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Scientology’s Job One: Saving the Whales

SaveTheWhalesFor the last couple of years we’ve watched in amazement as a steady stream of longtime, loyal members have ditched the Church of Scientology over the actions of its leader, David Miscavige. These were veteran members not only deeply attached to the underlying ideas of Scientology, but also accustomed to paying huge amounts of money for the church’s course offerings and interrogations.

Miscavige can’t be oblivious to this drain of reliable income, and we’ve noticed that increasingly he seems to be making an effort to hold onto his remaining “whales” — the really wealthy donors who might be feeling nervous about all the bad publicity the church has been receiving lately.

Holding onto the whales helps explain the church’s recent high-visibility ad campaigns which don’t make a lot of sense for bringing in new people. (The Super Bowl ad is a good example.) Miscavige is trying mightily to hold onto members with deep pockets. And today, we have an interesting whale-saving success story.

In this case, David Miscavige managed to hold onto a real leviathan.

Last fall, we were told that one of Scientology’s most wealthy members — a man worth millions — was on the verge of ditching the church. His departure would have produced reverberations on the level of a Debbie Cook, we were told. (Cook was a former church executive whose defection is still causing problems for Miscavige.)

As evidence that this major whale was about to swim away, we were forwarded this e-mail, which the wealthy man sent to an “independent Scientologist” after that person had announced his own departure from the church. Note especially the disgust the wealthy man describes for the begging by International Association of Scientologist (IAS) fundraisers, known as “regging” in the church…


Hi xxxxx,

That was a very powerful message. Since I finished OT VIII I have been not disaffected but decidedly disenchanted with the organizational aspects of the CoS. Oddly enough, recently I mentioned the Universe Corps, which I thought was the most valuable program ever to hit orgs, had been discontinued. I hadn’t known that and was shocked, literally, my world was shaken to hear that. Like so many things, you just assume it was continued because it was an LRH order for it to be so. I recently had a run in with an IAS fund assistant where she wrote me up for throwing her off my property and telling her to “get the fuck out of here.” I was bludgeoned with the fact that I was a [donor level] and OT VIII. I wrote a request for removal of the KR but haven’t heard anything back on that yet, naturally.

Xxxxxx and I have discussed the subject, we know there are others out there who are ‘disenchanted’ with the disgusting regging that goes on but she, and I share the sentiment, is so very worried about losing our comm lines with CoS members who are our friends. Xxxxxxx asked the simple but spot on question, What do you do about it? I had no answer for her.

I did come to the awareness that I had been in a sort of sad effect since completing OT VIII because of things that happened on the Ship. Things I was censured for, ordered by the RTC Rep, which I should not have been. Mainly I said what I wanted to say at my graduation speech rather than the dumbed down version I submitted for “approval.” I guess I’m just that kind of guy, still bucking authority after all these years. That and the stage regging, which scared the hell out of me and would never allow me to return to the Ship for an event. I hate the events and have since the IRS one so many years ago.

In any case, I just wanted to let you know that your declaration met with some traction.


This whale seemed to be suffering from all the classic symptoms of a longtime church member who is about to defect: not only exhaustion from the constant fundraising, but also concern that Miscavige was getting away from what L. Ron Hubbard (LRH) had originally intended.

But this man did not walk away. Instead, Miscavige appears to have successfully rehabilitated him, as is clear in a new e-mail, sent about two months after the previous message. [UPDATE: This whale’s turnaround was even quicker than we first indicated. As a reader pointed out, there’s a reference to “2012” in this second e-mail. And while we only received this e-mail a few days ago, it was written in late December. So the time between these two e-mails was only a couple of months.]

We think you’ll find his change in tone stunning…

Dear xxxxxx and xxxxxx,

I wanted to send you some data and pass along a few wins to you all. If we go back and take a look at LRH’s declaration about the aims and goals of Scientology, we can see where we are headed and if progress is indeed being made.

To me, the bottom line is making the able more able and my recent experiences at the Flag Land Base say that is being achieved with magnificent clarity of purpose. OT VII’s are rolling off the lines in droves. The line has been debugged. While I was there for two weeks there were twenty completions. Clears are rolling off the lines in even greater numbers. By year’s end at Flag, the target is one Clear completion per day, and current flow is on target for that to become a reality for 2012.

The stage at graduation was simply jam packed with case and training completions at both the graduations I attended. Flag is making it happen, people are winning, I’ve never seen anything like that before in all my trips to Flag.

I myself had a to take some serious looks at any black PR contrary, such as is being spread around by a few, to what is really happening. The contrast is sharp and definite.

Looking out towards the fourth dynamic we see programs such as TWTH [The Way to Happiness] being not moderately effective but actually crashing down the doors of the establishment watchdogs. For example, there is a TWTH course room in the Interpol headquarters. Police and agents are being trained, not one or two at a time but by the hundreds. Massive changes have occurred in Colombia, such as lawsuits against police going from 700 down to 4 over the period of the last year or so. 22,000 police going door to door finding out what is needed and wanted from average citizens. The spread of this is phenomenal, you should get a briefing on it from Ship personnel.

Simple stuff, like making certain PCs are warm enough for exams made them happen fast and without drama. For example, my own exam times averaged well less than a minute over a dozen plus cycles.

Universe Corps are being trained and are in and operating in a number of orgs around the planet. AO’s are being used as local org Universe Corps auditors, staff are moving on the Bridge, this is expanding and that to me is how we will conquer this planet. You must remember how you felt doing OT V, the hope, the cause level, the fears and distractions that evaporated using LRH’s brilliant remedies for that part of one’s case. That tech is still as powerful as ever, actually, more powerful in my recent experiences in receiving a review/clean up.

I’m not going to address my own misperceptions of what was and is happening, you can’t know those things unless you are free of the past complicities, the sticky strings resulting in breaks in one’s own honor and moral codes; that brilliant mechanism of justification we so lavishly indulge ourselves in that keeps one from looking at things squarely and honestly in the face.

I had so many wins looking those things over, I came away with a new life, the momentum of which is like a Theta avalanche of stunning wins, new and rehabbed perceptions, carried along on a wave of joy, hope and trust in my own and others futures.

So fellow beings, take a look around for yourselves, I’m certain you will rediscover who you are and rehab why you had become Scientologists to begin with and those reasons are as or more real than ever before in our history.

All my best,


We are happy to hear that in southern Florida, things are warm enough for Scientology students (pre-clears, or PCs) to take their exams.

Anyway, it’s clear that in this case, Miscavige avoided a disaster by turning around a whale who looked to be on his way out.

Chalk one up to the Chairman of the Board.


SMERSH Madness: It’s Time for the FINAL FOUR!

As we announced on March 1, we’re joining bracket fever with a tournament like no other. It’s up to you to decide who should be named the new SMERSH, the traditional nemesis of Scientology. Cast your vote for who’s doing more to propel the church down its long slide into oblivion!


Here’s our first Final Four matchup, between the winners of the Apollo bracket — Tobin & Childs — and Gerry Armstrong, the champ of the Athena bracket.


Tom Tobin and Joe Childs of the Tampa Bay Times are the deans of Scientology journalism. Their 2009 series that exposed violence at Scientology’s International Base, and their 2011 project on the money side of Scientology provided the bedrock material that most of the rest of us work from. Consummate professionals, these two quiet guys go about their work with little fanfare and never seek the spotlight. We shudder to think what their next blockbuster takeout will uncover. (Previously: Tobin & Childs got past Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder in the first round, Nancy Many in the Sweet Sixteen, and Debbie Cook in the Apollo bracket finals.)

Gerry Armstrong has paid a terrible price for a simple act: he wanted the Church of Scientology to be more honest about L. Ron Hubbard’s actual history. The former church worker was hounded by Scientology lawyers with the help of credulous courts to such a degree that he lives in Canada because he can’t set foot in the United States. All of Hubbard’s biographers, from Russell Miller to Lawrence Wright, owe a huge debt to Armstrong for finding and securing crucial original documentation of Hubbard’s life. (Previously: Armstrong defeated Jenna Miscavige Hill in the first round, the Ex-Scientologist Message Board in the Sweet Sixteen, and the Headleys in the Athena bracket finals.)

Go to our March 1 post for the latest tournament results.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 29, 2013 at 07:00


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