Skip to content

Protecting the Power Structure

April 6, 2010

Boston Globe columnist James Carroll had an interesting column yesterday about the current crisis in the Catholic Church. It could have just as well been written about the current crisis in the Church of Scientology.

In his column, entitled “Rescue Catholicism from Vatican,” Carroll makes the point that the current crisis is not about the collapse of Catholicism, but the collapse of Catholic fundamentalism, which he describes as “the raising of religious barricades against tides of change.” Where Protestant fundamentalists fall back on the authority of the Bible, Catholic fundamentalists fall back on the authority of the Pope.

“Today’s Vatican,” he continues, “presides as center of a command society with global reach, attempting to exert absolute control over all aspects of Catholic life.”

He could just as well be talking about Scientology, where “central management” seeks control not only over every Sea Org and staff member, but over the actions and thoughts of every Scientologist as well. It is no accident that Miscavige likes to style himself as the “Pope of Scientology.”

Carroll points out that within Catholicism, this type of papal dominance is a relatively modern phenomenon. Bishops used to be elected by local churches, and they had significant autonomy. With the rise of 19th century nationalism, organized around all-powerful strong men, papal authority and power was centralized and solidified. Vatican II (1962-1965) tried to democratize the Catholic Church and return local authority, but, Carroll charges, these reforms are being undone by today’s Catholic fundamentalists, led by Joseph Ratzinger, better known today as Pope Benedict XVI. Carroll concludes:

“Across three decades, Ratzinger was key to the appointment of bishops whose overriding commitment was the protection of pope-centered clerical authority. Terrified of acting on their own, they had one eye eternally on Rome. ‘Scandal’ was their nightmare. Between an abused child and a predator priest, their choice was always simple: protecting the power structure meant protecting the priest. That structure is the problem, which means the pope’s resignation is not the issue.”

This paragraph could have been written about David Miscavige’s Church of Scientology. Since his takeover of the Church, Miscavige has sought to appoint managers (like LeSevre, Starkey, Yaeger, and Jenny Linson), whose overriding commitment is the protection of Miscavige-centered authority. They are terrified of acting on their own, and have one eye always on Miscavige. When faced with “scandal” (the allegations of abuse, violence and human rights violations), their priority is simple – protect the power structure. And that means protecting Miscavige. As CMO Int executive Sue Wilhere told the St. Petersburg Times, “David Miscavige is Scientology.”

As James Carroll notes, the structure is the problem. Sure, Miscavige could resign, but unless the fundamentalist structure of the Church of Scientology is addressed, we will just end up with another authoritative manager whose only priority is protecting the central power structure at all costs – including covering up abuse and crimes.

Advertisements
55 Comments
  1. VaD permalink
    April 6, 2010 7:50 pm

    It’s all about true application of LRH’s essay (which has become “sacred scripture”) “Responsibility of Leaders”. – To paraphrase it “Push everything towards the power, and it will keep you in good shape”

    Looks like Catholic Church “has adopted it as an official policy”.
    Another “win” of CoM.
    🙂
    (It’s a joke – don’t take it personally)

  2. April 6, 2010 8:17 pm

    I agree with the analogy but not the conclusion that if DM were gone that someone else would step in and continue the insanity. Anybody left has been so black PRed and third partied by DM and the rest of the group that no one would be strong enough to keep everybody else in line. Do you think Ray Mithoff would listen to Jenny Linson for 2 seconds and vice versa? Do you think Yager would submit to Norman Starkey’s dictates and vice versa? Were DM to blow, Lisa Schroer would be torn to shreds by Gold crew. al a Mussolini. When DM is off his point of power, the flying sparks from the confusion blowing off will light the sky over the base for miles around. They’ll beg for Marty or Mike to return to put some sanity into the scene (just kidding Marty and Mike).

    • Fidelio permalink
      April 6, 2010 8:58 pm

      Joe,

      what about Tom Cruise taking over? (Just kidding, too…)
      Gawd, what a scenario…

  3. April 6, 2010 8:48 pm

    Good analogy Jeff.

    However the fact is that Miscavige and his “friends” have perverted the structure of the Church.

    Originally, there was never a “pope” or “religious leader” or “Guru” according to the Org Board or Policy.

    Also there were checks and balances such as the GO and WW as opposed to the Sea Org plus Ad Councils and Exec Councils. In other words no one group or individual ran the Scientology Network.

    What Miscavige and his “friends” have done is arrogated and concentrated all that power to one individual who acts as a virtual dictator.

    Even the RTC which he fatuously claims the be the Chairman of Board of doesn’t exist as a board.

    Since has eliminated every trustee or board member by various power pushes.

    Not only that but he and his “friends” have managed to nullify CST which is actually supposed to be senior to RTC.

    In other words he has taken the Organization structure the Organization had, set fire to it, burned it to the group. Now it is nothing but an ash heap with him on top of it!

    • Wallflower permalink
      April 6, 2010 11:45 pm

      “arrogate” – my new favorite word. How appropriate.

      ar·ro·gate [ árrə gàyt ] (past and past participle ar·ro·gat·ed, present participle ar·ro·gat·ing, 3rd person present singular ar·ro·gates)

      transitive verb

      Encarta Definition:

      1. claim something without right: to take or claim something for yourself without the right to do so arrogating the powers of the General

      2. assign something to another: to assign or attribute something to another in a way that is not warranted

      [Mid-16th century. < Latin arrogat-, past participle of arrogare (see arrogant)]

  4. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    April 6, 2010 10:04 pm

    Another great post Editor.
    Makes you think and reflect.

    I think what bothers me the MOST is ongoing ABUSE and “can’t haves” while acquiring more and more MEST. More and more IDEAL ORG buildings, while INT BASE staff are in lock down !

    MEST is more important than thetans !

    No Family permitted, no pregnancies (Supposedly an “inalienable right” in the CREED)
    No Cell Phone (very few permitted. At INT BASE, Heber is 76 with no cell phone !)
    No friendships outside the Sea Org. Strictly forbidden for SO to “fraternize with public”
    No Internet ~~ No Laptops with Internet connections
    No TV
    No regular day off. Even Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving and all major holidays are work days. They are driven like slaves.
    No 8 hours sleep permitted, sleep deprivation is ordered. SO crew were not permitted to secure til they sold their quota of BASICSs. SO CREW are up for DAYS before an INT event.

    NO money ~~ the pittance of $46 a week is often halved to $23 or less while DM lives like a king, with a personal staff of 25 or more personal slaves, and every luxury permitted a ROCK STAR.
    No Bridge ~~ Most SO get a Purification Rendown and Sec Checks in 10 -20 years of service.
    No food and threat of rice and beans, and rice and beans have been fed the crew for weeks months on end in the last 25 years as PUNISHMENT.
    No private mail without it being opened and read first by MAAs.
    No Freedom
    No proper medical and dental care
    No ability to avoid the hellish RPF Gulag for YEARS if that is assigned to you.

    The dishonest SO recruiters do not reveal any of this to would- be recruits. I have had numerous SO recruit cycles attempted on me and you would not believe the deception and the bait and switch of ACTUAL SO life to what is promoted.

    The Church of Scientology is a business enterprise designed to milk slave labor under glorious hype of “Purpose” and “Man’s only hope” .

    Thank you Editor for exposing the dishonesty.

    • April 7, 2010 9:07 pm

      RT!

      You are so spot on!

      Your comment shows why Miscavige and his crack team of saboteurs eliminated all Non-SO personnel in SO Orgs and why he in collusion with the IRS after the ‘Secret Closing Agreement’ created a Sea Org contract that was virtually a writ of indentured servitude!

      This is also the main reason why the Sea Org “took over”.

      It had nothing to do with being more “dedicated”, “competent”, “on purpose” etc and had everything to do with the “bottom line”.

      Who else would work for peanuts with a mad man at the helm?

      This is not to slight the average Sea Org member’s dedication or purpose but it shows one how it can be twisted by unscrupulous individuals, like Miscavige who even though he claims to be a “Sea Org Member” is not subjected to the same deprivations of his “fellow Sea Org Members”.

      • Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
        April 8, 2010 11:13 pm

        RJ ~~

        It really bothers me if they are getting away with the ABUSE and CRUELTY under the masquerade of a “religion”.

        It does seem that the granting of non-profit status (which many charities get, research for cancer, saving abandoned dogs and so on) has been spun by the Church to mean they are a RELIGION. Tons of entities get 501C3 status, this does not mean they are a religion.

        Somehow the Church tends to promote that the Government gave them RELIGIOUS status.

        My lawyer friends tell me that 501C3 non profit status does not mean you are a Religion at all ! All it means is that you are considered a Charity.

        There is no charity in the heart of DM at all.

        Most SO members work 365 days a year and never even get a break once a year ~ the intended the 3 weeks annual leave LRH designed them to have. INT BASE crew probably hasn’t had 3 weeks annual leave in 25 years !
        They are slaves.

        They are not permitted to leave (route out or quit) the organization when they ask to for months and months and months. Some looney Flag Land Base PR responded to the Saint Pete Times” that route-out takes one year because of the seriousness of the “RELIGIOUS OATH”.

      • April 9, 2010 2:35 am

        Actually the FLB meant to say “Religious Oaf” 🙂

        As in the “seriousness of the Religious Oaf”.

        And we all know who that is 😉

        That’s correct RT 501 C iii status does not immediately mean “Religion”.

        Actually in my view Scientology was much more Religious then than it is now that Miscavige and his “friends” turned it into a tax free money laundering op!

        As I wrote earlier you can write off only 40% of any contribution made to training and auditing. Yet the prices on average are 60% higher than before they became a Tax Exempt entity!

        Woopty dooo!!!!

        Do the math and the average public is spending 20% more on services.

        Such a deal!!!

        The only income that’s fully Tax Deductible are “contributions” to the IAS since there is no tangible benefit.

        Meaning money for nothing!

        And inured to the Religious Oaf and his “friends'” benefit.

        Personally I prefer the “bad ol’ days” when none of us bothered trying to get a tax deduction, because none was expected.

  5. Darla permalink
    April 6, 2010 11:05 pm

    Jeff,
    I read your article and salute you for spotting the similarity. As I finished reading it though, I thought “I don’t agree with his conclusion”. Then I read the comments and was happy to see that others also disagreed with the conclusion.
    There is a Flag Order that applies. The datum in that F.O. is that when you take out an SP, you take out his connections. A real no-brainer if you think it through.
    We can have a Board of Directors – all based on stats and production record and their evidence of NOT having any agreement with the FM regime.
    This needs to be the way it is because having managment and having orgs is ON SOURCE. LRH said to do it and how to structure it, so that is the way it has to “re-evolve”. We want Scientology. We want the tech pure. That stands for the admin and ethics tech as well.
    Darla

    • Jeff permalink*
      April 7, 2010 3:42 am

      The problem as I see it is that DM’s closest “connections” are the ones who would be next in line to take over Scientology. So they are unlikely to take themselves out. I agree, taking out his connections would be a good move, but I would consider that to be any of his top yes-men at the Int Base.

  6. lunamoth permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:05 am

    I agree with this assessment, though I think it might downplay miscavige’s importance in the current situation. The despot at the helm of the c of m is such an extreme example of what can go wrong with the organization that’s it’s hard to see anything else. Over the past several months I’ve seen him called egocentric, ego-manical, evil, cruel, psychotic, a tyrant, a bully, a Hitler, a Nazi, and the devil incarnate. He’s probably all of those things. And like a horrible train wreck, you don’t want to look but you can’t take your eyes off him.

    When you do, though, you see that as terrible as he is, he couldn’t be dramatizing the insanity he is on the church and the field if there was not an organizational flaw. Granted, the structure of the church contains checks and balances, such as the WDC. Which he dissolved. Apparently, none of the checks and balances were sufficient to withstand his efforts to assume complete power because they have all long been dismantled or bypassed. He HAS complete power.

    Well, the fact that he could do that indicates something else, some other fail safe, was missing. If a guy with miscaviges qualifications (as in, none) can waltz in and effectively circumvent the existing hierarchy and take over the whole bloody mess, it is by definition a flawed system.

    Can I think of a way to modify that system so that someone like m could have been stopped in his attempt at total take-over? No. Can you? I also can’t think of another form of organization with one person at the top that cannot be similarly thwarted in such a way. U.S. presidents have managed to do so quite effectively though less thoroughly. Our country seems to be constantly at war, yet the constitutional power to declare war rests with Congress and Congress hasn’t declared war since WWII. That hasn’t stopped several presidents since that time from finding a way to involve our country in nearly continuous foreign wars. So, despite the checks and balances and the best intentions of our brilliant founding fathers, that power has been repeatedly usurped from the legislative branch by the executive.

    You can say that the problem is the structure, or that it’s in human nature, that nature that will drive some people to want to dominate all others, to hold all the power. Doesn’t matter which one it is, if the combination of the two results in what we have now, in the c of m, it’s a bad combination. Are we going to change our form of government because of this flaw? Not likely, and I’m not promoting that here. I’m just saying, it’s a flaw in the structure that through politics or the finding of loopholes, such a thing can be done because there will always be people who want to exploit it, and occasionally you’ll get one either smart enough or single-minded enough to succeed.

    Same with the church.

  7. lunamoth permalink
    April 7, 2010 3:31 am

    Sorry, all those words and I got interrupted before making my point: unlike the form of government the U.S. currently has, the church’s government has been completely taken over by one man. I see the problem with the church as being that the policy that it’s run on, unlike that of our democratic republic, allows for a totalitarianism. It allows what is essentially a rule of fascism. That’s what exists right now within the church.

    I agree with Jeff.

    • April 7, 2010 8:50 pm

      I disagree Lunamoth,

      Just because a nation has democratic principles does not it from being a totalitarian fascist state.

      Nazi Germany is a perfect example.

      Hitler was voted into power.

      The “flaw” with Church policy structure is the “flaw” that Jefferson and Franklin noted with the American Repubublic and that is a misinformed, disinformed and uninformed populace.

      If one doesn’t know a policy or procedure than one is not likely to apply it or know that it is being violated.

      For instance most people in America even at the highest levels in government. Do not know that it is Congress’ duty under the Constitution to declare war and that the President has no power to declare war, none whatsoever.

      He can only prosecute war once declared as Commander and Chief.

      Also he has no power to suspend rights even during a state of war. Yet this is continually done for the sake of “expediency”.

      Yet most Americans are ignorant of this fact.

      In the Church, it is even worse.

      Because there was never supposed to be a single authority who ran the Church. This is evident if any one who calls themselves a “Scientologist” reads OEC Vol VII.

      Even policy is not accepted unless it is approved originally by a Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology of California. A Board that according to its articles of Incorporation consisted of not less than five but not more than seven members. Yet how many Scientologists know this?

      Did you know this Lunamoth?

      Also no one person or individual, not even Ron, can set aside Policy once it has been approved and established.

      In other words it can not be arbitrarily cancelled. Yet this was done in the case of the Golden Age of Tech and other actions that have since corrupted the organization. Too numerous to mention!

      Yet the staff and public sat by like a bunch of crash test dummies or worse! Applauded like a trained seals!

      No.

      It is not the policy or the structure it that is “flawed”.

      However, even if this was the case.

      You’d have to know how it was “flawed” first before it was corrected and the only way you could determine this is by actually studying it.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 7, 2010 9:19 pm

        With all due respect RJ, there never was a “Board” that approved Policy. Just never happened even if it was written somewhere that it should be. LRH wrote it – it was Policy. No one reviewed or approved what LRH said, ever. And these days, what Miscavige says, goes. No one approves his edicts. They are not called Policy as that would be a red Flag to Scientologists as no one but LRH is supposed to write Policy with a capital P, but Miscavige does set policy by fiat.

      • April 7, 2010 11:34 pm

        I beg to differ Jeff.

        Read HCOPL ‘Policy, Source of’ then look at any actual policy fair copy being the original and you will find all policies approved and accepted by what was known as the “International Board”. Any policy issued after the PL entitled ‘Founder’ was approved and accepted by the ‘Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology of California’.

        All policies issued may not state this (some do) but all must follow this routing or they are not considered policy per the above issues whether Ron wrote them or not.

        Also if you look at any actual LRHED on issue. You will see the Church of Scientology of California’s stamp of approval which consists of the Date of Incorporation and the signature of the current Board Director acting on behalf of the Board.

        The current regime when they updated read ALTERED the more recent OEC and Management Volumes issues merely obfuscated this and dropped the originals down the memory hole.

        The only other lines that bypasses this line where direct orders issued by Telex what were called “mults” since they were sent to multiple orgs but even so when they were issued as actual policy they were either approved using the standard lines or withdrawn.

        The other ones were what were called R-Advices ( what Miscavige claims to be operating on) but they were only intended as ADVICE and were never intended or written to circumvent, alter or policy. Also there is compelling evidence that many of these “advices” were in fact issued by either Miscavige or Broeker and are still used today as a “Hidden Data Line”. Along with another illegal issue (since any order or advice that is not approved by the Board only has a half life of six months) appropriately called SPDs or ‘Scientology Policy Directives’.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 8, 2010 12:32 am

        RJ, I know what it says is supposed to happen, what I’m saying is, it didn’t. When LRH wrote PLs on the ship, they went straight to Mimeo, no vias. Mimeo then typed them up and they were issued. I have no idea who this supposed Board was or when they were supposed to meet. You say it existed, well, who was on it? When did they meet? Did they ever “reject” something written by LRH?

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 8, 2010 1:42 am

        RJ

        You miss my point. Probably not your fault as my comment was rambling and way too long.

        Here’s what I’m saying (and no more): If the current structure of the church or the policies on which it is run, allow someone like miscavige to what he’s done for 30+ years, there’s something wrong with them.

        That doesn’t require any proof. It’s a system. It didn’t work to protect scientology, or to help scientologists, or to clear the planet. Fix the system or scrap it. I vote for scrapping it.

      • April 8, 2010 9:44 pm

        Lunamoth,

        I hate it when people add text to what I’ve written that isn’t there and create some kind of straw man.

        I *never* once wrote that system was “perfect”!

        There is a lot of difference between workable and perfect.

        Any system can be workable but still be flawed!

        For instance when I rode with Bikers there where one or two who rode an old shovel or pan head that was held together with bailing wire, JB weld, chewing gum and a prayer but they still ran! Some of them ran well. While you’d get some guy who was constantly wrenching on his ride who never could get it to run right, because he was too busy “fixing it”.

        I also stated that the reason RTC has “God like” powers had nothing to do with policy. RTC is not even mentioned in any policies, because it is a *legal entity* that exists exclusive to or outside of policy. It was another effort to “fix” possible “flaws” or imperfections in policy.

        An off line effort to “protect” the trade marks and service marks which is actually the “First Substance and Duty” of HCO according to the policy.

        And we can all see how well that worked!

        If you actually wanted to correct the Scientology Organization, you’d get rid of all the additives first, just like you would with a Preclear. Such as that parasite David Miscavige and RTC and RTC’s worse than useless “Board” which only exists in name only. Miscavige isn’t the “Chairman”of any “Board” of RTC because no such Board exists and hasn’t existed since he and his “friends” seized control of the organization.

        Just ask him to name the Board members that currently exist on this mythical “Board”!

        Ask for the Articles of Incorporation that list the members of this so called board and you will find that they have either been declared and expelled or busted to the RPF!

        Miscavige and his clique and claque have dismantled any structure the organization once had and your suggestion in my opinion is to throw in a hand grenade!

        First you have to have a system there in order to “fix” it!

        Currently none really exists!

        Nobody but him has any post which in itself is chimera because no RTC board exists!

        So Chairman of the Board of RTC is actually a false flag and a front. Because in order to be Chairman of a Board such a board must exist and none does!

        In reality COBRTC is a mental abstraction!!!!

        Guillame L’serve’ is now labeled as “an international executive” so what happened to ED Int? Where the hell is the Senior C/S Int Ray Mithoff . He’s been MIA for years! Same with the president of the Church.

        At this point “fixing” the system would be about as effective as putting lipstick on a pig.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 9, 2010 1:00 am

        RJ

        You are much more informed as to the structure of the church than I am. I would never get into an argument with you about that, or about policy specifics because I feel you’re much more experienced in those areas than I am. It was NOT my intention to put words in your mouth, either; it really seemed to me that you did have that idea I attributed to you, but glad to know you don’t think the church is perfect as is.

        But you haven’t changed my mind.

        Two reasons: I see that LRH set up an organization that suited his preferences, run on policy that ENABLED him, and miscavige after him, to run what is essentially a totalitarian organization. Under LRH it can be argued that it was a much more benevolent one, but the potential for tyranny was still there. Come on! We know a lot more about LRH and his deeds now that we did years ago, when we were still in the church. LRH COULD be a tyrant. The organization he built and all the policy he ever wrote still allowed him to put people in the chain lockers, send pregnant women to the rpf’s rpf, and organize a campaign to paint Jesus as a child molester and himself as the new Messiah.

        The other reason I’m not convinced that the church should be saved is that I just don’t believe an institution – not the c of s, the catholic church, the mormon church, the universal church – provides the path for me as a spiritual being.

        That’s MY belief. I tried it the other way for 31 years. When in 1978 I was merely learning about an applied spiritual philosophy, it was great. Then it became ” religion” and the organization became a “church,” and the structure became Big Fucking Brother, and the real game, the game of self-directed spiritual learning and increasing personal spiritual freedom, was over. I stuck with it and did what policy said I should do (for the most part) and supported the church, though half-heartedly, for decades. I put myself and my family in unconscionable debt. I structured my life around how a scientologist is supposed to live, and you know what? Not impressed with the outcome. Not what I wanted to get out of the experience.

        But you find value, of what I kind I don’t know, in the church, so preserve it as is, if you can. I don’t personally think that’s even going to be an option, but I wouldn’t interfere with your right and inclination to do it. I’m just not interested. I don’t see the value.

      • April 9, 2010 3:43 am

        Lunamoth,

        Oh come on I read all that stuff about the Ol’man long before the ARPAnet became the internet.

        One of the first books I read was ‘The Scandal of Scientology’.

        I’ve also read some interesting things about Jefferson too another individual who I consider a hero, though I never met him personally, so I can’t consider him a friend.

        The thing is I don’t believe everything I read, especially such obviously blatant character assassination.

        In fact I tend to suspect the person spreading it more than the individual being libeled.

        However, what does the fact that Ron allegedly locked someone in a chain locker or that Thomas Jefferson allegedly had an affair with one of his slaves change basic workable principals?

        The latter doesn’t change the self evident truths enumerated in the DOI

        I mean something either true or it isn’t.

        Now to turn the tables. I really don’t see any real value in the New Age feel good “game of self-directed spiritual learning and increasing personal spiritual freedom”, since that is a game we’ve been playing for eons and as far as I can see the only thing its achieved is a bunch of useless “self help therapies” and is in my opinion is nothing but self deluding mysticism.

        Hey but you’re free to pursue that route.

        Good night.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 9, 2010 5:38 am

        OK, RJ, you’re right. We’re all a bunch of new age theetie weeties, who are trying to assassinate LRH’s character – we all actually got together at my place to make up
        stories about chain lockers, rpf’s for pregnant ladies and LRH’s dreams of being the new
        Jesus.

        I’m so relieved that you have seen through my ruse.

        And you have convinced me that the church is the way to salvation. What the hell was I thinking that this is my personal journey and no one’s business but my own? How can any of my opinions be valid, after all, they were not someone elses idea, I never drilled them the wall, and I certainly didn’t get a star rate check out on them.

        Thanks for setting me straight.

    • April 8, 2010 3:42 am

      Lunamoth the reason Miscavige stays in power has nothing to do with the structure or the system or anything like that. It is because RTC has been assigned God like qualities over the dominion of Scientology. They have the legal power to withdraw on Orgs, Franchise, Field Auditor license. “Fixing” the policies will not fix that, because these powers do not exist in policy.

      Jeff, one of the original Board Members was Lyman Spurlock, another one was Marian Routsong, another one was Mary Sue, there several others who I can not remember but they did indeed exist.

      You’re right.

      I mean who’d turn down a policy by the Ol’man. You know the Founder of Scientology and all that!

      However, how it works and how its supposed to work may seem like two different things.

      Yet, by the book and according to Ron’s own policy on the matter. It is not policy until accepted by the Board of Directors, whomever that happens to be.

      By that I mean an actual Board not one cretin with delusions of grandeur who suffers from MPD!

      Valences don’t count.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 8, 2010 6:20 pm

        LOL, yes, valances don’t count!

        How did RTC get assigned god-like powers? My point is that the policy is flawed, not just necessarily what policy exists and has been thwarted or ignored, but whatever policy does NOT exist, or whatever structural elements don’t exist, that SHOULD, that would have prevented what has happened from happening.

        You can’t argue with results. It’s f’d up. VERY f’d up. The potential to be f’ed up had to have been there. In light of that, how can you insist that it’s perfect,RJ ? Where’s the evidence? What policies were put into place to keep this from happening?

      • VaD permalink
        April 9, 2010 5:05 am

        I would say that any structure is just MEST. It’s a tool.
        I can’t consider structure in itself being good or bad.
        I agree with RJ – structure can be workable or not workable. Being “perfect” or “flawed” has to do more with PR than with the purpose the structure was put there as a tool.
        It’s PEOPLE who make structure “heaven” or “hell” to be within or deal with.
        People are the problem, not the structure. If we try to tear apart MEST, we get nowhere.
        If structure houses madmen, they will use parts of the structure for the bad of others (like now DM does). They will also “modify” and “update” and add to existing structure to serve their own ends because they “know best”.
        IMHO

      • VaD permalink
        April 9, 2010 5:21 am

        One of examples (most fragrant) is heavy use of ethics policy and tech (part of the structure) which: declares and labels people, disconnects families, caves people in, introverts them into finding faults within themselves.
        That is selectively pressed down the lines from the top under heading “put ethics in on teh planet starting with self”.
        Yes, these things are part of the structure. But – is it structure that flaws? I think it’s individuals who see that these days as “the ONLY solution for the better of all”.
        To me it looks like blindness, and we have – again – “blind (DM) leading the blind” (public and staff).

    • April 9, 2010 3:15 am

      I read this thread the night before last right before I went to bed and I have been pondering upon it since (I think I even dreamed about it). So many things are conjured up in reading this thread that I don’t know where to begin exactly but lunamoth what you said about there being a flaw in the system is as good as place as any to start.

      Note: what you are about to read is just my pondering a few things out loud and using Jeff’s blog on which to do so. Nothing I’m writing here is meant to be definitive or conclusive even if it sounds so. It does feel to me as if I’ve entered that part of my journey of self discovery where the more I know the less I know. Perhaps you too know this feeling.

      Obviously there was a flaw in the system lunamoth. The system, in my mind, being the green on white (admin) tech that was developed, worked out, tested and eventually became manifest in what we know as the Organizational Executive Course (OEC). And isn’t the OEC basically LRH’s blueprint for not only building a highly workable group activity, but also a means in which to delineate specific instructions on how to successfully operate the group as it is being built? Of course, the group activity is always being built because it is always expanding. And because its always expanding it can never be completly built. Personally, I think the green on white tech is more than a few strokes of genius and while I continue to use many of the plethora of organizational tools so thoroughly described in the OEC I see now that it is indeed flawed. And that flaw is why we are here today. It is why the group unraveled and lost its integrity.

      The flaw in the admin tech that I see is that it assumes that an organizational structure composed of beings that represent a constant imbalance between free theta and entheta (much heavier on the entheta side) will somehow be able to successfully cope and carry out its mission i.e., safeguard all the tech, train auditors, make Clears, make OTs and accomplish the stated aims of Scientology. And, of course, offset the imbalance so that free theta majorally dips the scale to its side. Speaking from my experience in working construction for many years, if one is going to keep adding to the existing building one had better dam sure be continually expanding and reinforcing the foundation prior to adding on more stories, balconies, etc. In the case of CoS the foundation would be composed of fully trained, hatted and interned personnel on post who were also steadily progressing up the Bridge! Now I can only speak from my own reality and experience as being staff at a Mission (for only 8 months) then later staff at a WISE Office (3.5 yrs) and finally, for being a public active and online for 25+ years but in that time I did not see CoS expanding its foundation. Indeed, I saw it go the other way. In other words, I did not see staff getting trained (beyond how to cope 101), did not see staff going up the Bridge and all the while the imbalance between free theta and entheta continued to grow. And as the imbalance grew the CoS began to look and behave more and more like a typical Earth corporation where the bottom line is all that matters and profit ($$$$) takes seniority over life.

      The flaw in the admin tech (the system) is that it obviously did not take such a scenario as has happened into consideration, therefore, did not make any allowance for it. This was its Achille’s heal.
      And this is why I’m blogmenting on Leaving Scientology right now.

      ………………

      How did DM manage to disable all of the organizations checks and balances that should have seen him coming a mile away and immediately acted to disable him?

      Suppositions:

      1) What he was doing was so incredible that people in is vicinity could not even see what he was doing.

      2) DM is so evil that nobody could confront him so let him do whatever he wanted.

      3) After LRH dropped his body and was gone many SO members, Org staff and public moved down the Havingness scale to substitute and DM, to those people, became LRH. LRH, of course, to a person in this condition would be seen as being able to do no wrong. Hence, DM from his new position could, for all practical purposes, “part the water” as needed. He was given carte blanche over CoS, the tech, anything! We fed him. We empowered him and he grew in both power and insanity.

      ………………..

      lunamoth, you wrote….

      “…the church’s government has been completely taken over by one man.”

      I believe that it would be a mistake for us to conclude, at this time, that DM was acting alone. Perhaps DM has acted alone and perhaps he single handedly nullified LRH and then took over the entire CoS. Until we have verifiable evidence to that effect that conclusively shows that DM has been and is currently, a one man band, it would be prudent of us to leave the door of possibility wide open (you never know what the hell might walk in).

      • Been There permalink
        April 9, 2010 12:00 pm

        Monte:

        Thank you for this insightful comment. Like you I am a veteran, 35+ years in SCN; five years on staff; ten years in Pioneer areas; walked the Grade Chart up to the top on both sides. My entire time in, I never felt like a real foundation was placed under the individual, the smaller groups and especially not in the big orgs. I have headed up Div 2, Div 3 and worked in Div IV as a CS and during those tenures I constantly fought the rest of the org to let public, students and PC’s have there wins and get their gains.

        I believed in letting and a student take as long as he needed on course to truly get the material, letting a student auditor audit as much as possible until he felt grounded in the skill of the level, leaving PC’s alone to have their wins and gain their certainty of self without regging them for huge sums, or trying to get them to join staff. My goal was to get the right service for the individual and make sure he got the result until he was totally satisfied he had it. I was blessed in the beginning of my SCN career to be mentored by an LRH trained Class VIII who instilled this intention in me.

        As a Treasury Sec I routinely refused SMI demands to purchase the high ticket items like 100’s of books, $6000 projectors to show tech films, etc. My Mission, as a result, was never insolvent. We operated on what was true for our local scene and not some remote execs idea of a program for our Mission. Of course, that was in the day when autonomy prevailed. Nowadays, I would be toast for those action.

        Even then, I was often thwarted. Students and PC’s were blown off the lines because of out-gradient regging, regging for staff, clumsy ethics and a host of other actions that worked against establishing a firm foundation of certainty in the person. Similarly, Missions and groups didn’t get a chance to be established and get a track record of results before being cannibalized for assets, staff, etc.

        Long-term SCN public now are senior citizens, heavily in-debt and spent their capital of youth and productivity feeding the SCN beast. It’s not a good place to be. How different if all the way up they had been encouraged to take as long as they needed as a student and PC, helped to do actual financial planning to allocate for their Bridge and not go in to debt and build a personal financial fortress, per LRH policy? We would be some powerful senior SCNs who could forward the purpose and creed of our church instead of grappling with health issues, debt and fractured family relationships.

        Monte, you are so right, it is all about the foundation. With a solid foundation there is strength and longevity. With the quickie, picked-apart, pillaged foundation under the SCN organization and individuals; what exists now will not stand.

        By the way, fellow-gardener, I love your community garden/blog site! Nowadays, I’m farming rather than being staff, student or PC.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 9, 2010 5:46 pm

        Been There,

        I’m not kidding when I say you sound like the closest thing to a perfect scientology staffer I can imagine. I would have LOVED to have been a student in your course room or an auditor interning under your supervision. You’ve described the ideal scene I always wanted but never knew. My hat’s off to you for having kept your standards high. It must have been a constant battle.

        Your summation of where long-term scienotologists now find themselves (and why) is exactly right. Not that we can’t out-create it, but it should never have been like this.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 9, 2010 10:59 pm

        Monte,

        As always, reading your thoughts is like floating downstream on a gentle current; I completely follow your journey and never seem to run aground or into rocks or shoals,
        just …. float along with it. As you said, it’s all in flux. I have no need to claim an opinion or a stand and defend it to the death because I’m still looking and learning. My viewpoint often shifts, mutates, morphs, sometimes more than once in a thread. I like it. I don’t HAVE to be certain, and I don’t HAVE to be right. I see that in your comments, too.

        Btw, I have no opinion on whether dm was acting alone, but I find it a fairly interesting subject for speculation. RJ seems to have more inside data than anyone, but it’s not something I’ve personally researched – I get too dispersed by the apparent complexity of it. I can’t even figure out the real structure of the damn church, for chrissake!

      • April 11, 2010 4:14 pm

        Been There, I agree with lunamoth, you are what I would consider to be a perfect staff member! You obviously not only knew the importance of building a strong foundation you knew how to build one. Also, a key factor that is essential in being able to build something that will persevere through the ages is having the ability to be able to tolerate a comm lag. If that ability is not there…forget it. The church did not have this ability. The church was consumed by and fixated upon, production stats. Quantity, quantity, quantity, quantity and on and on was always the point of focus and push. The marvelous tool and tech of managing by stats was perverted beyond belief. And all the while quality and viability diminished and whatever foundation was once in place eroded into nonexistence.

        Many years ago I worked for a construction company in Fayetteville, AR, and in the main office of this company where the workers would gather once a week to get lined out on who was working where, I would find myself reading this tattered little poster that was scotch taped on the wall. It read, “Why do I always have time to do things over but never time to do things right?” That simple question of self-inspection has served me well over the years. In a world where the SOP seems to be hurry, hurry, hurry get it done yesterday; stopping to ask myself the above question has helped me enormously in being able to hold my position and get what I’m doing in the moment done correctly before proceeding to the next step. Anytime I ventured to tell this story to a supe or a senior it was instantly put in my place. I was just using this for a justification to not hurry and produce. After all, rapidity of particle flow alone determines power!

        The datum of “rapidity of particle flow alone determines power” was, throughout my scn track, always communicated as being an absolute truth but in my own experiences in living life I find it far from being so. However, this datum was constantly used by my seniors, supes, scio bosses (in companies owned by scios) to push production and invalidate slowness i.e., that individual’s perception of slowness. Comping a course quickly and giving the org that stat became more important than the student really knowing the data and being able to apply it, not only in the confines of CoS but in the ‘real’ world too.

        When I had my WISE Office and my academy I could tolerate a comm lag. And, purpose was always senior to policy. An although the WISE training and counsulting was secular, I had numerous students/clients originate being interested in the church. But in every case where one of my students would go to the org to meet with a representative of the church they would be blown off in less than a week! Because the org, by its actions, demonstrated that all this person was to them was a piece of prime grade fresh meat i.e., a professional person with money. And they could not wait to get that person in with the reg and get that GI stat up. And after such an experience my student/client would return to WISE bewildered by their experience. But know that I did not send anyone on my lines to the org without first giving them an emphatic R-fac that the church did not operate like WISE and there would be a lot more pressure exerted upon them in that environment. The r-fac, though, didn’t help much.

        Okay, that’s enough. My garden calls.

        In closing, this discussion is a discussion that IMHO is incredibly worthwhile for us to persue in depth. The topic is enormously complex and there is just so damn much crap (all those years of devoted attention to quantity really piled it high) to wade through and sort out and even if we do manage to navigate myriad heaps of crap and get things sorted out, I don’t know if we’ll ever really be able to understand exactly what in the hell happened.

        ……………..

        Been There, farming is where its at! However, our freedom to grow, control and consume our own food is under seige. DM wants to have total control of any and all aspects of scientology and scientologists but there are others out there who want to want to own and rule the world. If you control the food you control the people. As others have often times said, what is going on with the CoS is the train wreck you can’t stop watching. However, we best not get ourselves so fixated on this particular train wreck that we do not raise our heads up and see what other insanities might be coming down the tracks right for us.

  8. Aeolus permalink
    April 7, 2010 5:03 am

    I agree completely with the statement, “the structure is the problem.” In a hierarchal organization where everybody is somebody’s junior, that post at the top that is nobody’s junior is an irresistible lure to those antisocial types who need to dominate others. LRH created the structure that put himself at the top, and if he expected to stay in that top spot as “Source” after he wasn’t around to protect the post, he miscalculated.

    Miscavige will go, one way or another, and although there may be a succession of weak leaders after him, eventually someone will come along who is brutal and cunning enough to suppress all of his competition and step into those same shoes. Personally I don’t see effective reform taking place within the Church of Scientology. It was based on a military model to begin with, and it’s just too big a leap from there to a truly cooperative pattern.

    There have always been two fundamentally different approaches to personal enlightenment. One of them is to find a guru who will give you the answers. The other one is to forge your own path of discovery, either alone or in the company of like-minded seekers. Much of Scientology technology can be applied to the second approach, and the Internet enables that in a way never before available on this planet.

    To anyone hoping to salvage the Church of Scientology, I wish you luck, but I’m choosing the second path and looking for fellow travelers.

    • VaD permalink
      April 7, 2010 11:06 am

      IMHO, fault with any power structure comes from having at the top someone whom people don’t like.
      People naturally create such “structures” to follow a person whom they like (like LRH or Christ).
      But when someone not-loved comes to power after (like DM) and keeps people stuck to such vertical power lines (with policies, ethics…) then we have dictatorship and totalitarian regime. He abuses people to stay at power, he is liked less and less by more and more, he uses more force…
      Later, having escaped from this structure people realize it was “totalitarian cult” (as it has all symptoms of such from distant view)

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 8, 2010 4:12 am

        You make a good point, VaD. LRH gets quoted sometimes as saying the best form of government is a benevolent dictatorship, and indeed he seems to have left behind a system that depended on benevolence in order to work the way he wanted it to. As soon as someone less benevolent than he took the reins, you find out why a dictatorship is not really a desirable form of government.

        I would just add that regardless of WHO endorses it, I don’t find a dictatorship, benevolent or otherwise, to EVER be my choice of government.

  9. VaD permalink
    April 7, 2010 11:17 am

    I think, Failure of structure lies with successor pushing it HIS way (not following sucessful actions from his successful predecessor).

  10. April 7, 2010 12:26 pm

    There’s a simple solution, simple to state anyway. Unmock the CofS completely. Abandon the trademarks, and put all Hubbard’s works into the public domain. Let those who want to work with those works do so. Liquidate the assets of the CofS and use the proceeds as best as possible to make whole, to some extent anyway, those who have been harmed.

    Paul

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 8, 2010 1:33 am

      I am far more inclined to support this kind of solution than the continuation of the current church under new leadership. But it’s not really up to me. I’m not a member of the church and would not be again under any circumstances. Rather, it will be the decision of those who wish to remain in a church.

      I have my opinions as to what is smart, and what is likely to work and not potentially allow the reproduction of what we have now.

  11. April 7, 2010 2:29 pm

    Anyone who believes that editorial doesn’t understand Roman Catholicism—at all. Most Catholics don’t even understand their own religion. So that’s not surprising.

    Let’s consider some FACTS:
    There wasn’t even a Bible for the first 350 years of Christianity an era which IS considered the first original Church by the RCC. Bible-only Christianity is the alteration. Not the other way around.

    Once a Bible was compiled, which was by the Catholic Church’s St. Jerome, we find that Peter was given the keys which means he was granted the AUTHORITY, via the Holy Ghost, as Christ’s Vicar on Earth to continue to develop the doctrine through time. That means the Bible does not end but continues. If you don’t have that then you have millions of different povs and a badly fractured church. Hence the thousands of different sects in Christianity. It doesn’t mean there have not been changes either. What was Vatican II? Many RC fundamentalists consider that an alteration of original teachings.

    But really Catholic “fundamentalism”? All fundamentalism means is a return to original teachings or the first teachings. There have been people in America, a Protestant country, who’ve wanted to alter the original teachings and make it more “protestant.” If a religion is supposed to be the word of God and/or universal TRUTH that means it gets to change? If so, then it’s not the truth or the word of God.

    Even LRH says in the Level 2 Tapes that the RCC splintered because they didn’t have an e-meter.
    Martin Luther was right about certain abuses but those were cleaned up too. Did Luther return then?

    As one who was raised Catholic, and liked her religion growing up, I did not feel like my entire life was controlled by it—at all. It’s not an easy gig but neither is Scientology. No religion is.

    There’s always been a lot of anti- Catholicism in America. I think this article reeks of it. Those who are in that camp are salivating at a way to bring the RCC down….so the pedophile priests is their answer. Despite that pedophile priest cases, in America at least, represent 2% of priests; that we can find the same percentage of pedophilia in other denominations; that it’s as high as 10% among school teachers. But only the Catholic Church gets to take the heat. Undoubtedly, because it’s one of the largest most visible churches around and has influence.

    So I don’t think this analogy works.

  12. April 7, 2010 2:41 pm

    I would like to add that Roman Catholicism is based on dogma.

    That means one is compelled to believe it and adhere to what is deemed a dogma.

    Only certain doctrines are defined as dogma though. That is when a doctrine gets defined as a dogma when the Pope speaks from his throne ( ex Cathedra) which is only on matters of faith and morals. That’s essentially what an infallible teaching is. The Pope is not infallible on all things. He can be ignored on other things.

    The RCC is not a democracy and it’s teachings do not stem from the people. The road is narrow and few are the feet that walk upon it is the pov. ( paraphrased) According to the RCC Protestant versions have about 50,000 errors.

    • Jeff permalink*
      April 7, 2010 8:03 pm

      RC, not my intention to get into a discussion of Catholicism, merely to point out some parallels. Both the Vatican and Scientology are having to deal with questions of abuse and, unfortunately, are taking similar viewpoints, that is, protect the power. I saw that the Vatican today issued a statement that those accusing the Pope of ignoring abuse are “anti-Catholic hate groups.” Sounds all too similar to Scientology’s response to allegations of abuse.

      • April 8, 2010 1:04 am

        Jeff,
        I did get a bit carried away but it was due to the original article’s falsehoods on RCism as a basis for comparison.The abuse of either church isn’t stemming from “fundamentals” being out. Nor is the abuse as widespread in the RCC as the press implies.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 8, 2010 1:37 am

        Sounds like they’re taking a page from m’s book on how to handle “attacks” on you’re church is patently guilty of the crimes of which you’re being accused.

  13. Anna permalink
    April 7, 2010 4:56 pm

    Ok, at the risk of being left out again ( I feel like I am being punished for “Being Here and Communicating”). Can anyone let me know how to find the article where Sue Wilher said that “DM is Scientology?” I find that baffling and hard to believe? Also who is Sue Wilher and how long has she been in Scientology? Any one know?

    • Jeff permalink*
      April 7, 2010 8:27 pm

      Sue Wilhere said that in an affadavit the Church provided to the St. Pete Times. Maybe someone can provide the link to those affadavits. I knew Sue at the Int Base, she was there for 10 years at least. She is in CMO International and is married to Greg Wilhere.

      By the way Anna, you privately requested an e-mail response but the e-mail you provided doesn’t work. If you want to send me another e-mail address (I won’t publish it) then I’ll send you a reply.

  14. lunamoth permalink
    April 8, 2010 4:23 am

    Jeff,

    This was a very interesting article. I hadn’t looked at the similarities in both institutions as far as
    the lower echelons of each organizing themselves against attacks (internal and external) to protect power. While this is how an institution is inevitably judged to either be successful or not (did it succeed in protecting its own survival? Did it survive the crisis?) it also shows a failure as far as a spiritual philosophy is concerned. The survival of a philosophy is determined by how well it connects one to all the dynamics, and in so doing embodies the truths of existence. Having concern for ANYTHING other than the truth violates the very philosophies that both churches purport to be based upon.

    This is an example, I believe, of the intrinsic problem with institutions: their need to survive and the supremacy of that need above all other concerns. Whether it’s a religion or a spiritual philosophy, once institutionalized, spiritual matters will inevitably be made to serve the ends of the institution.

  15. craig houchin permalink
    April 9, 2010 4:35 pm

    Wow! Another wonderful opportunity to discuss issues that would have gotten our heads figuratively lopped off had we had this discussion as Church members. Then again, we would never have dared this conversation as Church members.

    That aside, I agree with Lunamoth, Aeolus and others who don’t see much hope of the Church changing its ways AND maintaining its present structure.

    LRH did promote the idea of the benevolent monarchy as a form of group management, probably because that’s how he saw himself at the time. However, I believe his first choice of governance and management was that done by free beings working in concert together toward shared goals.

    In such a group, leadership would be unnecessary as everyone would know the goals and instantly recognize the best route toward those goals and get on with it. It’s an ideal scene perhaps, but nowhere near any present time real scene on planet earth.

    The Independent Scientology movement, as long as it stays independent, is probably the best arrangement for achieving the personal gains of Scientology and, thereby, one winning person to the next, ultimately the Aims of Scientology.

    While I will not be participating in either the Church or the Independent Movement, I would be happy to see people at cause and with self-determinism pursue a path that put the best of LRH’s legacy to the best use to help themselves and others.

  16. Manuel permalink
    April 9, 2010 8:39 pm

    Isn’t it past time for the true *source* to have come back and retaken command. hubbard died in 1986. That makes him 24 years old today. Why hasn’t he returned?

    Wait, there are lots of dead Sea Org members who would be of age – where is the first one to comeback for Life # 2 (out of a billion years). Has no one come back?

    Maybe hubbard is really just dead.

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 9, 2010 10:54 pm

      Where did you get the idea that Hubbard was going to “come back” to the sea org?

      • Manuel permalink
        April 10, 2010 11:06 am

        He is supposed to come back to the Sea Org just like ever Sea Org member who signed a Billion Year Contract. If he is not supposed to come back what was the point of signing the contract?

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 12, 2010 4:30 am

        You think LRH signed a contract?

      • Manuel permalink
        April 19, 2010 8:51 pm

        hmmmm, I don’t think he signed a contract, no. He wrote the contract though.

        Wouldn’t one think that a 24 year-old “hubbard re-incarnated” would see Miscavige and say, “Whoh, I’d better get back there and put that guy in the RPF.”

    • VaD permalink
      April 10, 2010 6:05 am

      Just reminds me a parallel.
      When I was at school, we learned (and had to believe) “Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will ever live” or “Lenin even now is more alive than anyone alive.” I used to stretch my mind to house that thought. 🙂 (Lenin died in 1924)
      Can you believe how stupid we all, in Soviet Union and other communist countries were?

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 10, 2010 3:59 pm

        Uh, you’re asking long-term scientologists if they can believe how stupid someone was to believe the reality promoted and accepted by everyone around them?

        Have you met us?

      • VaD permalink
        April 10, 2010 6:59 pm

        Yes, I met many. I know many people from SO.
        I was in SO in US from 1997 to 2003 (at Flag and in LA working directly for Gold and Int).

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 12, 2010 4:33 am

        Sorry, VaD, “have you met us is” an expression, a figure of speech, and rhetorical. It’s conveys surprise that you didn’t already know something about us, in this case, that we
        as scientologists have done something just as stupid as Russians believing those things about Lenin- I was saying that we share a common mistake in judgement.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: