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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Scientology's Library Donation Service… Scam or Fundraiser?

If you have ever heard the saying “it is better to give than to receive” you may also know that receiving is not always what it is cracked up to be. People with a gentler nature will often worry about saying that a gift is the wrong size, or even hide the fact they already have the same item that was given. When most people give to a worthy humanitarian charity, it makes them feel good. However, if money is unknowingly given to expert pan-handler, who may or may not be using the gift in the same spirit it was given, the initial act of generosity becomes a form of victimization rather than instance of charity.

This type of human behavior that is behind deceptive donation ploys is commonly referred to as "boiler room scams”. These con artist schemes are named after the conditions of the office that are typical to back-room or ‘under wraps’ type of questionable business falsely claiming to be a charity. A boiler room of a building (or the lowest rent office available), would often be used to house a number of shady telemarketers or sales staff. This task force will sit at their desk all day long working a canned sales pitch non-stop for what is seemingly a “good cause” and “tax deductible” while offering the extra benefit of “free gifts” or other perks when purchased in bulk quantities so how can you lose right?

Wrong. These shifty outfits are entirely sales-based and use a gigantic mailing list to sell product or service that is never quite what it seems. They solicit unsuspecting patrons to request a donation for such modern-day things as advertising to benefit the fire department retirees, or selling tickets for underprivileged children to go on a nice outing, or aiding handicapped workers to earn a desperately needed commission.

Organized scientology has been using a very similar model to con their parishioners into buying multiple sets of books for quite some time. A currently ongoing example of a global Co$ boiler room book scam that is becoming notorious on the internet is ‘Scientology’s Great Library Dumping Scandal ’.

In this fine exhibition of deceptive salesmanship at an all-time sneaky high, staff members from the cult send out fliers and leaflets galore as apart of their daily mass spam abuse to all of their members, former members, friends, enemies, and anyone whoever took a stress test in past 10 years and made the mistake of giving an address they still live at. The propaganda being distributed in this manner and throughout the local orgs or special events is a steady stream of aggressive donation campaigns for distributing a significant portion of their new 2007 releases of the organization’s Basics Set of Books & DVDs.

This fund raising effort falls under the wing of one of the many scientology front groups known as the "Library Donation Service". This savvy sales division of the crime syndicate has the ambitious goal of getting the non-staff members & wealthy supporters to sponsor the publishing costs and shipping expense of placing an entire set of the 18 Basic Books (along with at least one or more DVD’s) on the shelf of ALL public and private libraries around the world.

For a donation of a few thousand dollars, donors are encouraged to sponsor the sending of multiple sets of the Scientology beginner books to a varying range of library facilities. As the campaigns progressed throughout the past year or so, great stats of success and accomplishments were bragged about incessantly (as shown later), all the while encouraging more and more donations that have obviously been pouring in based on Anonymous’ research that is summarized below.

One example of these campaigns is included in the initial video clip below where a radio show disc jockey reads from the Library Donation Service brochure while USA distribution was still being sold hot & heavy. The high-end contribution was 15 sets of books for $6,000 (or $400 per set). Additional email-based marketing reported on Clambake Forums indicates the going rate in 2008 drives is $450, as with a specific campaign for tropical distribution that was reported on the Ex-Scientologist Message Board under the topic The Cuba connection as follows:

A friend of mine forwarded this comment from an email they recently received.

"AOLA is getting one set of LRH's Basic Books into every library in Cuba this week. We have the opportunity now that Castro has stepped down, and need to get Source on the shelves before the psychs move in. We are more than halfway there already. Your donation could complete it! It's $450 per library. ANY amount is accepted. It's tax deductable, and you will be commended in writing. Call me at the above number to do this."

Killing Trees… For The Sake of Fraud or Salvation?

What was truly being done with the massive book dumps being shipped out in geographical waves? Is the cult actually spreading the preliminary introduction to their entry-level doctrines in large scale unchecked? Entire shelves of scamatology books IN MY LIBRARY? WTF?!?!?!!

Anons of course wanted to know these answers and moar. So many info seekers around the world commenced to investigate if the books were truly making their way onto library shelves for mass consumption. As to be expected, we found that the books where indeed being SHIPPED out to the libraries, and often the same sets of books where being sent to the same USA libraries multiple times. But what happens to those books after they ARRIVE is an entirely different story as you shall see.

The following YouTube Playlist tells the tale of this fraudulent fiasco from there. This series features a library unpacking their 9th set of books and other related goodies. Also included with these vids is a brief glimpse back at a few other past & present scientology scam tactics, which reaped similarly unsavory results on a large scale but only scratches a tiny dent in the cult’s long history of unethical schemes that exploit their member’s ‘donations’ by any means possible.

Scientology's Great Library Book Dumping Scam

What do the librarians say about these book donation campaigns? If you pay attention to the beginning of the unpacking clip in the above series of videos, you hear them mention they have received NINE boxes and comment (with much lulz) on the fine quality of the box! Also seen in the vids above, the ever diligent Professor at a university buys a whole stack from the campus library to prevent anyone else from getting a hold of literature from a destructive cult. The hip Prof paid $16 for his stack of 16 unwanted books. This is the same material that the public scientologist being debated by Anon on the street in a subsequent clip states he donated $2000 Canadian dollars (approx. $1,984 USD) for an unknown number of sets (most likely 5 if he purchased them at the usual rate). Little does he know the sets of books he was conned into buying were rudely sent to a library that never asked for them in the first place… yet gets stuck with either getting rid of the books, or getting hassled and harassed by the obnoxious sales agents of Bridge Publications when they try to politely return them.

These same "Basics Set" hardcover books carry an average list price of $33.00 per book. Add to that a generous estimate of roughly $2 per book for shipping and handling in the bulk packaging shown in the videos above, and a full set of 18 books and 1 video is worth approximately $650 total street value in US currency.

Based on the examples of their advanced in-house “Print On Demand” (POD) publishing system shown in the promotional vid also included in the playlist above; books that list for $35-40 dollars typically cost approximately $10 to produce in this manner at standard labor rates. That would make for manufacturing costs on an entire 18 book set roughly under $200. Yet donors being suckered into the Library donation scam fork over $400-450 in US currency for the typical box of unwanted crap being dumped on unsuspecting libraries who the cult expects to place them on the shelves with no questions asked.

Waste Not, Want Not…. or maybe NOT!!

For those who have great faith in the Scientology techniques saving the world, a 225% markup over cost might be a justifiable donation they can be proud of, assuming the books are put to good use and reach a wider audience. However, we found that is not the case as told over on the "@theLibrary" blog who first referred to it as the Scientology Dump and kicked off the initial internet stir regarding this ubiquitous scam back in March of 2008:

Original Post: The Library keeps getting unsolicited texts and DVDs from the Church of Scientology. I can only imagine that this is the Church’s public relations response to Anonymous declaring war on them a couple of months ago. Have any other libraries out there received at least two large boxes packed with the “basic” works of Scientology? Who knew that there are at least 18 books and 3000 lectures that comprise their canon?

... Our Assistant Director called them up because we don’t have the room to shelve the 40 or so books and DVDs that we were given. I think we shipped most of them back and kept only a few titles like The Scientology Handbook, and The Fundamentals of Thought, and a couple of others including a DVD with a picture of L. Ron Hubbard on the cover.

Follow up Comment by the author on March 25, 2008 at 5:27 am: ...I have a feeling that the Friends of the Library ended up selling them for .50/ea. or something like that. As an aside other librarians are telling me that their libraries received these as well… All kinds of libraries, even the technical library at Three Mile Island has apparently received these sets.

Comment by herself on March 25, 2008 at 4:18 am: *lol* I worked for a public library once which experienced the same inundation. I sent back the “response card” (which only gave me the choice of requesting more books, or requesting more books) with a note saying, “Please do not send any more books.” I actually got a call from the Scientology publisher people asking (incredulously) why I wouldn’t want their books for my library. I decided to leave content out of the discussion and told them that every one of our 26 branches got 2 copies of every book they sent out, and that few of our little branches had room or demand for them. She said, “What happens to the books?” and I told her they end up in the book sale marked $1 each (and that’s on the high side). She was appalled. “That’s an expensive book!” My response: “Well, then quit sending so many.” I gave her the number for our countywide collection development head, then hung up and called the head to warn her. *eye roll*

Comment by Heidi on March 25, 2008 at 6:14 am: I work in a hospital library and received a box of Scientology books in December. Made my head hurt trying to figure out why they’d be sent there.

Response by the author on March 25, 2008 at 6:49 am: Hiya Heidi! It does provoke quite a bit of confusion doesn’t it? Did you order these? WHO ordered these things? Where is the PO? What the hell is happening here?

Comment by AmyH said this on March 25, 2008 at 9:19 am: ...Yes! My library got that dump, too! The Acquisitions Librarian put the materials into our school’s Book Sale which helps to fund scholarships. We already have “Dianetics” in our collection and that’s enough.

So it seems the libraries DO NOT WANT these texts, which typically cost public scientologists thousands of dollars in donations because their strongly encouraged to sponsor multiple sets of books with a single generous donation. We were unable to get our hands on a visual image of the actual donation propaganda drumming up this support at this time, but hope to include it as documentation in a follow up article in the coming months.

Let the Truth Be Told… on the Stacks!!!

As we began to look at this closer, Anonymous members on the WhyWeProtest.net reported the following findings from doing some local legwork sleuthing earlier this year:

"I talked to my friend’s mom who works at a library in town, and they got three boxes. They put all of them in the basement nickel book sale, and when none sold for a month, gave them out for free to anyone who wanted them. They only managed to give away two."

"In my local library they are still behind the counter wrapped as they came, no plans for placing them on the shelf"

"I picked up my basics package from my librarian friend today! 9 books, all hard-bound, I'm in heaven...Apparently I asked at just the right time; they were in a cardboard box with the word 'Trash' scrawled on the side."

"They're claiming the US is 100% done, yes. And there are *three* libraries I've checked local to Clearwater that don't have all of them."

"My friend works at a library. She said they received a box of scientology books.... they promptly threw them away. Ha!"

"I work at a library, and recently we and our branch library each received two sets of boxes of Scientology books from the Scientology publisher. Our director did not put them into our library like they wanted us to do. The books were tossed."

Thus, initial anon findings jive with comments on the @theLibrary blog and indicate further proof that the vast majority of the donated books are "gotten rid of" in one of four ways. The libraries either sell them off for fund raising along with the old and out dated books for a dollar or two a piece, the entire set is given away for free, or thrown out with the trash. Otherwise, the libraries attempt to ship them back to where they came from and deal with the duress of being hassled over not placing them on the shelves by the disgruntled donation service sales force.

Dirty Deeds Redone Dirt Cheap… An Online Bookseller Free-for-All!

Meanwhile, elsewhere on the internet another recent example of this book dumping fiasco of FAIL can be found on the “Jasmine’s Blog” site, posted on June 4, 2008 under the entry Can I interest anyone one in Scientology books?

They’re brand new, still wrapped, unread. I had come across a box labeled “Free Books” at the public health library. Usually it’s filled with books that look gross- that if you’d place them under a black light, they’d glow from fecal, blood, etc. stains – like hotel comforters.

But this time, the books looked clean. While I have zero interest in reading about Scientology/Dianetics, I had a vague idea that I would use them as emergency firewood or to level an uneven table. So I grabbed like 6 or 7.

Unfortunately, it seems this discovery is nothing new. Ebay.com has become saturated with dozens of brand new books still in the wrapper offered for a fraction of the cost and often posted in bulk quantities. Google checkout currently features 5 pages of new editions for $1 or less. Meanwhile, over on Amazon.com there is more than a dozen online book sellers who are selling the brand new hardcover editions for under a dollar and sometimes as low as a penny a piece!

So it’s readily apparent that organized scientology’s great book dumping donation scam has been going strong for well over a year. This is proven by “The Invisible Library” blog entry from January 2007 under The World of the Day Before Yesterday– Now With Fedoras:

At the library yesterday we received a donation of DVDs from Bridge Publications Inc. the publishing arm of the Church of Scientology. We regularly receive unsolicited donations from publishers but as these DVDs were lectures by L. Ron Hubbard on Scientology, I was intrigued. [Ha! Intrigued enough the author continues on as very knowledgeable critic of the subject matter after reviewing the extended DVD lecture set.]

Now with all this massive output and distribution of their public doctrines to so many libraries, one would think that public access to scientology books would by now be readily available in vast quantities. Anonymous thinks NOT.

The Real Deal Exposed… Factual Library Catalog Statistics are just a mouse-click away!!

Using informative online library index sites such as WorldCat.org Search to drill down into other online catalogs such as the Los Angeles Public Library, and the NYC Public Library systems; the actual on-the-shelf statistics were easily gathered for tabulating a rough estimate on the number of the new editions made available to the public in various venues compliments of the cult’s Library Donation Service.

Scientology’s claims of completion status for these library dumping campaigns as of May 2008 that are used for comparison on each region below were taken from My Scientology Blog: Scientology in Libraries and shown in the image below. An additional email-based report on oversees distribution to various islands was leaked on the Clambake Forums in May 2008.

Using a WordCat.org Library Catalog List for the full set 2007 Basics books and introductory video, a detailed search was made for a variety of interconnected online library catalogs and systems. Specific stats were gathered for the quantity of scientology materials actually found on the stacks around the world. From this information, we compiled findings that indicate a small trickle of new editions have been recently made freely available in the United States, but nowhere near a “100%” success rate can legitimately be claimed.

The following link outlines these findings in detail for four major corners of the world with summary highlights from each region as of July 2008 noted below.

Anonymous Presents: Scientology 2007-08 Library Dump Actual On-the-shelf Library Book Stats

We aim to revisit these stats and provide another update for a time range comparison in 3-6 months or when the scilons publish another round of updated completion stats that are ripe for the dis-proving!

USA Trends found as of July 2008: 57 independent libraries or regional library systems checked for recent editions of scientology basics in 35 major US cities. This region of the world was reported as 100% complete as of May 09, 2008.

Major Universities have little-to-none new editions w/ a few exceptions. They also typically have a small number of copies of a few older editions ranging from 1986-92 already on the shelf in all but Los Angeles & Clearwater where the past versions are typically 1998-99.

City/County Public libraries mostly have a limited number of copies of the new edition books along with a few DVD’s. Small number of extreme scilon infiltration exceptions found with > 1/3 of the set of books.

With the exception of Southern & Central areas of Florida near the scilon mecca, the other southern states & midwest regions of the US have more occurrences of "none" than elsewhere.

The obvious conclusion to be made from these easily-verified findings is pretty clear. From well over 1,000 total facilities tabulated in our stats, 205 have NO RECENT EDITIONS or DVD's!!!

So an educated guestimate can be made that at least 20% of 123,000+ libraries in the United States DO NOT have the most recent editions of the Scientology Basics Books in the stacks. Therefore, if the US is 100% complete, that’s a helluva lot of books thrown out, given away, or sold for $1 or less. Never fear though, anon is near… many a studious protester has been sure to scoop up their own full set of new editions For FREE! These of course are being quoted profusely and exploited often in the ongoing crusade to rape the destructive cult with their very own “truths” that testify to unlimited bounds of snake oil quackery.

In additional to the USA on the shelf stats, we also gathered a sampling for the following regions that were only reported as being partially complete as of this round of data collection.

Canada Trends as of July 2008: 26 independent libraries or regional library systems in Canada checked for recent editions of scientology basics. This region of the world was reported as 55% complete as of May 09, 2008.

UK Trends as of July 2008: 27 independent libraries or regional library systems in England & Ireland checked for recent editions of scientology basics. This region of the world was reported as 22% complete as of May 09, 2008.

Australia Trends as of July 2008: This region of the world was reported as 18% complete as of May 09, 2008.

All things considered, it becomes quit clear when combining the input from all these different sources along with the online library catalog statistics used to produce the regional findings shown above; the libraries have definitely been throwing books away or contacting the Church of Scientology asking them NOT to send more boxes of books. Sometimes the books are shipped back to C.o.S. and other times they are sold off for pennies on the dollar of their retail price. Yet they tout this outcome of such a huge amount of donations, as such great success of their Keep Scientology Working program. Large sums of monies not being spent on humanitarian efforts like normal "churches", but pissed away on distributing unwanted materials where very little if any is making it onto the actual library shelf. Where's the success in that? Oh that's right, at 225% markup over cost, the success is in putting more profit into the crime syndicate's pocket.

Global Boiler Room Scam… Not Your Average-sized “Basement” Operation.

The official scientology front group responsible for this fine effort is known as the Library Donation Service and is set up as part of the larger International Library Campaign in order to place scientology books and materials into the public libraries around the world. Their actions are explained on an official Co$ FAQ as follows:

The Church encourages the widest possible dissemination of Scientology publications containing all the Scientology scriptures other than its confidential, unpublished materials, which comprise a small fraction of the scriptures of the religion. In addition to the many public information actions described later, we have donated thousands of copies of Scientology books and materials to public libraries. This has been done to make it possible for individuals with limited financial means to learn and apply Scientology principles to their lives without having to pay anything. Our library donation program has proved extremely successful. In fact, it has been calculated that every 29.5 seconds, somewhere in the world, a person checks out a Scientology book from a library.

With all the many lies, exaggerations, and hyped up sales propaganda within the convoluted hierarchy of the crime syndicate of organized scientology... who would of thought there would still be enough room leftover for such a broad boiler room scam to run unchecked for well over a year. But never fear - Anon have been here and collected many a free or cheaply gotten new edition to educate ourselves for the ongoing battle because knowledge is power afterall. Nonetheless, here's hoping the cult soon finds a new secondary book-selling pitch to compliment their annual book-a-thon drives since it seems pretty clear to us this one has done more than enough wasteful damage to their donors wallets.

Now considering how totally downstat their book-a-thon was this year, combined with huge amounts of books wasted by the donation service campaigns, I'd suspect next year's new scheme to sell excess books by the quantity will involve some freshly crafted tactic that doesn't give them away for free and ripe for the trashing or reselling.

GTFO of My Library... What Can Been Done?

Lookup the main WorldCat Entry for the Dianetics Book, then under the "Libraries" tab use the "Enter Location Information" box to find the libraries nearest you. Follow the links to the libraries in your area that you easily recognize, and search for books by L. Ron Hubbard published in 2007.

In you find any public libraries infiltrated with the new editions of Scientology books, stop by and confirm they are indeed on the shelf. Ask the librarian who the proper channel is to complain to if you have concerns about the recruiting tools of a destructive cult being distributed for public access, outside of a higher education environment, with disregard to the serious harm that has been well documented by former members in regard to what happens to the unknowing bystanders that get sucked in as the next victims. If given the opportunity, provide fliers and other material stating the facts regarding the crimes committed by organized scientology. If this gets you nowhere, consider inserting flyers or cards into the books on the shelf as explained in the related "Operation" and "Project Andromeda" links listed in the references below.

Special Thanks for this article goes to YouTuber MrFyde who helped coauthor certain sections and analyze the collected stats, as well as all the anon who personally checked their local libraries!!


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great article -- well done!

-Portland, OR Anonymous