Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The Decline (and Probable Fall) of the Scientology Empire

My talk from January 19, 2013 to the National Capitol Area Skeptics is now online!

Thanks very much to the NCAS for professionally recording and editing this video.

I've included some notes and comments below.

  • 0:50 & 42:29 "Advanced Teachings" available at all Advanced Orgs are up to OT V. Advanced Orgs can deliver through OT V; OT VI & VII can only be obtained at the Flag Service Organization (FSO) in Clearwater, FL, and OT VIII can only be obtained on Scientology's cruise ship, the Freewinds. See:
  • 8:01 German U-boat -- I should have said Japanese submarine
  • 9:14 Photo is often claimed to be from 1968 but is really from 1959-60, so Cleve Backster probably wasn't the source of Hubbard's claim, as I originally said in the talk (also see my previous blog post on this topic).
  • 10:53 Aleister Crowley is pronounced "crow-lee," not "craugh-lee" (I have apparently have not broken a bad habit of following Ozzy Osbourne's pronunciation).
  • 13:59 the Fraser Mansion, though referred to by Scientology as the "founding church" from the 1970s to 2010, wasn't the original building. The original building, at 1812 19th St. NW, is now a museum called the L. Ron Hubbard House (though his house was across the street), which the church acquired in 2004. The Fraser Mansion is now Scientology's National Affairs Office.
  • 14:11 The first use of the name "Church of Scientology" was by the Church of Scientology founded in Camden, N.J. in Dec. 1953; the first Church of Scientology corporation was in Los Angeles (Feb. 1954, which became the Church of Scientology of California in 1956), the Church of Scientology of Arizona was incorporated that same year. Hubbard's organization while he lived in Phoenix was the Hubbard Association of Scientologists, International (HASI), founded in Sep. 1952. All HASI assets were folded into the Church of Scientology of California in 1966.
  • 31:07 "Division 20" should have been "Department 20."
  • 32:43 "bad status" -- Scientology "conditions" are a scale, like the tone scale, that your "ethics" are in, which are positive or negative. For each condition there is a "conditions formula" you are supposed to apply to get to the next better condition. Those assigned to the RPF are put in a condition of "liability" (the rag on arm mentioned is a sign of the condition of liability). See:
  • 41:07 PIs following the Broekers--mainly Pat Broeker; after one apparent attempt to leave (described in Lawrence Wright's book, Going Clear), Annie Broeker remained in Scientology until her death. Tony Ortega describes the testimony of the two PIs, who spoke out for one day before their lawsuit with Scientology was settled:
  • 43:22 Lawrence Wright's book says that "Int Base" and "Gold Base" are two different bases at the same location; "Int" being the international headquarters and "Gold" named after Golden Era Studios.
  • 1:05:35 "dog was drowned" -- Judge Swearinger's dog, Duke, a miniature collie, drowned, it's not certain that it "was drowned."
  • 1:07:10 "unable to attend uncle's funeral" -- Hubbard died on January 24, 1986; the Challenger explosion was January 28, 1986.
  • 1:17:43 St. Louis Ideal Org.  The pictured Masonic Temple is not the St. Louis Ideal Org, which is still under construction. (Thanks to ThetanBait on YouTube for this correction.)
  • Narconon's drug purification program involves vitamin (esp. niacin) megadoses, but "injections" is not correct.


Alan said...

Saw your last presentation in town, and was great seeing it again with the updates. I think you got better questions this time, too. Thanks for posting this.

-- Alan

nolandda said...

Excellent history and projections. Thanks Jim.