The "church's" achilles heel revealed!
"0715//Now the church has put itself in a rather difficult position because they're in a hurry. And if there's one underlying factor that is almost always the case in scientology is that they are unwilling to wait. They're unwilling to take the time and to do the things necessary to establish a position in the community aside from simply bullying their way into such a position."
The "church" pulls it all in!
"Now I can remember when the raids occurred on the church back in '75, remember in July of '75 when the FBI banged the doors down and generally carried on? And, among the people with whom I was associated at the time, while there was general support for the plight of the church, there was nonetheless a very distinct undercurrent of people saying:
well, we must have done something, where there is smoke, there is fire.
And yet, that attitude, those thoughts, those ideas, were not freely and openly communicated. People had to secretly talk about those things among themselves, creating the withhold phenomenon if we'd ever seen it, and as a result of that we began to create two classes of people in the church. There were those, on the my country right or wrong, flag-waving, uh, bent, and then there were those who were not as convinced that perhaps we shouldn't be looking carefully at, how could we say this, what we did to pull this in."
The coming of Bob Minton prophesied!
"2450//Now, the fourth overall effect is kind of a funny little boomerang. The more aggressive and the more ferocious the church is, the greater the chances of coming up with a real strong and aggressive crusader against it. Yes, you'll kill off the people that can be easily intimidated pretty quickly, but as you've got lots of litigation going out, sooner or later, you're going to sue somebody who's going to sue you right back, and who's going to be able to sustain the onslaught.
And that's trouble, if your own house is not completely in order."
[Or maybe not. In all, worth the time to watch it. Transcription by yours truly. Formatting and punctuation courtesy of yours truly. Don't go thinking that John Zegel is at fault, though he does have a tendency to overuse the word "and", and a pronounced tendency to overqualify his statements about the "church". I'll continue with parts 2 and 3 if there's enough interest.] =====BEGIN Council Meeting, Aug. 5 [? -m.], 1985:
Ian//Okay, we have just a couple of announcements here before we get started with uh... what should be a scintillating talk tonight by John Zegel. Hope you like our new location. We had a little meeting of the minds with the spinsters at the former location, they just, they thought we were anti-christ oriented and we couldn't convince them otherwise so that's the reason for our new location here. Um... we're waiting a few extra minutes for any stragglers who might not have heard that we had moved for this... event. And tentatively our next event which is scheduled for two weeks from tonight tentatively is scheduled to be here also. We have to confirm it with the owner. Providing we don't wreck this place tonight I think he'll let us have it here. Now I want to make a little announcement. The free spirit is due to come out in about two weeks...
[Ian talks about the Free Spirit. Since it's probably no longer in print, I chose not to transcribe it. -m.] Okay... any stragglers? Enter now or forever hold your peace. We have some exciting events coming down the road here with the... the law scene getting hot and heavy and we have somebody who is very knowledgeable.
He happens to be in the thick of the battle. I don't know that that's his choosing but he's in the thick of it. So without any wandering preamble here, would you please welcome John Zegel...
[applause -m.] 0300//Thanks Ian... Well hi. It's good to look out on all of those sunburned faces of the people that were up at the picnic yesterday.
Um... I want to begin by telling you that I'm not a lawyer, and so the materials I'm going to be talking [sic -m.] to you tonight are either off the top of my head or I actually have done some research, so... I did not forget my notes. And, uh... nor would I have been able to go on without them.// You know, just recently I had a birthday and I received this card which has a picture of a hippopotamus on the front of it and it says "A Special Birthday Recipe for the Chocolate Lover" and the recipe is for something called "Hippo Pot de Mousse". The ingredients are as follows:
16 pounds of bitter chocolate, two pounds of white sugar, two pounds of brown sugar, half a cup of vanilla extract, and eleven gallons of heavy cream. The instructions are as follows: In a large pan, melt the chocolate over boiling water. Add sugar and vanilla. Continue cooking until the sugar is dissolved (about three days). Set aside to cool.
Pour the cream into a well-scrubbed kitchen sink. Using a small jacuzzi pump, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. When you have recovered, fold the chocolate mixture into the cream. Shovel into serving bowls.
Serves three. [laughter -m.] 0430//But... It seemed particularly germane because I think that where I want to begin tonight is with the thought that anything taken to excess is potentially harmful. And the legal situation that we find ourselves in now and the current circumstance regarding litigation in the church of scientology has been shoveled into bowls for three. It's a pretty large thing. I must apologize for my voice, I've been dashing around.
We just filed our answer in cross complaint against the church this afternoon. We worked most of the weekend except a few hours in the sun at the picnic and I've had about three hours sleep in the last two days. It felt like a Wednesday night at the church. [laughter -m.] 0515//Uh... I will tell you a little bit more about it when I get to that section. I thought I'd begin with an overview of scientology and litigation and what the relationship is and perhaps try to understand a little bit better how this all comes about. You know, any brand new religion begins with a group of zealots. That's the way it has to begin. That's what the fundamentals are. New religious groups generally feel they are the only way-they are the only salvation there is. They tend to be intolerant of other religions, and zealousness is rewarded in the group as something worthwhile and beneficial and important. And so that early, formative period of time is an extremely important one.
0605//Now any new religion, what we will call tonight "neo-religions"--we'll try to avoid catchphrases and things of that sort--comes under lots of scrutiny because its ideas are new and they are challenging and they tend to challenge existing ways and the way things are done. And every group that has new ideas and new positions has got to fight for a place in the sun. There are enough vested interests in people that already believe that they have found the way that you've got to push them a little bit out of the way in order to make a space for yourself.
0645//Now, particularly in terms of scientology, as everybody in this room knows, this is a controversial organization. The public at large has not yet simply accepted, carte blanche, that scientology is the way. And they don't believe that its necessarily a good idea. It takes time to communicate ideas to large numbers of people. And it takes time to get them to the point where they're willing to accept them graciously.
0715//Now the church has put itself in a rather difficult position because they're in a hurry. And if there's one underlying factor that is almost always the case in scientology is that they are unwilling to wait. They're unwilling to take the time and to do the things necessary to establish a position in the community aside from simply bullying their way into such a position. Obviously, as well, there are people in this society that are going to be resistant to change. And I don't know anybody in this room that in certain circumstances wouldn't find themselves resistant to change. And particularly something as personal and as important as religion is an area where people are particularly resistant to change. So once again, being in a hurry there is going to be all the more difficult.
0800//Now... scientologists believe that their way is an extremely important way. It is above the law. It is a planetary movement. And there have been innumerable timetables set up, perhaps some of you have read them over the years. Uh... by such and such a date we will have cleared New York City or we will have cleared Mexico or we will have cleared somewhere or another... And those timetables which are, if you will, "divinely inspired" have often failed. [laughter - someone in the audience remarks "always" -m.] 0845//Yeah, I think always failed is probably right. Well now, there has to be a why. And when you have a divinely inspired timetable the why has to be somebody else. It can't be that you haven't done your job well or that you haven't thought through clearly what you're doing.
Now, within the organization itself this has led to a fairly large amount of abberative thinking. Because blame, to a large degree, is abberation. Now this abberative thinking has, in many instances, probably more than any of us have ultimately come to the realization on, has come from the top.
0930//The first thing is these abberative... areas of abberative thinking, and we're talking now in terms of my opinion, is that scientology is above the law. Its goals and aims are so important that trivial matters such as customs and what the social morays are of where the group is located are secondary to what they're doing. And so it's simply possible to trample over those in order to achieve a greater planetary good.
1000//The second piece of abberative thinking is kind of a John Wayne approach, you know: if you're not with us, you're against us. And this has lead to a variety of problems, which includes the fact that the church has had to establish, in a sense, an endless membership. Once you walk up the steps, even if you're only the postman, the job of the receptionist is to sell you a book, sign you up, and you're in for the duration. And should you have the audacity not to agree, you're declared a suppressive person.
1035//Having had that done to me, I can tell you that it does... it is not the most pleasant thing that's ever happened.
1045//The third piece of abberative thinking is that litigation can be used to cripple or ruin someone who is perceived as an enemy. It doesn't matter whether you have a case that is adequate to win... and the question is whether you have a case which is adequate enough to keep it in court long enough that you can financially ruin your opponent.
And the cost of litigation is extraordinary. The case that is currently pending against the advanced ability center and certain of the people associated with it and myself has been in action just a bit over six months. And we've expended nearly fifty thousand dollars keeping that case going. And we're not very far along. We just filed the answer.
So the amount of energy that's required to hold your own against an opponent of the magnitude of the church--somebody that has that kind of money--is really considerable.
1145//The fourth area of abberative thinking is that actual criminal conduct, and there has been some of that... I mean we saw it with the scientology nine, or eleven depending on the numbers you count, people actually going to prison as a result of conduct in association with the church, is somehow or another justifiable because once again it is, it is opined that we are headed for the greater good.
1215//The fifth area is that litigation can be used as a PR ploy. You can file a piece of litigation, publish what you have filed, and thereby, uh, convince the public that the group or person that's attacking you is criminal, is disreputable, is in some fashion unworthy. Now, when you have an organization the size of the church and an organization with such intense emphasis on finance a couple of things are inevitably going to occur. The first thing that is going to occur is that it's going to attract a certain amount of public scrutiny.
People get interested when large sums of money take hands... change hands. And so you have to be particularly careful in those circumstances that your financial dealings are beyond reproach.
Something else happens, and I suspect you've seen it too, and that is whenever there's a circumstance where large sum of money are changing hands very often it can attract the less than reputable people in a society.
1325//You know, what earning a living is all about is how to persuade somebody else to give up something that they have so that you can have it. You know, you go to work and you are a, uh... you're a telephone lineman and you do your work in order to persuade the telephone company to part with a few dollars every week. Well people in society that are a little bit less scrupulous than that find religion to be an astonishingly interesting way of getting people to part with their money. And they can persuade them to do so because it makes them "good". And I think that has also been an element that has brought scrutiny on the church. And it may very well be that some less than scrupulous people have been attracted to the church because of the large sums of money involved.
1410//Even a loss... a loss in court, a bad press release... there's even a justification for that, you know. If there's a loss in court it's because the judge is a suppressive person, because the court systems are rigged, because jurists don't know what they're doing, because a newspaper reporter, quote, "already had his story written before he ever arrived", and so forth. Um, I've had newspaper stories written about me and they certainly weren't always accurate, but they weren't always unaccurate, either. Unaccurate? [audience member suggests "inaccurate"
-m.] Thank you. I knew there was a word in there somewhere. Thanks.
And it... that kind of justification becomes self-serving at a point when perhaps there's an opportunity for reform within the organization and that opportunity is ignored.
1510//Now, the church in this posture with these various, what I consider to be abberative ways of thinking, perceives some benefits as a result. They must be getting something out of this. There has to be a reason why the church of scientology may very well be the most litigious... [aside to audience -m.] are you familiar with that word?
It means being, um... prone to file lawsuits, become involved in litigation. There must be a reason why the church of scientology is one of the most litigious organizations on the face of the earth.
1540//I was told by a church official just a couple of years ago that the church, on legal expenses alone, was spending on the average of a million dollars a month. And, in times when legal activity was intense, was spending as much as a million dollars a week, just on attorneys and legal actions. That's an astonishing amount of money. If you convert that into auditing hours, it gives you an idea of how much work is being done to support that action. So the church must perceive some benefit from this.
1615//Well first of all, it makes the church look strong, you know? You don't go up against the church of scientology because they are too mighty, at least fiscally, if in no other way.
1630//Second of all, media can be intimidated with litigation, so that at least they'll print nothing. In my various contacts with the media over the last couple of years, I've discovered that there's been a considerable amount of intimidation that's gone on. And, just recently, in contact with someone who has a good friend that works at the LA Times I discovered that the church filed a lawsuit against them for libel back several years ago, and there was a policy that stories on the church of scientology had to be very carefully done.
1710//The third area that the church can see potential benefits of this kind of behavior is that some people, without the wherewithal to press a lawsuit against the church, for some actual damage done, would not...
will not do so. They'll simply back away because the threat is just too great.
1730//The fourth area is that governmental actions can be stalled. You know the '70-'72 tax case didn't ultimately result in a decision until just last fall, just a little over a year ago. That was a long time in litigation, and the church, with the kind of resources that it has, has the ability to delay, slow down, whatever, litigation for a long time.
And one of the things that occasionally occurs is that you get a change in administration. And a very conservative government is more likely to press a claim against the church than one which is more liberal and tends to have a more open door policy.
1810//The fifth area where I think the church may perceive some benefits is that members within the church are reluctant to leave or reluctant to say anything about their disaffection or leaving because of the potential threats which exist. Not just in terms of litigation, but also in terms of social chastisement, you know. You can be declared "Type III" or you... "PTS" or any number of things, they can write "non-enturbulation orders" on you, those sorts of things.
1845//And the sixth area where I think the church perceives some benefits has to do with a tape that... where Ron talks about the difference between a group of people on a ship and a crew. And he says that you don't really have a crew on a ship until the ship has been through a storm. And these cataclysmic lawsuits give church membership a central enemy to focus on. Now, there are a couple of central enemies that we're focusing on at the moment--Michael Flynn is of course one of them, but psychiatry is another. And some information has come to light recently about the church's attempts to destroy psych... psychiatry as an entire practice in this country.
1930//The idea was to find psychiatrists who had actually committed crimes, have them jailed for those crimes, encourage the patients of those people to file lawsuits against the church, I'm sorry... I beg your pardon, to file lawsuits against the psychiatrist, and use this enormous amount of activity to go to the legislature and say: this is an activity which should be outlawed. It's a remarkable ploy, in terms of eliminating potential competition, and people with whom the church has fundamental philosophical differences. I don't know whether this plan was ever carried out. I do know that the order for it came from highest quarters and it was delivered personally to David Mayo. It was given to him to, in some fashion, begin implementation of.
2030//Now, the church also perceives some non-benefits from this as well. First of all, church aggressiveness tends to lead to more litigation. When you get real aggressive about pushing people around sometimes they push back. Second, it makes the group as a whole less appealing to large numbers of people, because people are still reluctant to become involved in radical activities. Third, the cost, of course, is enormous. Imagine what could have been done in terms of dissemination and public service, just over the last ten years, if half the money put into litigation had been put into dissemination and public work. This group would be, first not here, and second of all, the church of scientology would be infinitely larger and infinitely more respected.
2130//Now the costs... also there's another cost, and that has to do with internal unrest. Now I can remember when the raids occurred on the church back in '75, remember in July of '75 when the FBI banged the doors down and generally carried on? And, among the people with whom I was associated at the time, while there was general support for the plight of the church, there was nonetheless a very distinct undercurrent of people saying: well, we must have done something, where there is smoke, there is fire. And yet, that attitude, those thoughts, those ideas, were not freely and openly communicated. People had to secretly talk about those things among themselves, creating the withhold phenomenon if we'd ever seen it, and as a result of that we began to create two classes of people in the church. There were those, on the my country right or wrong, flag-waving, uh, bent, and then there were those who were not as convinced that perhaps we shouldn't be looking carefully at, how could we say this, what we did to pull this in.
2240//Okay. Now, I think we can take a broader view. I think we can look at what the real overall results of this are. Now the first thing, of course, is that the church's strength is weakened by the enormous cost. I don't think there's any way to avoid that conclusion. Second, the media, once intimidated, will nonetheless at some point in the future solve that intimidation. The reporter you squash today if going to be the editor five years from now. And he's going to remember what happened and you know, scientology has, as part of its philosophical underpinning, that what you try to do is you try to erase anything which is undesirable. But you can't erase people. You can do it, but it causes a great deal of trouble. And, just the jokes about R2-45 notwithstanding, people that the church squashes today do come back to haunt us in the future. It has always been that way, and it will always be that way.
2350//Third, is that, the reform which could have taken place as a result of this external intervention, you know, LRH says in the tech: if you can't put your own ethics in, somewhere or somehow or another, ethics are going to be put in on you, either by the society or by the church or somebody else. We have never once recognized that the FBI raid, and the litigation, and the other things that are going on, is a social attempt to put our ethics in, and so the reform which could have taken place as a result of that, had we been willing to objectively look at it, and I don't mean anytime anybody files a lawsuit we have to immediately go around and check and sweep all the cupboards, but you know it wouldn't be a bad idea, and people faced with that circumstance in a more social frame of mind than has been evident to me in the church, tend to do that. They tend to look and say: where have I veered off the path?
2450//Now, the fourth overall effect is kind of a funny little boomerang. The more aggressive and the more ferocious the church is, the greater the chances of coming up with a real strong and aggressive crusader against it. Yes, you'll kill off the people that can be easily intimidated pretty quickly, but as you've got lots of litigation going out, sooner or later, you're going to sue somebody who's going to sue you right back, and who's going to be able to sustain the onslaught.
And that's trouble, if your own house is not completely in order.
2530//So, I think we have seen that. We've seen it with Michael Flynn.
Regardless of what your opinion is, of the man or his motives, he is a crusader. And it is my belief that the church of scientology created him out of whole cloth. [laughter -m.] 2550//If they'd simply paid off his claims, the refund, or come to some kind of reasonable understanding in Boston, without the harassment and the other stuff that was entered into, I don't believe that the man would have ever been a crusader against the church. I frankly think he probably would have gotten into politics in Massachusetts and we never would have heard from him again.
2615//The fifth area where this creates problems is public pressure, because people have a tendency to fight for the underdog, you know, '60, what was it, '69 Mets? You know? Hey, Mets! Everyone is cheering the Mets on because they had never won a game. I remember seeing a game on TV where some people were in the stands. They had a big banner and it said: We don't want to set the world on fire, all we want is a couple of hits. And so people, they do tend to root for the underdog and if this, if this huge organization, at least that's the perception of it that people get, because as far as litigation they're all over the place, comes down on the head of somebody like little Julie Christopherson or, you know, Paulette Cooper, I don't know if you've ever seen her, she's a petite little lady, you know, not a big bruiser, people tend to support the underdog. And so it creates opposition to the church there as well.
2705//Now, as the trouble progresses, it tends to come around back. You know, we talked about the editor that becomes, er, the reporter that becomes the editor. And you can't hold it off forever. And so the amount of trouble that you're in begins gradiently to increase. Now if you're not cleaning house as you're going along, to, in order to handle this increasing difficulty, the only solution is more and more desperate acts. It's the only choice you've got. So if you can't take responsibility for what's happened, then the amount of ferociousness with what you... with which you must attack those raising your dirty linen on the flagpole leads to things that we have seen, you know, the church conspiring to place plants in government offices, stealing the paperwork of litigation... cases in litigation against the church, uh, planting lawyers in the offices of people that are filing suits against the church, in order to have inside information on how those suits are being prepared, and so on.
2815//Now, in an atmosphere of zealousness, moderates, who tend to be more socially acceptable, get weeded out. They're considered to be, [aside to audience -m.] what's the church, what's the term?
"Theatie-wheetie" is one. Reasonable? That's a good term. [audience member says, "dilettantes" -m.] Uh, dilettantes! That's the word I was looking for. Thank you. Yes. They're dilettantes. That's exactly it. They're not wearing the blue and white, and they're not out there slaying the dragons for the old man.
2845//And the result of that is that people that are more moderate become less and less willing to be associated with the church. How many people here have either not wanted to talk about scientology to their friends, or know people who are absolutely closet scientologists because they didn't want anybody to know they were associated with such an organization? That's not the way to build a large population.
2915//Within the organization itself, then, a polarization tends to occur between the zealots and the moderates. And I would suggest to you that what we have sitting in this room tonight are the moderates, and that the zealots remain in the church. And this is not, ultimately, what the church had in mind. [laughter -m.] You know there was a wonderful bumper sticker around a few years ago, I'll delete the expletive for the purposes of this tape, but it said: I've got good news and bad news. The good news is Christ is coming. And the bad news is He's really mad. [laughter -m.] And... And we have a good news and bad news situation here, you know? This is, as far as I'm concerned, is good news, but to the church this is bad news, and they're really mad.