Daily Archives: April 17, 2010

Idle Orgs – The Great Ponzi Scheme

by Mike Rinder 

To quote David Miscavige (in classic Dan Sherman speak) from the recent March 13 event :

Our theme is relentless expansion, which you might also describe as both astounding and astonishing – and you can add staggering and even bedazzling…”  

 Not to mention “utterly incredible” as in: adjective not credible; unbelievable.

First, let’s examine one aspect of this incredible expansion. The Theory of Expansion is to put a stable point there and expand from it. LRH laid it out — open groups around the world to provide introductory services which expand and graduate to Mission status at which time they can move people up through higher levels of training and auditing. The Missions in turn expand and become new Orgs, the stable points in society. Missions cannot Clear anyone and more importantly, they cannot train auditors, that can ONLY be done in an official Church of Scientology Class V or above Org. Of course, without auditors, you can’t do much (though you can reg for building donations, IAS donations, book donations and staff pay donations); to generate real expansion of Dianetics and Scientology there must be an ever growing number of Orgs. In 1992, the Church informed the IRS that there were 156 Scientology Orgs around the world. In the ensuing 18 years of bedazzling expansion there has NOT BEEN ONE NEW ORG added to that total (There was a new org in Greece and maybe one in Taiwan, but there were a couple that shut their doors elsewhere).

Second, the big fudge stat that DM trots out is “more than 8,000 Groups, Missions and Orgs on the global map.” But with 150 or so orgs, about 300 Missions, no more than 100 Narconons, a couple of hundred Applied Scholastics Schools and groups, no more than 100 total CCHR, Criminon, Citizens Commission on Law Enforcement groups (according to the official websites) – he is thousands short. Sure, there are some Dianetics groups. Let’s take the wildest estimate of 1000 around the world (try and find one in your local area, just look them up in the phone book). Still “short” more than 6000. Perhaps there are WTH groups somewhere? One would imagine even if there were 1000 of these you would see SOME result, but let’s take 1000 WTH groups. Dave, you’re still “short” 5000. Add Volunteer Minister “groups” — they probably count a couple of thousand of those, though every time there is a disaster it seems the same people are rounded up to go off and put on their yellow t-shirts. So, presumably the balance must be thousands and thousands of “WISE groups” that have nothing to do with getting people onto and up the Bridge. So, the 8,000 plus orgs, missions and groups is less than 500 orgs and missions and more than 7500 uncategorized “groups.” But, it is impossible that with this many “groups” there aren’t hundreds of new expanding Missions and from that a dozen or two each decade would become an Org? Would ONE new Org a year be “bedazzling” expansion? Is ZERO?

Somehow, Dave, it just doesn’t add up.

Third, the results of the International Birthday Game leaves a bit of a credibility gap for the discerning viewer…

The best Mission in the world and winner of the international Birthday Game (evidencing the greatest expansion rate over an entire year) for the THIRD time is the Mission of Los Feliz. But the oddity is that if they have had the fastest rate of expansion for 3 years, why do they only have 25 staff? There used to be Missions with more than 100 staff back in the 70’s and 80’s? OK, let’s ignore that and move on.

The World Champion Class V org is the Idle Org of CC Nashville. And who was on stage to accept the award? None other than Sea Org member Renee Duszak, known to many in the LA area from her time at AOLA and CC Int. This seemed a little strange, but then I met someone who was recently an outer org tech trainee at the Friendliest Place in the World. Here is the bizarre tale of what happens with those outer org trainees unlucky enough to be sent to Flag for training. Upon completion of their training, INCLUDING internships, they are put onto “apprenticeships” in the Flag HGC and are required to get 5 public from lower orgs arrived to do Grades before they can “graduate”, or they are made to do a “Div 6 apprenticeship” supervising “Basics” courses. But the worst fate for an outer org trainee is to be sent to the newest undermanned Idle Org (and believe it, they are ALL undermanned). The tech resources for the “Idle Orgs” are manned by staff imported from other orgs and they are there until they replace themselves. The Flag Outer Org Trainee weekly staff meeting announces how many staff have been recruited for Idle Orgs by other orgs (“Sacramento recruited two tech staff for Las Vegas this week”). The Hey You that has been the norm at International Management for years (Guillaume Lesevre “from International Management” – NOT “ED International” – presented the Birthday Game Awards) has become the standard operating procedure in the orgs now too.

But, how low does it go on perverting everything in the land of DM? The LRH Birthday Game has now officially been reduced to a farce. They list the winners for each Continent and of course, if there is an “Idle Org” in that Continent they had to win, otherwise Emperor DM would have been standing on stage with no clothes. So, the biggest and best org in Europe was the “Idle Org of Malmo”, somehow managing to beat out Milano, Munich and Moscow (not to mention all the other letters of the alphabet). Anyone who saw the report from Dan Koon when he visited the morgue in Malmo knows how “astonishing” this is. The top of the heap in the UK is the Idle Org of London Foundation. I saw the empty, dead London Org several times in December and if this is the biggest booming org in the UK then the “bedazzling” expansion is really something. And the WUS winner was the Idle Org of Dallas. Again, eyewitness reports show the place to be empty – what happened to the hugely booming San Francisco? Mountain View? Orange County? LA Org? Surely Dallas isn’t the brightest star in the entire Western United States?

So, the Ponzi scheme rolls on, with Scientologists around the world being hoodwinked into giving money for the Idle Org strategy believing that this is what is going to expand Scientology in violation of all LRH policy on the subject. Those orgs are being manned with SO members Hey-You’d from management and staff from other orgs sent to “apprentice”. And when the video is shown at the event, the resources are poured into the next org to be video’d. Anyone been to Buffalo Idle Org recently? San Francisco? Madrid? Or any of the other “old” Idle Orgs? They are not booming. The bright lights of the video crews are gone and they are back to the small, failing orgs they were before DM breezed into town to bask in the limelight.

In his usual rousing finale at the March 13th event, DM rather aptly described Scientology as “a southbound train on a downward slope”. Freudian slip?

Sad as this whole scenario is, I must thank Dan Sherman for providing at least a little humor. Get a load of this passage that must take an honored place in the Hall of Shame of Ridiculous Hype: “This is the occasion when we celebrate Source—utterly and emphatically. It is also an unqualified and unconditional occasion, which means this is nothing else except unbridled celebration. While just for good measure, it might even be called an unequivocal and uncompromising celebration, especially in a world where the economic and political gurus will tell you the global recession is not a depression, it is the decline and fall of Western civilization.” Phew…

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