Scientology Daily Digest: Thursday, December 5, 2013

Scientologist after attempting to navigate the complexities of the new sales process and the legal agreement governing use of the recently announced, new and improved Mark VIII e-meter.

Scientologist after attempting to navigate the complexities of the new sales process and the legal agreement governing use of the recently announced, new and improved Mark VIII e-meter.

The big news today came on Mike Rinder’s blog, where he relays a note from a contributor about the craziness around the requirement to upgrade to the super-duper all-new (except for the part about being in a warehouse for a decade) Mark VIII e-meter.  The whole article is worth reading carefully, because it sure sounds like the cult is desperate to not only sell the new meter quickly, but to prevent it from falling into “the wrong hands” (i.e., independent Scientologists).

Mike says that some of the annual check-in is to reset a timer on the unit itself that keeps it working for another year.  Apparently, you don’t have to send the unit back for “calibration” every year or two, but if I’m reading the post correctly, there’s a timer that expires every year, after which the meter can’t be used.

And apparently, you can’t pay for the new meter from money that you have on deposit for courses — you have to pony up new cash, immediately, or you won’t be able to be audited, and you won’t be able to continue any courses that are in progress.

Wow.  Just… wow.

Tony Ortega’s Blog

Tony’s story today features the news that Russell Miller’s Bare Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard, originally published in 1987, will be back in print in February.  It’ll be published by Silvertail Books, which published BBC reporter John Sweeney’s The Church of Fear earlier this year.  Tony also posted a picture of Lisa McPherson to commemorate the anniversary of her death.

Selected comments:

Mike Rinder’s Blog

As noted above, the cult is engaging in a Kafka-esque nightmare of obstruction, obfuscation and bullying, to get people to buy the new decade-old Mark VIII e-meter.

Forum Sites (WWP, ESMB, OCMB)

Thanks yet again to Aeger Primo for keeping an eye on things on these sites…

General News

 

  • aurora50

    (Hah, I was posting this at yesterday’s feature, while you were putting this up!)

    This is a copy of a question I left at Mike Rinder’s blog, at the discussion about the new e-meter:

    When you all are talking about money ‘on account’ does that mean the
    CoS is holding actual cash of the members? I had gathered as much from
    the discussions about refunds…but don’t quite get how the pre-payment
    plan works? is everyone obliged to keep X amount ‘banked’ with them?
    and how is the required membership in the IAS justified? is this
    separate from the on-account money?

    Point me to a book or post, if this has been covered before.

    Thanks!

    (Think I will cross-post this at John P’s site; maybe he wants to address it…)

    • MaxSpaceman

      On account: the member pre-pays for services – auditing, training, processing. This is money paid to $cientology before the member does the services. The cherch calls these pre-pays “donations.” They are not required to keep a certain amount on account, no.

      They are *separate* from any I A S membership dollars. This money is justified as donations to protect $cientology from attack worldwide. To help “the religion” thrive and survive.

  • MaxSpaceman

    Yo John- my post which you highlighted above was flagged and isn’t displaying on Tony’s Website. I’d like to post here, if I may. See what happens.

    Mike Rinder

    — In fact, there is no corporate separation in the Scientology hierarchy because the entire structure of Scientology corporations is completely subservient to the Sea Organization (“Sea Org” or “SO”). And that is under the unquestioned authority of its supreme commander, Captain David Miscavige.

    — Everyone in CSI, OSA and RTC and all other senior organizations of Scientology are members of the Sea Organization. The real control of Scientology lays within the Sea Organization hierarachy. Every person in any position of authority in the international structure of Scientology is a Sea Org member. Every one of them is answerable to Miscavige. He uses a contrived title that makes him sound like a Board Chairman of a normal corporation. This is a deliberate ruse. He is really the most senior official of the Sea Org and as such has complete and unquestioned authority over every Sea Org member regardless of their “corporate position.”

    Wog (the Scientology term for non-Scientologists) laws are considered worthy only of contempt.

    Rinder on Miscavage involvement deep in the heart of Texas:

    “Out of literally dozens, if not hundreds of examples, I recount what happened with the Aznarans in 1994, primarily because they were Texas residents and the events took place in Dallas. Vicki Aznaran, like Mark Rathbun, was previously the “Inspector General” of Religious Technology Center. She was ousted by Miscavige and left the church and she and her husband filed suit against a number of church entities in 1988.

    “Miscavige considered her a threat due to her knowledge of the power struggle he had been engaged in after the death of L. Ron Hubbard in 1986. Aznaran had taken sides against Miscavige and therefore she and her husband had become “enemies.”

    “In 1994 the Aznaran’s called the church and said they wanted to engage in settlement discussions to resolve their lawsuit. Miscavige called me, told me in detail what he wanted done and sent me to meet with Richard Aznaran at Dallas-Fort Worth airport.

    “I was instructed by Miscavige to secretly record the entire meeting so Miscavige could hear every word that was said. I covertly recorded my meeting with Mr. Aznaran as Miscavige had ordered.

    “When I returned to Los Angeles, Miscavige listened to the recording and then directed that I set up a settlement meeting with the Aznarans in Dallas. He gave me very explicit instructions. I was sent back to Dallas with Miscavige lieutenant, and RTC staff member, Mike Sutter and met with Richard and Vicki Aznaran in a suite in the Adolphus hotel…”

    Well, that is the proverbial nail in the coffin. The court (has to) may indeed decide to depose and/or subpoena Dave to testify!

    As to the Texas courts ruling if Dave Miscabage is the direct leader of everything $cientology Inc. and what the cherch does or does not do: based on Chris Guider and Mike Rinder legal statements, Davey runs $cientology as supreme leader and Davey has indeed had substantial doings in Texas. Leaving the court to decide that Dave must be deposed and/or testify in the case of Monique Rathbun, hopefully.

    Chris Guider:
    ” I saw, first-hand, Captain David Miscavige as the highest ranking Sea Org
    member going by the title of the Chairman of the Board RTC direct and run on a
    day in and day out basis staff and executives ofRTC, CSI (Including Commodore
    Messenger Organization International (CMOI), Senior Executive Strata,
    Commodore’s Messenger Gold (CMO Gold), Golden Era Productions (Gold)),
    Author Services Incorporated (ASI) and Church of Spiritual Technology (CST).
    He had each of the heads of these corporations and organizations reporting to him
    either directly (usually) or with one of his RTC staff forwarding the information or
    compliance to his dictates and orders. While I was staff in his office it was my job
    to chase up on his orders and handle any non-compliance with the executive or
    staff member involved. The amount of orders issued by David Miscavige were in
    the thousands and they covered everything from rejects on sound mixes for tapes
    and music, to large re-organization projects, to the color of paint used on
    renovations, to organization designs or in the case of CST very expensive titanium
    containers to preserve Scientology materials in the case of a nuclear disaster.”

    That places Dave Miscabage at the head of *everything*. Depose him/ call him to testify.

  • That’s a great article from the Indy. It was a great article four years ago, but it’s still a great article…

    The more recent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/the-church-of-scientologys-new-145m-complex-has-generated-more-in-fundraising-than-it-cost-8950282.html went with the “the building is the tallest in Clearwater” line which I’m not sure about (someone posted a picture of the CW skyline and there was something else poking up…)

  • Noni Mause

    Hi JPC, that Independent article seems to be from 2009. Did they run further news on this case?

    • John P.

      No further news. Yes, it was an “oops” — I pulled up the article on the screen because the allegations looked interesting (and not all that likely to succeed). I’m usually careful to check the date of articles to fix exactly that, but I missed it in this case. There must have been a recent comment that re-activated the site on WWP, which is why the article popped up.

      • aegerprimo

        Oh snap.

  • Sunny Sands

    Re: not being allowed to pay for an e-meter with funds on account. I wonder if this has other implications, such as the church’s cash flow needing a boost. In this economy, this should be a strong wake-up call to those still in.

    There’s a widening gap between the haves and have nots. The haves spent the month of November at Flag out by the Ft. Harrison pool when they weren’t dining in evening attire in the tent. The have nots send their kids to the sea org slave camp, hoping they get scientology “training” for free.

    • Anonymous

      The insistence that meters be paid for with fresh monies versus monies already on account is technically not new.

      Buying things like books, course packs, meters, etc from funds on account has been frowned upon for many years, but it has always been a grey area.

      When there was still some semblance of a desire to provide a positive service experience to parishioners, it was rare that someone would be denied starting a significant course of auditor training unless they ponied up new money to buy a meter, course packs, etc. if they had sufficient advance payment funds already on account that could be debited for those items.. This varied from location to location and policy on the matter was vague and subject to interpretation.

      Most staff still WANT to provide a positive service experience to parishioners but the management atmosphere in the church is so toxic that doing so is almost impossible. Staff operate on a scale ranging from anxiety, to fear to outright terror on a daily basis because of the probability of some sort of nightmare ethics consequence from just about any action they take.

      Wee Davey does not understand that physically beating your billion year contracted Sea Org lieutenants into submission is different than keeping a customer base happy with service so they keep coming back.

      If he could, he would probably beat the customers too, but the closest that he’s been able to come to that so far is to scare staff into ruthlessly regging the public to the point where they just will not come around anymore. It’s a dwindling spiral of his own making.

      The “new money for new meters” thing will be upheld for as long as possible, then probably will be relented upon a bit as the pace of “sales” slows after the early adopters.

  • Eivol Ekdal

    I suspected this as soon as i saw the registration screen of the update SW. Nice to have it confirmed.
    Also reading the old patents – it is also meant to be hooked up in an auditing room so the needle info can be viewed remotely.
    Quote from Rinders post –
    “I asked if I could buy the highly-touted reads-recorder, and the answer was “no, that’s for orgs only”. I reminded myself that that was the same situation for the reads simulators in the ’90s: only orgs could have those too, restricting GAT drills and correction to orgs, and removing the possibility of drilling and correcting field auditors and mission auditors without sending them to an org.”

  • MaxSpaceman

    Dude- *Everybody* has a favicon.ico file working in their HTML code but you, John. Time to get crackin’ and get your favicon working for ya’ !!
    Image is everything. Branding is all.
    Without a favicon, you have no brand!
    (Kinda- in a way. That’ why everyone (nearly) does it.)

    • John P.

      You’re right. I lack one of the most fundamental elements of Web coolness. That is one of the things on the to do list that I haven’t been able to get to. I have an offer to help design one but haven’t been able to set down what I want in any great detail. Not sure that just shrinking the “Gordon Gekko” icon that I use on Disqus will work.

      • MaxSpaceman

        I think you should take your GG icon and reduce it to 18 x 18 pixels. It could work. It’s so distinctive at the other size. It’ll certainly be better than leaving it “blank” so to speak. Really.

      • MaxSpaceman

        I mocked one up for you (pun not intended but inescapable!)
        It’ll be fine. Get it done, bruthah. ooops wrong picture !!
        See above !!

      • MaxSpaceman

        … 18 x 18 (maybe disqus won’t show it that size, but it does work.)

      • MaxSpaceman

        I shrunk it to 18 x 18 and sent it to what I recall your e-mail address to be.

      • Eivol Ekdal
      • Eivol Ekdal

        JP¢
        You know it makes cents…

  • N. Graham

    Little change of subject, but it was mentioned that Bare Faced Messiah will be republished by the same company that did John Sweeney’s Church of Fear. I’ve finally been able to read that one and had a few comments. Church of Fear I
    think didn’t get the notice it would have if it hadn’t come out in the same month as Jenna Miscavige’s and Lawrence Wright’s books. How many Anti-Sci books can the market support at a time? Even though I’m a librarian, I was unable to get the book through any of the usual “free” channels, meaning no library in the state had purchased it. The Wright and Miscavige book were more readily available in libraries but not Church of Fear. I ended uploading it to my Nook.

    The book did have a few flaws which I think might have hurt sales. Sweeney spends a lot of time justifying his blow-up at Tommy Davis, which when posted on YouTube by the cult got jillions of hits. I had the feeling Sweeney felt everybody was only going to buy his book so they could get the lowdown on the blowup, with Anti-Scientology being an afterthought. But even so, most of the information is interesting, especially in light of recent events.

    The book came out about a year ago, in Jan. 2013, when Leah Remini had yet to flee the church. Many of the instances are from a few years back, 2007 and on, when a special by BBC Panorama about Scientology was being compiled. So when Leah is interviewed, it is after the TC wedding so we know there must have been some doubts starting up in her then.

    Just a few years later after the BBC special, it is hard to imagine the cult ever cooperating with a documentary crew as much as they did then, providing celebrities to interview and giving guided tours of various facilities. Even though this cooperation” is given of course, they are still shown behind the scenes attempting to sabotage the documentary and dead agent John Sweeney.

    Now that the media has pretty much removed the kid gloves since the Tomkat fiasco, I doubt if there will be any cooperation at all given to any media by the cult, who no longer have even a visible spokesperson.

    Most astounding is the perspective on Mike Rinder in the cult, opposing Sweeney in finding negative information about the cult in the beginning of the book. At the end of the book, Rinder has fled the cult and meets with Sweeney and admits to all the lies and subterfuge the cult put him through. When Rinder meets Sweeney at the end of the book, Rinder is still rather soft-spoken and not real radicalized against Scientology yet. Flash to present time when Rinder has done major damage to the cult through the application of helicopter tech and it is an interesting contrast.

    The part about “Black Scientology” was especially interesting in the book but the most interesting was comparing the differences between then and now.