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Scientology and statistics: How L. Ron Hubbard’s fetish for bureaucracy lives on

[Still frame from a Scientology video about its Flag Building]

It has been commented many many times that statistics are a really big deal in the nutty world of Scientology. It is part of founder L. Ron Hubbard’s “management technology.”

Every staff member on the entire planet has their individual statistic, by which they pretty much live or die. Anybody with some familiarity with Scientology likely knows something, or a lot, about this subject. But I’ll explain a bit anyway.

Staff members, in missions, in local orgs, and in the Sea Organization, are supposed to be productive. They need to pull their weight. “Production is the basis of morale,” as Hubbard wrote. They need to be “in-exchange” (i.e. what they give to the organization should be equal to or exceed what they get in return). Those who are productive should get rewarded and those who aren’t get punished.

The measure of a staff member’s production is their statistic. If a staff member’s post is “Book Seller,” their stat would be “number of books sold.” If the post is “registrar,” their stat would be “gross income” (the amount of money that staff member brought into the organization).

In Hubbard’s policies, a week begins at 2:00pm on Thursday and ends at 2:00pm the following Thursday. A person’s stat for the week must only include the things “produced” between those two points in time. If the weekly statistic is higher than the previous week’s, the staff member is considered to be in a good “ethics condition.” If the stat is down, the person is then in a bad ethics condition.


I won’t go into the ethics conditions here, as that subject is pretty complicated. Suffice it to say that life is relatively easy if a staff member’s stat is up, and pretty unpleasant if their stat is down. Thursday morning, or maybe Wednesday night, there is often a mad dash to try to improve one’s weekly statistic.

At the international headquarters of Scientology near Hemet, California, for external-facing managers the counting of stats was an involved and complicated affair. Every Thursday night there was something called “stat evolution” that went on for hours.

By way of example, there was a person in the “Executive Strata” (a part or level of international management) whose post was “Books Exec Int” (BEI). This person was supposed to oversee the sales of books in the entire world. They were supposed to write “programs” and get them approved by people senior to them in the management hierarchy. These programs were a step-by-step series of actions to be executed in lower organizations in the world. Some staff members in the lower-level organizations would then get pestered to complete “targets” on these programs. One such staff member at a local org would be the “Book Store Officer.”

Getting these programs done were supposed to result in ever-increasing sales of books in the world. And so, the BEI’s stat would be something like “total book sales internationally.” I’m not sure if their statistic was the total number of individual books that got sold in that week or the dollar value of books sold in that week. Maybe it was both. Part of the stat ev, as it was affectionately known, was to get all the local organizations to report their book-sale numbers “up the lines.”

The book-sales stats were some of many, many numbers that the local organizations had to report up to management. Someone at the org had to send a “telex” with a long list of weekly statistics up to the “Conts” (which stands for continental, referring to the middle-management units — the Continental Liaison Offices or CLOs — in LA, NYC, St. Hill, Denmark, Mexico City, Toronto, and Sidney). Each Cont then compiled all of those statistics from all of the orgs in their area into a larger telex that got sent to international management in LA. There the statistics for the whole world were added up and forwarded up to the Int Base near Hemet.

The BEI, for example, and other people at the international headquarters, had to wait for that whole process to complete in order to know what their own statistic was for that week. Also, because there were different time zones involved, stats from around the world came in at different times. The CLO in LA (which was responsible for the western U.S.) had to wait for the Hawaii org, where their 2:00pm was three hours behind Pacific time. The Australian orgs were the first to report their stats and the West U.S. orgs were the last. The whole thing would invariably get delayed because some person or org or computer had problems. Imagine getting a long list of statistics from Harare, Zimbawe, to Johannesburg then to Copenhagen then to LA then to the Int Base.

By the way, from what I have read, there is no longer the position of Books Exec Int. Nor do most of the management posts at the Int level still exist. That is a whole other story that has to do with the current head of Scientology. So, I doubt that all of this stat gathering happens any more, or at least not in the same way.

In the late 80s and early 90s, I happened to have a post at the Int level and my own stat was one that depended on what had happened that week in all of the local orgs in the world. That meant that I had to take part in the weekly stat evolution. It was generally an ordeal. Beginning Thursday evening, and usually lasting until about 6:00 Friday morning, we all sat in front of computer screens. There was an internal network of personal computers sitting on desks in many offices belonging to various management units. These computers were not connected to the Internet. They were part of Scientology’s own system. We could log on to our own account. We could send a type of email to each other called “mercs” (short for Mercury, a name somebody came up with that was supposed to indicate speed or quickness). We could also send “telexes” from our account.

My post title was “Tech Correction Director International” and my stat was “FN%” internationally, which was the average of the FN% stat of all orgs in the world. After every auditing session, the person being audited is supposed to go to the “Examiner.”

There, the Examiner puts the person on an E-meter and looks to see if there is a “floating needle.” The percentage all sessions given in a particular org that ended in an FN at the Examiner was what my stat was based on. It was supposed to indicate the quality of technical delivery.

There I sat for hours, staring at the screen and typing, sending messages to try to chase up my stat, doing “stat analyses,” composing telexes that would go to the “Senior Case Supervisors” in each Cont, and getting these telexes approved by some special people in the Religious Technology Center (RTC, the most senior body at the Int base).

In retrospect, I think it is funny that we typed telexes in all caps. That was because the earlier actual telex machines sent messages in that form. Kind of like old telegrams. There were a number of archaic policies related to telexes that Hubbard had ordained, which we had to follow.

At some point in the middle of the all that commotion, we got “midrats,” which stands for midnight rations (another U.S. Navy term adopted for use in the Sea Org). People who worked in the galley in Golden Era Productions, who were responsible for feeding the whole base, put some sandwiches, coffee and other things together, and brought them up to some of the management buildings. I always looked forward to that little break.

Once we got our telexes approved and they were sent out, we could go to bed. We still had to be present in fresh uniforms at the after-lunch muster, which meant we typically got four or five hours of sleep. The telexes were supposed to be instructions to people at Cont level, and from there to local orgs, that would get staff members to re-inforce successful actions and/or change things that didn’t seem to be working. It included the assignment of an “Ethics Condition.” It was all with the aim of improving statistics.


There was a particular small org in Mexico City that had no auditors and did not deliver any auditing. There was a term in use back then, “small and failing orgs.” There were a number of such orgs in the world, despite the boasts from the top people in Scientology about how great the expansion was. If that org reported zero as their FN%, it had a significant effect on the international stat. It had an even bigger effect on the stat of the Snr Case Supervisor LATAM (for Latin America), who was posted at another, larger org in Mexico City. That person came up with a solution for this, which also solved it for me and for the Senior Case Supervisor International, my direct boss. That guy traveled across town in Mexico City to the small and failing org, found someone to whom he gave a “Touch Assist,” and then gave him an after-session exam to get a floating needle. Then that org’s stat got reported as 100%.

All of the policies and activities associated with the weekly stat evolution were based on some idea of many active, large or at least large-ish, organizations delivering lots of Scientology services. While there were some local orgs like that in those days, there were many that were not. Many orgs had maybe ten staff and not even a Book Store Officer. Nor were many other posts filled, which had statistics assigned to them that had to be reported in those weekly telexes. All of the required activity and terminology and self-importance was more like a pretend army in a banana republic. What’s more, since the early 90s, orgs have shrunk and shrunk, almost without exception.

Fast forward to 2002, which was my initial motivation for writing this piece. By then I was in New York holding a low post in the CLO there. The New York org building was going to be renovated. Then it would be an “Ideal Org.” That meant that the staff of the org had to be relocated while the renovations were going on. After all, there could be no drop in production just because everyone had to move out of their offices.

The unit I was part of got tasked with organizing this move. A building had been rented, located on 43rd Street and about 6th Avenue. I remember looking towards the east up 43rd and seeing Grand Central Station. We had to move all of the furniture and files and stuff, occupying seven floors in the NY Org building, located on 46th Street, just west of Times Square where Broadway and 7th Avenue intersect. While it was only a few blocks, it was still a major task through the traffic and bustle of Midtown Manhattan.

Now, one very odd thing, in my mind, was that the building into which we were temporarily relocating the org belonged to the Moonies (Unification Church). The way I understood it, the Moonies had their headquarters for the U.S. in NYC in that building, but they were moving this management center to Washington, D.C. I’m not exactly sure, but that’s how I remember it. The Moonies were moving out as we were moving in. Their offices occupied several floors in that building.

One morning, the time arrived when we were to go to the Moonie building and start laying out various spaces where parts of the Scientology org would be operating. I and other members of the unit I was part of arrived there around 9:00am. Somehow we had access to the building. We went in and began going through the premises. Much to my surprise, I saw in a few rooms people sitting staring at computer screens and typing.

They were wearing some kind of uniform. They appeared to be from Korea, as one might expect. When we got there, these people logged off and stumbled, bleary-eyed, out the front door. It appeared they were going someplace to get some sleep after being up all night.

It would have been about 10:00pm in Seoul at that time. Were they sending and receiving emails from some people there? Were they sending management-type instructions to other Moonie centers in the U.S.? I can only guess.

Witnessing that scene was a significant moment for me. It was uncannily similar to my own experiences as part of the stat evolution at Scientology’s international headquarters some years earlier. This created another breach in my Scientological worldview. I suddenly came face to face with people in a cult doing cult-like things wearing cultish clothes. Complete with sleep deprivation. It was like someone holding up a mirror so I could take a look at aspects of my own existence.

I was able to dismiss such thoughts. After many years of indoctrination along with various thought-reform techniques, I had mental mechanisms (like thought-stopping cliches) in place. Any thoughts or observations that went against the false reality of my own cult became instantly devalued and chalked up as results of my own failings. That memory persisted however — seeing those poor Moonies in a predicament eerily similar to my own. A few months later, after my conditioning had gradually unraveled, I was able to escape from all that craziness.

— Bruce Hines


Technology Cocktail


“We can now do these things: 1. Theta clear people. 2. Train auditors to theta clear people. (It’s now done at new HCA level and at HCS level at the Academies in Washington and Los Angeles.) 3. Supervise HAS co-auditing clear preparation plus home co-auditing (muzzled) to prepare for clearing plus broadly practice these processes on a wide public basis. In short, we’ve definitely won. And it won’t be long before everybody knows it. If you knew what fifty people well released by HAS co-auditing could do for Scientology in one town, you’d know we had it made. Well, you’ll know even better subjectively soon enough. And that’s clearing.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1959



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— The first Danny Masterson trial and beyond

[18] Trial special with Chris Shelton [19] Trial week one [20] Marc Headley on the spy in the hallway [21] Trial week two [22] Trial week three [23] Trial week four [24] Leah Remini on LAPD Corruption [25] Mike Rinder 2022 Thanksgiving Special [26] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part One [27] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part Two [28] Claire Headley on the trial [29] Tory Christman [30] Bruce Hines on spying [31] Karen de la Carriere [32] Ron Miscavige on Shelly Miscavige [33] Karen de la Carriere on the L’s [34] Mark Bunker on Miscavige hiding [35] Mark Plummer [36] Mark Ebner [37] Karen Pressley [38] Steve Cannane [39] Fredrick Brennan [40] Clarissa Adams [41] Louise Shekter [42] John Sweeney [43] Tory Christman [44] Kate Bornstein [45] Christian Stolte [46] Mark Bunker [47] Jon Atack [48] Luke Y. Thompson



Source Code

“If we don’t know how to date accurately, we are soon going to have a case which isn’t producing any tone arm action. Well, there’s the importance of dating. The greatest importance of dating is accuracy. Now, this doesn’t mean accuracy down to the last microsecond. You can still do approximate dating. Of course, it makes my brains creek a little bit when somebody says 10.5 trillion trillion years to me. I can see this enormous span, don’t you see, of the life term of this planet, according to modern science, can be dropped into that date at random! Approximately 10.5 trillion trillion years ago. You could just drop this solar system’s whole history, you see, into that date several times and never miss it! Well, is it 10.51? 10.52? Oh, my God. Do you know what you’ve got there? The difference between 10.51 trillion trillion years ago, and 10.52 trillion trillion years ago? You go figure it out some time, and you see what I mean. That’s a lot of years. Vast panorama. And your brain will go ‘creak’ underneath this sort of thing.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 17, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“The watches have been worrying about submarines and radio messages. The radio message was a call to all ships for weather data and barometer readings from Radio Marseille. The ‘sub’ seen on radar yesterday appearing at 5.5 miles, 15 minutes later vanishing at 6 and then much later reappearing at 15 miles and vanishing was probably a whale. They hang around here, what few there are left in the world.” — The Commodore, July 17, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There is a three person team who are continually attacking productive people in the FreeZone. They know who they are. They feel like it’s productive to publicly attack and invalidate people who are productive and getting people up the bridge. Their only product is upset.”


Past is Prologue


1995: Helena Kobrin, chief legal intimidator of Scientology, kept busy this week with several threatening letters, both to participants in a.r.s, and to their site administrators. Martin Poulter’s sysops suspended his account for one day last week while they investigated her complaint. Martin described the complaint this week. “Her complaint is specifically about a message I posted to a.r.s on Sunday, which contained a small extract from OT7 material. She demands that I remove this post from the Internet (which is, of course, impossible). She claims that the OT7 document is copyrighted *and* a trade secret. She is emphatic that Fair Use does not apply, specifically because the documents are *unpublished*. She also says that there is no Fair Use (Fair Dealing in England) defense to trade secret misappropriation. She claims that downloading of SCAMIZDAT is a breach of copyright and trade secret laws.”


Random Howdy

“When you get to the end of OT 8 he tells you that everything up until then was a BIG WHOOPS. Sorry kids, I had it wrong all along, but now I’m on the right road to total freedom. Wheeeeeeee!”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Found guilty on two counts on May 31, remanded to custody. Sentencing on Sep 7.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Trial scheduled for August 15.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Forced to arbitration. Plaintiffs allowed interlocutory appeal to Eleventh Circuit.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place at least through sentencing of Masterson on Sep 7.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Next hearing August 1.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Ordered to mediation.



After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?


[ONE year ago] A 2004 photo reminds us of Danny Masterson’s punchy DJ persona. But will his jury see it?
[TWO years ago] How many Scientologists are in your town, part two: Getting down to the details
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s antivaxx warrior Leigh Dundas unleashes another amazing Two Minutes Hate
[FOUR years ago] Leah Remini’s ‘Aftermath’ nominated for another Emmy: Tell her your favorite scenes
[FIVE years ago] In Colombia, Scientology’s ‘Casa Hubbard’ has a pretty interesting neighbor
[SIX years ago] New book peels back the cover on Scientology celebs and their legendary acting coach
[SEVEN years ago] VIDEO: A look inside Scientology’s program to rally Russian members after police raids
[EIGHT years ago] The Surviving Scientology podcast: Growing up in the Age of Miscavige
[NINE years ago] Texas appeals court gets Scientology leader David Miscavige out of testifying in harassment lawsuit
[TEN years ago] SHELLY SPEAKS: Scientology Leader’s Banished Wife Says She’ll Get Out ‘Only One Way’
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Shame: Karen de la Carriere Stuns KFI Radio; ALSO: Katie and Suri’s Accident
[TWELVE years ago] Scientology Blowout: Commenters of the Week!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,093 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,608 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,158 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,148 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,029 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,333 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,204 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,309 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,756 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,098 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,664 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,583 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,750 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,332 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,593 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,629 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,345 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,909 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,224 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,399 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,950 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,081 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,419 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,274 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,393 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,749 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,052 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,158 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,556 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,432 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,015 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,510 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,764 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,873 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 17, 2023 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 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, 1995-2022 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2022), 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, 15 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


Tony Ortega at Rolling Stone


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