|STOP-WISE.BIZ » Origins of World Institute of Scientology Enterprises (WISE)|
An anonymous account
Because the write-up contains some Scientology language, I'll try to give you an explanation enclosed in square brackets. See also the Speculation origin WISE page about the corportions.
Not very many people know how WISE started. Sometimes the knowledge of how a group began helps to understand the twists and turns it takes in its later life.
In the fall of 1978 LRH [L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology and Dianetics] sent a telex to Jane Kember at GOWW [Guardians Office World Wide. This office with was Scientology's secret service and dirty tricks department]. He asked for pictures of the Mission Office World Wide. That was it, just pictures of their offices.
LRH got the pictures and became very upset. He said that Mission Office World Wide was being housed on the grounds of Saint Hill Manor in an outhouse. He was upset because the GOWW was dipping into Reserves to pay legal bills, when they were supposed to be using the 10% collected from the mission network world wide to pay for legal bills.
This began months of investigations in several areas of Scientology. It resulted in many changes, WISE being one of them.
Hubbard was concerned that the orgs [organizations] were not doing well, and moonlighting was a factor. Staff members were spending time working at outside jobs to support themselves. This didn't allow for them to get better trained, and it was costing the orgs money.
He found that there were many companies owned by scientologists that were located geographically near his organizations, and used his organizations as a 'personnel pool". Staff members were leaving the organizations after their contracts were complete and instead of working for another organization, or renewing their contracts with the organizations they were at they would work for these Scientologist owned businesses.
This was felt to be a large factor in why the orgs were not making much money, but these scientology companies were.
The Guardian's office itself was found to be corrupt. David Gaiman and Herbie Parkhouse – two very senior members of the Guardian's office – owned and profited from the snack bar on the grounds at Saint Hill. They also owned a vitamin company. The snack bar was manned by staff and students.
Two very confidential programmes were drawn up to isolate and neutralize this corruption. They were named Oscar and Gertrude. Gertrude was for the staff in the Guardian's office and Oscar was for organizational staff.
The Scientologists who owned businesses, not only took money away from the orgs in the form of moonlighting staff and ex-staff, they also chewed up org time with their disputes and ethics matters.
LRH wanted an organization that would not only get these organizations squabbles out of the main organizational lines; he also wanted to partake in the income stream. He felt that if he was training their staff, he was entitled to a percentage of their earnings.
By the time the surveys were drawn up for the name of this new organization, LRH had named it himself. World Institute of Scientology Enterprises or WISE for short. This is why the name doesn't really make sense for the consultancy aspects that later became a part of it.
There was a lawyer on staff at Flag and he was drafted to work on the WISE project. LRH did not want the Guardian's office involved. LRH wanted the lawyer sent to Delaware to do up the incorporation. LRH always liked Lichtenstein for money and Delaware for corporations. There was much discussion about whether to make this corporation profit or non profit, and the non profit direction was finally agreed upon. This lawyer was also sent to the GOWW to bypass the GO on some legal matters. The poor guy was like David being fed to the lions.
Because of the rampant corruption in both the Guardian's office and the Organizations, LRH was adamant that the personnel involved in running this organization be "non-corruptible", and that meant sea org. He wanted the staff to be people who were there out of duty motivation and not money motivated people. To this day, the management of WISE is done by Sea Org Members.
One of the first people, who was found to be making money with moonlighting staff, and ex staff, was Larry Wollersheim. Larry was not singled out, he just happened to be higher profile because he was located in Los Angeles, and his business "Pretty Pictures" was making a lot of money. Larry was asked to join WISE.
Larry didn't want to join WISE. In that initial WISE contract, members were expected to pay a percentage of their gross income. This was not a point that LRH wanted to shift on. Over the years there were some changes, and now, I believe, only those companies that actually sell Hubbard Products have to pay a percentage of their gross.
Anyway, Larry said no. This was not well received. Not only was Larry an ex-staff member, he was Ex Sea Org – which is really the lowest of the low. Larry's refusal did not go over well. I don't know all the ins and outs, but I do know that this ended in Larry being shunned and no scientologist in good standing being able to work for him, and it ended up collapsing his business and probably a lot of his hopes and dreams.
At that time, there were no "Scientology Consulting Businesses" per se. There was Mike Smith, who had been in the SO and was on a leave or somehow left in good standing. He had a consultancy business in the San Francisco area and he sent L. Ron Hubbard summaries of the problems his clients were having and LRH would send him advice letters. I later heard that LRH never actually wrote the letters, they were written by LRH's Personal Communicator, but nonetheless, Mike did not know this and in exchange for this advice, Mike Smith gave LRH 10% of his earnings. Several weeks (if not months) after WISE was established LRH said that Mike Smiths company belonged under this umbrella as well.
This is but one of the major changes that occurred due to LRH's discovery that Jane Kember had put the Mission Office World Wide in an "outhouse".
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