By Jeff Jacobsen
WISE is the acronym for World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, a “nonprofit religious corporation… its purposes are to promote and foster the religious teachings of L. Ron Hubbard in society…” (1) This administrative technology was “primarily intended for the organization Mr. Hubbard founded”(2) which is Scientology. Much of the material used by WISE is simply bulletins and policies written by Hubbard for Scientology. WISE charges an annual fee and a percentage of the business income for the privilege of using WISE training and practices.
Hubbard’s administrative technology claims to be “a vital basic discovery. Man does not really know the principles of organization any more than he knew what made his mind work… Now you can connect up to Source [L. Ron Hubbard] and actively get this precise technology into the business world.”(3) “The purpose of WISE is to get HUBBARD Administrative Technology known and used in every business of the world. WISE also protects the image of Scientology copyrights and trademarks in your field.”(4)
WISE promoters publicly claim that they are simply promoting the secular business techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard and are not in any other way related to the Church of Scientology, but even this secular connection is not always clear. The magazine Podiatry Today conducted a poll of WISE management consulting businesses. They found that “only Sterling offered the fact that Hubbard developed the management courses provided by the firm… Hollander’s Larry Silver only reluctantly mentioned Hubbard and was the most insistent about not having a relationship with Scientology. ‘We don’t have anything to do with Scientology whatsoever,’ Silver states emphatically.”(5) Sterling Management, though, is listed in a Scientology publication as being the “top group Flag FSM,” (6) which means the group bringing the largest number of publics to take Scientology courses. David Riggin, Singer Consultants marketing director, told the St. Petersburg Times that “Scientology is a completely separate thing from Singer Consultants.” (7)
A WISE policy directive clearly shows the proselytizing nature of WISE on behalf of Scientology:
A WISE member is entitled to be paid by Church of Scientology orgs and missions for getting people onto services; their pay shall be in terms of commissions. Such commissions can be quite lucrative, depending only on the activity of the WISE member. (8)
Thus, WISE is used to funnel people into Scientology by placing a bounty on the heads of new Scientologists.
Earlier WISE publications seemed to assume that WISE members were Scientologists. The first issue of Prosperity magazine, for instance, proudly proclaims great strides being made by the Guardian’s Office of Scientology(9) (11 members of the Guardian’s Office went to federal prison for infiltrating several branches of the US government) and remind readers to follow the Code of a Scientologist. An early WISE magazine lists goal #2 of WISE to be “A Scientology business world that is contributing to the expansion of Scientology while not distracting org or mission staff from their jobs.”(10) WISE is listed as one of the various sectors of Scientology in a chart of the command channels within Scientology.(11)
Gradually, however, a shift seems to have occurred wherein WISE is seen as a tool for getting Hubbard practices into the entire non-Scientology business world. WISE is now used as a front group to bring people into Scientology through indirect means. While this is not normally stated as a goal by WISE, there are many indications of this in their publications.
For instance, a WISE flyer has a chart showing “Number of people routed to The Bridge by WISE Members” and shows 1225 people from 1989-90 and 1836 people from 1990-91.(12) The “Bridge” is a Scientology term for the progression of courses in Scientology. This same article mentions some WISE businesses. For instance, “Real World is responsible for getting 593 wog businessmen trained on LRH study tech.” The word “wog” is a Scientology term for non-Scientologists.
A promotional piece copyrighted 1990 by WISE has this testimony of Susan Ochart of Sterling Management; “The biggest win being a WISE member is the opportunity to disseminate LRH tech widely and especially getting large numbers of new public on and up the Bridge. This last quarter, the number of our clients that went clear “a high state of Scientology training) at Orange County alone totaled 109 (more than 1 a day). That’s what this is all about.”(13)
A Scientology publication that promotes certain business consultants says “Business consultancy is a very effective dissemination line. By getting results from the basic admin tech a person will see how effective LRH technology is and will reach for more of the technology. If he is then enlightened on how this technology can be applied to him personally and improves his life, he is easily routed to an org [Scientology organization] for auditing and training.”(14)
A WISE magazine issue from 1992 that was later pulled shows the steps a businessman would take, from signing up for a WISE business management course to becoming a Scientologist.(15) Another publication explains that WISE members “actively select their clients, customers and business associates into the local orgs and missions.”(16)
Prosperity magazine issue 51 shows a chart explaining the relationship between WISE and Scientology. A graphic of a church is designated “may recommend Scientology religious services to individuals based on their situations.”(17)
The connection between WISE and Scientology is so close as to be impossible to hide. For instance, WISE Prosperity magazine issue 45 shows Voula Cosmas as the Membership Services I/C (In Charge) for WISE. She is in a Scientology Sea Organization uniform.(18) The Sea Organization is composed of those Scientologists who have signed a billion year contract to work full time for Scientology for basically room and board. A Sea Organization magazine shows an office that is “one of the many WISE offices, where the Sea Org staff of WISE work to boom Scientology through its use and dissemination into businesses.”(19) WISE book catalogs contain such Scientology books as “How to Present Scientology to the World,” “Science of Survival” and “An Introduction to Scientology.”(20) “Family Dream of Almost 200 Years Realized Through Scientology” is a headline in another WISE newsletter.(21) WISE has many of their meetings in Scientology properties.(22)
Scientology in filings to obtain tax exemption told the IRS that WISE was “formed to accomplish several objectives with respect to expanding the religion and disseminating secular applications of the technology throughout society. It assures that Scientologists who operate commercial enterprises do not interfere with church activities by conducting or soliciting business on church premises or hiring church staff members. It provides a chaplain service to its members by providing them means to settle disputes in accordance with the Scientology ethics and justice systems. It also is responsible for licensing commercial enterprises offering secular services under the Scientology or Dianetics marks or secular works derived from Mr. Hubbard’s copyrighted works to ensure usage does not violate the Scriptures.”(23)
ADMINISTRATION “TECH” CANNOT BE SPLIT FROM SCIENTOLOGY
L. Ron Hubbard himself explained in a talk in 1969 that the business administration technology he developed could not be bifurcated from the rest of Scientology teachings:
“We in this organization actually are a management organization. We charter ships, we train people. We have many diverse interests actually. We have full technology of administration. Today if anybody were to know administration he would have to know the most advanced mental technology there was just to know administration what human reaction would be. It would be absolutely necessary. Well you’ve got a choice, you’ve got a choice between Pavlovian Russian Psychiatry or you have a choice between that or aah Dianetics and Scientology. There is no other choice because there aren’t any other subjects. Anybody in his right mind isn’t going to take management technology from Russia which is busy going broke. That’s silly. So it leaves you just one choice, so you say anybody who really knew his business in the field of management would have to know the most modern Western mental technology. Well regardless of all of that we are a management corporation.”(24)
That being the case, WISE is being disingenuous in claiming that they can pull out a section of Hubbard’s religious teachings and claim that now they are only promoting a secular product.
WISE TO BE DISSOLVED ACCORDING TO IRS AGREEMENT
On October 1, 1993, The Church of Scientology and many of its corporate entities, including WISE, were granted tax exemption. The IRS and Scientology signed a secret Agreement, leaked by the Wall Street Journal, that required certain things of Scientology and the IRS. The Agreement required that Scientology close their corporate entity World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE). The Agreement states “The members of the CTCC shall, no later than December 31, 1995, effectuate the dissolution of WISE, Inc. and the transfer of all of its assets, including but not limited to its rights to the Scientology religious marks, to the Inspector General Network.” As of June 30, 2001, the California Secretary of State still lists WISE as an active corporation.(25) WISE still has an active web page.(26) WISE is still active in the United States and abroad. David Miscavige in his October 8, 1993 victory speech stated that “Over the last several years we have been expanding our efforts to get LRH’s admin tech into full use. WISE Int. has now set up a new college to train people in this tech. It is called the Hubbard College of Administration and as you can see here, it too is recognized by the IRS!” Apparently, there was no written penalty for not complying with this portion of the Agreement, but obviously, WISE was not dissolved.
WISE AS AN EXTENSION OF SCIENTOLOGY CONTROL
A bulletin written by L. Ron Hubbard has been reprinted in WISE magazine Prosperity several times. It is called “Special Zone Plan” and explains “the Scientologist’s role in life.” This role is to influence groups and organizations. The zone plan envisioned by Hubbard in this bulletin is for each Scientologist to join or enter some group or organization and insert Scientology practices into it. “The cue in all this is don’t seek the co-operation of groups. Don’t ask for permission. Just enter them and start functioning” within the group.(27) WISE, as a branch of Scientology, implements the Special Zone Plan in businesses.
Several professionals who have used WISE training and materials have come away highly dissatisfied. Robert Geary, a dentist, took business management courses from Sterling Management, one of the largest management training companies using WISE materials. He wrote:
“I later came to learn that the courses I was taking at Sterling were an introduction to Scientology, although I was not aware of the fact at that time. I now feel that what I was learning at Sterling Management Systems was simply an introduction into Scientology and was making me over into a Scientology salesman.”(28)
Alexander Turbyne wrote in a declaration after taking Sterling Management’s courses “Had I known… that Sterling Management was merely Scientology’s Public Relations Branch, and under direct control of Scientology, I would not have wasted a nickel, much less the amount I spent.”(29)
Ed Hattaway, a chiropractor, joined Scientology through his association with WISE. The costs and pressures from the course work caused him problems;
“I was stressed out, burned out and under EXTREME financial duress from the creditors who had loaned me money to buy my super OT [upper level Scientology courses] abilities! I fell 6 months behind on my mortgage(s), my office rent, my equipment lease and my van… I was incapable of producing at my previous level!”(30)
As can be seen, WISE is actually a recruiting arm for the Church of Scientology disguised as a business technology service. WISE has been used heavily in Europe by Scientology to recruit people through a deceptive and indirect route.
This sort of bait-and-switch method of converting people to a religion is just one of the practices that concern European countries, and should concern the government of the United States as well.
1World Institute of Scientology Enterprises License Agreement, part C
2 “How to Increase Efficiency in Your Company Course Pack” introductory page “L. Ron Hubbard Administrative Technology” 1983 WISE International
3 Hubbard College of Administration mailing, 1991
4 WISE questionnaire, 1984
5 Podiatry Today, March 1990 “Scientology and Practice Management Seminars”, page 29-30
6 Reach newsletter vol. II #5
7 St. Petersburg (Florida) Times, November 29, 1987, “Chiropractors seeking advice find Scientology-influenced seminars”
8 WISE Policy Directive Internal 14, 27 March 1986 “Field Staff Member Activities”
9 Prosperity Magazine volume 1 issue 1, page 43. Copyright 1980.
10 Prosperity Magazine, vol. 1 No. 4, page 10, “World Institute of Scientology Enterprises Admin Scale”
11 The Command Channels of Scientology, date unknown, page 26
12 WISE Wins, flyer, copyright 1991 by WISE International
13 “Get Ethics and Sanity into your Business” WISE promotional piece copyrighted 1990, page 3
14 Impact Magazine issue 8, “WISE Members in Action”
15 Prosperity Magazine issue 30 1992, p. 14 “Getting Clients Up the Bridge”
16 Clear Expansion Committees, internal magazine, date unknown, page 15
17 Prosperity Magazine, issue 51, page 9 [copyright 2001]
18 Prosperity Magazine, issue 45, page 27 [copyright 1998]
19 High Winds magazine, issue 9, 1989, page 12
20 “WISE Books by L. Ron Hubbard 1995 Catalog”, copyright 1995 WISE International
21 WISE Pages, vol. 1, issue 3, copyright 1980 by WISE International
22 Prosperity Magazine issue 26 page 5 and issue 45 page 14 show international WISE meetings on the Scientology ship Freewinds.
23 Church of Scientology International Attached Statement to IRS Form 1023, page 60
24 [LRH Aides Conference, 2 November 1969 – “Covert Operations”, found at http://www.entheta.net/entheta/go/aidescon/ac02fram.html page 15]
25 from a search on http://kepler.ss.ca.gov/list.html
27 “Special Zone Plan” HCOB of June 23, 1960, by L. Ron Hubbard
28 Declaration of Robert Geary, D.D.S., September 5, 1993
29 Declaration of Alexander Turbyne III, May 3, 1992, page 6
30 Edmond E. Hattaway declaration, February 26, 2001