“Pure and Simple Blackmail”

Reference:  The Money Machine, St Petersburg Times.

Tony Ortega at the Village Voice weighed in on the Money Machine series in the St Petersburg Times,  Scientology’s Sale Pitch: “Pure and Simple Blackmail.”  Tony made some interesting observations.  One in particular deserves highlighting:

One of the most frequent questions we get about Scientology from people we meet is some variation of this: “You’ve written that the church is actually pretty small and losing people every day. So where is all this money coming from for new buildings?”

We have to admit, we never really had a very good answer for that. Until now.

The SP Times series, with most of it still to come, has already made us much more aware of how the “regging” process works, and how Scientologists constantly endure a hard-sell approach not only to pay for auditing services, but to make outright donations for new buildings, for memberships, and for books they already have copies of.

I take that as a strong validation of the work of Tom Tobin and Joe Childs and their dozens of sources.  Since the mid 09 Truth Rundown series in the Times, Miscavige’s strategy has been to ignore facts, ignore reality, and make nothing of his own criminal conduct by constructing a BIG LIE.   That lie was stated in its most blatantly over-the-top fashion in response to the Money Machine series:

 The fact is that the church has expanded more in the past five years than in its previous 50, with new churches opening across the globe and our social and humanitarian programs extending our help across the planet on a weekly basis.

As we have known from the outset, this is brashest BIG LIE imaginable.  I am glad to see that Tobin and Child’s work has put this lie to rest in such credible fashion that others are beginning to recognize.

47 responses to ““Pure and Simple Blackmail”

  1. Luis mentions how the excessive Basics regging pushed him past his Rubican. We all had those moments. Those were the stray threads; the ones that unraveled the Church of Scientology like the cheap suit that it is. For me, it was upon first reading about coerced abortions from an interview with one the founders of exscnkids.
    I knew it was true.
    I also knew it was the antipathy of anything sacred or “church like”.
    Tragically most of those staff members who were so convinced, were then only wasted themselves. There never was even the pretense to make the worthless justification(s) hold water. It still turns my stomach.

    I wrote this for an organization called Students for Life, that it might provide some perspective to young women when confronted with such a crossroad in their life.

    Cold Wind Blowin

    Itsa cold wind blowin
    from a faraway place.
    Unsettling and stark,
    like a mannequin’s face.
    Memories that fade,
    then come alive.
    As you try not to remember
    who didn’t survive.

    Itsa cold wind blowin
    whisperin in your ear.
    Like the words in your head,
    that you know you hear.
    It’s the voices of those,
    who took the fall.
    Those vulnerable souls
    who never mattered at all.

    Itsa cold wind blowin
    tossin leaves without care.
    Like those unborn babies,
    who never gasped for air.
    And now you have a life
    of pain and remorse.
    Created by none other,
    upon a thoughtless course.

    Itsa a cold wind blowin
    but doesn’t have to be.
    Just don’t cross that line;
    it’s not about you and me.
    It’s about the future,
    and all things unplanned.
    For the woman God entrusts
    with the future of Man.

    Dedicated to all the unborn leaders, artists, managers and thinkers yet to bless this world with their presence.
    I look forward to meeting you!

  2. The article speaks for itself. Reading it leaves nothing to imagination. A coldhearted moneyscam. One has to wonder if the CO$ inspired those sales”people”promoting time-share condo’s or stock in under-sea hotel.

    Come to think of it, maby if they sank the freewinds…Or would that constitute enviromental polution ?

    Next time Miscavige will be going door to door persuading small Scientology bussinesowners to pay him “protection money”

    You are on top of this story Marty.

    It amazes me how Scientologists were able to muster up so much cash to “feed the hunger of the beast” incarnated in the persona of David Miscavige.

    “Miscavige’s strategy has been to ignore facts, ignore reality, and make nothing of his own criminal conduct by constructing a BIG LIE.”

    David Miscavige you are a criminal and a coward. I am talking to you. I’ll bet your people are too scared too bring you news of all what is said online.

    Was there ever a time you were happy without somebody suffering for it ?

  3. “Expanded more…” “New churches opening across the globe…” Blah, blah, blah. Been there, written that.

    Has Tom or Joe (or anyone) publicly asked the racket to document its sweeping generalities? I’d love to see the response to a simple request for specifics.

    “Hey, that sounds quite impressive. But just to be sure I understand completely, could you tell me exactly what churches, where and when?” (Oh, and if someone went to any one of them unannounced, on any given day, would there be any public there, actually going up the Bridge?) Compared to how many new churches in specific earlier periods?

    Exactly how many new members? (Documented, real new members who would agree they ARE members.) Compared to what verified figures from earlier periods?

    And while we’re at it, let’s skip the flashy-new-buildings stat for a minute and talk about some per-LRH-policy valuable final products of the organization as a whole. You know, like trained auditors, releases, clears, OTs? Oh, but wait! Friends of LRH has covered a goodly chunk of that, here: http://www.friendsoflrh.org/Section2/ . Complete with graphs and LRH policy references. Does the racket have independently verifiable stats to the contrary? No? Hmmmm…

    Old Sea Org saying – “Stats talk, bullshit walks.” But that meant verified, valid, on-policy stats. Not hogwash cooked up for events and spun harder than a Texas twister.

  4. Tobin and Childs…putting ethics in on Flag, the Sea Org and corporate scientology. These guys got balls. They also have a much better ability to evaluate data than anyone currently pretending to hold an executive post in the “church.”

    Message to every single solitary person still pledging allegIance to miscavige… THIS CRAP IS NOT SCIENTOLOGY. THIS CRAP IS NOT OK.

    The only people who are unaware of these facts is a few thousand blind, obedient pawns in miscavige’s ruthless game.

    Wondering what you could possibly do if all this money was not rolling in from all this extortion? Oh my god, how could the church survive without david’s amazing ability to rip people off?

    How about just let auditors audit pcs without all this friggen suppression???

    Worked just fine before big dave stepped in to save you all, didn’t it?

    How’s that “saving” working out for you?

  5. The pace of information coming forth is remarkable. The harsh stories of those who trusted and were betrayed is gut wrenching. Even though I’m one of them – I spotted the difference.
    I’m not PTS to the truth.
    PTS (potential trouble source = negatively affected by being in contact with suppression, lies, betrayal etc.)

  6. The Mountain View org had a big list of names of people who donated to the “ideal org”. I was amazed at who gave how much. Most staff members gave thousands, even long time auditors. That was almost four years ago. No new building yet. Anybody know what happened with that?

  7. Damn, that is beautiful CP.

    We should give it a vibe…

  8. Marty,

    As for the lie “the church has expanded more in the past five years than in its previous 50” I realized today what they are using to justify this statement.

    There are no doubt more CD’s sold in the last 5 years than in the 50 previous years. It’s not just “the Basics” but also the Congresses and ACCs. That the majority of them are sitting in boxes never opened or have been trashed is insignificant. And as for booksales (forget the fact that printed books are becoming passe) they are NOT being sold to new public — I was in Barnes and Noble yesterday and they had ONE copy of Self Analysis and one New Slant on Life. NO DMSMH, not a single one.

    And probably there is 5 times as much uselessly renovated building spaces in Class V orgs located in the middle of nowhere as in the previous 50 years combined.

    So, POB isnt really lying. It’s just a matter of what stats you use.

    And as for the opening of all these orgs around the world, the ONLY new org I have seen in the last decade is Inglewood. That is ONE new org.

    I suspect there are virtually no new Missions — unless they are somewhere unverifiable like Tibet or Sierra Leone…

    The 8,000 Orgs, Missions and Groups cannot be found on the Scientology.org site.

  9. Glowing but false reports. The signature of an SP. Yes davey, we’re talking about YOU.

  10. Beautiful Dean, truly inspiring and brought tears to my eyes. love you Carol

  11. The blind leading the blind statement mad in the past has become a reality in the mad world of corporate Scientology

  12. Andre Tabayoyon

    The gimmick of selling books and tapes to orgs and missions to create the appearance of expansion is the same as sending staff and members to watch Cruise’s movies over and over and over. It is a form of money laundring. The more books and tapes that sell the larger the Royalty becomes. So, a persons pay check will increase to the degree that orgs open. CST, RTC grant privliges to orgs and missions to use copyrighted material. ASI handles the Royalty accounts. I am pretty sure that any one who traces the money trail will get to the source of the greed. The Lawyers and DM are making floods of money. As it appears it all legal right now. Because the IRS refuses to look into the money flows of this money making device. 8000 orgs and missions equals a lot of book tapes and DVD sales

  13. Over the past few months, I log into Marty’s blog and hope, ‘this is it…’ and you know, not really sure what I’m hoping for, but maybe some definitive external progress, because so many stories here are so shocking, and the natural justice reaction of, ‘something must be done…’

    But then was thinking about world events, the Arab Spring and past historical events and realized that it happens all of a sudden. Look at the berlin wall, the collapse of communism, the Arab Spring where protests on the street evolved into the suppressive leaders stepping down and/or captured.

    So, guess what I’m saying is that I think it will happen all at once….

  14. Curious reader

    How do you know that the C of S does not expand? What are your sources exactly?

  15. Sierra Leone? lol

    The reg’s there use machete’s Mike. And thats on policy! LOL

  16. Every corporate scientologist knows that excessive and coercive regging occurs. They just sort of endure it because they want scientology services.

    This series is going to tear the roof off. It is going to be read. And the church’s responses are only going to anger those who read and recognize the obvious lies.

    I wonder if somehow this will be used as an excuse to not open the Super Power building. DM: “F**k all those C***sucking dilettante blog-reading public a**holes. They don’t deserve everything I do for them.”

  17. In about the year 2000, I did a couple of small services at the Pasadena Org … one of which was an “Anti Q& A” Drill … a remarkable drill if there every was one.

    Anyway, at the time I noticed a printed sign down near the entrance in the basement to the Course Room. The sign stated that there had been “50,000” clears made. Everything I’d go to the Course Room, I’d look to see if it was updated. And, then when I went to ASHO, AOLA and CCI, I continued to look for that sign. I never saw it again. I even asked some Registrar where the sign went, and how many clears had been made since then. Never got an answer. One time, a couple of years later, a surveyor at CCI asked me, when I was drinking coffee in that cute little coffee shop they used to have there, why I didn’t attend “Events”. I said something to the effect of ‘Well, you see, when I go to the events, I never see any stats. They just put up these graphical representation of something that looks like a stat, but it isn’t a real stat … there’s no way to determine the exact (or even approximate) quantity of change over a specific period of time … so it just seem to me like it’s a lot of PR, and I don’t have time to waste on PR. When the events start providing some actual stats, I’ll be happy to return.’ She looked me in utter shock and disbelief and turned and walked away. I stayed around CCI for quite a long time after that and no one ever asked me, again, why I didn’t attend Events.

  18. My middle finger is the only expansion you need be concerned with.

  19. Uh, visit a local church and take a look. Do you see a booming course room with hundreds of students like several orgs in the 70’s? Do you see new auditors being made EVERY week? How about new case completions by the dozens?

    The products of Scientology are auditing and training. Period. The books and tapes are just to facilitate that. The buildings are just to facilitate that. Any other stat is bogus.


    So… As LRH says, make your own observations, don’t depend on what someone writes or says. Go look and see if there are hundreds of students on course and dozens of pc’s waiting for sessions.

  20. Tony DePhillips

    It truly is insanity.

    How does it make sense to create such a frenzied atmosphere of enturbulated selling of books and straight donations for buildings when you are blowing off the best people in the organization??

    When the good people report the outnesses to help the organization get better, they are attacked and vilified.

    The organization ends up giving some of the money back and creating a lot of enemies and bad PR. They STILL don’t correct the out points??!!

    This causes the good people to go to the press and make public the bad deeds of the organization. Now the organization feels that they have to lie about the outnesses to protect themselves. This creates new enemies and much more bad PR and muddcabbage STILL cannot seem to get a grasp that he is heading for catastrophe.

    Maybe he is just on a succumb postulate and boy is he making that postulate stick.

  21. Man, I’d gladly take a box of those unopened ACC’s. Gladly. No sense having all that clutter around the place.

  22. martyrathbun09

    Right, “the car goes where the driver looks” – The Art of Racing in the Rain (great book btw)

  23. Curious,
    “A lie is a statement that a particle having moved did not move, or a statement
    that a particle, not having moved, did move.” Axiom 36.

  24. CR:

    Here is how you can tell. David Miscavige says it is expanding. Ergo…

    Seriously — here are some things you can do:

    1. Go to your local org, whereever that may be, and look in the course room and see how many auditors are in training. Scientology cannot expand without auditors. It’s impossible.

    2. WHile in the org, see if you can see anyone in Div 6 or the HGC.

    3. Pull out the list of orgs that existed in the 1990’s, you can find them in the back of What is Scientology. See if you can find any new ones.

    4. Do the same for Missions. In fact, see if you can even find the ones that are listed, its almost certain you will not.

    5. Go Scientology.org and see if you can find the 8,000 Orgs, Mission and groups.

    6. Walk into any bookstore and see what L. Ron Hubbard titles you can find.

    7. Do a google search and see what you can find out about government endorsements of Scientology — according to the church it is happening everywhere and the acceptance of Scientology is unprecedented and overwhelming.

    8. Repeat step 6 and see how many of the 200,000 active Volunteer Ministers you can find doing anything.

  25. If you had a plan to rob every bank in town and you had a certain amount of time to get it done, would you care if all the townspeople thought you were a good guy while you were robbing them blind or would you simply take care to get every last cent until there was nothing left to get?

  26. The “Church” was very hostile to members even KEEPING the older sets of Scientology books.
    They were to be BURNED !
    Collections of older copies were rounded up.
    The “Church” did not want them donated to THRIFT stores or sold on Ebay.
    There was an emphatic order on the older version of the Basics to be rounded up
    and destroyed.

    If the Church thought that there were that many FLAWS in the older versions, then basically they were selling a bad product. In many instances an entity can be sued for having sold outright “FRAUD” for decades before perfecting it.

    I believe the BASICS were nothing more than a Miscavige vampire ploy to suck out and extort money.

    I laughed out loud when my Suppressive Person declare counted one of my SUPPRESSIVE ACTS was that I had REFUSED to go on course to study the BASICS


  27. I personally, would welcome actual, provable statistics on the growth of Scientology. Not quotes from management, actual numbers.

    How about: Bodies In the Shop (BIS)
    Let’s start with that statistic from any org, both now… a year ago… and five years ago.

    Let’s start with that and then we can carry on from there.
    It’s a Div. 6 stat, public info. Easy to find. Let’s compare notes.

  28. Mr Cowboy Poet,
    That should be made into a song. Has anyone, and if not, might I?
    I was singing my way through that with deeply felt impressions of sadness and hope. Sadness for those who never gasped air and hope that your words would permit another life to live that might not have made it.

  29. Off the fence.

    That is weird, you’d think that whoever wrote that would know that they were talking about a class Xll auditor and CS! Approved by LRH! Maybe a person with those credentials has her basics in, huh?
    By the way Karen, I used to drive you around when you were at CCLA (on La Brea). I remember a song came on the radio one day in my car (it was Music box dancer) and you really liked it, and said ” what radio station is that” while you were sitting in my front seat. That’s one memory I have of you. You were always very nice, and mellow.
    By the way, if you remember me, for right now it’s not BPI.

  30. If your melody rolls off the instruments like your name rolls off the tongue, it’ll sound good to me. 🙂
    Talk to me at cowboypoet@hushmail.com

  31. Karen, true story: A few years ago at ASHO, I knew of two veteran Sea Org members (who shall remain nameless here, but each had over 30 years in the SO) who had a private “stash” of LRH books from decades past. They had them hidden away in the back of storage spaces near their posts. Both were nice enough to let me borrow some of their books while I was on the BC, with the promise that I would return them and say nothing to nobody. Yes, SO members having to hide books by L. Ron Hubbard in the church of Scientology. Not a science fiction book by Ray Bradbury, but what is a reality in the Alice in Wonderland world of today’s COS. A mafia like organization which completely perverts the idea of spiritual advancement into a big business money making operation where any type of force and pressure is OK to extort more and more money from people. Miscavige really should be called “Don Miscavige” (as we would say in The Godfather). Good to read about “captain” Jon Lundeen of ASHO. He is amoral. He goes around with a shit eating grin on his face and he never approached me for any other reason than to aks for more and more cash.

  32. addition to my last post; As one of the SO members mentioned is deceased, I will give her name. Evelyn Bowers, the Qual Librarian at the time of her death (she was about 80 years old or so). Evelyn was a fine long time auditor at ASHO who went to her last post when age forced her out of the HGC. A person who was truly dedicated in helping others and completely dedicated to LRH and Scientology. She hid her LRH books in a low cabinet near her desk. As a former pc of hers, I can also attest to her ability as an auditor.

  33. Hmmm, I dunno, the Org on the “Drag” in Austin, TX where I live is certainly booming!

    I walk/ride my bicycle past there several times a week and out front there’s always a hugely overweight, chain-smoking woman glowering from behind a folding table heaped with $cientology brochures that nobody ever picks up.

    Okay, so maybe the Austin org isn’t actually booming, but the $cientologette’s waistline certainly is…can’t DM still count that as “growth”?!

  34. Excellent book! One of my favorites!

  35. I cannot let this comment go by without saying thank you so much for posting it, CB. I thought about it all day and yes, it really impinged. Next thing you know, we have a new blog topic. So, hope I’m not too late. Thank you! L, Rachel

  36. I and my husband were some of the ones that got 10-15 phone calls per night. My husband refused to pick up the phone and would let the answer machine go on. So I started to “troll” the call-iners. If I answer your questions you answer mine and I would ask how many hours of sleep they got last night, when was the last time they called their mom, have they ever considered forming a Sea Org union etc. That got me onto the OSA lines and I talked for a long time with I think Linda. She might even be the head person. Anyway, we had a two hour long conversation where I listened to her and she listened to me. It ended up that she said in a rather condescending manner that the only reason she was talking to me was that she really liked me and wanted to salvage me. I replied that the only reason I was talking to her was that I really liked her and wanted to get her out of the suppressive environment she was in. She got really mad, hung up and I think that ended the phone calls.

    Luis and Rocio, good going my dear friends. We should meet up again soon.

  37. I’ve been looking at this and feel this sales game is far, far more insidious than simply stealing money.

    A thetan’s power is utterly dependent on the ability to hold a position. But, what does all this selling do? It undermines that ability. Person doesn’t want to buy, but he’s moved off that position.

    Not to get too technical, but you can go back and mock up holding a position after you failed to do so, make yourself the winner there, but you’re now holding a position that’s out of present time. You’ve got a held position in a mental image picture, which might make you feel strong, but it also holds you out of present time.

    Your power in present time depends on holding a position in present time.

    I don’t think money is really the issue for DM. It’s the game of reducing others. Taking away a person’s money is just a means to cause pain and loss. The real thrill for a sociopath is to take away another being’s ability, especially the ability to hold a position.

    Money, I think, is just the magician’s distraction while he pulls an unexpected trick.

  38. The Church of Scientology of Minnesota recently opened up an Ideal Org and the press release said “the Church needed the 86,000 square foot building for expansion. It said “it has grown from 2,500 parishoners to 10,000 in the last 5 years.” I was on staff when the fundraising began in 2006 and the 2,500 members must have been the number of Category D public (remember that awesome program) we had. As for the 10,000 number that covers half of the CF from 1950’s and on. What a joke!

  39. Two years ago this month, a friend who was a Course Supervisor
    at a local org called me on a Friday evening to tell me he had zero students in his courseroom that night.

    That’s a stat.

  40. Grendel's Mother

    Yes, but the stats are all inflated and pushed. OT Committees get their own members to go on course and do the Div 6 intro courses just to get BIS. Trained OTs (whatever that means these days) doing PE or other intro courses just to get another dozen bodies into the otherwise empty shops.

    How about just looking for the org’s primary stats – auditors made and PCs VGIs on their auditing. Oh, I forgot, those stats don’t get reported anymore…

  41. Grendel's Mother

    How about… “are you doing better in life now that you were before you bankrupted yourself to the Church of Miscavige?” I mean, apart from the Feshbachs, Jensens and other rich folk, how many KAs are actually doing okay in life? Eveyone who’s still in that I know is struggling with bills, schedules, marriages, children – I can’t think of one KA who I can point to as a desirable product of Scn! Eternal freedom aside -and, c’mon on, we’re thetans, right – we have to be eternal! – what gains have they made? Just broken promises, broken families, lies and failures.

  42. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. That’s truly beautiful, Cowboy Poet.
    I feel that way too.

  44. How does it make sense to create such a frenzied atmosphere of enturbulated selling of books and straight donations for buildings when you are blowing off the best people in the organization?

    I think the Church is deliberately being collapsed over a longer Period of Time until not much more than major Real Estate Holdings exist. Get rid of everybody, except those with big Wallets. After all, the less Parishioners, the less SPs will need to be be dealt with.

  45. I laughed out loud when my Suppressive Person declare counted one of my SUPPRESSIVE ACTS was that I had REFUSED to go on course to study the BASICS

    Evidence of arbitrary Declares.

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