, Taliban has a very similar campaign:
    http://www.theonion.com/articles/sponsored-the-taliban-is-a-vibrant-and-thriving-po,30910/

    .

    • villagedianne

      Great article in the onion. Loved the last sentence:

      For more information on the Taliban, visit the movement’s website at http://www.taliban.com or contact publicist Rachel Eberstein at reberstein@appc-ny.com
      Who knew the Taliban had a Jewish publicist!

  • Sherbet

    Oh, my gosh, the Klein article has me giggling like George Baillie sitting on a feather.

  • BosonStark

    This Alex Klein article on Ideal Org morgues was one thorough and fantastic investigation.

    No one entertained any theories for this direction — tech to Orgs — so I will repeat mine. Scientology is an antiquated, hoaxey 1950s mindfk, that ran headlong into the Internet age, which is the age of information and communication. David Miscavige had the vision to realize this, and because he is a brainwashed on LRH crap, like all Scientologists, he believes that by expanding in this manner, people will come. He thinks it will just be so attractive to people at some point.

    Also though, it’s shrewd in two aspects. I had to laugh at the ex-member who complained that the moment he was critical of how money was being spent, he went from “humanitarian’ to SP psycho or whatever. Hubbard did the same damn thing to people who questioned anything, especially anything about him and the tech. Yes, there were probably some rare exceptions where he listened, when he thought it would suck in more money — that means “help more people” to the hopelessly mindfked.

    So, David Miscavige is just trying to suck in more money to help more people — can’t you see?

    The other aspect of this new type of real estate money sucking is that it is a race against time — to suck as much money out of people before Scientology can be fully exposed. Get enough of these busy whales (big donors) in the cult feeling they have sunk-time/money investment — waiting years for Stupid Powerz building to open, and there’s the bedrock for your “Church.”

    And duh, why can’t they just keep selling auditing and the tech, and expanding that way? It doesn’t really work like it’s supposed to! It didn’t work for Dr. Hubtard, except to make a bundle fleecing people. Also, because of exposure, the placebo effect can’t work like it used to. It’s like bottles of Snake Oil were big sellers during the cowboy period of westward expansion, but today they don’t sell as well.

    Scientology is just an elaborate bottle of Snake Oil that is constructed to trap people, in their own frailties and wishful thinking. So stand tall clams, and prepare to be roasted. Lawrence Wright turned up the Klieg light so high it shoots flames.

    • http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com/ nobs

      Actually, I believe you’ve hit the nail on the head: “He thinks it will just be so attractive to people at some point.” When we were being hit up for more money, more money, more money, one of the ‘carrots’ was a story about some Russian czar who was having a crisis of faith and decided to send emissaries out into the world to find the “right” church. (I’m sure I’m getting this all fouled up, but perhaps someone will help me out with the correct story.) Eventually one of the czar’s representatives came back and said he’d found the perfect church/place: the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Sofia. It was the most beautiful and inspiring church. According to the story we were fed, the czar changed his religion, and the religion of an entire country, because this church was so gorgeous. That’s all we had to do: scn simply had to erect beautiful buildings and the whole world would fall at our feet.

      • BosonStark

        Thanks for providing a real story to back me up on that concept.

        When Hubbard was alive, he had the myths and mystery that swirled around him and Scientology, to attract people. In real estate, David Miscavige is merely trying to protect assets — in order to spread Scientology — and to keep it alive and vital in a way that it will impress people, and be a statement as to how successful Scientology is. If you’re mindfkd in it, that must make sense. They need an impressive show of wealth to attract suckers, and “giving” makes most members feel good, even after their wins have more or less dried up. They think, “Scientology may not be doing that much for me, but at least I can give, and hopefully it will do more for others, especially when it reaches a critical mass of expansion, which it seems to be barreling toward.”

        I learned that basic concept from Astra Woodcraft, who explained it so well in one of her videos, about the Sea Org being dysfunctional, but she was made to believe that once the real planetary salvage was underway, without so much resistance or ignorance of Hubbard’s tech on the outside, there would be a critical mass where things started working.

        Of course, some losers give too much, or aren’t successful enough — they “pull it in” you know — and they have to leave and gripe. But for a lot of members, these buildings are just like, “Wow, we’re really doing it!” They wouldn’t get that feeling if Miscavige were to have plain bare bones buildings, and just trying to push the tech. It would not satisfy the big whales either, who need to see their contributions manifested in something of substance, like perfect, ideal buildings.

        A few of the new Org restorations are really beautiful, like the one in Israel, and for the ones that are plain or kind of ugho, like Seattle, they will simply shoop up the confetti in the photo or stress what is going on inside — thousands of starving-for-tech public partaking of this isle of sanity.

        Lastly, OTs are so powerful, they can postulate millions more being drawn to Scientology, just as they find parking places or fight crime with their powerz. When these millions start stampeding the Orgs, the Orgs need to be there and ready, to receive them.

        • TheHoleDoesNotExist

          Speaking of Superman, did you catch the exploding Kryptonite crystals in Alex Klein’s piece, except he colored them scientology blue? 10+

          • BosonStark

            Is that what it is? I was looking at that trying to figure it out. Thanks.

          • DeElizabethan

            I saw the crystals and was displeased because I happen to like crystals, but not being connected to Cof$.

        • DeElizabethan

          What memories you bring back a couple years ago after having my head buried in the sand. Coming back into the organization and being fed all this “theta” PR, beautiful building pictures, etc, were very impressive to me at first and dummy me fell for it. I thought they must be doing something right. All smoke and mirrors as I found out. But for sure the impressions I got from Flag that it was all for the rich and famous. Found the facade, once I started looking and experiencing the unfriendliest dark peopled place on the planet. (unless you were giving money). Not recognizable from the 70′s. So I saw myself, how they fool the public.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Eckert/100002715429426 Robert Eckert

        It was Vladimir, who was some centuries before Russia’s rulers called themselves czars. Paganism just wasn’t “respectable” anymore and nobody believed it anyway. His neighbors had all converted to more modern religions: the Bulgars on the Volga to Islam, the Bulgars on the Danube (modern Bulgaria) to Eastern Orthodoxy, the Poles to Catholicism. So he sent reps to attend services in each and report back (or maybe he went personally, I forget). The Muslim service was tuneless chanting, and a harangue by a slovenly-looking imam who said the Russians needed to give up alcohol, which was a deal-breaker. The Catholics lost the sale because it was over-the-top: the building very ornate, the priests in expensive-looking vestments, and heavy usage of incense-filled braziers and a mighty pipe organ– Vladimir feared that the Roman church would ask way too much from him in money and deference. The story is usually told as a variant of “Goldilocks”: Islam was too little, Catholicism too much, and Orthodoxy “just right”. Maybe there is a lesson there for Davey about the danger of overdoing things.

        • http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com/ nobs

          Thanks.

  • http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com/ nobs

    Speaking of Idle Morgues…When we were ‘in’, our org was San Diego. They started going for an ideal org sometime around 2005 or 06. There was great enthusiasm, lots of fundraising parties, etc. San Diego has a few very wealthy scnists, among them Kurt and Jenny Listug (Kurt is co-founder of Taylor guitars). The Listugs decided to one-up everybody and went out and BOUGHT a building for $13million. Well. Wasn’t that the nicest gift? Now the fundraising could stop, everybody could take a breath, and we could start thinking about renovating and moving. Sure thing. Except the International Landlord Interior Designer Person Who gets to Choose the Look said, “No, you can’t use THAT building. It’s just wrong.” I think the Listugs were able to sell it, maybe Xenubarbz has more info. Anyway, the search was back on and the fundraising commenced again. Lots of it. Oy. Eventually, SDco$ bought the old Coleman College campus out in La Mesa. Super horrible location. Super horrible buildings in really bad shape. I remember reading a thread on SDANON forum — one of the guys there had worked on the place when it was a functioning campus and said that the structural, plumbing, and electrical problems were serious. Plus, the place is just downright ugly. Also, the Listugs donated at least another $5million for that fiasco.

    The Anons went through a trash can after the org had a meeting there. They found instructions for who to hit up for money, who to ask to sell their mother’s jewelry, who to get loans from for other scnists. It was disgusting. Here’s a bit more info: http://idleorgs.com/category/west-usa/san-diego/

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      You just made me think of something about the reg “hit list” and Alex’s article. I’d love to see him do a follow up. I will say that the major Donors he interviewed at least seem to have legitimate honest businesses and had to put years of hard work into it.

      I’m beginning to see signs that the cash cows have now been milked dry, and only the Donor Whales are left to enable this sociopath’s living large lifestyle. Those cash cows, though, were often white collar criminals or danced on the edge of the law. The scam scientology business model has depended on attracting other scammers who gather a like minded group who each LLC or similar set up a business, they take turns playing President, or Secretary, VP, etc., and they also take turns using their home as business address. Their product or service (mostly services) range from 40% to 90% ripoff. Scientology gets an upfront fee of at least 10% and then this group donates Millions under their business group name. When the customers or law catch up to them, they declare bankruptcy and leave all concerned in the lurch. Then they start all over again, new business names, new home address, this after writing off all they can. Some in this category will also be the go-to person for loans to other scientologists, either at loan shark interest rates, or unfavorable terms. Always important to remember that scientologists are forbidden to report any scientologist to any authorities. They will be declared.

      But these businesses often relied on scientologists as a big chunk of their customer database, those lower on the food chain, so to speak. Those are gone now, and the stragglers are both broke and bankrupt. So now it is the wealthier scientology business groups that Miscavige is relying upon. The really wealthy are those who have legitimate businesses. In other words, they may be delusional, but they are honest and ethical. When they finally wake up and realize where the money’s going, End Game.

      • Observer

        “Always important to remember that scientologists are forbidden to report any scientologist to any authorities. They will be declared.”

        If that’s not a red flag, I don’t know what is. It screams “Any Scientologist can do anything criminal to you that they want and we sanction it!”

        • BuryTheNuts2

          Chilling isn’t it. That was what caught me too.

          Let’s cannibalize our own….make’s perfect sense…

          Like Hole said before…they are devouring their own tail and we are watching.

      • DeElizabethan

        Yea! to that.

      • DeElizabethan

        Like your post and agree with the End Game!!!

        OMG on reading rickross. com. In those days I had temporarily stepped back IN and since of course didn’t pay attention to press for other personal reasons.
        I’m familiar with WorkNet Pinellas as I went there and joined but never ended doing anything with them, tho looking somewhat for a job. Also attended some Freewinds events at Post Card Mania and thought oh, maybe good place to get a job until I saw the large chart on the wall. Oh, not that dedicated nor desperate!

        Thanks so much for bringing this history and info to my attention as I hadn’t seen it.

    • DeElizabethan

      Really liked this background story, thanks nobs.

  • California

    The more the whales or their business managers or non-SCN family members know about what is really going on behind-the-scenes with their money, the more likely it is that they will wake up. I hope.

  • John P.

    This is a significant post because it reflects a sharp negative shift in my views on the economic viability of the cult. Given my job, I am trained to tread very cautiously in making a significant change in views, coming only after a lot of thought.

    Given the data points from Paul Sheehan and No More here and several other people in the last couple weeks, it sounds like we can now back into an estimate of participating public of about 3,000 in the US. Add in the 5,000 to 6,000 global staff and perhaps another 3,000 number of non-US public and you get to global cult membership of something under 15,000. The non-US number may be hard to pin down because, while we have good visibility into Western European numbers from Anon protests (Dublin is a great case in point here) and from census data such as the recent UK census, we don’t have much visibility into Eastern Europe/Russia, Asia (particularly Taiwan) and assorted hotspots in Latin America (Colombia in particular).

    At Global Capitalism HQ, we always try to build the most conservative set of numbers (nothing to do with left wing/right wing politics; “conservative” here is the data that is least favorable to your argument) to guide our decisions. It is difficult when thinking conservatively to consider cutting estimates of financial condition by a significant margin (in this case, well over half). So over the last year and a half, I had been using an estimate of 40,000 worldwide. This included about 25,000 in the US. I felt that was supportable by event attendance from about a year and a half ago, plus the fact that with 5,000 to 6,000 staff, it was unlikely that the number of public would get close to 1:1 with the number of staff. No business, even one paying slave wages to staff, would want that much extra staff around if it were doing so poorly. Most businesses want less bureaucracy not more; I overestimated the basic business sanity guiding decisions at the cult.

    So now it appears, a year and a half later, that the Debbie Cook e-mail has taken a toll, and lots of other things have also hurt (aging and bankruptcy of longtime members, disconnections, lack of progress up the “Bridge”, etc). There are probably a lot of people who are “sideliners” or “under the radar” not participating but not resigning membership to avoid disconnection, who aren’t included in that number; I think that my previous estimate would have included “sideliners” as members, but moving to an estimate that’s more driven by foot traffic at events and into orgs would tend to exclude them.

    Making a change to this number is a big deal, especially a large one such as this, because it directly affects an estimate of the number of dollars flowing in the door. I had previously been using an estimate of $300 million in annual sales, but if you cut the estimated public from 35,000 to only about 10,000 that is unlikely, especially as many of the remaining public are from second-world (Russia, Taiwan, Colombia) economies where per-capita income is nowhere near as high as in the US and W. Europe.

    The new, substantially lower estimate of the number of paying public implies that the cult’s annual revenue is only about $100 million, keeping in line the same estimate of $10,000 revenue per active member. Given that the cult paid out what we can reasonably estimate to be $12 to $15 million in settlements and legal expenses in the Debbie Cook and Marrick/Arnold cases in calendar 2012, and given that Miscavige’s lifestyle is almost certainly over $10 million, if the $100 million in annual revenue is believable, then you can make the case that the cult is now running in the red and dipping into reserves to fund any of its little “adventures” other than keeping the empty buildings open. By “adventures,” I mean any reactive moves by Miscavige to keep the sheep in line, whether that’s the ad campaigns (another $10 million last year and perhaps another $2 or 3 million annual run rate with the current Internet ad campaign) or legal settlements.

    The important thing to understand is that most of the cult’s expenses are fixed costs that they can’t cut. This is the flip side of the advantage they’ve reaped from slave labor wage levels all these years. — when business is great, slave wages make you obscenely profitable. But when business tanks, you can’t lay people off as an easy way to cut costs, since wages are so low that it won’t do any good. There are essentially no variable expenses in the cult’s cost structure to cut (other than Miscavige’s lifestyle costs, which are obviously not on the table). So once they start digging into reserves, they will have to keep digging into reserves to pay for stuff. That’s a huge change from where the cult has historically been. And keeping the few public that still believe in the dream from seeing the feeble attempts at cost cutting (power and phones shut off, etc.) will be nearly impossible.

    I am writing a lengthy post on this issue because I have consistently been a voice for caution against prematurely saying that the cult is on its last legs. We have plenty of cases at Global Capitalism HQ where we have correctly predicted that a company is doomed by stupid management and increasingly effective competition, but utterly underestimated how long it would take for them to be finished off (I have told the detailed story of my mis-estimate of the speed by which Apple’s iPhone would finish off RIM’s BlackBerry on several occasions). I am still saying that it is important to be very cautious about predicting the imminent demise of the cult. But I am saying, in a major sea change, that the “business as usual” era appears to be over and that there is a good chance they’re using the reserves for day-to-day funding, which is indeed the beginning of the end. Now, of course, since we don’t know what the actual amount of reserves is, it’s difficult to estimate the amount of time they can operate in this mode, even if we can model the “burn rate” at $15 to $30 million per year (which is likely to accelerate as membership declines further).

    It is prudent to assume that they will be able to operate with negative operating income for some time, before they move on to a more serious phase of unwinding. It is also reasonable to assume that Miscavige is not going to duck and run until reserves are at relatively low levels. I think he still believes he can turn this sucker around, even though almost nothing he has done in 27 years at the helm has actually worked. So he’s likely to view this burning reserves to meet daily operational requirements as a “temporary issue,” even after it has been going on for five or six years. Like Hubbard, the power over the true believers is more important than the money (even though Miscavige is into all those trappings that cost so much money).

    • BuryTheNuts2

      SWEET! I noticed you have been picking brains heavily on numbers lately. This post coming from you just makes me giddy!
      TIP……..

    • TheHoleDoesNotExist

      Love it when you lick the numbers, JohnP! Always appreciate your time and brain power. Just one little piece I would offer for consideration: Every major change Miscavige has thrown out starting about 3 years ago appears to me to be squeezing the pumps and repelling the bankrupt in his rolodex. I see him working toward retirement, even if he calls it by another name. I don’t know what his exit date is exactly, but I don’t see more than 5 years if he lasts that long.

      • John P.

        I think the timing will be driven by when reserves become so depleted that he sees his lifestyle in jeopardy. Let’s assume that they’re running $40 million in the red per year (probably high for now but could be easily the actual number in a couple years). With $1 billion in clear reserves, they could last 25 years at that burn rate before having to shut the doors. The bad news is that’s a long time; the good news is that for most of that time, they won’t have the staff to actually exert much of a negative impact on the world. They’re already a shadow of their former selves (think: Klingons who are discovered to be fond of pink lace underwear). My suspicion is that Miscavige bolts when reserves are down to about $200 million, in other words, when he sees that they are dwindling to a point that his lifestyle will be imperiled; $200 million is the nest egg that you’d need to support a $10 million a year lifestyle at current market returns. I would suggest that five years would be a nice, but potentially very optimistic time frame for reserves to get to this level, unless we get some better data.

        I think that the two issues are going to be increasingly separate: whether Miscavige remains on the throne or leaves will become increasingly irrelevant to the fact that the cult is unable to do anything to either grow itself or to at least attack its enemies effectively. It is reasonable to believe that the cult’s increasing inability to defend itself effectively against attacks, which we’re already seeing today (perhaps the Squirrel Busters is the watershed moment in that trend) becomes the norm in 2013 or soon after.

        Incidentally (and I know you know this, THDNE), a key data point that tends to support this scenario is the fact that so much of the cult-driven press (threatening letters as well as “sponsored content” like in the Atlantic fiasco) is all about what a great guy Miscavige is… clearly, the focus is on preventing a coup from the membership — with the existence of The Hole, constant sec checks and all the rest, a management coup has been unlikely since almost the founding of the cult. So Miscavige is clearly now increasingly worried about the customers revolting… That’s not a great spot to be in. Especially when your customer base is shrinking due to age, financial reversals, bankruptcies, defections, etc.

        Eventually, there will not be enough existing customers left to revolt against him. Then we enter the real end phase: the harvesting of staff from outer orgs, a trend you’ve already identified, accelerates, and Class V orgs (Ideal Orgs) are simply abandoned as staff either quit or get pulled back to various headquarters orgs. In multiple cases, the last staff member simply locks the door, quietly shuttering the org, and the building is eventually foreclosed by the city, probably after it falls into disrepair for several years (completely eliminating any chance of profiting on the sale of the building that some envision is the goal of the Idle Org scam). And they try their best to keep up the facade at Flag, Int Base, Pac Base, Saint Hill and a couple other locations, even as that becomes increasingly difficult.

        • http://twitter.com/SnippyH Snippy Haines

          I can’t take the idea of this SOB retiring in style. No.

        • No more

          Great reasoning, John P. Thanks!!

          I can give you some more data. About 10 years ago, a local org had about 80 “Bodies in the shop” per week which, as you may know, is a statistic of how many people come in at least once that week for some kind of service; auditing, training, etc. The most recent graphs I’ve seen, which has been in the last 6 months shows the very highest “BIS” as 56 with the average being closer to 40.

          Some recent promotional material we received from another org nearby was about a staff person returning from Flag and with great enthusiasm, encouraging a shoulder-to-shoulder effort to get their BIS up to 100. The way it sounded was that this would be a very challenging goal.

          Some information on continuing fund-raising. We still get lots of communication about the current goings on. Very recently there was a local event and we found out from insiders that they had a target to raise $150,000 for “special projects” – not even identified. The group somehow managed to raise $64,000. This event had been promoted as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hear the main speaker (from the Freewinds) and yet, the very next day we got emails, etc. telling us there would be another chance to hear this person again the next day and lo, and behold, now a third consecutive day. Not Ideal orgs, not library campaigns but “special projects”. Hmmmm. IMO, there is a mad last-minute, before the book comes out, dash to raise as much a s possible for attack activities.

    • http://twitter.com/SnippyH Snippy Haines

      Add the dollars Narconon rakes in. It’s a chunk of change, I think. There is more inside info on that lately also. A grand speculation here: I also wouldn’t put it past them to be making some money on the black market, with all the wheeling and dealing they do, but I hope we don’t have to wait for the implosion. A take down would be better. It offers people some justice.

    • InTheNameOfXenu

      If indeed you are correct in your estimation John, this paints a dark picture for the cult’s future. Miscavige must have denial so embedded in him that I can only compare him to O.J. Simpson. The ‘Juice’ viciously murdered 2 human beings, but convinced himself that he was innocent. He separated ‘himself’ from his barbaric act. The same goes for Miscavige. He knows the money is running out. He’s squeezed every dollar out of his members in a last ditch effort to create the illusion of expansion. Miscavige is in total denial, because he continues his lavish lifestyle, spending money like a drunken Saudi prince. He knows he’s losing people by the minute, so he’s going to squeeze the remaining for the last drop of money they have. This is a lose-lose situation, so he figures that he’ll take everyone down with him.

      When the bottom does drop Miscavige will have no choice but to either sell or lease all that real-estate. How is he going to explain to the remaining members that all the money they gave was for nothing? Will cognitive disonance be enough for the members to accept this total failure on the part of their leader?

    • sugarplumfairy

      Wow, John P.. Only $100 million a year? That’s not going to last very long, what with paying off po’d PI’s and disgruntled former employees.. and holy crap!!! ken moxon’s retainer is prob more than that..

    • MissCandle

      Dear John P.,
      Hello. I am a long-term lurker and 1.5 year fan of T.O. I believe your analysis is what is driving the coupling with Nation of Islam and the expansion into the African continent. Per capita may be lower, but think of the volume! Respectfully, Miss Candle

    • DeElizabethan

      Sooo good!
      Made me thing of all scientologists who receive any services have to be a member of ASI by lifetime membership, pay by the year or free first 6 months, still signed up. So they know how many viable members they really have (and bloviate of course). But they do not deduct the number of those who leave and that’s many, many thousands over the years. I am currently a member, only not in good standing and could not receive any service or attend events, but do continue to get some mail from IAS. Probably some legal reason, so I can’t sue them or try to get my money back, tho that’s impossible anyway, as stated when you give it.

    • Gus_Cox

      “There are probably a lot of people who are “sideliners” or “under the radar” not participating but not resigning membership to avoid disconnection…”

      That would be me, and at least three of my friends.

      Gus Cox is a just a pseudonym.

      • BuryTheNuts2

        I love seeing post like this…
        And it is a shame that you all must go to those lengths to protect yourselves from a “church”.
        I hope you are all free soon.

    • Jgg2012

      John, just one thing: they have celebrity members who are worth hundreds of millions. Won’t they keep it afloat?

  • N. Graham

    What a great time to be a Scio-watcher! The Alex Klein article is great! Lots of good detail.

    Regarding the Atlantic fiasco, the Onion posted a funny parody:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/sponsored-the-taliban-is-a-vibrant-and-thriving-po,30910/

  • JustCallMeMary

    Excellent. Really lays out the situation and the human factor in all of this. He could make a series out of it, lol!! so much more on the other ‘idle orgs’ for sure but he got at the meat of it.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    If just wanted to say that I do feel the pain of those who paid in so much money for so long and lost everything. If I seem too harsh at times, then realize I know your pain of betrayal because that is exactly how I and many like me feel when you still try to promote the same scam, but under the flag of Hubbard instead of Miscavige. I just hope you will take the time This time and listen to all those who have been around for a long time and saying Exactly The Same Thing You Are Saying. How could it possibly be that thousands of us who experienced it are all wrong about Hubbard, but you are right about Miscavige? I just saw this brilliant post over at ESMB comparing Hubbard to “Other Great Men in History”. Worth a look. I hope you all find your peace and happiness and spend the rest of your time with family in Disneyland, not ScientologyWorld. It’s cheaper and there are more fun rides.

    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?30055-Comparing-Hubbard-to-quot-Other-quot-Great-People&p=766844&viewfull=1#post766844

  • Jgg2012

    I think Davey raises $10million, spends $5million on an empty building, invests $2million on improvements and pockets the rest. Then, when he sells the building for $7.5million, it looks like he lost money when he didn’t.

  • dwayners13

    I keep trying to make sense and/or find the logic behind Miscavige’s decisions. You would think that he would try to retain the few members he has, especially the most “important” (wealthiest) ones, yet he keeps giving them reasons to leave & take their money with them. As for the ideal orgs project, he seems to be operating under the premise, “if you build it, they will come”, however it appears that this project has had the opposite effect. This article demonstrated that the constant focus on getting parishioners to donate more & more money for new orgs, has cost them more members then it will attract. I would bet there are many other people who left (or will leave) for the exact same reasons as the people discussed in this article. As for those members that are staying loyal to Miscavige, I wonder how they justify having to raise 100% of the money (or more) to build their own, local orgs, only to be forced to pay rent/lease payments to the church after they’re built. Then again, I wonder why anyone would be willing to pay thousands of dollars or sign billion year contracts just to be a scientologist. That seems to be a big sacrifice just to learn the teachings of a 1940′s science fiction writer.

  • TheNextMrsTomCruise

    Finally! Couldn’t sign in on the tablet for some reason, but am here now. I think it was those darn Scions, messing with my password or something. Anyway, just wanted to say, those Sea Ogres in their ersatz Naval uniforms skeeve me out.

  • Snuzey

    Theres a question that has been bugging me for ages now. Its clear that DM’s cult is going down the toilet with regards to membership. When it finally all falls apart, which is totally inevitable now, what will happen? Does DM personally own all these buildings? Will they sit empty til he dies? or will the organisation collapse and everything will need to be sold? and then who gets the money? and then what happens when he dies? I would love to know what is in his will! I just want to try and work out how this is all going to end?!

    On a side note I have this image of him and Tom snuggling up on a tiger skin rug in front of a gold encrusted fireplace, sipping 200 year old whiskey in their underpants, puffing on cigars that have been rolled on the thighs of columbian virgins, and having a great sense of emptiness. They will have noone left in their lives. a load of opulence and no peace. wondering where it all went so wrong before they take their arsenic and die in each others arms! its so romantic….

  • John P.

    Uber-blogger Andrew Sullivan of The Daily Beast just featured a distillation and link to the Buzzfeed article. There’s a couple million more people introduced to this slice of criminal behavior by the cult.

    Story here: http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2013/01/spiritual-salvation-turned-into-spiritual-rape.html

    • DeElizabethan

      Good one, thanks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chuck-Beatty/1631176570 Chuck Beatty

    Sorry I’m days behind in answering your questions in your daily blogs, Tony, I have a life, but your questions are important and should be answered.

    I think of several things.

    Realize that long term Scientologists, DO think about their futures, meaning their next lifetimes.

    A Scientologist will eventually be weaned and some are quite cognizant that they will be coming back next lifetime.

    In one of the Hubbard adverts in one of the tech films, there is depicted a young man, who walks into a future church, and says: “Hello. I’m back.” The advert is for the Scientology passport, which was to be the document into which the parishioner in one lifetime, enters all his Scientology training, therapy and other Scientology related accomplishments, and this passport as to be kept in the local churches, for safekeeping, and the parishioner when they are reborn, and FIND the church, in their city, next lifetime, they can come in, sort out who they were in the last lifetime, and their passport is found, and all of their last lifetime progress in Scientology is there on record.

    And the person, reborn, can then progress.

    The future lives reality, Hubbard wrote deeply into the church organizational rules and regulations, and despite all the Miscavige abuses, behind the scenes, are things like the Scientology Passport, to remind the members, that what they do this lifetime, will not be lost, that is, if they use the Passport, write down their accomplishments, and turn their passports into the local churches, upon their deaths!

    There is more.

    Of course, as Larry Wright notes in his book, going from fiction to reality, as Hubbard did, doesn’t mean this means anything real, for real.

    But the members CAN and have the LRH fiction narrative, to follow.

    The real estate are their future lives’ landing zones, and their Scientology passports, if used, will keep their records.

    Of course, no one comes back, and thus no one will be coming into the churches and asking for their last lifetime passports.

    But, for reporters, and researchers, new religion scholars, who read what I write on blogs, I urge you, to in your next allowed interview, ASK your local church officials, this would be a good question for Mark Oppenheimer to ask his New Haven Scientology local staff executives, about the Scientology Passport program, and to what degree the Scientology Passport program is in effect.

    Because the Scientology Passport program dovetails, with the real estate long term “game.”

    Hubbard was crazy, no question, but Hubbard’s church organizations have within them real organizational aspects that keep the members in the future life, they all will be coming back, to carry on, in their treks up the Hubbard Bridge to Total Freedom.

    That’s my point, sorry I’m late in answering.

    Your blog is so excellent Tony, I again, hope someone is listening, and appreciating all the efforts of the ex members who comment and add history, history that should be further looked into.

    The statistic for how many last lifetime Scientologists come into the new Ideal Org churches, and ask for their Scientology Passports, is probably 0.

    If Sientology’s Hubbard’s fantasy about future lives is real, there will someday be some evidence of people correctly identifying themselves in their past lives, and correctly claiming their last lifetime Scientology Passports, and there will thus be some slightly (it won’t happen in my opinion) more credible common layman evidence of past lives, thus.

    Anyways, in effect the real estate is ALSO part of the fiction, of having churches to come back to, and find Scientology in one’s future lives.

    Makes me think, of why it is important to do a summary of the whole Bridge to Total Freedom, with correct emphasis on just how important it is to wean a Scientologist into believing in their past lives (Dianetics auditing today ought absolutely to budge a person into finding their earlier similar trauma incidents in past lives, thus breaking down a person’s thought barriers to finding their past lives; and with so much auditing/crank pseudo therapy done usually during the Dianetics level of Scientology–Grade 5—an individual absolutely should have their realizations about their endless still to come future lives, and thus why the real estate program is important to their continued journey to the top of the Bridge).

    • DeElizabethan

      Hi Chuck, good post and info. I personally never heard of the Scientology Passport but maybe because I as always public, tho did know about coming back etc.
      I will not be coming back myself even to this planet God, whoever that is, forbid. You really have a lot of information and I love to read your posts, thanks. DeE