For some orientation to what I would like to over in this essay I begin with a passage from Chapter 25 Epilogue from Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior (Amazon Books, 2013):
As has been ably reported by Janet Reitman in her book Inside Scientology (Houghton Mifflin, 2011) and by Lawrence Wright in his book Going Clear (Alfred A. Knopf, 2013), L. Ron Hubbard was a very capable marketing man. What they did not acknowledge as much, but did not totally discount, was Ron’s ability to solve problems – including those of the mind and spirit. Ron had a knack for finding out what was bothering people, putting together methods to address those things, and then selling those methods as services – the end-all that people just had to get their hands on.
The Reitman and Wright books detailed how Ron was continually creating new rundowns, new levels and new packaging to keep the Scientology public enthused over the latest in the mind and spirit. It was the formula that created continuing expansion of the Scientology empire during L. Ron Hubbard’s life. A strong customer base was established and continually kept interested and buying as new, essential route-to-total-freedom items were rolled out.
Because Ron so unequivocally mandated that only Ron could discover, create and memorialize mental and spiritual technology (the only stock-in-trade of the church of Scientology) upon Ron’s death the church’s expansion pattern also died.
Consequently, David Miscavige took on an unenviable task when he was handed the reins of Scientology Inc. And those reins were handed to him, whether begrudgingly or not, by Annie Tidman Broeker (Loyal Officer 2) when she sided with Miscavige against her then-husband (Loyal Officer 1) Pat Broeker. Miscavige had no choice but to radically change Scientology’s forty-year expansion pattern.
The movement had been built and held together primarily through the promise and continual roll-out of new technology. Now Miscavige had to keep that movement going, but with no possibility of introducing new technology. For a while he seemed to have somewhat of a grasp of marketing, but all the marketing in the world could not keep an organization thriving when it had nothing new to sell. At least not an organization whose viability depended on continual emanation of new technology to sell. And by firm religious belief and church doctrine, he was powerless to create any new technology.
These facts – recognized by credible, outside observers and by insiders like myself – are at the heart of why Scientology (the whole package) is as dead as a door nail. The promises are infinite while the delivery of them is impossible.
The first thing that probably distinguishes us from all others we are aware of who utilize some of the discoveries of Ron Hubbard is that we do not play – in any way, shape, fashion, or form – the baiting evaluation game that comes part and parcel with Scientology. That is the incessant, overt and covert, game of continuous evaluations along the line of ‘the next roll out will really get you there’, ‘the next level will handle your problem’, ‘you need to act in this fashion so that you see the wisdom of taking your next step’, ‘you’ll understand that when you get to ______’, or any other of the pitches that were memorialized in unalterable, firm Scientology policy and mental technology throughout the years.
That most decidedly includes the insidious safety valve, bait-and-switch line ‘the reason it didn’t work for you was that it was corrupted by someone else, and now we’re going to give you the real thing’ as is so regularly chanted by the church and the shadow it casts, Scientology practitioners outside of the church. The real thing is precisely what is described in the book passage above: the never-ending promises to the stairway to Heaven that demonstrably does not lead to Heaven. It more often leads instead to the perfect cognitive storm: holding these two conflicting ideas counterpoised, a) I have done everything Ron prescribed, so I know everything there is to know, and can never improve because I am already perfect – b) all the while colliding with the deep-down, suppressed self-recognition that the individual has become intolerant, arrogant, callous and miserable.
This find-the-ruin, bait-and-switch mentality is woven into the woof and warp of Scientology. It gets played from initial marketing to the highest reaches of the bridge. It has always been, both inside the church and without, that those who play it best are sainted with being the most ‘On Source’ (with L. Ron Hubbard) Scientologists.
It also happens to be Ron’s first, greatest – and ultimately most fatal – departure from the technology he primarily borrowed from in creating Dianetics and Scientology: Rogerian client-centered psychotherapy. The second the client is played – in any way, shape, fashion or form – by definition the process is no longer client centered. Instead, it by definition becomes practitioner – or organization – centered. The road to restoration of self-determinism becomes paved with enforcement of obedient following.
Do I mean to say that Ron was a con? Do I mean to say that everything he discovered or purported to discover was fraudulent? No; as you shall see in further installments. But, I am defining what it is we do and the first thing we do is stay true to the client-centered philosophy that is at the heart of – in fact, is the sine qua non of – all that is workable in Scientology.