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Including what we found in Scientology before it became a cult
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The Reformation of the Church of Scientology Part I

The author of this piece, who goes by the pen-name StatPush, has offered us this piece to publish on our site. It’s his first submission to us; we’re hoping to see more.

A lot of discussion has occurred in the independent field about whether self-reformation is possible in the current church. For many fence-sitters, self-reformation is a preferred path. In other words, they would like to see the current church management correct itself, tossing out all of the squirrely alterations and get back to its original purposes laid out by LRH. Others feel the church is too far gone, past the point of reformation. Maybe.

In either case, left unchecked, the current church is likely to continue on its current trajectory until acted upon by some outside force. This may involve numerous legal issues, possibly criminal indictments. We may witness the loss of its cherished religious recognition in the US. Which ever way it goes, the future is not rosy.

Along this line I began considering what one would do should the church crash and burn. How would you reorganize or rebuild the church as you pick through the rubble?

These are simply my opinions, based on my experiences and observations. I realize they probably will not be popular and some may find them offensive. My intention is not to offend, but to highlight certain realities.

I think the first thing we need to consider is the role of the Sea Org in the past growth and expansion of Scientology, as well as its contribution to the corruption of the subject in recent years.  Can Scientology get by without the Sea Org?  For some, this is unthinkable; and that Scientology wouldn’t exist if it were not for the dedication and sacrifice of the Men in Blue.

Disband the Sea Org?

At the center of much of the controversy with the current church is the Sea Org (SO). Setting aside all bias, I had to ask myself “Is the SO a successful group?” and “Should it remain a group or is it even necessary?”

Formed in 1967 by LRH, the SO was supposed to consist of elite Scientologists, namely OTs. Their purpose was to: Get Ethics in on the Planet. Have they accomplished this? Granted, it’s a big goal. But, in its 45 year history, has this group made any headway to realizing its purpose?

In my 30 years I have known a great many SO members. Most are fine caring individuals who want to help bring about a better world. I have also met some out-right bastards; slimy, creepy criminal types with violent, psychotic tendencies. I have met highly skilled, capable, trained individuals, as well as naïve, uneducated robots. What was once an elite corps of OTs has devolved into a gang of teenage, pimple-faced 2nd/3rd generation Scientologists with no real-world experience, seemingly bred to simply follow orders.

This change didn’t happen overnight. I can recall in the 80s SO recruiters signing up unsuspecting Div 6 public, many of them Degraded Beings, then proudly proclaiming them to be “elite”. No, sorry, they were simply foolish enough to sign a billion year contract. In short, they would hire anybody.

Why para-military?

I’ve often wondered why LRH chose his elite organization to adopt a military structure. I’ve always assumed it was because of his naval history and experience. Even so, you could hardly look to the US Navy as being a model of efficiency. It has always been unsettling that military-styled organizations primarily specialize in the use of force, it is after all their main function. But even if they are not directly doling out blows to the enemy, military organizations are unmistakably linked to the use of force or threat of force.

It may worth noting that at the time of its formation Scientology was being subjected to intense scrutiny and attacks from many quarters. So was the “solution” that gave birth to the SO an over-the-top reaction to the events of the day? Or maybe the underlying reason was to ensure the safety of LRH, which I don’t have a problem with.

And exactly how was this newly formed Sea Org supposed to “get ethics in on the planet?” I have never heard of or seen any strategic projects or plans on how this was to come about.

Instead, almost immediately, members of the fledgling SO, were sent on missions into orgs where, by all accounts, they spread fear and terror on the staff. From my observation, this seems to be the hallmark of the SO; on a good day, social, pleasant, but with an ever present threat of terror; on a bad day, holy hell is unleashed, your worst nightmare.

Let’s face it folks, it’s pretty low-toned stuff. Very serious. To seek compliance through fear and intimidation seems to be the op basis. “Too gruesome”, “Severe Reality Adjustments” and “Face Ripping” are the sophisticated management tools of the “tough” SO member. Exactly what planet do these guys think they’re on??

I would be a bit forgiving for this style of management provided it got results, but it doesn’t. All it results in are cowed, fearful subordinates, but maybe that is the objective.

While on staff I never once received a call from an SO member asking what I needed or wanted, or what can they do to help. Instead, it’s yelling and screaming and unreal demands. The org did much better when left alone to get on with the job at hand. And to think the org actually pays them money each week for such treatment.

But you may say “What about Flag, the Mecca of Scientology? That’s run by the SO and that is the gold standard for Scientology orgs.” Okay, put it this way – I could take any wog manager and propose they manage an organization that charges upwards of $1000 per hour for their services and pays its staff $30 per week. This is a cakewalk. How could it not succeed? There is nothing SO members do, including handling of OT materials, that normal everyday civilian staff members couldn’t do.

No, I’m sorry. On an individual basis, the average SO member is a good decent being; but collectively it has become an oppressive, low-toned, delusional organization, practically the antithesis of what Scientology stands for. For they themselves have abandoned the basic principles of Scientology long ago.

The group bank and the military mindset are comfy bedfellows. The bank reacts and demands action; the military structure is well suited to comply with its rigid non-thinking, obedient command channels. This is a lethal, toxic combination. Add to this sleep deprivation and poor diet and you have SO members who exist in a chronic state of restimulation. All you need to do is put a lunatic at the top and the whole lot goes PTS.

Out-exchange

Since its inception SO members have worked long hours, often seven days a week. In exchange they have their room and board provided, training and processing and pocket change ($20-$40 per week). Most would agree for SO members the 3rd dynamic is senior to the 1st and 2nd. Ex-SO members commonly speak of working for days on end, or routinely worked on several hours sleep. Any Scientologist can tell you, training and processing is not possible on several hours sleep. So, a large portion of the exchange to the SO member never occurs.

For many SO members the exchange they get amounts to a place to sleep, some food and about 30-40 cents an hour. While I am not familiar with current berthing arrangements, but in the 80s/90s this amounted to sharing a room with eight other people. Think submarine. This is one-step above homeless.

This is a thankless job. A tremendous sacrifice where the individual forfeits himself for the group. The group is all, the individual nothing. People are disposable, simply resources to be consumed and discarded when used up.

Summary

The Sea Org, as a conceptual third dynamic, is a failure. It has introduced a level of seriousness and threat to a subject which promises personal freedom and theta. The price paid by the individual is high, while the benefit to Scientology and its adherents is low. In short, the Sea Org is toxic and unnecessary.

— written by StatPush

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10 Comments

elizabeth hamre  on October 20th, 2012

You are right my friend…and I ask, when have organizations like the SO fit into or have been required or needed on the solo Path of Self-discovery, in the attainment of Spiritual Enlightenment? Uh…never?

AnonLover  on October 20th, 2012

Wow! Bravo StatPush, this was by far the most insightful post I’ve seen on the Indie blogs. (/APPLAUSE)

Hapexamendios  on October 20th, 2012

Those are some great observations StatPush. Regarding the church reforming itself I say let it fall prey to free market principles – either they learn to openly compete by offering honest products or they sink into the abyss. As far as the Sea Org I’ve long thought that this was one of LRH’s worst ideas. It was an interesting concept that went straight to hell. While I have met Sea Org members that were uptone and admirable (Kay Rowe who recently announced her independence was one of them) they were in the minority. The majority were extremely insulated from the real world (cults will do that to you!) and weird and creepy for the most part. Ted Bragin, the notorious IAS reg, is a great example.

The only sympathy I have for the church is for the good staff members that have dedicated their lives to it and have gotten screwed. While they do bear responsibility for helping blindly create the beast I hate Miscavige for that.

Roger From Switzerland Thought  on October 21st, 2012

Very well stated.
Already in 1978 it looked like you had described it !
No love for an individual !
The Group is all. Totally contrary to KSW !

Lora  on October 21st, 2012

I spent 15 years as staff at a Class V org. We spent hours everyday answering telexes to our multiple SO seniors about program targets on completely robotic programs that had NOTHING to do with the actual production needed at our org. And even the thought of an SO mission coming into the org struck terror into the most upstat staff. We often commented to each other that if they would just leave us the F**k alone, we could get some production done that would result in valuable final products. But it never happened.

The micro-management and unreal stat demands made life a living hell for even the most dedicated staff. And the lack of ARC was the most major departure from an ideal scene. “Face-rippings” and “Severe Reality Adjustments” were the norm for almost any phone call from management. I even had a senior in the Finance Office when I was the FBO tell me that she had cognited that Class V org staff were the “public” for the CLO, and should be treated with care and concern. Unfortunately, that lasted about 2 days!

In my opinion, the SO is a failure and should be disbanded. However, it’s a moot point, since the C of $ as a whole is in the last steps of its demise.

bboy  on October 21st, 2012

Ted Bragin, mentioned in another comment by Hapexamendios, is one of those lunatic IA$ reges on the Freewinds who gouges as much as he can to fill the IA$ coffers. Ted was a musician – a horn player from New York City. He should have stayed in New York City blowing his own horn instead of blowing the IA$’s horn and destroying lives.

StatPush  on October 21st, 2012

Thanks for all comments.

@elizabeth hamre – as outpoints go, the SO is an added inapplicable with regards to planetary clearing. Simply not part of the equation.

@AnonLover – thanks.

@Hapexamendios – we’re tracking, something addressed in Part II. Re Bragin – spot on, my friend.

@Roger From Switzerland – interesting you mention 1978. From my research I peg the peak of Scn to be about 1973-4, when many orgs around the world were SH Size. I’m very interested on when things went South.

@Lora – I hear ya. I suspect most Class V org staff have similar experiences. In fact, I think it is the elephant in the room. “Management” is a complete distraction.

I hope to have Part II finished shortly.

D'Anne  on October 21st, 2012

This makes sense, StatPush. Thank you. I often wondered about the military stuff… because when I arrived at CCI in L.A. I was used to an ashram with peace, meditation and Love. Love? What’s that? :-) Don’t find much of that around C of $. Whenever someone would ask me if I wanted to join the Sea Org I would just laugh and say, that color blue is not in my color palate and I couldn’t stand wearing the same thing every day.

I have often wondered what happened to some of the nice people I have seen sell off everything and join… because I don’t see how they can ever get out. Especially those who are older. Also… after they work that hard for so little for so long… if they decide to leave my understanding is that they get a “freeloader bill” for all the services they received while in the SO. Where’s the exchange in that?

Thanks again. Great blog.

bboy  on October 21st, 2012

Very cool article too, BTW … guess I forgot to mention that earlier, heh heh!

steve  on October 26th, 2012

Good article. I tend to agree.

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