Possibly Helpful Advice

Finding your way after leaving the cult of Scientology

Branding your practice is more vital than you can possibly imagine

brand-design-webWhat is a Brand?
A brand is more than a symbol or a name.

It is fundamentally a promise to deliver something of value that is different from any other product or service.
The symbol or name stands for the quality of what is to be delivered.

The brand is what distinguishes a product from a somewhat similar product. The brand marks the product as different from other products because is has a unique set of characteristics and qualities.

Take the simple hamburger, for example, which generally consists of meat and other things between two buns. The following brand names deliver quite different hamburger experiences: McDonalds, Wendys, In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys, Red Robin, and Hardees.

Once you have tried all of them, you probably settled on one brand and have stuck to it ever since. You know what you are going to get when you order your favorite brand.

What about auditing or counseling in the field? What distinguishes your counseling from everyone else’s counseling? Do you have a brand name that distinguishes your service from every other service that is being offered today?

There are a number of independent counselors who have successful practices and they have created brand images like Life Enhancement Center or Life Improvement Center.
Robert Duscharme’s Clearing Technology is a well known brand in the independent field as is Hank Levin’s Clearing Technology.

There are others in the field like Dexter Gelfand and Trey Lotz who have established themselves as personal brands. People choose them because they consistently deliver unique high quality services.

In my practice, I brand what I deliver and teach as Spiritual Rescue Technology, so there is no doubt what it deals with and what results it delivers.

Broken Brands
Some people in the field are trying offer Scientology type or “standard Scientology” services. They really are oblivious to the fact that Scientology is a broken brand as far as new public is concerned.

There once was a car called the Yugo which had everything going for it when it launched, but buyers found out that it was a really bad deal. It was voted the worst car of the Millennium and has been the butt of jokes for many years. Scientology is now the Yugo of religions, due to its own actions.

Some of you who experienced consistent and mind-blowing wins in Scientology twenty and thirty years ago may find it difficult to believe that Scientology as a brand is irretrievably “broken” as far as new public is concerned. It is.

Once upon a time, Scientology delivered miracles and opened the door to personal freedom for many. Now, Scientology promises miracles and delivers intimidation and invalidation. It sells awards for a price and delivers lackluster results at high cost and imposes severe restrictions on open communication.

A brand is more than a symbol or a name. It is fundamentally a promise to deliver something of value. The symbol or name stands for the quality of what is to be delivered.
Scientology now stands for invalidation and abuse and it is a broken brand.

People who only know of Scientology from what they hear from others and read on the Internet do not distinguish between the technology of Scientology and the totalitarian regime of the Church of Scientology. The vast body of intelligent people who might benefit from Scientology know it only as a scam and a cult to be avoided.

This is a perfect example of a “broken brand”. A broken brand is an well known marketing phenomena. It happens when an organization has created an upset of great magnitude and cannot be fixed with Public Relations maneuvers or attacks and threats of suits against critics.

A brand is a “promise to deliver” and when the delivery does not match the promise, it is almost impossible to repair the upset in time to save the brand.

We were part of a group that set high expectations and then it evolved into something repressive that valued control over spiritual freedom. In fact, the technology that freed many of us has now been altered in an effort to cave us in and suppress us. That has not escaped the notice of the millions of people who use the Internet.
All of the PR and threat capabilities of the CofS are now failing to convince buyers to sign up for more services.

The brand of the Church of Scientology and of Scientology itself has been severely damaged and it will take years before independent practitioners can use the term “Scientology” and get a positive reaction from raw public.

It requires positioning away from the original brand (of Scientology) to differentiate offerings that are free of crush regging, insane ethics cycles, evaluative practices. etc. That takes a lot of work.

Ron’s Org of Switzerland and in Russia are exceptional organizations which have established a brand identity of sane organizations which deliver a workable technology based on LRH tech.

Israel’s Dror Center, in Haifa, has established itself as an organization which delivers Scientology without the additives present in Scientology Orgs today.

The term Independent Scientology seems to convey the idea of a new beginning for the tech but I do not think that brand new public will buy it. Certainly there will be some ex-Scientologists who might want to stick with the Scientology brand, but the new people I encounter want nothing to do with what Scientology now stands for.

I think the future lies with those who develop their own brands of technology that achieve the original goals that Dianetics and Scientology were supposed to achieve.

Building a Brand for your Practice
The steps are actually quite simple if you understand exchange and how important it is to creating a brand that people trust.
1. Set expectations properly
2. Promise only what you can deliver
3. Deliver what you promise
4. Completely handle any failure to meet expectations as quickly as possible to the complete satisfaction of your clients.
5. Continue to improve the quality and extent of your services so that clients will have a reason to continue using you.

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tommyj  on October 16th, 2014

Completely agree. I’ve had this same debate where you can no longer use the word scientology. Example I used is saying that “Independent scientology” is like saying “independent Neo-nazi.” Or “Independent KKK.” Businesses rely on new customers and any other fluff word added to “scientology” doesn’t change the perception of those who don’t live in the bubble.

Richard Kaminski  on October 16th, 2014

Good sense of humour, tommj 🙂 Made me think of what reaction you might get if someone handed you a business card bearing the name Bernie Madoff Jnr.

Richard Kaminski  on October 16th, 2014

Very true what you say, David. A good example is the proliferation of different names for Christian Churches.

For now, I don’t mind referring to myself as an Independent Scientologist as it gives me the opportunity to dismiss the CoS, and to somehow identify what it is I’m doing. I run a little process, people have a win and get curious and say, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic. What is it?’ or ‘Where does that come from?’ I’m duty-bound to tell them the truth, followed by a few choice words about the CoS, and making a distinction.

Outside of my time in the CoS, I’ve never actually met anyone who craves OT powers or even believes they are possible, yet virtually everyone acknowledges some kind of spiritual existence, however tentatively. Therefore, it’s easy to remain real to people, and distance myself from a racket selling absurd expectations, altered materials, services and practices which were originally, “freely tendered.”

Hence, for the time being anyway, I’m an Indie.

OldAuditor  on October 16th, 2014

Richard, there is something in what you say.
When I introduce myself as a spiritual consultant, I sometimes mention having spent years in the cult of Scientology before I left to set up an independent practice of spiritual healing without all of the cult trappings. That distances me from the cult and makes people free to ask questions if they wish.

Almost everyone I have talked to has shown negative reactions to Scientology. Positioning yourself against Scientology certainly opens the door to open conversations.

Richard Kaminski  on October 16th, 2014

‘Spiritual Consultant.’ I like that, now you’ve got me thinking. Though in truth, I’m only paddling in these waters. There’s more learning for me to do before trusting myself to go in any deeper, though I hanker for it.

I’ve learned a lot from you, David. My thumbs up to your practice, and I wish you well.

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