IAS

Church of Scientology Hustling Donations in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey


As we reported in our previous post, The Church of Scientology has been caught red-handed in a social media fraud in which it used stock photos to pose as Scientologists. These fake Scientologists were then used to launch social media attacks on Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, A&E, A&E’s sponsors, and the courageous people who appear on Leah’s show Scientology and the Aftermath. This is a scandal and a disgrace for Scientology.

There is yet another Church of Scientology scam to cover today. For over a decade Scientology leader David Miscavige has claimed that the Scientology Volunteer Ministers formed the “largest independent relief force on Earth.” This has always been a lie and will always be a lie. However, Scientology still makes this claim:

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers program (VMs) was established by Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in 1976. Some 100,000 VMs in 120 nations helped more than 1.6 million people in the last year alone, making the Scientology Volunteer Ministers the largest independent relief organization on Earth.

Mike Rinder challenged this claim in an excellent post on Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers at his blog. Mike added this photo of the Scientology’s empty “Hurricane Harvey Relief Forces Headquarters” here in Los Angeles to support his criticisms. We see only two very bored members of the “largest independent relief force on Earth” seated on folding chairs nonchalantly texting:

IAS.HH.LA

I would add this: At the present time the IAS claims there are 130 Scientology Volunteer Ministers in the areas decimated by Hurricane Harvey. This is what the IAS posted on its website as of today August 31, 2017:

How does the “largest independent relief organization on Earth” only manage to get 130 people to the scene of a widespread catastrophe? Particularly when the IAS — Scientology’s slush fund with an estimated cash pile in excess of $1.5 billion — has made an emergency grant:

As brought to my attention by Collette James on Twitter, Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers posted a misleading tweet. This tweet used a photo of the Louisiana Rescue Group that was shot at by looters. The tweet and photo could mislead the public into thinking that Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers were somehow involved in this particular operation:

So to recap:

1. The Scientology Volunteer Ministers are not, and never were, the “largest independent relief organization on Earth.” And yet Scientology continues to lie about it and raise money based upon this false claim.

2. Scientology’s IAS has hoarded an estimated ~$1.5 billion in cash and does not need donations. Just a fraction of the the interest generated by the IAS cash hoard would pay for all 130 Volunteer Ministers that are allegedly  on the ground in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

3. Scientology has been caught lying on social media in its attacks on Leah Remini’s show. Therefore, how do we know that Scientology is not lying about the number of Volunteer Ministers in the hurricane-stricken areas? That is the problem with Scientology’s habitual lying: Nothing it says can be taken at face value.

Please sign my petition at Change.org demanding that the IRS open an investigation into Scientology’s tax exemption.

4. I have seen photos of fewer than twenty VM’s in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey. There may be more faces to count; I just haven’t seen the photos. The IAS main page shows two photos in which only two VM’s are seen. The bald-headed VM appears in both photos; we see his back toward us in the photo (left) and his face in the other photo (right):

5. Because Scientology’s IAS has zero financial transparency we don’t know the size of the IAS “emergency grant.” It could be a very small and insignificant grant. I say this because, as a rule, Scientology Volunteer Ministers are expected to pay their own expenses to travel to and from the scene of a disaster. The IAS should publicly disclose on the record how much Scientology is actually spending to help. Absent disclosure, all IAS claims are meaningless. The IAS could have donated a token sum of $1,000 for all we know.

6. Scientology Volunteer Ministers largely function to get PR photos and videos so that Scientology can raise more money as they are doing now with Hurricane Harvey. Scientology is infamous for its disaster capitalism and has used everything from 911 to Whitney Houston’s death to raise money. Scientology VM’s literally walked over the backs of the dead at the Virginia Tech massacre to pitch a tent and get in front of cameras. See Radar’s story: First Photos: Scientologists Invade Virginia Tech Campus.

7. Here is a Scientology camera crew filming a staged VM event in Haiti:

8. While the Scientologists working on the ground are to be saluted for helping, they also know that their work is being done for “Church PR.” They will also be promoting Scientology at the scene of the disaster while giving Scientology touch assists.

9. Noticeably absent from Hurricane Harvey relief efforts is Scientology leader David Miscavige. Although Miscavige boasts about the VM’s he has never, to the best of my knowledge, actually volunteered at any disaster. This is odd considering that no less an eminence than former President Jimmy Carter routinely rolls up his sleeves and helps to build homes for Habitat for Humanity.

February 2017: Notes and Observations on Scientology

February 2017: Here are some notes and observations on how I watch and look at Scientology:

1. So many things constellate around The Underground Bunker that this place is mandatory daily reading. Tony Ortega understands context, story, and significance in a way that utterly eludes Scientology, David Miscavige, Freedom Rag, and the no-show-no-stats SMP.

2. Mike Rinder’s blog is the Tiffany’s of documenting Scientology’s ongoing failures, deceits, and decline. Mike provides an outstanding daily journal of real-time Scientology decline. Mike’s valuable insights into Scientology as an organization are possible due to his decades of managing the Office of Special Affairs on a daily basis. Mike understands Scientology and David Miscavige at a profound level. That Mike’s jovial and robust sense of humor is mated to his ferocious intellect makes reading his analysis of the situation that much more enjoyable.

3. Disconnection and Fair Game are non-negotiable and must go. To the degree that Scientology practices and enforces Disconnection and Fair Game, Scientology’s self-destruction will persist. No one out here in the real world will stand for Scientology’s breaking up of families and its programs of character assassination.

4. Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath was a devastating expose of the Church of Scientology and its brutality. If it is not already in the works, season two will spontaneously appear as an act of Creation Ex Nihilo; the metaphysics of television dictate that this must happen.

4. Twitter and Facebook are extremely important to watch. The sum of message traffic on these platforms provides invaluable existential information about Scientology and Culture. Social media shows Scientology’s inherent inability to interact with Culture. This ineptitude is traceable to L. Ron Hubbard who called for Scientology to use blatantly phony and dishonest PR in the place of apologetics or other forms of meaningful interaction with Culture.

5. Scientology’s hate websites are very important to watch. These incriminating sites constitute damning and irrefutable forensic evidence which shows that Scientology’s programs of Fair Game have an unlimited budget of tax-free dollars. These websites also offer a penetrating insight into the psyche of Miscavige and OSA in a way that betrays both of them. Like a Cold War era Sovietologist would note, a good analyst must study the propaganda operations and party line rhetoric of the other side. IMO, our side needs more analysts who are willing to monitor, document, analyze, and write about Scientology’s websites.

6. Scientology’s cash position, cash surplus, and real estate acquisitions are almost completely meaningless as significant metrics. Any organization with a cash surplus can buy and amass a real estate portfolio. In most cases, Scientology’s real estate acquisitions of decrepit old buildings in need of millions of dollars in renovations are designed to stall and buy time for David Miscavige. From my perspective, Miscavige is obviously using these empty buildings to buy time and create some semblance of hope for the future of Scientology. However, no one is fooled. Example: The San Fernando Valley Ideal Org is a complete waste of time and money. There is no excuse for Miscavige to leave that eyesore unfinished given the IAS cash pile. The PR damage done to Scientology by leaving buildings empty for years or decades, particularly when there is plenty of money available to open these buildings within 12-18 months, is inexcusable. Conversely, Scientology will cherry pick top properties. This was the case with SMP here in Hollywood or Larry Hagman’s place in Ojai. But then the Cult will not actually do anything with these premier properties except use them for PR.

7. David Miscavige needs to reverse the massive and long-term statcrash in Scientology and does not know how to do it because he refuses to understand the nature and essence of the problems facing Scientology. Understanding the real problems would require critical self-reflection on his part wherein he would conclude that he must resign and step aside. He has zero capabilities in this regard and believes himself to be indispensable to Scientology. Compounding this is the long term structural damage to Scientology wrought by Miscavige’s execution of Hubbard’s bad policies and Miscavige’s own failed programs in the period 2001 to the present day is irreversible. Miscavige massively overreached with his frenzied money grab in the Basics, selling IAS statuses, and the failed Ideal Org strategy. GAT I and GAT II were, and are, failures in ways Miscavige does not understand.

8. Scientology’s contradictory policies of greed-driven inhumanity place it at war with itself and all the parts of its own existence. To use an analogy, Scientology is like a raging alcoholic with serious self-created problems who denies they are an alcoholic and blames others for their problems. Everyone else can see the problems except Scientology. The Church of Scientology is an embarrassment to itself and does not see it.

9. The real numbers a good leaker could give are these:
A. Attendance at events: publics and SO.
B. The number of SO members over the past ten years.
C. The total number of IAS members in good standing with the Church.
D. Total membership losses of publics and SO over the past ten years.
E. Number of SO senior execs paid off to sign nondisclosure agreements in the past ten years.

10. One of the real things to watch is the covert consolidation of Scientology Orgs. Miscavige can call it whatever he wants, but consolidation is contraction and Scientology is contracting inwards upon itself with great force. The acquisition of real estate is a red herring. Purchasing buildings is meaningless in the face of Scientology’s uncontrollable and accelerating membership losses. The way out is through the nearest door.

11. The petard upon which Scientology is hanging itself is Disconnection and Fair Game.

Scientlology Money Project Chart # 11

so.11

Chart copyright 2015 Jeffrey Augustine. Please attribute when reposting.


The structure of Scientology Inc. is rife with self-serving conflicts of interest by David Miscavige and his enablers both in OSA and private practice.

Scientologists must confront this fact: Their “Church” has gone criminal and is in an out exchange condition. This is a rip off per Mr. Hubbard:

“First consider a group which takes in money but does not deliver anything in exchange. This is called rip-off. It is the ‘exchange’ condition of robbers, tax men, governments and other criminal elements.” – L. Ron Hubbard, HCO PL 10 Sep 82 – Exchange, Org Income and Staff Pay.

Scientologists are encouraged to do their own Doubt Formula to find out what is true for them. The data found here on the Scientology Money Project is from publicly-available IRS records, court records, and other public documents. I found virtually everything on this blog by using Google. Knowledge is power.

2016 will bring increasing challenges to Scientology Inc. as ever-increasing exposure is brought to bear on this criminal organization masquerading as a religion. Particular scrutiny will be on Kingpin David Miscavige and his enablers.