Rest in Peace
The announcement (in the 80-page Freedom Magazine footbullet) that interior construction was underway for the Superpower building reminded me of a marketing research project we did regarding the Superpower building. As many people know, I was part of the Central Marketing Unit (CMU) at the Int Base for 15 years.
In 1998, construction had started on the Superpower building. We were asked, in Marketing, to do a research project to work out what it would take to fill that building with students and pcs.
The building, of course, is huge. Wikipedia cites the square footage at 170,000. The Church, in the recent Freedom Magazine, claims 377,000 square feet. From my own observation, it’s closer to the Wikipedia figure, but we know how the Church inflates any statistic, even square footage. According to the Freedom Magazine, there will be 22 course rooms seating 1,800 students, and 300 auditing rooms serving 1,200 preclears at any time.
So what would it take to fill this building? We had to work it all backwards, right down to Org and Mission level. Flag gets most of its business from Advanced Orgs and Saint Hills. AOs and SHs get their business from Class V Orgs. Class V Orgs are fed by Missions (as well as direct public contact). So we had to work it all the way back. How big would AOs have to be? How big would SHs have to be? How big would Orgs have to be? How many Missions would be needed?
So we worked it all out, extrapolating from existing statistics and flow rates up the Bridge. We did a serious job of it, too.
The bottom line? Orgs would have to expand at least ten times. And each org would have to be fed by ten missions – and that would mean thousands of missions, not just a few hundred. And they would have to be real old-time missions, with 15 or 20 staff, training and auditing people and selecting them to their Org for Academy training and Grades. In other words, even coming close to filling the Superpower building would take a major, major, exponential expansion of Scientology.
At that time, Scientology was in a major slump. Stats had been declining since 1991. Orgs were shrinking. We were thanked for our analysis, and it was promptly buried. No one wanted to face the truth: filling the Superpower building was an impossibility, if one really looked at raw figures.
When I left in 2005, the statistics had not recovered, and were still declining.
From all evidence today, orgs are in worse shape than ever. They are not making enough to pay their bills, and are going deeper in debt. Staff are unpaid, and are dependent upon working spouses or parents. Routine administrative supplies are paid by staff out of their own pocket, or donated by public. Orgs are empty. Public are being pressured to pay for new buildings and have no money for training or processing. Missions are usually just two guys and a dog in someone’s living room.
So they can go ahead and finish the interior of the Superpower Building, but finished or unfinished, it will stand as an empty shell, a fitting symbol of modern Scientology.
It's even better because these big empty buildings with hasten the death of the cult. The utility bills will break them and although they hope some piece of magic will get the public to flock in - they never will. But they will continue to throw money away on PR and other schemes in the hope that they will.