Africa’s Flagship Ideal Org Fail: Joburg

Tomorrow is the 10th anniverysary of the opening of Joburg – Africa’s first (and until 7 months ago only) Ideal Org. With everything that has been promised about Ideal Orgs Joburg is an excellent case study of the success of this program.

In April this year a “Very Concerned South African Scientologist” sent this extensive report on the state of Joburg Org to Mike Rinder who published it on his blog. You can see the original posting here

In the hope that it will receive a wider South African audience we are re-posting it here.

It’s possible a few things have changed in the 6 months since this report but it certainly isn’t an improved scene overall. For starters there is reference to Tracy Henley’s field practice. This has since closed down after her parents became the target of a covert defamation campaign.

Here is the report as it appeared then:

JOHANNESBURG

Saint Hill Size? Not Even Close

This is the current count of staff in the orgs:

Day: Total Cl V Staff (non SO): 35 (this includes weird part-time and some- time schedules)

Total SO posted in the org: 6 (ED, LC, FBO, D/FBO MORE, FR, Estates Manager)

Total Staff JBG D: 41

Fdn: Total Cl V Staff (non SO): 12 (includes weird part-time and some-time schedules)

Total SO posted in the org: 5 (LC, FBO, D/FBO MORE, FR, Estates Manager)

Total Staff JBG FDN: 17

Of course presenting these figures will probably be met with huge opposition because I am sure the QSH figure and Crew Lists will differ wildly. And there is good reason for this. For instance, one staff member left due to a collapsing business, another for medical reasons, yet another had 2d problems, yet another was on the OT levels for more than a year and all of these “staff” were counted on the crew list for months after their departure. And we are talking execs here, not mere staff. And they have all sorts of “hopefully going to be arriving some time in the next millennia but on a a looooooong project prepare for now” – the minute that contract is signed they are counted and “on staff” so God knows what their figures would look like in comparison to what has been given you here. I have counted the actual BODIES ON POST IN PT. To give you an idea of the dismal state of Joburg staff, there was a massive recruit drive in mid 2011 when Joburg got up to about 65 staff (not including the SO contingent which numbers 6). Since then the staff compliment has dwindled down to approx 35 staff, a loss of about 30 staff in just over a year.

When Joburg Day was declared “SH Size” in March 2005 there were 115+ staff, thanks to a huge push by both the Joburg Org and its public who joined forces in bringing this about with NO help from Int Management. Unfortunately this camaraderie between org and public was transient due to the over-regging and incessant demands of its public with very little tech delivery in exchange.

Universe Corps:

In May 2005 a 3 man Universe Corps arrived in Joburg with much fanfare and excitement. Between May and December there was a lot of action on staff enhancement and I believe 6-8 staff clears were made. Study for staff was mandatory. It was an exciting time.

In January 2006 the UC I/C, Cat Fox, went on leave. She made a detour through LA and for reasons that have never been adequately explained she never returned (we were told “correction”). The other two members of the team (an Auditor and an admin person) stayed behind for another 8 months or so trying to keep the auditing going but they, too, were eventually recalled. And so ended that dream.

There was an attempt to resurrect it all when a 2 man team arrived in Joburg in 2007. A bunch of auditing happened but no clears, no real progress. They too were recalled sometime in 2008. The staff were told at a few musters that there was no way they would come back with the org in the state it was (by then things had turned really sour and staff numbers had reduced) and we’d have to “get our shit together” before they returned. It all became the staff’s fault that the UC was no longer there.

Numerous people signed up for staff at the promise of getting their OT levels when we went Saint Hill size. By 2007 their contracts were up and the promise of OT was clearly not going to happen and so they left.

Current Staff Situation:

Joburg org has been left in tatters due to the caliber, training level and hierarchy of staff departing its ranks in recent times. For instance, it lost ALL its Div4 Course Sups, word clearers and Qual contingent, including the Snr C/S. The Div6 sup had to be posted in the Div4 Academy, but she too has since departed, necessitating them having to take one of their most highly qualified auditors and post him as their ONLY sup. They also lost most of their HCO staff and their ONLY reg, resulting in the ED spending 90% of his time on handling GI flaps – that is when he isn’t running around trying to raise funds for the incessant and insane IAS fund-raising quotas. And the DSA who was also the President of the Church left after some 25 years of service. He was the spokesperson for the Church and was, in my opinion, a HUGE asset to the org. His unannounced departure did not go unnoticed amongst the public. His wife, the Chaplain of the org (a vital post owing to the amount of upset and ARC-X field) also departed. Today there is no DSA and no Chaplain posted which leaves Joburg in a very vulnerable position. The D/ED who was on staff for more than 13 years also left recently. By my estimate, Joburg org has recently lost staff whose combined staff experience spanned in excess of 150 years of service.

A sorry state of affairs indeed.

Public Divisions Decimation: Just to top it all, in 2011 after the Joburg public rallied yet again to raise millions for the org to upgrade its premises, which included the building of 8 brand-new Div6 course rooms, they have no staff to man these course rooms which have remained empty and idle for the past 18 months. A big recruitment drive in 2011/2012 saw the Public Divisions being built back up and there were even staff to man the Braamfontein test Centre which had been closed and standing empty for some months. But then a CMO Int DISestablishment Mission arrived and ripped a bunch off and others left for various reasons. HCO made some attempt to replace the losses but this was with green, non-SCN cannon fodder that very shortly blew. Today, there are no more than 7 staff in the Public Divisions responsible for running both the org and Test Centre – that’s a total of 18 Depts. It’s like a veritable morgue now – an Idle Morgue.

As one staff member said: “The truth is that Joburg Org is no longer, by definition, a Class V Org. It is probably more of a “City Office” or Mission. It should DEFINITELY not be running a full Div6”. But they would NEVER admit to this – to do so would be a fate worse than death!

Staff Pay:

The pay is dismal. The average executive earned a weekly average of R260 ($28). A “good week” was R525 ($53) – And this was with high stats which meant a 20% bonus. AND it was probably a very good week for the org – included some IAS Commissions after some fundraiser or something. Staff pay is a repeating and ongoing problem. Staff (often wogs) were being recruited and were not told about the pay situation (understand these were below-the-breadline-probably-couldn’t-get-gainful-employment-anywhere-else folk). These guys usually stayed very far away from the org necessitating most of them to travel to work daily by taxi (South Africa has an appalling public transport system). It was heartbreaking to see staff eagerly get their pay at the end of the week only to be presented with R100 ($10) – often less – when their taxi fare for the week was way in excess of what they were being paid.

I observed other staff (who were not relying on org pay for survival) often give of their own money to the most desperate of staff. I myself even on occasion bought lunch for other staff members as I could see that they were starving and had no money. The situation is getting worse, not better. Of late it has not been uncommon to hear it announced that “There was “no GI” this week.” Average staff pay this year is between R150 – R200 ($16 – $22) per week. It is no wonder to me that when these “wog” staff blow (as 90% of them do), they take their uniforms with them – and probably sell them to “defray expenses”. I can’t blame them!

Uniforms, Oh My God:

Each Ideal Org is now issued with uniforms for their staff at a cost of R10,000 ($1076) per staff member. And although these uniforms look very smart, they were NOT designed for warm-weather climates (most of the items are wool). The temperatures in South Africa can reach as high as 30C in summer so one can only imagine how uncomfortable it can become for the staff, especially when they are expected to wear full uniform (including waistcoat and jacket) at all events. And just for kickers, the uniforms have to be dry-cleaned! This is NOT a cheap service in South Africa. To clean ONE pair of pants costs R40 ($4.50) and the coat costs over R100 ($10). Standard issue is two pairs of trousers, two jackets, waistcoats and a coat which all require dry-cleaning. Needless to say, in very short order the staff start looking terrible as they either don’t clean their uniforms (can you imagine the stench at muster) or they ignore the “do not wash” labels and very soon the uniform has shrunk and/or is horribly creased from being washed. And the white shirts have all become a yellowish grey colour from the cheap soap powder being used. (Actually the uniform saga is probably an article all on its own as I am sure South Africa is not the only Org battling the “uniform engram”).

Clearing Joburg – How? Joburg Org has 5 auditors on day and 0 on Fdn. Up until December they had 6 Auditors, but then one of the auditors was ripped off post to become the Course Sup (the previous Sup would NOT renew her contract and has now left). So a Flag Trained Class V HGC Auditor was put into the Academy and promoted as being the new “Co-Audit Sup” (in actual fact he is the ONLY Sup).

The “speciality” of Joburg Day is to almost exclusively reg and service overseas PC’s as they pay mega-moola for huge chunks of intensives at a time (they can afford to because of the exchange rate). This means our local PCs end up waiting for ever (sometimes years) to get into session, very often being driven to desperation and waiting their compulsory two years before going to a field auditor or mission. The overseas PCs then demand intensive and exclusive auditing (as their time is limited) so we usually have at least two of our auditors exclusively and intensively auditing only 1 or 2 PC’s.

If one then works this back, say 2 of the auditors are each auditing 2 PC’s = 4 PC’s and the other 3 are auditing 4 a piece = 12 PC’s = a total of 16 PC’s being serviced in the HGC. And the number of pissed off, upset and “blown” PC’s? – Well they are literally littering the field.

I can rattle off the names of at least 10 other public that I personally know have blown the JBG Org HGC and gone to other orgs or are waiting for the “2 year rule” and will then go to a Field Auditor or Mission.

Clears:

Joburg org can no longer make Clears – it has not been able to do this for about 4 years now, as it cannot deliver the CCRD. Our NED Completions have to go to an AO as there is no org in South Africa that can deliver the CCRD.

Our previous Snr C/S (Tracy Henley – previously Corbett) left staff in 2009/2010 as did about 15 other tech staff (most flag trained) over a period of 2 or 3 years. Tracy now runs her own field practice and funnily enough employs ex JBG Org staff and I believe pays them handsomely – she has about 7 ex JBG D Staff in her employ, and rumour has it that her average staff member earns R12,0000 ($1300) per month.. The funny thing though, is that although Tracy more than qualifies to become a Mission I suspect she won’t because she does not want SMI Control all over her lines.

Training Auditors for the future?:

As for auditors being made, according to a recent Understanding Mag (issue 393 – Feb 2013?) these are the completions for the past YEAR:

Pro Metering: 1 Graduate

Level 0: 2 Graduates

Level I: 1 Graduate

Level II: 1 Graduate (this guy has been on his “levels” for 2 years)

Level III: 1 Graduate (this lady took 1 year to get through her metering video, and finally had to go to Cape Town to get a pass in 2011. She is a public hoping to open her own field group and as far as I know, is yet to take a PC into session).

Cl IV Internship: 3 graduates (Two of these graduates are family from the almost-totally-defunct Chartwell Mission who has exactly 3 staff members. The other graduate is an auditor on Joburg org staff and is the ONLY man left standing from the 12+ strong 2004 TTC – it’s taken him 9 YEARS to achieve this level).

Students on Course and PC’s in the HGC: Before the CMO Disestab Mission in 2011, the Bodies in the Shop were correctly reported at around 60. The Mission then did some “hatting” on how to count the stat and “all-hands” call in every day (in addition to IAS Regging, event call in, booksales etc) and soon the figure headed towards 100, then 200, the sky is the limit. Now included in this figure is ANYONE who puts their foot near the org for ANYTHING (including advice, having a coffee in the canteen or a Reg Interview etc) – the rationale being that by them being in the org, we were “servicing” them and if they had ANYTHING on account (which 90% of our public do), then they “were in and on a paid service”.

This inflated false stat even includes bodies being delivered to outside the org – some of the PE delivery took place at outside businesses or other venues, and these too were counted as BIS, so too assists delivered by Volunteer Ministers at people’s houses and anyone who sends in a lesson from an Ext Course. Most days there are at best a couple of students on course. Sometimes there are a few staff in the Academy, perhaps 2 or 3, but normally one or two public. Joburg org does not push training – as it does not pay………. As an auditor, this deeply saddens me as some of my best wins have come from training.

Missions: There are 4 Missions in and around Joburg and only one of these is producing anything worth mentioning. We are in the process of gathering more detailed information on the current state of these Missions and will post on this shortly. Summary: In summary, Joburg org is crippled with mounting debt and unhatted, overworked, underpaid and demoralized staff. Its field is frazzled and ARCX from the constant fund raising and regging and lack of delivery. It is so far departed from the Joburg Org of yesteryear (when public and staff were proud people “carrying the torch for freedom”) as to be unrecognizable today.

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10 thoughts on “Africa’s Flagship Ideal Org Fail: Joburg

  1. I would blame the village idiot, DM, that runs the world wide outfit for this fiasco. Incredible high prices, failure to deliver the tech instead demanding donations for this fiasco. I disconnect myself from this group.
    Travers E Harris
    Ex CO ED Joburg Org

  2. This is a tragedy. The number of people who have contributed to the existence of this org over the years numbers in the hundreds. Staff members carry on a trust accepted from LRH and do what they can to make things better. Most are driven by a higher motivation, believing this route is what the planet needs. It is the salvation of all that is around us that is at stake, in their opinion.

    To now see this degradation of space, facilities, field, tech and organization is simply criminal.
    Classifying it criminal is harsh, true, but in a broader context, considering the synergistic efforts compounded since 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, it is indeed destructive behaviour to see this skewed operating basis. It is clear: LRH says do not fund-raise, but they do. LRH says the IAS has 2 levels of membership with funds going to expand the org from where the money was paid. He says you build an ideal org on gradient, not straight up and vertical, and on and on it goes.

    Savanna pointed out in previous comments the internal trashing of the public by Joburg Org and Sea Org (SO) staff referring to them as “useless eaters”, especially those who attend events but do not pay over significant money.

    This sounds like the truth. I know some of these players from afar as I do those in other continents. Another ‘internal trashing’ of the field occurs when some staff refer to ex-Sea Org members as DBs (degraded beings). This is especially insulting, to put it mildly, to those who were SO, but who are contributing in a manner that can only be described as stellar in normal terms.

    This attitude is corrosive and breaks affinity between staff and field. An essay on management refers to this phenomenon and how it spells the demise of the group.
    The ED of Joburg, the CO of the CLO and their colleagues know exactly how this works, but they keep doing it. Staff members are well-motivated, especially those with their heads down trying to do what is right like auditors, for example.

    However blindly local management follows the edicts of up-lines, the source of this situation and this tragic state of affairs lies with whoever runs the show; He who shall not be named.
    The guy at the top, to those who are just looking here and may not have read a whole lot about this man and his track-record, he is a high-school drop-out, a failed auditor, not trained, not through the OEC, never run an org or mission and not all the way up the OT levels.
    Put an incompetent at the top and the rest will fall apart, however slowly this may take place. Any CEO of any company in any country will tell you this. High school graduates will tell you as well. It is logical and axiomatic.

    The consequences of such pathetic management are plain to see. The final outcome is not clear and possible final acts will be debated and contested for a long time IMO.

    Thank you for this blog and for this article. It is vital and important that communication stays open and views are exchanged.

  3. Wow, so Tracy’s field practice closed down!!?! I presume she went the way of her parents. Good for her if she did. Well, I’m sure the likes of Terry’s Field Practice will have been there to take the fallout of Tracy’s practice closing because God knows none of her pcs would have gone to the org! Vultures. It amazes me that Management have not picked up on the fact that Terry’s “successful” pcs are those who refuse to deal with the nonsense the orgs dish out, so going to a field practice to get ones grades is a lot safer on the wallet even if field rates are higher. Well, the IAS will get you one way or another no matter how you try to escape. I’m surprised IAS regges don’t hang out at field practices.

  4. Pingback: Jobur Ideal Org and GAG II | Mike Rinder's Blog

  5. Sunshine:
    Here is a recent piece from the church.
    “FACT NUMBER TEN:
    The Pretoria Ideal Org has raised 90% of the funds needed to launch their massive promotional campaign – radio ads, billboards, streetpole ads and much more!”

    In a bar across the road, the opposite of a church, is a sign that says:
    “Fact Number 10:
    Set aside 14% of your income for promo from funds received in the delivery of services to the public.” (LRH paraphrased).
    “Don’t do fund-raising. Solve it with Scientology.”

    I joke. I wish I had a bar across the street.

    • So do I ! But they still would not UNDERSTAND the words because they would agree. And then continue fundraising etc! It is beyond belief. None so blind.

  6. I have no argument with what has been said before here – we can all observe for ourselves. And arrive at our own conclusions
    My question to you is whether or not you personally have had any gains from the application of Scientology technology? if you have, then you know that Ron spoke sooth and that he did find the way an it seems to me that we then have a duty to apply our minds to the situation and do something about correcting outnesses.
    In my estimation the major outness is the lack of application of the tech. Without the tech being applied the road ahead is bleak – and we’ve been down that road before. The application of the tech requires that auditing be done; that means that there must be students training to be auditors and that in turn means that there must be courses running with supervisors to get the students through their courses and get them auditing. Reading books does not get auditing done – we can read in the public library.
    That’s what I think.
    Dave Shell.

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