End of Scientology is near
29 Mar 2001
firstname.lastname@example.org (Bear Goal)
I've been browsing ARS for 3 years now. I've seen stuff come and go.
I didn't used to think much of ARS. I thought that the critics were fairly full of themselves in thinking they were destroying Scientology. In my mind they were just a handful of disgruntled ex-Scienos and pissed-off webmasters poking fun and badmouthing Scientology. They were surely deluded if they thought they were making any kind of a broad impact on the behemoth organization.
Last year I drove by the local mission where I had begun my Scientology services. It was gone. It used to be one of the top missions in the world... they usually hovered around #3 in the "Birthday Game" standings when I used to go there. They were always trying to beat the Ventura mission which was the perennial #1 in the world.
Recently I went down to the LA complex. The parking lot was mostly empty. AOLA was almost deserted compared to the way it used to be 10 years ago. I saw a lot less staffers walking around than I remembered... Berendo street used to be a sea of blue-shirted Sea Orgers.
The signs are all around. Scientology is imploding. It cannot last much longer. And I now believe that the internet is the principal cause.
See, Scientology ALWAYS had a high turnover. Of both staff and public. This has been true all the way back to the 60's and 70's. People come in, take the services, make some gains and get enthused about it. Perhaps they join staff. Then they hit a wall. OT levels are not what they thought it would be. Their wonderful case gains were only temporary, they'd become Clears but after a while they realized that they still had problems and upsets. Perhaps they got put off by the high prices and the hard sell. Or they got tired of the low pay and harsh conditions of being on staff and blew.
The difference in the old days was that there was always a constant stream of newcomers into Scientology. New meat was replacing the ones who left. In the booming days of 70's and 80's, newbies were coming in faster than oldtimers were leaving.
Today it's different. The stream of newcomers has dwindled to almost nothing. Although Miscavige's mismanagment has something to do with it, I believe a big part of it is due to the internet.
When I joined Scientology, there was no internet. Concerned relatives showed me newspaper articles trying to discourage me, but these were very easy for Scientology handlers to debunk. There was no detailed descriptions of the OT levels in the newspaper clippings, no Xenu.net or fza.org's Reformer page. And Scientology had a well-oiled machine for handling "PTS Type A"s.
Things are different today. What's the first thing most people do nowadays when they want to know about something? They search the internet. Everyone I know does, even kids. Wondering which SUV had the best crash test ratings? Look it up on the web. Wanna know if you should buy that No Money Down Real Estate program that you saw on a late nite informercial? Search Google for people's experiences with it.
I can tell you that if the internet existed when I was about to join Scientology, I would've stayed away. No amount of handling by Scientologists could've overcome the sheer volume and weight of evidence against Scientology that is easily accesible on the web. They cannot dismiss the entire internet as a psych-funded black PR, as they could (and did) the newspaper clippings that my parents showed me.
The world has changed since I joined Scientology, and Scientology cannot survive in this new information age. It will shrink and disappear as surely as a creek dries up and ceases to flow in a drought.
As to how long Scientology can last..... I think about 3 more years. In my opinion the length of time that the average Scientologist stays in Scientology is about 5 years. The internet really became big in 1999, the year that internet access penetration reached a majority of the US households. And that's the year that Scientology's well of new meat began to dry up in a big way. So I'd say by 2004 Scientology will be history.
It COULD come earlier than that due to Miscavige. His "solutions" to dwindling statistics are becoming problems themselves. Perhaps he needs to retread Level 1.
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