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The Organizational Structure of Scientology

Layout of Policy Letters -- The organization has laid out its collected Policy Letters in the direction of expansion. [...] So Policy Letters, for example, bar entrance into the area of healing. It does this only because too many difficulties arise with the occupants of this area, and only an unconditional war (for which there is no demand) could solve these difficulties. [...]Therefore the correct path of expansion lies in the gradual construction of a general, public demand to let the public see and experience that we heal, and if the demand is then there, and one yells for us, then re-interpret the Policy Letters anew or do away with them [...].
L. Ron Hubbard[1]

Scientology is not, clearly said, a colorful bunch of idealists who do whatever and leave whenever they want to. It is a strongly hierarchical, thoroughly structured organization, even if each individual Scientology Church or Mission is, outwardly, self-sufficient. Anybody who has had anything at all to do with Scientology has experienced this organization. The worldwide center of management for Scientology is located in Los Angeles and vicinity.

In 1988, Scientology published a brochure which gave information about their organizations and command structure, as far as they wished it to be made known. It bore the title of "The Command Channels of Scientology," and contained the following in the introduction:

In their organizations there is an exact scheme which organizes the various posts so that they function together to result in a productive activity. [...]

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In the same way there is an encompassing organization structure which spans the collective Scientology activities. It consists of various types of organizations and groups -- including yours. [...] The orderly and progressive expansion of Scientology completely depends on this aggregate structure. Because of that it must be realized by all that they must strictly abide by it.

The collection of all organizations and groups forms a global network. Each individual part has its special, individual functions and areas of responsibility. But ALL service organizations have the goal of making L. Ron Hubbard's technology known to the public and of delivering it.

Therefore we can clearly determine that each kind of activity, even if it has only the most remote connection with Scientology, fits somewhere in this long-term, strategic planning, and is controlled, ultimately, by upper management[2].

The three central Scientology core organizations come under the designations of:

The last two organizations are relatively unknown, yet they play meaningful roles.

The Executor of the L. Ron Hubbard Estate/Author Services Inc.

The Executor of the Estate of L. Ron Hubbard[3] administers the copyrights of all of the works written by L. Ron Hubbard, and is, officially and legally, not part of the "Church organization", although it is constantly exhibiting a greater presence in many organizations.

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It allows the distribution and publication of articles and books, of tape recordings and films by L. Ron Hubbard. Is is also the license holder of the Scientology Churches, and could, theoretically, withdraw the rights to use L. Ron Hubbard's works.

It also, of course, collects certain licensing fees from Scientology, so that the Scientology Churches pay money to this commercial enterprise, thereby making them quite wealthy. In one of the policy letters which is "no longer valid", it states in the introduction to finance planning: "How much are the weekly licensing fees to the executor of the estate?"[4] Today the policy letter is no longer written this way, but of course this and other fees are easily hidden. The weekly fee to the higher Scientology organization could perhaps be paid as a "management bill." The Executor will surely receive its money from the churches the same way it would receive fees from franchises. The Executor also receives the licensing fees from the Scientology-oriented business consultants.

The Executor of the LRH Estate is led by Scientologist Norman Starkey, the director of Author Services, Inc., in Los Angeles. This company, according to the former chairman of the board of the Religious Technology Center, Vicky Aznaran, was established as a "channel" which would be used to siphon off the profits of Scientology to L. Ron Hubbard. According to Vicky Aznaran[5], in 1984 and 1985 the chairman of the board of Author Services was David Miscavige, the current chief of the Religious Technology Center.

Miscavige represents Hubbard in all affairs of the control of Scientology. He regularly holds meetings with me and other high officials of the Scientology organizations in order to oversee the status of all the activities, including the judicial proceedings and the "dirty tricks campaigns" against the enemies of Scientology[6].

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The Religious Technology Center

The Religious Technology Center, founded in Los Angeles on January 7, 1982, introduces itself in the following way:

The Religious Technology Center (abbreviation: RTC) is the guardian of the religion of Scientology. It possesses all the trademarks and symbols, and controls the licensing fees and utilization. The purpose of the RTC is:


The brochure emphasizes that the Religious Technology Center is not a part of the international management of Scientology. It is supposed to be more of a "parallel" operating oversight organization, which sees to it that the Scientology Churches and those churches, missions and groups licensed by them present the desired services as RTC expects them to.

The currently leader of the Religious Technology Center is the 35 year old David Miscavige.

Therefore there are two apparently independent organizations upon which all of Scientology depends: the Executor, for the works of Hubbard, and the Religious Technology Center, for the trademarks and symbols.

page 97 & 98

Scientology Organization Chart

page 99

Why do trademarks and symbols play such an important role in Scientology? The answer is very simple: at some point the copyright protection on L. Ron Hubbard's works will run out. Then everybody has the right to reproduce Hubbard's written works to their heart's content. By the protection of key concepts such as Dianetics, Scientology, Clear, etc., a mark is supposed to arise which will permit consumers to know where these sort of services are available in accordance with the RTC directives. Same as Coca-Cola or IBM.

It will become clear that things have been thought out far into the future. In principle, it is being prevented, analogous to the Christian beliefs, that there be ten, twenty or more denominations, all of which designate themselves as "Scientology."[8]

Finally these two organizations guide Scientology, if another organization is not hidden in there somewhere. The "Church of Spiritual Technology", which has to be accounted for as part of Scientology, is not known to any normal Scientologist, and has not yet been officially presented. Are there more such organizations? Maybe an Excalibur Foundation? And an Excalibur Medical Foundation?

Church of Scientology International

Church of Scientology International consists of a large number of various organizations which constitute their own corporations and which appear under their own names. All the threads of these organization converge together in International Management in Hemet, near Los Angeles.

A simplified chart shows the management of Scientology on pages 97-98.

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The "Watchdog Committee" is an "inspection and supervisory organization which inspects the actual management groups of the Church."

Various types of organizations are collected into various sectors. Each of these sectors has a management organization which directs it. The inspections and supervisory actions of the WDC are directed at these various sectors. These are (collectively):

- the sector of Scientology (all the organizations which are known as churches or missions, these are further sub-divided, but that is coincidental to our presentation);

- the sector of the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE) (includes all the WISE activities, and therefore the introduction of Hubbard's writings into commercial business.;

- the sector for the Association of Better Living and Education (ABLE) (includes the activities in areas of social reform which are promoted and support by the Association of Better Living and Education, for example, Narconon, the drug rehabilitation program of Scientology);

- the sector of publication organizations (includes Bridge Publications Incorporated in Los Angeles and New Era Publications in Copenhagen, which produce Hubbard's books and distribute them to Scientology organizations for sale;

- the sector of the Office for Special Affairs (includes the International Network for the Office of Special Affairs)[9].

These are the current, publicly known organizations of Scientology, and it is clear that the publicly well-known organization WISE is an integral component of Scientology.

Since all these areas are directed by the international management of Scientology, it can be correctly asserted that they all serve "to expand the religious philosophy of Scientology."

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If, for example, a business consultant, who is connected with WISE, states that the recruitment of new members for Scientology is not his main concern, then this may very well be true for him personally, but strategically and from the viewpoint of the Church leadership, his actions operate exactly like a recruitment.

The Religious Creed of Scientology

For the most part, every rational person would doubtlessly support the religious creed of Scientology. However, in the day-to-day activities of a Scientologist, it serves as a wallflower, and is in no way a component of the fundamental courses for new Scientologists for the purpose of making them more familiar with their new "religion." One can be a Scientologist for years without a problem without ever having heard of or seen this religious creed. The exception is a "wave of religionization" for legal or PR reasons.

So much of this creed looked familiar to me, that I took the liberty of publishing it along with quotes from the "Declaration of Human Rights," which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris on December 12, 1948:

The Religious Creed of Scientology

We of the Church believe:

General Declaration of Human Rights UNO General Assembly of December 12, 1948

1. That all people, of whichever race, color or religious belief they may be, are created with equal rights.

Article 1. All people are free, and are born with equal worth and rights. They are endowed with intelligence and conscience, and should face each other in the spirit of brotherhood.

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2. That all people have the inalienable right to their own religious practices and exercises.

Article 18: Each person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right includes the freedom to change his religion or conviction, as well as the freedom to practice his religion or conviction alone or in a community with others, in public or in private, through teachings, practices, divine services and performance of rites.

3. That all people have the inalienable right to their own life.

Article 3: Each person has the right to life, freedom, and personal security. Article 4: Nobody may be held in slavery or servitude. Slavery and slavetrading are forbidden in all their forms.

4. That all people have the inalienable right to their mental health.

Article 25.1: Every person is entitled to a standard of life which guarantees his and his family's health and welfare, including food, clothes, shelter, medical care, and emergency social welfare services.

5. That all people have the inalienable right to their own defense.

Article 8: Each person is entitled to effective legal protection from the responsible indigent courts against all treatment which offends his existing fundamental right according to the constitution or the law.

6. That all people have the inalienable right to devise, choose and support their own organization, church or government.

Article 21.3: The will of the people forms the foundation for the authority of the public power; this will must be manifested by periodical and unfalsified elections with general and equal rights to vote by secret ballot or in a comparable electoral process.

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7. That all people have the inalienable right to think freely, to speak freely, to freely write their own opinions and to oppose the opinions of others, or to speak against them or write about them.

Article 19: Every person has the right to freedom of speech. This right includes the freedom to hold an uncontested opinion, and to seek, receive and spread information and ideas by any means of communication without regard to boundaries.

8. That all people have the inalienable right to reproduce their own kind.

Article 16: Marriageable men and women have the right, without limitation by race, citizenship or religion, to contract a marriage and to start a family. They have equal rights during the contract, during the marriage, and by its dissolution.

9. That the souls of people have the rights of people.

10. That the study of understanding and the cure of mentally caused illnesses should not be alienated from religion or bestowed upon non-religious areas.

11. And that no entity besides God has the power to remove these rights or to disregard them, be it public or hidden.

And we of the Church believe:

12. That the person is basically good.
13. That he strives to survive.
14. That survival is dependent upon himself and his fellow human beings and upon his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.
15. That the law of God forbids man to destroy his own kind, to destroy the health of others, to destroy or enslave the soul of others, or to destroy or reduce the survival of his comrades or his group.

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And we of the Church believe:

16. That the spirit can be saved and that the spirit alone can save or heal the body.

The religious creed of Scientology has, besides its own specific characteristics, a strong resemblance to the insights and hopes of the human rights written in 1948. We also find here one of the few places in which God is mentioned.

How Does the Business Operate?

No Scientology organization is independent, even if the charter seems to express this, or should cause a corresponding impression through the revelations of public relations. The Scientology business manages itself on the basis of exact statistics, which are turned in weekly. It is faster at that than most businesses in the world. Each week the management in Los Angeles knows exactly how many leaflets have been distributed in Hamburg or Zurich, in Tokyo or in Johannesburg, what income was attained, which books were sold, etc. They are likely outdone only by the McDonald's food chain, where the management in each country knows exactly how many hamburgers of which sort were sold on this day.

These numbers are always collected on Thursday at 2 p.m. Every experienced Scientologist, who because of his financial ability, is a potential donor, is aware of the very high likelihood of being called up by one of the salespeople of Scientology on Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning.

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The salesperson has an urgent need to improve his sales statistics, and seeks someone to help him. It is not a coincidence that many experienced Scientologists have a telephone answering machine at home. I also know of a few Scientologists who get an additional secret telephone number in order to protect themselves from the sales telemarketers.

The management instructions from above direct the management organizations to send their information (in Europe it goes to Europe Central in Copenhagen, and from there to Los Angeles):

The central computer bank is a large arrangement of computers which offers management various kinds of computer programs. These programs increase the effectiveness of management, so that they can better help their organizations to expand.

So, for example, computer programs exist which can store transmitted data and reports from organizations, then index the data. By this means the information is easily accessible, and management staff can examine organizations' evaluations and programs based on the actual yield of their organizations[10].

To control the execution of these programs, each individual organization has a checklist for every program of who should input what and when. The completion of the individual items are then checked by an independent management representative in each large organization and sent to Los Angeles.

The individual member of Scientology, the common consumer, is only indirectly affected by this management.

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The staff member responsible for the recruitment of new members inside of the organization has to make up reports of how many new members were recruited, because this is his performance indicator; but despite that which is so often reported by the media, in no case have I observed during my twenty year membership, common members being forced or compelled to recruit new members. However, this has changed in recent times. Whoever would like to graduate the "highest steps of enlightenment" is obligated to show his devotion and membership through proof of the active recruitment of new members. He must become a so-called FSM, Field Staff Member. For Scientologists who do not like this, there are special counselling sessions on the electro-psychometer which are meant to do away with their inhibitions in this regard; it is meant to free the person, in particular, from his "transgressions." Besides that the recruiting Scientologist gets ten percent commission. If he constantly stays on the ball, he can accumulate a significant sum. The FSM appointee in each Scientology organization must see to it that many Scientologists actively sell. This is his personal performance indicator; as it goes up and down, so does his respect (and pay)[11].

These contexts may make the kind of pressure clear which the staff in Scientology organizations are under. On top of that is the essential factor that a staff member receives practically no money for his activities. It often happens that the one spouse pays for their life sustenance so that the other can be a full staff member. How good is it for the feeling of self-worth of a staff member when he has to decide whether he has enough money for a trip to the movies or for a night out in a good restaurant? It is an inherent part of idealism to be a staff member in a Scientology organization.

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If this staff member loses the concept of what it is like to earn, let's say, 5,000 francs a month, then he will, in the course of his services, be less able to sympathize with the member who is tied down to everyday life. This is the member who experiences the pressure of the constantly made challenge to increase his "donations," which have almost become an obligation, because one wants to document his devotion to the "good things" -- an exploitation of idealism.

Another method by which a member finances his time on staff consists of the taking on of additional "worldly" jobs, which frequently leads to the taking on of a double load. There is often no time left to inform oneself of daily events, and many staff members, as a result of this, do not know what is happening in the world around them - other than what is told them at the daily staff meetings.

According to Hubbard, the administration technology presented by him is the only 100 percent functioning administration technology of the world. In a future society immersed in Scientology, the Hubbard Management System with all its directives would be predominant. There would no longer be a place for the development of other, or new, forms of know-how. The removal of relevant "accommodations" of current justice and constitutions would be a logical consequence.

Who Really Pulls the Strings

From the outside, the various Scientology organizations stand as self-sufficient corporations. Vicky Aznaran, the former Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Religious Technology Center, stated that there is a single individual who governs all of Scientology in her sworn testimony of March 7, 1994:

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Since 1981, Miscavige has been the decision maker as far as which civil processes will be pursued, and how all the civil processes in which Scientology is involved will be led. He does this without any regard for any Scientology corporation that is involved in the process. Miscavige has never permitted anyone else to make the final decision in such a case. During my time as General Inspector of the RTC [...] I attended many meetings and saw countless orders from Miscavige which concerned legal processes of Scientology. During the time in which the legal processes were held, Miscavige communicated daily with and gave orders directly to the attorneys, independent of any concerned Scientology corporation which had been selected to begin the process or that was being sued. The management of CSI (Church of Scientology International) was never permitted to independently launch civil proceedings. During my time on post at RTC, Miscavige held a "daily report on legal proceedings" of which I received a copy. In these situations Miscavige regularly gave orders and held meetings. Legal battles are very costly and could result in extremely bad PR [public relations]. For that reason, Miscavige never permitted these type of decisions to be delegated to someone else.

In the same statement, Mrs. Aznaran tells about a side of Miscavige that no Scientologist would like:

Contrary to his assertions in his testimony of February 4, 1994, Miscavige has struck people when they do things which he did not like.

In 1981 I was a witness as he hit John Axel, a member of the Sea Organization [the Scientology elite organization] in the mouth. For his back-up Miscavige had two other, heavier-built members beside him as he hit Axel. [...]

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Miscavige also did other things: he would put up pictures of staff members who had fallen out of grace, and use them for pistol target practice. I saw how he did this with the musicians from Golden Era [the Scientology organization which was engaged in the production of video and sound cassettes]. One of his targets was Fernando Gamboa.

Mary Tabayoyon, another woman who worked in Scientology headquarters for many years, stated in early 1994, in sworn testimony:

The craziest thing was the fact that Miscavige, the highest leader in Scientology, regularly (something like every month or so) screamed angrily at us during staff meetings how unfit and incompetent and inefficient we all were.

Also Stacy Young, member of Scientology for 15 years, most recently as one of the leading editors of the Scientology magazine "Freedom," told about her experiences with David Miscavige and his role in the Scientology organization.

David Miscavige, known as DM, has been the head of Scientology since 1981. His loyalty to L. Ron Hubbard and to Scientology is absolute, and as concerns the integrity of his power he is completely unscrupulous. In 1987 he transplanted the seat of power from ASI [Author Services Inc.] to the Religious Technology Center (RTC), since it was easier to defend Scientology from a position of a non-profit corporation than from a for-profit corporation. At the time, he also named himself as Chairman of the Board of Directors of RTC, which is also his present title. [...]

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I have first-hand knowledge of the formation of the corporate structure of Scientology, as it exists today, since I have worked together with the staff members who were responsible for setting it up. The purpose of this activity was to construct an impenetrable, legally defendable network so that neither the IRS [American tax authority] nor any other governmental agency "could penetrate the veil of corporations" of which the Scientology organizations are comprised. This is the means by which the Scientology management could freely transfer money between corporations without having to worry about the law.

When I was with ASI, I worked directly with Miscavige. I was shocked when I discovered that the highest Scientology personality, who had daily contact with Scientologists and the public, was an unscrupulous, malicious, megalomaniacal tyrant. I had never worked with Hubbard personally, but others told me that Hubbard was exactly the same way.

Miscavige's management style was distinguished by loud cursing and the terrorization of the staff. [...]

For example, Jim Isaacson was responsible for the investment of Hubbard's money, and it was expected of him that he be able to show a profit every week. Anybody who is familiar with that type of business knows that that is not a realistic expectation. But Jim's job depended upon him being able to show that he had a rising profit every week. It could have been foreseen that things were not going to go well with him. He didn't eat and he didn't sleep. Miscavige screamed at him mercilessly every day. Jim was ready to crack up.

One day Miscavige discovered that Jim had lost a large amount of money in a bad investment in the gold market. Miscavige ordered two of his lieutenants, Norman Starkey and Terri Gamboa to stand by. Miscavige and Starkey literally dragged Jim into the conference room.

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My office was directly opposite on the other side of the hallway, so that I heard everything that happened. For the next three and a half hours, Miscavige screamed curses and wild, paranoid accusations, and told Jim he wanted to know who had sent him to destroy Scientology, whether he worked for the IRS, whether he was active in the FBI, which other agents were working for him inside of Scientology, etc., etc. I heard Jim repeatedly deny the accusations, and Miscavige's answer was just to yell at him some more.

Finally Miscavige tore my door open, stormed into my office, and ordered me to go in there to get the information out of Jim, and to not let him go until he had confessed to everything. I have never seen a person acting as Miscavige had then. [..]

As I entered the room, Jim was collapsed over the table. His eyes were glossed over. He was twitching uncontrollably. Instead of following the order from Miscavige to continue with the interrogation, I did my best to calm Jim down. He was in a terrible, cold fear. I told him he should go home and get a little sleep.



The Organizational Structure of Scientology

  1. L. Ron Hubbard (HCO PL December 4, 1966)
    Expansion, Theory of Policy. [Return]
  2. Pioneering activities of individual Scientologists are tolerated as long as they do not achieve too much significance. If, in spite of this, they become greater or more financially significant, then those concerned are held fully accountable in accordance with the corresponding policy letters in the Scientology network.
    In this manner, Scientology prevents individual persons who are not one of the steadfast Scientology staff from gaining considerable importance by means of their personality. That way when they leave because of their position, they may protest loudly and strongly, but they are no longer able to control the expansion for Scientology. That is what happened in the early 80's, which almost led to the downfall of the "official" Scientology. [Return]
  3. I describe it as an organization, because this work can hardly be done by an individual person.
    Articles by L. Ron Hubbard, which were published, in part, after his death, contain the copyright notice: "c L. Ron Hubbard Library"; this belongs to the Executors of the Estate. [Return]
  4. Hubbard Policy Letter of September 28, 1979, Revision of April 22, 1980, Financial Planning Program Number I. Was this written with Hubbard's estate in mind? [Return]
  5. Mrs. Vicky Aznaran has been quoted a few times in this book. After she left Scientology in 1987, her former church sued her and demanded 70 million dollars. She made a series of statements under oath which described the inner life of this "church." Seven years later, suddenly and unexpectedly, she stated that, more or less, all her previous statements, under oath or otherwise, were invalid, counterfeit, etc.
    At the time of the preparation of this manuscript, Vicky Aznaran is impenetrable. She has probably made her "peace" with Scientology. What could this have cost? It would be interesting to find out on whose account she prefers to find her previous statements no longer valid. [Return]
  6. Sworn testimony of Vicky Aznaran, March 7, 1994. [Return]
  7. The Command Channels of Scientology, 1988. [Return]
  8. "Apostates" are supposed to be prevented from coming upon the thought of offering essentially the same services for a more modest contribution. Neither are they to reveal what they are offering. These apostates, who are known in Scientology-speak as "squirrels", are presumably always those people who have not understood the importance of the teachings in their purity.
    These efforts are not, by any means, always crowned with the desired success. There are hundred of "apostates," that strive, without greed, to expand their perceptions in terms of worthwhile, philosophical, intellectual property. This world-wide, loosely organized association is called the "Freie Zone" [Free Zone]. They arose in the early 80's after the takeover of the official Scientology by David Miscavige, the current leader of the Religious Technology Center. [Return]
  9. It is interesting to an insider that this department is separately directed.
    In the early 80's, the predecessor of this organization, the "Guardian's Office," was officially disbanded. The reason for that was that this organization had supposedly developed its own life (in the aftermath of this life ten Scientologists and the wife of L. Ron Hubbard had to spend some time in prison).
    This disbandment appears to have been more of a PR stunt than a reflection of reality. The Office for Special Affairs is also led as a separate organization by Kurt Weiland, former lead functionary of the Guardian's Office in Germany. It has achieved the same status as its predecessor, the notorious "Guardian's Office." [Return]
  10. The Command Channels of Scientology, 1988. [Return]
  11. We can take examples of offenses from the list of questions for non-enrolled Scientologists from the "Repair and Revitalization list for Field Staff Members" of November 22, 1985: "Have you ever falsified FSM statistics?" "Have you ever falsely claimed to be a FSM for a person?" "Have you ever sold a book, [...] at a price which was less that the price offered by the organization?" "Have you ever tried to convince someone that they should not be a staff member of a [Scientology] organization?" "Have you tried to "explain" Dianetics and Scientology to people, instead of selling it to them?" "Have you never acquired the successful sales closing techniques?". [Return]