This is Photojournalist Fred G. Haseney with his eye on Scientology. For today’s blog, I’m near the Pacific Area Command Base (“PAC Base” or “Big Blue”), the Church of Scientology’s West Coast headquarters, in Los Angeles. More specifically, I’m reporting from along Franklin Avenue, between PAC Base and Scientology’s Celebrity Centre International (“CC Int”), located at 5930 Franklin Ave., in Los Angeles. Why? Because their upcoming seminar and open house advertisements have littered this otherwise beautiful neighborhood.

I had, originally, intended on a walk to Griffith Park, but found their trash instead.

From CC Int’s Events Website: “Tuesday, 22 March 2016 • 7:00 pm • Refreshments served • Admission Free • Purification Program Open House • Join us for the Purification Program Open House. Do you feel less alert and aware than you used to? Tired or drained of energy for no apparent reason? Wooden or even lifeless? Drugs and toxins from the environment can stay lodged in your body for years and adversely affect your overall health, longevity, mental and spiritual well-being.” (Photo courtesy Celebrity Centre International Events website.)

Translation: Nothing is “free”; don’t go.

A message to any Scientologist reading this: Do you feel less aware and alert than you used to? Drained of energy or tired for no apparent reason? Lifeless or even wooden? Living in a “bubble” can adversely affect your overall health, spiritual and mental well-being. Your church, much like a narcissist, has isolated you from the rest of the world. Do you ignore most people, especially people outside of Scientology? You may have developed, through the writings of L. Ron Hubbard, a feeling of being superior to everyone else. Scientology tells you what to do and when; where to go; what to look at; what to read. The bubble you live in is not the real world.

This is a discarded advertisement for CC Int’s upcoming “Purification Program Open House,” one of many found littering Franklin Avenue’s gutters and sidewalks.

From CC Int’s Events Website: “Saturday, 26 March 2016 • 12:30 pm • How to Get an Agent with Marcus Coloma (The Mentalist, The Client List, Drop Dead Diva). Learn what Scientology tools Marcus consistently uses and attributes his career success to. Marcus will present portions of the book Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought by author L. Ron Hubbard and show you how to apply these to get an agent.” (Photo courtesy Celebrity Centre International Events website.)

From CC Int’s Events Website: “Wednesday, 30 March 2016 • 7:30 pm • Free admission • Free Acting Class with Award-winning Director/Producer Lynette McNeill. Lynette’s former students include Adam Sandler, Ellen Degeneres and Giovanni Ribisi. Lynette will cover how to walk into the room and nail the part. A consultant will also teach you how to use practical Scientology tools that will help you in the industry, based on the book The Problems of Work by L. Ron Hubbard.” (Photo courtesy Celebrity Centre International Events website.)

Trashed! In pieces! This is what someone thought of CC Int’s advertisement for Lynette McNeill’s seminar left on their vehicle’s window.

Lynette McNeill’s effervescent and charismatic smile awaits this vehicle’s owner. What will be this advertisement’s fate? No seminar advertisements were harmed during the making of this blog (they were, instead, quietly retired to the nearest trash receptacle).

Another vehicle, another advertisement. “Hi, my name is Lynette McNeill! I want to make us rich beyond the dreams of Avarice.”

Another vehicle, another advertisement. “Hi, my name is Lynette McNeill! How do I look on white?”

This map identifies CC Int’s location (see the blue “CC” tab). It also shows Franklin Ave., where the discarded advertisements were found (and, later, properly discarded). Keep America Beautiful! (Photo courtesy Celebrity Centre International Events website.)

On the map in the last photo, find CC Int. Below that (and unidentified) is a heavy dark line, which is the Hollywood Freeway. Just below that, find Carlos Ave. Along that street and south of CC Int is an unnamed street which dead ends at the freeway. That street is Tamarind Ave; the construction of the freeway in the 1950’s turned that portion of Tamarind St. into a dead end. I took this photo recently during bad weather, specifically because it shows dark skies behind CC Int. The road to Scientology is a dead end street.

This is the end of Tamarind St., where it meets the Hollywood Freeway, just south of CC Int, in Los Angeles.

This is a rooftop sign for CC Int.

If you find yourself at one of these events, you will not be allowed to leave without buying something. You will be directed to sit in front of a Registrar (“Reg”; a professional closer; a salesperson), a Sea Org (“SO”) staff member specially trained in squeezing blood out of a turnip. The book by Les Dane, Big League Sales Closing Techniques, is a Registrar’s tool for getting you, their prospect, to buy anything. At the end of one of these seminars, a Reg will want to sell you a book and a course, maybe even some auditing. After the Open House, a Reg will want to sell you the Purification Program (“Purif”). A book may cost less than $30; a course, $50. The Purif will cost well over a $1,000, and a Reg knows exactly how to make you pay.

The “scaredy-cat” is among “the easiest to sign up because he doesn’t have a legitimate reason for not going ahead.” Are you stalling? Looking for an excuse not to proceed? The Reg at CC Int will subtly shoot your argument full of holes as soon as you can present it. If you think you should show L. Ron Hubbard’s book (either The Fundamentals of Thought or The Problems of Work) to your wife before buying it, then why didn’t you bring her to the event? You’re faking it, the Reg reasons; he knows  you’re casting about for excuses not to buy. This is where the Reg moves in for the close. Your argument will be gently tossed right back at you, mixed with flattery. A Reg won’t overdo it. Once the Reg decides that you’re a scaredy-cat, he’ll close the deal. As a seasoned SO member, a Reg has had plenty of practice in spotting this type. If you’re told to go into an office with a Reg (look at his name tag, you’ll see the word “Reg” or “Registrar” before the name) or sign on the dotted line, run; don’t buy.

A Reg will listen, not talk, because you’ll suggest a way to get around your own objection; he knows that you’ll come up with the very suggestion needed to close the sale. A Reg will sit on the sidelines; he’ll prod you: he’ll throw a hint here, a question there; then, a suggestion. A Reg will let you do the talking; he’ll get the whole story. The Reg will let you talk yourself into the sale. If you have a legitimate objection, a Reg will listen, encourage and wait. Then the Reg will go in for the kill.

A Reg will do anything he can in order to close the sale fast and easy, so he can turn his attention to the next prospect. A Reg will do whatever it takes to get you to sign on the dotted line. That’s Salesmanship 101. A born Salesman is full of personality, good-looking and likable; a Reg is good talker, neat and persuasive.

If you can’t afford the book, the seminar, the course or counseling, a Reg will know how to obtain financing. A Reg will dig for that close.

Another technique a Reg will use is “Buy Now.” If the Reg can’t get your business today, right now, then he can’t promise that you’ll get the same deal tomorrow. “Why?” you may ask. Here’s where the Reg will use his imagination and improvise. “Today,” he might say, “is final day of the ‘LRH Birthday Game.’ Buy now; do it for Ron!”

Picture the two of you as Roman gladiators; the battle is the sales approach. Each of you has donned armor and swords. With every objection you make, you slash at the Reg. The Reg will field your objection (sidestep) and toss your objection back to you with a reason for the purchase. The battle will go on and on, until the Reg finds an opening. Suddenly, you’re beaten, defeated, defenseless, naked and vulnerable; your armor at your feet. Your objection is gone; you are now susceptible to “the close.” The Reg, as Roman gladiators did, will always win. You may be vulnerable, but not helpless. Tell the Reg, “No.” That one word is fateful to a Reg. But the fight isn’t over, because now the Reg will find your “Button.”

Your Button is not the same as mine and makes you a distinct individual. Your Button is as different from mine as your appearance, job and personality. Salesmanship 101 dictates that a Reg will adjust himself to you. Much like a narcissist, a Reg will adjust his personality to fit yours; he’ll become you.

CC Int may be a spotless facility, with every piece of furniture in just the right place, but if a Reg takes you in his office, notice his desk. It may be cluttered; it may looked used, all under the guise of making you feel at home. And if a successful Reg gets you close to buying, he’ll search his desk high and low for that contract, rummaging through pads of orders and a handful of contracts, all mixed up with literature and advertisements on his desk. A Reg will not let you break into a cold sweat; no last minute chills will be allowed.

A Reg will not talk like a college professor. He won’t be reserved, dignified or a snob; he’ll never give that impression. You won’t be able to tell that he’s educated. A Reg will identify with you. A Reg’s speech and mannerisms will never be on a level above yours. A SO Reg knows that Scientology training and auditing is “top-of-the-line”; in a SO Reg’s mind, their brand is the Cartier or Rolls-Royce of spirituality. A Reg will come down, will lower themselves to wherever you are. The Reg will make you feel that you’re just like him; an average “Joe.” A Reg will make his manner compatible with yours; he’ll even adjust his personality to match yours.

A Reg practices “identification” constantly because it pays off big time. If you’re a young man who likes sports cars and weekends at the beach, that’s what the Reg will be. A Reg will flatter you. Such a Reg will have you eating out of his hand in a heartbeat, and any misgivings and resistance you have will melt away. If you like baseball, the Reg will suddenly become a sports enthusiast. The “identification” phase will be so convincing, you’ll never know that you’ve just been had.

A Reg will always make you feel at home. You are, to a Reg, the most important person in the universe (for that moment, at least). A Reg will make you feel that he cares and has your best interests at heart. He’ll always make you feel that you belong; that he is right there with you; that you are among your own kind.

Don’t fall for the Reg’s sales pitch. Repeat the word, “No,” as often as is necessary, and leave their premises as soon as you can. If you went to the event with someone else, don’t let yourselves be separated. Never give a Reg your mailing or email address, name or telephone number.

All images (unless noted otherwise) © 2015—2016 Fred G. Haseney.


Sources:
Celebrity Centre International Events
Big League Sales Closing Techniques by Les Dane (West Nyack, New York, Parker Publishing Company, Inc., 1971).

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