Amazing news arrived yesterday. There is new management in town. Ken Krieger (CO CLO) and Alex Faust (CO CMO) have been replaced! There are other new execs so there are quite likely further changes – this is stunning. Alex and Ken have already left the country and are at Flag. No word yet on their fate.
This happened just as the date for the release of the Golden Age of Tech Phase II has been announced. The live event will be held at Flag on the weekend of 15 November. In South Africa this event will be held in all orgs on 22 and 23 November.
Events are one of those topics that get many hot under the collar, and rightly so. From a staff point of view they are a distraction to actually being an org. It’s a time and money suck with very little return value. However they are a good measure of support for Scientology activities. It is possible to tell by the numbers attending the level of agreement that exists.
Joburg events have always had the highest number of attendees by reason of being the biggest field and often the Pretoria and Joburg North org events are combined in to one with Joburg.
Therefore the upcoming event on the release of GAT II is of critical importance. Based on the numbers attending we will all see the real support for this new direction in Scientology. It is being billed as the most important thing to happen in all of Scientology for years. It will rocket progress up the Bridge. It will boom Scientology. It will be the real start of planetary clearing. Those are incredible statements. A badly attended event will be a catastrophic show of the field’s displeasure.
What then is a “good” number? What number would show excellent support?
For that we should look to the past. Thanks to the the various people who helped pull this data together for this article.
Over the last 20 years attendance at major events has ranged between 400-800. In 1993 the IAS “War is Over” event was pushed like none other around the world. a 12,000 seater stadium in Los Angeles was hired out for the event. In South Africa 830 people attended. At that time it was the highest ever for any event.
In 1996 the Golden Age of Tech release event, also billed as major, vital, best ever was attended by 650.
The grand opening of the Joburg Org in 2003: The first African Ideal Org and only 2nd in the world was indeed a massive (by South African standards) event. Keep in mind it was a Joburg only event so people came from all over the country. Out and out this was the biggest (to this day) single Scientology event with 1400 attendees.
In 2005 Joburg Org was declared Saint Hill Size – a major achievement. The March 13 event where this was announced was pretty big for the time at 810 attendees.
In February this year the Pretoria Ideal Org opened. Also a major achievement and the only Scientology event being held in the country that weekend. The church promoted that attendance was over 1000. This is false. Perhaps that many came through the org over the course of the weekend but the actual numbers at the event and ribbon cutting was 650-800 at the outside.
The March 13 event this year was held in the Joburg Org. This has a maximum capacity (if the auditorium and Chapel are used) of 400 people. It wasn’t full at all so let’s say, generously, 350 attended.
All the above figures include staff and Sea Org who were present.
The above tells us that big events will attract around 800 people.
There is an obvious observation to make. In the 20 years since the “War is Over” event the general attendance has not improved. If the last major event, March 13, is any indicator it has in fact gotten worse. This alone calls into question brash statements of massive expansion. Either it’s the same old people attending or we are losing them as quickly as we gain them.
It will be fascinating to see how well the GAT II event is attended. With new management to impress and no time (18 days) to pull it off, It’s going to be a bumpy 2 1/2 weeks for all staff.