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Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: thomson@cs.sfu.ca (Brian Thomson)
Subject: Re: Scientology questions
Message-ID: <1991Jul31.144454.903@cs.sfu.ca>
Organization: Simon Fraser University
References: <14949@goofy.Apple.COM> <17250@life.ai.mit.edu> <1991Jul30.202312.32439@kuhub.cc.ukans.edu>
Distribution: alt.religion.scientology
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 1991 14:44:54 GMT

[Warning JARGON alert -- nonscientologists should hit "n"]

Several people have responded to my suggestion that Church of Scientology services are overpriced. The responses are well reasoned and clearly well intentioned, but maybe they will oblige me if I make the point more forcefully.

The money question is actually an important one. The public perception of the C. of S. is driven largely by the perception that it, like the Jim Bakker's and Jimmy Swaggart's of the world, is driven soley by a desire to fleece the believers. The magnitude of the "donations" serves to reinforce this.

The question of the E-meter pricing is most transparent and should be easily seen as the most blatant. It is also the easiest to research and document. My bet is that the "real" price of this object (without the unnecessary frills) is on the order of magnitude of $35. Lets multiply by a factor of ten to give the C. of S. the benefit of the doubt. That's $350. But they still charge another order of magnitude --- listed at $3500 currently. That's the price of a modest workstation, but for an electronic instrument that you could kludge together out of standard parts for a triviality. (One poster to this newsgroup has promised to have her fiance (an engineer) look inside an E-meter and report what he sees. I hope she will post this.)

Now how about courses? I took many courses including SHSBC, CLASS VII and VIII and interneships on all three. I'd recommend them highly to current Scientologists (not the general public of course). Here is a recent price list of some of these services with which I am more than familiar at prices (in US dollars) that two decades later seem like parodies.

E-METER 3,523

STUDENT HAT 850 SHSBC 10,000 SHSBC INT. 2,000 CLASS VIII 15,000 CLASS VIII INT 2,000

OT I 2,500 OT II 4,755 OT III 7,650 --------------------- TOTAL 48,278

This is the minimum training in order to claim to have an overview of the "technology". Twenty odd years ago it was accessible to any normal mortal with the available time; indeed time would have been more of a factor to most people than the cost of the courses.

I find it scarcely credible that any current Scientologist does not bitterly resent an administration that has priced these services beyond the reach of all but the very rich (or the poor jerks who serve on org staff for slave wages in the hope these services will be given free). This kind of pricing is not at all in line with any of the stated goals of the church. It is entirely in line with making the very top echelon fabulously wealthy.

Back when LRH was in charge I felt he could do damn well what he wanted (as long as it was legal -- although that didn't bother him any!). After all it was entirely his creation and all of it, from the worst crap to the most elegant of the "tech", flowed from him. Take it or leave it. But I haven't seen any credentials possessed by the current leadership that should demand any great loyalty or explain why they have to become rich.

As a disclaimer I've seen nothing of the church in nearly two decades except what has appeared in the press. If I'm missing information I'm open to enlightenment. -BST

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