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Augustine: Why is it so hard to find a Scientologist in good standing?

Frequent contributor Jeffrey Augustine was inspired by a story we did earlier this week to tackle one of the great mysteries: What, exactly, is a Scientologist?

On Wednesday, Tony wrote that a Tampa federal judge continues to uphold his ruling that a California couple, Louis and Rocio Garcia, must submit their allegations of fraud to Scientology’s internal arbitration scheme — which doesn’t, actually, exist. And part of their frustration, the Garcias allege, is that every time they select a Scientologist they want to make an arbitrator in the Orwellian scheme, Scientology finds a way to declare that person “not in good standing.” Even the judge admitted it was pretty impossible to figure out who is and who isn’t in “good standing” in the church.

What is a Scientologist in good standing anyway?

It ought to be easy to decide who a Scientologist in good standing is. After all, there are millions of ’em, right?

For many years, Scientology officials openly claimed that the church had about eight million members.

In the ABC Nightline episode of February 14, 1992 Forest Sawyer was able to get church president Heber Jentzsch to clarify Scientology’s eight-million-member claim:

Sawyer: How do you get to call them members?
Jentzsch: Because they joined and they came in and they studied Scientology.
Sawyer: They took one course, maybe.
Jentzsch: Well, that’s how valuable the course is. Eight million people, yes, over a period of the last – since 1954.

In 1997, Mike Rinder, then the organization’s spokesman, invoked the same number. Criticizing what defectors from the church were saying, he told a press conference, “If any of the things these people say are true, there would not be eight million Scientologists in the world today.”

And as recently as 2004, the church told the Deseret News that it had eight million members.

In more recent years, as Tony has pointed out, Scientology is a lot less specific about its size. Scientology spokespeople are careful only to refer to “millions.” And here’s what the church’s website today says about Scientology’s growth:

With Scientology, millions know life can be a worthwhile proposition, that Man can live a fulfilled life in harmony with others and that the world can be a happier place. Scientologists work to create such a world every day, joined by others who share this dream. The undeniable relevance of Scientology to the lives of these millions assures its permanence in our society. Millions upon millions more will follow in this quest to create a better world.

Pretty vague, right?

In fact, in 1999 Jentzsch gave a deposition, and under oath he admitted that the “eight million” figure was arrived at not by estimating current active membership, but by adding up all of the people who had ever, in the church’s entire history, ever so much as bought a single book or took a single course.

But even if we take Jentzsch at his word, that eight million people had interacted in some way with Scientology since things began with the publication of ‘Dianetics’ in 1950, it would mean that over the period 1950 to 1999, when Jentzsch made that claim, it would represent about 163,000 new people joining every year. And if you know something about the size and number of Scientology’s “orgs” over the years, you know that number is pure fantasy. (For a more realistic assessment of Scientology’s current size, see the Bunker’s report from recent defector Paul Burkhart.)

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that there are millions of Scientologists, and it’s just some kind of miracle that you never actually bump into any in your daily life. What does Scientology itself say about what defines a Scientologist?

The membership organization for Scientology, known as the International Association of Scientologists (IAS), has a very loose definition of a Scientologist on its website:

A Scientologist is defined as “essentially one who betters the conditions of himself and the conditions of others by using Scientology technology.”

Hey, that sounds easy. As long as we’re using Scientology tech, and we’re bettering ourselves, we’re Scientologists in good standing!

Well, not quite. The IAS isn’t going to make it that easy. In order to be considered in good standing by the IAS, you actually need to be a member of it. Lifetime IAS memberships cost $5,000 and Scientologists are constantly under a lot of pressure to donate even bigger amounts.

It seems pretty clear that to be considered “in good standing” by Scientology’s leaders, you’ll need to be an active donor and participant in the IAS.

But hang on. How big is the IAS?

Not anything close to millions. Former church executives will tell you that IAS numbers are in the tens of thousands, not millions. (And here’s the latest solid estimate for overall membership in this rapidly shrinking movement.)

But OK, let’s say you cut the check and join the IAS. Then that means you’re officially a part of the Church of Scientology, right?

Well, hold on. While the IAS is the “official membership organization” of Scientology, the IAS, legally speaking, isn’t part of the “Church of Scientology” itself…


In fact, according to what Scientology told the IRS in its 1992 application for 501(c)3 tax exemption, there’s actually no single thing known as the “Church of Scientology”….


And to add to the confusion, also according to the IRS application you don’t have to belong to the IAS to be in good standing with “a church of Scientology.”

Lost yet?

But see, that’s the beauty of Scientology’s rules for “in good standing.” They can say it’s whatever they want it to be!

Despite L. Ron Hubbard’s millions of words about everything from Scientology baptisms to Scientology funerals and how to clean windows and how to use a vibrator (we’re not kidding), and despite all the books and checksheets and pamphlets and fliers that current leader David Miscavige has killed whole forests to put out, the Church of Scientology really has no definitive policy stating what constitutes a Scientologist in good standing.

Who or what is a Scientologist? The answer is that it all depends on the circumstances, which Scientology uses to its best advantage in court. For decades Scientologists have smugly said to each other, “Everyone is a Scientologist; they just don’t know it yet.”

But for the purposes of arbitration? Scientologists “in good standing” are only whatever handful of people the church can count on to rule precisely the way church wants them to.

— Jeffrey Augustine


Leah Remini on Real Time

Bill Maher gushed over Leah and her A&E show last night, and she deserved every minute of it…



Billboard event at 10:30 this morning

We hope to have some reports from participants this morning as Phil and Willie Jones dedicate their new billboard at 4301 Sunset Boulevard.

We hear that things are pretty soaked in L.A., but we hope that the weather cooperates for this morning’s event. Let us know!



HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,667 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,264 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,304 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,016 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 483 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,601 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,771 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,091 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,066 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 422 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,724 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 831 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,233 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,106 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 687 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,192 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,436 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,545 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 18, 2017 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.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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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  • Frodis73

    I am heading to bed, but if you guys want to troll the president, fill out this survey. There is a section you can unload on him. Just answer like a typical trumpster would until you get to that part. Also note, when you are done he is begging for money to force the media to report on him nicely. Lol.

    • Liberated


  • Sounds like the Sea Org and a Life History, with guns:

    The Way Of Many October 13, 1981, Sandra Boodman, Washington Post

    She had been a trusted Way staff member, a veteran of a year’s missionary work in Phoenix, a member of The Way Corps, an elite group from which most Way leaders are drawn. Corps members pay $4,300 a year for four years to attend the unaccredited Way College of Emporia, a school that combines rigorous physical and survival training with Wierwille’s interpretation of the Bible. Because her parents refused to support her, Janney’s tuition was paid by wealthy Way members.

    At Emporia, Janney said, she received firearms training with a .22-caliber rifle. Janney and others also prepared a detailed autobiography: “I want the where, what, who, when, why and how regarding every major decision point in your life,” Wierwille wrote corps members. “For example: I got into sex in the sixth grade; I started drugs when I was 12; I robbed the local liquor store.” Janney also was required to keep a diary of only positive thoughts. She said it was subject to unannounced inspection.

    • Liberated

      I knew some people that were into the Way.
      Going to Emporia was considered cool, kinda like going to flag…I used to call it Euphoria.

      They didn’t appreciate it very much.

  • Sneaking around in some obscure forums where the youth is discussing Scientology and i stumbled over this:

    It’s very Pavlovian.

    Hubbard presented it to the Psychiatric community back in the fifties and they dissed the concept.
    He got pissed off and I don’t blame him.
    Shrinks don’t want a layer of technology between them and their patients.
    But what a shrink does in analysis is just like what the e-meter does- both try to detect what makes a patient uncomfortable, and then explores it.
    Now, who can second-guess a Psychiatrist? No one.
    But if there was a e-meter record to correlate with what the Psychiatrist was doing, then the Shrink could be “checked.”

    And, by the way, you can get laid a lot on the Sea Org, believe me.

    • Frodis73

      Whoa! You found a forum where SO post? So intriguing! Good to know they are getting laid, but we all know what that means.

      • Liberated

        You lied…you said you were going to bed.

        • Frodis73

          I know. I am though, for real this time. I am rocked by Dice’s discovery. I bet it is real fun to read that kind of stuff.

          • Here is one to keep you up!

            Hey guys, do you know what religion teaches that if you are feeling ill you are supposed to

            “gather dust from the shadow of an outdoor public toilet, mix it with honey, and eat it”

            What religion teaches that?

            ^That’s Scientoiletry.

    • Liberated

      You dog you!

    • JJ

      I had a therapist who spent the entire 45 minutes minutely cleaning his ears, wish I had a layer of something opaque to block the view. Or was it a test to see if I’d say something…for two years?

      • daisy

        I had one that would eat a sandwich and 2 pieces of fruit. It did not matter what time I went , morning , afternoon . I could never take him seriously. After about a month he phoned to tell me he was suspended for 6 mos. I read in the paper a couple of patients said he was coming on to them, I was annoyed. * He felt comfortable enough to eat while I am there, but couldn*t throw me a line or two. I got lady Drs after that.

        • JJ

          What the mufuhu? Man! Refund?

          • daisy

            We do not have to pay in Canada. Maybe we should I might be better adjusted ,faster .

            • JJ

              This is just wrong a polite Canadian ate sandwiches while you talked about your life? I could see this from a rude American but come on!

            • daisy

              I didn*t care about the food , I was annoyed he didn*t flirt with me. I was only a little crazy. My ego took a hit. LOL

            • JJ

              Maybe sandwiches are four play some place..?

            • daisy

              Then I have been doing it all wrong. No wonder I cannot get a date.

            • Missionary Kid

              Maybe he already had his targets when you started to go to him.

            • We don’t have to pay in the UK either. I seriously think that this ‘for profit’ fringe groups tha make pseudo-medical claims, because asking for money kind of makes them stand out.

              For example, narconon finds it very hard going here, partly because anyone can ask their doctor to be referred to good, scientific drug rehabilitation treatment for nothing.

    • Todd Tomorrow

      Back in the day I heard that was true. The getting laid part.

      • Liberated

        They were just making it go right!

      • Getting laid in the sea org is what the call “Love Bombing” – real messy!

        • Liberated

          Hey Dice…isn’t it time for you to get ready to go to church?

          • Please…. No mom!

            • Liberated


    • Wow… apart from the fact that Jung tried out a version of the e-meter and rejected it because it didn’t tell him anything he couldn’t observe for himself, that’s so 50’s.

      Psychoanalysis is now dismissed as pseudo-scientific and psychology moved on fron Pavlov (and behaviourism in general) a long time ago.

      Scientology seems to be use up a very special variation of the ‘Straw Man’ fallacy by presenting psychology and psychiatry as it was 67 years ago.

      • Missionary Kid

        Actually, IMO, they present psychs as they were previously. Because of books like The Snake Pit (1946) and a subsequent movie of the same name (1948) there was already a reform movement already afoot. The book had been published, IIRC, in the Reader’s Digest, a very popular magazine at the time, in a condensed form. (My mother had a lifetime subscription to RD, and they all ended up at my grandparent’s house because we were over seas, where I read them during the summer when I would visit in the 1950’s. I read, haphazardly through 20 years of them).

        Hubbard was just taking advantage of the evils exposed by the reformers by painting all psychs as evil.

        • If Hubbard had a talent, it was selecting an issue that had caught the public imagination and exploiting it – for example “All About Radiation” expoited the fear of nuclear war to sell a book, a quack medicine (‘Dainazene’) and front for Scientology all in one neat package.

          When moral panics about the use of illlicit drugs broke out, he repurposed the whole ‘driving out radiation’ nonsense to apply to them.

          i suppose when crisitism of psychiatry was in the air he jumped on that bandwagon.

          I have read books writtern by academic members of the 60s anti-psychiatry school (notably RD Laing) and found them long on rhetoric and short on evidence.

          I only saw a few RDs and found them frustrating because, if you liked an article, you couldn’t read the rest. They also projected a very cosy image of life in the US – even when I was much younger, you occasionally wanted something more critical.

          However that magazine, and its style, seem to have been a major source of hubbard’s writing.

          • Missionary Kid

            I didn’t realize how conservative the Reader’s Digest was until I was in college. Ironically, what readers didn’t know about the magazine was that while it took a very family friendly position, the staff was engaging in all sorts of sexual peccadilloes.

            I believe that I got a lot of insight into WWII contemporary life from the articles and even the humor.

            In the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, the RD had a lot of clout. With the rise in television and magazines that had photographs, they lost it.

            In reading all of those back issues, I learned a lot about the idealized contemporary life when it held sway. The full version of the books that they condensed were often pretty good in themselves, and I believe that the rights to condensation added to the money that the authors made, and it often brought new purchasers to the full version of the books.

            • I remember one article I read in a RD that had been condensed from a book about a journalist who ‘rode along’ with a police patrol car.

              I was impressed by the way that the author took the copper’s part in everything – even when they ‘stressed’ a ‘suspect’ whose only ‘crime’ was to be dressed differently to everyone else in a prosperous part of town.

              I went off them after that.

              The must have been good for certain sectors of the publishing industry but, I suppose, went the way the pulp magzine, for the same reasons.

            • Missionary Kid

              By the middle 60’s, I had pretty much stopped reading RD, except when I’d see one at a doctor’s office or on the newsstand at the grocery store. (I could polish off an article so quickly it would just look like I was browsing).

              RD was stuck in a (if you’ve ever seen the American TV series) of Life with Father or The Nelsons or any of the fluffy comedies made in Hollywood since forever that were pure pablum.

  • Ha ha… was testing Twitter since it would not allow me to post the question “Where is shelly” from a youtube video link.. So i guess i got a reply

    • Liberated


  • Missionary Kid

    You can call it a miracle, but it didn’t rain when Phil and Willie Jones stood in front of the group and Phil read a statement about why they were making their effort with the billboard: for all the people who have been disconnected, and he read, with great difficulty at times, the names of people that are disconnected and how long it’s been since people have seen or contacted their loved ones. He was able to get through his short talk because Willie was rubbing his back in support.

    A while after Phil talked to the group, it started to mist. It really wasn’t rain, but eventually, the precipitation disappeared, and the sun peeked out. I told Phil that any time I want the rain to stop, I’ll get him to give a presentation outside.

    I got there a little early and grabbed something to eat at the Mac and Don’s Breakfast Club (McDonald’s) drive through, and, exiting the driveway, which is up the street and across from the billboard, and, when I turned right, was lucky enough to find a parking space. It turned out that Phil and Willie had gathered some people at the cafe next door to McD’s, so Phil spotted me. They go to a higher class place than I do.

    I was lucky, because parking was a bitch. I was still early, so I volunteered to go across the street and stand under the sign in case someone didn’t know we were all meeting across the street. Nobody showed up there. People were looking for Phil and Willie, so everyone was smarter than I gave them credit for.

    When things started, a little after 10:30, there were a dozen people there besides the Jones’s, but people kept arriving, probably because of the difficulty of parking. I would estimate that over the time that all the people came and went, there was a total of 25 to thirty people who showed up. It was basically a running party. Thinking of it further, there were more and more people who kind of showed up Under the Radar who knew what Phil and Willie were up to. I’ll revise my estimate to 30.

    Before I actually saw the billboard, I had looked for it on Google Earth, I thought that the billboard (or Philboard or Willieboard, or Jonesboard, as people have called it) was hard to see, and it was pointed north-west on the side of the street where traffic passes by going north-west towards the $cientology Media Project (the former KCET studios) so they wouldn’t see it. Google Earth street view makes it appear like the street is flat. It isn’t.

    When you drive away from $uMP, as I call the studio, going south east, it becomes clear that the billboard is in a very logical place, and easily seen from the opposite side of the street because the street slopes downward. It’s the only billboard around, and it’s a block away. It really is better seen from the middle of the street to the other side.

    The sign is 500 feet from the $uMP property. That may sound like a lot, but the sign has to be visible to anyone pulling out of the studios and heading that way. I wonder how many $cientologists are going to drive a different way just to avoid that entheta that is right in their face.

    I felt right at home, because the little island at the intersection of Fountain, Sunset, and North Hoover where I demonstrated when SuMP had its grand opening had a sign twirler for the Valvoline Oil Change business twirling on my spot is a short block away.

    After Phil’s short presentation in front of Solutions!, “an electronic, audio and visual service center” more people showed up. We moved down the street a little so we weren’t blocking the entrance, but we would still occasionally block the sidewalk. Phil and Willie kept after us to be polite and give the passers by room. We even had the person dressed as Xenu show up, with the appropriate shopping bag. His picture is elsewhere.

    One person came out of Solutions! that I took for the manager or owner, so I explained what we were doing there. He had seen at least one of Leah’s shows, but not the one on disconnection, so I took the opportunity to tell him about it and urge him to see the first one in the series. Leah paves the way.

    The formal opening of the Billboard was really a great chance to meet others in the flesh and meet and greet.

    Hey, $cientology, we didn’t have to do any body routing, and everyone was in a great mood. There was no demand to keep our stats up, exaggerate our crowd, or bus anyone in. We just had fun.

    • Juicer77

      Thanks, MK. 🙂

    • I marvel at the state of mind of Scientologists who are, presumably, told to come a different way to work to avoid unspecified ‘entheta’ (they can’t tell them what it is, because that would be just as bad as seeing it) and do as they are told.

      If someone told me not to look, I could not help but be there as soon as humanly possible to see what it was.

      Thanks for the description. I can’t be there, but this is the next best thing.

      • Missionary Kid

        They may be told just that a crazy anti-$cientologist has put up a billboard in such and such location, and not how to avoid it. How they actually handle it may be up to the $cientologist. To avoid being asked about seeing it during auditing or sec checking, they probably have their own solutions. To be questioned about something over and over is not only painful, but expensive. The person’s instinct for survival keeps them from looking, although I caught a number of sea org personnel looking when they were sure no one else was looking at them.

        That being said, when I’ve protested with the “call me” sign, I had $cientologists cross over to the other side of the street, to avoid me, others go into the street on the other side of parked cars, others just look down so they wouldn’t see me, and others just walk by, as if I didn’t exist. It was comical. I almost felt like I was a lower caste person in India, carrying a sign that said, “Unclean.” so upper castes could avoid me.

        The avoid tech is strong.

        • I understand what they do – I’ve seen the Sea Org doing it at Saint Hill Manor. If they have to watch you, they distance themselves by doing so through the tiny LCD panel on the back of a compact camera. looking directly at a protester might scorch their eyeballs.

          I just marvel at the state of mind the SuMP people must be in. I honestly think I could just never do that. Friends describe me as curiosity bump with legs, and I really would have to look at something I was forbidden to see no matter what the consequences.

          To illustrate, i once came upon my Dad reading a book. When he saw me, he carefully put it away, telling me I was not to read it. Of course, whenever he went out of the house, I read a chapter or two, heart pounding. That’s how I learned of HG Wells, ‘The Island of Doctor Moreaux’, one of the world’s greatest pessimistic books.

          If I had ever been a Scientologist, I would never have made it out of ‘ethics’.

          • Missionary Kid

            I think that the billboard really must piss Miscavige off. He can’t ignore it, because he’s a control freak, and he tries to mess with anything not under his control. Being so close to his domain, where he thought he’d extended his control by buying more property for more area to control must be like poking a stick at a snake.

            • I think it pisses him off because it is so inconsistant with the claims of Scientology – if Scientology was true, this would not be happening.

              It’s also the motive behind turning Clearwater into a Scientology ghetto – to utterly excude any disconfirming evidence.

              This attitude (if you cant control it, deny it) is killing Scientology because, it seems, miscavige is also applying it personally to the utter collapse of recruitment.

            • Missionary Kid

              Now that I think about it, it’s easier for Miscavige to control people in Clamwater because he’s a big fish in a small pond. L.A. is just too big and diverse, and sea org members can see all of that diversity, even though they condemn it.

              By bringing Cruise close by, and having Travolta not too far away from flag, and insisting on advanced training going on there, and the highest levels being delivered on the Fleewinds, better control of his minions is better assured in Florida than L.A.

              When DM and his contemporaries joined, as well as the current “executives”, $cientology was a different, much larger organization. Recruitment could take place fairly easily because of the environment and lack of knowledge on the part of the general public.

              That’s all changed, because whatever he does, the general public has caught on that what he’s selling is a scam, and because the $cientology playbook he uses has been devastated by exposure (thank you SP’s and now, Leah) U.S. recruitment has to be very low.

              To have a billboard challenging him about 500′ (I measured it, using Google Earth) away from a property that he bought for a lot of money must really piss him off because it’s a clear demonstration to him that he doesn’t have real control over MEST, or even his backyard in L.A.

              Yes, Miscavige, keep on doing what you’re doing. It’s assuring the collapse of $cientology as an organization because there aren’t going to be enough slaves to keep it working and the run of the mill $cientologists are becoming bled dry.

              It’s unfortunate that those left will keep being harmed. I hope that they escape soon.

      • Graham

        But if you’re told not to look and you know you’ll be regularly put on a magic machine that can read your thoughts so if you’ve looked they’ll know and you’ll get punished [yet again!] then perhaps it’s just easier to turn right out of the building as instructed??

        • Missionary Kid

          It seems that for some of them, they can look without “seeing.” The self-censorship is that strong. They automatically assume that since someone is protesting, that person is deranged, because only $cientologists have the truth.

          • I think there is also an element of whatOrwell called “doublethink”. you can see that people are there, behaving in a civilised way, and not see it, at the same time.

            It’s more extreme that just framing your observations differently. You have been taught to actively suppress observations obervations that don’t correspond to doctrine.

            • Missionary Kid

              Belief and emotions are more powerful than facts and logic. Trump’s belief that millions of voters voted illegally is an example.

            • Especially, for some people, when they are self-serving.

              As we have seen in the UK, with the Brexit calamity, too many people will uncritically choose to believe anything that verifies their xenopobia, self interest and self-aggrandizing version of a national myth.

              So many people held absurd lies about EU as matter of faith, and trying to show them contrary evidence only made them more certain.

              This trend – to belive what you want to belive in the teeth of the evicence, and even make things up to suit you prejudices is also profoundly unstetting.

              There’s not a lot of difference between the ‘Bowling Green Massacre’ and ‘The Protcols of the Elders of Zion’.

            • Missionary Kid

              The people who voted for Drumpf projected on him their salvation from their current problems, just as the people who voted for Brexit.

              Our President, who has showed disdain for politicians, is now discovering that he really lacks the skill and knowledge to deliver on his promises, and that his simplistic solutions will run afoul of years of regulations put in place to avoid tyranny and thievery.

              He really does operate on the $cientology-like basis that what is true for him is true. Unfortunately, as someone put it, you’re entitled to your opinions, not your own facts.

              Drumpf was raised in a bubble of wealth and privilege. Unlike previous Presidents who were scions of wealthy families, there was no history of the value of public service in his family. He was a good salesman, and, with the help of Russia to demonize Hillary, he won. Unfortunately, he now has to act like a President, and not a CEO, and he can’t because he really doesn’t understand government in a democracy. It’s no wonder he admires Putin so much.

            • It has struck me that all he seem to have done so far it to issue ‘executive order’ (which don’t stick) like a bad CEO. As far as i know, though he hasn’t negociated trough any legislation that needs voting upon, even though his party has a healty majority.

              If I was Trump, with no political experience, i would worry about out-manouvered by more experienced operators who know that, if their machinations go awry, they can always blame the conseqences on the unpopular guy at the top.

              If Trump resembles Hubbard, there are a lot of Miscavige’s out there, waiting for an opportunity to use him for their own ends.

            • Missionary Kid

              You’ve hit the nail on the head. Drumpf ran a privately held company, so he’s never had to answer to anyone. His ghost writer for The Art of the Deal apologizes for writing the book, and has pointed out what a shallow, vain person The Donald is, and how much he lies. He really is a raging narcissist.

        • Quite. How do you get into a state of mind where you take all that as read?

          I’ve been puzzling about the e-meter, as a consequence of a post I’m currently writing for my blog. This device was originally presented as an objective diagnostic aid to dianetic ‘therapy’.

          I ask myself what ‘obective’ is supposed to mean when you are investigating internal, subjective states. Any observation is objective – that the subject fidgits when certain questions are asked, or refuses to make eye contact. However, they are all subject to interpretatin – including those taken via an instrument, in a unique context.

          That’s why Jung (pupil of Freud) rejected an very early version of a Galvanic Skin Response meter (which made the same meaurements as an e-meter). It didn’t tell him anything he couldn’t learn by careful observation.

          The attitude of Scientologists to the e-meter is now different. Its ‘indications’ (as laid down by Hubbard, in writing) are supposed to trancend your own observation and are considered to more valid than the evidence of your own eyes.

          At some point, it stopped being a ‘diagnostic aid’ and took over the role of the ‘therapist’, whose only job was to record the readings. It’s considered to be smarter than the person who operates it (or at least, Hubbard is operating it by proxy, because you are taking his account of the meanings of meter movements literally and uncritically). You have become as much an unthinking instrument as the meter itself.

          That is magical thinking, and dehuamising manipulation.

          Of course, the e-meter’s undamped mechanism and eccentric electrodes provide a wealth of random movements to be ‘interpreted’. Unfortunately, the framework provided by Scientology to do this interpretation is incoherent.

          The result is, auditors see what they want to see in meter movements – and we are back to subjectivity, this time without a valid theoretical framework to use to make sense of things.

          • grundoon

            The e-meter is a prop. Its purpose is to disempower both the PC and the auditor.

            Hubbard designed the auditing process to give the auditor “altitude” above the PC. The PC surrenders the right of judgment over his own mind. Judgments are made by the auditor, confirmed by the infallible meter. The auditor commands the PC, asks the questions, controls the meter and records its judgments.

            The auditor, too, is disempowered. The auditor must conform to Hubbard’s script according to an agenda dictated by the Case Supervisor. The auditor must obey the infallible meter, must not communicate with the PC other than as prescribed, and must behave standardly down to blinks and tone of voice. The auditor knows that hidden cameras and microphones are built in to every auditing room so deviations can be punished.

            The Case Supervisor decides which Hubbard process is to be given to the PC at each session (often driven by sales targets), and reviews the auditor’s session records to ensure compliance, but does not communicate directly with the PC.

            The system is designed to place the Director of Processing and other executives in command of the PC’s pocketbook to consume the PC’s funds at a pace of their choosing, while placing the PC in a weak position at several removes from the decision makers.

            Further, if the PC is happy with the auditing, the system prevents the PC from giving credit to anyone but Hubbard. The PC can’t give much credit to the auditor for following a prescribed script and obeying the meter, nor to the C/S for merely shuffling papers. This solves a big problem that Hubbard had in the early days: the best auditors would experiment with the processes and improve upon them, and then go into business for themselves, taking their clientele with them. Hubbard’s clever solution was to disempower the only employee with whom the PC may develop a personal relationship. This ranks high among the reasons that the Scientology enterprise has outlasted most of its competitors.

            • I’ve nothing to add to that. As you say, it all functions so that the rules and procedures run the show, and the people are transformed into deployable agents.

            • Qbird

              You sure do know this scam ,
              oh sorry, I mean this church’s way & means,
              inside out, up & down & a whole lotta sudden sideways moves thrown in too,
              all this crap carnival sideshow b.s. — the cans are shiny
              policies & practices,
              just enough to always keep a person off balance.


              :::I’m marking this, your words here, so as to be able to read again later.:::

              just saying’ hiya & Thanks 4 explanation.

            • grundoon


            • Qbird

              grundoon. If i may.

              Some history on this couple that comes in every winter.
              3 years ago, when I met them for the 1st time, the conversation was a really good Q&A, I thought. Lively talk, good convo about many things, not just Scn.
              I enjoy it, I thought they did too. Talkin’ over beers on a slow night.
              Couple of weeks later, they’re back & the bar/restaurant is full & I’m busy & I can’t talk much with them. He actually yells over the din at the bar, “Well, Q’s a scientologist, just ask her about it!”
              My regulars laugh, I laugh, “yeah, right!” to the whole bar. I say nothing to them directly.
              and that’s that.

              Folks do not pay me, their server, they pay their check up @ the front desk, on the way out.
              This time, however, they tell the cashier, “Q talks too much about Scn.”
              Whoa – I didn’t say a thing that night. But alrighty then… I took the feedback.
              I decide of course to never again bring it up with them. Easy to do as my job is to keep our guests comfortable, see… I’m fairly diplomatic. I’ve been doing this for 22 years.

              My boss/friend advises me exactly as Anion did. Do not engage beyond “What can I get you?” etc. Keep it light & professional. Keep smiling. So I do. They are rather unpleasant to serve, rude, abrupt, impatient ppl. So say my employees, and I understand bc i serve them sometimes too, and agree. But, what the hey?! We serve all kinds of ppl… happy, sad, angry, tired, young, old, impaired, this, that, what have you. It’s The Public! We never know what they’re gonna bring to the party. You get ppl what they want with a smile. You have to. That’s the job. It’s what we do.
              We have beaucoup return customers, btw. nice, that.

              So, for a long time now, every time they come in, when I do talk to them, they bring it up.
              I kid you not, grundoon, I willfully, purposely talk about other things… and i am real good about steering the subjects, changing them, telling jokes, walking away to do other work, asking other servers to take them for me, etc… with lots of “So, ya think it will snow?” “How are the trails?” “Did you see any wildlife?” “Would you like another beer?” “How was your summer?” “Those new sleds ya got there?” chit-chat. stupid talk. banter. bar talk. I have actively avoided them AND the subject. I have often succeeded over the years.
              Yet every time they pay their bill, they complain about me taking about Scn too much.
              It happened again just 2 days ago. It’s weird & i don’t like it.

              Here’s the rub: They get to be in the free speech zone, as customers they can say whatever they want. Me, I gotta song&dance it with them. I gotta serve them, answer their questions.
              BUT NOT ABOUT SCN.

              WTH, man?! If he doesn’t want me to talk about it, why does he always bring it up?
              I don’t get it. It makes me think they are scientologists but won’t admit it & they want me to shut up about Scn. Hence, my question to the board.

              ok. that’s it. thanks for listening.

            • grundoon

              Maybe they think you like Scientology because you talked about it once and seemed to know a lot about it? They’ve heard Scn is bad but they didn’t pick up on the fact that you are not a supporter? – and they are harassing you for it?

              Or, maybe it’s what they consider their sense of humor. They “joke” by speaking in opposites. If they met you 5 times in one day they would say, “How come I never see you any more?” They’ve noticed Scn seems to be a tender subject (because you avoid talking about it), and it amuses them to tease you about it (by saying you talk too much about it). You laugh it off, so they think you are amused too.

              Or, maybe when they meet someone, they forget the name but pick one characteristic to remember. When they see the person again, they’ll remember that one thing and repeat it or use it like a nickname. For as long as they know the person they will always do this and never learn their right name.

              (I have friends and relatives like the people I’ve described above. Doesn’t everyone?)

              Or maybe they are just unpleasant people who try to make themselves big
              by trying to make other people small. When they think they have found a
              tender spot, they poke it to get a response. Stay professional and don’t
              let them get to you.

              If any of the above is true, Scn is probably not of any real significance to them. Then you could laugh off their comments or joke with them. Try to make sure your boss understands the situation.

              Supposing they did actually want to talk about Scn, I’d say it is best not to discuss it while you are on the job. Say “I never talk about politics or religion” and stick to it.

              What does your boss tell them when they make their complaint? Do they seem angry or upset? Does your boss apologize? Does your boss want you to apologize?

            • Qbird

              hey there grundoon, thank you for your reply. seriously, TY.

              I’ve written a long answer in return but… blah! Bah! Gah!
              It’s just too much.

              Interesting how writing something out helps a person to make sense of a thing while they are actually writing it out. oh ha.
              I got a lot of good information last night from the board.
              (even from newbie, Baaadabing, heh ~:)
              Keeping it all in mind & considering it carefully.

              tl;dr version, to answer your Qs:

              Yes, I have met & am familiar with all kinds of ‘unpleasant’ folks. They are not in the majority in my experience as a restaurant worker… most ppl I meet are, dare I say it, beautiful & interesting. But I must also say the ‘icky’ ones are always … memorable. Thankfully, I’ve had very few conflicts with our customers over the years. I have served 10s of thousands.
              (real # there, not scn maths)

              It doesn’t feel like teasing to me. I usually brush it off as best I can employing all managing techniques mentioned by you & others here as well as in my RL.
              I will continue to: Stay professional and will try very hard to not let them get to me. no kidding.
              Been playing it as cool as possible for a long time.

              My boss knows everything. We are friends; chosen family.
              The couple has not voiced their complaint to her directly.
              So no, “I must speak to the owner of this establishment NOW
              about this Q!”
              They never seem angry or upset with me when they’re in my section. In fact, it seems the opposite. Smiles all around. Happy to see me. Wanting to talk. Asking pointed questions… hard not to answer direct questions, you know, no matter what the subject matter. They require much attention. Then, Cheerio ~ off they go! Ta-tah! C ya next time!
              weird, that. That’s what has me perplexed, grundoon.

              No, no apologies have been asked for nor issued by any party.
              In the big picture, this is really not that big-a-deal.
              (only to me)

              yeesh, this one got long too. sorry for that. 😛

              Anyhoo, when I next see them, be assured that I will be as convivial as I always am. I may very well be able to offer an apology myself… and a sincere promise to never bring the subject up again…

              to them.


              eta: They know I don’t like Scn. Who does?
              That’s clear between us I think, that I do not support this organization.

            • grundoon

              Hey, Qb! Funny how sometimes you can answer your own question just by talking about it.

              Scientologists who know that you oppose Scientology would probably
              try to either “handle or disconnect” as taught in the PTS/SP course,
              which is usually sold (along with the Purif) to all who continue past
              the introductory courses. They would try to get you to “read a book,”
              they would keep to safe subjects and refuse to hear “entheta,” or they might ask for another server or take their business elsewhere. This
              doesn’t seem to describe your customers.

              I’m fresh out of ideas. Maybe the mystery cannot be solved without getting to know them better outside of a work setting. They don’t sound like the kind of people that you would like to know better, however, so hopefully that is avoidable. There is just no explaining some people.

              Seems like you have the situation well under control. So, no worries!

            • Qbird

              Ah! Yes ~
              A Public will attempt to ‘handle or disconnect’.
              And for myself, I will manage as best i can & remain open to conversation, maybe learn a thing or 2. 🙂
              See you around Rafiki.

          • pluvo

            There is a reference by Hubbard that the e-meter doesn’t lie and something about it being an offense to invalidate the e-meter, iirc.

            • Well, it can’t lie, because it has nothing meaningful to indicate.

              People see what the expect to see in its movements, so auditing is really socially constructed in the situation with the emeter functioning as a prop to lend the whole process credibility.

            • pluvo

              My comment was not meant to reenforce Hubbard’s assertion. Just to be clear, my intention is seldom to refute what you are writing but mostly to give you a view point of how it was seen from an insider (then) and info (what could or could not be useful for your considerations and writings).
              Just mentioned it to show how Hubbard used his policies to quench any doubt and questioning about the e-meter because you mentioned above: “I’ve been puzzling about the e-meter, as a consequence of a post i’m currently writing for my blog.

              I have not trained to use the e-meter. I had some inherent reluctance about to do that. What I’m wondering about is that an Ex who is an electronics technician and is a trained auditor never was showing any doubt about the e-meter.

            • I understand that, and I agree with you .

              What I meant to say was that, since the e-meter actually does noting , it’s the kind of incomprehensible, but implitic belief that you describe that makes it <I.seem to work. It kind of bootstraps itself.

              Preumably, your ex never opened an emeter up and saw it only contained a wheatstone Bridge… or didhe…?

  • daisy

    I was out with friends for dinner .One mentioned that she was going to Florida . When she said it was Clearwater every head turned to me . I was so proud, they do listen sometimes . She hastened to add it was around there , when my friends explained .

  • OOkpik
    • Juicer77

      Srsly, the overnight gang here otter clean up after themselves.

      • OOkpik


      • Missionary Kid

        Good pun.

  • Juicer77

    Welcome, newbies and lurkers and under-the-radars. Make yourself comfortable! ;

    • Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn)


  • Ann B Watson

    Disquis is eating all my replies. Not even on my notification page. Boo Hoo.😢

    • April

      Well, maybe you shouldn’t make such delicious replies! 😀

      • Ann B Watson

        I now confer on lovely April best reply of the day! So should I change up the reply menu to cold beans and dogs?! Lol ❤️You.

  • Dave Reams

    Why is it so hard to find a Scientologist in good standing? Because Scientologists are bent over for David Miscavige.