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So How Big is the Church of Scientology Really?

March 27, 2010
The small size

I always look forward to hearing from hard-line Scientologists. I look forward to their trenchant arguments, their razor-sharp wit and their compelling facts and statistics. This morning someone calling themselves “Truth” decided to weigh in. Within seven minutes, they had written four posts. One supposes that they had to get their stats up. Some of the gems from his/her posts:

“Yes, this site is entheta. Just bad stuff, bad news, nonsense. Bunch of bitchy girls together,” and “You must be a psychotic to waste time like this,” and “Your thoughts are without any logic, as you try to spread around your lies, automatically, over the blog.” In other words, the usual.

But they did present one “argument,” which goes like this: “David Miscavige is one of greatest leaders in the world. How else could anyone hold and control such a large organization like Scientology?”

I was planning on addressing just this point – the actual size of Scientology. I’ve addressed the topic before, but it bears revisiting. If you have been in Scientology for any length of time, where the Church occupied a lot of your time and effort, it’s easy to still think of Scientology as this huge, omnipresent international organization. And some people fear Scientology because of its “size.”

But what are the facts? Scientology claims “millions” of members. (They used to claim 8 million or 20 million, now they just say “millions.”) 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. 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.

This jibes with the 2008 ARIS (American Religious Identification Survey), which is conducted every 9 years. This is a massive survey, involving over 50,000 subjects. The ARIS study estimates the number of U.S. Scientologists at 25,000. That’s actually less than the number of Bahai reported (84,000) or the number of Sikhs (57,000) or the number of Pagans, Wiccans and Druids (307,000).

How many people is 40,000? Well, it’s about the size of a small town, say, Jefferson City, Missouri, or North Shields in England, or Tikapur in Nepal. What, you’ve never heard of those places? Exactly.

Well, here’s a town of that size you have heard of – San Jacinto, California, the home of Scientology’s International Headquarters. If David Miscavige wants to get some “mass” on the true size of his “empire,” he should get into a pickup truck and drive around San Jacinto.

A friend of mine in New York, when he heard the actual figures of the Church’s size, commented, “that’s not even a good Mets game.” And it’s true. Citi Field in New York holds 45,000.

A Scientology event in LA, where there are more Scientologists than any other area, pulls 5,000 to 7,000 people, including staff. The Dodgers routinely pull 46,000 to their games. In fact, Dodger Stadium is large enough, at 56,000 capacity, to fit every Church of Scientology member in the world, with plenty of room left over for David Miscavige’s ego.

And as to the Tampa Bay area, where Scientology claims 10,000 or 12,000 members, they hold their events at Ruth Eckerd Hall, capacity 2,180. Even the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pull in 60,000 to 70,000 fans for their games in Raymond James Stadium.

So before you get overwhelmed by the “size” of the Church of Scientology, look at some actual figures and comparisons.

And before you tell me what a “great leader” David Miscavige is, take a look at the real extent of his rapidly shrinking “empire.”

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47 Comments
  1. March 27, 2010 8:11 pm

    If you reckon 40,000 members and cash reserves of $1,000,000,000 (very very roughly), that works out at $25,000 each. At current prices, that’s what, 75 hours auditing? Enough for an Expanded Grade in the HGC maybe?

    I don’t have a point here. Just tossing some figures around.

    Paul

    • Editor permalink*
      March 27, 2010 8:51 pm

      Exactly, Paul. There are many ways to analyze the known facts, and they all come up in the same general ballpark, 25,000 to 40,000.

  2. Sinar permalink
    March 27, 2010 8:41 pm

    Jeff, Your picture really had me rolling on the floor. Great article & dissection from A=A=A logic to Identities, similarities and differences!

  3. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    March 27, 2010 9:09 pm

    Some years back CofS had a campaign to get EVERY known Scientologist internationally on the web with a cookie cutter web site.

    “I am a Scientologist”.

    Here is a sample

    http://myreligion.scientologist.net/suebirkenshaw/

    It was really gawky and embarrassing. No creativity was permitted. It was a uniform.
    This was public, but a UNIFORM was demanded.
    A couple of missions were assigned to call up everyone and get this going so that the Church had a “web presence”. One could not upload or download the site oneself. It was Church controlled.

    Try as they did , they could never get the number above 25,000 internationally. This verifies Editor’s comment.

    Then as wear and tear and erosion occurred, blown members, dying of cancer members, criminal conduct members were an embarrassment to have on these
    “I am a Scientologist “sites. Sometimes the Church only got alerted via the Internet that a recently police arrested Scientologist has a website. They would then scamper to take it down.

    Try as they did, they could never get more than 25,000 Scientologist web sites and with death, erosion and blows it is now a LOT less.

    • Moving Forward permalink
      April 5, 2010 7:01 pm

      Also, if you were going to have one of those sites, you had to have a ‘Net Nanny’ program installed on your computer so that you couldn’t visit any entheta sites.

    • Jack permalink
      May 15, 2010 8:56 pm

      It’s now circa 16,000. (See http://on-line.scientology.org/)

    • May 30, 2010 2:36 am

      I don’t really go by that statistic as I and probably 90% of the Scientologists I knew did not have a “site”.
      No matter the numbers I know that the official Church stats are shrinking while it appears the Indie stats are booming.

      • jim permalink
        August 10, 2010 10:57 pm

        I dont think you know it is shrinking because there are no stats? Its empty idle org just doesnt cut it. You dont know!

  4. March 27, 2010 9:37 pm

    Hmmm…. as a Scientologist I still believe in Scientology – at least the ideas of Scientology – I have to admit it’s not perfect by any means – but extremly interesting… and should inspire more research on the subject, especially considering auditing… we can’t continue with this Source-is-God and not continue research of our own. LRH even said “Build a better bridge”. Let’s continue!

    The Church however is far away from being a better society. I might as well say it works worse than ordinary society. Unfortunately… and it seems to me like Miscavige is having a psychotic force on this… I’m not sure if he’s evil or just extremly single-minded… feel free to make comparisons to Berlusconi.

    I think we should loosen up this “LRH is the God” concept and start to make more serious research on the time-track and all the incidents… at least 60 trillion years…

    “Let’s build a better bridge.” Squirrel away! More auditing and more communication is better than nothing at all – according to LRH own words.

    I’m sorry to have to say that – but I believe in more auditing and more communication and what works and what does not work. Generations improve other generations. The boundaries have to be moved forward – even when LRH is gone.

  5. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    March 27, 2010 10:25 pm

    Editor ~~
    There is a way to shut off harrassment and whacko phone calls.
    You announce you to the harrasser that you are taping the phone call.
    In California, you can tape after letting the other party know that you are taping.
    The taped call is so easily uploaded to the web, and, like the Jenny Good letter is a HUGE EMBARRASSMENT to OSA and the Church.
    This kind of call sounds worse on playback.
    I bet you Anonymous will cross post up a recording of this kind of message, for another 25,000 to listen to.

    You will be surprised how that turns off the unwanted phone calls…….

    • lunamoth. permalink
      March 27, 2010 11:44 pm

      Brilliant.

    • Anon permalink
      April 15, 2010 5:50 pm

      trust me, we become aware of that tape, it will be shot across all corners of the web

  6. March 28, 2010 1:01 am

    Jeff,

    As you know I did a short stint in CMU (a lot of us techies did back when suspended off post for various reasons) and as you say we pretty much had our fingers on the pulse of Scientology.

    Also before that I worked on a very special CF project that was supervised personally by Ron. In fact our reports bypassed routine channels and went directly to him.

    We didn’t get many orders from the Ol’man because what he mainly wanted was data or information for an LRHED he was planning to write, such as the size of the T&P (Trained and Processed) as opposed to Book Buyers (which included people who had done Div VI or Introductory courses, received Demo or Group auditing or had sent in a request for more info from a book on Scientology or Dianetics that they had purchased at a book store) and those of any of those categories known as “ADUNK” that is Address Unknown.

    Actually, the numbers were pretty impressive and if you included people who attended lectures, Sunday Services or had been contacted by a Field Auditor or FSM and got others to apply some aspect of Scientology in their lives and the lives of others like the com cycle, the tone scale, ARC, assist or some other simple auditing procedure, study tech, R1 processes (which would CIA, INSCOM and DIA), programs and target tech etc. The number of Scientologists (people who apply some aspect of Scientology to their lives) would probably be in the millions.

    Now on memberships alone, that is people who were HASI members. I know the number exceeded IAS. Compare the price $300.00 compared to ten times that at 3000 to 4000 dollars. Yearly membership at $15.00 compared to 350 to 450!

    So the Orgs under the new regime have actually crashed stats and this is how:

    First they virtually eliminated the Franchise network which was a major source of NNCF (New Names to CF) in ’82.

    Secondly they began to harass Field Auditors, FSMs and Scientologists who had contact with the public another major source of not only NNCF but active Scientologists per the earlier definition by trade making and copyrighting every thing that wasn’t nailed down and forcing anyone who was broadly disseminating Scientology to pay an exorbitant tithe read extortion to RTC.

    Finally, they raised the price of membership and services beyond the average person’s ability to pay.

    Aside from that they directly sabotaged any programs aimed towards Planetary Dissemination.

    Yes the stats in that period in the ’80’s showed an increase but the increase was due to three factors 1) they ended enforcement of the LRHED the ‘Solution to Inflation’ and decreased the price of training and processing in the early ’80’s 2) They promoted getting trained over getting audited and most importantly 3) they delivered actual Scientology!

    However with the Franchise, Field Auditors and FSMs taken out and their antagonism towards broad public dissemination. It was only a matter of time before these earlier overts would catch up which is what happened in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s.

    Not only that, but in the early ’90’s they dismissed all Non SO (such as myself) from any SO Service Orgs which consisted of most of their tech staff.

    So far so good.

    Finally the coup de grâce with the IAS “Victory” over the IRS where they changed the definition of Scientologist to somebody who was a member of a Scientology Organization, actively on services which was never ever that high proportionately which became even lower thanks to rampant injustice, out tech and arbitraries. Not to mention the IAS and other Tax exempt entities that were unleashed by the “‘Secret’ Closing Agreement” that set out like the fallen angels in Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ to pauperize every Scientologist except the filthy rich and made them incapable of affording Scientology service which by then had increased by ten fold in many cases!

    What’s even more disingenuous is two faced Tommy’s duplicity when asked by the media about the number of Scientologists world wide when he uses the earlier definition which includes you and I folks i.e. people who apply some aspect of Scientology to our lives, but in reality he and the current regime really don’t consider us Scientologists according to their IRS approved definition.

    Funny how that works :)

    The fact is number of Scientologists world wide is anyone’s guess. However the number of Scientologists under their “new improved” definition is probably 40,000 max.

    Ml

    RJ

    • Editor permalink*
      March 28, 2010 1:37 am

      RJ, I dealt with the Scientology central mailing lists – the “Central Addo” – for many years, from about 1976 to 2004. The so-called Trained and Processed list, which was supposed to be everyone who had ever taken a paid service, including Div 6 paid services, was just over 100,000 in 1976. That’s international. I know because I used to mail Advance mags to it. By the early 1990s, it was up to about 200,000. By 2004, the list – still about 200,000 – had been neglected and there were about 30% Address Unknowns. The vast bulk of these names were known to be “off-lines,” and this was a big flap at the Base. As to the book buyer list – anyone who had ever bought a book from an org, or who had sent in a card from a book bought at a public bookstore – was 2 million. Again, a lot of Address Unknowns by 2004. Those are the raw numbers. As to how many people read a book and never contacted the church, or how many are applying Scientology outside the Church, that is, as you say, anyone’s guess. And you’re right, Miscavige’s actions have served to alienate those people they do have.

      • March 28, 2010 2:42 am

        I’m not disputing what you’re saying Jeff.

        I wrote about the whole CF in total. Not just T&Ps.

        Also T&P from what I remember from doing the project did not include Div VI courses or intro services (at least back then it didn’t) and as you and I know Book Buyers (which included Book Auditors) exceeded T&P by a factor of 10 at least.

        For instance our Major mailings were less than 5oo but our minor mailing in the org I was in when I worked on the special CF project exceeded 5000.

        However, that wasn’t even my point.

        The point I was trying to make was at the time was what constituted a “Scientologist” was much broader then, than it is now.

        Also practically every step that current management has taken based on the numbers has led to organizational suicide in the short and long term, even when seemly expedient and did cause an increase in the short term.

        In other words overall. We were in better shape organizationally when the Organization was directed by a triumvirate of the GO, WW and SO than it ever was exclusively under the direction and control of the SO through RTC.

        New management has been trying to promote the opposite and its a complete and utter falsehood.

        Even in the bad old days after the FBI raided the GO. I don’t remember the PR area control or PR in general being this bad and the situation as desperate as it is now.

        If it wasn’t for the constant GI push and the financial irregularities currently going on now. The orgs would have long since ceased to exist.

        Christ, Marty even in a slow week is probably delivering more WDAHs than most Major Orgs right now. (Hi Marty :) )

        The fact is most Orgs don’t audit or train anyone. They are just Potemkin Villages known as “Ideal Orgs”.

  7. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    March 28, 2010 2:34 am

    Editor and RJ,

    Very good write ups. Very informative.
    Of note is that Tommy Davis has re-defined a Scientologist as ONLY a member of C of S.
    “One cannot be a Scientologist” outside the Church.”
    I forget the exact phrase.

    So is the claim that MILLIONS are Church (C of S) members ?

    • March 28, 2010 5:09 am

      RT,

      I can only guess where he is getting this number from. Probably, total sales of DMSMH or something like that.

      However they have been fudging book sales by selling multiple copies to individuals. The stat originally used to be “books sold to raw public”. Now its become somewhat elastic just like their false auditing hours stat which probably includes nerve assists given by VMs or even having a com cycle with someone!

      I mean when I was a Field Auditor under IHELP I was asked if I talked to anyone.

      And I said “Are you fuckin’ kidding me?!”. Since I only counted hours in the chair. However, I’m pretty sure there were auditors who counted com cycles they had including D of P Interviews as hours!

      In my opinion the Orgs current “unprecedented expansion” is nothing but false stats. What is known a “stat push’. Representing nothing more than hot air ,wishful thinking and counting things that have nothing to do with the actual stat.

      This is probably what Two Faced Tommy could mean by Scientologists or he could be including the entities Ron writes about in History of Man, plus any Multiple personalities or something like that.

      Who the hell knows?

      However, by their own definition. The one they recently used to invalidate the independence movement. He’s lying through his teeth.

      Because as Jeff has astutely pointed out there isn’t any where near that many Church of Scientology members according the definition of Scientologist that the current Church of Scientology and the IRS agree on.

      So as per usual Tommy speaks with forked tongue.

      • Editor permalink*
        March 28, 2010 6:22 pm

        When I was in, it was standard to take the total sales of DMSMH since 1950 and claim those as “Scientologists.” That’s like taking the total sales of Mein Kampf since 1926 and claiming that represents the number of active Nazis in the world today – it’s patently ridiculous.

      • March 28, 2010 7:32 pm

        I’m saying that this is where Tommy may have gotten his “millions” stat from.

        However, no one I knew counted all DMSMH book buyers as “Scientologists”.

        Though it may have been the common practice in other sectors.

        Note even the Ol’man said that it takes 25 books sold to make one Scientologist.

        Back in the ’50’s , ’60’s and ’70’s there where many people who where applying Scientology who had never bought a book on the subject.

        For instance they were instructed by a friend who happened to be Scientologist on how to do a touch assist, how an acknowledgment applied to a com cycle. I personally had quite a number and associates that I gave Scientology data to who applied it who never became members of the Church of Scientology, yet whom I’d consider more of a Scientologist than your average IAS member.

        This is number you could only estimate.

        In fact as you remember the Ol’man estimated this number at 8 million in Fundamentals of Thought.

        However, this was a very broad definition of Scientologist as I wrote before. As being anyone who actually applied some aspect of Scientology to improve conditions which immediately excludes the current organization.

        Aside from that the original definition is very inclusionary while the current one promoted by the Church is completely exclusionary, saying that if you are not a *member* of a Scientology Organization then we don’t consider you a Scientologist.

        We both know by that exclusive definition there is not “millions of Scientologists”.

        There is also the doublespeak involved here.

        Back in the old days Ron considered anyone who improved conditions for the better to be a Scientologist, whether they called themselves one or not. He considered that they were one of us.

        His concept was non-exclusionary.

        Yet Tommy’s and the current Organization’s definition which is based on the definition distributed by their “friends” at INTERPOL in that booklet issued after the IRS “victory” and appears at the bottom of every piece of promotion since to the effect that Scientologist is a collective trademark that represents members of a Church or Mission or something to that effect is completely exclusionary.

        In other words Tommy and the Church at this point are involved in a game of utter hypocrisy. On one one hand he is saying to the press that everyone who improves conditions is a Scientologist. Yet on the other hand when he wants to attack the independence movement he is saying we are not and only members of the Church need apply.

        So which is it Tommy?

  8. Boyd H. permalink
    March 28, 2010 3:13 am

    So basically the Training and processing list doubled in around 15 years then flatlined for the next 12, when it was last seen. The basics courses now count on this stat so there should be an uptrend for a while until the push for that is over. These are short, easy, destructive courses, ensuring auditors are never made. Then all the Church is left with is a massive lack of auditors because literally almost no one is on actual training. That’s how you gut Scientology. “Truth” do you know what LRH would say about a leader like that? INTENTIONAL destruction, get it through your head. You’re the enemy of Scientology,”Truth. You’r not an innocent little “good” lamb doing your part.

  9. Boyd H. permalink
    March 28, 2010 3:18 am

    “The basics courses now count on this stat so there should be an uptrend for a while until the push for that is over.”

    Actually there wouldn’t even be an uptrend most likely because it’s recycling existing public from reports I’ve seen. I was thinking about paid completions.

  10. Soderqvist1 permalink
    March 28, 2010 8:21 am

    Flag Stats 2009 Evidence of Unprecented Expansion

    http://ocmb.xenu.net/ocmb/viewtopic.php?t=32265

    • March 28, 2010 8:44 pm

      Thanks S1,

      These stats are pretty unbelievable and I mean in the context that I don’t believe them.

      “21 completions” in a day. Get real!

      Are they counting cigarette breaks as “completions”?

      “That’s right supe I completed a Marlboro before I started course.”

      Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. It’s probably sections on the checksheet they are counting. in which case “21 completions” is not all that impressive.

      “850 full grades completions”.

      Sure, sure.

      Probably spent a whole five minutes on each grade!

      Noted is the fact that they say nothing about actual auditors made and as far as I know Oak Cove has been in operation for over 8 years, so if that is a cumulative stat, which I think it is. It means Oak Cove on average is producing less than 10,000 hrs a year which is less than 1000 a month which is about 250 per week!

      Not all that impressive.

      When I audited in the HGC at AO we averaged over 600 WDAHs per week while Solo was something like 1500.

      Again another stat that is probably cumulative is 1000 OTs made which looks impressive until you divide by 7 (OT 1-New OT 7) since each OT level counts as an OT made in the org which equals just under 150 individual OTs where actually made. Again like the prior stat they don’t give a time period but I figure it’s since Oak Cove has been op so divide by 8 again and you get around 19 OTs made a year on average.

      Pathetic!

      Yeah they are sure going to clear the planet at that rate. Probably in a few trillion years.

      Never mind the fact that many of these “OT’s” are old OTs they told weren’t clear.

      I see they have gone back to board footage, which is probably the only tangible stat they have right now. Since the amount of empty space and promises has definitely gone up and is probably the only thing straight up and vertical.

      I think unprecedented (mind) expansion is probably more accurate because they must be on drugs if they think that no one will see through all this PR.

    • Boyd H. permalink
      March 30, 2010 6:07 pm

      Even if it’s not a false report it doesn’t indicate very much of anything about the state of Scientology. Flag stats are another matter and there’s lots of room for Flag to get a hell of a lot bigger than that before there’s a crack in that wall. The Class V and mission stats are the ones that determine the expansion of Scientology and where we’re headed, and that’s preceded by squirrelling. So if you want to know how well Scientology is doing besides all the reports on these websites, get to the bottom of it by looking at squirreling. It takes the full context of all the information to see where Scientology is at. For example, Flag has been taking org PC’s to get their grades done. Might that create a boom for Flag? Without a doubt. Another thing is what is with this 4000 plus auditors made? As in 22 auditors per org have been made or something? Of if they’re not in the org they’re in the field or Flag auditors? This would obviously be shown in the stats yet the church refuses to show the stats for Class V sector, and on top of that I was told by two Int staff in LA that the stats haven’t gone back up since Marty etc left in 04′. So where’s the lie?

  11. scooter permalink
    March 28, 2010 8:23 am

    Thanks Jeff – another well-researched and well-written article.

    Here in Oz there would be at the MOST 1,o00 Scientologists who are active in the Church in any way. In Sydney, supposedly the place where the greatest amount are concentrated, they would be lucky to get 200 public to an event. The recent LRH Birthday event by all reports drew far less than that. And it traditionally is the best-attended event in the calendar.

    There is I believe a catastrophic decline in BIS occurring that is being disguised by padded stats all round. At least one org here in Oz is being kept open by 2 SO members on garrison duties who get the remaining field to be “staff” by helping out when called for – hardly a professional organization.

    Yet the mantra is “unprecedented expansion.”

    I just wonder which gentle breeze will completely blow away the house of cards?

  12. Vadim Dolgov ;) permalink
    March 28, 2010 12:22 pm

    “Truth” decided to weigh in. Within seven minutes, they had written four posts. One supposes that they had to get their stats up. ”

    You know, Jeff?!
    I think it’s not about stats anymore. It’s about “effective blows to the enemies!” (liability formula).
    I think it’s a great trend! They they do this because once they get to Internet to “deliver the blow…”, they get pieces of striking and startling data (Truth), which – once they discover for themselves – they WILL try to “pull strings on it” since “being a scientologist” makes you “get to the bottom of this.” (LRH’s tech od Investigations in Scn HB and even just being an auditor to any degree).

    Or may be they are just trying to show here that they “stand tall” (which is well understood since the data in the Internet – like your site – is bringing them down heavily).
    Such attempts make them look miserable. Always. In any forum. With any post. On any site. In any way, shape or form.

    P.S. I’m all FOR scientology. It just happens to be that members of this “religion” react adequately to the realms of realities around them. Pity! (but changeable! :) )

    • Vadim Dolgov ;) permalink
      March 28, 2010 12:27 pm

      P.P.S. I’m all FOR scientology. It just happens to be that members of this “religion” DON’T react adequately to the realms of realities around them. Pity! (but changeable! )
      They should take in the reality of the world as it is! I did. They can do it, too.

  13. Observer permalink
    March 29, 2010 12:59 am

    There is nothing I hate more these days then these trolls who try to tell you how all is well under Miscavige and how great he is and how all these people who speak out about him were loosers and whimps, etc.

    I had a conversation with one of these OSA trolls and that person was unable to acknowledge the most glaring outpoints in regards to DM and only went on and on about the great achievements such as Bridge Publications which can pump out gazillions of CDs a day, and the awesome Idle org program with all the pretty MEST, etc. The moment I mentioned things like abortions, human rights violations, out-tech, alterations in the newly released basics, lack of expansion and the bad PR as created by the spokesperson Tommy Davis they did not want to have anything further to do with me.

    It’s like here is DM standing there with a knife, blood still dripping and bodies lying around him left right and center and these guys will tell you that he is inocent and the best leader ever. This makes me mad.

    With such people being staff or publics, as far as I am concerned, the church can burn down to the ground and maybe out of the ashes we can build a new Scientology, one that believes in its teachings.

  14. TRUTH permalink
    March 29, 2010 8:04 pm

    Observer,

    Amen! Don’t waste your time explaining to those KoolAid drinkers. Just keep on flourishing and prospering because the C of M is burning down and DM will end up behind bars.

    • Just Me permalink
      March 29, 2010 11:55 pm

      Hi, Truth.

      Welcome. Are you the same Truth who inspired Jeff’s blog above?

      In either case, welcome — enjoy the view.

      Best,

      Just Me

  15. John Doe permalink
    March 30, 2010 1:17 am

    I made this comment on another blog, but it is actually more on topic here:

    IF you take the church’s number of “millions of members”, the minimum number that would have to be is 2 million.

    There has been an ongoing campaign for at least the last five or so years to get “10,000 people on or through OT7″. The church is not close to accomplishing this, but let’s assume that they did indeed meet this goal.

    With the above numbers, the percentage of Scientologists on the Bridge to Total Freedom that actually arrive at the top of the bridge is a moribund one half of one percent!

    If you take the amount of 40,000 that Jeff mentions above, then the number “10,000 on or through OT 7″ is still a paltry 25%. What if firemen only put out 25% of the fires that erupted in the city? What if mothers only fed their children 25% of the meals they should?

    Attention Sea Org: Either of these numbers suggest a screamingly urgent situation that requires a competent evaluation and an all-out effort to figure out how to overcome this treasonous betrayal of LRH’s legacy.

    • lunamoth permalink
      March 30, 2010 4:22 pm

      Great point, John Doe!

      I would love to see Anderson Cooper put all the church’s promoted stats up on his “magic screen” along with the stats remembered by those who used to work with those numbers (such as Jeff ), and
      the stats derived by outside organizations (such as the American Religious Survey), and watch Cooper “do the math” to see which ones hold up and which ones get Anderson and his audience asking more questions…

      I can predict who’s stats will do the latter.

    • March 30, 2010 8:49 pm

      The fact is that the number on *new* OT VIIs is actually declining and has been declining since the “Golden Age of Tech for OTs”. The stat is also very deceptive because it includes Pre OTs who originally completed OT VIII and have been put back on “the level” as they now call it (as if NOTs was the only level on the Grade Chart) and some Pre OTs who have actually blown the level or are in severe “ethics trouble”.

      However, the most revealing stat crash has been the number of Clears which peaked at around 50,000 in the late ’80’s (which is a cumulative stat by the way and is supposed to represent the number of clears made since the release of the Clearing Course in ’65) and is now below 20,000 with every indication that it is declining further, thanks to RTC’s new arbitrary on the State of Clear.

      Worse.

      The number of auditors made (a stat that they virtually ignore these days) has pretty much flat lined and is basically on life support and if it wasn’t for intra-org training such as the Tech Training Corp would be completely non-existent.

      As an aside.

      It’s not that Scientologists don’t want to train even when they have to go through the arbitrary hurdles of the “Golden Age of (altered) Tech. It is because they now have to taxi down this incredibly long runway which includes the “Basics”. A Div VI course that rivals the SHSBC in size.

      A course that is practically all significance with very little mass.

      (Trust me I’ve worked on training lines and we used to make good auditors in a matter of weeks who could audit circles around these Robotic Droids they now call “auditors”. However, any one who says that all these data are not required to make an auditor who can effectively audit is accused of “quickie-ing”)

      Did I mention quickie!

      Well that’s what’s happening at Flag right now with all these new “grade completions”. From the intel I’ve gotten so far which I consider pretty reliable. They are now only running the major process of the Grade on these cases and are only going back to the expanded Grade’s processes if the EP isn’t evident!

      (Here’s a little secret folks. You rarely ever get a stable release on only running the major process of the grade. True in many cases the release looks spectacular but only lasts for a short time and by the time they get on the OT levels they usually manifest what is known as “by passed case”.)

      In other words they’ve slowed down training to almost a full stop, yet they are quickie-ing auditing which which directly violates RED 107 Int in which he says:

      “Slow courses and fast auditing destroy the subjects of Dianetics and Scientology.”

      I’m sure somebody amongst these Scientology saboteurs knows this datum, even if Pope David doesn’t (since he is completely ignorant of the subject), yet they have set the course for the subject’s ultimate destruction.

  16. Number Cruncher permalink
    March 30, 2010 1:21 pm

    Here’s an extract from an article in the British newspaper the Church Times (http://www.churchtimes.co.uk/content.asp?id=29766):

    Another trap the media fall into is taking Scientology’s claim of ten million members worldwide at face value. Membership figures are notoriously problematic. Are Church of England members everyone who has been baptised into it? Or all those who say they are C of E, meaning they’re not anything else? Or Christmas or Easter communicants? So what about the 120,000 members Scientology are claiming in Britain?

    In 2001, for the first time, the UK Census asked about religious affiliation. In England and Wales, 1781 people said they were Scientologists — less than 1.5 per cent of the number the Church claims. The 2001 Census figures for other English-speaking countries are similarly low: in Australia, 2032 people said they were Scientologists; in Canada, only 1525; and in New Zealand, 282.

    Where are the other nine million or so? They must be in the United States, Scientology’s home country. Well, no. In fact, the American Religious Identification Survey estimated in 2001 that there were just 55,000 Scientologists in the US. As the majority of Scientologists live in the US, the actual worldwide membership may be under 100,000 — rather less than the claimed ten million.

    How can we account for this 100:1 disparity? The Church’s president, Heber Jentzsch, let slip on a radio programme in 1992 that the Church of Scientology claims as a member every single person who has ever taken even an introductory Scientology course since the Church was founded in 1954. Even leaving aside all those “members” who must now be dead, is this really membership? But ten million makes the Church of Scientology sound a great deal more significant than 100,000.

    • May 30, 2010 2:45 am

      Not to invalidate your claim but as a Canadian I certainly did not put down my religious affiliation on the census. The State has no business knowing what my religious beliefs are.

      • Number Cruncher permalink
        May 30, 2010 10:03 am

        Okay. But unless Scientologists are unique in doing the same as you — i.e. members of all religions EXCEPT Scientology are happy to say they are members — it makes no difference to the point. The numbers outside the USA really are tiny. And I suspect falling. How long until there are fewer than 10,000 worldwide?

  17. Number Cruncher permalink
    March 30, 2010 1:58 pm

    PS I suspect that the figures of 25,000-40,000 are even more likely than the 100,000 of this estimate. And probably shrinking.

  18. Mick permalink
    April 2, 2010 7:18 pm

    An excellent article Jeff. You are right on the money about the approximate size of Scientology. I was part of setting up the IAS in the mid 80’s and saw all the figures. When the IAS was formed and enormous events were held across the world and enormous sums of money were dedicated to doing call in and trying to get people to them – the total at all events was 30,000.

    Miscavige claims that the CofS is roughly the same size as the Mormon Church. Anyone who is not a scientologists and who wishes to do so can conduct a simple test to determine how accurate that is
    a) How many mormons do you, have you met?
    b) how many Scientologists?
    c) How many Mormon temples in your city or county?
    d) How many Scientology organizations?

    Scientology is very small cult.

  19. Moving Forward permalink
    April 5, 2010 7:03 pm

    Some of these new missions were opened to ‘prove’ the expansion of the new Idle Orgs. I saw one with my own eyes that had 2 part-time staff only and another two that never actually got off the ground. They were a total stat push.

  20. Mike Henderson permalink
    April 6, 2010 1:05 pm

    Church membership 40,000 (on the high side) means there are bigger Churches in Oklahoma run out of double-wide trailers with a satellite TV hookup!

  21. April 8, 2010 12:09 am

    I came upon this 1964 article, and I thought there was an interesting passage in it re. membership, i.e. the topic of this entry. For the benefit of your readers, I will leave this excerpt here (a link for the whole article follow.)

    Excerpt:

    /=====
    … We learn a lot about the intensity of Hubbard’s faith in the efficacy of “postulates” and the power of positive thinking by noticing that throughout the years he has been claiming that Scientology was growing by leaps and bounds. There even were many predictions of just when everyone on Terra would be first a Scientologist and then a “clear.” These claims and speculations continue into the present although one is hard put to find substantiating evidence. For exemple, between 1953 and 1958, there were at least 52 Scientology churches founded in the U.S. alone, while by 1964 Ability lists only 15 in the U.S., one in Canada and one in Mexico (plus, of course, the churches automatically contained in central organizations outside the New World). Even these figures do not necessarily give a good picture of the number of people involved, for Hubbard’s churches usually are synonomous with a Center or City Office and many of these are quite small as well as frequently being somewhat transient.

    The Church plus Center in Denver, for instance, had a total staff of six as of March, 1964. The one in Las Vegas had a staff of two and the one in Mexico, as far as can be determined, a staff of one. Even the Central Organization in Washington — the Continental Headquarters for North and South America — had a total staff somewhere in the neighborhood of only 60. Moreover, we can compare the fact that there were 200 students in a single class in Los Angeles in 1950 to the fact that during the entire year of 1963 the Washington Academy (presumably the largest of the several scattered over the globe) graduated only 35 students from its four-month classes (the equivalent of nine to a class).

    Making comparisons between more recent years, we see Ability listing 153 active franchise “auditors” in the U.S. in 1959, although by 1963 a special organizational bulletin was listing only 52. It is difficult to reconcile this information with Hubbard’s January statement that there were two million Scientologists at that time and that the number was doubling every six months. …
    \=====

    http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/library-item.php?iid=5877

  22. Anon permalink
    April 15, 2010 5:55 pm

    I would like to point out that we, Anonymous, helped a lot. We were a thing that could not be handled, a thing that dug up any info we wished and published anywhere. Where ever there was a stress table, org or front group, we were there to inform people.

    New members aren’t coming in as large groups because we have spread truth.

  23. Manual permalink
    April 19, 2010 8:56 pm

    Here’s a quick way to tell…

    Ask the CofS to release the highest numbered *Clear*.

    It used to be that each *Clear* was given a number. It’s on the bracelet.

    If they have millions of members and their goal it to *Clear* the planet, wouldn’t that number be pretty darn high?

    My guess it’s less than 100,000.

    Oh, they probably keep it a secret…

  24. Plebius Minimus permalink
    April 21, 2010 7:06 pm

    And, just to let you know, when I was in the cult, about 1970, the literature claimed 15,000,000 members world wide. Captain Bill, the most esteemed Scientologist after L.Ron and his wife, said in my presence, that the world would be clear in four years.

  25. Anonymous permalink
    January 7, 2011 1:04 pm

    Thank you for your blog. Im sorry the brainwash have tried to deter you, but what is to expect? Im sure the masses are being put under intense pressure and even some having an internet filter on their computer to block critical sites. I honestly wouldnt be suprised if they have a bot to simply make an automatic post to just harrass with random post.

    Thanks for the work you are contributing to. The beast (or so i like to describe scientology as) is very weakened right now and are very desperate to keep who they have and from allowing these poor individuals to obtain the freedom of decision.

    To you individuals: I am not saying that your beliefs are any less valid or valueable as the rest of the worlds. No one wishes to take away your right to religion as you have been told. All we want is for reformation on how the church is run to change. If you recall during the dark ages the catholic church was also basically charging for sins to be forgiven and such other acts of oppression. It was not until the brave man martin luther came along and made the church reform. The beliefs still stayed and though there is controversy to this day circling the vatican, we simply are only trying to give you and other individuals the right to believe what you wish without causing you and your family harm that you might have been forced to disconnect from. We wish to make the church provide an environment where you may practice without the stress im sure they put you through. You may take this message as you wish, but if anyone wishes for help, all they simply need to do is ask for it. Mark bunker or others may be able to provide any info to get you out for good. xenu.net or xenutv.com is where you may go if you can get to a computer that will allow it.

    I wish all members and non members well and hoping for change.

    p.s. freezoners you are doing pretty much what we are trying to accomplish. Hopefully one day you can join the church when it is reformed.

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