Just wanted to jump in and again thank everyone for all the help!
I finally got the update on WISE arbitration added to the WWP wiki. I'll paste the new section below for comment or additions. For a while there every time I sat down to finish it, some IRL distraction seemed to pop up.
Thanks to everyone for additions to the thread since I last checked in. I'm hoping to use more of this material on the wiki.
Magoo, I tried to relate your experience as best I could, but some of the details may be slightly off, since I'm not personally knowledgeable of Scientology's inner workings. Nonetheless I believe it's accurate and relates the message we wanted to tell.
SeaHorse, your comments are now posted and I appreciate all the help. Unfortunately, I lost the zip file you provided with the Clearwater testimony and info on fees for WISE arbitration. I went back to the megaupload link and found an LRH talk concerning the future of orgs. Very interesting, but I don't think that's the one you had there originally. If I've missed something, please let me know. I've been a little out of the loop.
Thanks again for all the help.
Here the addition on WISE arbitration:
To enforce these “ethical standards” WISE operates an independent judicial system to adjudicate criminal complaints and disputes between members. WISE arbitration is separate from Scientology's ecclesiastical court, which adjudicates breaches of ethics in the church. Since WISE members are also Scientologists, the distinction between these two judicial venues can become muddied.
WISE members have been accused of maneuvering in both courts, seeking best advantage. For example, a member aware they will lose a WISE arbitration, might throw the matter into turmoil by counter-charging their accuser of "out-ethics" in Scientology's ecclesiastical court.
Whatever the outcome of any individual case, WISE arbitration establishes another control mechanism over it's members that keeps them in line with Scientology doctrine. According to the WISE Info Letter #36,
"... the primary reason WISE was established was to see to it that Scientology organizations, their staff and their public, are kept safe from individuals involved in unethical business practices...
... Another duty and function of WISE is to rapidly and terminatedly handle any business person or business activity found to be adversely affecting a Scientology organization. This is done by getting the offending persons familiar with the policy regarding such activities, getting their agreement to cease any destructive activities...
... WISE will similarly make known such terminals, [publish company names] giving applicable specifics so as to not create a mystery."
In other words, WISE will "put ethics in" when a member fails to do so. This is the same "handling" procedure and doctrine Tom Cruise describes as applicable to individuals.
Here again, "ethics" means, very specifically, adherence to the doctrines and policies of L. Ron Hubbard -- NOT the standard or generalized definition most of us use everyday.
This is further manifested by the fact that WISE arbitrators are Scientologists, but typically not attorneys. No legal experience or formal training beyond Scientology courses is required.
WISE arbitrators pay to gain their office. WISE arbitrators pay an annual fee (reported to be $1,000) to hold the honorary title of “Charter Member”. They must be also pay the annual WISE membership fee, in accordance with their company size. The published range for yearly membership is $500 to $6,000.
In turn, Wise arbitrators collect fees for adjudicating disputes. This remuneration (along with the "up front" costs of "Charter Membership" creates a financial conflict of interest. Members who availed themselves to WISE arbitration have criticized the proceedings as ineffectual and inclined to favor high dollar donors to the church.
ToryMagoo believes that the mediation started by she and her husband was thwarted when the opposing party "bought off" Scientology management aboard the church's private cruise ship. The opposing party happened to be the second largest church contributors in that year.
"[Name withheld] ripped my husband and I out of $50,000. They also, in the same "WISE Arbitration" ripped my husband's partner and his wife off to the tune of $100,000; we went by the Scientology laws, didn't go to a legal court. We hired an attorney, and went through W.I.S.E doing the Arbitration Hubbard had said one must do.
It was agreed the [opposing party] owed us &50,000 and his partner and wife: $100,000."
Tory and her husband hired an attorney to represent them in the WISE proceeding. The arbitration was decided in their favor. For various reasons the case was interdicted by Scientology's ecclesiastical court and mysteriously canceled. The opposing party was taking expensive courses at Scientology's Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, FL at the time, leading to speculation that a pay-off was involved. According to Tory,
"[Opposing party] was at Flag for most of this . Apparently [opposing party] headed for the Ship; The outcome? Overnight: THE NIGHT THE FINDINGS CAME OUT THAT HE OWED US THAT MONEY -- They cancelled the entire Issue that the Arbitrations were all based on!! "
ToryMagoo's distrust of WISE arbitration proceedings is shared by many
Ex-Scientologists. "Sea Horse" offers this opinion of WISE mediation,
"WISE also operates a pseudo-court, run by non-trained and certainly non-licensed "legal" practitioners called WISE Charter Committee Members who pay hefty membership fees to WISE for the privilege of performing these "judge-ly" duties.
Any sort of complaint between two WISE-member business persons is to be handled with WISE's dispute resolution line, a sort of pseudo-mediation where the participants must first pay to do the dispute resolution. In the early steps, the participants perform several Scientology techniques including revealing embarrassing, disreputable acts and thoughts through self-written disclosures. (Who knows where these write-ups end up?)
In the end, however, the participant who gets the favorable result from the mediation will always be the one who has paid in the most amount of money to a Church of Scientology, or who has the most potential to do so. Conversely, the participant who will get the least favorable result will be the one who deserves to get money from the other party -- who has conveniently "promised" to give those funds instead to Scientology.
More often than not, the "dispute" is between someone who committed a crime and his or her victim who is seeking justice. One cannot effectively mediate with the perpetrator of a crime in which you are the victim. And since none of the WISE Charter Committee Members have any legal training, they fail to spot the criminal/victim relationship between the two business persons.
I have known people get away with felony crimes and the victim gets the short end of the stick... again... courtesy of the WISE Charter Committee."
WISE infiltrates business and professional organizations gradually. New recruits to WISE are generally unaware of the dominance Church of Scientology has over the organization. The autocratic and extortionate tactics ToryMagoo and others experienced escalates in proportion to how deeply the recruit can be drawn into the Scientology fold.