From International Viewpoints (IVy) Issue 12 - July 1993
See Home Page at http://www.ivymag.org/
The Red Orchestra
By Eric Townsend, England
Has anyone you know ever come up to you and said `I see there was
another critical article about Scientology in the papers/on
And do you wriggle with embarrassment and irritation as you stumble
into your defence of the subject of Scientology, as opposed to the
Church of Scientology, etc.?
Well you are meant to! Most people operate on an A=A basis and cannot
distinguish between the subject of Scientology and the Church of
Sometimes a more knowledgeable person asks me `Why is the Church
to get such bad publicity?' To answer them, I tell them the story
of the Red Orchestra!
During World War Two there was a Russian spy network operating in
the occupied city of Amsterdam. It was called the Red Orchestra.
the Gestapo managed to round up the network and capture their radio
transmitter. The Gestapo realised that if they just executed the
it would only be a matter of weeks before a new network was set up.
They would then have to go to all the trouble of flushing out a new
bunch of spies. Instead they `persuaded' the members of the Red
Orchestra to continuing broadcasting to Moscow, but under Gestapo
supervision! So how does this apply to the Church of Scientology?
Well we know the Church was in some sense `taken over' in the early
eighties. It was always said this was for financial gain. The Church
may have been in some senses profitable up to that time. Now however
even the most optimistic business person could not see the Church
being profitable. The prices may be very high, but hardly anybody
Yet the Church has maintained its network of Orgs and must subsidise
most of them, despite the low wages paid to staff. It continues to
claim a monopoly on the subject and harasses independent practitioners
who are delivering it, while delivering very little itself.
The Church continues to spend huge amounts of money on publicity,
especially mail to people who will almost certainly never go back
to the Church. It also spends money on grandiose schemes and clumsy
public relations that keep it in the public eye but don't achieve
much. They just give more fuel to the regular critical articles and
scandals which appear in the media.
This could be well meaning incompetence but try looking at it as a
Red Orchestra! It seemed to most of us that the Church was actually
making real progress towards its goals in the nineteen seventies.
The takeover was much more likely to have been a way of stopping that
progress. It did that very effectively by completely ignoring all
the principles built into the Tech. and throwing most of the staff
and public into confusion.
If however the Church and the subject had been banned, as happened
in the sixties in the Australian state of Victoria, it would have
just gone underground and grown like wildfire!
Much better to take it over, pay lip service to its goals and
and then run it in such a way as to constantly undermine those goals
This is not an easy explanation to confront. If you can come up with
a better explanation of the observable facts, the Editor would be
very interested to hear from you.
Tue Jul 11 20:04:30 EDT 2006