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Fact Checking David Miscavige

August 12, 2009

I was reading the 80-page Freedom Magazine put out by David Miscavige, and I came across this datum from a bulleted list of Scientology “expansion wins”:

“8,071 Scientology Churches, Missions and groups”

I got curious as to where all these “Churches, Missions and groups” are.  You might have noticed that the Church no longer lists Org addresses in the back of the books. They used to list all Org and Mission addresses, but they stopped doing that. They just refer you to their website, with its nifty Scientology Org and Mission locator. You cannot find a complete org and mission list on the website, just this locator. So, in order to find out how many Orgs and Missions there are, you have to spend hours going through the locator, country by country.

Which I did.

Here’s my count: 140 Orgs, 342 Missions. I don’t vouch for its complete accuracy, but it’s pretty close. That’s a far cry from 8,071. Here’s what the breakdown looks like:

Pie

I went back and checked my copy of What is Scientology, from 1998, which dates from a time when they still published org and missions address lists. The count, from that list, is 143 Orgs, 230 Missions. So the number or Orgs is virtually the same. Sure, there have been a few new Orgs: Harlem,  CC Nashville. But there have also been Orgs that have quietly disappeared: CC Portland, Copenhagen Org, Puerto Rico (downgraded to a Mission). So no real expansion there.

Missions have apparently increased by 112.  Okay, fair enough, but nowhere near 8,000.

The Freedom Magazine tells us: “In just the last five years, the Church has literally doubled in size, from 4,000 Churches, Missions and groups in 2004 to over 8,000 in 2009 in 165 nations, doubled since 2004.”

So it’s a bit, shall we say, misleading, to talk about an expansion of “Orgs, Missions and Groups.” The claimed expansion has been, other than 112 Missions added in the last 10 years, entirely groups. Over 7,500 of them.  Well, a legitimate question is, where are they?

I spent some time on the internet looking for them. A search for “Scientology Group” and “Dianetics Group” didn’t find anything (although I found a lot of Freezone groups). I spent some time with Google Maps, searching for any addresses connected to Dianetics or Scientology. I only got Orgs and Missions. I searched for any blogs connected to Scientology groups. Well, I couldn’t find them. One would think that if there were 7,500 Dianetics or Scientology groups, they would actually show up somewhere.

If they exist.

Makes one wonder about the other claims in the magazine.

They say, for instance, that “112.4 million online visitors from 234 countries viewed more than 23 million videos on the Scientology website in the past year.” Great. Except there are only 195 nations on Earth. Did some of these visitors come from off-planet?

“Number of individuals completing Dianetics and Scientology counseling and courses doubled in the past two years.” No figures. “Total number of counseling hours doubled in the past decade.” No figures. “Total number of people newly introduced to Scientology and starting on training or counseling doubled in the past five years.” Also no actual figures. Why don’t they publish any figures? Well, someone could do some simple math and come to the conclusion that there weren’t actually “millions of Scientologists.” I’ve addressed that claim elsewhere.

They claim that 9,523 Scientologists live in the Tampa Bay area, along with 1,500 Church staff. Why, then, do they hold events in Ruth Eckerd Hall which, according to its website, “comfortably seats 2,180 for concerts, recitals, plays and special events”

So who are these 9,523 people and why don’t they come to events?

It’s time to hold the Church of Scientology responsible for these misleading and inflated “expansion statistics.” What are they covering up? What is the real scene?

And as an added note, here’s a graph that has “doubled in the past five years.” Not to say that this is what the Church’s stats look like. But they could. The point is, if they don’t cite actual figures, such generalizations are meaningless.

Sample Graph

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20 Comments
  1. August 12, 2009 7:21 am

    Hi Rebel,

    I couldn’t let this article escape with out comment.

    Regarding Missions. Any one who has been around the scene long enough will tell you that the original Franchise Network dwarfed current SMI (Scientology Missions International) run by the dwarf (sorry couldn’t resist 🙂 ). As you should know. Maybe not in number but in size. For instance Riverside Mission back in its hey day had close to a hundred staff and most missions had on an average of twenty – twenty five staff. A thing of the past with Miscavige’s Stalin like purge of Franchise or Mission Holders back in 1982.

    Regardless many of these so called mission are merely “Mail Box Missions”, meaning they have an address but no staff or public. The legitimate missions out of those that actually do exist are very small concerns, maybe four or five staff and a few public mainly the children of Scientologists who are public at some org.

    The orgs themselves are in most cases smaller than the former missions of the 1970’s and early 1980’s I’ve mentioned. Many of them would have not passed “Forming Org” status and would have put on an “Org Program No. 1 back in the old days. Many of them don’t even have one trained auditor on staff!

    • December 31, 2010 11:09 am

      I saw the Riverside mission after it had been raided by the Watchdog finance police 1982.
      It was like they all had left in a hurry because of enemy troops were coming
      To me it was very sad. I spend one month with the guys that was still there and after that I understood game was over. From my point of wiev the game endend 28 years ago.

  2. rebel008 permalink*
    August 12, 2009 6:18 pm

    RJ, I couldn’t agree more. I had commented on the size of Missions before the 1982 purge in the article “Seven Things We’re Not Supposed to Remember.” Missions used to be huge, huge operations. bigger than most orgs today. A “Mission” nowadays is likely to be someone’s living room, open just a few days a week, holding “study courses” for the children of local Scientologists.

  3. August 12, 2009 7:14 pm

    So true!

    What qualifies as a “mission today” wouldn’t even qualify as a gung ho group.

    Yet Davey plays this game that all “expansion” is occurring some where else. Vast orgs and missions packed with public in Shangri-La or somewhere in Utopia. Never in any place that the average Scientologist or the public in general have ever heard of.

  4. Flur permalink
    August 13, 2009 12:14 am

    Field groups are seldom listed in phone books and seldom have web sites so they would be a little harder to track down. But I can tell you as an ex-field auditor many of the best have quit. Too much harrassment. Not fun anymore. IHELP collected tithes but did nothing to help expand the field. Basically current managment wants field auditors to be FSMs, to do Intros and turn the pcs over to the local orgs.

    The whole GAT thing stopped some field activity. I know many Cl VIIIs who would do some auditing here and there and get people going. But it wasn’t their only gig. They quit auditing because they couldn’t get liscensed unless they did GAT courses and were threatened by current management and IHELP if they continued auditing. (They had no interest in spending a couple years redoing what they had already done.)

    As you know the above violates so much of LRHs policy and contributes heavily to the contraction of the Scientology. The public is staying away in droves.

  5. August 13, 2009 2:02 am

    Thank you for providing these facts and figures.

    The Freedom Magazine used to be about maintaining the rights of individuals. Now it is show piece for David Miscaviage. I counted 12 pictures of Miscaviage and only two tiny very poor quality ones of the Founder L. Ron Hubbard.

    Since Miscaviage has taken over the church has changed from a straightforward philosophy to a mockery of the philosophy that Hubbard expounded. It is not the same any more at all.

  6. Kat permalink
    August 13, 2009 2:57 am

    This sounds like something I would think of and do but since I am pretty sure they are lying I did not do so.

    Not surprising one bit. I suppose they did not think someone would do that. I would if I had the energy to spend the time to do it.

    Thanks for doing it and well done.

    Kat

  7. August 13, 2009 7:34 pm

    Hi Flurry,

    Yeah I’m with you.

    I did a short gig in the field after auditing for years in an org, which is when I decided to pack it in.

    Yes IHELP is anything but what the acronym suggests. The name should in fact be ISTOP or IHINDER along with the Auditor (De)Activation Chief who issued the directive making it mandatory for all Field Auditors to do GAT.

    Before that I remember business was booming because very few PCs wanted to be audited by those robotic morons in orgs who were “products’ of the “Golden Age of Tech”. Probably Davy realizing his “error” of allowing Standard Tech in the field which was driving most of the orgs business into the field decided to destroy the field as well as the org.

  8. August 14, 2009 11:00 pm

    Rebel:

    Given the explosive expansion rolling out on a global scale to redefine orders of magnitude while bringing new meaning to the words “unparalleled verbosity” David Miscavige is creating a new ear of korn for a true renaissance where nothing important actually exists except buildings as the driving force behind social programs including lining his own pockets with loot while pulling a fast one on Scientologists who in the main are easy pickins if you get enough Ethics Officers crawling all over them which is the new technology that Miscavige has developed to replace the entire Bridge. That’s why Miscavige redefines the term “religious robber” simultaneously translating “ca-ching” into 50 languages. But why take my words for it?

    Here are David Miscavige’s own words about himself from Freedom magazine (and anyone who has worked with Micro-Manager-Miscavige KNOWS there is no way anyone wrote this but him): “MR. MISCAVIGE IS THE DRIVING FORCE OF A MOVEMENT NOW SPANNING THIS WORLD WITH IDEAL CHURCHES OF SCIENTOLOGY.”

    — Ding-dong! …woops, who’s that at the door???

    Let’s go see… Wow! It’s Reality.

    Reality just dropped by to mention that he distinctly remembers L. Ron Hubbard used to be the “driving force of Scientology.” Now it’s… oh, I get it! Miscavige is the new Source.

    …David Miscavige has replaced L. Ron Hubbard. Well, no wonder!

    And no wonder the entire Freedom magazine is 100% photos of David Miscavige, with no LRH photos anywhere to be found.

    No wonder anyone with any cash, credit cards, line of credit, friends with money, etc., in Scientology is being bled dry.

    Thoughtful

  9. Christie permalink
    August 16, 2009 2:09 am

    Thoughtful, so spot on, my friend. And this is just too damn funny (the teasing impersonation). It made me laugh so hard. Even the flowery biographer speeches and writing style helps to hide the truth and reality, so well because nobody can understand it, let alone trying to fathom the false reports and made up statistics! “Unparalleled verbosity” that could annihilate the king of kings of verbosity. As I recall LRH wrote a great deal about the power of simplicity.

  10. August 16, 2009 11:45 pm

    I was talking with a field auditor other day about the decline of the field. I asked this auditor who the top tither was these days. He told me IHELP no longer sent out statistics. You used to be able to get an idea of what was happening in the field, at least the WUS but the stat report IHELP would send out. You could see how many auditing hours and auditor or a group were delivering and how much they were tithing. IMHO they do not want anyone to know how inactive the field has become.

  11. Joe permalink
    August 17, 2009 9:42 pm

    A group of people can be as small as 2 people. To create 7589 groups of two where no two people form the “same” group only requires 124 people. To create 7589 groups of 3 where no three people form the “same” group only requires 37 people.
    Therefore, any claim by the Church of Scientology as to the number of groups they have without giving specific numbers to the size of each group and specific members in each is patently fallacious.

    In that same magazine they also claim to have doubled their assets since 2004. But what about their liabilities, as well. That isn’t a balance sheet.
    Also, it’s very easy to “revamp” buildings with cheap, cheap, almost unpaid Sea Org labour, and then have them reappraised at double it’s value 5 years previously. And “appraised” values do not reflect an actual market value until someone has actually paid a current specific amount for the property.

    Also in the same magazine, all potential attendees at significant Scn events, such as the Grand Opening of the new Fort Harrison, their “Landmark” building in their “MECCA”, are called from all over the world over and over and over again to get the maximum possible number of attendees, yet they could only muster “6,000 people from 50 countries” with supposedly 9523 Scientologists living in the Clearwater area. Arnie Lerma has already caught the “headless” and “sudden hair growth” attendees at an event in LA previously (In 2000, if I remember correctly), so even 6,000 could be doctored without even having to inflate a crowd number that would be almost impossible to count individually from a photo or from overhead.

    Any way you “slice” it, their claims are meaningless.

  12. August 17, 2009 11:01 pm

    That’s the point Joe.

    The statistics don’t measure any actual production and thus are intentionally meaningless.

    Take the stat course completions has doubled in the last five years. Based on what? Who knows? It could have been that one course graduated on the exact same date five years ago. Now on the same date five years later two students graduated.

    There is another factor that Der Fueher doesn’t mention and that is that many of the current course now are mandatory. In other words if you don’t want to get your sorry ass declared you better do “The Basics” which in reality is what is called a Div VI course ( a course sold to new people by the Division that handles new people which is VI). The legerdemain here is that originally they never counted on the overall course completions stat before so it’s pretty easy to “double” these stats especially if you never counted them before.

    Same with “auditing hours”. Please note that the original stat was known as “Well Done Auditing Hours” or WDAHs and this stat was faithfully recorded by each org’s Div IV which was responsible for technical delivery. Again Div VI may have recorded auditing hours in the Field. That is by Missions, Field Auditors and Field groups but again they were never recorded on the overall org stats. The reason for this was to prevent Div VI from continually selling introductory services and move the public up the Grade Chart to the next level. Again another stat that is easy to “double” since it had never been counted on the overall stat before.

    Also there is another statistic that Davy never mentions (probably an oversight…yeah right) called Value of Services Delivered which was supposed to balance against the Gross Income Statistic. Meaning you should be delivering service equal to or more than what you take in as income.

    Regarding groups. Groups were never counted because it was so hard to keep track of them because of their volatility. Some guy in Hoboken would start a group one week and then it would fold a week later because the guy went to some org to do some training. Also unlike Missions or Franchises these groups were never chartered. That’s why when you open a copy of any Scientology book prior to Davy’s obfuscations you won’t see any groups listed.

    However here, Davy gives an actual number (probably one he pulled out of his a—) which probably includes all this “group packages” that he’s foisted on Scientologists on lines under threat of expulsion. This consists of a little “kit” that a “Scientologist” (according to RTC’s definition) can use to start a group with.

    What happens here is some poor schmuck is sold a kit, buying it with money he doesn’t have and is told to be fruitful and multiply or whatever. They put the heat on him for a while to get friends or family involved, until he makes a big donation to the IAS or something, again with money he doesn’t have and he eventually either puts the kit on his book shelf or sells it on ebay or something. Yet before this point he is counted on their stat as a “group” even though the “group” in question could be a MPD or DID. Who knows!

    Then of course there is another numbers stat such as the square footage of real estate bought which I can tell you again was never an overall stat but is a cool stat if you happen to be a realtor. Not an important stat if your intention is spiritual enlightenment. But I don’t think that’s Davy’s intention. Though I could be wrong.

  13. August 18, 2009 2:37 am

    Everyone! I’m sorry to interrupt, but Chairman Miscavige has just released his lastest explosive expansion statistics. Who knew the words “explosive” and “expansion” could even go together? He’s so explosively loving and kind-hearted and not at all a sociopath, he can just make up his own exciting language guaranteed to impress the world and get them just a hollerin’ and humpin’ explosively to read LRH books which he personally re-edited. I mean, now that the whole world is finding out just WHO is behind all this explosive expansion — wow, wowie WOW-WOW!! See, none of it was old L. What’s-His-Name… now we got Glorybee Miscavige — he’s a-doin’ it all!

    Gosh dang, I’m just a meltin’ down and tremblin’ with excitement from head to foot for this incredible religious leader!!!! Except for the non-violent part (and a-hatin’ everyone and a-beatin’ people and a-bustin’ up families and abortin’ pesky young-uns and orderin’ divorces and extortion and blackmail and human trafficking and whatnot) he’s a regular Mahatma Gandhi! But shorter, with super-sized explosivitity! No wonder he’s got his own MANSIONS to live in and trips ALL THE TIME to baseball, football, basketball games galore, not to mention car races, movies, weddings and parties and such… while regular Sea Org members just get $46 a week if they’re lucky, plus no sleep, no time off, no visits to their parents, no children, no liberties, no privileges such as being allowed to sleep at home with their spouse, etc. Why I distinctly remember in 2001 and 2002 having to work on Christmas Day… but I digress.

    Okay, back to the subject. Here’s the new statistics that prove Glorybee Miscavige is the new L. Ron Hubbard: just since last week, it’s been total explosiveness of expansionality like you wouldn’t BELIEVE: he’s got Scientology up to 12 thousand orgs, missions and Stuff…

    …wha? …what’s that? … You know, “stuff”! …orgs, missions and Stuff. Come on guys??

    hey, don’t be a-splitin’ hairs like an old-stick-in-the-mud! Just get delirious and start writing checks and humpin’ footstools and get your credit cards out! Come on, everyone! “Orgs, missions and stuff” whoopie!! That’s 5.4X over last week!

    wha…what’s “stuff”? Well, “stuff” is like, you know… groups and things that also make up groups… like rooms, individuals, coffee cups, chairs for people to sit in, family members, house plants in the room where the group will meet, any nearby dogs, cats, hamsters, chairs, pencils and pens, packs of sugar, non-dairy creamers, Styrofoam cups, spoons and stir sticks.

    12 thousand orgs, missions and Stuff!

    Thoughtful

    • Rebel Too permalink
      August 22, 2009 10:07 pm

      Splittin’ a gut over here! Perfection!! Oh..Explosively perfect!!

  14. August 18, 2009 4:21 am

    LOL!!!!!

  15. jessicaheartsart permalink
    September 15, 2009 2:43 am

    I lol’d. Only 195 countries in the world, hilarious. I highly doubt people in Madagascar, Antartica, Siberia, Chechnya, Mozambique could care less about visiting a Scientology website. The lies in the Freedom mag were blantly obvious, good job pointing them out so eloquently.

    • maraofacoma permalink
      December 22, 2009 11:54 pm

      I wonder while Davie is in his on private jet flying over Antartica and jumps on the web site that could be included as one of the 195 countries

  16. Karen permalink
    April 11, 2010 4:02 pm

    I missed this gem of an article! Great fact finder or should I say lack of fact finder, Jeff.

    The comments were fantastic and explosively humorous!

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