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Is Scientology actually EXPANDING?

Discussion in 'Other Locations' started by Vittorio, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. Vittorio

    Vittorio Patron Meritorious

    I posted a thread in here on Ideal Orgs initially thinking that I would have a fairly balanced thred showing that these extravagant show pieces were nothing more than that and empty. However, per reports and my own witness accounts not to mention statistical birthday game data (my source for this has since dried up), it seems that these Orgs seem to fair far better than the rest (excluding a few).

    Having the opportunity to visit London Org on a week where it earnt something along the line of 35 birthday points, I could see the level of production. Knowing that there was a lot of Orgs beneath it on the list, it confirmed in my mind that a lot of Orgs internationally were not very busy or 'dead', but there was a cluster that were really thriving.

    I think Scientology is growing- though not massively. When I was 'in' (which was for longer than most of you could bear, except those who did bear it) I would hear reports from critics who would state 'the Org is dying, I give it another year' when in fact the Org was doing reasonably well! There comes a point where someone has been out of Scientology for so long, they really don't know what is going on inside.

  2. Zinjifar

    Zinjifar Silver Meritorious Sponsor

    I doubt that there's any overall 'growth', but, I think there is a lot of 'redistribution' and centralization, with 'centers' like Clearwater, LA, London SH etc. parasitizing the 'outer' orgs.

    There may be *some* growth in e-europe and maybe even Taiwan, but I suspect that's about it.

    I'd be interested in seeing *real* stats about how many 'new' Scientologists there are, since my impression is that almost all youth involvement is from 2nd, 3rd and even 4th generation kids, but, the 'Church' being what it is, we're about as likely to see 'truth in stats' as we are to see 'truth in advertising'.

  3. Pooks


    I don't know if I'm uploading this graph correctly or not.

    But that url has the graph I want to discuss.

    Those stats are really the only outside numbers available for the critics and
    Scientologists alike.

    Hopefully, Kristi will update them so we know if any expansion is occuring or not.

    Patty P

    Attached Files:

  4. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat


    That graph looks exactly right.

    It parallels very much what went on in the SO sector at least.
  5. The Oracle

    The Oracle Gold Meritorious Patron

    It's a relative question, about the expansion.

    Scientology was booming until the early 80's, the Orgs and Mission were nice places to go to study, meet nice people. A person could go clear for 5,000.00. There were no ethics issues really.

    It was just interesting and fun.

    I know there was a need for the Sea Org in the beginning, but frankly I think the Sea Org started being a liability to Scientology when DM took over a wiped out the mission network.

    I think Scientology as a movement with Orgs and missions would have done much better without the Sea Org meddleing oon street level.

    Even now they don't belong on street level except for the service orgs.

    Anything on the street is an "external influence".

    They made opening a mission impossible with a 40,000.00 price tag, except for a very few. In the old days you could open up your livingroom and bring in the neighborhood, that was a mission.

    If the study tech works then anyone in any org doing a staff course from the green vols knows the same a Sea Org member does about it and can control their posts without the constant "managment" and "ethics threats".

    Except for the staff in service orgs delivering training and auditing, the Sea Org is giant police force to tax people.

    I don't think Scientology is in the expansion mode it once was in.

    There are only three things you can do, lead, obey and pay.

    People don't like to be boxed into obey and pay as options.

    This doesn't discount the work the auditors at Flag have done, but the entire Sea Org rides on their backs.

    I think the Scientology would be in a better expansion if the Sea Org did not exist.

    Sorry for the SRA.

    If this movment even survives it will be because of grass roots people in the Freezone.

    The people at the top went into treason, they treated the staff then like they couldn't be trusted, even to take a walk alone!

    More ethics more rules more justice....

    It just bought the entire organization into a state of liability.

    Because of Scientology I can understand it all and confront it and understand it.

    I can give it a good ack and move on.

    That doesn't invalidate the whole picture, in fact, it makes it all too simple and understandable.

    The Sea Org is a liability for the Scientology expansion.

    It would have to get up to danger to even change it's operating basis, which would mean one hell of a re org.

    I don't see that happening in a fast way.

    I sit back and understand how fragile something can be in this section of the universe.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
  6. Vittorio

    Vittorio Patron Meritorious

    Illusioness, nice post and some excellent points there.

    I agree about the old Missions and Orgs. More uptone, fun, friendly, inviting and then they were crushed and a lot of the top staff members cleared out.

    Most of Scientologys activitys look quite short term, but seem effective at bringing money in and keeping the show chugging along (the IAS for example).

    If the Org is not a fun, safe place to be, then many people will not be comfortable there. A lot of the places where Scientology thrives (Taiwan, Milan, Johannesburg, Madrid) is away from 'uplines' and are in communities which have a lot of character and are not overwhelmingly middle class/conservative.

    London Org is not on a busy street, is seperated from Saint Pauls by several old London side streets (hence no foot traffic). If you turn left from London Org you have a small number of very large office blocks, a street which is not busy with foot traffic and very hard to cross, at the end is a very busy intersection which does not overspill into QV St. If you go right, the streets pace picks up as you get closer to Blackfriars. As most of the staff are in this new building, all-hands Div 6 activities are rare. This 'spread I believe is a disadvantage'. London Org needs to be on a busy street and seen to be doing altruistic activities in it's community if it is to be excepted and if it is to expand.


    OHTEEATE Silver Meritorious Patron


    Patti, Thanks for the graph. You can see the peak when OT 8 was released, and all the comps on 7 were coming through for set up on 8, and it all died down after that. Flag was doing 2.5 million GI in July 2005 when we left.
    The membership stat is always falsified. 8 or 10 million is a joke. The actual, current IAS PAID membership is the only real membership stat, and that is available from any issue of Impact. Just add up all the categories, and add a few thousand for the die hards who refuse to buy a lifetime, and there is your true number of Scientologists worldwide. Oh, and make sure all the SPs are deleted. Like me, my wife, and all the other Patrons who are now in the FZ, or dead, or declared. As to growth, I don't have a clue, as I have not been to an event in two years.
    The latest push at FSO in 2005 was to recycle 30% of the OT 7's and tell them "hey, we're sorry, you're not Clear after all, so we need you to pay $100,000 and do this special "Advanced Program" which is very hush hush, don't tell anyone". After the GI was over from this one, they realized they better get some Bridge flow going, and get some OT 4's up to FSO for OT 5 and 6. Tres Imbeciles!
  8. Vittorio

    Vittorio Patron Meritorious

    It is very hard to measure members. The best way I suppose, would be to look at Div 4 public who receive magazines such as Advance and Source. I never had a membership and I can think of many die-hards who didn't have one either due to financial problems. Central files is also another place which can be look at. I would estimate that there is around 700,000. Including staff, I would estimate around 3,500 in the East Grinstead sprawl, maybe as many as 4,500. The UK probably has around 10,000 people who consider themselves members of Scientology. London I would estimate at around 1,000 with many choosing to be onlines at Saint Hill or Flag instead of London Org.

    Italy and Switzerland have a high number, as does Russia.

    Crappy estimates like there are only 10,000 is false data from people like J.Swift who were never in Scientology.

    The 8 million figure, or whatever it is now is more than likely based on anyone who has ever done a course or taken one of those free memberships- combining that data with actual memberships. Maybe the HASI data is knocked on top as well.
  9. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    It depends what you are measuring. The number on a mailing list or in CF don't measure much except the number of pieces of mail that get sent out. I worked in SH Dissem for a few years in the mid-70s, and was also FBO for a few years. I often wondered what lived at the addresses we were sending mail out to. For instance, there was once an address list of a thousand or so (on metal plates at the time) from 1968 labelled "reaches". This wasn't even people who had bought a book once, but just a collection of names and addresses--maybe it came out of the phone book. Some FOLO mission recategorized them as "bookbuyers", so they got the Auditor Mag six times a year. Waste of money. The duplicate, triplicate and more mailings people get are legendary--stories about :shark: mailing lists and how it is impossible to get off them even when you die abound.

    When I had access to figures in the HGB in the 90s I noted that:

    1. The number of people who accepted some big amnesty, where there was a lot of push to get all Scn public to do it, was around 30,000.

    2. The number of people who went to events internationally was around 30-35,000.

    3. The number of IAS members was in that same ball-park.

    At the time I figured that to be the number of "active Scientologists", people not necessarily on a course but at least they were still interested enough to take part to some extent.

    Note that the number of people on the international magazine mailing list, held at FB by combining all the address lists of all the orgs, was near the million mark. I don't know how good they were at deleting duplicates.

    Figures I have seen since posted on the Internet, such as numbers of IAS members as stated by ex-IAS people, are comparable. There's a page on Lerma's site on the subject, including government census data, with similar figures. For rough estimates, it doesn't really matter if there are 30,000 or 60,000.

    I would be surprised if more than 100,000 people worldwide call themselves Scientologists, even if ten times that number of names get junk mail from the :shark:.

  10. Vittorio

    Vittorio Patron Meritorious

    I still get the junk mail. My name was probably in the central files of about a dozen Orgs and I would often get letters asking me do stuff I had done long before from some clueless folder in some backwater Org where I once purchased a book. My name is purged everywhere else.

    I had a brilliant opportunity to get hold of a copy of the that Impact magazine not too long ago and my attention wandered elsewhere. It has a full list of donors and pictures of all the new Ideal Orgs planned.

    The files would be useful for reviewing receipts to see who is on services. Saint Hill and London have the most enormous Central Files I have ever seen- however there was more than the Org could hold- so the same several thousand received the monthly letter of 'have you read Dianetics- thank you, Shirley' or 'I would recommend reading fundamentals of thoughts next ARC Lucy'. Stat pushing stuff that is knocked out at 10:30 after staff meeting.
  11. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    Gross Income Senior Datum

    What always used to annoy the hell out of me when I was on finance lines was the robotic adherence to that silly PL "Gross Income Senior Datum". If I remember it correctly, the senior datum was THE SIZE, NOT THE QUALITY, OF AN ORG'S MAILING LIST AND THE NUMBER OF LETTERS AND MAILINGS TO IT DETERMINE THE GROSS INCOME OF THE ORGANIZATION. This broad, sweeping generalization, covering all Scientology organizations everywhere for the rest of eternity, came from ONE test Hubbard did in 1964 at one org (Washington DC?) over a period of a month or two.

    In 1974 I was the Flag Banking Officer at Saint Hill, and the Dir Comm, Robin Bonner, was trying to get a Rush Purchase Order through to send out some silly mailing to get his stats up, and he had attached a graph showing the org's Gross Income (GI) stat for the past year and the org's Bulk Mail Out (BMO) stat for the past year. He casually waved at some peaks on each graphs to prove his point. I sat him down and compared the peaks to him. Yes, once the GI peaked 4-6 weeks after the BMO peaked, exactly per the PL. (Note the the main BMO was the Auditor Mag, which went out roughly every two months to about 50,000 addresses, and every other two months to about 25,000, so there was roughly one peak a month. There were also about 25,000 Advance Mags every few months, but irregularly). However, the next time the BMO went out the GI peak was a week before, and the next BMO peak had the GI peak two weeks later, and so on. In other words, there was no obvious cause/effect relationship visible on those graphs at all. Well, one real causal relationship was sometimes that a good GI meant there was enough postage money to send the mag out at last, which had been waiting for money, but that relationship was a BMO peak one week after or the same week as a GI peak.

    One part of the annoyance was that, apart from the lack of a causal relationship between mailings and GI, there were boxes and boxes of returned mail unhandled stacked up in Addresso, i.e. much of the postage money was being wasted in sending mail to bad addresses. And things like admin supplies, food/pay/utility costs were being cut off the weekly Financial Planning (FP) because of this SENIOR DATUM that everyone knew would magically cause money to fall from the heavens, even though the people mainly benefitting from the mailings were the Post Office. It was lunacy. The only thing guaranteed to get through FP was postage money and money for reg phone calls.

  12. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    that "30,000" limit seems to come up an awful lot. It seems to be the "roundabout" figure that comes up when physical gatherings are added up.

    That tallies with what I remember

    Now this was true when I left in 89. Not at all sure where it would stand today.

    I think your overall figure - 100K - is a fair summation. One of the things I have found in discussing the figures with those who still believe is that Scientologists seem to assume that their own area is not typical.

    One of my favorite examples is Milan Org - winner of the Birthday game gawd knows how many times, always "known" in Europe as one big org. I wa there in 79 and 80 and it was, indeed a bustling place. No doubt about it.

    But if you look at what they have reported as their stats - half of Milan are Scientologists. No joke. But they still get the same sized crowds for their events as they did in 1980 - around a thousand.

    Or take LA (please...) - the Shrine holds, IIRC, around 6700. Lulu can provide better background than I on the size of crowds in LA but trying to fill the Shrine was a real pain - even for the "Hubbard is Dead and Gone" event. But if we count the entirety of the SO presence and all the public , what - maybe 12,000 all told? After 50 years of work, promotion, missions, more missions, even more missions and that's about it?

    The numbers after LA drop off dramatically - CW is the next largest concentration - approximately 5,000 on a good day. The next largest is Copenhagen maybe, if you were generous 3,000 and I could name most of them.. It's a pathetically small amount.

    Another good exercise is to compare the CofS to the LDS which also says it has 10 M members. How many Mormons do you meet compared to Scentologists? - I live in Denver, Colorado, I have yet to meet a Scientologist but I have met plenty of Mormons.

    So I guess the m ost honest answer to "is it expanding" is "no-one knows because no-one actually has an honest answer of how many there are to begin with".
  13. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    Central files is absoutely the worst way to estimate the numbers of Scientolgists. As dulloldfart said, besides the incredible number of duplicate names, bad addresses, people in CF who are dead or out of Scientology, there is the "New Names to CF" stat push to consider. Good chance a lot of those names in CF came from the phone book.

    Hate to break it to you, but 10,000 is a lot closer to the real figure than 700,000.

    OHTEEATE Silver Meritorious Patron


    Vittorio, yeah, I'm telling you I have given this a lot of thought because this is a persistent lie that is easily exposed. Impact magazine is the key to an easy count of active Scientologists. You could sit down and count all the entries, then take out all the names YOU KNOW are no longer members, declared, expelled, dead, etc. and get a few of us to do the same, and you've got a ballpark figure. I know the lifetimes are not in there. It is still around 100,000 max. I tend to agree the probable figure is closer to 70,000. Boy are those 70,000 getting squeezed to the last drop. If an ex-IAS person who knows the actual international figure would come out of "lurk" for a second and spill the number, it would be nice.
  15. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    I don't think it's that high. I'd be surprised if it was 50,000.

    30,000 sounds more accurate to me.

    And what about how many of the 70,000 or 50,000 or whatever are "secretly" out? The ones who haven't actually been on a meter in eons? The ones who have to be dragged to events, if they go at all? The ones who have been "mid-KTL review" for 10 years?

    When I was in the SO, easily half the public I knew of were in this category. Maybe more.

    God knows how much worse it is now.
  16. Dulloldfart

    Dulloldfart Squirrel Extraordinaire

    What exactly are these figures estimates of? "Number of Scientologists" is not really accurate enough. What is a "Scientologist"?

    "Someone still alive who has finished at least one regular course at an org or mission"?

    "Someone who has at least bought a Scientology book"?

    "Someone who has at least read one whole chapter of a Scn book"?

    "Someone who considers themselves a Scientologist, irrespective of whether they have done any auditing or training recently"?

    "Someone who has completed some paid service at an org or mission in the past two years"?

    "Someone who has attended a Scn event or visited their local org or mission in the past two years"?

    Re the above, are we talking just churchies, or FZers/indies too? And where do you draw the line on indies? I don't think Alan considers himself a Scientologist, for instance, but I'm sure he'll correct me if he does.


    I would imagine "Active Scientologist" would have to include "someone who considers themselves a Scientologist", and in this thread we are discussing the :shark: and churchies, not FZers or indies. There doesn't have to be an agreed-upon definition, but remember we might not all be talking about the same concept, especially as one might not have thought it through. I didn't. I just gaily used "number of active Scientologists" as if everyone knew what we were talking about. I was thinking along the lines of someone supporting the :shark: in some way, whether by being an IAS member, or accepting an amnesty, or going to an org event. I hadn't thought about others, not in the above categories, reading books at home, maybe auditing their friends or cats, or whatever else might still fall under the description of "active".

  17. Bea Kiddo

    Bea Kiddo Crusader

    One time I called my brother to say hi. He answered the phone with "we're all confirmed". At first, I did not know what he was talking about.

    He told me they call him ALL DAY LONG before the event to confirm. He wouldn't even bother to say hello anymore. Funny thing is he was not going to the event and would lie rather than get into an argument with them about it.


    In a way I am glad I was a techie and did not get involved in some of that other crazy stuff going on, especially with events and regging and recruitment. Crazy stuff.
  18. barky

    barky Patron with Honors

    LOL! Priceless! Thankfully, there are some goofy things that we can laugh about now.

    I always felt so badly for call-in folks. Luckily I never had to do much of that myself (not entirely sure how I managed to avoid it ...)

    OHTEEATE Silver Meritorious Patron


    Lulu belle, Exactly. Here is a good example. You probably have heard the number 10,000 thrown out as the number of Scientologists in Clearwater. Try to get 500 of them on a right now, this minute ordered by COB course. Good luck. Mike
  20. Lulu Belle

    Lulu Belle Moonbat

    This is some of the information I do know about "membership numbers".

    One way that management figures out "counts" of "members" (besides someone pulling it out of their butt) is that they add up the cumulative addresso lists of all the orgs.

    The problem is that all of the orgs have horrible lists. They include tons of duplicates, bad addresses and people who have actually never done a Scientology service.

    I don't know where they get a lot of these names. If someone gets dragged to a "free seminar" they wind up on the list. If they take a "stress test" and Scientology gets their name and address, they wind up on the list. If someone buys a book, they wind up on the list. If you have an over zealous Div 6 person trying to get the "New Names to CF" stat up, they probably come from the phone book.

    Additionally, these people wind up on other org mailing lists. If a person does a service at more than one org (very common) they will be on both lists.

    To make matters worse, the SO orgs get the lists of the lower orgs and adds them onto their mailing lists. The Auditor Mag (put out by the Saint Hill orgs), for instance, has a major and minor issue. The minor issue is supposed to go to everyone. All bookbuyers, etc. So, ASHO gets all these names.

    Then "central addresso" in middle mangement gets all the names from AO and ASHO and Flag and all the lower orgs. By this time a guy can already be on 8 org mailing lists; some on there 3 or 4 times because of duplicates and bad addresses. So, central addresso gets the name 8 times. Much of the time the duplicates are not filtered out.

    That's where you get this crazy stuff of a guy getting 4 copies of the Auditor mag and mail from 8 different orgs.

    Scientology often uses the total number on the Central Addresso list as the "number of active Scientologists". It's complete bullshit. If 10% of that list were actual valid non duplicated names of "active Scientologists" I'd be surprised.

    Numbers of Clears is another one. I remember once Marc Yager walked into one of the SO orgs and asked about how many Clears there were. Int Management had no idea. The way the original "tracking system" of Clears was done (giving out Clear numbers in blocks to the orgs) made keeping an actual count of them pretty much impossible.

    The US list was never more than about 7,000 tops. And even this probably included a lot of bad identities.

    All this stuff would come from management about "30,000 Clears in the field". We would scratch our heads and wonder where the other 20 something odd thousand went.

    Anyone who has worked in an org knows that, of all the weaknesses in the orgs, admin and filing is the weakest. So, it's not really too surprising how much of a mess this subject is.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2007