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Money for Nothing

March 4, 2010

A recent post on Marty’s blog contained a promotion piece for the Bridge Publications Library Donation Campaign. The promo piece claims that the Library Donation Campaign has placed “millions” of books in libraries. Of course what they don’t tell their potential donors is that most of those books go in the library front door and right out the back door into resale bins, where they are sold for pennies on the dollar or pulped. They don’t make it onto the shelves.

But what is interesting is the cheesy “contributor status” scale they have designed, complete with super-corny clip art. Some promotional genius has decided to “position” the contributor statuses with the Roman Empire, with status “levels” of Legionnaire, Centurion, Senior Centurion, Leader of the Legion, Commander of the Legion and Lion of the Legion. That anyone would fall for this sort of super-corny stuff is hard to believe, but it brings up the “tech” these people are using.

Unfortunately, LRH Policy doesn’t cover how to get money for nothing. It only covers how to sell and deliver auditing and training. The only thing LRH said about it was from HCO PL 24 February 1964, “Urgent, Org Programming”:

“Don’t engage in ‘fund raising’ or ‘selling postcards’ or borrowing money. Just make more income with Scientology. It’s a sign of very poor management to seek extraordinary solutions for finance outside Scientology. It has always failed. For Orgs as for pcs ‘Solve it With Scientology.’ Every time I myself have sought to solve finance or personnel in other ways than Scientology I have lost out. So I can tell you from experience that Org solvency lies in More Scientology, not patented combs or fund raising Barbecues.”  — L. Ron Hubbard

Well, that’s not much help to these eager fundraisers! So they have to look outside Policy for their answers. I remember when the IAS was being formed, there was a major marketing research project done to find out how “wogs” did fundraising. They researched out all kinds of charity and nonprofit fundraising operations, and found out all of the “tricks of the trade.” Some of those tricks can be found on websites like this one.

A key point they stress, is donor recognition. “In this type of capital campaign, a nonprofit group seeks a pledge of a certain contribution amount and in return, offers to provide a specific type of recognition.” They talk about “recognition products” that are available, things like pins, plaques and trophies.

“Let’s face it,” the site advises, “People like to see their good deeds recognized. They also like to see themselves recognized where their friends and neighbors can see. The higher the campaign amounts sought for your capital campaign, the more tasteful your recognition program should be.”

Unfortunately the IAS, and the Planetary Dissem people, apparently had an MU on that last sentence. They thought it said, “the higher the donation, the more tasteless the recognition should be.” Soon there were bigger and bigger trophies, each one more ornate and over-the-top than the last. And statuses, statuses, statuses – Patrons, Patrons With Honors, Patrons Meritorious, Silver Meritorious, Gold Meritorious, Platinum Meritorious, Diamond Meritorious, Patron Excalibur, Platinum Excalibur, and now Patron Maximus. Who thinks of these names?

What does all this have to do with Scientology? Not much, except you can now “upgrade your status” in Scientology without getting any auditing or doing any training. All you have to do is contribute more and more money, and you move right up the “scale.”

But there’s more to the “tech” of money for nothing. If you want to know how to run a fundraising event, there is a fascinating hat write up on line, from 2003.

I didn’t know these fundraisers were a process. But apparently they are. This writeup tells us: “As Fundraiser, you are acting as the auditor of the group. You’re running the process called “Donate”. The target met is the EP. Would you, as an auditor, end a session before the preclear EP’d the process? Of course not. A fundraising target hit is a BIG win for the group and people go into exhilaration.”

Apparently one way to make the attendees “go crazy” is to plant a shill in the audience. “HAVE DONORS PRE-CLOSED TO DONATE AT KEY POINTS EARLY ON IN THE FUNDRAISING,” the writeup tells us. “This is important because when your crowd sees things kick off well they sense they can be part of a winning evening and they participate more readily. Depending on how many pre-closed donors you have, utilize these so that you get the maximum effect of each (at different times) jumping up and saying “I’ll do $______!!!” People go crazy when they see this. Use all of your pre-closed donors within the first half-hour. Use them as “nitrous oxide” to inject super energy into the early part of your event.”

The writeup tells us to “keep the TA moving,” that is, keep the money rolling in, don’t let things lag. After all, “If left to their own devices and allowed to donate what they felt was appropriate for them, they would give you a fraction of what you need from them and then they would go home feeling they’d done their part.” Can’t allow that to happen. So you have to whip them into a frenzy. “Ride them all towards the target. Push the high tides for all they’re worth and don’t let an ebb stick.”

And, if things get slow, you can always bring in a child as a shill. The write up advises us, “Encourage attendees to bring their children 8 years and above, as long as the kids are in-ethics, can sit through the event, and aren’t disruptive. Some of the most theta moments in an evening’s fundraising can come when a child walks up on stage and writes his/her name and a donation on the board (any amount).”

Good to know there’s all this “standard tech” for squeezing money out of people.

And maybe if you know it’s being used on you, you won’t be the effect of it.

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27 Comments
  1. lunamoth permalink
    March 4, 2010 6:19 am

    This just gives me a sick feeling in my stomach.
    Not unlike an animal eating it’s young.

    But, for those of you who cannot attend the fundraiser,
    why not make your own “Mad Libs”
    and play along at home? Here
    is a list of words you may find helpful:

    greed
    avarice
    rapacity
    voracity
    piggishness
    rip-off
    swindle
    pathetic

  2. March 4, 2010 9:09 am

    Thanks Jeff.

    That article was truly an eye opener!

    I mean I’m almost nonplussed on how much the tech has been perverted!

    Believe it or not I was in the Church for over 30 years and managed to avoid most of these events by hiding in a nice quiet auditing room with a PC or by sneaking out the back exit to the course room when the Course Supe gave the code word “IAS briefing”.

    Of course if intercepted by hostile forces I’d plead poverty by saying I was a staff member from another org or any other cover story I could concoct that would distract them away from me. Needless to say that it became a self fulfilling prophecy, but that’s another story!

    Thus never observing this “tech” in action!

    Wow!!!!!

    I guess if they can call fundraising a legitimate “process” then I guess you could call gambling one as well, though I’ve rarely seen anyone get the same “EP” by dumping their paycheck down a slot machine or at a black jack table!

    Is there something I’m missing here?

    Oh that’s right!

    Proudly displaying a plaque telling everyone what a sucker they are!

    Such as Patron Withtheirheaduptheiranus.

  3. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    March 4, 2010 11:22 am

    Thank you Jeff.
    With the transparency of the web, and the speed with which information moves, it is only a matter of time when those duped for this LIBRARY SCAM will learn that the books in the main, were thrown out for $1 on the sale tables.
    Google has 12 + page offering them for a buck.
    http://www.google.com/products?q=scientology+2007+books&scoring=p&show=dd&sa=N

    Ebay is saturated with these dumped books.
    http://books.shop.ebay.com/Books-/267/i.html?_nkw=scientology&_armrs=1&_from=R40&_ipg=&_trksid=m37

    There is no way the Execs and Bridge Publications can claim innocence.
    In the mid 1990s myself and others wrote full Knowledge Reports on what was occurring with the Libraries to several Execs up lines. All the data was written up on the dumping and even the many instances of Libraries kicking them back “RETURN to SENDER” on the packages ~~returned to Bridge as unwanted by the Library.

    The Church knows this is an outright scam.
    This is done on purpose, knowingly scamming the public for money for a fraudulent Book sales stat.

    The current Church is not there to make auditors and deliver bridge but to sell statuses and rip off the public.

    • Editor permalink*
      March 4, 2010 6:23 pm

      Bridge doesn’t care what happens to the books after they have the money in hand. You can bet that when the books are returned by the library as “unwanted” they do NOT refund the donation. They used to sell these huge, $10,000 “Mission Starter Packages.” No Mission Holder could afford it, so they’d talk rich Scientologists into donating the money so some “starting Mission” could have this “mandatory” package. But once Bridge had the money in hand, literally nothing would happen. No one would actually start a Mission, and the books would never get delivered anywhere. They had dozens of these massive packages sitting around undelivered and never to be delivered. Did they refund the donations? Of course not, don’t be silly.

      • March 4, 2010 8:02 pm

        Jeff,

        I think you’ve put your finger on the general situation.

        We both know the Ol’man says something like books in the hands of raw public. So they can read them.

        Not just a “stat” but an actual product as well.

        This situation now is pretty general, even in HGCs, with the “Golden Age of Tech” in predominance, they no longer audit to a result (probably because results are so hard to get with such altered tech) but they just audit hours and hours and hours of actions that the PC or PreOT in most cases don’t need and redo actions that have already redone several times earlier!

        Like books auditing is totally being wasted, because none of these “auditors” are taught anything about how to study and program cases for maximum gain. They just “drill” them on a bunch of procedures and actions that they run ritualistically on the case ’cause they’re “supposed to” or whatever.

        Like the sentiment you’ve mentioned about the books they “don’t care”. It’s just another “stat”.

        I’m not writing that measuring actual production with statistics is bad. In fact it’s a good thing as long as the stat measures actual products. However when its done just for nothing but PR it gets into Orwellian deception, like this library program. Making Scientology seem like nothing but a scam or a con.

      • Fidelio permalink
        March 7, 2010 12:17 pm

        This is so criminal beyond words given the blood + sweat the donation money is connected with.
        Thank you Jeff for getting the truth out IN DETAIL. Appreciate it very much to know the logistics of the fraud, HOW it is layed out – that’s very “enhancing” to learn how suppression is designed.

  4. Kingair350 permalink
    March 4, 2010 1:27 pm

    Thanks for the “tech”, Jeff. Well that doesn’t sound right – better to say, thanks for revealing their use of this “tech”.
    I remember one of the first ias events I attended. It was very posh; beauiful hotel dining room, terrific food, entertainment but, mid fork full of prime rib to the mouth, they got right to it! And I do recall the shill effect (didn’t see it for what it was at the time). It was electrifying. My own reaction was ‘oh, oh, I’m way out of my league and my anchor points started caving in on me. My self-respect grabbed me by the neck and propelled me out of there. As a postscript all those heavy ias hitters have long since moved out of that city. There is no resemblance of a field anymore.
    As a public service I’d like to see some of those Bozo signs, but with IAS in the center, posted outside airports, city limits, boat docks, bus terminals, and grocery store parking lots.

    Hey – can everyone post the most bizzare ias experience or story they’ve heard?

  5. John Doe permalink
    March 4, 2010 4:38 pm

    Great article, Rebel.

    So if I donate enough, I can move up the new bridge and attest to the state of Nitrous Oxide. Ability gained: able to inject super energy into group events.

    This reminds me of the fable, The Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs. The church has fewer and fewer geese left, and the sight of dead geese is keeping away the goslings.

  6. ButterflyChaser permalink
    March 4, 2010 7:05 pm

    Q: What is one of the sweetest sounds in the whole wide world?

    A: The sound of a Patron plaque hitting the bottom of a Hefty trash sack on a cold, concrete floor.

    Ahhhh….beautiful.

    The day my husband and I chucked our Patron and Honor Roll plaques into the trash was one of the greatest days of my life. We realized how meaningless and empty it all was. I used to be so proud of my “status” and would ardently wear my Patron pin upon my lapel when I went on course. It clearly demonstrated how much OUR FAMILY “sacrificed” for our religion – and – dammit – I wanted people to know it!

    Well, that Patron pin now rattles around my jewelry box along with multitudes of single earrings, broken necklaces and sundry pieces of metallic junk.

    How could one piece of jewelry contain such a dichotomy of feelings? Once worn with deep pride, now gazing upon it only gives me feelings of shame and embarrassment.

    Well, someday I’ll sell it for scrap. And I’ll use the money to buy something REALLY meaningful. You know, like a foot massage or something.

    • sherrymk permalink
      March 4, 2010 8:46 pm

      I actually gathered up all my 14K and 18K IAS pins, OTVlll bracelet, etc and took them over to a creditable gold dealer. That OTVlll braclet that cost me about $3K? Let’s see..I might be able to get $425.00 for it. When I told the guy how much I paid for it, he shook his head. When I told him the cost was mainly the mark up for the privilege of a Scientology trademarked symbol, we both began laughing…for our own reasons I’m sure.

      • Nicki Davidson permalink
        March 9, 2010 3:42 am

        Hahaha Sherry..that’s what I did with my Scn jewelry too!!!!

  7. lunamoth permalink
    March 4, 2010 8:12 pm

    Butterfly Chaser,

    You make me wish I had gotten a plaque just so I could have the satisfaction of throwing it away.

    The degree of purposeful, cold-blooded manipulation that goes into such campaigns is almost difficult to confront. I have to stop myself from thinking of all the money I flowed to that
    criminal organization over the years. Or worse, the friends who will likely never get out of debt
    in their entire lives because of the huge sums they borrowed in order to continuously
    “upgrade” their statuses. Encouraged, pressured, squeezed into committing sums of money they clearly could not afford, pushed to violate conditions on several dynamics, to endanger their families’ survival and push themselves into bankruptcies and foreclosures, for The Cause.

    Ironically, some of these friends currently will not be able to purchase bridge for many years, if ever again, because they have no money or credit left. Meanwhile, dm and the ias merely move on to the better-heeled marks and leave my friends, depleted of resources and drained of money (and so now useless to the ias), to survive the best they can in a difficult economy and a grim job market.

    Remember when people could find help and support from their church during hard times?

    Oh, well. Gotta be OT go to OT. Survival of the fittest. Greatest good. Bootstraps. Make it go right.

    • John Doe permalink
      March 5, 2010 2:37 am

      Hi Luna,

      Re: “You make me wish I had gotten a plaque just so I could have the satisfaction of throwing it away.”

      You can go to a trophy shop, have one made up, then ceremoniously throw it away.

      There, saved ya about $49,940.00.

      • lunamoth permalink
        March 5, 2010 6:36 am

        That’s a brilliant idea, John Doe!

  8. brendon permalink
    March 4, 2010 8:24 pm

    One way to look at current corporate Scientology is that it is simply a book, CD, and DVD publishing and production company, as well as an owner of real estate and producer of courses.

    The philosophy of Scientology as used in the current Church — setting aside for the moment the actual benefits it may deliver to followers — is really just a mechanism to create customers for these products, and donors to help acquire real estate and “buy” books for libraries. Scientology doesn’t care that the books are tossed … they’ve made their money.

    If someone happens to create a Clear along the way that is just icing on the cake. Better still, that Clear is now a customer eligible to buy the OT levels!

    I’ve not dug into it enough to know whether, say, Bridge is for-profit (or even if it would be necessarily more “profitable” if it was), or whether any money flows from publishing Scientology books through to the for-profit Author Services (again, may not be necessary), or for that matter whether one arm of Bridge pays the other for actually printing the books (in its own facility). If someone has good info how the money flows through these units it would be very interesting to know.

    • March 4, 2010 10:56 pm

      brendon, probably Jeff knows more about this aspect than I do.

      But I can tell you what little I know about it. Having had friends who worked in Pubs and later Bridge Org.

      Every Org has what is called an HCO Book account. This account is only for books, meters, lectures, etc and is not part of what is called the Corrected Gross Income which is the income that goes to staff pay, rent, etc.

      Back in the day, the cost of a book was about 80% above what it cost to produce. This gave the org usually 60% and 20% for the seller either the book store officer, staff member or FSM who sold with which they could replenish their book stocks with.

      The above is the same formula that most manufactures use for SRP and back then the cost of a book was pretty cheap even for hard cover. In fact the cost of all my basic books back then was way less than $100.00. Now they are selling the same basic books package for over $4500.00!!!!!

      Also back then students didn’t have to purchase lectures which were on reel to reel tape. The course room provided these free of charge with the cost of the course. Of course you could only listen to them, however you could keep notes which I find more valuable because you can write down the important points on the tape.

      (I mean I love the Ol’man dearly but he tends to wander around giving lots of examples and telling jokes or going off onto another topic that may have nothing to do with the subject because most of lecture are unrehearsed with no notes, so though his lectures are entertaining you can pretty much summarize the important points of a one hour lecture in about 2-3 pages of notes)

      Meters back then were less than $500.00, compared to 5 or 6 Grand!!!!!

      Anyway, I have no idea what formula they are using but I do know that the price of paper hasn’t gone up over 1000% and electronics are actually cheaper than they were 20 or 30 years ago!

      Not to mention the added expense of now having to by all the lectures which are now on CD which is a lot cheaper than reel to reel tape probably less than a quarter each wholesale yet the average price per lecture now is about 15 bucks!!!!

      What a markup!!!

      These guys are robbing the public blind and I’m sure not all this money is getting anywhere near the HCO Book Account!!!

      About ASI.

      It was supposed to exist to handle Ron’s fiction books like Battle Field and Mission Earth and others.

      Ron when he was around had an agent who had his fiction works published by a publishing company like Random House, etc.

      That is until Bridge took over and ASI was taken over by guess who.

      Now Bridge publishes all of Ron’s fiction works which I always thought was a bad idea since they have no one like Jeff on board any longer to make the book a bestseller and they don’t have the capacity of a major publisher which is why you don’t see any of Ron’s fiction works in the big bookstores any more.

      Regarding ASI “you know who” also used ASI as his base of operation for taking over Scientology and did it by selling over priced properties to the public, like selling personally autographed (ones Miscavige personally autographed himself by forging Ron’s signature) leather bound books, Meters that were again supposedly “signed” on the meter face by LRH that he probably never saw either and limited prints based on the scenes and characters in Ron’s fiction book, which would probably drive any male pubescent teenage boy (which is what Miscavage reminds me of) crazy with desire for outrageous prices and the occasional fiction book.

      Anyway after the Clown on Board or COB squeezed ASI for as much money as he could get from it he pretty much abandoned it and now it publishes Ron’s fiction work through Galaxy Press which since his departure is pretty much a legit operation.

      Hope this answers some questions which could probably be answered in greater detail by Jeff, though I gave it a shot.

      • brendon permalink
        March 5, 2010 8:23 pm

        Thanks for the additional info, RJ. I did discover Bridge operates as a non profit, not that it makes much difference to my point.

        What was the term they used for some of the leather bound volumes, “investment grade” or some such? What a hoot. I’d forgotten about the prints. I worked at a school that received a couple (like the library deal, paid with a gift from a donor and sent by ASI). They weren’t worth the money to send them back and the hard part was finding anyone on the campus who wanted them. Someone finally took them for the humor value.

  9. sherrymk permalink
    March 4, 2010 8:36 pm

    Sally and Craig Jensen use this “technique” to perfection at fundraising events for Pasadena Idle Org..to the “T”. Getting big money pre-donors, having them stand up at just the right times, having them “call” at just the right time with their donations, getting the young kids to walk up and donate, writing on the boards. Incredible to watch. What a stage performance.

    It’s the kind of drill that is mesmerizing to experience. Almost as if you become hynotized. Like a zombie being worked up into a frenzy, you kind of just HAVE to move, do something that the leader wants you to.

    I look back at these events, Idle Org, IAS etc etc and when I view myself, I see someone with that “dedicated glare” who is scarier than hell.

    • John Doe permalink
      March 5, 2010 12:42 am

      Sherry, you and the Pasadena OT committee put on a fund raising art auction several years ago that stands out as the only fundraiser I’ve ever attended that didn’t drive me down tone. Quite the opposite, actually.

      Scn artists donated works and they were sold at silent auction as well as a live auction. I left with 4 pieces and a credit card slip, but really felt like I got some valuable things and” helped the cause”.

      • sherrymk permalink
        March 5, 2010 6:51 pm

        John Doe,

        Yes! That was the most fun event ever…and offered a great exchange. Everyone who attended said about the same thing as you did. I think it went down as the best fundraiser in LA history. And all the artists were blown away too…making it a huge success for all.

    • March 5, 2010 7:07 pm

      Sherry,

      Despite you having left the CoS, what is your opinion about your auditing experiences and technology? Was it worth it?

    • March 6, 2010 10:20 pm

      Here is a complete CofS hat write-up that covers such fundraising events, giving how it is done in precise detail:

      http://forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?p=377808

      Paul

  10. ExVet permalink
    March 4, 2010 10:57 pm

    All IAS donors have a common level of recognition whether they are aware of it or not:

    RippedOfficus Grandiose Maximus!

  11. TRUTH permalink
    March 5, 2010 2:55 am

    I directly observed during the translation of the 9 Basic books in different languages, C of M would ask each public Scientologist to donated for several English Basic books to be sent to each translation team volunteering to get the translation done. But as a matter of fact none of those translation team received any books donated by public Scientologists.

    Public were completely lied and make believe that the translators need these book to get the translation done, but the truth is that each English book is in word file and approved by TU EU which is sent to each I/C of that language for translation via e-mail. The file has the English on one side and the translation is done and typed on the other side of each page in that file and once completed, it is sent back to TU EU via e-mail.

    When the translations were completed and books were published, then each volunteer was asked to buy a set in their own language.

  12. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    March 5, 2010 4:56 am

    There is another Church of Scientology SCAM, less mentioned on the Web.

    SO recruits are promised BRIDGE both in auditing and in training. This is how they recruit for the slave labor. They are promised medical treatment and all Training and Auditing side of the BRIDGE as part of the recruitment pitch to sign their SO contracts.

    This is an outright LIE.

    90% of the SO never get Bridge, ever. They get Sec checks. Their entire auditing experience is Sec checks.

    The Church is too greedy to spare auditors for staff auditing. Those that get trained as auditors are milked for WDAHs in the chair on PUBLIC(not staff )~~ use of Public hours so that the paid hours are used up and public they can be regged again, for new $$$$.

    The so called UNIVERSE CORPS was supposed to care for staff enhancement. All BOGUS.
    There is no Universe Corps.
    Staff are sec checked looking for crimes, overts and witholds.
    This is their only reality of what Scientology is all about.

    Jeff said above
    “Not much, except you can now “upgrade your status” in Scientology without getting any auditing or doing any training. All you have to do is contribute more and more money, and you move right up the “scale.”

    This current “Church” is a business. They are not even PRETENDING to give spiritual gain.
    IAS are now planning Global Tours for God’s sake.
    Tours used to be to get arrivals for the TECH.
    It is now going to be IAS tours for tax free donations.
    The current Church ONLY want to rake in the bucks.
    Religion ? Come on.
    This is a money making machine
    If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck and quacks like a duck ~~It is a DUCK !

  13. Deb Heart permalink
    March 9, 2010 3:51 am

    If anyone has any doubt that this is not how those IAS fundraising events are done, I can assure you first hand that what has been written in this article is entirely true. Having assisted in or producing these events myself over a period of several years, I have first hand experience. Could have written the hat write up myself.
    I’ve quit beating myself up over i, and I donated more than I could afford also. I was just as stupid as the people we were extracting the money from.
    Very well written and true to the letter….

  14. freespirit permalink
    March 11, 2010 4:52 pm

    The sad thing is that thesew fundraisers spike the GI stat of the org so they have affluence stats. So they LOOK like successful actions, but they are really off purpose. But as staff are programmed to work off stats, stat analysis lock these actions in as right because of the upstat, hence once the action is introduced it starts perpetuating itself with all the justifications of “upstats”. Now you have a “virus” or “worm” that has entered the system. And so it goes.

    Great essay jeff. The write up made me sick.

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