The Truth About Scientology



Source Magazine Statistics - Preliminary Analysis

TAS : Source Magazine Statistics - Preliminary Analysis

Source Magazine Preliminary Analysis

As part of my ongoing project of compiling and analyzing Scientology's statistics, I am collecting statistics from Source magazine, the magazine of the Church of Scientology's Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida.

From the data we have, we can see that total completions peaked in 1987.

I have managed to collect completions lists for most of the issues of Source. Cerridwen (a former Scientologist and fellow statistics researcher) and I shared the work of tallying completions from each list. The following chart shows the results of the tally totals - the total number of completions and attests listed in each issue of Source we tallied.

You can view the total tally data.

The data show that Flag's stats peaked in the late 80s and have never recovered since.

While Flag's recent stats appear to be respectable, they are misleading compared to stats from the late 80s, because Source started reporting completions every other issue starting with issue 106; then, around 125, they started reporting completions in every issue again.

Stats from issue 136, showing 2745 completions, are quite good, but the stats crashed in 137 and 138.

Here are the stats from 131-138:

131	885
132	308
133	694
134	572
135	1603
136	2745
137	733
138	1684

That covers 2001-2002, more or less. Some discussion of issue 136 appears in Google Groups.

The three recent high totals (135, 136, and 138) are anomalies compared to the late 80s, when issues 60-68 presented an unbroken run of totals over 1600. The average total for issues 60-70 is 1975 completions; the average total for issues 131-138 is 1153.

As you can see, while Source has a bi-monthly publication schedule, it is common for issues to come out more than two months apart. When I have more complete data, I will attempt to combine the totals into one-year and five-year totals to get a more accurate count of completions over time.

The orange line shows the average for the issues I have. Out of 80 issues with completions lists, there are, on average, 914 completions/attests listed.

It's also important to note that some issues do not have completions lists. Issues 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, and 47 do not have completions lists, and issues 106, 108, 110, 112, 114, and 116 are also missing completions lists, as are 121 and 123. The latter group may indicate a change in publication policy. Many Scientology magazines have Major and Minor issues; Major issues include completions lists, but Minors do not. (At least, that's the policy; there are examples of Major issues with no completions listed and Minors that do have completions.) However, prior to issue 106, Source listed completions in every issue, with occasional exceptions such as the run around 41-47 listed above. Starting around 125, completions once again appear in each issue. When stats are reported half as often, the numbers are misleading - each total covers roughly four months instead of two, and would be about half as high if reported in each issue.

As I continue my work on Source stats, I will be filling in the missing data, posting stats for specific services (such as Clear attests, OT attests, and internship completions), and posting the completions lists themselves, so others can do their own analysis. Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

I would like to thank Cerridwen and those who contributed completions lists to this project - two people in particular provided most of the data. I am most grateful to these people, whose help made this research possible.

This page was last updated on July 31, 2004 by Kristi Wachter.