Ask a Question

The old Ask a Question thread has gotten quite large and unwieldy.  It’s still there and has some great questions, but please put any new questions into this thread.

I’m serious.  All questions and suggestions are welcome.

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224 Responses to Ask a Question

  1. Just Bill says:

    Re: Super Power BuildingThere are several reasons Miscavige can't complete the Super Power Building. First, he can't deliver Super Power — there are parts of the rundown that just can't be delivered to the public. If he "finishes" the Super Power building, people will expect Super Power to be delivered.Lately, he's been calling it "Flag Annex" and "Flag Mecca". If he can get people to forget the original fund-raising name for the building, maybe he could complete it.But the second reason is they can't afford it. The cost of running the building, power, air-conditioning, etc. far outstrips Flag's ability to pay. The collapse of Flag has made the Super Power building too costly to run.The building was originally started to draw attention away from the Lisa McPherson fiasco, and was continued because it made money like nothing else. Free money, since Miscavige didn't have to deliver any services in return.I am sure this is what gave Miscavige the idea for the "Ideal Orgs" scam — lots of free money for Miscavige on buildings he then owns. Super Power really was the first "Ideal Org" scam.

  2. Anonymous says:

    When you were still adjusting to being out of the church, how did you feel when you realized that the leadership of the CoS was really petty and incompetent?

  3. Just Bill says:

    Re: Incompetent church leadershipActually, I left the church because the leadership of the Church of Scientology was really petty and incompetent.

  4. Anonymous says:

    On another blog, the question of "neutrality" came up, as used in the Berkeley Psychic Institute (whose founder had studied Scientology), and it rang a bell with me. Do you recall anything about "taking a neutral stance" toward phenomena as relating to spiritual gains?To clarify, my understanding of the term as BPI used it was kind of like obnosis–not allowing the ego, shall we say, to make any judgements/assumptions, but perceiving what is in front of one and what is obvious.I probably have both terms bass-ackwards. It's a long time ago!

  5. Just Bill says:

    Re: No assumptions regarding Scientology gainsIf I'm understanding what you are asking, I'd have to say that Scientology practices the direct opposite of what you describe.The concept of "obnosis" is not ever directed at Scientology results.In Scientology, there is the presumption of "fantastic gains" from every aspect of Scientology. As an example, on the completion of a level, the preclear is expected to immediately attest to all the abilities that Scientology promised for that level — before the preclear has gone out, tested and found for himself that he has (or doesn't have) those "abilities". Then, when he finds out he really doesn't, it's too late, it's his fault — he "attested" he did have those abilities.In Scientology, there is absolutely no attitude of "let's see what really did happen". There is no testing, no inspection and no verification. In Scientology, all gains and benefits are automatically assumed to have happened, no matter what the real results were.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi, Bill.After about 60 years in Scientology and Dianetics I will be asking along with other family members for monies back from the Flag Service Organization, Flag Accommodations (Housing) and Ship's Project (Freewinds OT 8 and 9). My portion will be in the six digits range. Another family member will be in the forty thousand dollar range. Another will be about six digits.I have read extensively on line and will do the standard reminder to the Church of the 1993 IRS Agreement regarding IRS Form 1023 and the usual declaration that their failure to issue a prompt refund as per this IRS agreement will result in the Church's having to deal with our attorney/collection agency or Scientology Pay Back Organization. I will also mention that a letter will be sent to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee in Washington, DC which would want to know if the Church were not living up to the IRS agreement.Any other suggestions? I would fax the data to each of the three: Flag Service Organization, Flag Accommodations and Ship's Project as the online recommendations to send the demands certified mail or any other way requiring a signature will not work as Church policy does not allow them to receive these types of communication requiring signatures.The usual practice of the Church is to simply ignore requests/demands like this.Thanks for any recommendations or references you can give me.The Old Geezer

  7. Just Bill says:

    @Old GeezerIt sounds like you are asking for all monies back, not just unused monies. That certainly is a problem, especially after such a long time.I hate to say it, but I don't believe such return of monies is covered under the IRS agreement.If you are like most Scientologists, you signed many, many vague "contracts" where the church promised nothing and you promised that, after 30 days, you couldn't ask for any money back. And you undoubtedly wrote many "success stories" expressing satisfaction with what you received from the church.I am not a lawyer, but my personal opinion is it would be an extremely tough legal battle. However, the church sometimes responds correctly if threatened with legal action. They have paid millions in settlements to avoid going to trial.The fund-raising scams, on the other hand, seem to me to be where the church is much weaker — Super Power, IAS, Library Donations, Ideal Orgs, etc. — these are specific projects with specific promised goals, which were falsely promoted, falsely reported and where a significant portion of the money went to enrich the church, rather than to forward the specified projects. With these kinds of donations, I believe there might be a much stronger case against the church.But I am not a lawyer, I could be wrong.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for your reply on getting monies back from the Church, Bill. I apologize for not being clearer. What we are are going to request are unused training, auditing and accommodation monies. We feel that services used in the past are just water under the bridge. As the Church's usual ploy is to simply ignore requests for money back and do nothing I did not know if there were things we might do to ensure success on our parts. Best, the Old Geezer

  9. Just Bill says:

    @Old GeezerAh! I assumed incorrectly. Obviously the church must refund your monies, the problem is that Flag does not have enough money to do so. They are broke, and the "mother church" won't cover all these massive refund claims, it must come from their weekly budget — which is a disaster. They are lucky if their weekly FP covers utilities and food.From my experience, and from stories I've heard, you need to go legal and official. Threaten (as you have) to go public and noisy. They will never pay out if not forced to.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Reference: Refunds From the Church.Bill, your replies are most welcome and helpful. You are the most effective site of all that I have investigated over the last few years (and I have looked at many hundreds of articles). I will keep you posted on how it goes getting monies back from the C of $ and hopefully it will be of help to other bloggers on this site .Thanks for being there. There is no monetary reward for what you are doing and I truly appreciate all that you are doing for all of us fighting what I know to be one of the most suppressive groups on the planet.Sincerely, the Old Geezer

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi Bill,While you were still in Scientology, what was your biggest cognitive dissonance, and how did you explain it away?

  12. Anonymous says:

    Just Bill, have you seen these alleged passages from Hubbard's 1965 book Scientology: A New Slant on Life that are supposedly removed from the new edition? "A society in which women are taught anything but the management of a family, the care of men, and the creation of the future generation is a society which is on its way out." … "The historian can peg the point where a society begins its sharpest decline at the instant when women begin to take part, on an equal footing with men, in political and business affairs, since this means that the men are decadent and the women are no longer women. This is not a sermon on the role or position of women; it is a statement of bald and basic fact."I thought I read this book (I read everything, which either makes me more conscientious or dumber than most, because a lot of ex-sci's say they didn't even read Dianetics!) in the 90's and I don't recall this, because it would have steamed my grits. But, it does sound like some other things I recall, such as that only a degraded being would abort a child, etc.I guess Stalin/Miscavige is rewriting the history of Scientology to make it less repulsive to our current society? I wonder if they will take out the condemnation of gays, too.

  13. Just Bill says:

    Re: Biggest cognitive dissonanceIt was the lack of results. You are promised miraculous results, and if you really, really, really believe, you can almost feel them, almost see them. But you relax a bit and you find you are unchanged.You think others must be getting these promised miracles, because no one says anything. So you feel guilty and flawed because you are the only one who failed.And service after service, session after session, you believe as hard as you can, but the promised miracles don't appear. Sure you can convince yourself you "feel better", but that isn't what you were promised. And always, the explanation was that I was flawed, I was to blame. Of course, that's what Scientology teaches.That was the main thing.It was only after I left and started comparing notes with other ex-Scientologists that I discovered we were all experiencing the same damn thing.

  14. Just Bill says:

    Re: New Slant on LifeI don't have New Slant on Life, new or old versions, so I can't verify this report either.But it sure sounds like Ron. That was the way he thought and how he phrased things.And it makes sense that David Miscavige would remove it. He thinks of himself as the Brigham Young of Scientology, rewriting the founder's work to make it sound sane and acceptable.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Where are the security people trained? Do security people have more checks to see that they tow the line than other staff? (sorry for the possible dumb question)Do these security folks live on the property they are posted?

  16. Just Bill says:

    Re: Security peopleMainly, they are trained on the base, although I believe they may take some specialized training from outside sources (like firefighting, or CPR).I would imagine that security people would get less sec checks – those with the power don't have to follow the same rules as the sheep.At the Int. Base, everyone lives on base. At the other Sea Org facilities, they might live "off base", but they are still kept on Sea Org property. At Flag, for instance, the staff (including security) are carefully bussed between Flag and "berthing". The berthing area is another walled, monitored and locked compound. In the Sea Org, no one is trusted.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hello, Bill, and thank you for all of the good info you make available on your blog. I have been reading about Scientology for years, and I am mystified about the amounts of money Miscavige seems to command. Every report — for years now — indicates that church member rolls are small and steadily getting smaller, that their facilities are largely empty, that the existing members are pretty well exhausted in terms of their ability to donate and that revenues from book and video sales to the general public are negligible. Yet there seems to be endless financial resources to buy and rehab new buildings, tv commercials, giant printing plants and film studios, etc. Where does all of this money come from? (Please correct me if any of my assumptions above are off-the-mark.)

  18. Just Bill says:

    Re: Miscavige's moneyWhile all that is mostly true, there may still be tens of thousands of "active" Scientologists in the world. And the criteria for "active" in the Church of Scientology is "giving the church lots and lots of money".To correct a few things you said: The "Ideal Org" building purchasing and renovations is funded by individual Scientologists, not the church and not David Miscavige. Doesn't come from his pocket. That's why most of those "Ideal Org" programs simply aren't going to be completed. They've tapped everybody out and no new suckers are being brought in.Second, TV commercials are also funded by individual Scientologists, not Miscavige. These actually don't cost much because they only run a few ads in one small market when they are doing their "Dissemination Program" fund-raising. It's a gimmick to get more money and they never continue the ads after the fund-raiser in that area.The printing plants and film studios were created to save money and were done some time ago when there was more money available. These things would not and could not be done today.However, it is estimated that Miscavige still controls a ton of money — rumor has it in the billions — he just doesn't want to spend it on failing church activities. (Ironic, since he is the source for all those failures.)The only thing Miscavige spends his "personal" funds (church monies) on is Miscavige. He lives the lavish lifestyle of a billionaire while almost everyone else in Scientology is destitute.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Have you heard of Desteni and Desteni Education? I've only looked into it briefly. Sorry if I've missed a previous question/answer on this.It seems they are an offshoot of Scientology–at least that is my impression from some of the vocabulary and from the selling techniques.

  20. Just Bill says:

    Re: Desteni EducationNope, never heard of them. From their web site, it appears to be a very, very small operation, more brag than substance. There is absolutely no information at all about what they do, so I can't say if they are similar or connected to Scientology.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Re: Desteni:Rick Ross's Cult Education forum has a long thread on it, including a discussion with Bernard Poolman, the 'leader.' There are also a bunch of youtube videos by and about them. From what I read, they call their education stuff 'education technology' and emphasize knowing the meanings of words (duh–referring to Hubbard's stuff as well as Desteni's,not to you, Just Bill!) They also use the word Clear, capitalized, in their stuff, and Poolman has all kinds of material that sounds patterned on LRH's, like "The 8 Levels of Human," and so on. Plus, their cosmology is like Xenu on steroids. Seriously, there may be no other connection than that Poolman wants to be a second LRH/Fuhrer (yeah, in addition to everything else, they're anti-semitic!), but there seems to me to be at least an echo here. My two cents.I don't know how dangerous the group could be, but let's not forget that Scientology in the '50s was just a small group of people.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Dear Bill:Any comments on the OT phenomena as published in Advance!Maybe it is going to be a wunderful source of OT jokes!

  23. Just Bill says:

    Re: OT phenomenaActually, I do have an unfinished post about this, I'll have to put that together. Basically, there is no reason to not think that at least some of those stories are true — but there is also no reason to attribute them to Scientology. Any group of a dozen people, not Scientologists, will come up with a few similar "paranormal" experiences.Nothing in Scientology addresses or teaches "OT Powers".

  24. Anonymous says:

    We just heard about some of the announcements made at the latest Cof$ New Year's event. Here are some of the highlights: *The Australian government is now funding WISE courses for anyone who wants to take them in that country.*Superpower Bldg will be completed and superpower processes will start being delivered this year (2011).*The statistics at various Ideal Orgs around the world are higher than stats at those orgs for the last ten to fifteen years combined.I'm particularly interested in the claims about the Australian government funding WISE courses. If this is not an outright lie, there should be some documentation available.Did anyone on this blog attend the event? Are there any Aussies here who have info about the WISE courses being funded by the government?

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