Is Scientology Imploding? Watching the Panic after Debbie Cooks email

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The Village Voice is in full swing. :biggrin:



By Tony Ortega Tue., Jan. 3 2012 at 8:00 AM


​Is Scientology Imploding? Watching the Panic After a Former Executive Dares to Question Church Management


The world of Scientology watching is still reeling after Debbie Cook's New Year's Eve e-mail landed in the inboxes of thousands of church members Saturday night.

A few minutes after midnight, we began receiving copies of the broadside, written by one of Scientology's most important former executives. Citing the words of L. Ron Hubbard, Cook trashed the church's current management under leader David Miscavige, complaining about a "new age of continuous fundraising" and "extreme over-regging."

Over the next couple of days, it was remarkable to watch the reaction of church members who received the e-mail and variously praised it, condemned it, or simply freaked out.

Then, we noticed this statement by Larry Brennan, an ex-Scientologist who helped reorganize the corporate structure of the church in 1980s, and who knows perhaps as much as anyone else about the strength of Scientology to defend itself:

Organized Scientology was structured to withstand 'attacks' from the outside. But all its corporate veils and religious cloaking are powerless to prevent an implosion, emptying course rooms, and causing a mass exodus.

Implosion? A mass exodus? Can a single e-mail really cause such widespread panic? We asked someone who knew Debbie Cook and could explain to us what her salvo means for an organization on the edge.

But first, we wanted to give some indication that we here at the Voice aren't the only ones who jumped on this story New Year's Day and consider it an important one.



<snip> (too much to copy, cllick on link)




I wanted to know what kind of an impact her e-mail might have on the church, and I called Jason Beghe, an actor who famously left the church in 2008 and has criticized it vocally since then. When he was still in, Beghe was a popular celebrity member, spent considerable time at "Flag," and understood very well Debbie Cook's role in Scientology.

"This lady is as hardcore as anybody who ever picked up a can. This is hardcore. This is the commanding officer of the Flag Service Organization for 17 years," he told me by phone from Malibu. ("Can" is a reference to the sensors of an e-meter, the device Scientologists use during counseling sessions.)

"She had a lot of status. But she was always very warm and professional. She was extremely friendly, but she never crossed any boundaries," Beghe said, referring to the times he met Cook when he was receiving services in Clearwater. "When she had left, I thought she could really do something. And the way she did it, wow, it was perfect."

​Beghe has encouraged other people to leave the church since he defected, and he's worked with former executive Marty Rathbun, who has been especially effective at convincing longtime members to disavow the church because of the way Miscavige is running it.

"Let's face it, there's not a lot of new people getting into Scientology. And the target now is to get to the people who are abused who are inside. And she's reaching the people who need help," Beghe said. "I applaud the hell out of her."

Beghe wanted me to understand just how important Cook's job was in Clearwater.

"She ran the entire Flag organization. She was the commanding officer. Like, if your egg was overcooked, that was her responsibility. She was responsible for every single person who worked at Flag," he said.

And as for the people she's trying to reach, he says, they simply won't respond to someone from the outside, or even from most other church members who might voice discontent. It takes someone with Cook's name to shake them up, Beghe said.

"I know it's hard to understand how someone can be so dense. But you're in a trance. When someone of this magnitude speaks up, it has an effect. And it's as 'standard' as you can get. All she's doing is complaining about 'non-standard' tech," he said, meaning that by quoting Hubbard, Cook was trying to appeal to church members in a way that would help them question Miscavige's leadership.

"Her intention is to help those 12,000 people and the people they decide to contact. Going to the press, on the other hand, would have had little effect. The name of this game is help those motherfuckers who are in that cult. And this, I think, will do a lot," Beghe said. "I'm sure there were maybe hundreds of people who just went, holy shit, and had a revelation."

But didn't the reaction at Facebook indicate that she's going to have a difficult time getting through to some members, who instinctively reacted by turning her into authorities for daring to criticize Miscavige?

"There's going to be a campaign against her, I'm sure. They're going to do their standard, retarded fucking routine. But that's great, because every time they do that, it makes the next one that less credible," Beghe said, referring to an effort already under way to "dead agent" Cook -- turn someone with an illustrious history in Scientology into an unperson, reminiscent of the way figures were erased from photos in old issues of Pravda.

"I'm sure they're going to come down very hard on her, however they do it," Beghe added. "The church is furiously coming up with ways to counteract the effects of her e-mail. So already, most of these people are being 'handled.' One reason you're not hearing anything from the church on this is that they're busy."

And such a campaign by the church to 'handle' members who saw the e-mail will be effective on some, Beghe added. "These people cannot think for themselves, which is ironic, because they're told when they get into Scientology that they'll be trained to do exactly that," he said. Others, however, will begin to question seriously what is happening to their church after seeing Cook's criticisms.

"At some point they're going to wake up. Hopefully."

Full article: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2012/01/is_scientology_imploding.php
 
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Free to shine

Shiny & Free
As usual, I love the comments section:

MarkStark 1 hour ago
Grab the cans, Tony. Do it for Debbie, and LRH.

The Guardian's Debbie story grabbed my attention with phrases like "denied accusations of a despotic leadership style and physical assaults on colleagues" (referring to Miscavige, or course), and the "Church's" response:

"Ms Cook's opinions reflect a small, ignorant and unenlightened view of
the world today. They are not shared by the thousands of Scientologists
who are overjoyed by our 27 new churches and what they mean to the
communities they serve."

See? $cientology, LRH, and David Miscavige are the whole world. Debbie doesn't have opinions about just the cult leader, fundraising, imprisonment and beating of executives, she's "ignorant and unenlightened" about the whole world. This coming from David Miscavige, who didn't finish high school.

And, I would assume Debbie's opinions reflect her own (and that of LRH of course [wink]), and that with $cientology training members to supposedly become crack critical thinkers, what is the Church doing presuming for thousands? Plus, shouldn't that be "millions"? If it's not millions, then well, there are probably thousands at least, of members who are thinking like Debbie.

And what the churches MEAN to the communities they serve! What would these places do without their $cientology "oasis of sanity." This on the eve (any year now) of opening rides and astronaut training to the people of Teegeeack with their new Super Powerz building, Miscavige's greatest regging success.

I hope Jason Beghe is right, and that people read their email and are fed up enough to do something about it.

I'm thinking about the possibility of the cult having to send out an email to EVERYONE on their list, telling them not to read Debbie's email, and how that could backfire. They must not have known what to do. They wanted to blame it on hackers. But now, admit it is Debbie, and she's ignorant! LOL. Debbie may be the smartest $cientology executive to emerge in years. Imagine, Miscavige dethroned with an email. It would be perfect.

Is the melon ripe for cleaving at last?

Excellent article Tony. This hit the UK about an hour ago. The biggies here (Daily Mail, Times, Telegraph and Guardian, who linked to you) are all running it. Huzzah!

MarkStark 46 minutes ago
What can the cult do about this email?

It's not like they can spirit Debbie away to an underground vault in Bucaramanga, Colombia, or "disappear" her, as they did with Miscavige's wife Shelly. Also, the cat is out of the bag. Too many of Debbie's friends have already read this email, and would become very active and upset if ANYTHING bad happens to Debbie.

Debbie has already been humiliated, handled by Miscavige, and certainly isn't going to volunteer for another round of Ethics handling, abuse or imprisonment.

Beghe is right. Email was a gap in the cult's entheta-protection "tech." Debbie was too visible and too much of a respected figure in the cult, for them to effectively Dead Agent her. Her email will probably affect more cult members than articles in 100,000 newspapers would, since cult members do not read news about their organization.

Even for the members who received the mail, and delete it immediately, thinking it was a hoax, that it might burn their eyes out if they read the whole thing, they'll still want to know if it were real, won't they? That's when they'll go to Facebook, and find out it is real.

I'm sure a team has been formed to go through her confidential auditing files, for an issue of Freedumb Magazine, but that's not going to look good either. How many "psycho-apostate" executives can they lambaste before the Thetans get restless?

barbara graham 2 minutes ago
All the little Scilon quibblers gnawing ankles on places like Facebook have vanished, including my pet clam on YouTube.

Yoinked off post to do damage control from the Cook fallout? If I were a film maker, I'd rent me a house in the San Fernando Valley and start work on...

"Debbie Does Damage.
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
"Her intention is to help those 12,000 people and the people they decide to contact. Going to the press, on the other hand, would have had little effect. The name of this game is help those motherfuckers who are in that cult. And this, I think, will do a lot," Beghe said. "I'm sure there were maybe hundreds of people who just went, holy shit, and had a revelation."

:spitcoffee:

It always raises the tone when church members get called mofo's.
:dieslaughing:
 

Stat

Gold Meritorious Patron
Jason Beghe will cry when he will realize what he missed re: SP RD and OT IX.

Hints: being able to smell suppressive perfumes a mile away and knowing you are OT for realz. Yeah.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
"Her intention is to help those 12,000 people and the people they decide to contact. Going to the press, on the other hand, would have had little effect. The name of this game is help those motherfuckers who are in that cult. And this, I think, will do a lot," Beghe said. "I'm sure there were maybe hundreds of people who just went, holy shit, and had a revelation."

:spitcoffee:

It always raises the tone when church members get called mofo's.
:dieslaughing:

I love how Tony hasn't edited Beghe talk. :biggrin:
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
"Her intention is to help those 12,000 people and the people they decide to contact. Going to the press, on the other hand, would have had little effect. The name of this game is help those motherfuckers who are in that cult. And this, I think, will do a lot," Beghe said. "I'm sure there were maybe hundreds of people who just went, holy shit, and had a revelation."

:spitcoffee:

It always raises the tone when church members get called mofo's.
:dieslaughing:

I just love this . . . and Beghe is right -- those Mofo's would only listen to someone like her, and she knows it. She did this brilliantly.

I also wonder if Debbie had the hope/plan/agenda of "recovering" some exes and "handling the ARC broken field". . . . assuming those people who are disaffected will "cognite" and *realize* that the problems they experienced are DM's fault and not LRH's. She probably expects exes to return in droves to help reform the church and get things back on policy. if so, she may be in for a little of a suprise on that one too.
 

Smilla

Ordinary Human
This is a much more significant blow to the Mother Cult than anything Rathbun and Rinder have done. I'm loving this.
 

Gadfly

Crusader
I just love this . . . and Beghe is right -- those Mofo's would only listen to someone like her, and she knows it. She did this brilliantly.

I also wonder if Debbie had the hope/plan/agenda of "recovering" some exes and "handling the ARC broken field". . . . assuming those people who are disaffected will "cognite" and *realize* that the problems they experienced are DM's fault and not LRH's. She probably expects exes to return in droves to help reform the church and get things back on policy. if so, she may be in for a little of a suprise on that one too.

At some point these amazingly dimwitted true believers (aka: "Scientologists) must confront the fact that Scientology sucks because, and only because, the top Scientology leaders exactly follow LRH policy!

Hubbard created the mold when he designed the exact pattern of how to run and expand the Scientology organization with the OEC volumes, FEBC, OSA N/W Orders, etc. ANY version of the Church of Scientology, regardless of who is in power, exactly follows Hubbard's orders & instructions, or else. It has always been that way, and it will remain that way until Scietnology & Hubbard are nothing but long forgotten memories.
 

anonomog

Gold Meritorious Patron
I just love this . . . and Beghe is right -- those Mofo's would only listen to someone like her, and she knows it. She did this brilliantly.

I also wonder if Debbie had the hope/plan/agenda of "recovering" some exes and "handling the ARC broken field". . . . assuming those people who are disaffected will "cognite" and *realize* that the problems they experienced are DM's fault and not LRH's. She probably expects exes to return in droves to help reform the church and get things back on policy. if so, she may be in for a little of a suprise on that one too.

In her email Debbie said not to pay for anything other than services.

This is where my understanding fails miserably.:blush:

Won't people who agree with her be apprehensive about returning in case their agreement turns up in session and causes them a whole heap of expensive trouble?

Won't people who publicly disagree with her also be apprehensive? Because they did recognise some truth in the mail, even if it was only Hubbard's quote. What if that came out in session?

Would any of the 12 000 be guilty of pulling the mail in?

If people, who are in the middle of a critical process, are now too jittery to return, where do these people go? What are they supposed to do?
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
In her email Debbie said not to pay for anything other than services.

This is where my understanding fails miserably.:blush:

Won't people who agree with her be apprehensive about returning in case their agreement turns up in session and causes them a whole heap of expensive trouble?

Won't people who publicly disagree with her also be apprehensive? Because they did recognise some truth in the mail, even if it was only Hubbard's quote. What if that came out in session?

Would any of the 12 000 be guilty of pulling the mail in?

If people, who are in the middle of a critical process, are now too jittery to return, where do these people go? What are they supposed to do?

Oh my gosh that's true! Think of those "poor mofo's" trying to get ruds in for their next session! Think of the thousands of dollars they are going to have to spend on repair auditibng, ethics and handling thier "PTS sits" and the doubts that read on the meter. Youch!
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
Oh my gosh that's true! Think of those "poor mofo's" trying to get ruds in for their next session! Think of the thousands of dollars they are going to have to spend on repair auditibng, ethics and handling thier "PTS sits" and the doubts that read on the meter. Youch!

It's a perfect regging tool:

"Show that you are not in agreement with Debbie Cook — and thus liable for $25,000 worth of sec-checking — by upgrading your IAS status today!"

Paul
 

Gadfly

Crusader
Oh my gosh that's true! Think of those "poor mofo's" trying to get ruds in for their next session! Think of the thousands of dollars they are going to have to spend on repair auditibng, ethics and handling thier "PTS sits" and the doubts that read on the meter. Youch!

You know, that is one of the reasons why "experienced Scientologists" stay far away from any critical web sites and "entheta". It isn't because they don't want to read the data, but instead, it is because it COSTS THEM SO DAMNED MUCH every time that they do - in terms of Sec Checks, auditing intensives, dev-T on their lives, and ethics handlings to address what they "did". :duh:
 
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olska

Silver Meritorious Patron
Oh my gosh that's true! Think of those "poor mofo's" trying to get ruds in for their next session! Think of the thousands of dollars they are going to have to spend on repair auditibng, ethics and handling thier "PTS sits" and the doubts that read on the meter. Youch!

And think of the "withholds" this creates, in EVERYONE on lines! which would tend to make people stay away from the org, find excuses not to go to events, to come in for courses, or...

and the MISSED withholds!

WHAT DID DEBBIE DO THAT MADE YOU THINK SHE KNEW

that you were secretly disaffected? How the hell did she get your email? did she get it from someone who passed it along to her because of some off-the-wall comment you made awhile back about...

OMFG! :roflmao:
 

I told you I was trouble

Suspended animation
In her email Debbie said not to pay for anything other than services.

This is where my understanding fails miserably.:blush:

Won't people who agree with her be apprehensive about returning in case their agreement turns up in session and causes them a whole heap of expensive trouble?

Won't people who publicly disagree with her also be apprehensive? Because they did recognise some truth in the mail, even if it was only Hubbard's quote. What if that came out in session?

Would any of the 12 000 be guilty of pulling the mail in?

If people, who are in the middle of a critical process, are now too jittery to return, where do these people go? What are they supposed to do?

Lol!

She mailed it to the 'oatees' ... they are all very good actors, I reckon they'll work it out.

:coolwink:
 

Wants2Talk

Silver Meritorious Patron
And think of the "withholds" this creates, in EVERYONE on lines! which would tend to make people stay away from the org, find excuses not to go to events, to come in for courses, or...

and the MISSED withholds!

WHAT DID DEBBIE DO THAT MADE YOU THINK SHE KNEW

Or is it that she is missing the ot's witholds of being "out code of honor"?
 

Tiger Lily

Gold Meritorious Patron
You know, that is one of the reason why "experienced Scientologists" stay far away from any critical web sites and "entheta". It isn't because they don't want to read the data, but instead, it is because it COSTS THEM SO DAMNED MUCH every time that they do - in terms of Sec Checks, auditing intensives, dev-T on their lives, and ethics handlings to address what they "did". :duh:

I remember that so well . . . check mate

The Old Man was brilliant at setting up traps and chokeholds, I'll give him that.
 

Challenge

Silver Meritorious Patron
In her email Debbie said not to pay for anything other than services.

This is where my understanding fails miserably.:blush:

Won't people who agree with her be apprehensive about returning in case their agreement turns up in session and causes them a whole heap of expensive trouble?

Won't people who publicly disagree with her also be apprehensive? Because they did recognise some truth in the mail, even if it was only Hubbard's quote. What if that came out in session?

Would any of the 12 000 be guilty of pulling the mail in?

If people, who are in the middle of a critical process, are now too jittery to return, where do these people go? What are they supposed to do?


They'll have to do what we who left in the early 80s did, which was suck it up, or go to your friendly Field practitioner.
Your choice.
Talk to a friend first. Post on this Board. If you go into the Field, ask for their Training Comps and get references if you can.

Remember,there are more Ex scn'ists than there are active ones, so it shouldn't be too hard to handle. The worst thing that can happen is that it will take 24 hours to
"de-stim".

challenge
 

Smilla

Ordinary Human
Every 'In good standing' Scientologist knows how to do this:

"Crimestop


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Crimestop is a Newspeak term taken from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. It means to rid oneself of unwanted thoughts, i.e., thoughts that interfere with the ideology of the Party. This way, a person avoids committing thoughtcrime.

In the novel, we hear about crimestop through the eyes of protagonist Winston Smith:

“ The mind should develop a blind spot whenever a dangerous thought presented itself. The process should be automatic, instinctive. Crimestop, they called it in Newspeak. He set to work to exercise himself in crimestop. He presented himself with propositions -- 'the Party says the earth is flat', 'the party says that ice is heavier than water' -- and trained himself in not seeing or not understanding the arguments that contradicted them.""

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crimestop

There's potential for many to leave, though - I'm not saying that won't happen.
 
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