Scientology "Ideal Orgs" Laid Bare In Our Thursday Stats Roundup!

It's that time of the week again -- at 2 pm on Thursdays, Scientology orgs turn in their stats for the week, and so we like to do our own accounting of how things went for the church with our weekly roundup.

After the jump, an eye-opening look inside an "Ideal org" by our sister paper in Phoenix. But first, watch this video segment released by Mark Bunker, in which he interviews Jamie DeWolf for his upcoming documentary, Knowledge Report.

Jamie puts on another fine performance here. Listed at #22 in our countdown, DeWolf is the great-grandson of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and he's also a noted slam poet and stage performer who lives in the Oakland area.

As in his previous appearances, he tries to convey what life was like for his grandfather, L. Ron Hubbard Jr., who changed his name to Ron DeWolf as he distanced himself from Scientology.

"Imagine if your father was a cult leader. Imagine if your father was literally referred to as 'The Source,' and people have to salute his picture, even when he's dead. Imagine that's your dad. Where are you going to get guidance from?"

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? I've said it before, and I'll say it again -- I think Jamie DeWolf could become a huge problem for David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology. He's likable, he's charismatic, and he says the kinds of things about Hubbard that only a family member could -- devastating things that tear at the fabric of the LRH mystique. A huge downstat for the church, and we have to hand it to Mark Bunker for always finding a way to make Knowledge Report even more anticipated.


Story #2: Ideal Times in Phoenix

From my old friend Ray Stern at our sister paper in Arizona, Phoenix New Times, comes a delicious expose of the "Ideal Org" under development by the church there.

Ray called me up after we posted the notorious "Dede" video, showing Phoenix Scientologists begging fellow church members for funds to purchase a new building. It was Mark Bunker who alerted us to the cringeworthy spot, which shows some middle-aged folks putting on fake enthusiasm while pretending to be accepting donations in a boiler-plate phone-bank setup. It's a rare glimpse into the reality of outlying orgs like the one in Phoenix, and far from the celebrity-soaked image Scientology normally likes to convey. But what was the status of the new "org" that these poor folks were raising money for? Ray wondered if there wasn't a larger story there.

Boy, did he find one. Ray's a digger, and he found amazing details about how Scientology purchased its new building, how it kicked out the remaining tenants, and how it continued to hit up parishioners for big bucks even after the purchase had been completed. Please take the time to read his entire piece, which is the cover story for this week's issue.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Another big downstat for the church. The media has really been behind the curve on the "Ideal Org" program (and I include myself in that criticism), but Ray's piece should prove a blueprint for other journalists who want to understand this bizarre real estate expansion at a time that Scientology is dwindling. (And a note about that: Ray talked to the author of the study which found in 2008 that there are only 25,000 Scientologists in the country. We have previously noted that this is mostly a guess, and the study itself noted that its margin of error was actually larger than the number of Scientologists it found. In Ray's story, the author says that the margin of error is so large, there could be up to 325,000 Scientologists in the country. That's fine, but there are other, more solid, sources of data on the number of Scientologists: we are most confident in the estimates of Jefferson Hawkins, who for years oversaw enrollment figures for the church while he was a high-ranking member. He puts the worldwide church population at only 40,000.)


Story #3: Ideal Times in Inglewood

Another Ideal Org is opening in Inglewood, California, to mixed reviews by the locals. Olu Alemoru of the community paper The Wave polls folks in the neighborhood near the new church, and finds that some are unhappy, others nonplussed, and some are actually enthusiastic.

Well, that vocal support included a Nation of Islam guy, so maybe not the best endorsement.

All of Scientology's expansion plans are mystifying, but this one especially so. Why does a notoriously creepy organization that is already having trouble convincing gullible wealthy white people to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars to exorcise their inner alien cooties think it's going to have success expanding into a working-class black neighborhood? Beats us. But it should be interesting to see what happens.

Thursday's Stats: Upstat or Downstat? Have to call this one a downstat. When even a community newspaper is calling you "controversial" as you (supposedly) bring new business to town, you know your mission may be dead on arrival.


Hey, keep those tips coming. Things are a bit crazy here in the underground bunker as we help prepare next week's big Best Of NYC issue at the Voice, but we're doing our best to stay on top of Miscavigey developments around the globe.



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] [Thursday 2pm Stats!]

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]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

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]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

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]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]

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]
[Scientology High School, Dating and Super Powers!]



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26 comments
MarkStark
MarkStark

Seems like they could have financed the new Phoenix Org by selling off the Holy Rancher, where Hubbard did his "research." There's gotta be at least one crazed cult member who would pay 10 million to take a dump on the same operating thetan toilet Hubbard used.

Journalist Ray Stern did a remarkable job at good investigation -- like calling people on their member's list -- and intertwining the article with the history and state-of-the-scam that is Sciloontology.

Xenu is "black PR" now? LOL Tommy said it was part of their sacred scriptures! I see myself rushing into an Org, and telling the desk person: I'm covered in clusters of Body Thetans because of Xenu the Evil Galactic Overlord, and you deny Him?

In Sciloontology, whether they like it or not, all roads lead to Xenu.

Central Harlem Anonymous
Central Harlem Anonymous

Does anybody know the status of all the land the Church of Scientology bought on East 125th Street in Harlem?

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Definately downstat! Jamie DeWolf is one class act that the church cannot get past and never will. I wish him all the best in his adventures in speaking up where others couldn't or wouldn't for fear of repercussions. The New Times article on Phoenix Org is wonderfully brutal. Looking forward to moar~! And lastly,  The Inglewood Church article, well the title made it easy for commenters to fill in the blanks and so they did.

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

Karen Pouw seems to be holding her own as spokesperson.  She's for years avoided being sent to the  RPF (reeducation/redemption hard labor  program), even when other PR spokespeople for Scientology have had to do extensive "cleanup" time due to their PR gaffes.  Any news on Tommy Davis?   

ScientologyAdvocateMarkMiglio
ScientologyAdvocateMarkMiglio

If you are interested in the story of Scientology, this is not the place to come.  The commentators here have imprisoned the author of this this blog, Tony Ortega, in what I would say has the earmarks of a hypnotic brainwashing operation.  I hereby join the eternal protest of all spiritual beings who object to the prevalence of “sick” individuals, groups, and organizations that toil daily to discredit all good people and decent organizations.  If you become upset about any of the comments made here, you will find a sincere person to talk to at any Scientology church, mission, or Dianetics center.  If you prefer, you can send a written query to the Office of Special Affairs or to any staff member of our local organizations, or to the President of the Church of  Scientology International at 6331 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA  90028.  You may find it rather convenient to send an email to our premier website:  Scientology . Org.  You are invited to tour any church, peruse our books, and attend a lecture or Sunday Service.  Free introductory courses are available at Volunteer Ministers . Org.  Local public libraries usually carry Dianetics and Scientology books in their system.  When in Hollywood, you can visit the L. Ron Hubbard Exhibition Center on Hollywood Boulevard.  I am not a staff member but I will do my best to provide you with any information that you need and want at Scientology Advocate @ gmail . Com.

Ghost of Charlie
Ghost of Charlie

The Inglewood story quotes The Nation of Islam Western Regional Minister Tony Muhammad.Scientology's own Alfreddie Johnson Recruited Tony 7-8 years ago the pair have become inseparable...after Tony was thoroughly indoctrinated  and brought into the fold... the rest of the NOI ...including Farrakhan fell like a house of cards...its just a matter of time before the NOI is offering free Dianetics Stress tests along with their Bean Pies

Ron
Ron

The way that those Ideal orgs are purchased by the local organization with money raised from the local members, then immediately transferred to the central organization always seems rather dodgy to me. (Especially where the local organization then has to pay rent on their own Ideal building.)

If the local members ever decided to split from the central organization (as happens in real churches from time to time), they would immediately be evicted from the building that they paid for.

MissCabbage
MissCabbage

Katie may have had it with Tom and the "Church" of Scientology.

timesofoman(dot)com/featuredetail.asp?fid=1344

If so, every Celebrity Rag Mag will feature this story.

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

Ray Stern rocked my world this week! And a shoutout his way, if by chance he happens to lurk here... 

DO WANT that killer "alien Invasion" cover that goes with your awesome coverage this week. And Anons are anxiously awaiting it to show up in the NT fb album with the other/older covers :)

mrgreebly
mrgreebly

I'm a stuck record!

11 days left to

Sign the US Government Petition to investigate the Church of Scientology and it's abuses. The Government must give a response.

It’s all about a volume of voices, don’t be afraid anymore it is your right to get answers. Anyone can sign join those voices.

If problems registering go here 1st:

wwws dot whitehouse dot gov/user/register

+back to the Petition:

wh dot gov/4Os

If the Sign button is grey and not green simply log out and log back in. 

Carmen
Carmen

Inglewood: Nation of Islam guy is Tony "Bang-Bang" Muhammad, the guy who grabbed Sparrow's camera (on camera) and refused to let go at the Washington DC org.

It seems VV affiliates are beginning to make a cottage industry of Scientology reportage. This amuses xenubarb. She's always said, "Scientology sells." Rest assured there will be no lack of stories as this slow implosion continues in Scientology, Inc.

Regarding the Phoenix Ideal Org story (which was excellent, btw) this jumped out at me:

 "Bob Adams, a Scientology spokesman and former National Football League player, came to visit Ruth and other tenants. Ruth says Adams offered him a chance to do business with the church, with Ruth referring his clients to the religious center's "spa treatments" and the church's sending members to his gym." The "Spa Treatment" in question is, of course, the toxic and dangerous Purification Rundown, where clients are exposed to excessive sauna sessions lasting hours, and fed toxic doses of Niacin and other vitamins. This quackery is protected as religious ritual, but I don't think that counts if you're selling it to gym patrons and charging for it.

If the cult is trying to sell the Purif by making deals with local gyms, that's something that might be worth looking into a bit deeper. So many rabbit holes!

Jgg
Jgg

  Did you know that when Bill O'Reilly of Fox News reads stories like this, he says "I don't havea problem with Co$"?

sharkattacksteve
sharkattacksteve

So we've imprisoned poor Tony kinda like how Xenu's officers mutinied and imprisoned him in that mountain cave ? Is that what you're trying to say ? And we've brainwashed him with implants and a piece of R6 we found somewhere maybe ? LOL keep up the good work non-staff member.

We had the Ideal Morgues scam figured out on YT like 2 years ago it goes like this.

Co$ marks donate money for Orgs, Orgs belong to RTCOrgs go out of biz and shut downDavid Miscavige rents or sells Orgs to Wogs????Profit !!!

Scientia
Scientia

Hello Mark, long time no speak. How are you doing? Did you manage to study the HCO PLs I referenced on fundraising and new buildings? Did you also manage to compare the stats for auditor training against those of years past? Please say you have. "It has been proven continually that orgs which function on policy deliver and prosper. Periods of decline have been preceded by gross omissions, unwarranted changes or destructive actions which obstruct or distract from delivery." -- LRH, HCO PL 29 December 1971RB, Flag Representative, Purpose of (OEC Vol 7, p. 1407)

choocho
choocho

Does this take care of your "stats" for the week?

Anon A
Anon A

It's hard to pick the funniest element in a post so chock-full of unintentional hilarity, but I'd have to say the most humorous part of Mark's statement was this:

"I am not a staff member but..."

Ghost of Charlie
Ghost of Charlie

Hey Mark  I see your "thought stopping"....has kicked up a notchyou've reduced yourself to posting "Good Roads Fair Weather" stories!....you must have gotten the memo! .....

Hear no evil speak no evil see no evil from here on out....you gotta stop falling for the "thought stopping" you've implanted ...your starting to appear even more brainwashed.....snap out of it

 

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

L. Ron Hubbard's own words spoken on YouTube (particularly where Hubbard tells the Xenu story, in his own voice, on YouTube), and the 1968 interview on YouTube, of Hubbard speaking to a British interviewer, are all time important for the public to listen to.

Scientology should be judged by listening to Hubbard speak his ideas, and that can be done by going to YouTube and listening to Hubbard.

The  Xenu story, and the discussion of "body thetans" was covered very well I think by the  New Times Phoenix mag author.

The parts of Scientology that official Scientology won't talk about, those are the parts they SHOULD talk about!

Official Scientologists aren't even allowed to listen to Hubbard tell the Xenu story on YouTube!   

Official Scientologists aren't even allowed to listen to the British 1968 interview of Hubbard on YouTube!

TheGuest
TheGuest

So, you're doing Conditions on "all good people and decent organizations" now?

Jeez, Mark.  I'm really concerned for you.  Do you realize how many years, if not decades, it's going to take to do a full, KSW perfect formula on such a humongous group as "all good people" and "decent organizations"?

Also,  do you have enough survival supplies in your backpack for that "eternal protest" you've joined up with, because that's a long time and popcorn doesn't last forever, you know.

LoyalOfficer
LoyalOfficer

$cientology is a criminal organization and a fraud.

Endscientologynow
Endscientologynow

In other words....................NOTHING TO SEE HERE (potential) SHEEPLE.  Move along, nothing to see here.  Don't look here; no, seriously, do NOT read this blog or any other blog/book.

Nothing to see here....really.  Do not read this blog or anything else (evar) because the COS needs to put that hook in your mouth first.

Again.....DO NOT READ this blog or anything from those that experienced what you are about to experience if you follow my instructions.  But they are all liars......ALL of them.  LIARS (although we once thought they were not liars because they were KSW, but NOOOO they are all liars and criminals now).

Ghost of Charlie
Ghost of Charlie

they are NOT the same guy!

Sparrows assaulter  Is Anthony Muhammad..he lives in DC

.Tony Muhammad is the Western Regional Minister  for the NOI hes a big shot...it was alleged recently that Tony Muhammad was involved in the Biggie smalls Murder

candace6
candace6

Neal Boortz refers to Scientolgy as a pack of moonbats.

Damian DeWitt
Damian DeWitt

I would expect him to say that. He doesn't want to get fair gamed by Greta Van Susteren and her husband and Sarah Palin adviser, John Coale.

Carmen
Carmen

Thanks for the correction. Great, now there's two of 'em!

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