Money for Nothing
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.