THE SCIENTOLOGY BELIEFS
In order to understand the Scientology beliefs, we first need to understand the concepts of ‘Dianetics’ – the precursor to Scientology. The central idea of Dianetics is that traumatic memories are the source of many of the problems which affect us today. These memories can be stored in a portion of our brain which L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, dubbed the ‘Reactive Mind’. Such stored memories are called ‘Engrams’.
Hubbard claimed that such ‘engrams’ may become ‘restimulated’, thereby causing a person to behave irrationally. Through the process of ‘Dianetic Auditing’, a process whereby a series of questions are asked to the person undergoing auditing, Hubbard attempted to relieve the charge possessed by these engrams in order to reduce their influence. Successfully relieving the charge of all their engrams would render a person ‘Clear’ – a person in control of their own mental energy.
However, Dianetics only rids your physical body of engrams. The ‘thetan’, which Hubbard described as being you and is aware of being aware, has also accumulated engrams throughout its immortal existence. Scientology auditing, which involves a device known as the ‘E-Meter’, aims to relieve the thetan of its engramic charge.
THE MONEY ASPECT
All courses within the Scientology organisation, bar two, have a price attached. The two free courses teach you how to sell Scientology to others. Prices for courses and materials start from as low as €15 for a book or €25 for an extension course and can rise to as high as tens of thousands of euro for advanced courses like the New OT IV & New OT V (see sample advertising material overleaf).
People who are unable to afford these prices can sometimes join the organisation’s staff to receive courses for free. In practice this is often a means for the organisation to obtain free/cheap labour. This will be described in the experiences of some of the conference speakers.
Reaching the very highest level within the Scientology organisation, the OT8 level, costs hundreds of thousands of euro. The pressure placed upon members to purchase courses and materials, as well as to make donations to Scientology-related entities such as the International Association of Scientologists, is intense. The following extract, taken from the Church of Scientology International Management Bulletin No. 108 titled “What is Life Worth? The Importance of Hard Sell” illustrates the management approach:
The most successful orgs have very hard selling registrars. They apply the LRH data in the new Hard Sell pack and they are experts in Big League Sales Techniques.
The top registrars on the planet sell more services and get more people up The Bridge in one week, than others (who do not know and apply the LRH Hard Sell data and Big Leagues Sales) do in a whole year.
And this is not just a question of making money, it is a question of getting public contacted and onto and up The Bridge. The registrar can make all the difference applying LRH Tech on Hard Sell.
The thing to do is:
- Get a copy of the Hard Sell Pack to all your registrars and have them read it and USE it on post.
- Implement daily drilling of Hard Sell for all registrars and call-in personnel.
- Read quotes from the Hard Sell Pack to all staff at staff musters.
- Get your registrars trained in Big League Sales using LRH ED 236 INT REGISTRATION PROGRAM NO 2.
- Cram anyone who fails to sell by being soft sell or not applying Big League Sales.
- Get your registrars regularly briefed on Tech wins and the rave results of auditing and training in your org. And keep them briefed on the services your org delivers.
- Keep the cases of your registrars and dissemination personnel flying. Their hard selling depends on their own reality.
- Get more registrars and train them in Hard Sell and Big League Sales.
THE PTS/SP CONCEPT
According to Hubbard a ‘Suppressive Person’, or SP for short, is anyone who seeks to damage Scientology or Scientologists by suppressive acts. Anyone associated with an SP is a ‘Potential Trouble Source’ (PTS for short).
The concept of an SP serves two important functions within the Scientology organisation. Firstly, it acts as a thought stopper when members encounter criticism directed at the organisation. Secondly, the SP concept provides a source of blame for when claims of the organisation fail to match the results of what is actually delivered.
This concept is the basis of the organisation’s extreme hostility towards its critics and ex-members who expose it.
Probably the most well-known outcome of the PTS/SP concept is that of disconnection. Family members and friends who express criticism of the organisation are deemed to be suppressive. Members often receive coaching on how to ‘handle’ such family and friends, in some cases being pressured into disconnecting (i.e. to cease all contact) from them altogether.
Real-life examples of these practices will be described by the conference speakers. In one Irish example a family have had no contact with their loved one since being disconnected in January 2002. In some cases the threat of disconnection is used a blackmail tool. One Irish example features a member who was being pressured to buy a course costing €3,000. This member was told that the reason she was unable to afford the course may be due to her mother being a suppressive influence.
From the 1983 policy letter titled ‘PTSness and Disconnection’:
To fail or refuse to disconnect from a suppressive person not only denies the PTS case gain, it is also supportive of the suppressive-in itself a Suppressive Act.
Whether it is through their Free Stress Test, through leading questions or through their Personality Test, the aim in each case is the same – to find a ‘ruin’ that can be used to get potential members to buy books and courses. A ruin is an insecurity or psychological button that can be used against a person to make that person think they need Scientology.
Examples of ruins that are codified into the organisation’s recruitment policy can be seen on the next page. The following extract from the 1960 policy titled ‘New Testing Promotion Section’ is illustrative of these ideas:
Remarks that “Scientology can improve this or that characteristic” or “Auditing can remedy that” or “Processing can change this” or “Training can stabilize that” should be used repeatedly during the evaluation for the sake of impingement.
A clever evaluator can surmise such things as domestic grief, trouble with possessions, etc., much more easily than a fortune teller.
THE SEA ORGANIZATION
The Sea Organization (or Sea Org or SO for short) is the inner core of the Scientology organisation, and where the most extreme abuses of the organisation occur – including 100-hour work weeks and coerced abortions (pregnancy gets in the way of work). Members commit to the SO by singing a billion-year contract (you can see this contract overleaf).
Ex-members of the SO will share their experiences of these abuses at the conference. A free copy of “The Complex”, a book written by an Irish ex-member sharing his two decades of experiences within the Sea Organization, will be provided to all attendees at the conference.