Scientology has always taken a ‘hard sell’ approach to its products. These are courses which, according to L Ron Hubbard’s book “Dianetics”, would enable people to raise their IQ, develop total recall, correct faulty eyesight, grow new teeth and become immune to disease. Modern Scientology takes a less ambitious line (at least in public) promising only ‘spiritual development
Hubbard wrote extensively on the subject of pressuring people to buy courses. After his death, these writings were complied into the “Hard Sell Pack” a manual which is required reading for Scientology “registrars” (AKA “regs”) – salesmen and women who are not allowed a course completion to pass without the student signing up (and paying) for the next step. This pack included a book by an aggressive car salesman, entitled “Big League Sales Closing Techniques“.
The new regime, under David Miscavige cannot originate new material because Hubbard is considered to have had the final (and infallible) word on the subject. Scientology ‘research’ ended with his death.
Instead, they seem to pursuing Hubbard’s advice about the importance of raising money to its logical conclusion – a series of campaigns in which your status in Scientology is determined not by your progress through the secret teachings but directly according to the amount of money that you contribute.
The first great campaign of this kind concerned a series of 18 books and 280 recorded lectures called “The basics”, which were sold for $3,000 a set. These works had all been previously published but, it was claimed, had been ‘restored’. Errors in the text of the books had been corrected, and new material added to the recorded lectures.
If you compare first editions with copies of the basics, you will also find that the more striking examples of Hubbard’s scientific howlers, racism and misogyny have been edited out (in direct contradiction of the Church’s own policy).
Independent Scientologists view this as a sign of the corruption of the Church of Scientology. Critics see it as the beginning of the end.