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Scientology’s plan to take over the planet: All Ideal Orgs ‘Saint Hill size’ by 2016!

Andres_Rodriguez2We have another segment for you from a secretly-recorded audiotape which captures a briefing inside a Scientology church.

This is our fifth portion of the recent briefing given by Andres Rodriguez, a senior executive in the organization, and they just keep getting better. Rodriguez has really become a star here at the Underground Bunker, but he’s also notable because he was married at one time to Jessica Feshbach, who became notorious as the pushy “handler” of actress Katie Holmes during her first years married to Tom Cruise. Jessica is now married to former Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis, and they are no longer in Scientology’s elite Sea Org.

Rodriguez is the Senior Case Supervisor West US, which means he oversees the delivery of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” for half the country. But as we’ve seen, his description of that technology is not familiar to oldtime Scientologists who have left the church.

Former Sea Org member Chris Shelton has been helping us break down the jargon-filled statements made by Rodriguez. And in this segment, Chris delivers another great analysis of what we can deduce about the current state of Scientology under leader David Miscavige.

First, give the recording a listen and follow along with our captions. Then Chris has a brief glossary before he gives another great explanation of what you’re hearing.

 

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Chris is going to help us with some of the terms used in the segment…

Mystery sandwich: Hubbard said the way to stick the attention of a person on something was to create a mystery about the object. The mystery would act like glue, creating a “sandwich” of “person – mystery – object.”

Training: Referring to doing classes that will result in a person being an auditor or counselor of Scientology. There is a specific line-up of courses which are done in sequence and various levels of training as one gets more and more skilled in different auditing techniques.

Cognition: A realization or “ah-ha” moment about something.

Division 6: The part of a Scientology organization where new public are introduced to Scientology and do basic or lower-level training and auditing services.

Division 4: The part of a Scientology organization where major training and auditing services are delivered, such as professional auditor training and auditing up to Clear.

HGC: Hubbard Guidance Center – the part of Division 4 where major auditing services are delivered.

FSM: Field Staff Member, a public Scientologist who is appointed to work out in the field (outside the walls of the Church) to contact people new to Scientology or recover old Scientologists and bring them in to the organization for services.

Command Intention: Originally, what L. Ron Hubbard wanted done. Now it means whatever David Miscavige wants done. Sea Organization members take an oath to “uphold, forward and carry out Command Intention.”

Saint Hill size: An organization of very large size that is able to sustain itself financially, pay its staff well and has no problem expanding, so named from the Saint Hill Manor organization which L. Ron Hubbard ran in England from 1959 to 1966.

Cramming Officer: A staff member who corrects other staff when they are not performing their jobs correctly.

MAA: Master-at-Arms or Ethics Officer, a staff member responsible for upholding discipline and carrying out justice if staff or public are doing anything that is perceived to be counter to the good of Scientology.

TTC: Technical Training Corps, a staff training pool where staff members train full-time for highly technical jobs such as auditors or supervisors.

Registrar: A staff member who signs up (registers) people for services and takes their money.

Level Two: A mid-level auditor training course. Local service organizations such as the one in this briefing deliver up to Level Five auditor training.

on-Source: Exactly according to what L. Ron Hubbard said or wrote. In Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard is often referred to as “Source.”

FSM commissions: when an FSM gets a person started on a service, he receives a percentage of the fee that person pays the organization for that service.

F/N: A back-and-forth “floating” needle movement on an E-meter indicating an auditing action is completed.

 
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Chris sent us another great analysis of what we’re hearing in this recorded segment. Here’s what he sent us…

For Scientology watchers, there are a lot of interesting tidbits in this section of the briefing which have varying degrees of importance in terms of what’s happening inside the bubble of the church. But first I’d like to comment on a general point which has actually been going on throughout Andres’ briefing. The way the Sea Org keeps Scientology going is by repeating the same motivational patterns to the general membership and convincing them that “now things are happening” despite every obvious indication that their “religious movement” is a dismal failure on every count.

Here, Andres is trotting out the exact same reasoning and the exact same PR lines that I first heard back in the 1980s when I was first getting into Scientology. “Get ready for the massive inflow because of our new promotional campaign” and “you only have to concentrate on these couple services and everything will take care of itself.” Over the decades, the specifics of what the promotional campaigns were supposed to be and which services we were supposed to concentrate on changed, but the results were always the same — no new public in and shrinking, non-viable organizations that could not afford to pay their staff more than a pittance if they paid anything at all. Many could see after a while the futility of continuing on in this “religious movement” and they would quietly disappear or fade away. Others would continue carrying the torch, hoping that somehow these false promises would come true. A new round of public would get suckered in over time and they would see things not going well, wonder why, hear the next round of false promises saying the exact same things, and so the cycle would continue over and over and over again. People wonder how Scientology can keep going decade after decade despite the repetition of these lies, and this is how.

As to the specific points of interest in this section, there are several.

Scientology Media Productions: June apparently is the target date for the renovated KCET studios in Los Angeles to open, which means any day now they should be opening those locked gates and broadcasting…what? There has been a wholly underwhelming number of specifics as to what exactly they are going to be doing. There is a Scientology Facebook page devoted to this place, but nothing of substance in its description. I found an email that said “Our new 21st century dissemination power plant will soon be the emanation point for a Scientology television station, a Scientology radio station, all Scientology Internet and print dissemination, as well as the central coordination point for our 4th dynamic global salvage campaigns.” In other words, nothing new, just an amalgamation of all the failing dissemination units they already have which are currently dispersed between the Int Base and Hollywood Guarantee Building. I know this has already been a point of debate here and on other blogs, so I won’t comment further except to make the daring and bold prediction that once they do start broadcasting whatever to whomever, it will be a massive fail, just like every other venture David Miscavige has ever embarked upon. Yet somehow he will make it sound good with bogus claims of successes and “straight up and vertical” expansion, using this to draw in yet more money from the whales.

All Ideal Orgs to be Saint Hill size by New Years: All that need be said about Saint Hill size is that it is a vacuous pipe-dream which all staff share of their organization somehow growing to a size where they can be paid a living wage and where they have basically “taken over” their geographical zone with Scientology popularized and respected by all the local citizenry. I know, right? Not one organization in the world has ever been able to achieve this, or even be able to hold on to more than 100 staff for longer than a year or two according to my best recollection. This idea gets trotted out every so often to pump up the staff and public and try to rally them around a common cause, not dissimilar to how the war effort galvanized the US in WW II. However, this target of getting every org to this point by the end of this year is so unrealistic that it is simply ludicrous. It is, however, illustrative of how Scientology management actually operates: Set a completely unrealistic target which no one thinks is actually possible, hype it as though it’s easy to do and then conveniently forget about it and stop pushing it when it’s obvious that no one is going to make it (in this case, probably sometime around September). Then, when New Year’s does come around, if Miscavige should happen to remember to ask someone about it or wants a status report, call justice actions on random executives at each management echelon to show that some action was taken to handle the “counter intention” as to why the target wasn’t met.

13 MAAs in Los Angeles org: An MAA is like a police officer, roaming the organization looking for “outpoints,” administering justice actions (such as “Courts of Ethics” and “Committees of Evidence”) and seeing to it that “wrong-doers” are punished for their transgressions. I have to say, though, that having 13 of these bullies roaming the empty halls of LA org is truly impressive since no organization in the world has this many MAAs in one place, even the Flag Service Org in Florida. This tells you almost everything you need to know about where things have gotten to in the Orwellian 1984 bubble world of Scientology. Hubbard called Los Angeles “the most out-ethics city on the planet” and clearly someone took him seriously.

Technical Training Corps (full time staff training): speaking of the Flag Service Organization, it’s interesting to note that Andres said that the staff now train in Los Angeles and not at Flag. That’s a major shift, as it used to be only a couple of years ago that all staff always went to Flag in Florida to do full time advanced technical training. I couldn’t say why exactly, but this shift is significant. Also, did you notice that Andres talked about the RTC MAA doing inspections of the course rooms? Another indication that they are watching over even their own staff members closer than ever before to make sure they aren’t up to any shenanigans (like reading The Underground Bunker).

I mentioned above how Scientologists are told the same thing over and over and over again in order to encourage them to keep the faith and continue paying money again and again. Here Andres claims “This is the first time we have materials 100 percent on-Source.” It’s funny because I can very clearly remember when the same hollow statement was made in 1987, 1991, 1996, and 2004. They swore each time that everything had been “verified” against “LRH originals.” It’s just fascinating to see the cognitive dissonance and rationalizations that they use to totally invalidate every earlier action anyone in Scientology every took, and also to invalidate anyone who is not doing Scientology full time. This is the pressure that is brought to bear on Scientologists to get and keep them in a fervor mindset about it.

 
Thanks again, Chris, for another great analysis.

 
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Michelle_SewardMichelle Seward and Kirstie Alley

Yesterday, Radar magazine got really excited about a 2013 lawsuit that names Kirstie Alley but actually has very little to do with her. The suit, if you read it, is mostly about a couple of investors angry about what happened to their money after they gave it to a woman named Michelle Seward (pictured).

We’ve been talking to Michelle Seward, a prominent former Scientologist, for a couple of years. Her story is exceedingly complex, which is the main reason we haven’t written about her. She was an insurance company CEO who got into a world of trouble after recruiting investors for a movie project directed by a Scientologist named Dror Soref. The 2009 movie Soref directed that Seward financed, Not Forgotten, starred Simon Baker and got some decent reviews, but was a dud at the box office that made almost no money.

The next year, Seward became the subject of a California Department of Corporations investigation, resulting in a lawsuit by the state accusing her of raising money from some investors to pay off others in what was called a Ponzi scheme.

Seward denied that she ever intended to defraud anyone, and in January 2014 she settled the lawsuit with the state and created a website telling her side of the story. She claimed that she had never given up on the investors and had created an $8.75 million trust to pay them back, which all but a few accepted. Others, however, sued her civilly, including Jeffrey and Marguerite Stabile, who also named Kirstie Alley in their lawsuit because when she was a Church of Scientology member, Seward had been a friend to Alley and had invested in her Organic Liaison business.

Seward has insisted to us that she was victimized by Soref, and was left holding the bag when Not Forgotten cratered. We don’t know if that’s true or not. She also insists that her problems really only started when, in 2009, she came out publicly as a lesbian and was then targeted by the Church of Scientology for ruination. Again, we’ve been unable to evaluate those claims.

We called her yesterday to ask her about the Radar article, which she was unaware of. She said the lawsuit is less important to her than her trust to help her former investors, and she says she’s really not involved in the Stabile suit — she claims that the Stabiles have targeted Alley because of her wealth, even though Alley had nothing to do with Not Forgotten or their investment in it.

We found it pretty surprising that Seward seemed uninterested in the Radar piece or the Stabile lawsuit when a trial is scheduled for July 6. But she insists that she’s more concerned with the trust and getting money back for people who invested with her. We’ll try to unpack this case more as the trial nears. In the meantime, we’d caution against making much of the wild press reports breathlessly saying that Alley’s Organic Liaison was a Ponzi scheme. As far as we know, it was just a lousy business that went belly up.

 
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What are police in Fort Collins reluctant to turn over?

THIS GOAL HAS BEEN MET. Next stop: Docs!

Friend to the Underground Bunker and consummate researcher R. M. Seibert asked for us to make you aware of an appeal she’s posted to help her get her hands on some interesting documents. Lately, she’s been using the MuckRock website to request police records for calls at various Scientology facilities. (You might remember a fun 2008 police call at Delphi Boston we posted recently, as well as police records for Narconon Arrowhead.) Another facility she’s asked about is the Narconon facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. And unlike other agencies, the police there want a hefty payment to turn over their documents, which are apparently voluminous. So Seibert has posted a MuckRock page for raising those funds. If you feel like helping to chip in to get those records turned over, toss in a fiver or two.

 
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Bonus photos from our tipsters

Hey, these 9 and 11 year olds finished the Purif at the South Coast mission in Orange County. Way to survive, kids!

 
PurifKids

 
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BOOK NOTES

 
3D-Unbreakable

Check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour.

We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, so we’re posting them at the Underground Bunker. We’ve created a dedicated page for them, and we hope you go through them all, then come back here and tell us your thoughts!

Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

 
Our appearances…

June 11: New York City (with Paulette Cooper) 5:30 to 7 pm. Private book party. If you’ve contacted us already, you’ll get venue information soon.

June 20: Chicago (with Christian Stolte) The Annoyance Theater, 5pm: This event is SOLD OUT.

June 22: Toronto (with Paulette Cooper) Toronto Public Library, 40 Orchard View Blvd, 7:30 pm, sponsored by the Centre for Inquiry-Canada
June 23: Toronto (with Paulette Cooper) The “Getting Clear” conference

June 28: Clearwater, Florida (with Paulette Cooper) Clearwater Public Library, 2 pm

July 12: Washington DC, Center for Inquiry (with Paulette Cooper)

July 14: Hartford, MARK TWAIN HOUSE

Late July/Early August: ENGLAND

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on June 4, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com 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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