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Secretly taped Scientology executive complains about cheating on the ‘Survival Rundown’

Andres_Rodriguez3On Sunday we revealed that we’d obtained a secretly-recorded audiotape, more than an hour in length, that captures one of Scientology’s executives giving a briefing to an audience of “public” members at an org somewhere in the US.

Today we have the second portion of that recording, along with more help from former Sea Org worker Chris Shelton as he helps us understand what we’re hearing. As he explained last time, Chris worked personally with the person you’ll hear, Andres Rodriguez, who is the Senior Case Supervisor for the Western United States.

Last time, Rodriguez talked to his audience of publics by discussing how the Purification Rundown should be delivered. In this segment, he’s talking about something called the Survival Rundown, which has become a big part of Scientology leader David Miscavige’s current push with his dwindling membership.

Give the briefing a listen, and then we’ll have Chris help us understand what’s going on.



Once again, we turned to Chris for help with the Scientology vocabulary….

Objective Process: A Scientology procedure which focuses on commands the preclear is to carry out with his body in the physical universe. This is opposed to Subjective Processes, which involve the preclear sitting in a chair thinking or remembering things in his past. An example of a command in an Objective Process would be “Look at that wall” or “Walk over to that wall” whereas an example of a command in a Subjective Process would be “Recall a time that was really real to you.”

Survival Rundown: A new series of Objective processes which seems to have replaced the “Objectives” step of the old Grade Chart since the Golden Age of Tech II was released by Miscavige. The difference is that the Survival Rundown adds a ton of new Objective processes. They went through Hubbard’s writings and lectures and dug up every Objective process he mentioned. They put all of these into a huge new volume called The Objectives Handbook and they use this book to choose whatever number of processes they want a preclear run on. There’s an initial series everyone is run on, with names like “Opening Procedure by Duplication” or “Standard Operating Procedure of 8C” or “Objective Havingness.” The Case Supervisor then selects more processes for the preclear to do until the C/S decides the person has reached the End Phenomena of the rundown. I couldn’t find what this EP is online but it has something to do with being in control of your body and having 100 percent of your awareness freed up from past painful incidents and in present time. Normally they sell this as a co-audit course, meaning that a person pays a flat fee and then gets paired up with another student and do the Objectives auditing on each other and under the supervision of a Course Supervisor. However, Andres mentions that you can receive the Survival Rundown professionally if you want to pay thousands for a professional auditor’s time.

Life Repair: This is usually a person’s first experience with Scientology auditing. It’s not like what is done from Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, as it’s considered a step up from that. What they do is test and interview you to find out what things you want to change about yourself, and then tailor a series of auditing processes to your situation. The Case Supervisor writes all this up and has an auditor do them on you. When you feel you have achieved gains, the Case Supervisor calls it a day and you are completed with Life Repair. They then try to sell you more auditing services to put you on The Bridge to Total Freedom, such as the Purification Rundown.

CCHs: A series of Objective Processes. CCH stands for Control, Communication, and Havingness. These processes are numbered, and each one is supposed to increase a person’s ability to control things, communicate, or be able to experience or have things.

Valences: An identity that a person assumes from his past experiences. A valence is a whole package personality, from the point of view of the preclear. For example, if a preclear looks and acts like her mother, i.e. wears the same kind of glasses and clothing, talks like her, arranges her hair the same, etc., then in Scientologese it could be said that she is “in her mother’s valence.” This is fairly typical Scientology slang, actually, but comes from a technical idea that a preclear will change his own personality to be like other people he has encountered in the past who were more successful than the preclear or maybe defeated him in some way. So the preclear gets the idea that it would be better to “be” that other person than to be himself. It’s all supposedly done totally unconsciously and not as a purposeful choice the preclear knowingly makes.

Circuits: A part of an individual’s reactive mind that behaves as though it were someone or something separate from him and that either talks to him or goes into action of its own accord, and may even, if severe enough, take control of him while it operates.

Engram: In Dianetics, an engram is defined as an incident containing pain and unconsciousness that is stored in the reactive mind and can later be “triggered” and react on a person to make him say or do things based on the content of the engram. For example, if a person is hit by a car and knocked out he is suffering an engram. If someone stands over him at that moment and says “Oh man, that guy is bleeding bad. I think he’s going to die.” then later on in life, once the person is recovered and has forgotten all about the accident, he may hear the sound of that same kind of automobile and start thinking that he is in danger and is maybe going to die. That is the engram reacting on the person.

Advanced Clinical Course: Hubbard gave various series of lectures and courses which he personally supervised to auditors of advanced training during the 1950s and early 1960s. These were called Advanced Clinical Courses. He often used them as testing grounds for new types of processes he had invented before he broadly released them and lectured about the theory behind the processes and how to run them. The Objective Processes were first talked about and developed during the early ACCs.


Chris, like the first segment, this one also stood out to you for how much things are changing under David Miscavige, isn’t that right?

“For anyone trained in ‘old school’ Scientology, Andres is explaining how altered things have become after Miscavige changed everything,” Chris says. “I knew things were bad but what he’s saying here is very telling. The Case Supervisors are now running these Objective Processes on quotas of hours rather than on abilities gained or anything else the preclear has to say. This means that a preclear could get the ‘EP’ of the process within an hour or two, but the Case Supervisor is going to make sure that the preclear is run into the ground on it for another 23 hours simply to satisfy an arbitrary quota of how many hours it has to be run.”


Sorry, Chris. Please continue. “What is absolutely amazing about this ‘logic’ is that Miscavige is claiming that they have ‘removed all the arbitraries’ and ‘made everything exactly according to what LRH said.’ Well, L. Ron Hubbard didn’t say anything about plowing people into the ground in auditing to satisfy some quota of hours. This is all totally new and is totally Miscavige. Hubbard may have given some ideas of how long some preclears took on these processes, but that was back before they even had the idea of ‘standard EPs’ for processes and before a lot of other tech was developed. In other words, Miscavige has taken the standards of what it takes to get an auditing process done back to the early 1950s and has, in effect, cancelled all the later developments.”

How nostalgic of him.

“This violates The Auditor’s Code, which is supposed to be an unalterable code of conduct. The first two points are: (1) I promise not to evaluate for the preclear or tell him what he should think about his case in session. (2) I promise not to invalidate the preclear’s case or gains in or out of session,” Chris says.

“There is no way they are running auditing on hour quotas and not violating these two points over and over again. Now the funny thing is that I don’t really think any of this stuff works the way Hubbard says anyway, so it’s all kind of academic to me now. However, I do know that there were people, myself included, who did get some benefits from auditing. There can be something therapeutic about walking around and touching things and noticing what is going on in your environment and whatnot. This is basic Psychology 101 and has been known about for centuries. Hubbard just took this idea and put it into a series of processes which make people notice things and theoretically get them out of their heads a little. If Objectives are run beyond that, you can end up with people going into semi-hypnotic trances and all sorts of other nonsense which I think is psychologically damaging. So what you have here is Miscavige altering the technology to ensure it is done in the worst possible way to the worst possible result on every single person. He is making sure that almost everyone who runs these Objective Processes are going to be on them for hundreds and hundreds of hours and that they are very likely going to be a bit insane when they are done with them. I’m not kidding when I use the word ‘insane.’ These people are going to act and feel nuts after they do these Objectives for this much time, especially when they hit points in the auditing where they actually feel a little better but are told, ‘Nope, you aren’t even close to being done yet,’ and you’re going to have to continue for many hours more. And this is going to happen to them over and over again with each process they are run on. With the Survival Rundown, they’ve beefed up Objectives so people are being run on at least 15 to 20 different Objective Processes, and many probably are being run on more like 25 to 30 of them or more. I’m not a mental health professional, but I’m quite sure this is a recipe for mental disaster for these poor people.”

Man, that’s pretty amazing, Chris.

“And you can tell from the way that Rodriguez is talking to these Scientologists that people who have been on the Survival Rundown have been trying to get out of it, and trying to say that they are done with the processes, but he’s making sure everyone knows how wrong those people are and how these processes need to ‘bite,’ meaning that if they don’t induce that semi-hypnotic trance and don’t plow a person into the ground, then they aren’t ‘doing it right.’ He’s literally standing there with a smile on his face enforcing Miscavige’s insanity techniques and that is how wrong Scientology has gone. But because this is Scientology, the public doing these things are going to act like Jason Beghe talks about in the Going Clear documentary. They’re going to feel nuts inside but they’ll paint a big smile on their faces and tell you how this is the most wonderful thing they’ve ever experienced and they will write success stories and all the rest. The whole thing is 100 percent pure insanity from beginning to end. I am utterly convinced now that whatever benefit auditing may have once been able to provide to people, those days are long gone.”

Thanks very much Chris. Another segment of the briefing is coming soon.

UPDATE: We’re adding this comment from former Sea Org member and author Jefferson Hawkins

Oh wow. And this guy is the senior technical person in the Western US? He’s barely coherent. I get that English is his second language, but even so, he cannot even form a complete sentence much of the time. To understand the Objectives push you have to look at the economics of it. Most Scientology auditing is one-on-one – one auditor and one preclear (person being audited). That means that after you’ve taken the person’s money, you have to invest the time of an auditor, one-on-one, for as long as it takes to get the person through it. Even if that auditor is on starvation wages, he or she is a limited resource. It takes a tremendous amount of time to train them and get them through Hubbard’s voluminous materials and drills. And after a while they can crash and burn, get RPFed, etc. So auditors are always in scarce supply. Yet you have to deliver, otherwise Scientologists start to build up unused money on their account, which Scientology sees as a potential legal and financial liability. At one point, Scientology owed billions in unused advance payments. So the ideal is somehow to deliver auditing and keep people involved without needing an auditor. Hubbard’s answer was “solo auditing” – get the person to audit themselves. Very cost effective. You keep them hooked and auditing endlessly, and meanwhile rake in case supervision fees, 6-month checks and so on. NOTs can famously take years. Miscavige loves Objectives. Because it’s a co-audit. Two public people auditing each other. And they can just go on and on and meanwhile the org rakes in case supervision fees. So of course it “takes a long time” and you have to go on and on for many hours, long past the point where you felt good about it or saw any use for it. And Scientologists rightfully object, because, like the Purif, it’s just prolonged torture. And so you have the “Senior C/S” explaining to Scientologists why that absolutely must just go on and on and on with the process, even if they don’t want to. Andres is probably not even aware of these economic factors. Miscavige is well aware of them, I assure you. Another solution to this auditor scarcity would be “group processing” – one auditor audits an entire group. Miscavige doesn’t push that solution because he can’t stand the idea of anyone up in front of a group except him.


UltraVIIIaMaking Swiss cheese of the Scientology E-meter

We have a late-breaking item from our man in Paris, Jonny Jacobsen

Now that the Basel Ideal Org has been opened and the protesters have packed away their cow bells and vuvuzelas, you might have thought the dust would be settling in Switzerland. Think again.

One Swiss newspaper at least has not lost interest in Scientology. On Monday, the German-language tabloid Blick ran a piece on Scientology’s electropsychometer, or e-meter.

One of the paper’s reporters was at a champagne reception Sunday, the day after the official opening and somebody had the bright idea to demonstrate the wonders of the device.

The reporter had not, however, bought into the official line about it being a religious artefact designed to help detect “painful or upsetting experiences”: the device can be used for “psychological testing, loyalty investigations and confessions”, the paper says in the intro.

They asked Urs Röthlisberger, head of electrical engineering at the University of Lucerne, to take a look at the device. He was not impressed.

It works like a lie detector, he noted — a description Scientologists have long been at pains to deny. “It is not a miracle machine, but a simple instrument that measures the resistance between two electrical terminals.”

Blick reported that the Mark Super VII Quantum version was advertised at 5,000 Swiss francs in one Scientology catalogue (that’s $5,220 and change). They asked the University of Basel to assess its production cost: its experts reckoned it would cost 200 Swiss francs tops to put one together ($209).

Röthlisberger made another interesting observation about the e-meter. For all that the movement marketed it as a boon for Scientologists, it could be seen in quite another way. “The device can exert enormous psychological pressure on the respondents,” he noted.

He is not, of course, the first engineering expert to examine at the device. Scientology produced two of them as defence witnesses at its 2009 Paris trial for fraud, as I reported at the time.

Both declared themselves impressed by the fact that it appeared to be, well, measuring something. They beat a hasty retreat however when Olivier Morice, lawyer for the counter-cult group UNADFI, read them some of Hubbard’s more grandiose claims for the device.

…the electropsychometer utterly dwarfs the invention of the microscope, for Leeuwenhoek found the way only to find bacteria; the electropsychometer provides the way for man to find his freedom and to rise perhaps to social and constructive levels of which man has never dreamed and to avoid the perils in that route which man, in going, would have found more deadly than any bacteria ever evolved or invented. (Electropsychometric Auditing: operator’s manual)

“A far-fetched, ambitious and laughable stream of verbosity,” said one. The other conceded that Hubbard had gone “a bit too far.”

For a thorough critique of the e-meter see Dave Touretzky’s page Secrets of Scientology: The E-Meter.

— Jonny Jacobsen


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Actual caption: “CCHR Mexico with lots of action! At the autism convention and training of ‘black panthers'”


Actual caption: “Scientology Volunteer Ministers World Civil Defense Day Exhibition: Brussels Branch of the Churches of Scientology for Europe honored World Civil Defense Day with an open house and exhibit on the Church’s Volunteer Ministers program….”


Dianetics Foundation of Boulder County caption: “I have read hundreds of books on the subject of success and happiness. The most important book I read was Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard. Dianetics explained how to get rid of limited thinking, insecurities and sabotaging behaviors that were holding me back from my true potential.”



John Sweeney on Going Clear

BBC journalist John Sweeney sings the praises of Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear in the Guardian, and wonders when people in the UK will ever get to see it.



On May 14, you will be able to purchase ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ from Amazon in either electronic or print format, and simultaneously in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

The book will not be available for pre-order before that date. It is going live for sale on Thursday, May 14, and not a moment earlier. And hey, that’s just a few weeks away, so you won’t have to wait long.

Our appearances…

May 16: Santa Barbara Humanist Society (with Paulette Cooper), 3:00 pm
May 17: Center for Inquiry-West Los Angeles, 4773 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, 11 am; ALSO: CFI Orange County (Costa Mesa), 4:30 pm (both events with Paulette Cooper)

May 20, San Diego Hey, folks, we could use some help. The San Diego Association for Rational Inquiry (SDARI) wants to put on an event for us, but it’s not their regular night for meetings and they need to find an alternate venue. Can any of our San Diego readers help us find a space?

May 22: San Francisco (with Jamie DeWolf and Paulette Cooper)

(Finalizing a New York City event in early June)

June 20: Chicago
June 22/23: Toronto (with Paulette Cooper)

July 12: Washington DC, Center for Inquiry


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 28, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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