From: lee@wang.com (Lee Story)
Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
Subject: Re: Scientology & Business
Message-ID: <LEE.91Jul22131140@meercat.wang.com>
Date: 22 Jul 91 17:11:40 GMT
References: <1991Jul20.062414.25718@agora.rain.com>
Sender: news@wang.com
Distribution: na
Organization: Wang Laboratories, Inc.
Lines: 134
In-Reply-To: tedm@agora.rain.com's message of Sat, 20 Jul 1991 06:24:14 GMT

In article <1991Jul20.062414.25718@agora.rain.com> tedm@agora.rain.com (Ted Mittelstaedt) writes:

Well, I had the misfortune to spend 8 months of my life working for a company that was owned by a scientologist, and I have some pretty firm ideas about Scientology after "escaping" from it.

It actually sounds as though you received a dose of modern business management practice, as sanctioned by business schools and "high-powered" consultants.

First, the Business/Financial section of the church is separate from the Faith/Religious section.

Glad to hear that!

... Scientologists ... Catholic Church ... bullcrap.

Sorry to abbreviate so, but I think that about sums it up, and I agree 100%.

...There are consulting firms out there that specialize in doing nothing but coming in to a scientologist owned business and basically telling the owner that he/she knows nothing at all about managing his business, and he/she quickly needs to dump a pile of good money into the consulting firm for it to be able to "save" he/she's business.

Yes, that's how business consultants make their money. Whether they save or wreck the business in the process is of some importance to the consultants' reputations, but is not critical.

The first thing these firms do is to "survey" the business. They'll spend a good 3 to 6 month's interviewing just about everybody in the company individually and asking them how they would "improve" the business, and what their personal views of work are. Of course, because you are supposedly talking to an unbiased outsider, most employees will spend much time telling everything they know about that is going wrong with the business.

And that's what they were hired to do. Nothing wrong yet.

The next thing these firms do is then go to the owner and get them to dissamble the entire departmental structure. They pretty much strip away any authority any middle manager has. When the firm is at a boil, with all the employees not knowing who the hell they report to, these firms will then start re-assigning everybody's job descriptions until no one knows what they are supposto be doing. Of Course, the good employees start getting fed up and quitting about now, so the already low productivity is reduced even further.

Something like this happens with every business restructuring, no matter how necessary, and no matter how well-run. The competitive world of business is a tough world. Most top managers going through this regret the loss of certain people, and are eager to complete changes and reestablish stability.

Eventually, the firm is really screwed up. Now, these people go on the rampage, pulling out all the old files of interviews, and firing anyone who doesen't have the necessary "Moral" abilities (re: agrees with their methods)

I'm not at all sure of the business about "pulling out all the old files of interviews", but there's a strong tendency among executives lacking in communications skill to institute lots of pseudo-communications or pseudo-quality-enhancement or pseudo-cooperation programs as substitutes, and judge employees by their loyalty in embracing these gimmicks. It seems to me that this is human nature, not conspiracy, although that doesn't make it desirable.

Finally, you are left with a firm that is basically a bunch of incompetent people, who happen to agree with the Scientologist Method" usually church members. Now these firms go into the final phase....

Yup (sorry for cutting you off)---the CEO's ideological (and sometimes poker-playing) buddies take all the big positions. Remember, though, that the old execs were no better (unless you happened to agree with THEIR ideological positions). It's called Capitalism. Love it or Leave it (without your money).

Things to watch out for:

L. Ron Hubbard tried to define everything as a "Product" even services. Look for attempts being made to define obvious services as products. Example: "A baby sitter does not provide a service. She provides a product. The product is a well-babysat-baby" and other such nonsense.

This is standard. In the much-heralded (and, I suspect, highly dubious) "service economy", every service is described as a product. Other newspeak-like symptoms of consultant-infestation include "employee empowerment" programs which convey responsibilities and work requirements without concomitant authority or pay.

L. ROn Hubbard claimed to believe in equality in the company. What actually occurs is that there are managers and supervisors, but they merely rubber- stamp business. No one EXCEPT the top executive makes any kind of real decisions .... Pre-Done forms tend to be real prevalent here.

A clever exec gets the employees to do this to themselves, as "efficiency" or "quality" improvement projects. This is far from a Hubbard-unique approach.

L. Ron Hubbard enjoyed assigning real strange english syntax....

Welcome to the Divided States of Acronymia.

Above all, Scientologist corporations depend on making the employee unsure of what their task really is, or whether or not their doing it well. Since decision making is concentrated at the top, Scientologist corporations usually heavily discourage individual inititave, and punish those who display it.

Most company managements want to suppress the initiative of others, especially in times=20of recession (when the whole economic pie isn't growing), since the objective of the "game" is individual profit-maximization, and it's the individuals who have the power who get to do the maximization. If you're lucky, you either get to the top of a business and are able to take the money and run, or (in the rare well-run business) experience the famous (and even more rare) trickle-down effect. If you're unlocky, you have Ted's experience.

I obviously don't think that Ted Mittelstaedt is inventing this tale, but neither do I think that Scientology, however objectionable in itself, should be condemned for common business practices. There are lots of companies with problems, and they usually handle those problems badly. --

------------------------------------------------------------------------ Lee Story (lee@wang.com) Wang Laboratories, Inc. (Boston and New Hampshire AMC, and Merrimack Valley Paddlers) ------------------------------------------------------------------------

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