In Part 4 of our series on Scientology financial crime, we conclude our look at the evolution of Scientology as a criminal enterprise, specifically at how Scientology’s many rackets have evolved over the last 20 years or so under the authority of David Miscavige. Having essentially abandoned auditing in favor of less risky income streams, we look at the “Golden Age of Tech,” “Super Power” and other scams such as the “Ideal Org” real estate portfolio racket and their place within the criminal enterprise that is Scientology in the 21st century. Lastly, we’ll examine Scientology’s vulnerability in the post-9/11 era of financial regulation. However, before we return to examining David Miscavige’s and Scientology’s behavior during the Lisa McPherson trial that we described in Part Three, it’s important to establish some additional contextual understanding of several key events in the mid to late 1980’s that influenced not only church behavior during the McPherson trial, but also served to shape the church’s behaviour and culture within Scientology into the present day. Continue reading “Scientology Financial Crime Part Four: Miscavige’s Golden Age of Grifting”
Scientology devotes an immense fraction of its staff to fixing substandard delivery of its services. It has more people devoted to detecting and deterring “thoughtcrime” from members whose loyalty may be wavering … and even more toiling away in a complex organization designed to ferret out and punish staff incompetence and disloyalty.
To a never-in, this smacks of a poorly designed product from an incompetent organization. But more importantly, it suggests that Scientology “tech” may actually be deliberately and cynically designed to be impossible to succeed at, with the punishment of failure used as a retention mechanism to keep people in the cult.
Hana Whitfield, a prominent ex-Scientologist who worked personally for founder L. Ron Hubbard for many years, has contributed her perspective on whether Scientology is intentionally (and cynically) designed to fail, whether it was designed to help people but failed at that noble goal or whether Hubbard had a very different approach. The answer will surprise you.
I explore the reasons why Scientology opened a “mission” in Košice, the second-largest city in Slovkia, a small central European country, and what it might mean for the lucky Scientologist who paid so handsomely for the privilege of operating it. In this note, we estimate how many potential recruits there might be in Košice, how much money the cult makes, and what the strategic thinking might have been behind this decision. The reasons they did this are not what you might think.
On January 3, 2018, Mike Rinder published a blog post detailing some of the data points showing the contraction of Scientology around the world. One of the more interesting data points was the announcement of an “Ideal Mission” in Košice, the second-largest city in Slovakia. Slovakia is half of the former Czechoslovakia, a country that underwent a peaceful “Velvet Divorce” at the end of 1992.
We estimate the potential number of Scientologists that the Košice mission might serve and the money that the cult might generate from those customers, and then we come to a surprising conclusion about whether this was a good decision or not.