That’s no small feat. Most cults are like Rand’s – a loosely organized never-ending work-party, in her case devoted to making sure that everyone expressed ‘non-contradictory joy’ in perfect unanimity with zero counter-revolutionary deviations. Rand and her minions called that ‘individualism.’
Slightly more-organized cults are often communal poverty pits, complete with infectious diseases rarely seen since the Middle Ages. Rescued victims need delousing more than deprogramming.
Scientology has all that beat: It’s tightly-organized – a self-policing mental and emotional police state – yet its cultists are often high-functioning, high-achieving, high-earning members of the middle class. They are beyond nuts, if they actually believe what they say they believe, and yet they come across as being less crazy than The Big O’s bug-eyed ‘individualists.’
Unless someone pays me a lot of money for the work, including funds for security, I won’t be doing much digging into Scientology. It’s a crackpot cult, but it’s a crackpot cult built by a wannabe super-villain who figured out how to cultivate wannabe super-villains. There’s no evidence that I know of that they actually assassinate their ‘enemies,’ but they have a detailed policy for it.
But the whole of the universe is in every drop of rain, if you know what to look for, so let’s take a tiny peek at one small piece of Scientology – the true ‘technology’ of the E-meter – to illuminate how the pot gets cracked.
Its first job is to sort the gullible from the wise, so the E-meter is the physical instantiation of The Nigerian Prince Scam: Only fools could believe this dumb little gadget does anything, so Hubbard’s ‘auditors’ can tell in a flash who can be turned into a reliable donor.
Given that Hubbard was so C in his praxis, I’ll bet every donor identified by E-meter has a projected life-cycle of sucker-tude – how long the dipshit will keep coughing up dough.
Note that there is a spiff or even an MLM payment stream to the recruiter for every new sucker roped in this way. That’s scamster brilliance, too: Nothing incentivizes like pay-for-performance.
But Scientology’s great innovation comes with what Hubbard does with the wise.
Every church, every cult, every ballyhooed ‘movement’ financially milks willing volunteers. It’s how you pay for work people are not willing to fund by way of commerce. Every sort of donor-funded organization depends on the kindness of Sociables, especially, and upon their readiness to believe in the individually-heroic properties of entirely-fungible dollars.
Accordingly, every donor-funded organization wants to recruit as many generous supporters as it can, while losing as little time and money as possible either to non-donors or to people skeptical of the group’s creed, methods or objectives. Keep the gullible, lose the wise, as it were.
Hubbard goes that one better: He sorts the wise into two groups: People who might want in on the con-game, and those who just yearn to get all that E-meter sleaze off their hands. So among the people the ‘auditor’ knows are wise to the scam, the goal is to shunt away the indifferent or potentially-troublesome but to hang onto folks who are identifiably predatory – people with unilateral empathy strategies.
What happens to the latter group? The true Church of Scientology – predator school.
L. Ron Hubbard figured out how to cultivate truly-monstrous Ic super-villains by bringing them along slowly, moving them up through the ranks of criminally-abusive ‘authoritah,’ with each promotion resulting from the demonstration of a new level of humiliating, predatory abusiveness.
Abusiveness toward whom? Toward the gullible Sociables who are reliably paying for the awful treatment they get.
In the ‘Church’ of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard built a brilliantly-engineered self-contained, self-sustaining predator cult. It not only continuously replenishes its own sheep population, it cultivates its own middle-management wolf supply.
World’s dumbest religion? Not even close – but it’s astoundingly dumb, nevertheless: Nigerian Princes rule the universe.
But Scientology is the world’s most successful and longest running con-game – a simple and obvious fact that Scientologists just might kill to keep.