The Scientology Money Project

Is Captain David Miscavige’s Claim of 6601 Sea Org Members Real? Or Are There Far Fewer?

1. Earth’s population: 7,802,093,142

2. Each Sea Org member is responsible for 1,181,818 people on Earth

The division of numbers informs us of Scientology’s claim to have 6601 Sea Org members globally. As we will argue, we think the number is inflated by ~1000 people. Scientology has always inflated its numbers. Scientology has variously claimed that it had 12 million members, 8 million member, and millions of members.

In terms of Sea Org members, we agree with Aaron Smith-Levin’s estimate of 5180 Sea Org members globally. We add 300 OSA members for an estimated total of 5480 Sea Org members.

Below are Aaron’s estimates of Sea Org numbers — and he admits these are probably high but he raises his estimates in the interest of fairness. Scroll down to watch Aaron’s video where he breaks down his numbers.

Aaron Smith-Levin’s Estimates:

Sea Org Service Orgs – Deliver Scientology services:

Flag Land Base, Clearwater, Florida: 
A. 1600 Sea Org members at Flag Land Base in Clearwater for all Orgs as follows:
a. 1000 in the Flag Service Org (FSO)
b. 350 for the Flag Crew Org
c. 100 for the FLB Org
d. 100 for CMO Clearwater
e. 25 for the IAS Flag
f. 25 for RTC Flag
Sea Org at Flag Estimate: 1600

Sea Org Delivery Orgs Outside of Clearwater:
B. 150 Sea Org members on the Freewinds.
C. 200 for AOLA
D. 200 for ASHO
E. 100 for LA Org
F. 150 for Celebrity Centre International
G. 100 for AOSH UK
H. 100 for AOSH EU
I. 100 for AOSH ANZO
J. 100 for Africa
Sea Org Delivery Orgs Outside of Flag Estimate: 1200 

Sea Org CLO Management Orgs:
K. 50 for CLO WUS – does not count CMO
L. 50 for CLO EUS – does not count CMO
M. 50 for CLO Canada – does not count CMO
N. 50 for CLO Europe – does not count CMO
O. 50 for CLO ANZO – does not count CMO
P. 50 for CLO Latin America –
Q. 50 for CLO Africa
CLO Sea Org Estimate: 350

R. 500 at INT Base in San Jacinto as follows:
a. 50 in RTC INT
b. 100 in CMO INT
c. 300 in Golden Era
d. 50 in the INT Exec Management Committee
INT Base Sea Org Estimate: 500

Other Sea Org Orgs:
S. 300 International Liaison Office (ILO) in Hollywood
T. 150 at Scientology Media Productions in Hollywood
U. 100 at Bridge Publications in Hollywood
V. 75 at New Era Publications in Europe
W. 50 at Author Services Int’l (ASI)
X. 25 at Church of Spiritual Technology (CST)
Other Sea Org Orgs Estimate: 700 

Commodore Messenger Org (CMO) Units:
Y. 50 in West US (CMO WUS)
a. 30 on the Freewinds (CMO Freewinds)
b. 25 in East US (CMO EUS)
c. 25 in Canada
d. 25 in Europe
e. 25 in ANZO
f. 25 in Latin America
g. 25 in Africa
h. 50 in IXU in Hollywood
CMO Estimate: 330

Total: 5180 Sea Org members in Sea Org Delivery and Service Orgs and Management Bodies

In his video, Aaron Smith-Levin made it clear that he was focused only upon Scientology’s Sea Org delivery Orgs and management bodies. Accordingly, he did not address Scientology’s notorious and criminally-oriented Office of Special Affairs (OSA) members. We estimate 300 Sea Org total in the Office of Special Affairs. These Sea Org are posted in Legal, PR, Investigations Unit, and the Internet Unit. We further estimate there are 100 Sea Org members in the IASA which is the operating arm of David Miscavige’s big fat slush fund called the IAS.

Smith-Levin also does not discuss Scientology’s so-called “social betterment groups” are actually secular nonprofit front groups used to infiltrarte police departments, government agencies, schools, and other institutions where Scientology can collect data and carefully cultivate strategic relationships to “safepoint” itself. These social betterment groups are small and staffed by OSA PR Sea Org members. A few of them have PO boxes as an address. We therefore include these groups as part of the 300 Sea Org in OSA.  As Mike Rinder has written:

Scientology has many front groups that are designed to create the impression that the organization is a benevolent group that does good work in their community.

I have noted many times that the “good work” does not happen if it cannot be documented by a video team who then use the video to fundraise and for propaganda pieces about the great things they are doing around the world…

Before his arrest and indictment on on three felony counts of forcible rape, Scientology’s front group Youth for Human Rights positioned actor Danny Masterson as a humanitarian and anti-drug crusader. Scientology did this even as OSA was brutally attempting to cover up the numerous rapes Masterson allegedly committed. OSA did this by stalking and terrorizing Masterson’s victims. A PR photo of Masterson speaking at a Youth for Human Rights events:

Scientology’s Front Groups:
ABLE: Association for Better Living and Education
WISE: World Institute of Scientology Enterprises
The Way to Happiness Foundation
Citizens Commission on Human Rights
Youth for Human Rights
Drug Free World
Applied Scholastics
Volunteer Ministers

Total Sea Org members with 300 OSA and the 100 IASA SO members added: 5580.

Our esteemed colleague HelluvaHoax at ESMB Redux reminded us of Captain David Miscavige’s 1992 prediction that there would be 697,000 Sea Org members in 2017. Miscavige was wildly off in his prediction and overestimated it by 691,000 people. Captain Miscavige also predicted that his billion dollar spend on Ideal Orgs would boom Scientology. He painted pretty mental image pictures of millions of new members flooding into Scientology’s new Ideal Orgs. This never happened. On the contrary, membership has continued to declined. Scientology Prophet David Miscavige gets a lot of things wrong.

Aaron Smith-Levin estimates there are 6000 Class V Org staff members. These Class V staff members are not Sea Org and serve 2.5 year or 5 year contracts. This brings Scientology’s total global labor estimate to 11,800 members. This is almost 1/3 of all Scientologists based on an estimated total membership of 35,000 Scientologists.

Aaron Smith-Levin’s video: 

6 replies »

  1. Jeffrey – you are missing parts of ILO. Dissem and Distribution Center, Comps, ILO Central Bu, FB, SMI Int, WISE Int, LCI Office, Snr HCO Int, etc.

  2. Hello Rose. There are dozens of departments I did not list. Instead, I rolled these up into larger Orgs. Dissem and Distribution Center was included in Bridge Publications. Snr HCO can be rolled up into Int Base numbers for my purposes. Miscavige has also outsourced some of the work SO use to do. For example, Ideal Org design and project management is contracted to Gensler. Ideal Org construction is contracted to NOVA HRC. There are non-Scientology PR firms, crisis management firms, and law firms that do work OSA use to do.

    These are best estimates. Please add another comment with your estimates. I want to develop this basic outline as much as possible and appreciate input from everyone.

  3. Whereas I left the SCN cult in 2010, I left the Sea Org in 1990.
    In 1990 when I exited there were 5000 Sea Org members.
    So in 31 years the Sea Org has increased by 580 members which is 26 Sea Org members per year which is 1/2 new member per week.
    Sea Org recruiters are at least 100 working full time morning til night to recruit.
    There are no less than 100 members waiting to route out at any Sea Org Base.
    The line is clogged and backlogged because there are not enough trusted interrogators to find the CRIMES of the ones asking to leave.

  4. I had no idea that other than his passion for human rights Danny was also a crusader for the drug issue. One roofie at a time

  5. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the last two years looking at staff sizes, but the 6,000 number for just Sea Org from the Miscavige math and the 5,180 from Aaron’s estimate both seem a bit high. This could be numbers for a time 20 years ago when staff organizations were more functional and were better fleshed out, but it seems high for what we know of membership today (way less than 36,000) and for the level of dysfunction at orgs outside FL and Los Angeles.

    I would agree that there is on the order of 1,500 to 1,600 people at Flag designed to keep it running. This is the most critical staffing area for Sea Org, because it’s the cult’s most profitable operation, and it’s vital to keep up the illusion of prosperity here because anyone coming from a failing outer org must see Flag as a thriving success. They can stop the doubts about their local org by telling themselves that it’s unique and all the orgs they haven’t visited are doing OK. But they won’t be able to suppress doubts if they find Flag vacant.

    I would suggest that estimates for many of the purely administrative posts (CLO, particularly) are high. In Hubbard’s “admin tech” there seem to be two kinds of groups he put into the org board: teams of snitches (CMO, etc) that rove around and get other people in trouble and teams of people designed to keep people from bothering him with every trivial decision that they couldn’t make themselves because they’re paralyzed with fear over being sent to ethics by the first group. The CLO consists of both kinds of people.

    In Miscavige’s organization, he’s so afraid of people doing things wrong that he’s probably bypassed the second function of the CLO teams, and he has his own snitch squads to ferret out wrongdoing. Also, it’s probably hard to keep people from blowing in a lot of those locations, since there aren’t enough people to have highly secure berthing compounds like they have in LA and FL. So the idea that there are 50 people in CLO Africa, when there are probably less than 200 Scientologists on the whole continent (and this number doesn’t include staff at the orgs) is a bit high. Miscavige is likely to grab anyone who sticks around for a reasonable length of time in a CLO and bring them to Flag.

    I’d also think the numbers for Int Base are extremely high. The Cine crew are easy pickings to feed SMP, which is a lot more visible to public, so I would suspect the number of dedicated Cine Castle employees at Int Base is quite small today. Given that Miscavige hasn’t set foot in the place in years, I’d bet that all the RTC and Int Exec employees are now in Florida, and there aren’t that many of them. I would suspect that the only thing Int Base has going on at this point is the staff guarding the people in whatever the Hole has evolved into. It wouldn’t do to have Guillame Lesevre or Heber Jentsch pop up on network TV detailing the hell of the last 15 years.

    I’d also argue that the non-Sea Org delivery orgs outside Clearwater are way too high. Various leaks of stats have suggested that AOLA is as bereft of customers as the Battle Creek org. So it’s unlikely that they have 100 Sea Org sitting around waiting for customers to walk in the door. It also seems unlikely that there are 100 AO Africa staff sitting around along with 50 CLO Africa staff along with a couple dozen regular staff taking care of 200 African Scientologists. Add to that the cannibalization by Flag picking off all these orgs’ public and you have a lot of people with nothing to do.

    If you trim those estimates down to a more reasonable size, you get about 3,500 Sea Org and about 1,500 regular staff keeping things running, which I think is more reasonable and seems to be consistent with the best estimates of the public that are still involved (of which some fraction is under the radar).

  6. I would tend to think that the overall state of Scientology over the last three to four decades would track the statistics that David Miscaviage promotes, that are roughly corroborated by everyone else. In other words, about 5-6K Sea Org then another 5-6K staff. I base this on the rough financial size of the criminal organization. Of course, we have the book value, but then we’ve got the slush fund IAS to take into account. I tend to think that Scientology has been very slightly upstat over the past two decades, with occasional peaks in popularity whenever Tom Cruise does something newsworthy. The slight upstat is largely attributable to the favorable economic and investing environment that has inevitably grown the slush fund and book value of the property assets. However, costs have inevitably eaten up a significant amount of that growth, likely attributable to excessive promotional material, recruiting and human trafficking operations, lawsuit investigation and settlements, and of course, the Idle Morgue projects. I would imagine that even if there aren’t tremendous numbers of staff, the construction crews that have performed the renovations essentially add up to having a fairly large number of contracted workers on staff. More prescient is determining how many first world nation staff or Sea Ogres are on staff, particularly, the number of Americans. This would dictate ultimately, where the grassroots financial growth would come from. It’s well known that a significant number of these trolls come from Soviet Bloc countries, and I’d have to say, if I knew that Putin was interested in sending in some serious firepower into my city or village, and some love bomber was offering me a “billion year contract” and opportunity to go to Clearwater and obtain American citizenship after a few years, I’d be pretty quick to sign. Nonetheless, I really don’t think there has been much real growth in the first world numbers – perhaps amongst the children of Scientologists who couldn’t get anything else going in their lives. But one wonders how long the majority would stay, aside from those that perhaps have commitments to certain attributes of Scientology, such as radical religious freedom, no family assets to speak of (nor any realistic chance of inheriting any), or are just so dumb and lazy they cannot learn anything that would make them marketable in any way, shape or form. I can’t imagine these account for more than 2000 people, inclusive of staff and Sea Org.

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