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 Post subject: 2008 ARIS study on Scn membership in US. IMPORTANT DATA
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:16 am 
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The American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS) study is an independently funded study that asks a sample of the people in the US, "What is your religion, if any?" It has occurred three times: in 1990, 2001, and 2008. In 2008, 54,461 telephone surveys were conducted that asked this question.

For more information on the survey, see: http://www.americanreligionsurvey-aris.org/

What you won't find on that site is information that has been previously published on New Religious Movements (NRMs). That category, as you will see in the Appendix on the page above, includes Scientology. The reason is that NRMs tend to be small individually. The results for the smaller religions have greater error due to the sampling methodology. That is, they tend to be imprecise and unreliable due to the sample size. Thus, the folks who run the ARIS study aggregate the data for the NRMs (Wicca, Druid, Eckanar, etc.) in an attempt to bring some broad stroke understanding to what is going on with respect to religion in the US, and to minimize possible media misinterpretation of the data.

Still, I think the disaggregated data is of interest, and they have published it for the 1990 and 2001 surveys. Thanks to a direct inquiry I made to the research team at ARIS, I was provided with the disaggregated (albeit summary) data for Scientology membership in the 2008 study. PLEASE see my comments after the data before drawing any conclusions; treat these fluctuations with caution:

Self-identified Scientology membership:
1990 45,000
2001 55,000
2008 25,000

My comment: This may be the first public release of the 2008 data for Scientology. Should you conclude from this data that Scientology membership has more than halved between 2001 and 2008? NO! Again, there is a significant chance of error (reported on one site as possibly as much as +/- 40%) in the results for religions of such small memberships (by way of scale, the leader, Catholic, came in at 57.2 million). Other factors may have been involved when the study was conducted: perhaps when Cruise was at his, er, nuttiness, members were adverse to identifying themselves as Scientologists.

Still, I think it is correct to conclude that a) Scientology has certainly not grown in the US since 2001, and b) it likely has gotten smaller in the US since 2001 (at the same time as the internet/media info on the COS grew exponentially beyond ars, etc.). The claim that there are 10 million Scientologists worldwide remains, as usual, safe from any rational belief that it is anywhere near the truth. Indeed, it could be overstated by as much as two orders of magnitude. (100 times overstated!)

I will try to forward this info to Hartley Patterson (who has a website on this topic).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 2:14 pm 
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Thanks for that!

I would suppose that other smaller religious groups that were on the previous ARIS surveys but not this one because the researchers have 'raised the bar' for inclusion have been asking for their data, notably the Wiccans and Pagans.

To explain the problem further - reducing to absurdity, if in a survey the question was "Are you the President of the United States?" the answer would not be meaningful, since it would most probably show that the USA had no President or, less probably, that it had a number of them. As the number of positive respondents rises so the error falls.

For the Scientology numbers we are talking about the survey coming across about half a dozen scientologists.

[added Jan 2011] The ARIS 2008 figure the OP posted is now 'officially' available on the US Census Bureau website. To emphasise, the Bureau did NOT conduct the survey, they just republished the ARIS raw data in an Excel file:
http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/ ... 0s0075.xls

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Still looking for 9,950,000 scientologists.
http://news-from-bree.blogspot.com/
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Last edited by hartley on Wed Jan 19, 2011 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:09 pm 
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The +/-40% figure I mention in my post is receiving some attention over on Why We Protest but I've been unable to comment on it there...I can't get an account working. I'll post this comment here and hopefully it will migrate to WWP.

I just wanted to say the +/- 40% figure was something I stumbled across on one of the webpages discussing ARIS, not the ARIS site itself. I don't know what ARIS would say about the error rate. I could be mistaken, but I thought I saw it in a footnote on one of Hartley's pages.

My main point is I don't know how accurate that +/- figure is.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:27 pm 
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This aligns with figures I knew of when I was working in Marketing at the Int Base. IAS Membership internationally was about 40,000. The event attendance internationally was about 30,000 on a decent event, and had gone as low as 20,000 - 25,000. The "Bodies in the Shop" figure (which is supposed to measure the number of people in orgs that week for service, including Div 6 services) was about 16,000 internationally. These figures are four years old. My own estimate of the number of Scientologists internationally, based on these and other figures I knew of at the Int Base, is under 40,000.

The Church defines as a "Scientologist" anyone who has ever read a Hubbard book since the beginning of time. That's where they get these inflated "millions" figures. They will never release any actual figures, as I have listed above.

The Church of Scientology, in the big picture, is a rather insignificant minor cult. As a journalist friend in New York once told me, "that's not even a good Knicks game."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:08 pm 
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plockton wrote:
The +/-40% figure I mention in my post is receiving some attention over on Why We Protest

It's mine and so quite possibly wrong. Maybe Anonymous have a statistician to hand, they seem to be able to produce experts on most things!

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http://news-from-bree.blogspot.com/
http://www.newsfrombree.co.uk/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:14 pm 
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Fishdaddy wrote:
The Church defines as a "Scientologist" anyone who has ever read a Hubbard book since the beginning of time. That's where they get these inflated "millions" figures.

No, they didn't. That's another lie they told you! They made up 'millions':

How Scientology "Grew" to 8 Million Members
by Robert Vaughn Young
http://www.newsfrombree.co.uk/stolgy_9.htm

I'll quote you on those figures of yours if I may, as they may show what I have suspected, that there are a lot of scientologists out there who are offlines and not paid up members.

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http://news-from-bree.blogspot.com/
http://www.newsfrombree.co.uk/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:52 pm 
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From what I can see, this survey looks well designed. RDD (Random Digit Dialing) is not ideal anymore, since about 17% of US households are now “cord-cutter” households that have eliminated landline altogether in favor of their cell phone, and these are harder to reach via RDD. But beyond that, it looks like they did their job well in terms of proper sample stratification and post-stratification weighting.

They covered the 77 largest metropolitan areas + they rest of each state not in the large metropolitan areas as separate strata.

Assuming 220,000,000 US adults age 18+, 25,000 Scientologists gives the proportion of adults who are Scientologists as 0.000114, or a little over one one-hundredth of one percent.

With numbers this small, a 95% confidence interval will almost certainly include zero, and indeed this one does.

Assuming a sample of 50,000 and a design effect (additional variation due to post-stratification weighting) of 1.5, the 95% confidence interval would be:

0.000114 +/- 2 * sqrt [( 0.000114)*(1 - 0.000114) / (50,000/1.5)] = 0.000114 +/- 0.000116768


= interval (0, 0.0002304)

Projecting back to population gives (0, 50,689)

Assuming then that the sample contains no other hidden response biases not accounted for, we can say with 95% confidence that the number of Scientologists 18+ in the US is between 0 and 50,689. Another way of interpreting this is to say that if this survey (after all post-stratification weighting) is indeed a proper representation of the US adults 18+, then there is only a 1 in 20 chance that the number of Scientologists is greater than 50,689.

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"What a lot of people don't realize is that Scientology is black magic that is just spread out over a long time period."

-L. Ron Hubbard Jr.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 1:52 am 
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@Morsicle: You owe me some headache tablets!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:15 am 
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Morsicle wrote:
With numbers this small, a 95% confidence interval will almost certainly include zero, and indeed this one does.

{snip math}

Assuming then that the sample contains no other hidden response biases not accounted for, we can say with 95% confidence that the number of Scientologists 18+ in the US is between 0 and 50,689.


OK, I know enough to know you know the technical terms, and if I think about it really hard the formula looks right. Thank you! I seem to be back where I started, there are "less than 100,000" scientologists worldwide, best guess 50,000.

I tried the same formula on the previous 2001 figure of 55,000 and I get (17,600, 92,350).

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ARSCC Demographics Department
Still looking for 9,950,000 scientologists.
http://news-from-bree.blogspot.com/
http://www.newsfrombree.co.uk/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:53 am 
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Could anyone 'guesstimate' --

1. How much $ "a body in the shop" might spend annually on services?

2. An average $ annual contribution from IAS members.

I realize that some members spend exorbitant amounts and some IAS members contribute large sums. Still, a rough average would help feed my fascination for forcasting revenue.

fisherman


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:36 pm 
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Landlines=middle-aged/old people. CoS public is aging, so they're more likely to have boring old telephones plugged into the wall. That assumes they HAVE a wall, since with all that CoS debt, they might have to sell their house at distress prices. If they worked in real estate or lending, they may be jobless.

I wish the survey asked, "Have you donated, bought services, worked, or volunteered in 2008 to your religion?"
A person who "still believes" but is broke or inactive might say "I am a Scientologist" but not DO anything.
A person may fear to say he's an unbeliever, if he worries that his answer, attached to his name, will get back to CoS. He may worry that his family and friends will disconnect.
A freshly recruited person might say "I am a Scientologist" but quit in 6 months.

I don't believe 40,000 or 50,000 for active long-term members and workers. I think it's below 10,000 in the US, and I base this on low turnout at critical CoS events.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:53 pm 
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We need new W.I.S.E data, since that blood-sucking CoS front has its fangs in many Scientologist-owned businesses, including my own relative's.

Prosperity Magazine lists new W.I.S.E. members. I googled two names which did have links to business. This link, http://stop-wise.biz/WISE_members.html#WISE99 , only has 2005 and earlier. There is another apparently non-CoS "Prosperity Magazine" at http://www.stokerostler.com/magazine/pr ... lume-1.pdf

Does anyone have Prosperity Magazine for 2006-2009? I have minimal cookie-avoidance and virus-avoidance skills and I hope a more savvy person will enter its site at www.prosperity-magazine.net and give us an update.

W.I.S.E. is at 6331 Hollywood Blvd in LA if anyone is bold enough to try to pick up a magazine there.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:02 pm 
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Quote:
Again, there is a significant chance of error (reported on one site as possibly as much as +/- 40%) in the results for religions of such small memberships (by way of scale, the leader, Catholic, came in at 57.2 million).


Even if this error estimate is totally correct, a 40% increase in 25,000 is still only brings it up to 35,000 scienos.

The only other error I can see would be a failure to take into account the fact that scienos tend to live in Florida and California. The population in those states would definitely be higher. But like Mormons whose main populations are concentrated in Utah, the study may have taken that into account. But even if it did not, that could account for a 40% error margin, so if you cover that, you are still only looking at 35,000 scienos, tops, for the 2008 figure. (With the extra 10,000 living in Florida and California, which sounds about right to me)

The idea that scientology will ever be even close to mainstream is another great example of just how brainwashed and hallucinatory scienos really are, that they would be so gullible as to believe such a preposterous idea, let alone the idea that they are capable of "clearing the planet". Maybe they should first clear "what is a statistic", and go from there. Oh, but their postulates would override any statistical data, of course. And they also think they are the only ones who use statistics, as most of them are severely uneducated. Today, one in 3 people has at least some college education, yet from my experience, knowing hundreds of scienos, less than one in 20 had any college. And also from my experience these young teens they so heavily recruit for the SO drop out of HS as soon as its legal, sometimes sooner. So the master race cult that thinks it is the smartest group on the planet is rapidly becoming the most ignorant group on the planet, if they are not already there.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:03 pm 
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Don Carlo wrote:
Landlines=middle-aged/old people. CoS public is aging, so they're more likely to have boring old telephones plugged into the wall.

OTOH a significant proportion of Scientologists don't have any direct phone access, the Sea Org. IIRC the ARIS report does mention the landline vs cell phone problem, saying that in their case there did not appear to be any significant difference in results between the two.

Quote:
I wish the survey asked, "Have you donated, bought services, worked, or volunteered in 2008 to your religion?"
A person who "still believes" but is broke or inactive might say "I am a Scientologist" but not DO anything.
A person may fear to say he's an unbeliever, if he worries that his answer, attached to his name, will get back to CoS. He may worry that his family and friends will disconnect.
A freshly recruited person might say "I am a Scientologist" but quit in 6 months.

There is all that and more. Religions don't agree on who is or is not a follower - heretics, heretics! - so demographers use self-identification as a way of stepping back from that. Surveys do usually go on to ask questions about Church attendance, time spent in Church activities etc.
The fear factor was one Ted Mayett raised on ARS in reverse, going so far as to suggest it invalidated any independent surveys. However I've yet to hear a single ex-member say they would not have said "Scientologist" because they feared the survey was a ruse by the Evil Psychs to identify them.
And yes this is adherents, a MAXIMUM number. The actual number of active CoS members is lower. It could be for example that the less committed scientologists are drifting away due to the troubles leaving a 'hard core' who will take more than bad publicity to shift.

_________________
ARSCC Demographics Department
Still looking for 9,950,000 scientologists.
http://news-from-bree.blogspot.com/
http://www.newsfrombree.co.uk/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 29, 2009 6:38 pm 
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hartley wrote:
I tried the same formula on the previous 2001 figure of 55,000 and I get (17,600, 92,350).


Looks right.

All further proof that visibility is not a function of the size of group membership, visibility is a function of radicalism.

I’d be willing to bet that the proportion of Muslims who are terrorists is even far smaller than the proportion of US adults who are Scientologists. And yet you can’t get more visible than bring down the World Trade Centers.

The small number of Muslim terrorists that there are, are willing to be visible in the worst way.

The same is true for Scientologists. Their ways are so matter-of-fact to us now, we forget just how radical they are. Tailoring a religion specifically to appeal to the most narcissistic element of society, even building them a special Celebrity Center, providing them with self-centered existence where every need is catered to, is a radical exercise for a supposed religion. Even more radical yet, is sacrificing the career of the world’s biggest movie star on a Global War on Psychiatry, because a dead science fiction once said that psychiatrists are reincarnated goons of the evil intergalactic warlord Xenu. It is beyond the pale, at the very fringes of any activity any separatist group is doing anywhere in the world.

There are barely any Scientologists at all. But it’s their willingness to engage in behaviors so radical, based on such horrifying and dangerous idiocy, that gives them a visibility far beyond their numbers.

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"What a lot of people don't realize is that Scientology is black magic that is just spread out over a long time period."

-L. Ron Hubbard Jr.


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