Sterling Group??? I.C.S.D.Foundation?? Pod People from where???

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John Vincent

Apr 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/3/96
I have been working with a group of people who are part of an organization
called the International Service Day Foundation that chose my workplace for
one of their projects. Low and behold they all make reference to being
Sterling men and women and talk like they've got their own lingo and coercion
crap as they have tried to push some of the people from the project site to
bend to their will. It's stressful for those involved. We refer to them as
the Pod people. Who are these people who are associated with "Sterling" . I
found a reference to Sterling Management Systems as a part of W.I.S.E.

They also have this weird approach to male female roles and conduct all
meetings separately. Also they've mentioned some sleep deprivation stuff????
E mail me with info.

Who are these people? Body Snatchers???

Dean Benjamin

Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
to John Vincent
In article <>

No, mind-grabbers.
But they do aim to create Pod People!
Read on (and on -:)...

Newsgroups: alt.religion.scientology
From: (Ted Mittelstaedt)
Subject: Scientology & Business
Message-ID: <>
Sender: (Ted Mittelstaedt)
Organization: Open Communications Forum
Distribution: na
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 1991 06:24:14 GMT

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.

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

I have no quarrel with Scientologists who are only interested in the
"religion" from a religious standpoint. They can wax poetic and defend their
particular "religious beliefs" to their death for all I care. I place about
as much faith in their religious bullcrap as I place in the Catholic Church's
religious bullcrap. I'm not in to organized religion and what I believe and
my relationship to my "God" is my own business.

What I don't care for, however, is the Church of Scientology getting it's
fingers into corporations or businesses. Many of you may not know that in
addition to the good science fiction Hubbard published, and the religious
publishing that he did, that there is a gigantic library of what would loosely
be termed as "Business Management" works that he published. Of course, most
of these books are not for general distribution, mainly because they are so
full of horse manure that they wouldn't stand a chance in the business
academic world, they'ed be ripped to shreads. There are consulting firms out
there that speciallize 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.

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.

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.

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)

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, since the business is
berefit of any real talent, they start hiring Church of Scientology members
into the business. (yes, there ARE really competent people who belong to
the Church of Sci.)

In the end, the firm eventually gets healthy again, but is petty much in the
Church of Scientology's pocket. Most of the employees are church members who
contribute heavily, and the firm of course makes regular donations to the
Church of Sci. The outside consulting firm, having now done it's job, exits
the scene for another 5 to 10 years Of course, their never far away, ready at
a moments notice to repeat the "cleansing process"

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.

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. This includes such trivial nonsense as deciding the number of
pencils each department is allowed to buy on a given week. Look for examples
of all decision-type work needing to be approved by the top person. Pre-Done
forms tend to be real prevalent here.

L. Ron Hubbard enjoyed assigning real strange english syntax to what would
otherwise be normal business terms. He was also real good at the alphabet
soup routine: taking an ordinary task and renaming it to words made up of
the first letter of the phrase.

Example: Walking the dog would be : a Well Walked Dog, or WWD. This
makes the sentence "How are your WWD's this week?" a reality.
Counseling or Advising became Auditing. Training becomes Personal &
Professional Enhancment or PPE and so on. Services become Products.

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.

By the way, I like people, including people I know who are scientologists.
I HATE scientology, espically those high up in the Church who'se egos are
keeping the monstrosity rollong

Dean Benjamin

Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
to John Vincent


Time Magazine, May 6, 1991, page 50.
Special Report (cover story)

--- Begin Time excerpt ---

CONSULTING. Sterling Management Systems, formed in 1983, has been
ranked in recent years by Inc. magazine as one of America's
fastest-growing private companies (estimated 1988 revenues: $20
million). Sterling regularly mails a free newsletter to more than
300,000 health-care professionals, mostly dentists, promising to
increase their incomes dramatically. The firm offers seminars and
courses that typically cost $10,OOO. But Sterling's true aim is to
hook customers for Scientology. "The church has a rotten product, so
they package it as something else," says Peter Georgiades, a
Pittsburgh attorney who represents Sterling victims. "It's a kind of
bait and switch." Sterling's founder, dentist Gregory Hughes is now
under investigation by California's Board of Dental Examiners for
incompetence. Nine lawsuits are pending against him for malpractice
(seven others have been settled), mostly for orthodontic work on

Many dentists who have unwittingly been drawn into the cult are
filing or threatening lawsuits as well. Dentist Robert Geary of
Medina, Ohio, who entered a Sterling seminar in 1988, endured "the
most extreme high-pressure sales tactics I have ever faced." Sterling
officials told Geary, 45, that their firm was not linked to
Scientology, he says. but Geary claims they eventually convinced him
that he and his wife Dorothy had personal problems that required
auditing. Over five months, the Gearys say, they spent $130,000 for
services, plus $50,000 for "gold-embossed, investment-grade" books
signed by Hubbard. Geary contends that Scientologists not only called
his bank to increase his credit card limit but also forged his
signature on a $20,000 loan application. "It was insane," he recalls.
"I couldn't even get an accounting from them of what I was paying
for." At one point, the Gearys claim, Scientologists held Dorothy
hostage for two weeks in a mountain cabin, after which she was
hospitalized for a nervous breakdown.

Last October, Sterling broke some bad news to another dentist, Glover
Rowe of Gadsden, Ala., and his wife Dee. Tests showed that unless
they signed up for auditing Glover's practice would fail, and Dee
would someday abuse their child. The next month the Rowes flew to
Glendale, Calif., where they shuttled daily from a local hotel to a
Dianetics center. "We thought they were brilliant people because they
seemed to know so much about us," recalls Dee. "Then we realized our
hotel room must have been bugged." After bolting from the center,
$23,000 poorer, the Rowes say, they were chased repeatedly by
Scientologists on foot and in cars. Dentists aren't the only once at
risk. Scientology also makes pitches to chiropractors, podiatrists
and veterinarians.

--- End Time excerpt ---

Dean Benjamin

Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
to John Vincent

The following is an excerpt from a Boston Globe article on cults
by Sally Jacobs, published in the edition of Tuesday, May 23, 1995.

----- Begin Boston Globe excerpt ----

Few have allegedly bridged the gap between the spiritual and the
commercial better than the Church of Scientology. For more than 15
years, its nonprofit World Institute of Scientology Enterprises has
been marketing church founder L. Ron Hubbard's management technology
to businesses, including some of the nation's largest.

Between 1988 and 1991, for example, hundreds of Allstate workers
received Scientology management training from an outside consultant
and church member hired by the company. Allstate spokesman ASl
Orendorf says that the company was unaware of the Scientology link for
several years, adding, "The truth of the matter is we did drop the
ball several years ago as regards to this training."

Church spokesmen stress that WISE training is not used to recruit
people into the church, but some participants harshly disagree. Peter
Farrell, a veterinarian in Burnt Hills, N.Y., says that within days of
signing up for a Hubbard management course offered by Sterling
Management Inc., he was being urged to participate in a Church of
Scientology program to work out some personal issues. Inspired by the
trainer's upbeat attitude, Farrell said yes.

For days, Farrell sat with his eyes closed performing training
routines over and over. He drifted into a trance-like state and had
visions of former lives. At the program's end, Farrell had spent
$25,000 and handed over an advance payment of $34,000 for future
classes. His wife promptly called a cult exit counselor and Farrell
never took another class.

It's a very effective marketing strategy," said Farrell. "They
have identified an area where people need help, in their business and
in their personal lives, and they promote themselves as providers of
the answers to all those problems. I mean, it's one-stop shopping and
who doesn't want that?"

---- end Boston Globe excerpt -------

Dean Benjamin

Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
to John Vincent

"... the training was fraudulently presented as a
professional management seminar when in reality it
is a front to promote Scientology."

Business Consulting and Training Seminars Really Sell Scientology

in _THE BUSINESS LINK_, September 1991 (v.23 #6)
(published by the Better Business Bureau; serving Los Angeles, Orange,
Riverside, San Bernardino Counties of California)

" the end, money is what Scientology is all about."
-- Time Magazine, May 6, 1991

When Dr. Scott Sutherland and his wife, Amy, finished an introductory
seminar in Chicago last summer, they were sold on Sterling Management
Systems. So sold that within the next few days they signed a contract
for thousands of dollars worth of "professional training courses," to
be augmented, they learned later, by more courses for still more money.

The Sutherlands flew to Sterling's headquarters in Glendale, California,
soon after, convinced that they would learn, through the training, how
they could improve their medical practice, attract more patients, and
improve collections.

Once in California, the Sutherlands like many others, began their week
with an in-depth discussion with their assigned consultant about
improving Scott's practice. Before long, though, the discussion turned
to the results of their personality assessment questionnaires they had
previously completed. Both Scott and Amy, the consultant said, had
problems that would never allow them to realize the advantage they had
hoped to gain from the courses they'd signed up for.

The solution? Handle the problems first.

How? Dianetics.

Thus entered a representative from the Dianetics office down the hall
from Sterling Management.

[. . .]

The Sutherlands had noticed mention of Scientology in Sterling's General
Enrollment Agreement, which credited L. Ron Hubbard with having
developed a management technology "being successfully applied in many
businesses and professional practices" and with having founded the
"Scientology religious philosophy." In spite of their reservations
about it, though, they had taken the agreement at its word -- that it
was a technology applied in business and professional practices.

Scott says Sterling Management denied any ties to Dianetics, telling
them, "If you have problems, you see someone in Dianetics. Sterling is
business management." They agreed to be audited.... "It was a very
hard sell," they say.

Immediately afterward, the Sutherlands decided against being audited and
in spite of more "hard sell," they held their ground. They have
requested but have not gotten back any of the money they paid Sterling

The Sutherlands' experience with Sterling Management is, with slight
variations, typical of what others (usually professional men and women
-- doctors, dentists, veterinarians) report to the Better Business
Bureau. The innocuous-looking card most of them receive in the mail,
inviting them to Sterling's introductory seminar, is the first step down
a financial and emotional toll-road that will quickly detour them to

Besides soliciting through these invitational cards, Time says that
Sterling Management also mails a free newsletter to more than 300,000

health-care professionals, mostly dentists, promising to increase their

incomes dramatically through their seminars and courses. The Church of
Scientology, Time says, attracts "the unwary through a wide array of
front groups in such businesses as publishing, consulting, health care,
and even remedial education." The group recruits "wealthy and
respectable professionals through a web of consulting groups that
typically hide their ties to Scientology." Sterling Management's
"true aim," it says, "is to hook customers for Scientology."

Complaints to the Bureau seem to bear this out. Statements such as,
"...we feel the [Sterling Management's] training was fraudulently
presented as a professional management seminar when in reality it is a
front to promote Scientology," and "the course's content was
infiltrated with Scientology philosophy as were the instructors of these
courses," appear in complaints, as do phrases like "a lot of
pressure," "hard sell," etc. And Sterling Management, according to
complaints, denies any involvement in Dianetics but holds that they are
business management.

As to the classes themselves, Dr. La Verne Hutchinson, an Ohio
orthodontist who was solicited by Sterling Management, calls them
"farcical." "They're a subtle indoctrination," she says. She
describes the text material as "rambling," and notes that "90 percent
of the teachings were repititious." But you don't know that when you
order books, she says, because they don't arrive until you're back home.

She also notes that every book in Sterling Management's offices except
the telephone book and dictionary are the writings of L. Ron Hubbard.
"Even God used a variety of authors to write His Bible," she says.

She tells about the 12-hour days spent in training: "You're isolated,
treated like a child. You check in and check out. You answer roll
call. You aren't to speak to anyone else. If you speak to a room
monitor, you must raise your hand. You keep busy doing their things on
their schedule."

Dr. Hutchinson credits having been forewarned to "watch out for certain
things and not get sucked into Scientology" with keeping her from
getting in deeper. Still, she has not gotten back any of the thousands
of dollars she paid.

Dr. Hutchinson's partner in some of the class exercises was Dee Rowe, of
Gadsden, Alabama, who, with her dentist husband, Glover, had flown to
Glendale for management training. The Rowes' story was told, in part,
in Time magazine's article.

Again, taking Dee into one room and Glover in another, they convinced
the Rowes to agree to auditing by predicting that without it their
marriage wouldn't last a year and Dee would abuse their child.

Dee says about the classes: "I feel very strongly that mind control
techniques were in effect from the beginning. We were there from 9 a.m.
till 10 p.m. or midnight . . . I begged them to let me take a nap."

In one of the first courses, she says, "they pointed out to us, by
asking specific questions, how everyone in our lives -- family and
friends -- had controlled and manipulated us and turned us into the kind
of people we are now. They pitted us against our family."

Dee wanted to leave when she was told she and Glover would have to turn
their minds over to them completely. She was then held in a room at the
Church of Scientology, her captor planted between her and the door, for
seven hours while Scientologists moved into Glover's hotel room with him
for two days and nights.

Dee tells about pressure to undergo auditing. Ordering her to pick up
the E-meter cans, she was asked questions such as "What evil intentions
do you have against the Church of Scientology?" Hours later,
exhausted, she pretended to be mentally under the control of her
interrogator, saying whatever she thought he wanted to hear. He then
asked about sexual experiences.

"Pretend you're watching a pornographic movie and I'm blind. Describe
it to me," he instructed.

When he left the room 15 or 20 minutes later to consult with his case
supervisor, she bolted. "I'd overheard Dianetics people say they lived
in the neighborhood near the church," Dee says, "so I ran away from
there to the highway. Then I heard footsteps behind me and realized
that one of them was chasing me. When I tried to flag a car down, he
stopped. Just stopped and stared at me as I ran. I came to an
intersection and a car pulled up. Another guy I recognized jumped out
and started after me. I ran back the other way to get away from him.
He got back into the car, turned around and pulled up beside me, and
said, "Dee, get in." I ran in the opposite direction until I found a
pay phone and called police."

Dee and Glover now speak to community groups and churches about their
experience in the hope of helping others avoid being drawn into

The 15 complaints received by the Bureau so far have come from widely
scattered parts of the United States -- from Pennsylvania to California,
Minnesota to Texas. Most who complain are outraged enough to send
additional pages detailing their experience with Sterling. Asking for
reimbursement of amounts of up to $20,000, a few of them get it -- after
deducting, of course, the amount representing that portion of the
"services" they received, and less a hefty 15 percent "termination
fee." Although some complain about this fee, saying that the contract
was first breached by Sterling, others, like the Sutherlands, are
willing to forego reimbursement just to sever their relationship with

Many of the complainants we talked to told of harrassment after they
walked away from Sterling Management or Scientology -- tactics ranging
from several phone calls daily, for months, to the ploy of two
Scientologists who knocked at the Ridgeways' door, claiming to represent
the Social Security Administration and demanding to inspect their bank
statements. Although most of these complainants expressed some fear for
their safety if the Church of Scientology could identify them through
this article, all of them told us their stories, saying, "Yes, I'll do
anything I can to stop them."


CORRECTION (appeared in original article):
Medina dentist Robert Geary has been in practice for 16 years, and in
his present office for five years. The story above incorrectly stated
the number of years he has been practicing. Also, Geary said that his
signature had been forged by a Scientologist on a loan application, not
a check, as reported below. A reporter misunderstood Geary during an


Front Groups of the Church that is not a Church

Sterling Management is but one of many of the Scientology cult's front
groups. Listed below are some of the others:

ABLE (The Association for Better Living and Education) runs some of
the Church's front groups and activities. Under ABLE's management,
other fronts infiltrate businesses and organizations to introduce
L. Ron Hubbard's ideas and methods.

APPLIED SCHOLASTICS and EDUCATION ALIVE train and tutor in Hubbard's
Study Tech and attempt to get various Scientology programs into local
PTA's and school systems. Delphi Schools, Apple Schools,
Mace-Kingsley schools, Beanstalk School, True School, Basic EducaTion
Center, Ability Plus Schools, Pinewood School and others teach
Hubbard's education method and the cult's philosophy to children of
cult members and the uninformed public.

The WAY TO HAPPINESS FOUNDATION promotes a Hubbard booklet on morality
to US public schools.

CONCERNED BUSINESSMEN OF AMERICA distributes these same booklets to
community groups, police, prisons and other organizations. They also
distribute it to schools, offering a monetary prize to the class
submitling the best essay on the booklet,

CRY OUT interfaces with organizations like Greenpeace and capitalizes
on children's environmental concerns. It distributes comic booklike
primer on the environment, sponsored by Arsenio Hall and Rick Dees and
making no mention of Scientology, to schoolchildren.

NARCONON'S chain of alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers (those
used in prisons are Criminon cenlets) draws addicts into the cult.

CITIZENS COMMISSIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS, in its war against psychiatry,
disseminates reports discrediting psychiatry and individual

HEALTHMED solicits unions and public agencies contracts for its
regimen of saunas, exercise and vitamins promoted to purify the body.

VOCAL (Victims of Child Abuse Legislation) usually sides with accused
child abusers and its board member, Lee Coleman, testifies, for pay,
against the testimony of the psychiatrist or psychologist who examined
the child and reported the molestation. Coleman rounded the Center
for the Study of Psychiatric Testimony and testifies on its behalf
against the use and validity of psychiatric testimony.

FASE (Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Education),
without mentioning Scientology, recently produced a series of
educational TV shows, aired on Public TV, promoting the study of
science and mathematics. Its goal is to establish credibility for
Hubbard's drug rehabilitation and education methods and attract
"Opinion Leaders" in the scientific community.

The NATIONAL TOXICS CAMPAIGN publicizes pollution in the environment
to drive business into its cultoperated "Purification Rundown" (the
"treatment" program used by Narconon) clinics.

Internal Revenue Service has repeatedly denied tax-exempt status to
Scientology, attempts to thwart collection of millions in taxes owed
by Scientology. Citizens for an Alternative Tax System (CATS),
attempts to do away with the income tax system and IRS entirely. The
Church of Spiritual Technology (COST) is one of the corporations
Scientology periodically creates to challenge the IRS's ruling against

NCLE (National Commission of Law Enforcement) claims INTERPOL, which
has been investigating and reporting on Scientology's alleged criminal
activities, is run by Nazis.

The RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CRUSADE, which replaced the Alliance for the
Preservation of Religious Liberty (APRL) interfaces with other cults.
It gathers staff and followers to demonstrate against whatever
organization or court may be investigating, attacking, or sitting in
judgment of Scientology. Through its periodicals, "Freedom" and
"Crusader," it raises public outcry against the offending institution.

Dean Benjamin

Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
to John Vincent

by Rochelle Sharpe, Wall Street Journal, March 22, 1995

Two years ago, an Allstate agent stood up at Sears's annual meeting to
ask what then seemed a bizarre question. "To what extent," he
inquired, "are the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard's Church of Scientology
present today in Allstate and in Sears?"

Edward Brennan, chairman of Sears, Roebuck & Co., and Wayne Hedien,
then-chairman of Sears's Allstate Insurance Co. unit, both appeared
bewildered. Mr. Brennan said he had no knowledge of any relationship
at all. Mr. Hedien said he didn't even know any Scientologists. "I'm
a Roman Catholic myself," Mr. Brennan added. Shareholders laughed,
and the board moved on to apparently more serious concerns. But
today, the influence of Scientology at Allstate is no joking matter.
Between 1988 and 1992, it turns out, the Good Hands company entrusted
the training of workers coast to coast to a consultant teaching
Scientology management principles. The consultant says more than
3,500 Allstate supervisors and agents participated in the nearly 200
seminars conducted by his firm, which was licensed by a Scientology
institute to teach such classes. The course materials -- which
preached a rigorous, even ruthless devotion to raising productivity --
were developed by Mr. Hubbard, founder of the religion that some
critics claim is a cult. One of the purposes of teaching
Mr. Hubbard's management program, a Scientology pamphlet states, is to
instill "the ethics, principles, codes and doctrines of the
Scientology religion throughout the business world."

Though the company recently banned and repudiated the courses, their
reverberations are still being felt -- and may even be growing. Some
employees continue to use Mr. Hubbard's techniques, while other
workers weave conspiracy theories about an alleged Scientology plot to
infiltrate the highest levels of the company. Some agents believe
they have been harassed and, despite repeated denials, the insurance
giant has been unable to put all the speculation to rest. Recently,
agents in Florida have launched a drive to unionize the work force --
and they are using the Scientology issue as a centerpiece of their
attack on management. Allstate employees who took the classes say an
important, although hardly exclusive, theme of the training was an
uncompromising commitment to the bottom line -- even if that meant
treating poor performers harshly. The course materials warned
managers never to be sympathetic to someone whose productivity
numbers, or "statistics," were down. "We reward production and up
statistics and penalize nonproduction and down statistics. Always,"
the training booklet said. "Don't get reasonable about down
statistics. They are down because they are down. If someone was on
the post, they would be up." The course underscored this point by
advising that "reasonableness is the great enemy in running an

The program also taught psychological concepts such as the "tone
scale," which catalogs emotions and, Scientologists believe, can be
used to influence behavior. Illustrated with cartoon characters, the
scale contains 41 levels, ranging from death, apathy and grief near
the bottom to exhilaration, action and "serenity of beingness" at the
top. All of the levels are numbered: Covert hostility is 1.1,
boredom, 2.5. Allstate managers learned to find a person's place on
the scale by analyzing the individual's favorite style of
conversation. "If you wish to lift the person's tone, you should talk
at about half a point above their general tone level," the course book


While such ideas appealed to some employees, others were amused or
offended. David Richardson, who took the course in 1990, remembers
exchanging startled glances with a colleague and muttering: "If they
turn off all the lights and start singing John Denver music, I'm
walking out."

Allstate initially responded to questions from this newspaper with a
brief written statement: "There is absolutely no connection between
the Allstate Insurance Company and the Church of Scientology." If any
Scientology materials were included in training sessions, it was "a
blip on the screen . . . a very inconsequential, one-shot
situation," a spokesman said. But later, Jeff Kaufman, a regional
vice president who participated in Allstate's decision to use the
Scientology consultant, acknowledged that the controversial courses
were taught to agents and managers nationwide. Mr. Kaufman described
the employment of the consultant as "an accident."

"I feel like our intentions were very honorable," Mr. Kaufman says.
But now, he adds, the matter "is biting at me personally." He
emphasizes that he didn't know at the time of the training that
Scientology principles were involved. Many Allstate employees,
though, did know the connection. For one thing, the introduction to
their course book declared the materials "were researched and written
entirely by" Mr. Hubbard, who died in 1986. Some trainees recognized
the name instantly; others learned who he was from colleagues taking
the course. Mr. Hubbard is best known not as a management guru but as
the science-fiction writer who founded the Church of Scientology
International in 1954. Since its earliest days, the church has been a
target of anticult activists who say it exploits its members and
harasses opponents. Church members counter that their organization
has been systematically misrepresented, even persecuted, by the media
and government. Scientology, they say, is "an applied religious
philosophy" that helps people develop spiritual awareness. Members
seek perfection by exorcising bad memories, or "engrams," from past
lives through a counseling process called "auditing."

Over the years, Scientology has been aggressive in its efforts to
attract new members -- including such celebrity adherents as Lisa
Marie Presley, Tom Cruise and John Travolta -- and to build an
efficient, well-financed organization. Along the way, members credit
Mr. Hubbard with developing a comprehensive management system for
church operations using Scientology principles. The system came to
Allstate through a circuitous route that began in 1979, when church
members formed a not-for-profit religious group, the World Institute
of Scientology Enterprises, to market Mr. Hubbard's techniques to
business. In its book, "What Is Scientology?" the organization
boasts that its courses have been taught at a number of the nation's
largest companies, including General Motors Corp., Mobil Corp.,
Volkswagen AG -- and Allstate. Except for Allstate, all these
companies say they can't find any evidence that their workers took
such seminars. Many Allstate employees would come to rue the
Scientology connection and to blame it on the company's top
executives. Yet, ironically, it was a group of agents, rather than
anyone in top management, who sought out Scientology management
training in the first place. The impetus was a companywide
restructuring of agents' jobs in the mid-1980s. Under the new system,
agents had more responsibility to run their own businesses, hire
staff, manage expenses and attract new clients.


The change put enormous new pressure on employees, many of whom had
previously sold insurance in Sears stores and had no entrepreneurial
experience. (Sears, which once owned all of Allstate, sold a 20%
stake to the public in 1993 and plans to spin off the rest of the
company later this month.) The pressure prompted a group of about 10
agents from the Sacramento area to band together in late 1987 to
search for ways to sharpen their business skills. One member
suggested at a monthly meeting in early 1988 that the group consider
hiring outside consultants to help in the effort. Karen O'Hara, a
relatively new agent based in the tiny town of Galt, Calif., replied
that she had a client who was a management trainer, three people at
the meeting recall. But they say Ms. O'Hara didn't point out that she
knew the trainer, Donald Pearson, through a Scientology communications
class she had taken. Ms. O'Hara confirms she took such a class but
won't comment further. Soon Mr. Pearson, then 39 years old, was
meeting with the group to present his ideas. Before long, he was
lecturing on organizational development to more than 40 Allstate
employees gathered at the Sheraton Hotel in Sacramento. Agents say
Mr. Pearson didn't hide his religion or the origin of the training
program but stressed that the sessions had nothing to do with
Scientology. "It was a management program, not a religious
promotional program. . . . They didn't buy Scientology, they
bought courses," Mr. Pearson says now. "What's my religion got to do
with whether I'm a good consultant?" A Scientology spokeswoman adds
that the same principles that are religious within the church can be
viewed as secular when applied outside the church. Mr. Pearson,
though, was a top trainer for a firm called International Executive
Technology Inc., which was devoted to teaching the Hubbard management
system. Materials Mr. Pearson distributed in his classes included
Mr. Hubbard's copyright notice at the bottom of many pages. And all
of Mr. Hubbard's written words, including his management
pronouncements, are considered religious scripture by the church,
according to the Scientology pamphlet, "The Corporations of

One Scientology brochure predicts that as businesspeople use the
L. Ron Hubbard technology and "win with it, they will reach for and
apply LRH technology in other aspects of their lives and may become

Mr. Pearson steered clear of these issues in his Sheraton talk, agents
say, and hewed to the subject of how insurance agents and managers
could do a better job of running their businesses. By all accounts,
he was a huge success; agents later described the tall, sandy-haired
speaker as confident, direct, down to earth and authentic. The
employees who heard him were so impressed that they invited him to
deliver the keynote address that fall at a meeting of Northern
California managers, held at a posh Lake Tahoe resort. After that
presentation, requests poured in from managers for further assistance
from Mr. Pearson. One high-ranking Northern California manager says
he persuaded executives at Allstate headquarters in Northbrook, Ill.,
to pay for intensive seminars for his employees. For more than two
months in late 1988 and 1989, about 50 managers and agents in the
region spent two to three days each week in classes at Mr. Pearson's
Sacramento office, which was decorated with Mr. Hubbard's vivid
paintings of spaceships and moonscapes.


The seminars gave loads of tips on office organization and
goal-setting. Filled with Mr. Hubbard's special terms, the materials
discussed ways not to waste "attention units"; what "hats," or duties,
workers had; and how to construct an "org board," a chart of the
organization's functions. The classes also showed how employees could
be divided into three categories: "the willing," "the defiant
negative" and "the wholly shiftless."

To help managers understand their own personalities, consultants
administered a 200-item questionnaire similar to the ones
Scientologists pass out on street corners. The Allstate employees got
back graphs that rated them on 10 counts, including stability,
certainty and composure. They also practiced staring at colleagues
and examining their facial features in an effort to like the co-
workers more. But the seminars focused mostly on management by
statistics, a concept that involved charting income and production on
weekly graphs. Employees who produced so-called up statistics weren't
to be questioned, no matter how they behaved. "Never even discipline
someone with an up statistic. Never accept an ethics report on one --
just stamp it `Sorry, Up Statistic' and send it back," Mr. Pearson's
materials advised. Workers with declining production had to be
investigated immediately, the course taught. "A person with low
statistics not only has no ethics protection but tends to be hounded,"
the training manual said. It also quoted Mr. Hubbard's writings
blaming the Depression, the failure of communism and even the decline
of ancient Greece on people's willingness to reward or excuse
so-called down statistics. The Allstate classes included
Mr. Hubbard's statement that about 10% of the population was "nuts"
and that "2 1/2% are the chief nuts."

Rather than resist the course, many who took it appeared grateful for
the lessons and eager to apply them. "It was invaluable," says Edmund
Kramer, who took the classes when he was a marketing sales manager in
California. "I know some people are afraid of it because they think
it has religious connotations. But once you touch it, you're going to
carry something with you from it forever. It's very powerful in its

The first wave of managers to try the course, all from California,
appear to have focused primarily on how to chart their business
fortunes -- and to react quickly to any downward trend. It is unclear
whether any of the California managers followed Mr. Hubbard's harsh
rhetoric on poor performers. In any event, by the end of the year,
sales and profits were up significantly, managers say. So many
managers outside the region clamored for information about the
training program that Mr. Pearson and Allstate manager Lindal Graf
were invited to promote it in Southern California, Tennessee and
Kentucky. Mr. Pearson also spoke to 130 Allstate managers from all
over California who had gathered in the city of Ontario for a
conference. Six weeks later, in November 1988, he had his debut at
Allstate's corporate office, leading a seminar for 30 sales managers
from throughout the country. Within months, corporate executives who
had heard the favorable reviews were seeking Mr. Pearson's
participation in a series of three-day sessions for managers
nationwide. Before they offered him that pivotal assignment, though,
they asked him to conduct a tryout session at corporate headquarters
for visiting managers. That is when executives first heard complaints
about Scientology, says Kenneth Rendeiro, a former sales manager who
was in charge of setting up the training programs. Two California
managers, scheduled to participate in the sessions, refused to take
part because, they explained, Mr. Pearson was affiliated with


Corporate executives then convened a series of meetings to discuss
whether it was a mistake to hire a Scientologist, and Mr. Pearson
reassured officials that his training program was separate and
distinct from the religion. As a result, William Henderson, then vice
president of sales, decided to give Mr. Pearson the job, Mr. Rendeiro
says. However, Mr. Henderson, now retired, denies any involvement.
He says the company is trying to blame it "on the old guy who

There's no dispute, however, that Mr. Pearson ended up traveling
around the country with two other trainers unaffiliated with
Scientology, giving seminars to managers in about half the company's
28 regions. Mr. Pearson says these seminars, for which Allstate paid
him $4,500 per three-day session, were given from 1989 to 1992. The
classes became so popular that many regional managers invited
Mr. Pearson back, at $5,000 a day, to do special sessions geared
toward agents. Allstate's Mr. Kaufman says he had specifically
forbidden trainers from selling any books at the advanced-management
seminars. But once Mr. Pearson began teaching large numbers of
agents, questions arose about whether he was abiding by the rules.
"He snuck in about a half-hour on the promotional literature," says
John Softye, a New York agent who took Mr. Pearson's Agent Prosperity
Seminar in 1989. "He said: `You buy these books and you can see how
to benefit yourself and improve your thinking."' The seminar
materials also advertised a series of books available from Mr. Pearson
and his company: Mr. Hubbard's "Science of Survival" for $50, his "How
to Live Though an Executive" for $31.25, and a three-pack of his
"Money and Success" tapes for $145. By this time, several other
consultants who worked with Mr. Pearson were also training Allstate
agents in Scientology management practices. At least one of the
consultants pitched another book to agents: "Dianetics," Mr. Hubbard's
seminal book on Scientology. Mr. Pearson says he told the consultant
to stop the practice, since Allstate had banned the sale of religious
materials at the seminars. Mr. Softye claims, though, that
Mr. Pearson also sold copies of "Dianetics" at his seminar, an
allegation that Mr. Pearson denies. In this phase of the training
program, reports from the field began to grow less favorable. In
Arizona, for example, workers say they noticed a disturbing change in
a key supervisor's management style after their Hubbard training in
July 1990. After taking the classes, territorial-sales manager
Jeffrey Swanty talked constantly about management by statistics, says
David Richardson, the former Allstate manager who attended the course
with him. To apply the ideas, Mr. Richardson says, Mr. Swanty
developed a system under which the worst-performing agent and the
worst-performing manager in his territory would be required to reach a
series of daily, weekly and monthly goals. Frequently, Mr. Richardson
says, the goals were unreachable, requiring that business be doubled
or tripled within a short period. "It allowed management by
intimidation. It was vindictive -- a way to try to remove people,"
Mr. Richardson says. "We would harass agents" by calling them
constantly and visiting them repeatedly. (Mr. Richardson had his own
run-ins with Mr. Swanty and was reprimanded at least once.)

One incident that employees still talk about involved William Wesler,
a 35-year-old Phoenix manager, who was suffering from lymphatic cancer
in 1990. Everyone in the office knew about Mr. Wesler's condition and
his efforts to reduce stress as part of his treatment, Mr. Richardson
says. Nonetheless, a month after taking the Hubbard training course
in July, Mr. Swanty placed Mr. Wesler on a rigorous program to improve
his performance.


During the following 120 days, Mr. Wesler was supposed to double his
district's sales, hire at least one female and one minority agent,
attend public-speaking classes and enroll in a college course on
interpersonal skills, his August 1990 job evaluation states. He also
had to meet with Mr. Swanty every other week to receive an evaluation
of his progress. "It was a workload for three people," says
Mr. Wesler's widow, Sherry Scott. She says her husband completed most
of the work but quit in October 1990. He died in May 1992. "When I
saw Jeff Swanty at the funeral, I turned and walked away," says Greg
Peterson, who had worked for Mr. Wesler and says he watched
Mr. Swanty's behavior change after the management classes. "I feel
his actions worsened Bill Wesler's health," he adds. Mr. Swanty
acknowledges that he was impressed with the Hubbard course materials
but says he didn't implement much of the program because he feared it
would create too much paperwork. He says he didn't know at the time
that Mr. Hubbard was connected to Scientology. He knew Mr. Wesler was
ill, Mr. Swanty adds, but denies he treated him unfairly in light of
his declining performance. "We treat people with dignity," says
Edward Moran, an in-house Allstate lawyer who also denies that
Mr. Swanty was unfair. He says Mr. Wesler was having serious problems
with managing and communicating with agents for some time before he
received his negative evaluation in August 1990. In addition,
Mr. Moran says, Mr. Swanty began drafting the evaluation in June,
before he took the Hubbard lessons. However, the performance review
is dated Aug. 14. Across the country, a number of agents were making
complaints similar to those voiced in Arizona. Lawsuits and Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission complaints were proliferating; more
than two dozen have alleged fraud, harassment or discrimination by
Allstate, often in connection with wrongful-discharge cases. One
manager joked about forcing so many to quit that they would have to
bring in "body bags" to cart them away, while others described agents
with low productivity as below the "scum line," workers said in
pretrial statements related to these lawsuits. The company says the
number of suits isn't unusual for a firm its size. The allegations
reflect the failure of some agents to prosper under the more
entrepreneurial system Allstate set up in the mid-1980s, it adds. The
agents are falsely blaming Scientology and company officials for their
own shortcomings, Allstate says. "Bless their hearts, they wish it
were still 1965," says Michael Simpson, Allstate's recently retired
vice president of sales. The company would never condone harassment,
Mr. Simpson says, though he adds the firm couldn't be aware of the
actions of every single worker. "Allstate has always been extremely
ethical and right-treating of its employees," he says. Yet given the
philosophy espoused in the Hubbard training program, many agents
became convinced, rightly or wrongly, that the hardball tactics they
saw many managers adopting were inspired by the Scientologists'
training methods. Many knew that the church has been accused
repeatedly of spying on and harassing its opponents. Under its "Fair
Game Law," written by Mr. Hubbard in 1967, an enemy of Scientology is
"fair game" and can "be deprived of property or injured by any means
by any Scientologist, without any discipline of the Scientologist.
May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." The church says
Mr. Hubbard rescinded this law in 1968, although critics contend that
only the term, not the concept, was discontinued.


By 1990, many agents were concerned enough to confront their
supervisors about the use of the Hubbard materials. In some
instances, employees protested the implementation of management-by-
statistics programs in Allstate offices. In South Florida, a Catholic
agent balked at participating in a program linked to another religion.
His opposition caused such a furor that the Hubbard-inspired program
was curtailed, agents say. In 1992, without acknowledging any past
problems, the company scaled back its reliance on Mr. Hubbard's
teachings. By 1993, Mr. Pearson had stopped giving any seminars at
the company. But fear of Scientology persisted at Allstate, and the
brief Scientology discussion at Sears's 1993 annual meeting did little
to ease agents' concerns about the Scientology link. One reason was
that agents were still finding elements of Mr. Pearson's training
program in Allstate management seminars. That fall, for example, some
agents participating in a new training program, the Agency Development
Process, noticed two pages, titled "Statistics Graphs, How to Figure
the Scale," that were identical to those found in the Scientology
material. The references to L. Ron Hubbard had been deleted.
Allstate's new companywide Better Prospecting Seminar also had some
similarities to Mr. Hubbard's program, focusing on statistical
analyses of performance and describing employees' various tasks using
the Scientology term "hats." The new program offended some agents,
who say they felt they were being taught to deceive and confuse their
customers. In May 1994, New York agent Mr. Softye, who describes
himself as a devout Catholic, refused to take a test that preceded
participation in the Agency Development Process, which he believed was
related to Scientology training. He initially received a
"job-in-jeopardy" reprimand, though it was rescinded when he
complained to corporate headquarters that the test conflicted with his
religious values. The incident fueled agents' drive to uncover their
company's apparent links to Scientology. The National Neighborhood
Office Agents Club, NNOAC, a group of Allstate agents who are critical
of management, began printing special reports outlining what it knew
about the Scientology connection. In addition, the group sent Hubbard
training materials that had been used at Allstate to each member of
the board of directors. Someone also mailed an anonymous letter to
the company's investment bankers at Lehman Brothers Inc. claiming a
Scientology connection. These actions finally grabbed the attention
of top management. Allstate senior vice president Robert Gary flew
three NNOAC agents to Atlanta last August and met with them in a tiny
Delta Air Lines conference room at the airport. Mr. Gary says he
acknowledged the company's involvement with the Hubbard management
training. He told the agents the seminars were "initially embarked on
in innocence," but he agreed they were a mistake. The senior vice
president promised the company would write to employees admitting the
error and would order that all the Scientology material be deleted
from Allstate's training books.


Later that month, Allstate President Jerry Choate wrote the three
agents a letter disavowing the Hubbard management materials. "The
inclusion of these materials was unfortunate because the ideas and
views expressed in them were clearly inconsistent with Allstate's
values," Mr. Choate wrote. "The people who were responsible for
screening the consultant's training materials failed to recognize that
they were inappropriate and remove them."

He promised a complete review of the process that led to the hiring of
Mr. Pearson. He also said the Hubbard materials hadn't been
distributed for several years and that, in March 1994, he had ordered
instructors to stop using any of the old texts, even if they weren't
objectionable. But last October, an incident in Florida showed that
speculation among Allstate agents about the influence of Scientology
on the company is far from dead. On Halloween, 16 agents from Orlando
were called into a brief meeting, where territorial-sales manager
Daryl Starke reprimanded agents for failing to sell enough life
insurance. "This is serious business, folks; wake up!" one agent
quoted Mr. Starke as saying. He told workers that unless they
produced six life-insurance policies within 90 days, their jobs would
be in jeopardy, three employees at the meeting say. Within a few
weeks, many of these workers happened to hear about the Scientology
issue for the first time. They suspected that Mr. Starke had taken
the Hubbard course, as Allstate now says he had. One agent was so
disturbed that he talked to his priest about the matter. In recent
months, he and another agent filed religious-discrimination claims
with the EEOC. Allstate denies the charges. The cases are pending.

William Barwell

Apr 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM4/5/96
In article <>,

John Vincent <> wrote:
>I have been working with a group of people who are part of an organization
>called the International Service Day Foundation that chose my workplace for
>one of their projects. Low and behold they all make reference to being
>Sterling men and women and talk like they've got their own lingo and coercion
>crap as they have tried to push some of the people from the project site to
>bend to their will. It's stressful for those involved. We refer to them as
>the Pod people. Who are these people who are associated with "Sterling" . I
>found a reference to Sterling Management Systems as a part of W.I.S.E.
>They also have this weird approach to male female roles and conduct all
>meetings separately. Also they've mentioned some sleep deprivation stuff????
>E mail me with info.
>Who are these people? Body Snatchers???

Sterling managment is a bunch of Scientologists pushing L. Ron Hubbard's
mismanagemnt techniques. Trouble. Assholes.
Ask them about Hubbard. "Do you use managment techniques of L. Ron
Hubbard? Is this that Sterling managment?"
It is a managment technique based on hard sell. It is morally bankrupt
and long term deadly to a business.

Sterling works hand in hand with the cult.
The cult hopes to pick up recruits this way.

It is poison. Ask those at Allstate Insurance
who got burned on this crap.

Pope Charles
SubGenius Pope Of Houston

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