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Buzz

January 10, 2011
Buzz

Reading another fascinating book: The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited, by Emanuel Rosen. Great reference for anyone in advertising, marketing or PR.

I read Rosen’s original version of this book, The Anatomy of Buzz,  while I was still in the Sea Org. Hubbard had made the comment one time that marketing was mostly “wog” tech, and therefore marketing people should study books on the subject. Hubbard had quite a library of marketing and advertising books, interestingly enough. So I studied probably hundreds of these texts. When I was running my own unit in Los Angeles, I could even get away with actually using what I was learning  – I did things like demographic studies, focus groups and so on. But at the Base, it became impossible to apply these books. Sure, Hubbard said to read them, but a suggestion to do something that the books recommended resulted in blank stares, or accusations that one was “off-Source” or “squirrel,” particularly if they had anything to do with – gasp! – psychology.  So it was always a struggle to apply anything  in these marketing books. And of course these days, it’s impossible.

So it is with the subject of “buzz” – word of mouth.

The Church has always depended on word of mouth, whether it knew it or not. I did studies as early as 1982 that showed that the bulk of Scientologists, over 70%, found out about Scientology through word of mouth, a friend or family member, sometimes an acquaintance. Scientologists were always the best promotion for Scientology.

And as an interesting wrinkle in this datum, we found that the most enthusiastic disseminators were new people who had just gotten into Scientology themselves.  So the positive buzz had a potential viral effect.  Great, so how could they possibly mess this up?

Easy, by mishandling more people than they handled well.

When we were running the Dianetics campaign in the 1980s, we were channeling hundreds, even thousands into the orgs every week. These were people who had bought the book, read it, and requested more information. The “More Information Cards” were keeping Div 6es alive. But on the downside, I was getting horrendous reports at the time of mishandlings – stat push, crush regging, rudeness, you name it.  A huge percentage of people were just getting blown off. The orgs were being supported by the few that were getting through. I was hearing the same thing from FSMs – they didn’t want to take their new people into the orgs.

Another study I did at the time showed a huge falloff as people went up the Bridge. The biggest falloff was from Div 6 to Div 2, something like 60 or 70% never made it past that point. By the time you got up to the OT Levels, it was less than 2% left. Scientology was surviving on volume. Even with the huge percentage of people being mishandled or blown off (or just losing interest), enough were getting through to create a boom.

But Scientology wasn’t looking at the downside. The majority of people going into orgs were having negative experiences. And those people talk. And according to some studies (for instance, Pete Blackshaw’s book, Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000), negative buzz spreads faster and farther than positive buzz.  And with the rise of the internet, with the proliferation of blogs and chat groups and forums, those opinions get a very broad distribution.

There’s no substitute for treating every customer who walks in the door like gold. Ever been in a Starbucks and have them mess up your order? You immediately get an apology and a coupon for a free drink. Just like that.

Complain about how you were treated in a Church of Scientology? That’s “entheta.” You’re an “enemy.”

And here we get to the crux of why the church can’t change, will never change, their public image.

In The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited, Rosen emphasizes that the most important thing any company can do about “negative buzz” is listen to it.  Find out what your customers are complaining about. That tells you what to do to fix it, and turn negative buzz to positive buzz.

The Church makes two erroneous assumptions that prevent this. First, they promote the myth that “any buzz is good.” You hear various versions of this: “it doesn’t matter what people say, any mention of Scientology creates interest.”  It’s a myth. Sure, maybe if you’re a movie star, news that you had a meltdown or got arrested gets you mentioned. It piques people’s curiosity about you. But if you are an organization that services the public, negative buzz reduces your sales and traffic, period. In all my years in Church marketing, I never saw negative press increase Church traffic and income. Quite the opposite.

Second, Scientology assumes that anyone complaining is an enemy. They are to be “handled in ethics” or “disconnected from” or discredited. Certainly no one listens to what they are saying!

And that’s a shame. As I’ve said before, everything the Church needs to know to fix their image is on my blog and Marty’s blog and Steve Hall’s site and many, many others.  They could go through all of the sites and forums and get a list of exactly what they need to do to fix the Church.

But will they? No, of course not. All they can do is attack, discredit, disconnect. Which just feeds into more negative buzz.  The Church appears arrogant, defensive, cult-like. Because that’s what they are.

The fact is, they are way past are past the point of being able to turn their negative image around. A 2008 Gallup poll showed Scientology to be even more unpopular in the US than atheists.

As I mentioned earlier, Scientology’s number one asset in creating good buzz has always been Scientologists themselves. The problem is, most Scientologists in the Church no longer disseminate. And new people disseminating? What new people? So, no positive buzz. When was the last time you heard about a major celeb disseminating? When was the last time you heard Tom Cruise disseminating? A subject can get so negative, so toxic, that no one wants to be associated with it. And there goes any positive buzz.

And even when they try to do something – advertising, sponsorships, events, press releases  –  to improve their image, it inevitably backfires. Not to harp on the Rose Parade, but that caper resulted in overwhelmingly negative buzz on the internet. Just google “Scientology Rose Parade” and you’ll see what I mean.

There’s no substitute for really taking care of your customers, listening to your customers, even listening to your critics, and being humble enough to change what you are doing. Unfortunately, these are all things Scientology will never do.

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45 Comments
  1. idle org permalink
    January 10, 2011 8:10 am

    Jeff,

    Another great read!

    Yeah, I think the key word just might be “arrogance”. The church of Scn is a study in extreme arrogance. So much so that the mere idea of having to rethink, let alone change their operating basis is, to them, an “affront” rather than something new to learn and grow from.

    How long will the current members insist upon their own superiority and remain totally closed to modern marketing strategies, not to mention putting actual policy back in? Well…..probably right up until the point where the money completely dries up.

    And if my local org in Seattle is any indicator, it won’t be long until that happens. I’m astonished they still have their lights on. With seating for 180 students in the courserooms and an average of 3-5 students per day currently, combined with far higher maintenance bills for a far bigger building, they just might have to start fund-raising to keep the doors open.

    But, it’s all for naught anyhow. As you suggest above, the church’s reputation couldn’t possibly be any worse than it currently is.

    The brand is totally sunk.

  2. Overdriver permalink
    January 10, 2011 9:21 am

    Jeff, you are so sensitive to get the good points.
    To tell the truth I do not mind that the Church does not correct itself. If they would correct and still sell the same material that would not be good and would lead to nowhere.
    While there are much good in the basic and early materials, there are more mess up later.
    Correcting Church approach would need to go hand in hand with correcting the “dark side” of all the Scientology materials and make it an up to date, sane subject.
    But I am convinced that while corrected, it can be a good tool for making life better and people more able and intelligent, it is not a tool for getting known the “secrets of the universe” or to go free as stated by Hubbard.

  3. January 10, 2011 10:19 am

    Jeff,

    The truth is that there is tons of tech and policy on how to handle ARCXs with the public.

    Fact is that a C/S 53 correctly assessed would handle a lot of upset.

    But the truth is that under the new regime that’s “old”, “background” “historical” replaced by newer processes such as making the person guilty or wrong for being upset with the Org.

    Indicating that they must have overts or are PTS or must be suppressive, etc.

    Threatening them with expulsion and disconnection from their family and friends if they persist in being upset.

    In short heavy “ethics” (more accurately injustice masquerading as ethics) replaced the tech which had been altered to a state of complete unworkability with the Golden Age of Tech.

    What is currently happening with Scientology was covered in the following HCOB:

    Begin Fair Use

    HUBBARD COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE
    Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex
    HCO BULLETIN OF 28 AUGUST 1968
    Remimeo
    Class VIII
    All Orgs
    OUT TECH
    After Standard Tech is out for just so long in an org, Scientology ceases to have
    any meaning.
    Squirrel processes and repairs wind the staff up in a ball, enturbulate the field and
    cause a general lethargy and trouble.
    Ethics then goes in hard or it all goes up in smoke.
    There is only one Standard Tech! It contains only a few dozen processes and
    actions. It was not complete before 1966. Students study mainly the Research Line.
    Standard Tech consists of the exact grade processes and Case Repair.
    Some still look for magic buttons that resolve a case all at once. Some can’t
    duplicate what they read and hear.
    They need the broad body of knowledge.
    BUT the actual application of Dian & Scn today contains only a few dozen
    STANDARD INVARIABLE SIMPLE actions and processes.
    When these are not used, when opinion enters, it’s all gone.
    STANDARD TECH ALONE RESOLVES ALL CASES.
    No matter how bright, the other processes and new inventions of someone else
    (a) work only on a few and (b) are efforts to solve one’s own case by auditing others.
    To let Standard Tech go out is an act of Treason as Scientology then loses all
    meaning in an org.
    This is why I am teaching a Class VIII Course.
    L. RON HUBBARD
    Founder
    LRH-jp.ei.bh
    Copyright © 1968
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

    • Cowboy Poet permalink
      January 20, 2011 9:46 am

      RJ,
      It’s not all that complicated that one has to refer to any “policy” to remedy the situation.
      I takes two things: caring about the individual and enough humility to recognize when one is wrong and correct it.
      Those two things are senior to a truckload of policy letters as we are presently witnessing in the CofS.

      • January 20, 2011 7:00 pm

        CP,

        You’re not telling me anything that I don’t know.

        This is for the “Scientologists” and critics who claim that their adverse behavior is somehow dictated by policy.

        Policy is only a guide to achieving purpose.

        While you and others may know the purpose.

        Unfortunately there are those like the three blind mice who need some guidance.

  4. January 10, 2011 11:36 am

    Jeff, this is so spot on!

    When I was running the South Bay Mission in Manhattan Beach in the 1980s, the major promotion that kept us going for ten years was the buzz from satisfied public.

    This prevailed even though CoS unpopularity was increasing because of mishandlings by the orgs and Flag.

    If independent practitioners heed your advice, there is no limit to the expansion that they can create. I hear favorable comments every week about practitioners who really care for their public.

    We have all the tools we need to help people. If we listen to our public, grant them beingness and handle their concerns, we cannot help but build a powerful marketing machine that will help us expand.

    Thanks for writing this!

  5. Fidelio permalink
    January 10, 2011 2:04 pm

    Thanks again, Jeff.

    The information you provide explains professionally the mechanics behind what can be seen wherever one looks when it comes to the Church.

    To me it is very soothing information since the more I look around and study spiritual teachings, the more I realize that SCN as a body of “knowledge” is a brutal distortion of true wisdom and a huge distraction when it comes to spiritual enlightenment.

    SCN entrapment starts with gains and cogs in the beginning – but true seekers who stick to it with hope to find what they came in for wind up abused one way or the other, more or less, eventually.

    So what you lay out supports my certainty that SCN can’t but disappear at the long run.

    And that is very good news to me – very good news.

  6. Joe Howard permalink
    January 10, 2011 5:28 pm

    The “Church” will change when DM changes.
    We will be building snowmen in hell on that day.
    Unless of course, DM slips up and is removed,
    which could happen if enough people still on the inside
    read http://www.savescientology.org. OSA reads it along with this and
    other blogs and sites and that is the channel to DM.
    Just a matter of time. Half the people in OSA silently know that
    the Indy field speaks sooth.

  7. plainoldthetan permalink
    January 10, 2011 7:32 pm

    Jeff: the CofM isn’t the only organization that ignores real-world marketing insights. My Diskeeper contact tells me that for four years, Diskeeper marketing personnel as well as Diskeeper demi-god Craig Jensen ignored bug reports on blogs in order to keep pumping out new releases. When the lead Diskeeper developer did his own inspection, he found that there were 17,000 serious bug reports on blogs and newsgroups. Yet every attempt he made to get the bugs fixed were ignored and cross-ordered in favor of pumping out new versions of the product that didn’t end up increasing the sales one bit.

    The buzz killed Diskeeper while the rest of the industry caught up and passed them.

    Not-isness: trying to put out of existence by postulate or force something which one knows, priorly, exists.

  8. Cool Observer permalink
    January 10, 2011 8:09 pm

    Hubbard was indeed a good marketing man, since he had a cunning way of foreseeing all kinds of unwanted scenarios and came up with mindbending solutions to explain the inexplicable. All the negative buzz is a sign of success, right? The enemies go ballistic because Scientology is winning! The good thing is that he lacked the insight to realize that he created a seriously flawed system which was always primed to self-destruct sooner or later (thanks to Miscavige it will be sooner). The hybris will bring down a scheme, which would have been a lot more successful, if it had avoided all the pitfalls caused by this kind of arrogance. A group that cannot apologize for anything cannot change.

    PS: My first association with the word “Buzz”: To infinity and beyond. Wouldn’t that have been the perfect tag line for the Sea Org? Oh well…

  9. January 10, 2011 11:05 pm

    Jeff,
    I guess my comment was that quesion to YOU: are you for Scientology (as a subject), being the one who is against its current management (i.e. David Miscavige) who, if was removed, would make Scientology look better (its image) in society?
    Your post certainly has that flavor of “if it wasn’t as it is now, it would be different”.

    This post of yours shows that you, being neutral, still shows that passion for “making thing go right” if there were no Miscavige(s).
    Am I missing something?

    After all the posts you have made, I can’t think of anything else other that you have changed your mind.

    If you think that your readers will “eat” anything that you offer… well, I’m not one of those.

    • Jeff permalink*
      January 11, 2011 5:09 am

      VaD, you seem to be reading a lot of things into this post that aren’t there.

  10. lunamoth permalink
    January 11, 2011 1:35 am

    Oh my god – YES!

    I always learn something when you write on this subject, and I especially love it when your points align my own observations into a new understanding like this. Thanks.

    I have noticed that everyone I talk to about this, whether they are out or just starting to look, makes the same comment about disseminating : “Of course I want my friends and family to have the wins I’ve had, but I just can’t take them into an org knowing what’s going to happen to them when I do.”

    You are exactly right – it’s arrogance on the part of the “church.” It’s the inability to conceive of the possibility that what one is saying or doing may be wrong (despite all the evidence that it doesn’t bloody work). But beneath that is the assumption, the absolute certainty, that success will come from NEVER EVER CHANGING what they are doing. I’ve brought up KSW in this light before, and I’m not talking about the aspect of that reference concerning changing a workable auditing technology. I am talking about the viewpoint that it has engendered to the culture of scientology that the church, it’s policies (even the ones no longer based on LRH) and it’s people (also no longer acting off LRH policy) are all inherently the RIGHTEST entities on the planet.

    That’s not only observably untrue, but as the church continues to do what doesn’t work, expecting a different outcome, it’s just insane.

  11. BBSox permalink
    January 11, 2011 2:18 am

    Thanks Jeff, this post is right on point. I’ve been out for twenty years, but after reading Counterfeit Dreams, I had a cognition. The Church is “moving so fast that it’s not getting anywhere.” I remember auditing a brand new public on Book One and she was winning tremendously. Little did I know that the PES was regging her 12-year-old son while he waited downstairs. What followed was ugliness and the loss of a new, winning public. I think that stat push often results in a crash of that statistic.

  12. Aeolus permalink
    January 11, 2011 3:16 am

    Jeff’s laser logic nails it again!

    Now, here’s what strikes me as ironic about this scene. If the Church was willing to use its own tech, any trained data evaluator could start with those stats about the falloff from Div 6 and pull the strings to come up with a program that would salvage Scientology. But Scientology is never wrong, so data evaluation never gets applied in that direction.

    It reminds me of that popular definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

  13. John Doe permalink
    January 11, 2011 4:24 am

    Great article!

    Reforming the church is a nasty problem to try to solve. Even if the church did have the insight to change everything it has been doing to create bad buzz, even if remaining staff could mount the courage to oust DM, even if the resolve to change and cancel harmful practices could be summoned and executed, it still doesn’t change the fact that, in the general population, Scientology is not just a damaged brand, it is a destroyed brand.

  14. Tony Dephillips permalink
    January 11, 2011 4:46 am

    Thanks Jeff.
    This article really resonates with me.
    It could be SO simple for the church to turn things around.
    I used to tell them on my refreshers, that the church is supposed to be the MASTERS of communication, but they won’t communicate because that includes listening.
    How hard could it be to do a simple Non -E formula? What is needed and wanted? Now do that you dumb ass!!!
    By the way I don’t know what is up wth Vlad he must be having a bad hair day.

  15. Cinnamon permalink
    January 11, 2011 6:36 am

    Jeff, can you clarify this for me, what this means, “The biggest falloff was from Div 6 to Div 2”? Thanks.

    • Quicksilver permalink
      January 11, 2011 2:37 pm

      This was after a person did an introductory course (comm course or some other) and then went to Div 2 Reg for RE-sign … after a time, it just wasn’t happening.

    • Jeff permalink*
      January 11, 2011 4:26 pm

      It means that if, say, ten interested people walked into Div 6 (the Public area), only four or so would end up taking major courses in the Academy or auditing in the HGC. Six people would have been blown off or mishandled or not handled and just left, never to be seen again. When a person first comes in, they are handled in the introductory public area (Division 6). When they start taking major services, they are then handled by the Org Registrars, who are in Division 2.

      • January 11, 2011 10:20 pm

        Jeff,

        Just to bring up an interesting point here.

        It seems the Orgs have now put all their public back to Div IV with this whole Scientology “Basics” thing and run ’em on objectives till they drop which as we both know was actually part of the “old” HQS line up.

        As far as I know from current intel* recently received there is hardly anyone on an actual Div IV service these days.

        *BTW current intel is OSINT in their Org Mags that list their grads as those graduating from what they call the “Basics” as opposed to actual academy or SH and AO services.

        On the latter many of these NOTs “completions” are people who “completed” NOTs earlier.

        In fact if you’ve been in Scientology for any length of time you almost get a feeling of Deja Vu when reading their current “completions” lists.

        Same applies to many the so called “clears” some who have been declared and undeclared several times.

        Which proves for the most part that “auditing and training” at the Orgs has turned into an endless conveyer belt or….a *squirrel* cage.

        This indicates that the Orgs are concentrating on delivering Div IV courses not to new public but to already existing public.

        Not only that.

        But recent promo indicates that Flag the highest level of Scientology is now concentrating on delivering Objectives and Grades totally bypassing the Mission Networks and the Orgs.

        Again read their “Source” mag and their “completion” list looks like it was posted from a Class IV Org with a few rare exceptions.

        There’s more.

        The Sand Castle has been upgraded to act as an AO meaning that eventually most AO public (what’s left of them) will probably diverted to Flag’s AO.

        What this means is that the Government Approved and Tax Exempt Church of Scientology run by their “Religious Leader” (who claims fallaciously and disingenuously while committing perjury that he is never involved in the Church’s day to day operations) is in fact contracting despite his claim that these so called “Ideal Orgs” will bring in millions of public.

        The *fact* is by their completion lists is that these places are virtually empty with the exception of old Scientology public who are being retreaded through the “Basics”.

        Truth is that the “NPI” (New Public In) stat has probably flat lined and is on life support.

        Probably in reality if it could be tallied a negative stat if the recent ad focus group and the recent polls placing Scientology below Atheism (my apologizes to any Atheists out there) are any indication of the publics rejection of the Church of Scientology.

      • Cinnamon permalink
        January 12, 2011 4:15 am

        Thanks. That helps.

      • Valkov permalink
        January 22, 2011 11:01 pm

        RJ, sounds like the Grade Chart has been replaced by the Hamster Wheel. I wonder if there will be a Major Event announcing the discovery of this “lost tech”.

  16. Quicksilver permalink
    January 11, 2011 2:50 pm

    Great article Jeff,

    Word of mouth was the impetus for the boom in the very early ’70s which many refer to quite often.

    We talked to our friends, co-workers & family. We also held Friday Night Graduations where we would bring new people to listen to others wins and usually some short introductory talk or story about LRH. All new comers would have a pad to write down MUs as they occurred and we would clear them after grad was over.

    There was enthusiasm, friendly receptionists, regging people for simply what they needed for their next step.

    We cared about each other and wanted to ensure each got the wins they expected. This, of course greatly helped in Div 2 action.

    In our Mission/Org, once the GO & IAS came in, and the push on stats (money), we lost most of the good people. Re-signs plummeted, KRs up-lines went with no response, programs were not realistic & evals … well, management could not care less.

    Currently, the church feeds on what’s left and takes advantage of the odd dupe that walks thru the door.

  17. WhatWall permalink
    January 11, 2011 5:01 pm

    Another good one, Jeff!

    I read every one of your articles but have only posted once because another poster always states my point of view better than I could have or answers exactly the question I have in mind . My background: 30+ years involvement in Scientology; ex-SO; seeker of truth.

    From what I’ve observed, the Field Auditor has more incentive to deal with customer (PC) complaints. The negative buzz caused by a couple of dissatisfied PCs can spoil an area for a Field Auditor. Maybe this is analogous to getting great tacos from your street vendor and not so great from Taco Bell.

    The Field Auditor must sell the service and deliver it. Does this make him/her more willing to deal with customer complaints? Not sure.

    I’m interested in others observations & conclusions as to why the Field Auditor tends to better listen to the customer and the orgs do not.

    I don’t know of any policies (HCOPLs) or technical materials (HCOBs) that advise antagonism towards unhappy, troubled or upset PCs, yet “The customer is always wrong” seems to be the orgs senior-most policy. Why is this less so with the Field Auditor, or is this no longer the case? Is customer service more of an issue with large organizations than very small ones?

    • Cool Observer permalink
      January 11, 2011 10:25 pm

      Orgs are not islands of sanity – quite the opposite. People exposed to this environment of relentless and often hostile pressure cannot think rationally, and if they tried it they would be punished. Yet human beings are designed to think, to solve problems etc. A field auditor can do what he feels to be right – NOT pissing off the customer. This rational thinking does not exist in organised Scientology. 40 years ago Hubbard wrote that every critic must be attacked without mercy. Scientology still does that, despite they create more and more enemies with this behavior. You’d think they learn from mistakes, but no, they’re not allowed to. And if it’s cast in stone that Scientology is always right, you have to accuse the customers – if they refuse to voluntarily blame themselves.

    • Quicksilver permalink
      January 11, 2011 10:54 pm

      You’re right …

      A field auditor puts his life into helping people. They care and forward the original purpose when they first entered a church.

      I think they are definitely willing to handle complaints and actually listen to the person in front of them. And you can bet they are hearing complaints from ex-church members. Bad products = No PCs.

      Field auditors are extremely valuable and more-so now that the church is breaking apart.

    • Valkov permalink
      January 23, 2011 12:53 am

      I don’t know the answers to your questions, WhatWall, but my experience with a Field Auditor in the early1970s was good, but not 100%. First off, he was a good auditor, ClassVIII, and original OTVI, so he was very independent-minded. He was in business for himself thus he had to deliver a good product, which as an auditor he did.

      But even by the mid-1970s the specter of the Sea Org was rearing it’s ugly side by playing the “overt of omission” card on Field Auditors. They were after him to join the Sea Org, and the stick was the possibility of suspending/revoking his certs. He was told it would be an overt of omission for him not to join the S.O. He resisted for quite some time, but was considering it, last I heard.

      He also ran some courses like the HAS and was even going to run an HSDC, but that turned out badly because at the last minute he decided, perhaps because of pressure from somewhere, that he needed to do an Ethics Course or action on all of us who signed up for the HSDC, before delivering the HSDC to us.

      That was a disaster. In the first place, we were all expecting the HSDC, so it felt like a “bait and switch”; in the second place, a standard Ethics Course did not exist at that time, so he attempted to use a course that had been put together by a mission holder/franchisee somewhere in upstate New York. The data on it was mostly out-reality to the students, and that was it. I had brought in about 6 people to his franchise, but after this course they all evaporated away except one fellow who bought some intensives of auditing.

      It would have been far better for us to have been started on the HSDC, and if any Ethics issues came up for any student, for the FieldAuditor/Franchise holder to have handled them individually.

      This experience definitely gave me pause about bringing in new people, and also about how to proceed myself. This guy was highly trained and generally competent, but he was not really a stable terminal.

      The mission that was subsequently established in my town was better, but they also at times seemed unsure of what they were allowed to do, or capable of doing. For one thing, they did not have a highly trained auditor like that on their staff. They could have used a ClassVIII or at least a ClassVI.

      But overall there was a lot of positive activity, delivery, and “customer satisfaction” in that era than probably at any time since.

      Of course we all know about the “massacre of the mission holders” that happened in the early1980s. But this mission was evolved into a small Class IV org which was pretty decent. After it was taken away from the original mission holder, who is for many years now I believe one of the leading lights of TIR.

      I guess I’m saying it’s not really possible to generalize very much. The quality of any organization, scientology or not, depends on the quality and intelligence of the people who comprise it; and I think the larger the organization, the more chance of it becoming bureaucratic and a diffusion of responsibility occurring in it. In the world-wide system of scientology organizations, I think a doctrinaire and rigid culture developed that substituted the “verbal policy” of the culture for actual thinking, understanding, and decision making by caring individuals.

      The “buck” never stopped anywhere, it just went round and round until it ended up in RTC coffers, offshore accounts or DM’s pocket or wherever.

      I really mixed some metaphors there, but you get what I mean I’m sure.

      The basic confusion that overtook the CoS by reason of no-one really being able to take responsibility for delivery and “customer satisfaction” has also allowed for unscrupulous diversion of the actual monies the Church is still able to take in. It’s all “show” and no “go” at this point, and just a pretense of any actual original policies being followed.

      It has become not “Fake it until you make it”, but “Fake it until they make you stop, or the walls come tumbling down,whichever comes first.”

      On the Sea Org’s side, I must say that it was one of LRH’s commandments, to “First, bring order”, and probably that was what the S.O. started out trying to do. If S.O. personnel had been trained/audited the way they were supposed to have been, it might have been a more successful and uplifting organization. As it is, it has brought order all right, kinda the same way Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il have brought order to North Korea.

      The drive to “First, bring order” has resulted in the creation and development of a fascist, “law and order”. “just follow orders” type culture in the CoS in general.

      • WhatWall permalink
        January 30, 2011 11:40 pm

        Thanks, Valkov, for your well-reasoned response.

  18. Priscilla Smith permalink
    January 11, 2011 5:52 pm

    I agree that the church can’t change, and therefore won’t change. We’ve already seen what they to do whistleblowers who report serious situations in the church such as beatings being done by the head of the church (DM). In a reputable organization whistleblowser are protected; in the C of S they are “fair gamed”. In a reputable organization multiple reports of abuses would be taken seriously and would be investigated. I’ve seen CEO’s of major corporations get fired just for making a comment which could be taken as a racial slur. Why? Because reputable organizations are held accountable and must follow the law; otherwise, they get sued. A church member can’t sue the church without being declared SP, disconnected and fair gamed. The C of S looks down on “wog law” and do what they please. They’re all about protecting their PR at any cost, yet their response to valid criticism is exactly what is causing them bad PR. ´Even when I got in Scientology 30 years ago it was considered a cult, and today their PR has only gotten substantially worse.But Scientology needs to do more than a “PR handling”; they need to stop acting like the abusive cult they are. There’s not a chance in hell that will happen as long as Miscavige is at the top; I don’t think there’s much of chance even if someone else were put in charge of the C of S. Marty Rathbun is right – the C of S is dead.

  19. LogicHammer permalink
    January 12, 2011 6:47 am

    One of the reasons I read this blog is it brings me back to the pleasure moments of when I first discovered Dn and Scn. It probably was Jeff’s or Steve’s (Hall) campaigns that got me to read DMSMH. I bought DMSMH myself in a bookstore (I believe it was a Waldenbooks store in a mall) after just merely reading the front and back covers. DMSMH made much more sense than the religion or pseudoscience I was being forcefed. The big button for me was hypnotism; I was already familiar with how hypnotism worked, so, that a person could become “accidentally hypnotized” through a traumatic incident made a lot of sense to me. And, maybe weirdly, that the book was thick, was another reason I picked it up; no solution to the mind’s problems could probably be outlined in a small or average-size book.

    I disseminated in high school and college without even knowing I was disseminating. No drilling, no DEI scale, no “keep interesting the customer,” no button pushing. Just enthusiasm and interest. I just told friends about what I had read and their interest was piqued. Many people would pipe up and say “Yeah, my dad (or mom, or friend, or whomever) was never the same after that heart surgery,” or accident or divorce or death-in-the-family or whatever. Freaking piece of cake to disseminate.

    When I had my first Dn session, it was squirreled (it was not per DMSMH) so I knew I had to find someone else to deliver me a book one session. When I finally found a group where I could do the HDA, I again had a session and had a great experience, with a little OT phenomena (not bad for the $100 I paid for the course!). I now was a disseminating (or “buzz”) machine, just simply talking about how hypnotism and pain could be undone, “unstored” and never to be re-experienced.

    I knew I had deeper problems as some of my aberrations had no readily noticeable incident behind them this lifetime. Thus, it was easy for a wonderful woman at an org to enlighten me on something I had long suspected; past lives and past life incidents. Again, easy as pie.

    I didn’t understand why the successful Dianetics campaigns from the past were never continued. Only after I found this blog did I find out. Also, I remember seeing and experiencing lots of mishandlings of public, and even crimes. After many years, my enthusiasm for disseminating had diminished and now the act of disseminating to get someone onlines in today’s Church of Scientology is practically an overt. I hated through the years seeing the Church’s (or Jeff’s and/or Steve’s) great marketing either put aside and not continued. The wins that Jeff and other staff wanted others to achieve through LRH’s tech though got to enough of us so that we can continue this fight, and it is a fight. And after we win, however that occurs, we can again disseminate with infectious enthusiasm and help our friends, families and strangers and get rid of much more pain in this world. That I can’t get people off of drugs and alcohol by recommending an org’s purif program infuriates me so damn much, and if I send someone to an org for some intro auditing, because the org has hardly any public or heavy Div 6 activities, that person is going to be regged for as much as can be gotten while they’re still unaware of what’s really happening. This makes me very angry, and then sad, because I remember when I got into Dn and Scn, I became full of hope and happiness that I found solutions, and I want others to feel the same way, but now I can’t share Dn or Scn with anyone, and it’s an practically an overt for me to allow people to continue suffering.

    OK, I’ll just have to send them to the actual ideal orgs that LRH envisioned, run by friendly neighborhood independent Scientologists!

    • Cool Observer permalink
      January 12, 2011 7:04 pm

      Logic Hammer

      I’m sorry, but I don’t think things will be that easy. If you think that as soon as the so-called “Church of Miscavology” folds, you can just disseminate the “true” philosophy/tech/whatever and people will be disarmed by your enthusiasm, you may want to brace yourself for a reality check. The Scientology brand and everything connected to it is damaged beyond repair. You might as well try to get people exited about “true communism” – the one Marx and Engels had in mind, before Lenin, Stalin and many others misapplied it.

      And when there will be a thorough investigation about the practices of this so-called church, the purification rundown will be outlawed. This procedure is based on sciolism and outrageous falsehoods, which makes this rundown useless and dangerous. For instance, participants overdose on niacin because Hubbard didn’t know the difference between nicotine (the addictive substance found in cigarettes) and nicotinic acid (niacin). He believed that cigarettes contain niacin, which would run out radiation. That’s just one of many misconceptions. The onbly reason this procedure is still tolerated is because Scientology claims that it’s a spiritual procedure.

      I don’t mean to be rude, those are just my two cents.

      • January 13, 2011 2:11 am

        CO,

        Nicotinic Acid , Nicotine and Niacin are the same thing.

        They have the same molecular structure.

        Please read the following:

        http://www.purchon.com/biology/nicotinic.htm

        As you can see in the first paragraph calling it “Niacin” was a PR move.

        Also where do get the data that large doses of niacin are bad for you?

        Dox please?

        Since niacin is what prevents “Pellagra” and has been effective in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease:

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000329081250.htm

        Also regarding the Purif.

        As far as I know.

        No one has ever died from doing the purif.

        Unless you have any information to contradict the above statement such as clinical proof not anecdotal reports.

        Also there are many who also say they have benefited from it.

        So as far as I can see your response to Logic Hammer is based on nothing more than your opinion.

        Sorry that’s the I see it Cool Observer.

      • Jeff permalink*
        January 13, 2011 6:15 am

        Correction, RJ, niacin and nicotinic acid are the same thing (C10H14N2), nicotine is something else (C6H5NO2).

      • January 13, 2011 6:52 am

        Thanks Jeff,

        Okay not the same but very similar.

        http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Niacin/id/1977706

        Niacin: Encyclopedia – Niacin

        Niacin

        Niacin, also known nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin such as NADH plays essential roles in energy metabolism in the living cell. The designation vitamin B3 also includes the amide form, nicotinamide or niacinamide. Severe lack of niacin causes the deficiency disease pellagra, whereas a mild deficiency slows down the metabolism, which in turn decreases cold tolerance and is a potential contributing factor towards obesity.

        Nicotinic acid was first discovered from the oxidation of nicotine. When the properties of nicotinic acid were discovered, it was thought prudent to choose a name to dissociate it from nicotine and to avoid the idea that either smoking
        provided vitamins or that wholesome food contained a poison. The resulting name ‘niacin’ was derived from nicotinic acid + in.

        ——–

        I still stand by what I wrote earlier with that amendment.

        And point out that one of the key sources of oxidized nicotine is smoking.

        Now I’m going back to my vitamin therapy 😉

      • Cool Observer permalink
        January 13, 2011 7:57 am

        RJ,

        Niacin overdose is indeed bad for you.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/27/AR2007042702610.html

        Deaths have been associated with it. See “Adverse Outcomes”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purification_Rundown

        Here’s an analysis of the procedure:

        http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~dst/Narconon/sources/reports/hogg.htm

        In medicine and science there’s no room for belief, only facts matter. Hubbard was no scientist, far from it. There’s a reason why Scientology refuses to allow a scientific review, because no independent expert would ever endorse it.

      • Cool Observer permalink
        January 13, 2011 1:08 pm

        Dr. Hubbard prescribes chain smoking to prevent lung cancer.

      • January 13, 2011 7:33 pm

        Cool Observer,

        A news article is not a clinical report.

        Nor is a citation from Wikipedia which I’ve never considered a reliable source of information.

        And the last one is totally biased.

        So far you have not shown a single clinical report.

        I note that the news report you cite is regarding people using niacin to circumvent a Drug Test and that they were taking drugs when they were taking the niacin.

        So we don’t know if it was the niacin that caused the adverse reaction or the drugs.

        Do we?

        Now I noticed you’ve also cited a lecture by Ron regarding lung cancer.

        By the way he never said “chain smoking” counteracted it.

        Did he?

        So you have entered hyperbole into your so called argument.

      • Jeff permalink*
        January 13, 2011 8:58 pm

        RJ, you ask for clinical reports, fair enough.

        But, in fairness, shouldn’t supporters of the Purif also be asked to supply such clinical reports to support the program’s theories and claims – independent research, not from the Church or front groups like Health Med or FASE, which would introduce the sort of bias you object to?

        For instance, in the clip provided, Hubbard states that lung cancer is not caused by smoking, but by “not enough smoking.” Are there clinical reports to support this?

      • Cool Observer permalink
        January 13, 2011 9:44 pm

        RJ,

        “The recommended daily allowance of niacin is 2–12 mg/day for children, 14 mg/day for women, 16 mg/day for men, and 18 mg/day for pregnant or breast-feeding women.” ( Source: ^ United States Department of Agriculture, National Agriculture Library, Food and Nutrition Information Center, Dietary Reference Intakes: Recommended Intakes for Individuals, Vitamins).
        And you dispute that 5000 mg (during the final stages of the purif) is harmless or even beneficial?

        Wikipedia entries are all based on sources. The entries about Scientology have been fact checked very carefully, because they cannot be edited anymore after Scientology repeatedly tried to edit them in their favour. The chapter effectiveness and safety says it all. The purif is a dangerous scam.

        And Dr. David Hogg is biased? Why? Because he isn’t a Scientologist? He simply analysed Hubbard’s claims and exposed them as false. In science bias does not exist. Something is true or false, period.

        It’s true, Hubbard did not say chainsmoking prevents lung cancer, but your nitpicking does not change the fact that “not smoking enough causes lung cancer” is just hilarious (except for those who heed this advice).

        Seriously, you can believe whatever you want. Everything that’s related to Scientology philosophy, past lives and whatnot cannot be proven or disproven, but defending Hubbard’s bogus claims by dismissing or twisting factual evidence doesn’t make any sense.

      • Jeff permalink*
        January 14, 2011 3:42 am

        RJ and Cool, I’m ending this Purif discussion, you guys can continue it offline if you like, It’s way off topic and I’m tired of moderating it.

      • Valkov permalink
        January 23, 2011 1:02 am

        This is wishful thinking on your part, CoolObserver, that the brand is damaged beyond repair.

        In fact, Independents and Freezoners all over the world are having no trouble at all finding interested pcs and trainees.

    • January 14, 2011 9:25 pm

      Sorry Jeff I forgot to ad this video clip to my last blov…er..speech.

      You know speaking of Venezuela and all that.

      Just replace Dave for Harry 😉

  20. freespirit permalink
    January 12, 2011 3:41 pm

    FACT: In all the years of C of S existence and constant efforts to build PR area control, and to build up its image – it has gone no where. It is still regarded as a cult, it is still regarded with disdain, a bunch of freaks, wierdos,etc. It continues to be investigated and attacked by governments and government agencies. There is NO CHANGE in its black PR because there is NO CHANGE within its operation. It continues to perpetuate its own psychotic handling of individuals and rather than having the humility to review and correct itself, it foolishly launches its “they are all out to get us campaign.”

    What HAS changed is that more and more former members are coming out and exposing its practices and providing more substantial fuel and validity to the criticism levied against it.

    Despite whatever statistics they keep track of “inches of favorable press” etc, at the end of the day when you really look at it, there has been no change. I feel sorry for those church PRs. Its hard to create good will and PR area control for a psychotic client.

  21. January 14, 2011 5:02 am

    Spot on Jeff.

    There is no way to fix radical Scientology and its PR. Like DM and TC, its nose is so high in the air that it doesn’t think its shit smells while the rest of the world is all to aware of it.

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