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EXCLUSIVE: Secretly taped briefing uncovers precarious state of Scientology right now

Andres_Rodriguez2The Underground Bunker has obtained a secretly recorded audiotape that reveals what “public” Scientologists are being told by church management at a time when Scientology is reeling from negative press and dwindling membership, and members are under incredible pressure to donate money.

This is the second time in recent weeks that we’ve been provided a rare view inside Scientology, which is notoriously circumspect about what actually goes on behind its closed doors. On March 30, we posted a truly stunning recording that captured a woman being “declared” a “suppressive person,” resulting in her expulsion and then facing the prospect of her family being ripped apart.

Now, we have a different kind of sound file. It was recorded very recently at an American “org” (we’re not going to disclose which one at this point), and it features a small group of “publics” (non-staff Scientologists) getting a briefing from a Sea Organization member named Andres Rodriguez (pictured).

Inside Scientology, Andres carries the weighty title of “Snr C/S WUS,” which means he’s the Senior Case Supervisor for the Western US “continent.” But he may be just as well known as having been formerly married to Jessica Feshbach.

When she was Jessica Rodriguez, the daughter of wealthy Scientology donors was known for being the “handler” of Katie Holmes during the early years of her relationship with Tom Cruise. The press had a field day with what tight control Jessica had over the actress — even, in some cases, answering reporter questions for Katie in interviews.

Today, Jessica is married to another former Scientology media handler, former spokesman Tommy Davis, and they have left the Sea Org and are raising a young child in Austin.

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Rodriguez, meanwhile, is still a dedicated Sea Org worker who, his title suggests, is the most highly trained tech expert in the western United States. It’s his job to make sure that the orgs west of the Mississippi deliver L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” with as much technical perfection as possible. He’s a longtime member of the church, and is very well known in the organization. And, it turns out, he used to work with one of our favorite contributors here at the Underground Bunker, former Sea Org member Chris Shelton.

“I worked closely with him for many years,” Shelton tells us. “He’s a very popular speaker in the Western US because he’s kind of down to earth and ‘tells it like it is’ and people like how personable he is, even if it doesn’t come across very well in this briefing…He honestly believes everything he is saying in this briefing and is totally a true believer in the ‘tech’.”

Our recording of the Rodriguez briefing is more than an hour long and contains several very different subjects and some startling disclosures about the state of Scientology itself. We’ve broken down the recording into segments to deal with all the issues it raises. You’ll get to hear every minute of it, but for today, we’ve split out the initial nine minutes as Rodriguez discusses the Purification Rundown and why veteran Scientologists are being asked to pay thousands of dollars to re-do the process, which supposedly “detoxifies” them (and is supposed to do so permanently).

Listen to the segment, for which we’ve provided captions, and then we’ll ask Shelton to break down the Scientology jargon and explain why he’s shocked by some of what he heard when we shared the recording with him.

 

 
First, we asked Chris to help us with some of the technical terms you heard. He sent us this guide…

Grades: Five levels of auditing processes (Grade 0 – Grade IV) which address specific areas on the route to achieving the state of Clear. In order: (Grade 0) Communication, (Grade 1) Problems, (Grade 2) Wrongdoings (Overts/Withholds), (Grade 3) Interpersonal relations and Upsets (ARC Breaks) and (Grade 4) Needing to be Being Right by Making Others Wrong (Service Facsimilies).

NED: In 1978, Hubbard created “New Era Dianetics” as an updated version of 1950 Dianetics procedure. NED is an extremely rote procedure which uses an E-meter to narrow in on the specific “charged” areas of the reactive mind. When all its steps are done, a person is supposed to either achieve the state of Clear or, in some cases, doesn’t achieve Clear but attests to being a “well and happy preclear.”

C/S: A Case Supervisor, the person who reviews all the auditing a person receives in Scientology and directs what processes are to be run on a preclear in order to move them through the steps up The Bridge to Total Freedom

D of P interview: The Director of Processing (D of P) is responsible for overseeing the administration and production of the auditors working in the org. Basically, a D of P interview is a fact-finding interview done on a preclear used by the C/S to determine what actions the preclear needs.

Purification Rundown: A Scientology toxic cleansing program L. Ron Hubbard developed in the late 1970s which includes hours in a sauna every day for five hours each day, combined with large doses of naicin. The theory is that toxins and drugs are stored in the fatty cells, and sweating in a sauna and mega-doses of vitamins will flush them out. The rundown is not so much about physical health but to rid the body of toxic substances which inhibit clear thinking and further spiritual enlightenment with Scientology auditing.

Niacin: Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid is ingested daily as part of the Purification Rundown in gradually increased amounts from 100 mg up to 5000 mg per day. Hubbard’s theory is that the red, burning physiological reaction this substance causes in a body is caused by radiation and toxic substances being flushed out of the body.

End phenomenon: The things a person says or does which indicate to a Scientology auditor that the person has reached the end result of an auditing procedure or action. Some procedures have very specific end phenomena and the processes are run over and over until that is achieved. A more usual, generic end phenomenon for many processes is a person realizing something new about themselves or life (a “cognition”) or feeling that they have spiritually gone exterior to their body.

 
Chris_Shelton

 
We asked Chris to explain what this briefing sounded like to someone who was in Scientology so long, as Chris was, and who understands the history of Scientology’s “technology.”

“It’s so interesting and difficult to hear this person, a man I worked with for years, spewing such tripe,” Chris says. “There are so many ridiculous statements he makes throughout the entire briefing, it’s difficult to decide where to start critiquing it.”

We asked him for an example.

“He mentions that they’ve made 67 Clears at the PAC base in Los Angeles and the Hollywood Celebrity Centre in the last eight weeks. How many of those are long-term Scientologists who were Clear once before but then were told they weren’t really Clear and have just had to pay to go through the same processes over and over again? Even if all of these are brand new Clears, there are 10 million people in Los Angeles County, the area these orgs are supposed to be servicing. There are hundreds of new babies born every day in Los Angeles, so they aren’t even making a dent against the routine population growth, much less achieving something like ‘planetary clearing.’ Making 67 Clears probably does sound like a lot at an outer org where they don’t see 67 new people walk into the building all year. They do not really have any concept of how many people live in the world or how tiny Scientology really is.”

Chris also says the briefing was very illuminating about how Scientologists are chosen for doing the Purification Rundown over again. “In Scientology there is a thing called an End Phenomena or EP. This is what you are going for, it’s the end result of any process or procedure. When you achieve it, you are done and you shouldn’t have to ever go back and do it again. Hubbard makes it clear that the gains of Scientology are supposed to be permanent, meaning forever. So for Rodriguez to say that among the list of things they check when they determine if a person should re-do a Purif is that they ‘also check if the person got the EP’ is technically a huge goof. The EP is the only thing they should be checking, not all this other secondary data like their schedule or their vitamin intake,” he says.

He explained that it’s a strange shift to minutiae that shouldn’t matter. And we asked what would be the purpose of that?

“It’s because they can’t offer the upper OT levels or anything more than they’ve got now. They have no choice but to come up with reasons and excuses to recycle people on these lower services over and over again, so they are now going back and making what used to minor issues seem major in order justify their continued existence.”

Chris also found the information about toxins to be scientifically lacking. Even if it were true that exposure to cleaning materials rapidly traveled through the body, Chris points out that the human body has a built in set of scrubbers that pull toxins out of the blood without prompting. “They’re called kidneys,” he says.

“You’ll notice that it didn’t occur to anyone in that audience to question anything Andres said. And the truth is that if anyone had openly questioned him then or after the briefing, that person would have been hauled into Ethics for being disrespectful and rude to a Sea Org member,” he says. “And it never occurs to anyone that Andres, who has no medical training of any kind, is somehow qualified to tell anyone that they need a ‘detox’ procedure and then, that they need another one.”

Instead, they unquestioningly accept the idea that a woman, through the process of sitting in a sauna for hours a day for several weeks, was somehow able to pull out of her body ‘toxins’ (anasthesia) that had been residing in her tissues since she’d given birth more than a decade earlier, and that reliving the experience, she had realized that someone had said something while she was unconscious (“She can’t smell it”) which her “reactive mind” had stored as an engram and had then caused her to lose her sense of smell. Recalling the incident had caused her sense of smell to return. It’s a miracle. (A 2001 Scientology price list submitted as evidence in the Garcia federal fraud lawsuit indicates that the price for the Purification Rundown was $3,872.)

We have much more for you from the briefing in the coming segments, and things only get more revealing about Scientology in a time of crisis under David Miscavige.

 
UPDATE: We spotted this interesting comment from Renata Lugli at our Facebook page: “Andres Rodriguez was the auditor of Chick Corea and was often on tour on the road with him to audit him. He is also his tech terminal who follows him and gives him advice on what to do. In September 2009 in Verona was the last time I saw Chick because after that he disconnected from me and my husband Claudio when we announced that we left the “Church.” Chick on that occasion told me that Andres made pressure on him to read the “Basics,” but Chick replied that he was very busy with the tour and that he had no time to read. Then Andres said to Chick “better to read a page than no page.” What surprised me is that while Chick told me this, his expression was one of deep annoyance and demonstrated openly that the pressure exerted on him by Andres he did not like, as well as he did not like that you had to do it all over again and he did not agree doing that since he has been in Scientology since the ’60s. However, Chick is still there, sees how things are going but he decided to stay silent because is less trouble for him doing that.”

 
UPDATE: Commentary from Jefferson Hawkins… Very interesting and telling to me was the nervous laughter that followed his statement, “…it has happened in some instances where the person is…it was not a pleasant experience per se. And then in the interview he would say, ‘I don’t know, I spent 250 days…'” The fact is, the Purification Rundown is not a pleasant experience for most, if not all, Scientologists. The endless hours sweating in a sauna, the mega-doses of niacin and the resulting hot, red, itching skin, having to take handfuls of vitamins and drink all-blend oil and so on. It’s awful. Scientologists endure it because they’ve been promised that it will flush all those nasty drugs and toxins out of their body and they will be bright and aware and squeaky clean. The “end phenomenon,” of course, is highly subjective (as are all Sciwentology end phenomena): “freedom from the harmful lasting effects of drugs and toxins.” Well, who says they are free? There are no physical tests to see if there are any toxins left in the body, so it’s up to the individual to decide when he “feels” free from their effects. And so the person will jump on their first feeling of euphoria (often out of desperation) and declare that they now feel “free from drugs and toxins.” Of course, it’s easy to convince the person later, when the euphoria fades, that they “never really made it.” and have to do it over again. Scientology’s dirty little secret is that nobody “makes it.” They are convinced, during a moment of temporary euphoria, that they have achieved some glorious “end phenomenon.” But that moment of euphoria fades and they are right back where they started from. No Scientologist wants to admit this, even to themselves. But it’s easy, then, to convince Scientologists that they “never really made it,” that there was something wrong with the way the service was delivered, that it was not “100% On-Source” and so on. and a C/S can always find some imperfection in the delivery, particulatly with the Purif, which has so many complex procedures. But a “technical imperfection” can be found in any Scientology delivery which “explains” why they never really achieved the End Phenomenon. And so they can be convinced to redo their Purif, redo their Grades, redo Clear, redo OT Levels and on and on and on. As Chris points out, that is their current business model, as they have NO new public coming in and they have run out of new “Upper Level” materials to release. Their only option is to recycle their existing public through the same services again and again and again. Hopefully on the 3rd or 4th time through they will realize that nobody is “making it” because there is nothing there to achieve except fleeting moments of euphoria and a big dose of “future hope.”

 
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Bonus photos from our tipsters

Veteran Scientology performer David Pomeranz at Flag, ladies and gentlemen…

 
SciPomeranz

 
Another one completes the Survival Rundown, another hamster wheel to keep the money flowing to the lower Bridge…

 
SciSRD

 
Last night at the New York org, the anons keep the beat going…

 
SciNY

 
Actual caption: “About 3 weeks ago I attested to the New Era Dianetics Auditor course, this course was absolutely amazing and then to be able to take someone is session afterwards was an unbelievable experience. New Era Dianetics is the technology that basically clears someone which means they no longer have their reactive mind, My ETERNAL thanks to Minister Louis Farrakhan for guiding us on this path………this technology does more than preach it produces results….”

 
SciNOI

The Deep Ellum Life Improvement Center gets in on a Dallas anti-bullying conference to spread a little L. Ron Hubbard wisdom…

 
ScideepEllum

 
Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!

 
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BOOK NOTES

On May 14, you will be able to purchase ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ from Amazon in either electronic or print format, and simultaneously in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

The book will not be available for pre-order before that date. It is going live for sale on Thursday, May 14, and not a moment earlier. And hey, that’s just a few weeks away, so you won’t have to wait long.

Our appearances…

May 16: Santa Barbara Humanist Society (with Paulette Cooper), 3:00 pm
May 17: Center for Inquiry-West Los Angeles, 4773 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, 11 am; ALSO: CFI Orange County (Costa Mesa), 4:30 pm (both events with Paulette Cooper)

May 20, San Diego Hey, folks, we could use some help. The San Diego Association for Rational Inquiry (SDARI) wants to put on an event for us, but it’s not their regular night for meetings and they need to find an alternate venue. Can any of our San Diego readers help us find a space?

May 22: San Francisco (with Jamie DeWolf and Paulette Cooper)

(Finalizing a New York City event in early June)

June 20: Chicago
June 22/23: Toronto (with Paulette Cooper)

July 12: Washington DC, Center for Inquiry

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 26, 2015 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA 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

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
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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