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Driving people away (and begging them back) was built into Scientology from the start

As the Church of Scientology continues to hemorrhage membership, its losses in income and labor are increasingly hard to replace with new members. As the Bunker has been documenting, the church is spending a lot of its resources not so much on bringing in new people but instead desperately trying to convince former members to come back.

In fact, this has always been the case because of the way Scientology operates. As a result of the way L. Ron Hubbard set things up, Scientology will perpetually drive away its best members. There are three main reasons for this.

1. Because of the draconian justice system created by L. Ron Hubbard, the extremely harsh ways in which the Church treats its public, staff, and Sea Org members causes many to become seriously disaffected and leave the Church. Scientologists flee Scientology in order to escape its brutality.

2. Scientology’s excessive, chronic, and habitual demand for money causes many Scientologists to leave the organization. There comes a financial breaking point at which there is simply no more money and yet the incessant demand for money from the Church never ends.


3. Hubbard policy calls for “new money” to come in each week. His policies also demand that statistics must rise each week. It is impossible to increase production and income each week forever. Such a policy assumes an infinite demand for Scientology and an infinite supply of money. This absurdity notwithstanding, those Scientologists who do not increase stats perpetually are harshly punished. The impossibility of perpetually increasing statistics, and the punishments for failing to do so, causes many Scientology Sea Org and staff members to blow.

Hubbard recognized the loss of income and labor represented by blown Scientologists in 1961 when he wrote (emphasis ours):

The staff auditor is directly responsible for the HGC preclear assigned to him. Results, lack of results, ARC breaks, recovering the pc after “blows,” getting the pc to the D of P for interviews, getting the pc to the D of P and Registrar for after-intensive interviews and handling all matters relating the pc to the org during the delivery of auditing are all up to the staff auditor. — HCO POLICY LETTER OF 20 MARCH 1961 “BASIC STAFF AUDITOR’S HAT”

Rather than making internal changes so Scientologists do not need to escape from the Church, Scientology instead shifts the blame to Scientologists who leave. Blown Scientologists are accused of having committed overts, or crimes, against the Church. Others are deemed to have ARC breaks (upsets) with the Church due to the way they were mistreated by staff members who were not properly applying LRH policy. The Church will take no responsibility for the matter due to its self-serving claim that it is the most ethical group on the planet.

In a 1970 reorganization, Hubbard ordered Orgs to have an ARC Break Registrar (salesperson) whose job was to handle ARC breaks (emotional upsets) and recover Scientologists:

ARC Break Registrar programs the recovery of and signs up ARC broken Dianeticists and Scientologists from the field for the ARC Break Auditor

When Scientology gained its dubious tax exemption in 1993, Captain David Miscavige issued an amnesty. This was nothing more than a cynical ploy, a mass recovery effort in the hunt for money and labor. The amnesty also required those who accepted its terms to write up everything they had said or done that was adverse to the Church; this included snitching on others on the outside who were critical of Scientology and David Miscavige:


When David Miscavige launched the Golden Age of Tech in 1996, there was another massive effort to recover blown Scientologists. These people were promised that GAT cancelled all of Scientology’s maddening “arbitraries” in which the mere whim or caprice of David Miscavige or other senior Sea Org members allowed for the issuing of ridiculous orders. Scientologists could also be comm-ev’d or declared SPs under absurd or arbitrary pretexts. The 1996 Sea Org program opened by admitting that there were then thousands of offline Scientologists; the income and labor potential represented by these offline Scientologists was enormous:


When David Miscavige released his $100 million dollar cash grab known as the “Basics” in 2006, there was yet another massive recovery effort. Again, blown Scientologists were the most logical targets as they were the most like prospects to shell out $5,000 for a Basics Library. Scientology went back decades in search of blown Scientologists: there were some successes:


The Bunker has covered several recent cases of blown Scientologists being recovered by exploitative stratagems such as the 82-year-old woman from the Midwest who was flown to Los Angeles and then soaked for about $60,000 in courses she would never take. Multiply that by other people being convinced to come back, however briefly, and you can see how much money it means to Scientology. Thanks to attorney Graham Berry, the Midwest woman and several others have been able to get their money back. But how many others are being clipped not knowing that they have recourse?

In the Bunker’s recent series of articles covering Scientology’s latest recovery efforts, the one that really stood out to us is the letter from one staff member to a blown staff member. The letter reads in part:

Those of us that have survived on Staff have thankfully made it through to a much better time, sort of like a jet that pops through a heavy overcast and all of a sudden things are bright and sunny. Staff are all going up the Bridge these days, schedules are sane and compassion and kindness rule rather than some weird militaristic viewpoint. It’s like someone discovered how to actually apply the ARC triangle. Actually, I know who that someone is, and I appreciate him immensely for it.

This letter admits that staff conditions were brutal and yet claims that things are now all sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows. However, as we noted at the beginning of this article, LRH policy has not changed. The demands ever-increasing stats, new money each week, and Hubbard’s hash system of ethics remains policy. Over against this, the Church is trying to recover as much money and labor as possible by promising …. a piece of blue sky.

— Jeffrey Augustine


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Alanna Masterson, Terry Jastrow, and Marisol Nichols]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Nancy Cartwright goes home as Scientology ‘Ideal’-izes the world
[TWO years ago] Jon Atack: The biggest thing L. Ron Hubbard got wrong about Buddhism
[THREE years ago] Arlene Cordova, 1933-2016: In her 80s, she took on Scientology and reunited with her daughter
[FOUR years ago] How Scientology schools prepare young minds for the rigors of the Sea Org
[FIVE years ago] VIDEO: Scientology gets a grilling at Chautauqua
[SIX years ago] Jim Lynch, Scientology’s Shill, Dies at 59
[SEVEN years ago] “Tom Cruise Worships David Miscavige Like a God”: The John Brousseau Story, Part Two
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s Hollywood Landmarks: More from THR Reporter Daniel Miller


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,522 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,651 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,155 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,675 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 695 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 586 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,893 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,761 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,535 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,309 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,655 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,221 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,140 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,308 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,889 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,150 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,189 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,901 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,427 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,516 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,656 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,976 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,832 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,951 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,306 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,609 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,715 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,117 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,989 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,572 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,067 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,321 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,430 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 29, 2019 at 07:00

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Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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 | 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

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Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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