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The Flim Flam Man

April 9, 2010

The first thing the Flim Flam Man did when he rolled into town was call a big meeting at the local Church.

“My friends, we’ve got Trouble,” he told the assembled congregation. “Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with E and that stands for Expansion! Look at you, bursting at the seams!”

The congregation looked around at the half empty pews and wondered what the heck this stranger in the straw boater and bow tie was talking about.

“I’m talking about Expansion,” explained the Flim Flam Man. “I’m talking about the Future! I’m talking about building the biggest, most impressive church this town has ever seen, right in the middle of town! A church that will make people sit up and take notice!”

And with that, he whipped out a bunch of pictures that he’d gotten a starving artist to paint for him for a few bucks. “Just look at this,” he said, “It’s the biggest office building in town, a local landmark. And this is how it will look as your new church. Just look at those 20-foot stained glass windows! Look at that huge golden cross on the roof! It will be spectacular! It will be…what’s the word…ideal!”

“Well, it sure looks pretty,” said the Parson. “But we’re doing fine right where we are. We can’t afford a big building like that, and in fact our church policy forbids us from investing in property we can’t afford.”

“That’s old policy,” said the Flim Flam Man. “You’re looking at the past, not at the future. You have to stop thinking small – you have to think big!”

“How would we ever afford such a building?” asked a Businessman. “It costs millions of dollars.”

“Well, we can do it,” said the Flim Flam Man. “If you all empty your bank accounts, take out second mortgages on your houses, rob your children’s college funds, and sell your cars, we can make it.”

“You said ‘we’,” commented a Shopkeeper. “So how much will you be investing?”

“Me?” said the Flim Flam Man. “Well, I…that is…other commitments and so on…and after all, it’s your church, not mine…”

“How would we ever fill such a big building?” asked a Merchant. “It’s huge.”

“There you go, thinking small again,” said the Flim Flam Man. “Everyone knows that it’s a basic law of the universe that ‘if you build it, they will come.’ What’s the matter, didn’t you folks see Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner?”

“Well, I guess we could treat it as a real estate investment,” said a Realtor. “If we own it, we can always sell it when the market improves…”

“About that…” said the Flim Flam Man. “You wouldn’t actually own it. As soon as it was purchased, it would be turned over to the International Religious Holy Landlord Trust.”

“And who controls the Trust?” asked a Teacher.

“Well, that is…I do.” admitted the Flim Flam Man.

“Oh, so then you’d be responsible for upkeep, utilities, property taxes and renovations,” said the Businessman.

“No, actually, you’d still be responsible for those things, not me,” said the Flim Flam man. “After all, it’s your church!”

“Let me get this straight,” said the Banker. “We give you all of our money. You buy a huge, expensive building. We’re responsible for filling it up. We’re responsible for renovating it. We pay all the property taxes, utilities and upkeep. But we don’t own it, you do. And you can sell it whenever you want and pocket the money.”

A young boy raised his hand.

“Mister, I don’t know much about money and real estate and stuff, but it seems like you don’t put in any money, and you get everything, and we put in all the money and get nothing. That doesn’t seem fair.”

“But…but…you do get something,” the Flim Flam Man stammered, frantically grabbing some more of his paintings. “You get these great trophies and plaques, and you get status! Yes, that’s right, status! You get to call yourself things like ‘Contributorus Maximus’ and ‘Patronus Elitus,’ and…”

That was as far as he got. The Flim Flam Man was ridden out of town on a rail, and all of his pretty paintings burned.

“Oh, woe is me,” said the Flim Flam Man, as he sat in his seedy motel room, trying to clean the tar and feathers off his striped suit. “Woe is me! That’s the only con I know, and it’s so transparently criminal that even a child can see through it! Where, oh where, will I ever find a group of people that won’t ask me all those embarrassing questions? A group that is so trusting, so gullible, so dumb, that they will actually fall for it?”

Then he had a bright idea.

When he arrived in the next town, he headed straight for the local Church of Scientology.

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68 Comments
  1. April 9, 2010 5:34 pm

    Perfect!

    Just like the Golden Arches, the C of S is becoming primarily a real estate corporation, but in a way that McDonalds would never have the chutzpah to attempt.

  2. lunamoth permalink
    April 9, 2010 5:52 pm

    Yup. Sure looks pretty stupid when you, eh … you know … actually LOOK at it.

  3. Li Po permalink
    April 9, 2010 6:59 pm

    Lol! You are definitely a great writer!

  4. scooter permalink
    April 9, 2010 7:20 pm

    Ha ha ha ha ha – nice one. It hurts too that that is so close to the truth of it and I even gave some $s for that scam. 😦

  5. Fidelio permalink
    April 9, 2010 7:21 pm

    You are having a ball, aren’t you, Jeff? I love it, I love it, thanx for this fantastic entertainment!! ML, Fidelio

  6. earth mother permalink
    April 9, 2010 7:44 pm

    Wonderful! I loved it!

    I wonder how it is going with renovation plans for the Valley Org. The space they are in now seemed adequate for the one or two students I saw when last there. Maybe it, like Portland’s Idle Org, will be up for sale soon.

  7. April 9, 2010 8:03 pm

    Jeff,

    That was hysterical!

    Unfortunately so true!

    I personally asked the hard questions that the kid asked and look where I am today 😉

    Anyway it’s even worse!

    Not only is the Idle Org staff responsible for the buildings renovation, maintenance costs, utilities, property taxes, etc. but has to pay the International Land Lord rent (read mortgage) and really has no title to the building.

    What a scam!

    Yet they have the rubes convinced it’s their “Ideal Org” when in fact Int can sell the org out from their sorry asses like they did in your earlier blog leaving them with nothing but a lousey T-Shirt saying “I Contributed” that really should read “I’m a Sucker!”.

    • Elizabeth permalink
      April 10, 2010 2:59 am

      RJ,

      They have to pay rent? Oh, please do explain. 🙂 Please.

      • April 10, 2010 11:18 am

        That’s right, Elizabeth.

        They have to pay rent!

        I was totally non-plussed when I first heard about it.

        My guess is that these are in reality mortgage payments and that the Quarters are mortgaged once they’re occupied.

        Personally, I think that there is a bigger scam behind the scam much like BCCI.

        Just my suspicion.

      • Freetothink permalink
        April 15, 2010 5:01 pm

        Not sure that that’s true for all Orgs. Maybe the ones that were financed by the IAS or with mortgages.

        Several months ago when I frist heard that, I was livid & went to verify with my Org. Of course I didn’t arrive there all mad but I calm myself down & just asked at an Event in a very interested matter ” So this means, we’ll never have to pay rent again?” I was assured by SO members & local Executives “no more rent”. I asked in others ways in case they were tricking me & again I was assured “no more monthly payments”. So either they were outright lying or the rent thing is only true for the Orgs that haven’t been fully financed by parishoners.

        RJ, which Orgs do you know for sure are paying rent?

      • April 16, 2010 12:06 am

        Rumor line, which is where I hear anything else about Orgs these days, Freetothink.

        Of course they’re going to deny it and disguise them as “property management costs” or something like that, instead of mortgage payments or rent.

        Whatever, the fact is I anticipate that a certain percentage goes to the International Landlord’s Office.

        Next time do us a favor and ask to see the books of an actual “Ideal Org” in operation such as Buffalo or San Jose or one of those that are operational. In other words Look don’t Listen and prove all of us “rumormongers” wrong.

        Till then I stand by what I wrote earlier.

      • Freetothink permalink
        April 17, 2010 3:19 am

        I really didn’t mean to rub you the wrong way RJ & no intention to make you wrong either. I don’t follow all the conversations on these blogs but I do see that you participate a lot & I really appreciate you for that & all the others that are creating these blogs & commenting on them. Without these blogs & comments I would have never probably open my eyes enough to see the truth.

        I was just trying to make the point that from what I found out at least some of the the Ideal Orgs don’t have to pay rent. Maybe I was lied to. That’s a clear possibility. At least when I asked there was enough people around that if they find out in the future that I was lied to it will impinge on them. For me there is plenty going on with the Church to get wrong up about without having to add things that might not be true.

        Since I resigned already, I’m not in a position to verify any info anymore since all staff members & friends have been instructed to not talk to me. I don’t know about San Jose (didn’t even know there was an Org there) but as far as I know many Ideal Orgs were opened originally without there building being fully paid so that’s probably what they are still paying for. I actually haven’t heard of any Org that was opened with their fundraising fully done including Dallas, Nashville & Vegas. The only Org I know that has their fundraising fully done, and I think this is the first one ever, is Seattle and it’s not open yet.

        Anyways I’m not trying to get in an argument about it. Just trying to add info that might be useful to others. Hope there’s no hard feelings.

      • April 20, 2010 6:42 am

        No problem Freetothink.

        As I wrote it’s only rumors but funny thing is when you’re dealing with the Church of Squirrelotology many of them end up being true.

        Personally I think this “Ideal Org” concept is a money laundering scam.

        My think is that once these Orgs are purchased they are mortgaged to achieve liquidity with some spill off of course and from there it becomes an endless shell game of transferring funds around the “Ideal Org” network, similar to kiting checks.

    • April 10, 2010 9:24 pm

      RJ,
      Aren’t you glad you had the audacity to ask? Who knew getting kicked out of the club could be so much fun.

  8. sherrymk permalink
    April 9, 2010 8:39 pm

    LOL..Jeff, you are too too much.

    Great name for a new book by Jefferson Hawkins..The Flim Flam Man..or maybe a song!
    When the Flim Flam Man comes to town
    Everybody will be lookin’ round
    To see who next will give a “flow”
    And just pretend they do not “know”

    The Flim Flam Man he takes a stand
    With all his hoopla and a big brass band
    To show his “people” how smart he must be
    “Look at me, look at me… look at me!!” Wheeeeeee

    etc blah blah!

    Sher

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 9, 2010 10:50 pm

      I look forward to the music video!

  9. VaD permalink
    April 9, 2010 8:58 pm

    Jeff, you rock!

    I love it here!
    I love you – guys and gals!
    It’s a pretty thing (that we are here – reading and posting).

    If we meet, we can probably have disagreements or even upsets with each other. But we WON’T ruin our friendship by “I have THE truth, and you are in delusion” between us. – And THAT solves many things for me.

    I love you unconditionally.

    P.S. I might be off-topic. Well, I DO need some space to vent… 🙂

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 9, 2010 10:51 pm

      VaD

      Expressions of unconditional love are NEVER off topic! Please continue to vent that kind of stuff at every oppotunity. It’s a beautiful thing.

  10. Karen permalink
    April 9, 2010 9:23 pm

    This was hilarious! Absolutely wonderful!

  11. April 9, 2010 10:34 pm

    I lol’d, thanks. You painted a hilarious mental picture.

  12. April 9, 2010 11:20 pm

    Jeff — you do know how to pen words of truth! This should be printed and mailed to CFs everywhere!

  13. David L. permalink
    April 9, 2010 11:46 pm

    As a big fan of “The Music Man” I appreciate the reference.
    As someone who witnessed one of these Ideal Org evolutions up close, I can say you nailed it brilliantly.
    The local “rubes” never ask the tough questions tho. They’re so programmed and gullible to never question details like “who actually has title to this property?”
    They’d be “CI” or “out ethics” if they ever questioned anything that was “command intention”.
    The Int. Landlord and DM are the beneficiary of all this ill-gained wealth but public “reg’s” and FSM’s doing “fund raising” have made a ton of money too. The reg (public) brought in for the Nashville Ideal Org probably made $300-400 thousand dollars in commissions for about three months of “work”. Her name is Peggy (Crawford…I think). The church insulates itself from any blowback by using public reg’s and its a great gig for the reg’s/fsm’s because they get instant commissions on any money they bring in. You see, they don’t have to deal with that annoying issue of actually getting someone arrived to an org and onto a service in order to get paid an exchange. If you had noticed a proliferation of IAS and Idle Org donation reg’s…that is why.
    What a scam! Perpetrated by a master con man who makes Professor Harold Hill look like a rank amateur.
    River City…all aboard!

    • Ceileen permalink
      April 10, 2010 7:17 am

      “the local ‘rubes'” don’t ask that questions because who the hell would ever suspect the anointed one to be a crim?? hello?

    • Sinar permalink
      April 11, 2010 11:26 pm

      Good point DL!

      The FlimFlam Man “regmachine” is often overlooked until you brought it up.

      For some reason it did not click that there were these greedy individuals or Jackals who don’t really care that what they’re “selling ” is a criminal exchange and thus an overt. Greatest good for the greatest amount of 9th Dynamic has been DM’s, oops I mean Flim Flam Man’s raison d’être.

  14. Nomnom permalink
    April 10, 2010 12:18 am

    The best!

    Now who will play Marian the Librarian?
    Tom C. in a wig perhaps?

  15. April 10, 2010 4:40 am

    Jeff, this is wonderful! Definitely tickled my giggle box…ROFL!

    Here’s the scene and the music just need to add your new lyrics and we’re in business. Oh yeah, we will need to replace Robert Preston’s head with the head of DM. BTW, does DM dance?

  16. AlexMetheny permalink
    April 10, 2010 5:44 am

    Ouch that hurt!! LOL!!

    Fish Daddy, why do you have to be so mean??

    🙂
    Alex

  17. Ceileen permalink
    April 10, 2010 7:14 am

    whew! that was wicked good, Jeff!
    A bit simplistic, imho, but it sure tells the tale real good.
    I have some nice swampland in Florida, anyone interested?
    Thanks, Jeff.

  18. Paolo permalink
    April 10, 2010 8:53 am

    Jeff, What you write is SO TRUE!!!!

    I couldn’t actually believe it that many otherwise bright scientologists got tricked into this. Shame on Miscavige and on the ideal org frenzy. And shame on whoever accepted to waive HCOPL Quarters, historical (don’t remember the exact name).

    One of the product of the present church of scientology is financial rape. The abuses (physical, psychological, moral, financial) are so many that, although I still believe in parts of the tech, I came to the conclusion that the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics would be for the FBI and related agencies to shut down the churches of scientology worldwide.

    What’s workable of the tech will anyhow be used, but the abuses will end. They are too many.

    Paolo

    • Paolo permalink
      April 10, 2010 9:21 am

      Jeff, one more thing: you closed the post “a bridge to nowwhere” that I had a chance to read tonite. I understand the reason you closed it: too much flame and personal attacks, too much desire “to be right”, etc. but WHAT WAS SAID IN THE POST IMO WAS REAL KEY FOR THE ACTUAL TRUTH RUNDOWN:

      Guess what, there are no advanced ot levels. For 24 years the church of scientology actually LIED about the technology. When Marty told me that the first time, I felt me like in the movie “Forrest Gump” when Forrest, after running back and forth East-West, turns around and says “Guess what I am a bit tired…” and goes home. For over 20 years I had been running behind something that actually did not exist. Among all the lies the c of s has grown accustomed to say, that is the most vicious. They (Miscavige and Yager, and all the people who where there) knew it was a lie. Yet they didn’t say anything.

      People have stayed in scientology, accepted abuses, financial rape, etc just because they had the HOPE that one fine day they were going to be able to get onto those super duper ot levels yet to be released. So it is key to promote it: there are no advanced ot levels. There is no immortality.

      And with that I am not criticizing or downgrading the technology of scientology. There are lot of valid principles in scientology, the tech has helped me a lot, the grades are incredibile, but the idea of the OT that move objects with thought is just a lie, something that cannot be reached.

      Probably the state of OT is a state of serenity, ARC with the world and it is reached through arc, a case freed of bpc and by expanding onto the 3rd and 4th dydnamics through actions, not processes. But scientology, although again it has a good tech, IT DOES NOT HAVE THE TECH TO CREATE OT’S per the tech dictionary definition.

      Sorry for the rant.

      Paolo

      • VaD permalink
        April 10, 2010 6:38 pm

        Would be great to see thread like “Bridge to Nowhere” opened again (in a new unit of time). Some of those who posted there changed their considerations and minds, I believe.

        Paolo,
        “the idea of the OT that move objects with thought is just a lie, something that cannot be reached”.
        I won’t fully agree with that. Some people DO move objects with thought – yet without having “OT certificate”.
        So – ability IS there. It CAN be attained. But not by the means of current scientology’s “spiritual tech” interwoven with “ethics tech”.
        There ARE people who can do those “unimaginable” things (naturally or having learnt). Only they don’t call themselves “OT” or some other superhuman state. I believe it’s as natural for them as for us to move with hands.
        Remind me of how Hubbard denigrated state of Buddha to “only Release state” (while “we in Scientology make Clears and OTs”. What a bluff! (Great positioning, too)

      • April 10, 2010 8:23 pm

        I agree VaD.

        For over two decades, according to over 100,000 pages released through the FOIA under the rubric ‘Stargate’ the final cryptonym for a series of highly classified programs. The CIA and other members of the IC had achieved constistantly “statistically significant” results according to the statistician Jessica Utts in the use of parapsychology in relation to intelligence gathering technically known as ‘remote viewing’ based on Scientology Technology.

        Results that were impressive enough that Kenneth Kress a trained psysicist concluded that psychic phenomenon warranted further study in an article written for CIA’s in house publication ‘Studies in Intelligence’.

        Successes in the use of this technique was the impetus behind INSCOM establishing a special unit to utilize Remote Viewing operationally. A unit that was so successful that it turned many former skeptics into “true believers”.

        Personally, I think the reason that the Church is no longer making actual OTs is because the processes used which are part of what is considered “R1” for Route One are no longer used. Having been labled “old” by “newer” OT Levels which no longer directly address these abilities which is why there has been an invalidation of the state of OT over the past few years by so called “skeptics” who operate on the a priori conclusion that there is no such thing as psychic phenomenon based either on their ignorance or their fear that confirmatory proof would shift their quaint little “scientific” paradigm that is solely based on materialism which is a Hegelian construct accepted by Fascists who believe or want others to believe that only force or the threat of force is the only causitive agent in society.

        Therefore I believe that Miscavige himself is part of this above effort either wittingly or unwittingly to obfuscate an individual’s true spiritual nature and to create a materialistic society ruled by force, instead of consiousness and reason.

    • April 10, 2010 7:31 pm

      “I came to the conclusion that the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics would be for the FBI and related agencies to shut down the churches of scientology worldwide.”

      The point is “the FBI and related agencies” have failed to accomplish in 30 yrs what Miscavige and his team are accomplishing right now.

      If they continue in the direction they are going the Organization will be bankrupt in a few more years at most.

      As far as I’m concerned people who believe in that government intervention of any kind will correct the scene somehow are as deluded as the Koolaid drinking crowd in the Org.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 11, 2010 2:05 am

        Your opinion on this seems eerily correct: despite numerous and corroborated, uh, excuse me, cowwobowated, accounts of abuse, human trafficking, enforced abortions, violations of labor laws, etc., there are currently NO govt. agencies doing a damn thing to stop dm or any of the abuses inside the c of m.

        I mean, isn’t that a little bit of an outpoint? Wouldn’t a reasonable person expect SOME interest on the part of a usually nosey and interfering government? Not even OSHA? Or the Department of Health? Building code enforcement? Jeeez.

      • Paolo permalink
        April 11, 2010 9:08 pm

        RJ, first of all don’t touch my delusions as I am very fond of them 😉

        Look, for about 30 years I believed in the church and in its ability (or in the ability of its members) to redress its wrongs. I believed that the church and its technology was far superior to the technology and organization of governments. After being out for a few years I came to the conclusion that those were the real delusions. When we come to justice and even democracy, LRH’s writings are poor (even though here and there I recognize there are some brilliant intuitions about management). LRH’s government tech (what in a wog company would be called “scientology governance”) has made it possible for a dictator to seize control, created many unsatisfied customers and generally poor results. If my country was administered 100% per LRH admin policy, I would probably be in jail or in some kind of an institutionalized rpf. But not only that: no bridges will be built, bureaucracy would be at its peak, school and transportation would not work, it would take 6 months to take a driver licence, etc.

        So I do believe in governments. The government of my country probably is not the best of the world, but guess what: it is much better than organized scientology. It is thanks to that government that when I was phisically ill my life got saved, it is thanks to that government that I have gone to school and it is thanks to that government that scientology cannot f*** around too much with me.

        Then I agree with you that it is not enough, that we need anonymous, that we need the internet, the independents, etc and that we need to educate the people. Sooner or later the culture of society will change to a point where scientology abuses will be no longer tolerated and then governments will not be able to help it anymore and will have to move in.

        You are right: miscavige is running the ship into the ground and I am happy with it. The sooner that ship sinks, the sooner the abuses, the enforced abortions, the financial rapes, etc. will end.

        What is good of the tech of scientology will survive in the independent field thanks to good intentioned people like you, Marty, Steve, and all the other independents.

        I still believe in many parts of the tech but what I am trying to say is that the organized scientology corporation has to go. Its reserves should be used to pay off people who have been harmed, to refund people who went bankrupt, to pay for staff health insurance, for retirement of old staff members, etc.

        At the end, it is just entheta and enmest.

        Paolo

      • April 11, 2010 11:20 pm

        Sorry Paolo.

        Really I am 😉

        I personally hold the Jeffersonian and somewhat Libertarian view that Government of any kind is a necessary evil.

        I’m not a big fan of collectivism and socialism.

        The fact is that it isn’t the Government that is putting your kid through school, giving you medical aid or a free lunch or whatever but your tax dollars being divided up by a bunch of incompetent morons who are too retarded to get a real job.

        For instance if your Government wasn’t parasitically (somewhat like the current “government approved” Scientology Organization) sucking you dry of practically every Dollar, Peso, Yen, Pound whatever currency applies you’d be able to put your own kid through school, pay for medical treatment and buy your own lunch!

        Government too a degree is good when protecting an individual’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness and beyond that it is just useless and aggravating admin and tax forms.

        As far as I’m concerned Government governs best when it governs least and that is the way most Scientology Organizations operated at one time until the little misanthrope Miscavige and company began to micromanage every thing like some kind of Tzar or Commissar!

        The only reason that policy exists at all is to establish some kind of agreement. An agreement that an Organization exists and they are meant to be broken, especially if they get in the way of providing service and the purpose of the Organization.

      • lunamoth permalink
        April 12, 2010 12:08 am

        Paolo, well said.

      • Jeff permalink*
        April 12, 2010 2:02 am

        Well, let’s not turn this into a political blog. Personally, I try to avoid any sort of extremist philosophy that sees things as Black and White, Good and Evil.

  19. April 10, 2010 11:30 am

    Great twist at the end.

    The Fundamental of Economics: Demand and supply.

    Perhaps not everybody gets something out of auditing, perhaps everybody doesn’t get that much out of courses, perhaps Scientology isn’t for everybody? That must be confronted and as-ised. Enforcement will never work.

    Demand and supply. And reasonable prices, please. Monopoly is not the best solution either.

  20. Impressive person permalink
    April 10, 2010 12:15 pm

    Several years later the Flim Flam Man sat in the luxurious cabin of his private cruiseship, wondering where it had gone all wrong. He had spent over a year at sea, and it was starting to make him sick. Unfortunately all countries without extradition treaties had refused to offer him asylum, and he felt the familiar rage coursing through his veins.
    He bolted towards the door, ready to strike down the first person to cross his path. The ship was cloaked into an eerie silence. “Report for duty”, the Flim Flam Man raged, but nobody appeared. The Flim Flam Man was beside himself, he stormed to the quarters as the red mist descended, but his slaves had gone. The Flim Flam Man was baffeld. Where were they hiding? Did they actually think they could hide from him? On a ship in the middle of the ocean?
    Then he noticed a sheet of paper, and as he read it, his boiling blood turned into icewater: ‘We saw a ship a few miles starboard, and we decided to swim over there. After spending a year in your presence swimming through shark-infested waters will be like a spa treatment.
    Good luck postulating your dinners from now on’.
    The Flim Flam Man started sobbing, suddenly he felt sorry…for himself, of course. He had billions of dollars in offshore accounts, but couldn’t spend his hard earned cash. He had strong and hard fists, but nobody to use them on. What could he possibly have done to deserve this?
    He returned to his cabin as a broken man, and his eye caught the portrait of the original Flim Flam Man. “They should’ve adored me as well”, he whispered, “how could all this happen? You said that the wogs are weak and stupid, yet you’re revered as mankind’s greatest friend. You said that all those unwilling to go above 2.0 should be disposed of quietly and without sorrow, and you’re a champion of human rights! Now look at me, they call me Fuehrer, Lord Helmet or tiny tyrant. ”
    The tiny Flim Flam Man suddenly felt exhausted, he collapsed on the sofa and began to feel sorry for himself again as he contemplated the injustice of it all. When the original Flim Flam Man had been in charge, wog law enforcement and wog journalists had had been keen to ignore the church, because back then the manual of justice had worked like a charm. Back then there had been no internet, a technology that could not be fair gamed. As the tiny Flim Flam Man reached for his bottle of Vistaril, he couldn’t help but notice the epic irony of his situation: Who would’ve thought that one day ‘technology’ would deliver the killing blow for Scientology?

  21. Megawatt.88008 permalink
    April 10, 2010 1:33 pm

    Jeff, This is the one BIG outpoint that I can’t believe more on lines Scientologists don’t see as not LRH. There are so many references stating this is NOT the way to expand, yet I don’t see any type of revolt coming from the kool-Aid drinking crowd. I have first and second hand knowledge up to yesterday of old ‘friends’ who are still contributing to this squirrel fraud. Amazing.

    • VaD permalink
      April 10, 2010 6:46 pm

      That’s what Kool-Aid does.
      We’ve all been there and done that (contributions to “the best of the best things in the whole world”)

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 11, 2010 12:07 am

      It’s not just kool-aid, it’s “similar” overts. There’s not a scientologist in the field today who hasn’t gone out-ethics to some degree in the area of their finances, many who have done so to an alarming degree.

      Who doesn’t have credit card debt, some of it crushing, or has not taken out a second mortgage on their house, or used the kids’ college fund, or borrowed money from friends, family members or casual acquaintances who the reg’s have pressured into loans? Some have done all of the above. I have a friend who, through both her own and her husband’s inability to say “no,” are about to declare their THIRD bankruptcy. It’s unethical. It’s survival theatening, especially in a bad economy, and every scientologist has participated in it to some degree or another.

      I would bet that many of the readers of this blog who see the insanity of the idle org scam are those who said “no” to reg’s. I’ve been on a program for a few years to pay off all debt completely, and long before I knew about all the evil nonsense going on in the church, I was NOT buying materials or services because it violated that program. Because I was already thinking with sound financial policy it made the insanity of the idle org campaign easy to see. I’ll bet many of you were in the same boat.

      When one’s ethics are out in an area, one’s confront follows. One is much less likely to try to put in someone elses in that same area. So after decades of dm’s policies and command intention priming the scientology field to abandon sound financial policy, dm finds it easy as pie to get away with the idle org scam. Imagine that.

      • Paolo permalink
        April 11, 2010 9:18 pm

        Lunamoth,

        Great point. Couldn’t agree more. If your ethics on finance are in, you don’t fall for the bait of “donations”.

        Paolo

  22. Marta permalink
    April 10, 2010 4:23 pm

    Very fun article, Jeff. Not a new view for me, but good to share it here. I remember realizing when reading the LRH quote from Way To Happiness in relation to the current scene in organized scientology,

    “Unscrupulous and evil men and groups can usurp the power of government and use it to their own ends. […] Opposition to such governments usually just brings on more violence. But one can raise his voice in caution when such abuses are abroad. And one need not actively support such a government; doing nothing illegal, it is yet possible, by simply withdrawing one’s cooperation, to bring about an eventual reform.”

    that the reason this would work is that I (or each of us) would be practicing “Be The Change” (Gandhi), and by just ceasing to be a mark for the Flim Flam man, I was defeating him. Choosing not to play the game. Stepping off the stage, away from the chessboard.

    Or to quote a much more recent philospher of our times, Madonna, “I’m not your bitch, don’t lay your shit on me.”

  23. ButterflyChaser permalink
    April 10, 2010 10:49 pm

    Hey, Jeff and all my groovy Leaving Scientology friends,

    This is off today’s subject, but Jeff’s blog is the only place I am comfortable posting. Also, it is because of people like Jeff that I even had the courage to do what you are about to read.

    Yesterday, two young S.O. members showed up on my doorstep trying to get me back on course. We had about an hour-long “conversation”. (I put that in quotes since, it’s more like, “OK, you say something.” “OK, now I’ll say something”). Of course, they told me that the ONLY reason I wasn’t on course was because I “had MU’s” (big yawn). I told them that the reason that I wasn’t on course was because “David Miscavige beats people and I refused to be part of an organization that condones abuse.” Anyhow, it went back and forth like this until one of them said they “didn’t feel like they were making any progress” with me. However, I felt I made some progress with them! My stats are up, up, up!

    Here are the seeds I planted which may or may not germinate.

    I asked them:

    -If they knew David Miscavige beats, chokes and punches people (lots of TR3 on that one)
    -If they would get abortions if they got pregnant
    -If they would disconnect from family if someone no-longer wanted to be involved in the church
    -If they knew where Shelly Miscavige was
    -If they knew where Heber was (they didn’t know who Heber was nor did they know there was such a post as “President, Church of Scientology”. Nor did they know who Marty or Mike Rinder were)
    -If they knew that Int. Base was a virtual prison and slave labor camp and ask if they had ever heard about the “SP Hall”
    -If they knew that priest/penitent folders and ethics files were being published publicly
    -If they’d ever been “face-ripped”
    -If they had access to International Stats

    The amount of roboticism was positively astounding. (Holy cow! Did I ever sound like that? I probably did! Shocking!)

    She told me I should re-study the policy on “Investigations” and “Ethics Gradients” and if David Miscavige is beating people, I should take responsibility and do an proper investigation! WTF! REALLY??

    My response: “So, if I were to do all that and apply those policies then David Miscavige would stop beating people?” and she said, “Yes. Because Ethics Tech works!” I told her I didn’t agree with that at all, otherwise David Miscavige wouldn’t be beating people in the first place! Anyhow, round and round it went.

    I was speechless a few times because it was so hard for me to get back into “Scientology-think”. It was odious that they could still “actually believe that!” (Like, when a Christian relative of mine told me that the devil planted all the dinosaur bones so that man would be tempted to not believe in Genesis.)

    I told them I wanted to belong to a group that was compassionate and loving and that I felt that Scn was cold, uncaring and “stat-driven”. They both shrugged their shoulders in unison on that one.
    Score one for me.

    I feel so free since doing this. I now know that I don’t care AT ALL if I get declared. (I think it would be sorta’ awesome in a way.) There is tremendous freedom in this.

    My parting words were, “Come back and talk to me when David Miscavige is deposed. For now, I am a conscientious objector.”

    I thought of our dear Jeff as I was talking, but was unable to muster the “cool zen master” beingness on the subject. I did lose my shit a few times. But, hey, if you are going to show up on my doorstep unannounced, you are going to experience some fallout. I did validate them for wanting to help, however, and that my criticism wasn’t leveled against them personally.

    Anyhow – thanks, Jeff, for the cajones. And you, too, Sherry.

    Wouldn’t have grown them without you guys.

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 11, 2010 1:09 am

      I am beaming you megawatts of admiration right now, BC. You are one gutsy woman.

    • Elizabeth permalink
      April 11, 2010 3:51 am

      Woo Hoo Butterfly Chaser. I got big vicarious enjoyment envisioning that whole scenario. VWD.

    • VaD permalink
      April 11, 2010 7:32 am

      ButterflyChaser,
      The best part of your story to me is in your words
      “I now know that I don’t care AT ALL if I get declared. (I think it would be sorta’ awesome in a way.) There is tremendous freedom in this.”

      I believe we all had fear of being declared because of what it meant – “no eternity, “everafter miserable life” , “descending into hell along the inevitable dwindling spiral”, “only degradation”…
      But then I saw declared people speaking out (Jeff among them) who were alive and kicking, and read their statements (especially, Jeff’s speech about in LA in February which resonated with me), and I went uptone about being declared.
      Kinda evolved immunity to possibly being declared.
      I’m not scared of such label anymore. My life doesn’t hang on scientology, isn’t fixed by scientology, isn’t subject to reporting it to scientology or scientologists. It’s MY life – whether with or without scientology.

      I like this phrase: “All I have learned about lie can be summated into three words, ‘it goes on”
      🙂

      • VaD permalink
        April 11, 2010 7:34 am

        Ooops! Typo:
        “All I have learned about LIFE can be summated into three words, ‘it goes on”

    • VaD permalink
      April 11, 2010 9:13 am

      Didn’t mean to offend those who prefer to lurk and “keep truth to himself” without saying own real name because of family connections and loved ones within the church or stuck on the lines to its infallibility.
      Declare hurts when you are disconnected if those you’ve loved are forced or even on their own volition excommunicate you.

      As for me, when I got full picture of inner workings and had all relevant sides in full view, it was relatively easy to make decision “I’m not involved in this, and will give no cent to CoS” (not because I’m greedy but because I see what my money would go for).

      Moreover, it was relieving because I now restored good relations with my loved ones who “weren’t with my program”. I realized that I had practically disconnected from them myself through that involvement.
      Now I don’t have to hide that I’m disappointed with scientology, and now finally they understand me as me (not programmed somebody speaking LRH’s mind).

      I’m looking forward to more and more good people getting over the idea that current church’s SP declare is “something absolutely totally and utterly ruining and driving one to the deepest and darkest hole of existence”. Nothing like that. (For example, reading Xenu materials didn’t kill me (or anyone that I heard of).
      The worst that can happen is disconnection.
      The best you gain is FREEDOM to get back to life. Your life. Life without boundaries. Where (again) the world is your oyster.

      “Life is our playground. Why aren’t we playing?” 😉

      Vadim Dolgov
      Moscow, Russia

    • Sinar permalink
      April 11, 2010 11:29 pm

      Great story BC, Way to go!

    • Freetothink permalink
      April 15, 2010 5:28 pm

      That’s awesome! “Conscientious objector”, I like that. I didn’t think of that.

      After reading Jeff’s story & many post on this blog, Marty’s & Scientology-cult, I just felt like resigning was my only option. So I did & I’m so glad I did. I haven’t received a declare yet but I was told in no uncertain terms that unless I “come to my senses & recant” I would be treated as such (lose my “friends”, bla,bla,bla,…). Two MAAs came to town to give me a last opportunity to do a “standard doubt condition”. Oh goodie!!!!

      No thanks! I’m not in doubt anymore. I’m free & I feel very enlighten, LOL

  24. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    April 11, 2010 12:47 am

    Not only can you write beautifully JEFF, but you can write satire as well.
    It is amazing how the point can get across with such impingement using satire ~

    I just clicked on this link
    https://leavingscientology.wordpress.com/bookstore/

    Oh ! Congratulations. COMING SOON…the book version of “Counterfeit Dreams”.
    This will be a knock out best seller.

    I can’t even begin to tell you the impact of counterfeitdreams.blogspot.com/

    This is a little off topic, but the Church must have been so upset that Blown for Good was #1 Best seller month after month in Scientology Best Seller category, that the book “What is Scientology” is lowered to $8.97 to compete with Marc Headleys’ “Blown for Good” at $22.

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=scientology&x=8&y=10

    Jeff, I will be purchasing lots of copies and CONGRATULATIONS once again.

    • lunamoth permalink
      April 11, 2010 2:14 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up, Rebecca-Tribecca. I checked it out – very exciting, Jeff!

  25. Marta permalink
    April 11, 2010 1:10 am

    Terrific story, ButterflyChaser. Sounds like some fun – even if you did lose your sh*t a few times. You got me smiling here.

  26. Abbeyrose permalink
    April 11, 2010 2:03 am

    Very very cool, so indicated, had a good chuckle. Thanks for that Jeff,
    great stuff.

  27. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    April 11, 2010 8:58 pm

    Back on topic on Flim-Flam man.
    There is a scam of magnitude here.

    Donors give to the IAS. These are pure donations.
    Then the IAS acquire property called “IAS sponsored Ideal Orgs”.
    Now IAS becomes a BANK ~~ it becomes a mortgage loan BANK.

    Loaning the $$$ (That were pure DONATIONS in the first place, IAS hould buy and donate the building given that they pay no taxes and the IAS entity is supposed to DO things for the Church.)

    But what they are doing is becoming a TAX FREE BANK. The org is henceforth paying back the LOAN for the Org property. This comes right off the top before the staff get their pay.
    The Church of COURSE grabs its $$$$$ ahead of any poor staff member limping along barely making ends meet.

    So even though the IAS funds came from DONATIONS, IAS now mortgages the Ideal Org to suck out revenues weekly “to be paid back”.

    Nothing is what it seems like in Scientology. BUT it is hard corps business.
    With Charity Tax Exemption.

    Charity indeed.

    I am one of those Barnum Bailey “Suckers” (“There’s a Sucker born every minute”) and I deeply resent my money is being used for this scam.

  28. Rebecca-Tribecca permalink
    April 12, 2010 3:32 am

    Butterflychaser :
    What a great post.
    Yes, the young SO members in fact almost all SO members do not have a clue of what really goes on. They have no access to the internet. They are not allowed TV.
    I am willing to be 99% did not know about the recent CNN series.
    SO members are very carefully controlled as to what they are permitted to see and hear.

    There must be also the concern that if they reveal WHO the enemies are, then they could FLEE to the enemies if they wanted to blow.

    Did you see the recent blog where the CMO exec who showed Marty and Dean LRH’s home in Arizona, a special tour for Scientologist.

    One could wonder why there wasn’t a list of Ex-Scientologists forbidden to enter and have the tour.

    Perhaps the list of Exes is hidden, so that current members do not flee to them.

    • Sinar permalink
      April 13, 2010 2:09 am

      RT,

      Perhaps the list would be too large for them to confront? It would then be totally entheta to them and no need to know.

  29. Moving Forward permalink
    April 12, 2010 5:43 am

    Having been on the public side of one of the Idle Org ‘evolutions’, I can say that the public definitely didn’t have the idea that the org would have to pay any mortgage. In fact, one of the points that I recall being discussed in public circles was how much of a burden it would take off the org as they wouldn’t have to worry about paying any rent or mortgage any more. I didn’t find out about the mortgage payment until after the building was purchased and suddenly the org was having to pay *two mortgages*. I was then and still am floored… Someone tried to explain it to me, but it made no sense (because it’s a total scam).

    As for staff questioning it, that’s just not possible, is it? You have Int Finance terminals directly on this cycle, could you imagine what would happen if you were to not fall in line? Plus, you really want the org to have better quarters, so maybe this really is the way to do it. It’s the leader of the Church pushing it, so it must be right, right? You have an SO Mission in the org, you’re being run ragged to reg, get people to come to special dinners so they can be regged some more, don’t forget the IAS events for more regging, call-in for the international events and more regging for releases, you have to do all-hands and get volunteers for all-hands for the CF and PC folder organization, not to mention reno’s on the new building, let alone your actual post, your moonlight job if you don’t have a spouse who is supporting you and maybe a little sleep thrown in if you’re lucky. Who has time to even acknowledge the outpoints that are stacking up, let alone have the energy to do anything about it (which would be CI and you’d be investigated up the wazoo).

    • Elizabeth permalink
      April 12, 2010 1:52 pm

      Moving Forward,

      Great post. Can you tell us what was told to you on the mortgage of your new Ideal Org? I am very curious about this. When I had heard about this, I asked someone at our CLO about it and the allegation was denied saying that would be ridiculous. We have not moved into our org yet and so this would not yet be apparent. As a public, how did it even come up on your lines that there was a mortgage? Were you being asked to donate to now make this new mortgage? (How horrible would that be!)

      Details, details, please. 🙂

      Thanks!!!

      • Moving Forward permalink
        April 13, 2010 11:44 pm

        Hi Elizabeth — well, I don’t have much in the way of details for you. I wasn’t asked to donate to pay for the mortgages, I heard about it because one of my close friends was a staff member and org finances were extra stressful at the time because of this.

        It was some time ago and so I don’t recall exactly what he said, plus it really didn’t make sense. It was something to do with how the Int Landlord office was the one controlled the mortgage and because of the way it was done, the donations didn’t cover everything, so the org had to pay the mortgage payment. I was surprised the building was not purchased outright. I was already very frustrated about the way things were going down, but because of my status as an ex-SO ‘freeloader’, I was already on thin ice and therefore in no position to investigate and complain… Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I had.

  30. Lise permalink
    April 15, 2010 12:04 pm

    I really enjoyed this Jeff. Nothing like complete simplicity to really impinge thanks. Incidentally when our Org was looking for a new Org (we were being evicted) one of the buildings being looked at was called Flim Flams pancakes. I thought this was really funny.

  31. Freetothink permalink
    April 15, 2010 5:48 pm

    What a great story! Thank you Jeff!

    I wish we would have had the balls to kick the Flim Flam Man out of town. Instead we became Humanitarians 😦

    Oh well, at least I’m awake now! I feel much worst about our IAS donos.

    All along we were asking questions & writing reports on what didn’t make sense to us on the choice of the building & the purchasing of it. But we kept wipping our CC out like good little “bots”. One of us even got summoned back to Flag for asking too many questions & “upsetting” one of the fundraisers.

    All I can say is, life is good outside & much cheaper, LOL

  32. Jeff permalink*
    April 15, 2010 7:01 pm

    I think the next thing is that we will start getting e-mails like this:

    “Honored Sir, My name is Daveed Muscovich, Esq., and I am a wealthy Nigerian cult leader looking to establish religious bases in the United States. I am looking for spiritually aware individuals willing to invest US$ 1,000,000 or more to purchase properties on our behalf in major cities, renovate them, and prepare them for our future occupancy. You will be richly rewarded in the afterlife.”

  33. Marta permalink
    April 15, 2010 9:02 pm

    Jeff – HOOT!! Maybe that should be “looking for spiritually unaware individuals willing to fork over”…

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