Possibly Helpful Advice

Finding your way after leaving the cult of Scientology

Confronting the issue that Scientology may be a “Broken Brand”

Some Confront Required 🙁

Those of us 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.

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.

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.

Those of us who have spent years working with the tech can easily see the difference between the workability of the tech and the oppressive environment created by the church of Scientology in its present state.

We are now a small minority in a sea of people who see only one brand and it is not something they would recommend to anyone. This situation cannot be ignored.

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 is not fixed with Public Relations maneuvers or attacks and threats of suits against critics.

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 recently voted the worst car of the Millenium and has been the butt of jokes for many years.

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 CofS 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 may require positioning away from the original brand (of Scn) to differentiate offerings that are free of crush regging, insane ethics cycles, evaluative practices. etc.
So far we have the term Independent Scientology which conveys a new beginning for the tech. I think that we also may see other terms come into use like “Free Range Scientology”.

There is a tremendous value to the tech and the big issue I see in the near future is how to differentiate what is available outside the church from the abomination that is being delivered inside the church.

I think this will be addressed through many discussions in the growing community of Independent Scientologists. One thing I am sure of is that it will not be a top-down decision.

Another thing I am sure of is that slogans will help define where we are going as they can capture an entire concept in very few words, like this:

Free Range Scientology – It’s better for you!

Number of views:1756


Virginia  on December 27th, 2009

Yes, it will be tough to clear the air around the word “Scientology”. Perhaps something different but a concept that would indicate to a broad audience….like “Life Repair”!

Maria  on December 27th, 2009

Free Spirit Ministries?
The Church of Infinite Life?
Expanded Scientology?

dmarie  on December 27th, 2009

I think that the words LRH, Scientology & Dianetics are unrepairable. Unfortunate too, because it is such a great tech. The word “Hitler” can’t be spun in a new light either. That might sound harsh but that is the hard truth. The church has ruined it. In my opinion it should have never been called a church and ran as a tax paying business in the first place.
I’m not sure what the answer would be to sort it out so it is palatable. Maybe if a freezoner repackaged it and called it something else with no traces of the dirty words. I do not think that Ron the being desires any credit, tho he does deserve it. However I think people getting better is more important.
Food for thought…. discuss….

Larry  on December 28th, 2009

I think the name needs to change completely if the cost of salvaging the broken brand is ridiculously high. Once new public have some data and some history then the current or old names (Scientology) can be mixed in. I would like to see the new name reflect the current scene. Something like “HMB Services” is a name that would be relatively meaningless to a new person (and he/she would not be repelled by it) but once some communication was established and some study and inspection followed we could say the letters stand for Hubbard, Mayo and Boswarva. Of course many others contributed to the tech so maybe the string of letters should be longer. The issue for me is that the name needs to be different.

OldAuditor  on December 28th, 2009

My own preferences lean toward something that has proved beneficial in the past, does not conjure up the idea of creating Superbeings to take over the world, and implies an open-ended application of processes to handle whatever barriers appear as life progresses.

My initial suggestions include the following subject names:

Life Repair Technologies
– all processes necessary to accomplish a desired improvement in an individual.

Organizing Technologies
– all policies and references that will improve the conditions and efficiencies of groups and organizations.

A practice might be named a Life Repair Center of (location), as has been done already.

Some practices may desire a religious orientation so Free Spirit Ministries using Life Repair Technologies might have more public appeal in their area.

Using the term Ability Center for a practice name might also appeal to prospects interested in gaining ability rather then being repaired..

Certification should be voluntary using trusted resources to build confidence in various levels of specialized certification.

I do not see this being a top-down imposition of standards. In order to survive and expand, Independent Scientologists need to develop a strong tradition of horizontal communication and develop working relationships based on verified trust and complete transparency as far as purpose is concerned.

Success stories will be the primary driver of word of mouth advertising.

Tom  on December 29th, 2009

I don’t think they are un-repairable, and I think it would be a mistake to de-couple LRH from the words “Dianetics” and “Scientology”. The “Brand” IS “broken”, no question about it. The only thing that will “fix” it is honest to goodness delivery. All “PR” is trying to do is create “word-of-mouth”. The cycle we are witnessing is that of a group trying to exist on “PR” alone, without the overhead or expense of a delivery/correction/training production facility.

That didn’t work out too well. Look at the Org Board again. It represents the actions necessary to create and exchange a product in the physical universe. If you OMIT the production steps, you get IMAGE (Div 6) collapsed into ETHICS (Div 1). Oh look! DM created a post called Deputy Commanding Officer for Ethics and Image, and even institutionalized “off-line case actions” by requiring mandatory weekly O\W writeups. (http://holysmoke.org/cos/docs/overt-withholds-writeups.txt)

Seriously. Knock off the arbitraries. Deliver or gtfo.

Thought provoking  on December 29th, 2009

The brand is tarnished but hiding behind another name just feels covert. It looks like we are trying to pull a fast one on someone. As a group, Independent Scientologist sounds just fine. As an individual practice, you can almost name it anything and then give the credit to Hubbard. Look at all of the schools that use the study tech. They have lots of different names but to my knowledge, all are upfront about it being Hubbard’s tech. Just follow the dissem drill and black pr references on an individual basis as needed.

P. Henry  on December 30th, 2009

Excellent article Old Auditor! Indeed, this subject of Scientology as a broken brand needs/demands our attention. It is a very real obstacle.

Well, you’ve given me my “meat” for the day Old Auditor. I’ll ponder on this then return later to post my thoughts.


P. Henry

John Doe Lurker  on December 30th, 2009

Great Post, OA! Vital discussion that needs to happen.

Indeed, this is a dilemma. I agree with Thought Provoking. Once a new person found out that the “Life Repair Center” was “really just Scientology” then we’d have to repair their likely (justified) feeling that they were being lied to from the get-go! The name itself must be de-villified. A daunting task considering that the actions of the current management are daily continuing to damage the brand.

IMO, the most likely avenue for brand repair is a difficult one: an honest, thorough reform, played out in public, so that a clear differentiontakes place in the minds of any potential new people that the “old church is not the same as the people practicing the LRH technology now”. And then deliver, deliver, deliver!

The good news is: the beginnings of this reform are off to a good start and gaining momentum each day.

Without new people coming in and continuing, the subject will wind down in a generation or two.

P. Henry  on December 30th, 2009

JDL, I agree. “An honest thorough reform played out in the public, so that a clear differention [sic] takes place in the minds of any potential new people tha the ‘old church is not the same as the people practicing the LRH technology now'”

Public announcements such as this (just printed today), will help:


P. Henry  on December 31st, 2009

I don’t know about any of you but I receive at least five emails a day from various church/org terminals. What if we replied to these with this:

“What in the hell is the meaning of this!?

Three of Scientology’s elite parishioners keep faith, but leave the church

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Thursday, December 31, 2009

They advanced to the Church of Scientology’s highest spiritual level, to “Operating Thetan VIII,” a vaunted realm said to endow extraordinary powers of perception and force of will.

But Geir Isene of Norway and Americans Mary Jo Leavitt and Sherry Katz recently announced they were leaving the church, citing strong disagreements with its management practices.


Think doing this might just cause a bit of ruckus? I do.


The next gradient. Strike while “the iron is hot.” A few Snr church exes going rogue is, on the big picture, not that big of deal. It is a common place occurrence on this planet among churches, corporations, governments, etc., and it can be easily nullified. But, when top parishoners of CoS announce very publicly that, while not leaving their religion, they have left their church and tell why….well, then this different. Has a much larger imapact. This will not be so easy to nullify.

So, while the “iron is still hot”, what would be the impact if at least a thousand Independent Scientologists were to, within 72 hrs or so, email the SPT. And in this email they were to give a brief account of their connection to CoS, a statement of their disconnection from their former church and a photo of themselves?

The guys at SPT would have a field day with this. Because this would signify that there was a MOVEMENT! And those who are still ‘in’ would no longer be able to turn their heads from looking at the other side.

This is an incredible opportunity to put this story out into the public arena and it would communicate that there is a difference between Scientology and the Church of Scientology. And I think that this would be most helpful in the process of restoring the brand. However, for something like this to work, it would rfequire the bulk of the independent scn agreeing to do it and then doing it.

Snowhite  on January 13th, 2010

I have seldom laughed so much in my life, reading these crazy posts here…!

Leave a Comment