The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 17: Jefferson Hawkins - 2011-08-24
Another reason why Hawkins is a key defector is that he had such a personal knowledge of the actual vital signs of the church's health. There may be no one with a more authoritative knowledge of Scientology's actual membership numbers.
"I have an advantage here because I used to work for Scientology's Central Marketing Unit, and had access to all of the actual lists and statistics," he wrote at his blog last year. And he explained how he came up with an overall number of worldwide members: "I know that event attendance internationally was somewhere in the region of 25,000 to 35,000. The International 'Bodies in the Shop' (people actually in the orgs that week for service) was 16,000 to 18,000. IAS was struggling to get 40,000 members. Based on this and a lot of other information I was privy to, I estimate the actual number of Scientologists at a maximum of 40,000. That's on the high side."