Scientology Daily Digest: Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Morning Quarterbacking: Apostate Air Force Edition

I think the follow-on effects of yesterday’s airborne raid on the Super Power ribbon-cutting ceremony will reverberate for some time, and we might even see some significant changes in the way the cult produces the IAS event in two weeks.  Given that those changes are likely to be about protecting David Miscavige from imagined threats to his personal security and about protecting his image with his “flock,” it’s possible that he takes his eye off the ball: raising money.

If it is true that Miscavige has postponed the events earlier this year mainly due to his need to micro-manage the legal cases he’s embroiled in, then there’s a non-zero chance that he’ll postpone the IAS event while he revamps the event and the security plan.  And if he does that, it is extremely likely that the proceeds from the gala are going to be down substantially.

Rookie poster “roxhum” asked in yesterday’s story, “Although it was fun pissing off the little dictator, what is the objective?”  Roxhum also went on to suggest that it might be counterproductive because cult members might actually become more loyal since they perceive their religion as coming under attack.

Certainly, it’s valuable to be skeptical of the game-changing potential of what could be seen as a rather expensive prank.  My reply to “roxhum” may provide some illumination on why I think this could end up being as epic as the coordinated Anonymous raid with approximately 10,000 protesters in front of half of the cult’s org buildings.  I said:

There’s actually a very real objective in play, which Mike & Mike either intuitively or overtly grasped: keeping your opposition off balance causes them to make mistakes. This idea goes back to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, first published about 2,500 years ago. If you control the time and place of the battle, you’re way more than halfway to victory. He who doesn’t shape the battlefield faces an uphill fight from the opening shot. And demoralizing an opponent by attacking at a moment they might consider a time of triumph has the most leverage of any attack you can make.

What’s the practical effect of this stunt? Miscavige has been increasingly paranoid about outsiders getting a hold of his speeches and mocking him on the Internet. He appears to be obsessed with what outsiders, particularly ex’s say about him, despite his media strategy, which appears to be to ignore them at best, be hostile at worst.  To the extent opponents can keep him focused on security and on shoring up his image, he won’t be focused on growing the business, and it will probably end up shrinking.

Last year, a tabloid reporter easily snuck into the IAS event in the UK. In May, at the opening of the Portland Ideal Org, the cult was responding to the London disaster by having unprecedented security and area control for the event, checking ID’s and prohibiting electronic devices. When they discovered that Mark Bunker (“Wise Beard Man”) had cut a deal with the store across the street to put a hidden camera up with a great sight line to the stage, Miscavige lost it, and ultimately ended up turning the sound down so that his speech can’t be recorded, and he also appeared to cut short the event.

Both of those events shaped the current reality: he moved the big tent from the UK to the US, where he probably thinks he has better security for the IAS event than he could get in the UK (it was easy for people to sneak onto the Saint Hill property from adjoining fields). But better security in response to Bunker’s little prank comes at a cost: he has basically killed the European event business, and by doing so, has probably hastened the decay in the European Scientology orgs — the rich donors from Europe who have been propping up the cult over there are not that likely to come all the way to the (tasteless, low-brow) US for an event. The biggest event of the year is probably going to pull in a lot less revenue going forward.

While it is correct that many people still in the cult will be able, through thought stopping and cognitive dissonance, to think that the attacks on the cult and on Miscavige must mean Scientology is important and successful, not everyone will be swayed that way. While I can’t accurately predict that attrition will accelerate specifically as a result of this event, I strongly suspect that bad knee-jerk decisions made as a result of this event (more security, more sec checking of people who posted event details on Facebook, etc.) will ultimately accelerate the exodus, and we should start to see people whose “Aha!” moment was shortly after this and the upcoming IAS event appearing in the next couple of months.

I thus believe that yesterday’s stunt is important in causing Miscavige to withdraw even more from reality, and thus to make even worse decisions. Because the events business is such a money maker, any damage to the event business significantly reduces cult profitability, and when they start eating into reserves, the decision making process is likely to become even more insane — Miscavige can rationalize almost any idiotic decisions, as long as the reserves go up every year. But if reserves start getting depleted, that’s when the death spiral begins.

Is this a prank or a really, really good investment?  A Robinson R44 goes for about $500 per hour, plus perhaps a bit more for a pilot, insurance, etc. So for less than $2,000, Mike & Mike had an opportunity to rattle Miscavige significantly. Perhaps even enough to cause him to make a potentially significant mistake that could potentially bury the events business for good as he worries about his personal security and about his image. I don’t think his personal security is at much risk, because most ex’s are having too much fun laughing at him. And his image is none too good except in the presence of the most rabid Kool-Aid drinkers.

So why do this now instead of at the Portland Ideal Org opening? Because Miscavige has another great opportunity to screw up, in just two short weeks, at the biggest-grossing event of the year.

I will bet you that Rinder and Bennitt will look back in a couple years and tell you that this $2,000 was the best two grand they ever spent, both in terms of the fun value and in terms of the gravel it dumps in Miscavige’s gearbox.

The IAS event, this year more than ever, needs to be about revenue growth. But as a result of the first mission of Viper Squadron 1 of the Apostate Air Force, it will be all about trying to plug imagined security leaks. It’s entirely possible that Miscavige will postpone the event entirely while he tries to figure out what other leaks might exist that those evil SP’s might try to exploit. That would be a $20 million mistake at least, a 10,000-to-1 return on their investment…

Tony Ortega’s Blog

Tony’s story today featured an exclusive interview with Jacqueline Olivier, the principal hired to turn Will Smith’s home schooling operation into a “legit” private school, the New Village Leadership Academy, which closed its doors after three years.

My take:  It sounds like Olivier took the job knowing that “study tech” would be involved, but may have figured that, since the school board was “committed to best practices,” they would be able to move past that odd fixation once she showed them that “study tech” was anything but a best practice.  But I suspect she ran up against a small definition problem: in the real world, best practices are “the current consensus of qualified experts as to the best way of accomplishing measurable results, subject to evolution over time as new, scientifically valid research shows improved methods.”  Scientologists also believe in best practices, but unfortunately, they use their own definition: “stuff that Hubbard pulled out of his ass 50 years ago.”  So when those two visions of best practices collided, it’s no surprise that Olivier’s reality-based version lost out.

There is a lot of commentary about what she should have done, with some thinking she should have left immediately and blown the lid off the cult’s machinations, and many who felt she did the best she could given the circumstances.  I don’t think the commenters here were able to settle the issue, but there were some well-articulated points raised on all sides, which makes me proud of the community in these forums.

I think it will be very hard for Will and Jada to deny they’re Scientologists after Olivier alleges full involvement of the Smiths in making Scientology-related decisions in the school.  I can hardly wait until some intrepid reporter asks one of them why, if their new religion confers such super powers on anyone, they seem to be unwilling to acknowledge that they’re involved in it.

Selected comments: 

Mike Rinder’s Blog

Mike didn’t have a new post up today, pleading exhaustion (a veritable epidemic among Scientology bloggers the last couple days), but he did put up a post late last night that I didn’t include in yesterday’s Daily Digest with pictures from the event.

General News

Various news outlets picked up the Super Power opening.  I glanced at the stories and didn’t see anything remarkable; some of them basically rewrote the Tampa Bay Times piece.

  • ThetaBara

    I think a very real benefit that the Flying Squirrels brought was that they have accurate photos – no fisheye, no shooping – so the attendance numbers can be estimated more precisely and it will be much harder for the scilons to lie about it.
    To quote Tory: tick tock!

    • OrangySky

      I doubt he makes a speech as short as 8 minutes when ordering dinner.

  • DodoTheLaser

    Mike Rinder did post this 40 minutes ago:

    Who Should Come To The Events (“Bring them all.”)

    http://www.mikerindersblog.org/who-should-come-to-the-events/

    Smells like Amnesty… thank you, but no thank you.

    • OrangySky

      Wow, Dodo – perhaps this is a stat John P or someone can have a go at:

      From the letter Mike R prints –

      “All org Executive Directors on earth, 160 of them went to Flag and met with David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board.”

      Only 160 Executive Directors of Orgs on EARTH?

      And there are 8 million clams?

      Hmmmmm.

  • Missionary Kid

    I don’t feel this way, but some people think that it’s important to have a great amount of speechifying for an event, otherwise, they don’t count it as significant. Those people will be sorely disappointed by DM’s speech. I hope it’s a large number.

    I happen to favor speeches about the length of the Gettysburg address. That was just over 2 minutes long, and it said everything. DM could spend hours giving a speech, and it would say nothing.

    • Cece

      yah poor lost soul

      • Missionary Kid

        Do you mean that I’m a lost soul?

        • Cece

          No never would I think/say that. Sorry mk. Thx for being here!

          • Missionary Kid

            Chuckle. I had to decode “yah.” I thought it might mean “you.”

            Thanks, Cece.

          • Cece

            There r many of us wandering. Thx for being there. Cece

    • SciWatcher

      I’ve always thought that it’s the people giving the speeches that think it’s important to have a great amount of speechifying. Some people like to hear themselves talk. DM more than anyone, it seems!

    • John P.

      The world has certainly changed since the Gettysburg Address.

      The 8-minute flash has committed a marketing disaster of the first degree. Even though they’ve been hyping this for ages, it would be standard procedure for any company unveiling a new product at an event to have customers whipped into a frenzy with a rousing marketing pitch that got them to understand the features and benefits of the product with lots of thunderous music, enthusiastic speeches by company management, food, booze, etc. You’ve got to tell them what they should be looking for when it comes time to actually go in there. Why is the oiliness table a “can’t live without it” part of the experience? What are they going to get from the Gyro-Whirl(tm)? Get them salivating so they run all over each other like rednecks at an Arkansas Wal-Mart sprinting for the camouflage camisoles on Black Friday!

      • Missionary Kid

        I can imagine that the faithful, who couldn’t hear what DM said, were turning to each other and saying, “What? What did he say?” Not only was it a marketing disaster because the speech was so short, and didn’t tell them the wonders they were to see or experience, but that they couldn’t even hear what was being said.

        He was hoisted on his own petard, because one half of the noise was his own doing.

        The failure points for the speech are:
        1. The helicopter noise was a distraction to the crowd, even if people could hear the speech.
        2. The helicopter annoyed DM so much that it flustered him to shorten a speech that he probably spent weeks preparing. That had to throw him off his stride, in full view of the whales, so he couldn’t show his anger.

        3. The helicopter noise probably prevented many from even hearing DM.
        4. DM is so obsessed with appearances that he had to be enraged by the noise, and he couldn’t show his anger in front of the crowd, yet they must have sensed it.
        5. It was a demonstration of the lack of control over MEST by Scientology, because they couldn’t control the energy of the helicopter blades generating the noise.
        6. Since he had planned the opening so carefully, and figuring that he was smarter than anyone else, he probably had no contingency plans. He should have gone to his rainy day backup, if he had one.
        7. DM is not good at improvisation, and it probably showed.

        8. Half of the noise was DM’s own doing.

        There will be a “shore story” about the event, but it will have to be odd, and I can’t wait to hear it.

        What he wouldn’t have given for a ground to air missile! His anger would be doubled when he found out who was in the helicopter. To have former minions in the helicopter would increase his anger. I would be very careful if I were anyone who was in the helicopter.

        • OrangySky

          I am waiting for the transcript of this speech? Does anyone have the technology to be able to do it?

          • Missionary Kid

            I’ll bet that a highly edited one will be in the middle of a video by Greasy Era Productions will eventually come out, with the heliocopiter noise somehow taken out or the whole thing redubbed.

          • OrangySky

            Count on it.

    • Eclipse-girl

      Maybe my history teacher was wrong.

      I learned that the Gettysburg address was incredibly unusual because it was short.

      Speechifying was oration. it was long.

      • Missionary Kid

        It was unusual. The previous speaker had gone on for over an hour, and it was expected that Lincoln would follow suit. The photographer was lucky to have gotten a picture of him, because it took so long to set up in those days.

        At first, there was criticism that it was too short, until people actually read the words and understood the power in them.

  • SciWatcher

    Question: is Miscavige really concerned about his safety? He was worried that perhaps someone might have shot at him from the helicopter or something? Or is he more worried about people making fun of him?

    • Spackle Motion

      Miscavige is a paranoid narcissist with a host of emotional issues and he’s a cult leader. You’re applying a logical question about the average reasonable person into this scenario, which will get you nowhere.

      I believe he’s more concerned with his image more than anything else. He most likely believes that no one is a match for him physically (at 5’3″) and he can kick anyone’s ass if threatened. Does this sound like a reasonable person to you?

      • SciWatcher

        Yeah, that’s kind of my feeling, too–that in his big-being-hood he can crush anyone, but that he REALLY hates people making fun of him, and all his maneuverings are mostly about that. Which makes it great for all of us “jokers and degraders.”

    • John P.

      I doubt that he is worried about his safety as far as getting shot at by a helicopter. Unless you’re using a Hellfire missile or other guided weapon, it’s not a stable enough platform for a single precision shot with a rifle.

      I suspect that he does have a good deal of fear for his safety, which has led to the population reduction at Int Base and the use of “wog” security officers there who are potentially seen as less of a security risk than culties. There are incidents where armed Scientologists (now ex’s) have admitted they were so angry at Miscavige that they pointed loaded guns at him, and he knew it.

      But I think that the security thing is more of a show-off thing at events these days. If Miscavige is so important that he needs all this security because all the wogs are looking to silence the World’s Most Powerful Ecclesiastical Leader(tm), then Scientology must be important (and must be doing something right). After all, anything worth securing must be important, right?

      • OrangySky

        This is an awesome summary, John – I worship at your feet. I think your Daily Digests are going to save my marriage!

        However, I would wager that COB may indeed have fears for his safety. Remember, he built that bullet-proof SUV back in the ’90’s, when things weren’t half as bad for him, and it’s clear now that he sees Mike and Marty as mortal enemies. This is a paranoid man, a mentally ill man, a megalomaniac and probably also an active alcoholic – a recipe for assassination fears if there ever was one. ( I can’t remember which ex wrote of his wearing a bullet-proof vest at one event? Did I dream that?)

        Anyway, the interesting thing is, there have been NO threats on COB’s life, at least not that we know of, from the major exes and indies who have been public about their disaffection. The Defrocked Apostates have never called for harm to be done to DM – but they have called for him to be arrested for his many, many crimes.

        I think in DM’s head, it’s all a big death threat and it’s all about HIM HIM HIM. The fact that he scurried into the Super Power building after 8 minutes is definitely the act of a terrified man.

      • chukicita

        I remember when Keith Henson was sentenced to a year in jail in Riverside County for ‘interfering with a religion’ – in part for making a joke on a.r.s. about “Tom Cruise Missles.” Keith skipped because he was concerned he might not live through the Riverside jail experience.

        DM has no sense of humor, and despite the advantage of being a tiny target, everything seems to be a threat.

  • Cece

    thanks john. my life is growing. thanks for givin me space and letting me.

  • Cece

    You missed a few letters. John.
    Your life is in the soul market not stock!

  • The reality is that the Real World is intruding more and more on the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology. As for the members rallying to support their cause, just a few problems

    – The Panic, PANIC!! button has been pushed (sorry) so hard and so frequently that it’s just not that different, now. And this since the 1980s

    – The cult is doing its own self destroying, declaring too many members while demanding that the remaining members disconnect (at the pain of disconnection…)

    Miscavige might have be cutting off a few whales, but he’s still getting the revenue from the “new” e-meter.

    Maybe Leah Remini will have time to plug her book, now 🙂

    It is comical to watch the tiny tyrant trying to keep his speeches from the critics and J&D crowd, when we have all the incriminating stuff we need – the 2007 New Year’s event : http://www.xenu-directory.net/topics/miscavige-vs-psychiatry.html

    As for Europe, any continent which can come up with the following just does not deserve $cientology 🙂

    http://infinitecomplacency.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-paris-trial-coverage-2009-2013.html

  • Spackle Motion

    JP, you may need your eyes examined if you think that Cardone’s wife is a ‘hot chick’. Have you seen that obnoxious video where both Cardone and his classy wife try to rap and throw up the bird as some retarded gang sign to the “haterz”.

    Plastic surgery does not buy one class.

    • John P.

      If you look at the Hot Chicks With Douchebags site, the girls are hotter than the guys, but some are still kind of sleazy. Elena Cardone looks trampy, like a former porn star trying to go legit, but she still doesn’t outshine her husband in the sleaze detail. It’s a relative thing, not an absolute thing.

      Like a long-ago sales colleague of mine, politically incorrect even by the standards of his tribe, used to say, “that girl is so skanky I wouldn’t _____ her with your _____.”

  • Rachel Heidi

    Great blog!

  • aboutandout

    I want to start by saying I just love this blog. I love the summaries, it certainly helps in keeping up to date when I don’t have time available to read all the blogs and comments…so thanks John P

    Re the attendance: I realize that this event is the first of several planned events in the up coming months. I am trying to understand where this event ranks on attendance. Meaning was the expectation that this would be the biggest event with the IAS event coming in 2nd for attendance, followed by the New Years Eve? If the expectation was that this would be the most attended, my next question is what is the normal percentage of members versus attendance?

    If we conclude that there were approx. 2000 public is that 5% of the population base? 20%? I am not sure if some of the ex’s can comment on what percentage normally attend, I agree that it will be interesting to see the turn out in LA and if it is being touted as a “everyone must come” event like this weekend in CW.

    I am looking forward to the ongoing discussions and data points to try and get a more accurate feel for membership.

    • John P.

      Thanks for the kind words about the blog! It’s nice to hear that it is useful to you.

      The membership question is indeed important, and it will be fun to try to piece it together in the next little while. I have some time this week so I am going to start blocking out an article with the details that we have.

      I think 2,000 public is a little over 10% of the global total. The number I have been using is 25,000 worldwide including staff. That’s not terribly great for an event of this importance held in the US, after 15 years of hype.

      As far as ranking the three events, I would say that normally, IAS should be #1 in the money count. New Year’s Eve is less important. And the Super Power is a one-time event that’s hard to rank, since it could be expected to be more people but perhaps less money raised on the spot (people have been giving to that for 15 years).

      But I now suspect that the IAS event is going to be a bit underwhelming this year, partly because of the move from Europe (snobbish rich Europeans who are “whales” in the cult are probably less likely to want to come to the US than to a stately home in the English countryside) and partly because of event fatigue after the Super Power opening fizzled.

      I suspect the New Year’s Eve event will be the lowest attendance of the three. Why don the tuxedo and fancy gowns for the event (and travel during the busy holiday season) when you were expected to do that only four weeks previously? They’ll be lucky to get 1,000 for that one, and may end up cancelling it in the future.

      My suspicion is that Davey will retreat back to the IAS event (probably in its usual October time frame in 2014) and the Birthday Event in March, and he will have let all the other events crater because of their difficulty filling seats.

      And if that happens, DM will have managed to take a $60 million per year event business and turn it into a $20 million a year event business in only one year, and he will have no one to blame but himself.

      • Anonymous

        John P.

        You wrote:

        “…and he will have no one to blame but himself.”

        There will be plenty of people for Davey to blame, however none of them will have been responsible.

  • Eclipse-girl

    I just finsihed The Complex, by John A Duignan.

    John worked himself almost to the elite of executives within Sea Org. He had numerous jobs. I thought You may be interested in it because there are statements in it that could give you some datapoints.

  • aegerprimo

    John P, your blog has whipped me into such a frenzy that I’m going to rush out to Walmart right now and pick myself up a camo-cami (and a 24-roll pack of TP).
    Excellent and insightful quarterbacking!

  • Anonymous

    Just to put a little perspective on what a large “event’ actually looks like, the Salesforce.com “Dreamforce” annual customer gathering in San Francisco is this week and attracted 130,000 registered attendees: http://on.mktw.net/17IaE03.

    CEO Marc Benioff is giving a live keynote today at noon EST that will be streamed from the event. The link for the live stream is here: http://bit.ly/HmDDQB.

    There will not be any helicopter interruptions.

    • John P.

      The name brings back memories of when I was a strategy consultant and Benioff was one of my clients, long before he founded Salesforce. He was a lot heavier in those days as was I. We got into some pretty serious shouting matches about various product issues, but usually made up afterwards. The staff was always scared that we would go at it in some serious geek sumo wrestling nightmare, and none of the building security folks were big enough to have broken it up if we had tried to strangle each other.

      I bet Marc does a better job with the “reality distortion field” to get people jacked up about the latest and greatest than Miscavige did on Sunday…

      • Anonymous

        You do know that he “invented” the cloud, right?

        And if you don’t believe, just ask him.

        • John P.

          Modesty is not Marc’s strong suit. At one point in the early days, Oracle used employees for stock shots for brochures. Benioff was one such.

          And in his posh office when I was doing work for him, the only decor on the walls was an enlargement of the brochure cover showing Marc’s face that was literally at least five feet tall. It was right next to the conference table so that any guests who were easily intimidated would have to contend with the aura of Marc peering over their shoulder. It was perfectly situated so he could gaze over his own visage when he was at his desk contemplating all sorts of mighty executive thoughts.

        • John P.

          And this just in, mere seconds ago, on the eve of the Dreamforce: Benioff admits “social enterprise” slogan was a completely stupid move. Nice quarter, though. http://www.zdnet.com/salesforce-ceo-admits-social-enterprise-pitch-didnt-work-7000023336/?s_cid=e539&ttag=e539

          • Anonymous

            Yep.

            Dreamforce is quite a show however…provides a sense of the power and connectedness (if I may use that word) of the overall economy.

            Couldn’t go this year, but usually drop in for a day or two when possible.

    • Science Doc

      Every week there are thousands of high school football games in the US with more attendees.

  • Science Doc

    A chess master would say that CoS’s recent moves “cost it the initiative”. Of course this is grossly oversimplified. A better term from chess play is “tempo”. CoS’s recent play has suffered from poor tempo (with resultant loss of initiative) and we are in a period of lightning play with two or more additional moves by the end of the year.

    Whatever your analogy of choice, it was their move, their offensive, their thing, and they blew it.

    After the IAS and the briefings in LA et al. there will be enough data to go to town this one.

  • KJP in Portland

    I’ll never forget the RAF (Rinder Air Force) raid at Clearwater. Although peaceful in nature, it may have been Miscavige’s ‘Pearl Harbor’. They were caught with their pants down.

  • Semper Phi

    OK, here’s a little data point for y’all — the NY orgs are holding their Big SP Event this weekend at at high school auditorium near Union Square because they have over 1,000 people confirmed for the event, and that number won’t fit in the org building. Or so said the Sea Org person who just called me.

    • John P.

      Thanks for passing this one along. I think Scientology has got lower membership per capita in the NYC area because it has only one Org and two or three missions (at best; can’t figure out if they’re really open or not).

      I would have to believe that the person on the phone telling you this was counting in Base 3 numbers, or they were marking people as confirmed who they had been leaving voicemails for but who hadn’t called them back to tell them to bugger off. In other words, anybody who hasn’t given them a definitive “no” is the same as “confirmed.” An optimistic but not entirely useful approach, unless your stats are for number of confirmed but you’re not measured on number that actually show up.

      • Semper Phi

        They are supposed to count only the definitely confirmed “yeses,” but I suspect some “maybes” slip into their counts for the purpose of convincing people that this is truly going to be Big Event and everyone else will be there. There will inevitably be a fair amount of “melt” on the day of the event; there always is.

        There are actually 3 orgs in NYC (NY Day, NY Foundation & the Celebrity Centre). Harlem is still straddling the line between mission and org. The Long Island Org used to join in for some big events as well, though I don’t know if that is the case for this one.

  • Semper Phi

    Well, I’m Little Miss Popular tonight — I just got another clam call. This one was from one of the GAT2 supervisors from my org, newly returned from Flag. He (oddly enough) didn’t ask if I was going to the event; he said was just “getting his comm lines in” after his time away. I chatted with him for a couple minutes, and the most interesting thing was that he confirmed my suspicion that the OOTs had been allowed to keep their phones on this visit. He told me that a bunch of SPs had been removed (that I can believe, there were many of them there) and the administration had been reformed and things were much looser and more pleasant. That was pretty amazing to hear, considering that all this loosening occurred at a time when Davey has been in residence and the huge GAT2 push was on.

    I’m not sure what to make of this info. If there has been actual reform in the way people are treated, is it just for the OOTs, or have all the staff benefited? I wish I’d asked him which SPs were removed and what reforms had been made. I have to say that, given the long history of abusive treatment of staff, I hope it’s a permanent shift. Since staff misery never seems to have produced lasting reform from the inside, I think it likely that any improvement results from the external pressure of bad PR. Also, they may have realized at long last that one great way to stop hemorrhaging staff is to treat them better.

    I must admit, I feel a little conflicted about this news. I’m very glad to hear that my friends were well treated during their training. It’s hard to over-emphasize what a difference it must have made simply to be able to keep their cellphones. Finding time and phones to call home was a horrendous stress point for all of us when I was there. On the other hand, the unpleasantness of life at Flag disillusioned me quickly and greatly accelerated my exit from the mind control. While I don’t want anyone mistreated, I also want my friends to wake up and get out.

    • Dee Fogger

      You’re not the only popular ex. Over at Rinder’s blog Auqamarine has reported getting at least two calls from people who haven’t been in contact with her for years telling her they just wanted to get back in comm and perhaps she’d like to meet for coffee and see the opening of the SP building. This is a full court press to get attendance up any way possible.

  • Dee Fogger

    Fascinating comment by Kevin about the Smiths and his wife. I’d heard this story before about how the Smiths wanted a “full time personal traveling auditor” who was African American. And yet they have always firmly denied or sidestepped the question of whether they’re cult members.

    I’ll assume that this auditor would be expected to either live on the Smith’s mansion in a guest house or physically near the Smiths (like in the old home school house), be willing to provide auditing at any time 24 hours a day and willing to travel at the drop of a hat. Who’s going to do a job like that but an SO member or coerced staff member or someone seriously celebrity obsessed?

    The DC auditor that was recruited was flag trained. The DC auditor was most likely staff and therefore paid horribly but he would be bringing in money to the Org. Flag auditing is now $5,000 per intensive. I don’t know what the DC Org charges but probably not a less then $4,000 per intensive. That auditor was providing a great return on his ‘salary’ of cents to the dollar but the recruiting mission would have happily pulled him off staff and lost the Org income to please the Smith family. What did the Smith’s offer to offset the loss of income to the DC Org? Did they offer a hefty compensation to Kevin’s wife for this type of access to a full time auditor? Or did the Smith’s expect this service be provided for free by the cult due to their role as celebrities even if they don’t publicly admit to being COS members? The whole thing reeks of an entitlement mentality.

  • KJP in Portland

    Thank you, John. Excellent posts here the past week!

  • media_lush

    I know how you like evidence and such so I thought you might be intrigued with this picture…. it looks like Placido Domingo’s daughter, Ivonne Armant [a somewhat successful TV personality in LA] was at Flag this weekend and took a load of pics which she made public on facebook. Trawling through them I came across this little gem from back in LA that show her taking delivery of loads {my guess is 10,000+} of Hubbard lectures on CD. I’m not exactly sure what she planned to do with them all but I hope they can figure into your great matrix-discourse you’re doing.

    Hepp, hepp!

    PS – she’s removed all the scion pics from her account

    • media_lush

      actually check that estimate, I was basing it on a recordable stack but imagine these would come in individual plastic cases… probably quite a bit lower than I said

    • John P.

      Perhaps this is a set of The Basics? Remember, also, that the cult doesn’t use standard CD jewel cases for the sacred verbal meanderings, they use things that are sort of like the larger DVD cases, but perhaps even bigger than that. These boxes may also contain books in addition to the CD’s.

      Regardless, a waste of a talented mind.