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How badly does Scientology need new staff? Miscavige is bringing back the ‘Universe Corps’

Rod Keller is all over a new development that Scientology is rolling out in Australia…

The Universe Corps is coming to Melbourne, Australia. That’s the news intended to encourage Scientologists to join staff now. It’s a big carrot, particularly for those without the financial means to move up the Scientology “Bridge.” But as with many things in Scientology, the reality has historically not always met the promise.



The Universe Corps! The name is either inspiring or reminiscent of the more space opera aspects of Scientology, or both. Traditionally the Corps sends a team of Sea Org members to a Class V org that has achieved “Saint Hill Size.” Org size is measured against the high standard set by Saint Hill in East Grinstead, England in the 1960s when people were joining Scientology staff in droves. But what was it, exactly, that defined Saint Hill Size?

“Hubbard never defined it,” Mike Rinder tells us. “There was all sorts of ‘research’ done to determine how big it was. Some project or another determined that it was 200 full time students in the academy and 1,000 WDAH (Well Done Auditing Hours). They worked back from this I think to conclude the number of staff that would require and how much Value of Services Delivered (VSD) and GI and book sales that would represent. There was supposed to be a level of staff pay also. It has shifted over time. It was always pretty arbitrary. And it never worked at all. Orgs that were declared Saint Hill Size promptly collapsed after they were declared. The few orgs that had Universe Corps quite quickly disbanded. The system has never worked at all.”


L. Ron Hubbard established the Universe Corps in the famous LRH ED 399R INT, “REVISION OF THE BIRTHDAY GAME 1982/83”. The birthday game is a competition between orgs and missions to increase the stats of Scientology 5x higher every year, eventually leading to a cleared planet. Once the work is done Hubbard planned to leave Earth with a group of dedicated Scientologists to tackle the next
planet, known as “Target Two.” The Sea Org would go extraterrestrial.


The bargain Hubbard established is that if a Class V org achieves Saint Hill size, he would send the Universe Corps to process the staff from Clear up to OT, for free. OT levels even in 1982 were expensive, and today they are completely out of reach of most staff members. For decades the Universe Corps has been a legend that staff members dream of in order to attain the abilities of a true Operating Thetan. But it’s not a myth, it did exist, and Ideal Orgs are being told to prepare for a new expansion of the Corps.


[Universe Corps pin, a part of their uniform]

There is a shift in who will receive the Universe Corps. The goal of Saint Hill size is being replaced by the standard of the Ideal Org which is a fully renovated facility of at least 50,000 sq. ft. Scientology now has 55 of these facilities, with construction under way on several more. Staff recruiters have been briefed that 250 Universe Corps members are currently being trained at Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida. Teams in the past have ideally consisted of five members, an OT Sup, or supervisor, an OT C/S, or Case Supervisor, an OT Preps auditor, an OT V auditor, and a Page to run errands. That’s the ideal, but we spoke with a former Corps member who said a team in 2002 consisted of only two members. Teams in the 1990s were more typically three or four. For an Ideal Org we think Scientology intends to send an Ideal team of the full five members. 250 UC members could represent 50 missions to Ideal Orgs.


If true, that’s a bigger Corps than has ever existed. We spoke with former Universe Corps member in the 1990s, Mike R. “I don’t buy it, unless it’s a bunch of Russians,” he tells us. “At its peak they never had 250 auditors training for Universe Corps, maybe 25 at the most.” Mike recalls about 100 OT completions by the Corps over a seven year span at the Orange County org near Los Angeles. One former UC member tells us she was processed by the Corps at Celebrity Centre International in Los Angeles from Clear to OT5 before joining the Sea Org. There have been some successes with the Corps, but expansion to 50 teams has never been attempted before.


Not all staff qualify for processing by the Corps. They must be Clear first; the Corps doesn’t deliver the lower Bridge. Staff are supposed to get free auditing to Clear by the org, and many do, but the majority of staff receive very little auditing and never move up the Bridge. To qualify for processing they must be fully “hatted,” or trained on their post. They must perform 12.5 hours of “enhancement,” or study in the course room every week, which has to be done “outside of production hours.” Their stats must be normal or above. If they are approaching the end of their 2.5- or 5-year contract, they may be required to sign a new one. It’s a long list of prerequisites and an Ideal Org staff member tells us a mission to one org resulted in no OT completions at all. Nobody was qualified.

The announced expansion of the Universe Corps brings hope to staff members that they can go OT without the cost they would incur at an Advanced Org for the same levels. It is a big recruiting incentive for Clears and OTs to join staff at Ideal Orgs. It’s also an incentive for staff to raise enough money to buy and renovate an Ideal Org in locations with a non-Ideal Org. If they can raise enough money for a building, they can go OT for free. It remains to be seen how many teams are actually fired on a mission and how many staff members are qualified to be processed.

— Rod Keller


Bonus items from our tipsters

Help us pretend we’re not human rights abusers!


A group of Italians at the Fort Harrison Hotel.


We adore Italy. And everyone we have met there has impressed us as among the most cultured and intellectual we’ve had the pleasure of knowing. But does anyone have a theory as to why Italy has been more susceptible to Scientology than other countries?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,848 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,831 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,605 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,951 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,445 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,485 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,197 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 723 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,812 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,952 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,272 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,247 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 603 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,905 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,012 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,414 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,287 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 868 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,373 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,617 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,726 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on August 20, 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 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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