Daily Archives: December 6, 2011

Even More on Missions

By Mike Rinder

This small excerpt from the IAS event provides an excellent glimpse of the entire circus performance.  Little King David in all his diminutive glory, Shermanspeaking with his strange, vaguely hypnotic cadence and almost comical accent on words, spewing forth lies and trickery almost faster than its possible to ingest.  There is another 2+ hours of this torture. But when you can slow it down, pause the video, really SEE what is being said, it presents a very different picture than the veneer of slick smoke and mirrors that gushes forth.

Gabriel recently posted the Birthday Game standings from the Mission Network and in doing so highlighted the sorry state of this network.  It’s a bit harder to see from watching the video real time, but believe me, the efforts to wallpaper over the moldy, mildewed and crumbling walls of the Mission network just don’t cut the mustard.

First, just look at the stills of Mission openings that accompany the hype and you will see the following (and presumably there are many other false reports that I am unable to verify):

And remember, this is the BEST that POB and the full time Gold staff that work on events could come up with to demonstrate 10 years of massive, straight up and vertical growth:

1.  Here is a CURRENT photo of the Santa Monica Mission that is shown in his video with smiling faces at the ribbon cutting.

2. The “Old Tampa Bay Mission” is also no more.  Strange they put two Missions in the two largest Scientology fields in the world in the video and they no longer exist! Tells you how hard up they were to come up with ANY shots at all. And certainly throws a LOT of doubt on the other supposed Missions that are “flourishing and prospering” in locations around the planet that nobody can easily get to (which it seems is where the vast majority of POB’s wondrous activities occur — I wonder why???)

3.  The Dublin Mission shown as opened “since the Wake Up Call” has been there  since before 1993 (it’s in the WIS book).  And it’s not that this is a second Mission — if you look on the Scientology.org website you will find only ONE mission (and no orgs) in Ireland.

4.  The shot of the “Athens Mission” is the “Athens Org” as I believe our Greek friends can confirm – again the Scientology.org website lists only ONE Scientology org or mission in all of Greece. And its the org. There is no Mission.

5.  The Missions shown in Hungary are not on the Scn.org website (though the Mission is Szolnok was listed in WIS, probably closed down subsequently), the “Mission of Genova” is not on the website, nor is the “Mission of Montpelier”. That pretty much wipes out every “new Mission” shown in Western Europe.

6.  Pakistan is worse – the “Mission of Islamabad” is not on the website, and neither are the 4 missions in Pakistan that were in WIS back in 1993. The “Mission” in Thailand and the one in Malaysia also apparently no longer exist, not appearing on the Scientology.org website – and in fact, the Mission that was in the WIS book in Malaya seems to have vanished altogether.

7.  Africa looks sick too – the “Missions” shown in Cameroon and Mali are not on the website.  “Norwood” is, but it’s the same one that was in the WIS book in 1993.

And that is apparently the best he had to show. And it tells you they are REALLY scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is 10 YEARS of Mission expansion and to cover one minute of event time, they used numerous shots of Missions that DO NOT EVEN EXIST. I can assure you, if there were a ton of new missions being opened the level of hype would be ENORMOUS. If there was massive expansion with huge flourishing Missions, he would have shown that (and not tried to fake it with “new Missions”).

Now, for what else you DON’T see.

The ONLY Missions apparently opened in the United States are in California, 2 in Louisiana, one in Florida (no longer open) and one in Bangor, Maine.  Not one ANYWHERE else in the entire US!  There is a LOT of the United States with NO Scientology org or Mission.

And not a single Mission opened anywhere in the United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia, Spain, Switzerland or anywhere else in Western Europe except the phantom mission in France and the phantom in Italy.

There are whole swaths of the world not mentioned at all in this 10 years of explosive, straight up and vertical expansion.

But on top of that – here is the REAL masterstroke from the bard of bullshit.

POB NEVER talks about JUST Missions these days. It is ALWAYS “Groups and Missions” so he can SHOW Missions (as there are no visuals of “Groups” as they do not exist) and then when talking numbers, start spouting off figures of “thousands” leaving the impression he is talking about thousands of Missions. If you are a fan of David Copperfield or Siegfried and Roy, you would really enjoy this big stage style “watch me make the elephant in the room disappear right before your very eyes.”

If (and that is a big “if” given the evidence that is so easy to uncover) there are 400 or so missions (more likely in the range of 100 that are open more than 3 hours a week), the other 3400 “Groups” are even more of a mirage-than the Missions.

Those groups, for the most part, are complete fabrications: POB counts every Volunteer Minister as a “group” – orgs spend hundreds of hours every week trying to confirm these “groups” by calling Scientologists and asking them if they were “active” that week.  And that definition is malleable if not criminal – “Did you use ARC this week?” “Good, you count.”  It’s the same with the “Dianetics Groups” – they don’t need to actually practice Dianetics or deliver any auditing, just attest to the fact that they are still in agreement with the principles of Dianetics and that qualifies them for “Active Dianetics Group” status. Those 3800 plus “Missions and Groups” exist ONLY in the imagination of little King David.

But if you present it fast enough, in hyperventilating Shermanspeak, with enough asserted certainty and accompany it with rapidly changing gaudy crap on the screen surrounded by baroque frames, well…  POB is doing a pretty good job of proving that you can fool most of the people most of the time – at least those that have been guzzling the Kool Aid.

As I said in my earlier post about the “Ideal Orgs” – POB has mastered the art of turning theta into MEST. His path of mayhem and destruction is becoming harder and harder to camouflage as the yellow brick road he claims it is.  His “Golden Ages” are truly the Dark Ages of Scientology — but as with all regimes that seek to suppress truth, creativity and beauty, they eventually meet unpleasant ends. And no matter how loudly he shouts, how exaggerated his claims become, how many denials he issues and how many people he pays, the green curtain is disintegrating and the facade of the Wizard of Oz is collapsing.

Fairman vs Thorburn Analysis and Tax Deductions


Tony Ortega at the Village Voice posted an analysis of the Fairman vs. Thorburn case, see Village Voice Analysis.   While I think his factual speculation about Michael’s status vis a vis Independent Scientology is inaccurate, Tony raises some interesting questions.

Particularly intriguing is his idea about Independent Scientologists claiming tax deductions for their Scientology donations in the field.  During negotiations for tax exemption in the early nineties, the church was able to persuade the IRS to grant deductions for Scientology parishioner “donations” to churches of Scientology.  This was done in the face of a then-fairly-recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the denial of Scientologists’ deductions for fixed fees being charged by Scientology churches for specific services,  Hernandez v Commissioner.  Hernandez is still the law of the land on this issue.

While I don’t have time at the moment to engage in a major tax research project, I will proffer an opinion to anyone affected who can afford to have a competent tax attorney delve into this area.  In my opinion the Internal Revenue Service would have a very difficult time denying a claimed tax deduction of an Independent Scientologist making a donation for Scientology services.  Particularly when those services are provided on the basis we do.  That is, there is no fixed price.  The person donates what she feels the service was worth in accordance with her own ability to donate; knowing, as I have informed those who were particularly generous on their own determinism, that their donation makes possible the servicing of others in need who are not able to donate or to donate very much.  I have no problem testifying and providing documentary evidence that such donations are in fact used in that precise manner – to service those in need who cannot themselves donate much.  My guess is that there are other Independents out there who could do the same.

It is pretty much how “charitable contributions” have always traditionally been made – with an intent to benefit others or for the general good; as opposed to a fixed quid pro quo to attain something solely for one’s own benefit (the corporate church of Scientology model).

Just some food for thought for the future.   As Ortega noted, ground breaking legal actions such as Fairman vs Thorburn could have effects down the road not only in reforming corporate Scientology but also in establishing the rights of Independent Scientologists.