The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 17: Jefferson Hawkins

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On August 5, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some of that was self-inflicted, and some of it has come from outside. Join us now as we continue on our investigation of those people most responsible...


The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology

#17: Jefferson Hawkins


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Hawkins
Last year, Jeff Hawkins sent me a copy of his book, Counterfeit Dreams, and I have to admit, I wasn't expecting much. I really didn't know about Hawkins' more than 30 years in Scientology, and had no idea what he had done for the organization.

Now, after reading the book, it's difficult to think about Scientology's amazing expansion in the 1980s without thinking of Jeff Hawkins.

In Counterfeit Dreams, Hawkins skillfully narrates his journey as he went from an eager young joiner learning how to produce church publications during Scientology's hippie days in the late '60s, to becoming Scientology's marketing architect during the greatest period of its expansion.

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What I wrote about the book last year:

It was Hawkins and his ideas for television ads (the "volcano" TV spot, for example) that propelled Dianetics to meteoric heights, leading many to wonder if Scientologists themselves weren't just buying up the books by the truckload to make sure it topped the New York Times Bestsellers List.

Hawkins assured me that such deception wasn't needed. Through his TV ads and a slick print marketing scheme, books were flying off shelves, even as Scientology faced a terrifying future -- would the movement survive its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in January, 1986?

Here's what Marty Rathbun had to say about that marketing effort:

What Jeff accomplished by getting Dianetics onto bestseller lists in the Eighties is in my opinion the central reason there was any expansion of Scientology for the four short years after Hubbard's death. As has been well reported in the past year, after the down turn of 1990, International Scientology statistics have been down ever since.

And if Hawkins convinces you utterly that he was the most enthusiastic, energetic and useful kind of smart executive that the church needed as it navigated troubled waters, he is just as convincing that his disaffection was a significant blow to the organization, and a sign that innovation and creativity were becoming less welcome.

Again, from my previous review of his book:

Like others who have come forward, Hawkins details the physical abuse he witnessed at the hands of [Scientology leader David] Miscavige, the orders that were impossible to fulfill, the constant threats of punishment, and the hopelessness that Scientologists feel when they are forcibly separated from family but feel that they can't under any circumstance, leave the organization.

I couldn't help reading Counterfeit Dreams as a serious blow to Scientology. If the organization is driving away people like Jeff Hawkins, it's hard to see how it could ever regain its momentum and begin to expand again.

Check out this portion of Hawkins' interview with Mark Bunker, part of Bunker's upcoming documentary, "Knowledge Report." Hawkins explains the us-versus-them psychology of Scientology:


Another reason why Hawkins is a key defector is that he had such a personal knowledge of the actual vital signs of the church's health. There may be no one with a more authoritative knowledge of Scientology's actual membership numbers.

"I have an advantage here because I used to work for Scientology's Central Marketing Unit, and had access to all of the actual lists and statistics," he wrote at his blog last year. And he explained how he came up with an overall number of worldwide members: "I know that event attendance internationally was somewhere in the region of 25,000 to 35,000. The International 'Bodies in the Shop' (people actually in the orgs that week for service) was 16,000 to 18,000. IAS was struggling to get 40,000 members. Based on this and a lot of other information I was privy to, I estimate the actual number of Scientologists at a maximum of 40,000. That's on the high side."

For me, Hawkins's estimate is more solid than anything else we have -- whether it's government surveys on the low end, or Scientology's claims of "millions" on the upper end.

And knowing that Scientology's worldwide membership could barely fill a baseball stadium -- that may be one of the most devastating pieces of information to come out in the last few years.



The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology
#1: L. Ron Hubbard
#2: David Miscavige
#3: Marty Rathbun
#4: Tom Cruise
#5: Joe Childs and Tom Tobin
#6: Anonymous
#7: Mark Bunker
#8: Mike Rinder
#9: Jason Beghe
#10: Lisa McPherson
#11: Nick Xenophon (and other public servants)
#12: Tommy Davis (and other hapless church executives)
#13: Janet Reitman (and other journalists)
#14: Tory Christman (and other noisy ex-Scientologists)
#15: Andreas Heldal-Lund (and other old time church critics)
#16: Marc and Claire Headley, escapees of the church's HQ
#17: Jefferson Hawkins, the man behind the TV volcano
#18: Amy Scobee, former Sea Org executive
#19: The Squirrel Busters (and the church's other thugs and goons)
#20: Trey Parker and Matt Stone (and other media figures)
#21: Kendrick Moxon, attorney for the church
#22: Jamie DeWolf (and other L. Ron Hubbard family members)
#23: Ken Dandar (and other attorneys who litigate against the church)
#24: David Touretzky (and other academics)
#25: Xenu, galactic overlord


Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology] | [Commenters of the Week]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]


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79 comments
m.van.dorth
m.van.dorth

Scientology - Its Origin lies in the Occult and Satanism‏.

LRH's son, Ron DeWolf (changed his name) talks about his satanist father in Penthouse interview with Ron DeWolf.

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

. . . the number of the FOOL card in the Tarot deck, Atu 0 as Crowley would put it. The Fool card has no placement in the deck, but he encompasses the entire deck.

KathyMace
KathyMace

Jeff Hawkins is a great writer and artist. His works move people to think outside the box.  He gives words to things and situations which we do not know how to easily convey. He is definately a voice for those of us who have suffered from the insanities that abound in Scientology. This is why so many ex scientologists appreciate him.

Muiron1
Muiron1

The number of "Bodies in the Shop" each week in a Scientology Org or Mission DOES NOT reflect the actual number of people on service. As a former Mission staff member, I know that we would count each person as a "Body" for each service that he/she was doing. For instance if that person was on course for just one course period a week = 1 body; if he/she also was paying for auditing and in session that = 1 body - so that one person may = 2 bodies. Children are also considered bodies and we would often have staff members bring in children (ages 1 month up)  for 30 minutes of auditing or less and again that one be one more body. I don't believe that 16,000 to 17,000 bodies is double the actual numbers but the likely number of people on service is probably 10,000 to 13,000. Plus many of those people are staff at other Orgs or Missions. A Mission staff member who does service at a higher Org will be a Body at that Org. Actual non Org or Mission staff might be more in the range of 8,000 to 10,000 a week even though reported at 16,000 to 18,000. FYI

choocho
choocho

The "true data" about the membership being 40,000 is great, I'd love to hear Mr. Hawkins speculation on what is up with alll the property acquisition, is that just an attempt at bandwagon marketing?

Old OT7
Old OT7

I've noticed that OSA sock puppets are no where to be found!  Too much intheta?

Heather G
Heather G

Jeff's number of 40,000 scientologists worldwide (back in 2005)  is consistent with government surveys and censuses. 25,000 in the US, 2,000 in Canada, 2,000 in Australia, 1,500 in Britain. You can see that 40,000 was about right. Then.

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Beautiful post, Miles! Bravo. 

Yes, LRH is still dead.In one hundred years, he'll still be dead.

Same goes for a thousand years from now. The rotten weasel will still be dead. 

Reminds me of the funny story about Buddy Rich, after he died. But Buddy was just a tyrant. He wasn't a psychopath.

Old OT7
Old OT7

All of us veterans, like Jeff, know that the cult has been shrinking for years now.  This is why the remaining members are suck dry with heavy regging, not for services, but strictly for money for Miscavage's pet projects.  Excuse me, how long has the "Super Power Building" been in construction mode?

Theoracle
Theoracle

Injustice always recoils on those who deal in it.  Napoleon said it and Hubbard said it.  David Miscavige's biggest illusion is that he is above the natural laws of justice and injustice.And what you see out here all over the net are his crimes recoiling back on the Church.I trust  he is slated to be #1. in this countdown.  

Otherwise, I just finished reading Jeff's book and it was a GREAT read.  

danlocke
danlocke

Not a big point, but I am not sure that the 80's was such a great era for expansion for the Church. Jeff's book campaigns got a lot of books sold. And there was at least one brilliant campaign to get wins from Dianetic auditing occurring in the field that was set up by, I think, Pat Gualtieri. The idea being that a Dianetics in-the-field auditing boom would then flow into the orgs. 

These actions could have been wonderful for the churches but by the time that they were implemented, most of the organizations were empty of people who had any idea of what to do with a newly interested person inquiring. 

Scientology organizations in general, at least throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico started disintegrating in late '78 and then faster and faster throughout the remainder of the 70's and into the early '80's. 

Prices for services had remained relatively inexpensive throughout the 60's and 70's per pricing policies that were enforced. I don't have the policies to hand, but someone will possibly comment on them here.

In 1978, Hubbard authorized a monthly cumulative price increase that went on for years, increasing the prices of all Scientology services, even introductory ones, by hundreds of percent in just a few years.  

The affluence of income for Scientology internationally over the 80's was due to income made from current (got into Scientology prior to 1978)  Scientologists in the advanced organizations and at Flag. 

Scientology organizations for new people were typically manned by individuals recruited from introductory services, By the time that Jeff's campaigns took effect, very few of the beginning organizations (called Class IV Orgs) had very many staff at all, and most of them had no one or just a few assigned to handling new people.  New people (and thus, new staff) had not been coming into the orgs for years by the time of Jeff's campaigns. 

Most Scientologists had by that time given up on receiving services and had become inactive or were waiting and hoping that the prices would come down to a level that they could be paid for. 

So the typical US organization was a ghost town by the time that Jeff's Dianetics campaign hit. Very few of these book buyers made it into any organization as there was no one to call them in, and then, very few of them did much, as the organizations had ceased to be purposeful places to work in for some time. 

Scientology's affluence in the '80's was only at Flag and the Advanced Organizations that delivered the OT levels. The amount of new people coming into Scientology taking basic services has never been what it was in the late 60's to 1978. This was the biggest growth period of Scientology. Most of the guys you see who are still active got in well before the "Dianetics Book Boom".

No fault of Jeff's. If the orgs had been set up for it, given excellent supervision of beginning Dianetics co-audits and sanely priced courses, it could have been a huge boom for Scientology internationally.  

Patricia Curtis
Patricia Curtis

Jeff Hawkins is a wonderful person for all the reasons already said but I'd like to add that he is also an amazing artist/graphic designer. There are a few of his pieces on the Facebook page for Skyhawk Studios. He's really got a gift!

Clarkle
Clarkle

Tony, are you going to be on this list?  You should be.  Good job!

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

Another great one.  This list is fantastic!  It will be a great future reference for anyone looking into the church.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Scientology is 90% (at least) about selling the crock and controlling the people in it to keep buying into it. Selling the illusion, advertising it as a secret super adventure club that has all the answers and could unlock volcanic power within was their greatest asset.

Let's face it, the last few years of TV ads they've contracted out, are probably the best they've ever done. The thing is, it doesn't matter. The same people who might have felt moved by an ad, to try if for themselves, are going to read the web to see what it is about.

When Hubbard died the whole thing should have collapsed. However, with Hubbard as out-of-it as he was in his last years, it was an opportunity also. The whole deification could begin, of this great nuclear physicist etc. and visionary. The web is the thing that really got in the way.

Think of the impact of being able to hear and see Hubbard speak, whereas pre-YouTube, you couldn't even go hear a Scilon talk without having plants in the audience, like Nancy Many, making the atmosphere "electric." Before the web, you couldn't know what the personality test was really about, and how well trained the zombies are at finding your ruin.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Jeff has already written a great deal on his leaving-scientology dot com blog about that, check out all his fantastic articles under the "Ideal" Orgs category.

Old OT7
Old OT7

At the "Miscavage Events,"  the tiny tyrant proudly brags about the "explosive" expansion!  There is expansion, but it's only the number of buildings they have purchased.  The Org in my home town of Pasadena, CA., is a beautiful restored building in "Old Town."  Trouble is, it's empty.  A while back, I went in and took the personality test.  In talking with them they naturally asked what I did for a living.  I told them I came from a super wealthy family and hadn't had to work since I was 30.  I told them I travel the world giving away my hundreds of millions to worthy causes.  I was treated like royalty!  They wanted me to sign up and pay for my entire bridge right then and there.  I told them I would think about it!  Of course I gave them a false name and phone number.  They're still waiting for me to come back...

Sometimes you just gotta have a little fun.

Old OT7
Old OT7

But, but, Duck!  Miscavage said Hubbard, in perfect health and the universe's greatest OT, had finish his work here on Teegeeack, er, I mean Earth, and laid his body down on his bed and left.  Conscientiously, with full preceptics!  And, added the tiny tyrant, he's one galaxy over spreading the gospel of scientology!    

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

long enough that the city commissioners just voted unanimously to hit the Super Power Building with $413,500 fine. wooo!

robert
robert

It has the CO now though, so it is on the brink of being opened.

Sid
Sid

It will be a huge mistake if Miscavige is #1, and I really believe Tony will not fall for it.

There is only one candidate for the #1 slot, and that is the man who instilled the most bitter policies into Scientology. The man whose personality is writ large through every dark aspect of the church today.

A man with a personality so complex that even the critics cannot agree what his true nature was.

A man who created a religion with a congregation so bereft of imagination and critical thought that they could easily be controlled and manipulated by the megalomaniacs who followed so loyally in his footsteps.

He could have opened up his ideas to scrutiny and peer review, he could have accepted criticism and praise with equal measure. He could have told the truth, and paid his taxes like the rest of us.

Scientology was recognized a cult the world over before David Miscavige was even born.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Oh, come on Dan. Didn't anyone ever tell you the inside joke that Org staff would make a point to keep those people away who were not already in hiding when the Tours Reg was in town? Especially the ASHO Tours Reg.

Back in the late 70's through the early 80s, there was so much high pressure  and illegal reging going on ( Thanks in good part to Mike Silverman with his Lets Get You Money Even If You Have to Sell Your Mother's Home Reg Tech which was revered nationally) that people stopped going to the orgs and began flooding the field and missions. It was only in the mid 80s that a recovery of people in the chair and course rooms occurred, very much in part due to the widespread media campaign and best seller list push. I know because I was an FSM during these latter years of expansion, while staff, public and FSM during the earlier years.

The stats Jeff is talking about can be seen in part over at Kristi Wachter's site truthaboutscientology (dot com). Just click Scientology Statistics on the left hand column.There you will find completion stats and graphs showing the increase  in mid 80s and later their decline beginning around 1991. While these are not complete stats they are representative of the period and concur with what I remember and what Jeff stated.

Read the google archived news showing the effect the reviews and comments about the commercials back in the 80s. And the best seller lists. I got many people into Scientology because of these efforts, which made my job easier. Of course, I'm on a lifetime amends project now for having done so but back then, I was not thinking.

Jefferson Hawkins
Jefferson Hawkins

Dan, don't know where you are getting your information. Not that anyone cares, really, but for the sake of accuracy, Scientology's biggest growth period was 1986 to 1991, and it affected all sectors, from missions up to Flag. The statistics (including new people in) reached their highest point in 1991 and have been on a death slide ever since. I had full access to all long-term international statistics up to the point where I left in 2005 and they look like Mt. Fuji - steeply up to 1991, then steeply down.

Old OT7
Old OT7

Although I'm sure he won't put himself on the list, he really should be.  But, as the professional journalist he is, he'll stay above the fray.  But Tony, all this is truly your creation and we all thank you for it.

V for Vacation
V for Vacation

I wonder if #1 on the list is simply going to be "The World Wide Web".

choocho
choocho

Nice story. I saw one of my uncles recently, he'd been in for 25 years and it's so sad how bad his health has gotten recently, physically and mentally, thanks to Scientology he really doesn't have enough money to have proper care.

DuckBenway
DuckBenway

Plus Legal Fees! Probably a million total, in round numbers! Hah!

Doomed Cult Is Doomed!

Diana Etics
Diana Etics

This is fantastic news!!  It indicates the commissioners were MUCH more strict with the fines than with the typical offender.   Just another indicator of how deluded the cult is, with their own self image, and what they think they can get away with!  

SFF
SFF

Wow. I really expected them to weasel out of that one.

I can't see them hurting too much from it considering they seem to have raised $140M to pay for a $90M building.

Though that amount could have bought around 4135 bottles of very good single malt for David Miscavige.

Old OT7
Old OT7

I wonder how long the "brink" will last.

Scientia
Scientia

Hmm... Let's not forget that the subject (Scientology) and the official organisation ("Church of Scientology") grew out of nothing and became increasingly popular under Hubbard, despite some of the more questionable Church policies that have courted controversy. The two famed exoduses from the CoS have been in direct response to one David Miscavige (some of whom still practice Scientology), and specifically ~his~ interpretation of both the subject of Scientology and the Church's organisational policy. The "crippling" decline of the CoS has, let's face it, been whilst Miscavige has been at the helm. This fact remains whether you believe his actions are in line with Hubbard or not.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Although I fully agree with the sentiments and deeper reasoning on why Hubbard should be at the top of the list conceptually... in terms of the current news & events surrounding the actual "crippling" of Scientology in recent years - it doesnt make sense story-wise.

Keep in mind, due to Hubbard being on the run from authorities under the UK ban and the fraud conviction in France in the 1970's, his own fugitive status for the last 20yrs of his life kept LRH from fully harnessing the powerbase he created. Thus he incarnated the sea org, guardian's office and CMO that were all mandated to operate in direct contradiction to the principles of faith he sold to the public.

And it was those incarnations of asserting his will in the form of evil internal forces that did NOT practice what Hubbard preached to the masses that became the crippling forces that are destroying the organization from within as they hold onto the cold-war policies of Hubbard's psychosis.

So it's those forces doing the most harm as they continue to play out Hubbard's massive paranoia in perfect valance of the man who intentionally implanted that mentality into their heads thru inductive hypnosis wrapped around a wild squirreling of Freud's throwaway junk science that was eventually implemented with his Maoist policies.

So bottom line - altho its solely Hubbard in the well they drink their kool aid from, its not Hubbard himself doing the crippling and the blame should be rightfully cast into the lap of those who can be prosecuted for enacting the criminal behaviors & spiritual terrorism that is mandated in Hubbard's policies and doctrines.

Old OT7
Old OT7

True that!  Wonderful post!

Karen de la Carriere
Karen de la Carriere

Dear  ♥♥♥  Jeff  ♥♥♥

   My dear fellow Sea Org member.......we were fellow Apollo Crew, fellow missionaires to Copenhagen, UK, and God knows what else ~~ paralleling lives through the decades.

     When I reached out to you in early 2010, you were so neutral, so fair and so understanding, with nothing more than just listening you were wonderful as a friend.

      Your Counterfeit Dreams on line tale was riveting and confirmed  that many of the things that did not make sense, many of the "illusions" being spun were outright lies.

       You are a dear friend and fellow Warrior.  I think the world of you.       love/Karen

danlocke
danlocke

You are probably right; "not that anyone cares"; it's kind of like early 20th century baseball statistics, or reading railway time tables; there's a limited audience. I can only report my first hand observations of nearly every Class IV(V) org in the US at the time and most of the ones in Canada and Mexico as I toured to them frequently as an ASHO Reg before, during and after 86-91. These orgs were by and large empty and all of the Div 2s were whining about no new people in. I would hear good news from Italy and Russia but I did not see it in the US, Canada and Mexico. There were lots of stats added and redefined at the time; I imagine that many Class IV staff may have taken advantage of ambiguities in the definitions in their reporting to save their butts.  

One exception would have been Orange County and there may have been one or two others which prospered with the chiropractors and optometrists being sent to them by WISE consultancies such as Sterling and Hollander.

But the 1991 Time article ("Cult of Greed and Power") pretty much put an end to that. (Date coincident with the end of the boom period about which you are remarking.)

I am focusing on the western hemisphere Class IV orgs in my comments here.

I also don't doubt that the stats were higher in the time period that you mentioned than for any time period since the 1983 mission holders conference rout. Perhaps even since 1978.

I was public since 1968, and staff from 1972 - 2003, I have only been aware of a couple of times where it was acknowledged that international stats were NOT booming. But if you look at the truly important stats of a Class IV Scientology organization, "well done auditing hours" and Academy and Dianetic Auditor Course completions, these were definitely not higher on an org by org basis than they were prior to 1978.

Diana Etics
Diana Etics

I second that emotion.   Tony's effort here will be an e-monument.  And it will never go away!  LOL, Hubbard!  

Guest
Guest

I think it's going to be L Ron.  The incredible irony is this combination of a pathologic liar and a self-described hypnotist, this rare incarnation undid himself from day 1.  The delusions of grandeur he had were undone by his own unique malignant touch, to end up in humiliation for his followers, and destruction of whatever esteem anyone might have held for him (including his descendants).  Not to mention the torture and destruction of so many vulnerable individuals and disconnected families. What a disgrace he was, a tumor to be cut out from humanity.

MarkStark
MarkStark

I don't see why not. After all TIME made the computer the 1982 "Man of the Year" which they changed to "Machine." 

m.van.dorth
m.van.dorth

Scientology - Its Origin lies in the Occult and Satanism. LRH's son, Ron DeWolf (chnaged his name) talks about his satanist father in the "Penthouse interview with Ron DeWolf". Very gory details. 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

At the root of it is the terrible quality [or lack of] inherent in L. Ron Hubbard. The notion of forming a church in hope of making more money than as a hack writer, the borrowing of so much of the worst of Aleister Crowley, policies early on of Fair Game™ and  Disassociation™ are all the poisonous fruit of the poisonous tree.

L. Ron Hubbard was an exceptionally bad person. That's why Scientology is an exceptionally bad religion.

Sid
Sid

Look, clearly Scientology grew under Hubbard. Had he been the only Scientologist in the world then we wouldn't be having this conversation.

But the seeds of its eventual demise had been sown long before Miscavige took over.

And those seeds were sown by Hubbard in the way he shaped his religion.

Scientology under Hubbard was already "a thoroughly abusive, money-obsessed, highly controversial cult". If you were willing to do even the most basic research you would be forced to agree this point. Operations Freakout and Snow White were run with the full knowledge and direction of Hubbard.

What has completely done for Scientology is the Internet. The abusive practices which started under Hubbard and continued under Miscavige have been exposed to the disinfecting sunlight of mass publicity.

You could argue that at least Miscavige is able to go about his business. He will no doubt be there at the next Idle Org opening. Hubbard on the other hand was forced to go into hiding long before he died since he was wanted in connection with so many illegal activities.

Scientia
Scientia

I get what you're saying, but this list is not about reputation. (The orgs expanded and were strengthened under Hubbard, in spite of any supposed reputation). What has "crippled" the orgs, both observably and statistically, is the iron fist of Miscavige, whose extremist (mis)interpretation of both a philosophy and a series of organisational policies has turned a quirky, somewhat controversial, spiritual group into a thoroughly abusive, money-obsessed, highly controversial cult of celebrity. Hubbard was no saint, sure. And he deserves criticism on certain points, yes sir. But to place him at the top is to ignore history. To deny it, in fact.

Sid
Sid

 I accept some of what you say, however you can make a very strong argument that the seeds of destruction were sown in the very first years of Scientology.

All organizations seem to have a "personality". If you think of any commercial enterprise, or any church, you would be able to describe its character.

I agree that Miscavige has taken the church in a dreadful direction, and we will never know what course Scientology might have taken if a decent human being had taken over.

However, that's speculation.

What is fact is that the church had a terrible reputation long before Miscavige took over. If you read some of the books written about Scientology in the 70s, or the reports of any of the government or judicial inquiries that took place as early as the 60s as the world tried to get to grips with this new religion, you will see that much of what is being written now is actually nothing new.

Consider the following statement:-

"Scientology is socially harmful. It alienates members of families from each other and attributes squalid and disgraceful motives to all who oppose it; its authoritarian principles and practice are a potential menace to the personality and well-being of those so deluded as to become its followers; above all, its methods can be a serious danger to the health of those who submit to them. There is evidence that children are now being indoctrinated."These are words of Kenneth Robinson, the British Minister of Health, from a statement he made in Parliament about Scientology in 1968.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Hey Dan, 

I think someone forgot to fill you in on the fact that, whenever an upper org Tour Reg visited a then-Class IV Org, it was standard operating procedure for org staff to make scarce any public who were not already hiding. This is especially the case with ASHO Tours because 1) Money to ASHO coffers meant no money to Org coffers and 2) ASHO never seemed to care that people had lives, families, children, jobs that they were obligated to, that they just couldn't chuck in order train for months and years at a time ( as was what the training at ASHO usually entailed).3) If they gave at all, most people gave their money for upper org auditing to AOLA and Flag. 

As a former staff member and long time field staff member during those years and the years before them, I have to concur with Jeff's comments on the stats. Keep in mind that there were regular illegal reg acts and iregularities going on at the orgs and missions in the late 70's to early 80s. This isn't a statement of support for Int Finance Police by any means but you had regs like Mike Silverman for years providing a nationwide SOP on how to get money out of a public, legally or not, as one example, and then you had the off policy and often falsified Nationwide Acceptance Corp loan applications being filled in by an org staff ' Financial Consultant' through the Los Angeles Scientology Coordinated Services at Carl Barney's missions and there were many flaps later on because of these and others around the country. Then there was th issue of service at the org levels. It just wasn't happening. People had to bring their own toliet paper to ASHO it was so bad. So the flow of public and money was jamming up at the field level in the late 70's early 80s to a point where public didn't want to go into the orgs when they could go into the field and be accommodated. This is what triggered in part the Missions massacre.

The fact is, things began to recover for the orgs when the marketing campaigns began. Over at Kristi Wachter's truthaboutscientology site, you can find Scientology Statistics which are consistent with much of what Jeff stated about the trends.

KathyMace
KathyMace

Hey Dan, I guess no one ever let you in on the inside joke. On why the orgs looked empty whenever you were in town. It was almost traditional for staff to keep public ( $$$$) out of sight whenever there were upper org reg tours in town. Money in your coffer meant no money in the Org's coffer. This worked out good because most public did whatever they could to avoid the tours regs. Going out of town for training required  a lot of logistics and money.

I often wondered why tour regs didn't appreciate what a hassle it was for public to just hand over a check and arrive.

Back in the time frame Jeff is discussing, the orgs were doing pretty good. I know because I was an FSM bringing lots of new people and selling lots of Dianetics books for diferent orgs. Remember that Pubs Org / Bridge Pubs also sold books and extension courses to people from the 1-800 hotline then sent these names to the nearest org. Among my many activities in those days, I was also used by orgs to call these people and get then in to an org, earning commissions from them.

Training was not a public or staff priority in those days. Not even at the local level. That's why the course rooms were not very full. The public division and HGC ( auditing section ) were busy because this is what was emphasized. You can see by some of the Scientology statistics collected over at the site truthaboutscientology stats section that completion stats at most of the main orgs were up during these years and then began crashing about 1991. 

I saw first hand how the marketing campaign boomed Div 6 and the HGCs.

Old OT7
Old OT7

Fantastic post, TG!  I remember Div 6 people getting a quarter from whoever they could to put down on a future course and and count that as a "Start" for that week.  But that's exactly what happens when you manage by statistics. 

TheGuest
TheGuest

Can't speak for Jeff, but I'll bet you he'll tell you he doesn't feel like a victim.  I don't, then again  I didn't put in what so many others did.

But it's clearly time for the United States legislators to sit up and take notice of other successful legislators in other countries, especially Senator Xenophon.  This is not just about scientology.  There's far too many non-profits, charities, new age spiritual and woowoo shamans taking both tax advantage as well as legal shielding advantage because of arcane, ludicrous and injurious rules, guidelines and laws pertaining to same.

It has quietly slipped into a multi-billion $ industry here that has become a menace to U.S. citizens via many avenues.  Global economic conditions are shining a lot on many areas, and this is just one.  There's nothing like a long-term tight budget that squeezes common sense to the top of the pile. 

Common sense and tight budgets are the Kryptonite of scientology.   

Diana Etics
Diana Etics

Amazing, it is tailor-made for brainwashing and because of the financial requirements, blackmailing.   Sad situation for the victims.

TheGuest
TheGuest

Oh my freakin' god, I'm gonna have a Thursday at 2pm nightmare tonight for sure! lol

Wow, Dan, so that's what you did after the rest of us got the hell outta dodge (the early 80's purge and purgatory period).  So, that's very interesting, and thanks for those stats! Sorry you stayed for the party in hell; I suffered survivor's guilt for a little while.

See, this is what I meant about sci stats, sci ethics.  It's a very fluid chameleon, an attack dog one second,  a purring leopard another, or a slithering snake the next.  Those like Dan and Jeff,  they're the genuine article, caught in the pit quicksand.  I have no doubt both have on-site accurate statistics; both honest and sincere. 

wot?  Seems conflicting, doesn't it?  It's not.  First of all, remember scientology is a multi-national corporation, so stats Can be tanked in an entire continent, and doing just fine elsewhere.  Second,  no one in scientology no matter how high up knows what the hell is going on.  It's designed so only a few people have bits of the puzzle over here, and a few over there, etc.  And stats are "fudged" all the time; also a stat that measures how many people "come in" after reading a book may mean different things to different orgs and missions in different countries.  Staff who do tours, like Dan, know this.

By the time any "statistic" gets to the very, very  top in scientology,  it is something similar to an Irish leprechaun.  It represents what you want it to represent, depending entirely on how you rub it and for how long.

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