Africa Library Donations: Fraud for a Profit

Without so much as a hearing, the church found 18 dedicated and committed Scientologists guilty of Scientology High Crimes. Perhaps it is now time to start presenting evidence of criminality emanating from this same church.

This follows on from the false reporting covered in this mornings post on the Golden Era of PR

We’ll start with the (in)famous “Library Donation Campaign”. With the release of the basics in 2007 every Scientologist that could be unearthed was sold a package of the 18 (that’s a funny coincidence) titles that make up “The Basics”. If someone could not afford this package someone else in the world was regged to donate a set to them. As prospects for further sales began to wane late in 2007, someone had a bright idea of getting a set of basics into every library in the world. In and of itself this is not a bad idea. However, this would become a widely perpetrated fraud.

Each set of books costs R4000 if they are all purchased together. When donations were sought this full retail price was charged, meaning the church took its full profit on every set donated and earmarked for library donations. The relentless push locally was to make Africa the first DONE continent i.e. the first to have books in all libraries or rather to have a set for every library PAID for. Africa was duly announced as done in 2008 or perhaps early 2009. There are in the region of 3000 South African libraries. At R4000 per set a staggering R12,000,000 was collected from local and international Scientologists for this project.

These figures are for South Africa ALONE! We do not yet have the exact numbers of Libraries in the entirety of Africa that also were reported as “DONE”. This will include thousands more libraries and millions more Rands.

Much has been written about this on blogs around the world, particularly about US and European libraries. Given that the database information is not easily available online for South Africa it requires a bit more leg work. Our reports will specifically cover South Africa. Today’s report covers the city of Ekurhuleni. Apologies to our foreign readers for the difficult to pronounce name. Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg are right next to each other. Even locals may not be aware of how big it is. Its population is just over 3 million and the city covers a region of 2000 square kilometres. The Johannesburg International Airport (OR Tambo) is actually in the city of Ekurhuleni.

Someone who helps gather info for this blog spent some time going through the Ekurhuleni library database and came up with these facts:

There are 62 libraries in Ekurhuleni. Of these, only 10 have any of the Basics titles or 16%. Namely:

  • Alberton
  • Bedfordview
  • Benoni
  • Boksburg
  • Bonero Park
  • Katlehong
  • Tembisa
  • Etwatwa
  • Edenvale
  • Germiston

None of these have a complete set. Etwatwa, Katlehong & Benoni have 17 of the 18 titles. Edenvale & Tembisa have the least with 4 & 10 titles respectively.

For this city alone R248,000 was raised through donations. Of this R40,000 was used. R208,000 is unaccounted for with zero over sight outside Scientology management channels.

It would be unfair to extrapolate these figures to the rest of the country but we are not optimistic that we will find anything better than the above as we widen our research to the rest of the country. And when we get to the rest of Africa…

We would welcome any local researchers. If you want check out your region, please drop us a line at scnafrica@hushmail.com

On the plus side the books are being checked out. Each book on average has been checked out 5-8 times. It’s not exactly straight up and vertical, more like across with little bumps. But still, it’s something.

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19 thoughts on “Africa Library Donations: Fraud for a Profit

  1. You are assuming the church actually did collect enough to theoretically buy the basic books package for every library. Do you have data to back this up, or is it perhaps just a false report, someone called it a done even though not all the money had been regged? I know it’s unlikely the church would pass up on getting money, but maybe at some point they just randomly decided it’s “done!”

    • Great question DollarMorgue and worth investigating further. Honestly didn’t occur to us that they would have false reported *this* element of it. We’ll have to do a follow up. Thanks.

      • These ‘dones’ really sound like window dressing to me. It’s quite hard to lie about production when there is no real production to build the story on. You fib, and fib some more, and at some point test the water and get the idea time’s about right to move on to the next programme. CCHR DVDs to all politicians and media professionals is one of them (and they are making a lot of those DVDs). Ron’s ‘Biography’ to all libraries followed the basics, interspersed with Ideal Org and IAS regging in case you got bored. But none of it, not even the Ideal Orgs (apparently overt products if descriptions are to be believed), is built on a VFP or a real done (with the libaries, that would have been books on shelves and advertised so they get checked out, not simply sent to library and returned or forwarded to the waste paper recycling unit).

    • Interesting point DollarMorgue. After South Africa was declared a “done” I was still getting calls (from LA, mind you!) for library donations for South Africa and when I exclaimed ” but we were told it was a done!” I was informed firstly ‘well you will know more coming from there” and then on a second call later in the week “well actually there are still a few more”. So certainly SOMEONE was lying. When South Africa was called as a “done”, then we were asked to donate for the rest of Africa. By then I had one foot out the door….

      • Good background. “So certainly SOMEONE was lying.” Welcome to the church of ‘things are never as they’re made out to be’ 😉

        I’ve had this suspicion for a while. It never really seemed real to me to actually get all libraries done, but yes, they’d send around “done maps” and one day suddenly it’d be full. Now with roughly 3000 South African libraries and major crowd pulling event attracting roughly 1000, what would that mean? That each and every Scn. in SA has donated at least 3 FULL sets PLUS (!) bought their own? I’m not in SA, maybe you guys have a better estimate of the size of the field? (Ignore staff for now, most are likely unable to buy their own set, let alone someone else’s).

  2. The Library Scam of enforcing donations to flood the world with the BASICS has been outed on the Internet for YEARS now, but it is still going on !
    The kool-aid drinkers are not allowed to read the internet so still get taken and scammed.
    After the shark feeding frenzy of enforcing sets of basics on one and all, a new ploy was devised.
    1) We need to have EVERY library in the US have a set of Basics. And so it began. Regular shark feeding extortion for more $$$$.
    Sea Org members were on SLEEP DEPRIVATION and not permitted to go home to sleep until their quota was met. In empathy, I purchased some sets so that they could go home to sleep.
    2) Incessant money extortion occurred in the new game to “flood the US Libraries with the basics.” However we live in a digital age. Internet transparency and more and more posters were finding out the US libraries did not have the books that “Church” members took out loans and maxed credit cards to pay for !

    ++++++Librarians get fed up with huge boxes of unsolicited donations and dump them on Discard racks for $1 a piece outside the Library in Library garage sales.
    ++++++Some Librarians would not even open the packages and “Returned to Sender.”
    +++++++The $1 sales caused random folk to pick them up and sell on Ebay or Amazon for $1-$5 each.
    ++++++$3000 Basics available for $50 on Ebay ! Less on Amazon !
    ++++++But the “Church” relentlessly kept this up. Extorting $3000 for what you could buy for $50 and pretending they were “flooding the US libraries”.
    +++++Even when multiple exposes were on the web, and the Church knew their dishonesty was being revealed they kept selling the BASICS for USA libraries.
    +++++Finally, after it became all too obvious that US libraries were available on line for content and the Basics were simply NOT in all the US libraries, they changed their tactic !

    3) Shark Feeding Frenzies now to flood 3rd world Countries with the Basics ! Cough up your money NOW so the poor people in Wogga Wogga Africa can read LRH ! And so it began again…..extortion of more $$$$.

    True story.
    I was on lines pressured for $$$$ a year and half ago while these sales pitches were thrust on me.
    ###################
    Listen to this stunning video of how a Brian Culkin, 32 years old, barely in the Church months was jumped on for over $300,000 in weeks.

  3. Wow, many probably wish they could have bought the basics at South African prices!

    For some more background on the Basics scam from a US perspective, see: http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/the-100000000-book-con-dox/

    Mike Rinder also previously reported there were NO LRH books at the Randburg library in Joburg North vicinity. see http://www.mikerindersblog.org/scientology-library-fail/

    As you noted, there are a number of blog articles out there on the Basics and LRH Encyclopedia book scams. Moreover, if dissemination was the actual goal, the books for libraries would have been sold at cost, instead of an 85% profit for COB.

  4. The experience in the US at least has been that many librarians do not appreciate unsolicited donations. There have been reports of boxes from Bridge Publication being disposed of without being opened, or contents put on $1 sale tables. It would be difficult to determine the extent of this in South Africa without speaking to all librarians involved.

  5. why would these books even cost R4,000 to begin with?

    they brag in their videos about how gold is so proficient and efficient and how it can produce product on demand so as not to be over or under stocked, how nothing has to be outsourced, how they have all their own equipment so as to keep costs low. and yet they price a set of books at R4,000? how did one arrive at that price figure?

    when does the church ask of itself the same sacrifices they ask of it’s members? the fact is the organization did not contribute one thin dime themselves for the book campaign whether it was a success or not.

    why if you care about money it’s theetie wheetie, you are out ethics, you care more about MEST than being free, yet the church never stops caring about money?
    they chide and harass you about holding onto money for the express purpose of getting a hold of it themselves. who is the one who actually cares more about money?

    if you need help but can’t pay, it is out exchange. But if they bug up your case with too many commas and out of place semi colons, they keep your money anyway.

    they said the pre GAT tech was rife with misprints. well then they didn’t delivery what you agreed to buy.
    do they make good on that?

    No they don’t, plus they charge you to get the “corrected” editions. they, by their own admission, sold you defective tech and still kept your money, they did not give you what you paid for. how is that not out exchange?

    when VM teams go out to do whatever and they have to pay out of their own pocket for airfare, lodging and food, then what is the organization doing for those operations? yet they take the credit…..unless something goes wrong, then they wash their hands of the whole thing, throw whoever they have to under the bus.
    when do they ever take responsibility? it’s always somebody else’s fault.

    When did miscavige become infallible? can he ever make a mistake? has he ever taken responsibility for a mistake? is he OT8? is he a product of technical perfection? does he even audit? where is he on the bridge? doesn’t he care about his own bridge? how can he know better if he hasn’t even done the tech himself?

    does it sound likely that someone who hasn’t even made himself more able by use of the tech, doesn’t ever make a mistake? is he not as abborated a being as anyone else if he himself has not gone up the bridge?
    if he can be that able without the tech then isn’t it criminal not to use the tech to be even MORE able just for the sake of the organization he is the guardian of? doesn’t he owe that much to Ron and all parishioners, to be the best he can be?
    you mean everyone else has to get up the bridge but him? doesn’t it sound like he doesn’t care about the bridge in his own life?

    I often see scientologists talk about how well trained they are. how they are this or that class auditor and all these courses they have taken. you see it here with the joburg 18, “how the indie field just gained some very qualified people”. well I take that to mean that qualifications and training mean something, that they are important. so what are miscavige’s qualifications? how can he tell a class VIII auditor what a floating needle is? based on what, his qualifications as an auditor?

    why is he held to a different standard than everyday scientologists? because he is COB? that’s just a wog job title, it’s meaningless.

    how can he correct the tech, or even discuss it, if he himself cannot read or have knowledge of what the OT levels contain?

    COB is NOT LRH.
    Ron could talk whatever he wanted because nobody was more qualified than him on the tech, but miscavige can’t because soooo many are more qualified than him on the tech. he EVIDENTLY does not believe in the tech himself. if he did, his bridge would mean something to him. his qualifications would mean something to him, and that alone makes him a fraud. and if that is true then it follows that whatever he does in the name of the tech is a fraud.
    He’s done nothing to warrant confidence that he is a keeper of the tech.

    what exactly does he have power over? it’s not the copyrights to the tech because the indie field legally has ALL of the tech. so what does he have power over? Money, that’s it, he can write checks and that’s it. that’s the only real power he has and any other power is an illusion. all he has is a check book.

    The emperor is not wearing any clothes. That is the R factor one needs to get adjusted to.

    • From what I understand from people who know Miscavige well, he is

      A class IV auditor
      Got into a bit of bother as a young auditor at St Hill when he slapped or struck a PC. His career as an auditor was over then.
      He is a blown PC from OTVII
      He was apparently the one who was C/Sing Lisa McPherson’s case when he had no business doing the C/S. He called her Clear status. She went onto to do her L’s – perhaps with a wrong Clear call behind that, and had a psychotic break. She had a minor car accident and when the cops got there, she was walking around naked. She was admitted to hospital. She was retrieved from there and taken back to Flag where she was kept in a room and not properly attended to for about 17 days. It is not known whether she died there or on the way to a hospital, but she was taken to a hospital where there was a Scientology doctor (not the nearest hospital) where she was pronounced dead.
      Miscavige should not be developing GAT anything.

      I invite readers of this blog to research this for themselves and not to just take my say so on this. It is important, and there are a bunch of nuances to which my comment cannot do justice.

      100% Whitestar on what you say “The emperor is not wearing any clothes. That is the R factor one needs to get adjusted to.”

  6. Good words White Star.

    I recall asking why RTC has not done an amends project. Why they have allowed out-tech books to be sold to me.
    Why they insist that I must pay FULL price for the ‘correct ‘ books. This was 1995 . Well, I was told I should be thankfully that RTC has corrected the out tech and I owe them!

    Roll forward to 2007 and the Basics Launch. I asked what discount I could receive on thsee “new and improved SP free ” books!

    Again, I was told ” you owe RTC for doing the project “.
    This organisation is out exchange, possible criminally.

    The tech exists outside the church and In the hands of the Indies. If you are an auditor , you are entitled to audit preclears. You bought and paid for your course, so use it!

  7. I was the Bookstore Officer JBGD during the time when the Library Campaign was going on, so I know full well the financial crimes that were happening at that time.

    After 10pm the only non-SO Class V staff left in the org were Bob Petri, George Yiango, John Gething, Daryl Berman, and myself, and we would reg until at least 2pm every morning, often till 4am, sometimes even till after 6am, only to return to post around 8:45am.

    We’d reg local public till way after a socially acceptable hour, and then move on to regging American Public. As the early hours of the morning approached we’d move on to regging Taiwanese public. Albert would smoke in the org and I’d diligently hide his cigarette whenever Ken or Alex Faust arrived.

    At the orders of Ken Krieger and Albert de Beer many accounts were simply debited for books without the prior consent of the public. Some were of public in good standing (which I later corrected), and others were of off-lines public the org had not heard of for many years. Our favourite motto was “Greatest good!”

    We’d also use donated lectures to give to a prospect so that his entire package would be cheaper, thus making it more likely for him to buy.

    At some point the Basics Book and Lecture package did not include 3 or so lectures, of which Route to Infinity was one. They were of course counted as completed packages. Once the stat had changed to mean only packages sold with the additional 3 lectures, Ken Krieger had the brilliant idea to false report the packages statistic by counting any bundle of the additional 3 lectures sold as a package! So public who upgraded by purchasing the additional lecture were now counted twice!

    At one point Ken counted and reported a package which had not yet been sold but was a “sure deal.” Well yes, the deal didn’t come through. This made Ken look bad in the eyes of his seniors. So he threatened all sorts of bad things if the package didn’t come through, and a few minutes of fancy invoicing later it was magically done. I guess Ken had seniors he feared too.

    Oh, let’s not forget the LRH Fiction books campaign, where the org resources were being used to push books for which it saw no revenue, and which actually cost it money. Stock which was lost or unaccounted for had to be paid for by the org. the org also had to pay for all the food, decor etc.

    All proceeds of this scam went to ASI, Author Services Inc. During this time there was a promotion whereby staff members who sold a certain amount of the ipods with the audio books could win one for themselves. Albert was very close to making his target and ordered me to invoice another package for a public even though he didn’t give me the cheque for it. This was done, and the cheque was only written well after 2pm Thursday, yet it was counted on the stats, and Albert got his Ipod.

    Then there was also the TWTH campaign, were public were regged to send hard copy Way to Happiness books to the DRC. This was when the war in the DRC was supposedly stopped by handing out a few booklets, lol. It was only long after the conflict had ended and all interest in the DRC was lost that CPLO received its shipment of French TWTH books, which at the time I left the org were still sitting in CPLO warehouse, unused. Johannesburg org still paid for them though.

    I found out from the CO CPLO at the time, Henry Brandle, that the “available money” on account for these TWTH books was later used for another campaign, I think it was Problems of Work. So all that money you paid for TWTH? That’s right, it never went to TWTH books!

    Of course there was the issue that “money” that was being debited off of public accounts for materials was just virtual, as it had been used by the org long ago for running costs and to send money up lines. This meant that the org had to use money which it would otherwise use to buy such things as toilet paper to actually pay for these books, as CPLO wasn’t going to give it to the org for free. So if you ever wondered why there was no toilet paper in the org, wonder no more 😉

    Ken once sold DMSMH packages to Dave Atkinson at a cheaper rate than what could be allowed by the Finance computer, so I told Dave that I could not allow this. Ken then threatened to physically punch me if I didn’t make it happen, and so we used “donations” on account to make up the balance. If there ever was such a thing as an SP, Ken Krieger would be it.

    When it got really late in the morning and the targets had not yet been met the staff would turn on and reg each other. It was either that or get no sleep and a thorough upbraiding, so of course we paid. Other staff who had absolutely nothing to do with the Basics were much luckier than that, some even got GIVEN their own FULL set of Basics once they left staff. All I got was a lecture from Big Al about what a criminal I was for wanting to sort out my first dynamic…

    Often times we’d get one public to “bridge” the money for another, with the promise that they’d be paid back in full at some future date. I have my doubts that this was always done.

    Then I remember another time when certain public were sold a full 16 sets of the BASICS!!! They were told that they would get each package at a cheaper rate this way, and that they could then sell off each individual package to make themselves a nice profit. Of course this was a big joke, as all the potential prospects were being crushed regged by the staff, so there was no way they’d ever sell anything. In fact, after the Basics evolution e-bay was full of basics being virtually given away. Of course the price Kenny had given them for the 16 package deal was incorrect too, which meant more fancy invoicing had to be done…

    With the release of “The Basics” we all heard about how the books were now “fully verified as completely on-Source.” After leaving the cult I found out that the exact same thing was said in 1991 when all of the books were repackaged and re-released as can be seen here:

    http://reformscientology.wordpress.com/the-basics/

    All In all I’m actually glad I went through the Basics devolution. It, together with having money stolen from me by my business “partner” so that it could be given to Anzo, drove me right out the org’s lavish front door.

    • Robert and ScnAfrica – this post of Robert’s should be a Headline post of its own.
      Wow Wow Wow. I had my own crush reg by Henry Brandle. I KR’ed him and copied it to RTC and got a oh-dear,-we-understand-letter from some terminal there. They probably filed the KR as a commendation.

      What a scam!

      No doubt OSA are reading this blog and Ken who has been hauled back to the US will now be asked to please explain his stat reports.

      On the plus side – I’m so glad you are out and free.

  8. Pingback: Being the Bookstore Officer: A view from hell | Back in Comm!

  9. Scientology Library Campaign 2008 Stats Analysis:

  10. Pingback: Yet another library scampaign | Scientologists back in comm

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