Another Angle on the Strategy Behind Scientology TV

Earlier this week, Scientology TV began broadcasting on the DirecTV network.  Tony Ortega’s story the day before the launch, explaining the apps and channels involved is here, and Tony’s review of the first slug of programming the day after the premiere is here.

Here, we’ll look at the strategic imperative driving Scientology leader David Miscavige to begin to broadcast to generally accessible public, which we think is a case of doing the best job he can in playing a terrible hand.  We suspect that some percentage of top donors are starting to wonder about the efficacy of the expensive Ideal Org strategy.  In particular, they might be starting to wonder why there are so few new members in these opulent facilities, which was the justification for building them in the first place.

We predicted a few months ago that Scientology Media Productions would not begin broadcasting anytime soon, because of the potential for blowback and further tarnishing of the already toxic Scientology brand.  We still believe all the reasons we cited in that post arguing against broadcast operations are still valid, and we now look at why Scientology management might have felt it necessary to go forward with a broadcast plan even though it will likely backfire.  Continue reading “Another Angle on the Strategy Behind Scientology TV”

Reappraising Hubbard’s “The Responsibilities of Leaders”

Certain Scientology policies written by L. Ron Hubbard have assumed almost mythic proportions. Keeping Scientology Working is perhaps the penultimate example but there have been others. These policies provide an inside look at the mind of Hubbard and are very helpful for those seeking an understanding of his motivations and thought processes. To some extent, these policies also illustrate not only Scientology’s group-think on expanding their reach, but also how Hubbard expected Scientologists themselves to think and act. Continue reading “Reappraising Hubbard’s “The Responsibilities of Leaders””

Hubbard Cozies up to Ronald Reagan With Sage Economic Advice

Recently, Chris Shelton located a previously unknown letter from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard to Ronald Reagan, who had been elected to President a few weeks earlier.  The letter offers Reagan laughably bad advice on how to fix the US economy, which at the time of the vote in late 1980, had been wracked with soaring inflation and even higher interest rates for over a decade.

According to Chris, the letter was circulated among Sea Org members in the late 1980s as part of efforts to keep key people in the organization motivated to keep up the war against the IRS.  So this letter was clearly intended for internal consumption, to burnish Hubbard’s reputation for brilliance, and to support the IRS campaign.

Dr. Jeff Wasel and John P. appeared as a guest on Chris Shelton’s podcast discussing the letter (also published today) and we’re presenting our analysis of the letter here.  We’re writing after the podcast was recorded so our commentary here contains analysis and discussion that doesn’t appear in the podcast.   Continue reading “Hubbard Cozies up to Ronald Reagan With Sage Economic Advice”

The Data Series as Revisionist History

A part of another project we’re working on here at JohnPCapitalist.com, I’ve been taking a dive into one of the more esoteric bits of Scientology “tech”: the “Data Series” in the Management Series, Volume 1.  Volume One also contains the Organizing Series and the Personnel Series. The Management Series or “Green Volumes” are an extensive set of works that cover every permutation within the organizational domain of Scientology management.

Written over several years starting in 1970, the Data Series is defined as “a series of policy letters written by L. Ron Hubbard which deal with logic, illogic, proper evaluation of data and how to detect and handle the causes of good and bad situations within groups and organizations.” Hubbard felt that Scientology management was failing in certain areas of understanding and leadership, and in writing the Data Series, he created a highly prescriptive set of policies, procedures and instructions in dealing with every conceivable challenge those in management might face on a daily basis. Starting with “The Anatomy of Thought” (HCO PL 26 April 1970R), Hubbard pontificates on “Logic,” “Breakthroughs,” “Data and Situational Analyzing’” and “Information Collection” among other topics, all in his uniquely bloviating and paradoxical fashion. However, what struck me most while reading through this “guidance,” was not only his convoluted, typically tortured syntax, but more so, the abundance of nonsensical historical analogies and examples he alludes to throughout as a means of “illustrating” his points.  Continue reading “The Data Series as Revisionist History”

Hana Whitfield Writes About the Sinister “Particle Speed Flow Officer”

In a recent conversation with Hana Whitfield, former captain of the Apollo and the Avon River, as well as a senior executive who reported directly to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, I broached the subject of the most absurd job title I’d ever seen. In Scientology, the person who pushes the mail cart around emptying everyone’s OUT box and refilling the IN box with more mind-numbing paperwork, is called the “Particle Speed Flow Officer.” I figured this was just another comical example of Hubbard’s pomposity of trying to make everything vastly more important than it was.  But Hana pointed out that she was actually the first “Particle Speed Flow Officer” in the history of Scientology, and she reveals here that there’s a sinister side to this.  

There’s a valuable object lesson in the story: that there’s almost always a sinister side to Scientology, even in small-scale things that initially seem to have only comic relief value.   Continue reading “Hana Whitfield Writes About the Sinister “Particle Speed Flow Officer””

A Deeper Look at the Upcoming Ideal Org in Orlando

In an article published on Saturday, Tony Ortega reported that Scientology is pushing to open the new Ideal Org in Orlando soon.  I decided to take a look at the numbers behind the building and behind Scientology in Orlando. This Ideal Org is doomed to failure because of the small number of members in Orlando and the location of the facility, even further off the beaten path than most new Scientology buildings.

Once we’ve gotten a handle on the numbers, we’ll look at whether this particular Ideal Org might herald a change in the Ideal Org strategy.   Continue reading “A Deeper Look at the Upcoming Ideal Org in Orlando”

But the FBI Said Good Things About Scientology’s “Intelligence Operations!”

“In my opinion· the church has one of the most effective intelligence operations in the U.S., rivaling even that of the FBI,” says Ted Gunderson, a former head of the FBI’s Los Angeles office.

“Scientology: The Cult of Greed”
Time Magazine, May 6, 1991

The head of the FBI’s LA Field Office said this about Scientology a quarter century ago, not long after a major investigation of the cult stalled. The article also claims that FBI agents were tiptoeing around the church, because of fears that it would retaliate personally against them. So was Gunderson’s observation correct? More so, given my observations in my previous articles regarding GO/OSA competence, is there even a valid comparison between the bureau’s intelligence efforts during that  era and those of Scientology’s Guardian’s Office? Continue reading “But the FBI Said Good Things About Scientology’s “Intelligence Operations!””

Indirect Proof Auditing Doesn’t Work: The Failure of Independent Scientology

Another reason Scientology auditing doesn’t work: if it worked, there would be tons of “independent Scientology” groups, practicing the “tech” outside of the evil cult. But they’re nowhere to be found. Auditing is thus less valuable to ex-Scientologists than many think. Those leaving today want to distance themselves from all of what they experienced in Scientology, even the allegedly good parts.

I recently posted an article showing why success stories are not sufficient to prove that Scientology auditing actually works, even though there are many people who claim to have received life-changing “wins” while using this technique.   That’s because of the nature of establishing the statistical validity of a hypothesis.  The essence of the argument is that “the plural of anecdotes is not data.”

But here’s another reason that we can be fairly confident that auditing is a relatively ineffective tool for fueling personal growth: “independent Scientology,” the practice of L. Ron Hubbard’s “tech,” should be a much bigger movement than it actually is.

Continue reading “Indirect Proof Auditing Doesn’t Work: The Failure of Independent Scientology”

Asymmetric Activism 3: Occultism Drove Scientology to Be An Asymmetric Totalitarian Target

In this post, I’ll further examine how Scientology morphed from a radical, insurgent mindset, to one of totalitarian monolith, ironically becoming the target of asymmetric tactics, rather than a practitioner. It starts with Hubbard’s embrace of the occult in pursuit of methods of control over an individual or situation. However, the natural progression never stops at one; it invariably leads to an obsession with subjugation and power over an ever-increasing group, rather than simply individuals. Motivation is key in determining the intent of a foe, more so if there’s asymmetry or incoherence in their strategy, especially if their motivations appear highly ideological-based. While financial gain and ideological dominance were part of Hubbard’s motivations, occultism was a founding ethos in Scientology, indeed a vital pillar underpinning Scientology’s abhorrent world view. Continue reading “Asymmetric Activism 3: Occultism Drove Scientology to Be An Asymmetric Totalitarian Target”

Spotlight on “The Big List:” The Master List of Ex-COS Members Speaking Out

This contribution by Dutch Anon Trevor Horn, who posts in various forums as TrevAnon,reveals a different side of Anonymous, one where a committed team laboriously puts together a database over the course of a decade to help show the degree of abuses that Scientology has committed.  They are aiming to compile the definitive list of all former members of the Church of Scientology who have spoken out publicly against the organization’s abuses.  

This is a far different side of Anonymous than the one most of us recognize – the protesters outside Scientology facililties with clever signs, a determined but fun attitude, and lots of caek.  But the committed activists laboring on these projects are making an ongoing difference, long after most Anons have hung up their masks. 

The “Big List” project is important but is underappreciated and understaffed.  In this post, Trevor will talk about what it does, why it matters, and how people interested can help, with a one-time perusal of the list to spot any easy additions, to becoming a project member.

Continue reading “Spotlight on “The Big List:” The Master List of Ex-COS Members Speaking Out”