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Jefferson Hawkins on Scientology Ethics: Let’s Get Utilitarian!

ScientologyDynamicsJefferson Hawkins was once the top marketing executive for the Church of Scientology and helped it reach its greatest extent with the famous “volcano” TV ads in the 1980s. He’s told his tale of getting into and out of the church with his excellent books Counterfeit Dreams and Leaving Scientology, and he’s helping us understand the upside-down world of Scientology “ethics.”

Last week you really started this series off with a bang, Jefferson. We can’t wait to see what you have for us in this second installment as we read Introduction to Scientology Ethics.

JEFFERSON: This week, I thought we’d take up the next three sections of the book, up to the end of Chapter One. These all kind of hang together and serve to introduce a major lynchpin of Hubbard’s ethics system, “the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.”

THE BUNKER: That’s a timely subject. We were just hearing in court yesterday about how the Church used that rationale to convince Laura DeCrescenzo to have an abortion at only 17.

JEFFERSON: Exactly. And Hubbard leads us into it gradually. The first section is an interesting one, called “Gradient Scales of Right and Wrong.” Hubbard probably has the honor of being the first to apply multi-valued or “fuzzy” logic to the subject of ethics. His premise is this: There can be no such thing as absolute right or absolute wrong. He concludes:

Terms like good and bad, alive and dead, right and wrong, are used only in conjunction with gradient scales.

In other words, you may think you know what is right and what is wrong, but you don’t. It’s “fuzzy.” The only answer, therefore, to the question, “is it wrong to do this?” is “it depends…”

THE BUNKER: Depends on what?

GettingOurEthicsInJEFFERSON: Well, he’s getting to that. The next section, “The Dynamics of Existence” is just a standard rundown of the Eight Dynamics.

THE BUNKER: Let’s review them quickly for the newcomers. L. Ron Hubbard divided the cosmos into a gradient scale that he called “dynamics.” They are: 1. Self, 2. Family/Sex, 3. The Group, 4. Mankind, 5. Animals and other living things, 6. Physical universe, 7. Spirit, 8. God or infinity. We noticed that in the current edition, the Second Dynamic is listed as “Creativity.” The Church is moving the definition away from everyone’s favorite subject: hot sex.

JEFFERSON: I believe this was the first time that new definition was used. So now we get to the meat of the chapter, which is “Ethics, Justice and the Dynamics.” This is taken from a Policy Letter that, as Dan Koon pointed out last week, is a compiled issue, in other words, someone put it together from bits and pieces of Hubbard’s writings and lectures.

THE BUNKER: Does that mean it wasn’t written by Hubbard?

JEFFERSON: Well, to be clear, it doesn’t mean that the compiler just invented stuff. I know from personal experience that these compilers were on a very tight leash. They had to document that every sentence came from Hubbard’s writings; they were never allowed to just make stuff up. This section is long and rambling, but contains the first tentpole of Hubbard’s system, “the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics,” or as he states it:

An optimum solution to any problem would be that solution which brought the greatest benefit to the greatest number of dynamics.

THE BUNKER: That sounds pretty logical.

JEFFERSON: Sure — it sounded logical to Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), when he first floated the idea of “the greatest good for the greatest number.” (Hubbard of course does not credit Bentham.) Jeremy Bentham is considered the father of what is called utilitarian ethics, and anyone who has been indoctrinated into Scientology ethics would do well to study that subject.

Utilitarian ethics is based on the idea that the rightness or wrongness of an action can only be judged by its end result. It has been shorthanded as “the end justifies the means.” Hubbard argues as follows:

It happens that no construction can take place without some small destruction, just as the tenement must be torn down to make room for a new apartment building…To be good, a thing must contain construction which outweighs the destruction it contains. A new cure which saves a hundred and kills one is an acceptable cure.

THE BUNKER: Not to the family of that one person, of course.

JEFFERSON: Exactly — and we are getting into the flaws of utilitarian ethics. But get what he has done here. He has convinced us that there is no absolute right and wrong, that it is a slippy-slidey moral gray scale. To determine what is right and wrong, one must do a numbers game, a sort of moral cost-benefit analysis, balancing the good results of an action against its bad results, across eight dynamics. And when you think about that, and all of the ramifications involved, you see that’s pretty much an impossibility.

THE BUNKER: So what are the flaws in utilitarian ethics?

JEFFERSON: There have been a lot of criticisms of utilitarian ethics by people a lot smarter than I am, but let me lay out what I see as the major faults of this sort of system, particularly as it relates to Scientology.

First, who gets to define what is a good result and what is a bad result? One of the major faults of utilitarian ethics is that it is often pushed by religious groups, political groups or even corporations who have an agenda and who define “good” and “bad” according to their own ideology, beliefs and prejudices. And it’s often used to justify actions which would ordinarily be thought of as immoral.

I’m sure Adolf Hitler thought he was working for the “greater good” of a pure Aryan race when he slaughtered Jews. We’ve seen governments justifying torture because of the “greater good” of security against terror. We’ve seen fast-food chains justify paying poverty-level wages to achieve the “greater good” of maximizing profits for their stakeholders.

Second, it sets up a false premise that in order to achieve a “good,” you have to sacrifice or compromise other “goods.” “You can’t make an omelet without breaking some eggs” sort of idea. This justifies pretty much anything — lies, manipulation, coercion — as long as the “good” end is achieved.

THE BUNKER: Well, Scientologists certainly get used to the idea of sacrificing for the greater good.

JEFFERSON: Yes, as this system relates to Scientologists, I think “sacrifice” is a key word. Specifically, Scientologists are expected to sacrifice First and Second Dynamic goals in order to forward Third and Fourth Dynamic goals — as conceived and defined by Scientology.

There was a propaganda ad that Hubbard wrote and tacked on to the beginning of one of the Tech Films that epitomizes this thinking. It showed a man and a woman holding each other against a moonlit sky. As the camera panned around them, it showed they were starving and in rags, huddled in the ruins of a city. The voice-over said “If you concentrate on the First and Second Dynamics…that’s all you’ll have left.” Scientologists are gradually convinced that being “First Dynamic-oriented” or “Second Dynamic-oriented” is looked down on and despised as selfish and self-centered. The man who buys a new car for his family instead of a down-payment on his next auditing intensive is sent to Ethics. The staff member who requests a leave of absence to attend a family wedding is looked down on and harassed.

The fact is, even if a person actually went through the mental gymnastics of calculating out the benefits and the harm of every action across all dynamics, if their ultimate conclusion is wrong in the eyes of the Church, they will be forced to see it the Church’s way, or else face discipline.

THE BUNKER: So how would you characterize Scientology’s ethics system so far?

JEFFERSON: I ran across an interesting reference when researching this chapter, something called “state consequentialism,” a Chinese system dating back to the 5th century BCE, which held that an action is right if it benefits the state, particularly in terms of order, material wealth, and increase in population. I’m probably shorthanding that terribly, but it occurs to me that the Scientology ethics system could really be described as “Church of Scientology consequentialism.” An action is only considered “ethical” if it benefits the Church in terms of money, property, or good PR.

THE BUNKER: The Chinese have the I Ching. The Church of Scientology has Ka-CHING.


Mark Bunker and Tory Magoo

After we ran into these two at Los Angeles Superior Court yesterday, they made this fun video…



Posted by Tony Ortega on October 24, 2013 at 07:00

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  • Johnny Tank

    Alexa update for today:
    Tony: US rank #8,832 – up 35 from yesterday.
    Scientology: US rank #36,918 – down 798 from yesterday.

    • Observer

      Scientology’s website is in a condition of Danger, then.

    • Valerie Ross

      Seriously “heresay” click farming. 13.6% of’s “visitors” are from India this week. Yep. I believe that. Umm hum. Pay for click how desperate. You really need to update us on on how much Scientology falsifies their stats every day please.

    • tetloj

      What are we going to do when Tony busts through the ceiling of Alexa!

  • Observer

    Good night, Mr. Miscavige, wherever you are.

  • Ruby

    where is i-Betty?

    • Observer

      Isn’t she still on holiday?

      • Ruby

        oh…I did not know she was going. Thanks!

    • Bury_The_Nuts

      I just checked the car…….I don’t have her.

      Yeah, that is all I got.

    • aurora50

      I was wondering that yesterday; thought she would have loved it!

  • jmh

    Totally OT, but this gave me a chuckle. The Honest movie trailer for Will Smith’s awful “After Earth”.

    • Robert Eckert

      Leave out the “embed”, it make Disqus choke, just use the plain URL:

      • jmh

        Thanks. I hadn’t quite figured that out.

      • Jo

        That trailer could save this movie, lol.

    • media_lush

      “….. consistently displayed cause of becoming a Ranger, sir!”

      …. no, nothing to do with scientology at all, no sir, na hah…..

  • SandiCorrena

    What is the deal with all the bunker peeps being SO good looking-I was just looking at Tory’s photos…..think about it, the Proprietor-Tory-Karen-wise beard man-Claire-Marc-Jenna-Jason etc etc etc etc….anyway I return you all to regular commenting all you pretty people!

    • Tory Christman

      Sandi…it’s a little known sekret of The Bunker: The more you post, the prettier/more handsome one gets. So? TYPE ON…TELL ALL………..and ROCK ON!! 🙂 ((And IF you’re still wondering why? DANCE!!))

      • ThetaBara

        It figures that you are a dancer! <3!

  • Bury_The_Nuts

    GAH. My IPad app crashes every five minutes. I have been trying so hard to catch up in moldy hotel rooms every evening…..but sheesh. Can someone give me crib notes or bullet points for today?
    We had a troll?
    Were they any good?
    Did anyone’s say anything profound?

    Ah, shit,…..nevermind…….it is going to take me a week to sift thru the Day-ta.
    But I will be near a REAL compy in a few days.

    Please put your tray table in the upright position and fasten your seat belts.
    I intend to exponentially increase the already vociferous post count with my inane interjections.

    It will be a bumpy ride.
    Take Dramamine…or whatever.

    • stanrogers

      We had a pair. Yes and no (+points for effort; -many more for execution). Much wisdom was spoke; profundity is in the eye of the beholder (and some of it would be repeats to knowledge cruisers and file-o-sophers). Oh, and a new self-outing ex was seen, welcomed and appreciated.

      The multi-kilocomment days are hard on regular computers too, not just appps. Poor ol’ machine here is down to a crawl at best.

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Thanks Stan…I saw the self outing ex…Yay!
        But then I crashed.
        Ok, so I will be able to quickly piece it together.

        • Poison Ivy

          Dog. He’s going to be an amazing asset to the blog.
          Eugene – I sense there’s some hope there. But he’s on his own ‘evolutionary path’ and who knows where it will lead.
          “SignsOfSuccess” was a real life OSA troll (I believe) who did well with the rote answers but just used “la la la I can’t hear you tech” when asked to provide hard “data” (UGH!!)

          • tetloj

            You all did very well – I dropped in now and then at work but my work setup won’t allow me to comment (or see pix). Mostly grown up conversation all round.

    • Jo

      Bury the bunker has been invaded, thank f**k your here, you know how to talk to these folks, sorry for swearing.

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Must investigate!

        Edit: and sorry for swearing? Huh?

        • Robert Eckert

          The early troll was an account that has been used before to dead-agent Jeff Hawkins and Laura deCrescenzo (although he did not have the nerve to say anything against Laura today) but he knocked off at 2PM Int Base time, his stats done for the week. The one who is still around, Eugene K, is some kind of FreeZoner, able to speak intelligently although rather stubbornly clinging to LRH adulation.

    • Suppressive Tomato

      I’ve been trying to get Eugene K to explain as-is to me but I am just a degraded wig Tomato with Suppressive tendencies and so he won’t talk to me anymore. It’s very sad. I’m a sad Tomato.

      • aurora50

        He uses SO MANY WORDS…to say so little!

        (Whereas many other ex-sci are very clear and well-spoken.)

        • Graham

          Yes, he used too many words. Too much in the head, not enough attention paid to heart and gut.

      • L. C. Spencer

        Oh no! Don’t be sad! Should we sing you a song, would that help?

    • Claude

      We have a Freezoner (Eugene K) who wants to COMM, which is OK. It’s just hard to be nice.

      • Bury_The_Nuts

        Another one? Give him Vinay’s or Theo’s digits and tell him to phone home.

      • Poison Ivy

        I was a little too hard on him. I felt he was being intellectually dishonest.
        I still do, but it’s his right. He’s clearly not hurting anyone, and he’s not supporting corporate Scientology anymore.

        • Elen

          You were great…perfectly articulating what many were thinking…and you were not rude at any moment!

          • Poison Ivy

            That means a lot to me, Elen. I don’t want to be rude because I sincerely respect the Indies and their rights to their beliefs. It’s their blanket denial of the FACTS that makes me shake my head because it’s like an Indie mind is a corridor and they’ve opened most of the doors but chosen which to always keep shut. And if you don’t go into all the rooms in your mind on a regular basis, you get cobwebs and spiders and dust.

            • edge

              It is tough with them because it’s like they’ve got one foot out the door and the other foot still in. The hard truth is that telling them real-world facts is probably not what got many of them out. Instead I imagine it’s rather them finding out something wrong on Scientology terms, like how big Ideal Orgs are probably not “what Ron wanted”, or that Miscavige is “squirreling the tech”. These things mean nothing next to what we think are the real abuses such as financial fraud and forced abortions and the break-up of families, but to hardcore Scis they are what strike the nerve. Debbie Cook’s email has probably gotten more people out than anything Anonymous has done.

            • ThetaBara

              FWIW, it seems to me that Anonymous has mostly focused on keeping people out and raising awareness that scientology is dangerous and best avoided. I think this has been really successful. Most people I meet consider it either laughable or scary but definitely get that it’s a bad idea. When we raid, we get a ton of thumbs-up from passers-by.

              Because of this, I’ve decided that I am going to focus a bit more on things like using chalk tech aimed towards those still in (who are going in and out of the org – not many except on Thursday afternoons, heh). I realize we’re not really in the business of persuading those folks but it can’t hurt. Perhaps some have doubts already and need to see the hotline number.

              I try to be kind and friendly (unless they are rude to me first as they sometimes are) and even then I don’t argue. But I might suggest they postulate that when they tell me to get a life or go home. (And we always do go home eventually so, hey, they get a win!)

              Anyway, we’re all in this together and we all have different strengths. 🙂

        • L. C. Spencer

          I don’t think you were hard on him at all; you kept him honest but were kind about it! And I think challenging someone (with respect of course, when they’re not being vile themselves) is what they’re looking for, if they’re here. EK could have stayed put at Marty’s or Mikes, not gone into entheta zones at all. Instead he posted what he knew had to be a controversial viewpoint. Sure, he probably thinks he’s saving the world, but did he really expect everyone here to just fall at his feet and beg him to audit us? Naw.

          Also, thanks for the very kind words elsewhere on this thread tonight. I tried to reply and was completely unable even to use the Reply button, so here I am. Disqus is really borked tonight; at least I hope it’s that and not my old laptop dying at last 🙂

          • Jimmy Threetimes

            Wait, this is the entheta aisle?? Arrghhh

            • L. C. Spencer

              Yes, but at it’s genuine Ortega, not store brand! Choosy SPs choose Ortega, the entheta you can trust!

    • Sydjazz

      I have been having trouble with my ipad on here too

      • Jimmy Threetimes

        Disqus never did run smoothly on iOS devices. The recent updates to Disqus and the iOS 7+ updates seemed to make it run even un-smoothlier. Word-clear that.

        If Safari on your iOS 6-7 devices seems to start bogging down, close every app currently running. Go to Settings –> Safari –> Clear History / Clear Cookies and Data. Reboot your device by holding down the power button. When you get back to the Bunker, collapse the threads that you are not reading or commenting on by clicking the ” – ” next to the flag on the right side of the comment boxes. This will make a big difference in how many comments you can browse through on an iPad or an iPhone.

    • KJP in Portland

      Damn I missed the troll then. Whenever I get on the past couple weeks it has seemed pretty TROLL-FREE (heh)

      (((hugs))) Ain’t seen ya in a while.

    • media_lush

      I’m convinced it’s just Disqus…. there are time when it works fine as long as you don’t want to comment or upvote bit more often then not it has real problems dealing with ‘load more comments’ more than a couple of times. I double check with Safari and Chrome and the problem is with both. No other site [without Disqus] seems to crash apps. The developers really have to haver a look at their mobile version because quite frankly it sucks!

      • ThetaBara

        Chrome works a LOT better for me on my elderly mac. The collapsing threads thing seems to be especially helpful on the kindle.

        • media_lush

          never had a problem on the desktop with any of the browsers…. the latest Maverick version of Safari is heads and shoulders better than anything I’ve seen to date. pretty sure it’s just a fix they have to make to work properly with ios7…. a lot of my newspaper apps would crash until the put out a fix.

          • ThetaBara

            My computer is really old and I doubt maverick would run well on it. I mosty just use chrome and email, but even so I’m getting aged out as flash and the browsers all want me to make an upgrade that I think would make it run like a snail. I dread the thought of getting a pc but it might be all I can afford when this one finally dies the death. :-/
            DQ is the worst though. The people who make this stuff (I used to be one of them) all have schmancy new machines and DGAF at all about backwards-compatibilty.

      • AsthmaticDwarf

        Zactly — if I’m anywhere near a computer, I put the iPad down; mobile Disqus isn’t up-to-par yet.

    • tetloj

      I was quite impressed with the trolls and the way they were engaged (nice blend of logic, good manners, compassion and maybe about 10% abuse thrown in for good measure). The threads are worth a read – shows the typical scientology mind set and order of argument: I don’t believe anything I don’t see (except orgs are booming nonsense); have you read LRH…oh..then how could you know…

      One was in ‘indy’ i.e. pro hubbard anti DM, the other probably Sea Org or public doing someone favours.

      Good day at the bunker I think

      • ThetaBara

        The one you label as SO SignsOfSuccess) is more likely OSA. They can’t risk SO reading this level of entheta. The other is an indy or freezoner.

  • NeverIn

    Had to wait all day to read this, but it was worth it. More genius observation and explanation from Jefferson Hawkins. Thank you!!!

  • valshifter

    nice dissertation, thanks for braking it down, in other words, you become to learn that , IT’S OK TO BE SHADY, and that becomes a trade characteristic of all good scientologist, if you were a good and decent person before you went into scilloontology , once you learn this you start being shady, and they play that on the public all the time.

  • KJP in Portland

    I got in way too late. Best friend had a successful surgery today and I visited tonight for several hours. Hope everyone is well. I’ll read a bit and see what the day brought…(((HUGS and HI-5s))) to all!

    • EnthralledObserver

      Hi! Glad your friend is doing well.

      • KJP in Portland

        My best friend since around 4th grade…1971-72? Long time….like family, now that most everyone else has passed away.

        • L. C. Spencer

          Always best to choose the time with the people you can actually see. The Bunker’s still here when you get back 🙂

          • KJP in Portland

            For the Internet, you guys are the best place to be! He’s a wannabee Archie Bunker…he’ll be up and out in 3 days or so. Funny story: I guess in post-op, he was hollering ‘salty sailor language’ while he was still out way past Mars coming to from the anesthesia! He looked pretty good for a 4 hour surgery…

            • EnthralledObserver

              lol… spirited!

    • Jimmy Threetimes

      Glad to hear it was a success. Hope your buddy is doing well.

  • media_lush

    …. I’ve often wondered whether the ‘run round the pole’ thing they have at GAT 2 is anything to do with what the Moslems do at Mecca…. anyway, I thought I’d share this amazing pic I came across…. it makes Flag look like a trailer park by comparison…. it’s also kind of scary, well, for a non-secular person like me anyway

    • Graham


      • media_lush

        … bugger, it’s late….. for anybody reading this I removed the “non” part….

    • AsthmaticDwarf

      Can’t tell if you seriously wondering about the Running Program of Hubbard/McSavage. But– it started as a ‘get your ethics in’ instruction, where the RPFer would have to run around a tree 5 -10 hours per day.

    • Artoo45

      I thought this was a parody the first time I saw it. It’s such a massive, tasteless pile of ostentatious shit right next to the holiest of holies in Islam. Like building Casinos right in front of St. Peter’s. I’d love to see it but they’d never let my überqueer atheist self in the country, let alone Mecca.

  • Jimmy Threetimes

    In my brain, this song is synonymous with late October and Halloween. Goodnights, Sweet Bunker.

  • media_lush

    …. and if you want to get a heads up on what the internet will probably be raging about tomorrow it’s likely to be this

    • DodoTheLaser

      No fucking way! This can’t be true!

      • media_lush

        it seems to be all over the place…. unfortunately I haven’t seen a link yet… quite believable though

        • DodoTheLaser

          Let’s give it 24 hours.

          • media_lush

            the irony is that it doesn’t really matter as far as John Pike is concerned, probably the most loathsome person ever seen on the internet outside of tiny fists.

            • DodoTheLaser

              Nice un-derail. Agreed.

    • Jane

      Well from what I and my family have experienced in the UK it is very likely to be true. This is what happens when psychopathic people (comprising about 2% of the population and mostly NOT in prison) get in charge. They see it as normal to throw their weight around and are deeply offended when people object. Then they get their own into positions of authority in police and courts and so the 98% are judged by the morality of the 2%. Interestingly LRH said that about 2% of the population are SP’s. But even more interesting is the consensus that modern scientology brings out psychopathic traits in people.

    • Jane

      PS I highly recommend Snakes in Suits by Robert Hare (world expert in psychopathy) and another who is a business consultant. It is about the rise of psychopathy in business life in particular. Also The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Keith Dutton of the University of Oxford.

    • tetloj

      Off-topic, ML, just sent through the check out and thought I’d see what the gossips were saying. New Idea are reporting that Tom has been giving lots of phone and in person support to Suri over the broken arm (no pictures of course) and that he wants Katie to have another baby with him.

    • Sydjazz
    • AsthmaticDwarf

      This is like 1960, deep South USA – where the police loosed Fire hoses on citizens, and menaced Americans with police German Shepherd dogs. Disgraciado!! *He* should have had to *pay* for his detestable action.

  • DodoTheLaser

    More scientology “ethics” debunking. Good.

    Love it how The Bunker is becoming such a great source of all things actual,

    regarding scientology “Ethics”, “Tech” and “Admin”.

    Thanks to The Proprietor, the Exes and everyone else!

  • DodoTheLaser
    • sugarplumfairy

      I like Uprising better I think..

      • Guest

        Flunk 101 is back, posting on the 10/25 post.

      • DodoTheLaser

        Great lyrics and a song indeed.

  • DodoTheLaser
  • DodoTheLaser

    Links for the curious:

    Vance Woodward on Dianetics:

    PZ Mayers on “The History Of Man”:

    Jon Atack on the real history of scientology:

    Claire Headley on “The Bridge”, a.k.a “Tech”:

    Jefferson Hawkins on scientology “Ethics”:

    Note: All of the above sources, except the Scientist, reached the states of “Clear” and “OT”.
    They are also no longer Scientologists.

    • John P.

      I volunteered to write an article for Tony on “Admin Tech,” reviewing the Green Volumes while wearing my former Management Consultant “hat.” The only problem is that he thought it could be done in a single article. There is so much stupid in the almost 2,800 pages of Admin Dreck that I couldn’t figure out how to distill the essence down to a single article.

      • Espiando

        I wondered if I could volunteer myself for All About Radiation, but I feared that the Stupid would have me plowing my head through a wall.

        • John P.

          Go ahead and write Tony a quick proposal. I am sure he’d at least hear you out and give it some thought. Reviewing “All About Radiation” in a single article would be a lot more feasible than trying to review 30 years of random policy memos collected into 2,800 pages of brain numbing crap and trying to extract the most ludicrous bits and make them funny.

      • sugarplumfairy

        I for one would love that.. I don’t get why WISE has had such success with people smart enough to make it through dental school.. I was floored last week when someone mentioned that Allstate Insurance at one time was using co$ tech on their employees..

        • John P.

          A couple of thoughts on that. First, dentistry is heavily price-regulated, basically by insurance companies who have figured out exactly what they will pay for a given procedure. There are a relatively small number of dental insurers, so you end up in a condition called “monopsony,” which is the little-known, infrequently seen opposite of monopoly: in a monopsony, the small number of buyers in the market have so much power that they control the price that producers are able to charge. It has typically been seen in grain elevators and other types of primary agricultural markets. Buyers colluding to screw sellers is illegal; the dental industry is like an oligopoly, where price pressure on sellers exists, even if there is no actual collusion among the small number of buyers.

          Second, dentists are relatively limited in the kinds of procedures they offer compared to, say, surgeons. And dental procedures take a relatively consistent amount of time to perform, no matter how good the dentist. You can’t up your income 30% by learning to do fillings 30% faster; it just isn’t physically possible.

          There are only two ways to up your income as a dentist: be a partner in a group practice, which cuts the real estate cost and the administrative overhead, but that’s a one-time optimization which won’t grow your income much once the effects of moving to a group practice are complete. In other words, that will pad your income to a point, but it won’t help you grow your income much faster once it has padded it.

          The second way is to offer lots of services that aren’t covered by insurance, for which you work with a finance company to offer a payment plan. In other words, you focus on cosmetic procedures that aren’t price regulated by insurance coverage. This is like how a lot of dermatologists do today: instead of waiting around for people to come in with odd bits of fungus to be treated, you get them coming in regularly with botox and all sorts of “fountain of youth” type cures. Some dermatologists are so focused on this that they won’t even see you if you have a fungus.

          Where WISE drives people into shady territory is the idea of getting people to finance treatment before it is delivered. On the theory that you’re going to get only one bite at the apple, they teach dentists to sell as much as they can up front, rather than have the prospect go back to the finance company before each procedure (implants, caps, bleaching, whatever). And when you get your patient to finance everything up front, you get the cash immediately to put to use. This is bordering on unethical and sleazy but still is legal.

          Where things tip over the edge is that, of course, the WISE consultants know exactly where you can “invest” that cash: donating to the cult. By the time you have this advanced payment scheme working well enough to have a sizable amount of cash, you’re probably already a Scientologist or close to it.

          Let’s say that this scheme is successful in your practice, with a $250,000 of deposits accumulated in advance of delivering services. Remember, dentists typically make $125,000 or $150,000 per year. $250,000 in deposits could be, at non-regulated hourly billing rates, 500 to 1,000 hours of service. In other words, three to six months worth of your time. What happens when customers start to come back and demand services, and you’re suddenly so busy that you don’t have time to deliver promptly? You already gave the money to the cult, so you can’t refund it. The only choice is to keep putting people off.

          Sometimes, you say you lie in the records when you do get to them and say you did work that you didn’t actually perform, risking civil suits, loss of license, or perhaps even criminal action. You engage in otherwise fraudulent tactics to try and work off your backlog.

          But, of course, you can’t slow down on the sales front to focus on working off your backlog because the WISE consultants, who by now have their fingers on all your financial records, will see that and will “handle” you into regging more, since the donations to the cult would be threatened if you tried to work off your deposits.

          Naturally, when you can’t schedule people for months to work off the money they have deposited with you, they will ask for it back. First gently, then more stridently. And some will take their complaints to the finance company. Eventually, the finance company will get after you, and if there are enough complaints, game over. That’s why, incidentally, so many of these dentists specialize in serving communities of people (non-native English speakers, etc) who are not as likely to be as good at fighting back as other communities (rich hedge fund guys who have lots of college buddies who are hotshot class-action lawyers).

          Regarding Allstate using “the tech” on employees, I seem to recall hearing of that. It was apparently very low-level stuff and was done by a rogue manager who implemented it locally without approval by Corporate. I don’t have time to look it up. This actually happens with a lot of things; some enthusiastic sales manager will insist on people going to Landmark, or a call center manager tries to get people into Transcendental Meditation.

          Only extremely rarely will this be something that happens with the sanctions of corporate management, and then typically only in founder-run companies. Yoga apparel maker Lululemon pays for employees to attend Landmark, for instance, though I don’t know if they have been sued by employees who don’t want to attend on that score. I can’t imagine a long-established big company like Allstate officially sanctioning use of Scientology techniques or anything that smacks of religious stuff, even on a limited basis.

          • sugarplumfairy

            Wow.. thank you for explaining that.. I had no idea that’s how it worked.. Co$ amazes me anew..

          • peakofelephants

            Excerpt form the forthcoming book: Everything you never wanted to know about dentistry and should never have asked.

            For real though, that was an incredible explanation. Thank you.

          • ThetaBara

            Wow. Thanks for the analysis, as ever.
            Also, apparently there is not one thing about Lululemon that does not suck.

        • q-bird

          Hello there SPF! 🙂 We are good friends with our dentist. My dental plan is guided fishing trips for he & his family & friends in exchange for dentistry for me & Mr.Q – odd, I know – but it works, it’s a win win for all parties. I asked him last spring, do you know any scientologist dentists? Oh! Those WISE guys, they send flyers to my office all the time, all get tossed automatically into the trash, I know some fellow dentists who use them. Me, why do dentists use them? “Because they may be excellent dentists when they graduate but have no idea of how to run a business so they hire out other people to do that for them.” My guy, who is extremely successful btw, took extra business classes in college and has no need of “help” in this area. I asked him to save some of those flyers for me.

          • peakofelephants

            Really?? Dentists???

            Wow. Hey, here’s a thought: Can we start a mock-cult that blames all the evils of the world, including the holocaust, on Dentistry?

      • Missionary Kid

        Let me summarize “Admin Tech.” Borrowed bullshit that create a dysfunctional organization and ultimately alienate customers.

  • Krew13

    Regarding the Sciloon troll yesterday, should we read anything into the fact that the acronym of his username, SignsofSuccess, is SOS?

  • peakofelephants

    So how do we know that these “dynamics” aren’t all just crap implanted during Incident II, or whatever?

  • Carlos Guttendorf Cipriano

    “I’m sure Adolf Hitler thought he was working for the “greater good” of a pure Aryan race when he slaughtered Jews. We’ve seen governments justifying torture because of the “greater good” of security against terror. We’ve seen fast-food chains justify paying poverty-level wages to achieve the “greater good” of maximizing profits for their stakeholders.”

    In these 3 examples there is only dynamic to benefit from the ”ethical measures”:
    – the Arian race (a 3rd dynamic),
    – terror, let’s say, American society and perhaps British and Spanich ones as well (therefore, also a 3rd dynamic) and
    – Fast-food chains (a first dynamic in itself when Profit is regarded).
    “The greatest good for the greatest numbers of dynamics” is being surpassed.
    I can’t see in none of the examples more than one dynamic. They are 8.
    The examples should refer at least more than 4 dynamics.