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Until the spaceships arrive, Scientologists measure cosmic success in framed glory


Jeffrey Augustine joins us again to take a fresh look at one of Scientology’s most characteristic schemes. Take it away, Jeff…

Previously, we discussed Scientology’s very predictable and rather boring PR strategy of taking photos of smiling people — often local police — holding Scientology booklets, such as The Way to Happiness. But there’s another standard Scientology public relations image we’re all very familiar with: Scientologists showing off their new certificates.

Everyone in Scientology, from high-profile whales like Jim Mathers to the newest raw meat preclear must be photographed smiling and holding aloft their new “certs”…



This leads us to ask, “What is a Scientology certificate, and what does it really mean?” As defined by L. Ron Hubbard, a Scientology certificate is superior in every way to a wog (non-Scientology) degree:

CERTIFICATE, an award given by the Hubbard Communications Office to designate study and practice performed and skill attained. It is not a degree as it signalizes competence whereas degrees ordinarily symbolize merely time spent in theoretical study and impart no index of skill. (Aud 2 UK) Abbr. Cert.

True to Scientology’s deceptive legal structure, however, a cert is not awarded until, and unless, a Scientologist attests, or originates, to having completed the Bridge level or training course and writes a success story. The onus is on the Scientologist to claim success in the Bridge level or training course because L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, legally speaking, have never promised anyone anything:


A Scientology certificate signifies a skill or an ability attained as claimed by the individual Scientologist. A certificate is awarded as a function of the Scientologist’s attestation. This leaves all Scientologists completely vulnerable to future charges from the Church that they false attested. In this case, any or all of their certificates can be cancelled.


Sea Org and Staff members are particularly at risk of having all of their certs cancelled if they commit “HIGH CRIMES.” In Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard is called “Source” and so if a staff member cuts corners and fail to use only L. Ron Hubbard-approved methods, they are “Off Source” and are guilty of the high crimes of technical or administrative “degrades.” Per HCOPL 10 July 1986, the penalty for Off Source actions is brutal:


L. Ron Hubbard made it quite clear in HCOPL 10 July 1986 that everything was at stake in adhering to On Source policy:


Any Scientology certificate can be cancelled at any time by the Church of Scientology. Even OT VIII’s who have posed with COB RTC Mr. David Miscavige aboard the MV Freewinds can have their OT VIII certificates cancelled; no one is immune:


In addition to certs, Scientology also gives out awards in the form of commendations. All awards, even the most gigantic of commendations, are also subject to cancellation:


Scientology’s nuclear option for all certificates and awards is its infamous “SP Declare.” The Scientologist can say goodbye to every cert, award, and commendation they have ever received if they are declared a suppressive person:


Like the Sea Org, Scientology certificates and awards have no legal existence and are not legally binding upon the Church of Scientology in any way whatsoever. For example, many Scientology “Clears” have had Clear certificates revoked. The Church has claimed that these people “falsely attested” to having attained the state of Clear. In this example, the Church demands that these people pay more money to redo whatever actions are necessary to become Clear once again. This same thing can happen on the OT levels if the Case Supervisor deems a Scientologist to be a “bypassed case.” In this event, an OT who has spent the hundreds of thousands or more to get to OT VIII, he or she can be sent all the way back down the Bridge to Life Repair.

Finally, while Scientology’s certificates and awards are tenuous at best, Scientologists can and do become ruthless in their quest to maintain their certs. Scientologists disconnect from family and friends and undergo expensive sec checks and brutal “lower conditions” in order to maintain their Scientology certs and good standing with the Church. As we covered in our previous article on Disconnection, enlightenment in Scientology is extremely fragile and can be destroyed by even proximal exposure to SP’s, entheta, or reading the Internet. For this reason, Scientologists can destroy their own families and friendships in order to hang onto their certs and status within the Church.

In the final analysis, even if Scientology has a 16-lane expressway to OT, a Scientology certificate or award is, ultimately, only as good as the paper it is printed on.


— Jeffrey Augustine


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 25, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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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