When David Miscavige was riding high with 'The Basics' - Scientology's 2008 New Year's event! - 2016-02-04
Our video source came through for us again with another Scientology event that hasn't previously been online. It's the 2008 New Year's Event, and has church leader David Miscavige got a lot to celebrate!
Miscavige is riding high, reviewing the year 2007 that saw perhaps his biggest gamble and his biggest mistake: "The Basics." That year, Miscavige re-released the early texts of Dianetics and Scientology in new editions, claiming that previous editions had contained "transcription errors," including excess semicolons (we're not kidding). The upshot was that all Scientologists were expected to purchase complete collections of these books and lectures, totaling about $3,000. And they were pushed to buy multiple sets. Many people were put under incredible pressure to sell the books, and even to longtime, loyal Scientologists, it looked like little more than a naked cash grab by Miscavige.
Disillusion and anger over the Basics push was one of the key forces producing Scientology's major exodus in the late 2000s. Many people we've talked to who have left the church say they became disaffected because of the Basics debacle. It was perhaps the number one reason driving people out of the church until Debbie Cook's infamous 2012 email.