Being the Bookstore Officer: A view from hell

RobertRobert Berrington was the Bookstore Officer (BSO) of Joburg Org when the basics were released in 2007. During that time it was quite likely that this was the worst possible post to have. The pressure on every staff member was crazy when it came to the selling of the basics but it was the bookstore officer who bore the worst of it. The natural result was a staff member pushed to breaking point and ultimately declared a suppressive person.

This morning he commented on the article put up yesterday on the Library Donation Fraud. His information on what was going on at the time is invaluable so it is being posted on its own so it is read more widely.

As an additional note: A regular commenter asked if perhaps the church false reported collecting all the money necessary to put a set of basics in every library. This question was put to Robert by ScnAfrica. He states that there was unrelenting push to collect money for this. There came a time when he and other org execs were told by Mike Eenkhoorn (from Planetary Dissem Unit Africa) that this target had been achieved. Robert says he has no reason to believe that this was not the case. 

“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:

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.”

39 thoughts on “Being the Bookstore Officer: A view from hell

  1. Hi Robert, I never met you but well done on getting out and on putting the truth there. Ken Krieger presided over failing Scientology for decades along with his puppy, Albert de Beer. Scientology tech standardly applied brings such miraculous rewards. These guys who have forwarded this corrupt behaviour in the name of Scientology….well let me just say that I hope with all my heart that LRH gets hold of them, from the top down, at some time in the future. I could just feel the off purpose and evil in the Joburg org and really never went near it after we all helped to get it to St Hill size or whatever size was in vogue at the time. I sincerely hope that your time on staff has not put you off seeking out practitioners of the tech who are standard in their application and produce the type of wins that we old timers took for granted before the Usurper did his usurping.

  2. Your data is so incredibly sick. I so clearly recall the release event at Flag and calling all my friends back home about the wonderful news. The cartoon of the student underwater, drowning from mu’s and the like….wow- now we had a faster solution for duplicating the tech!! BUT, I must say my absolute favorite part of your article was your foresight in including that link to Jeff and thoughtful’s write up about the history of the re-writes. Talk about a cognition. It was an incredible coup to capture the control and incomes by bypassing LRH as the author, once and forever. I recall the first time I read the phrase “based on the works of LRH”, something seemed off. Thank you so very much by supplying the missing data for me and hopefully many others. You all have revealed the source of the motivation (other than the elemental madness we’ve all observed) to obliterate the tech, one comma at a time! Find the WHY and you open the door to a handling, so true. Wait a little longer and LRH will disappear entirely from the materials. That is a nightmare we will NOT let happen.

  3. This is hectic…I remember once I was billed twice for an IAS donation…i made a huge fuss and was reimbursed for the second erroneous deduction. I wondered to myself at the time and was astounded that such things could happen at the Org yet I had never experienced this anywhere else…from that moment on I was very careful though in how I made payments to the Org…Robert, thanks for sharing this information.

  4. Thanks for sharing your story Robert. Being on staff definitely affords one the opportunity of experiencing the craziness on a whole new level. I feel empathy for the current Joburg BSO – she is a sweet person – she has NO idea what is about to hit her with GAG II.

  5. Thank you for confirming that this did happen in Sourh Africa as well. When I told a Kool Aid drinker about money being taken out of my account and a set sent to me despite my saying for a few months, NO, I am sharing with a family member and do not need another set, they said that this shocking behaviour is obviously only in my country and would NEVER happen in Africa. They were appalled! And still today won’t look!

  6. Thanks Robert for taking the time to write this up. It adds to our overall understanding of what is wrong with the current scene. Krieger and Albert are central players.

    You were calling out to the USA and Brian Wynberg was calling people in SAnto razzle up buyers for his book campaign. Up all hours. Pleading for donations, selling it all as the last hope of man.

    What you have written just shows the bankrupt nature of the scene in SA.

    By the way, where is Rena Wynberg? She seems to be missing. No longer on the ABLE int website far as as I know. Disappeared.

    Anybody know?

    • I have heard that Rena Weinberg is in the “Hole” at the Int Base in Hemet doing her A-E with the other execs. I will see if I can find where I saw that data and get back to you if I find it.

      • Thanks Roxy and Dali and BP. I am going to keep an eye of this as she is from around SA and if not in the hole or “in a different colored uniform” she is not around and not visible.

        On the other comments, The rot comes from the top. Whatever we see in the blogs, we know where it originates.

        Man it has been an interesting few weeks!

    • Rena is not in the hole. I saw her at Joburg org a couple of years ago (2011) – she was with Bryan. I spoke to her briefly. I don’t believe they were here in any official capacity – possibly visiting Bryan’s ailing mother Fanny. She was also recently (within the last 3 months) seen on the same flight as another Joburg OTC member – not sure where this person was travelling to/from.

      • Could still be in the hole and let out for her mother’s funeral (which was before 2011) or estate business so as not to arouse suspition. ED Int was let out for one appearance at an event a couple of years ago. I suspect questions were being asked about his whereabouts. I know I was asking.

  7. We are with you, meaning, many individuals around the world that have come to see the criminal activities the, so call leader, has been engaging in since he took office. Please keep reporting all what you find as making it known will help others to see the truth.

  8. Financial fraud can be broadly defined as an intentional act of deception involving financial transactions for some gain of unfair or dishonest advantage. It is further defined as the intentional misrepresentation or alteration of accounting records regarding sales, revenues, expenses and other factors for the purpose to deceive investors (Org public), creditors and the public (Beautiful grand new ‘empty’ buildings all over the world demonstrating the enormous expansion of Scientology – BS!). Moreover, employees who commit accounting fraud at the request of their employers are subject to personal criminal prosecution.

    It is clear from Rob’s story that CofS executives are orchestrating financial fraud within the organisation. What is more reprehensible is the fact that they (CofS Executives & SO) are instructing honest, hardworking beings to commit this fraud under duress, thus ensuring potential whistle blowers are prosecutable for the committed fraud. It is obvious!

    1. An Executive instructs a Staff Member, under duress, to debit a parishioner’s account without the accountholders authorisation.
    2. The Staff member subsequently reports the fraud to the authorities.
    3. The Executive then demonstrates to the authorities that it was the Staff Member who debited the account; and that the Staff Member acted on his own volition as there is no written direction from the Executive instructing the Staff Member to perform the transaction; thus the Staff Member acted in an effort to intentionally harm the Org/Scientology (probably under the direction of the Psych’s).
    4. Staff Member -> Declared SP & possibly prosecuted.

    Furthermore, it is apparent that the CofS Johannesburg has misused donations intended for TWTH and the Library Campaign. This is only the tip of the iceberg in my opinion. I recall Joburg Org achieving a “DONE” on its Ideal Org fund raising in 2011. Then suddenly a further R600K (correct me if I am wrong; may be more or less) was needed for the building of a childcare facility at the Org, thus easing the burden on staff with children. Again, it was a “DONE”. Yes, what an “upstat”, “pro-survival” idea. Six months on, no childcare facility! Huh!? I later left Joburg and I would love to know if the childcare facility ever eventuated; and if so, was it a R600K facility?

    It became obvious to me that not all the Ideal Org donations were flowing into the building of the Ideal Org. Where is the Accountability? Wait, there is none! We trusted that the SO, Org Execs and Staff would do the right thing. We were wrong!

    Rob, I commend you on your courage for sharing your story. I do recall seeing you working those ridiculous hours; and the stress was clearly visible on your face. Thank you again!

    • Hi Blade Runner. Re the childcare facility: Yes, this was eventually built but it was a complete OP (Overt product). The space next to the Chaplains office (previously folder storage room) was converted and it’s totally unsuitable (never mind illegal) for childcare facilitates. Don’t know what it cost in the end, but it sure as hell wasn’t R600k worth of work – more like R10k – and that’s being generous. To make it worse, they closed the access to the storage space behind the chapel and made the opening in the childcare room, so every time anyone needs something from the storage room, they have to traipse through the children’s area. It’s a joke.

    • Black Panther is right – the “child care facility” was a huge joke and certainly didn’t last very long!

      Not only did they have people in and out continuously, there were plug points with live wires hanging out the walls, one adult toilet (that the contractors were expected to use), taps that were out of children’s reach, a gutter just outside the door that anyone could trip over and one person looking after kids that ranged from 6 months to 12 years old.

      The children were expected to stay in this tiny and dangerous room as they had no outside space to play other than the parking lot – where a child was almost knocked over.

      It was at this point that the “facility” completely fell apart. The Nanny left as she wasn’t getting the help from the org (I.e Albert and Sandre De Beer) that was promised – such as fixing the room up to be suitable for kids, having a grass play area outside, some decent toys and games for the kids to play with, etc. She has never replaced. The room is still empty…

  9. Thanks Rob, I hope you will inspire others to share their thoughts and experiences. I remember that time in 2007, you and a female staff member, (who I think is also declared), did not constantly harrass me to buy books, I think you must have cleared the word ‘no’, which was obviously an MU for other staff there!! One day I endured it 9 times from different staff until I lost my s…, causing a scene lol! Apparently that behaviour in the church is not acceptable and I needed my O/W’s pulled, it had nothing to do with being asked 45 times! Everyday until the end, driving through those gates, I had instant rage wash over me and anyone that approached me I would practically spit venom in their face. When I finally left you were the first person I came to and you helped me more than you know, thank you Rob, happy to join the SP club!!

    • Great post, Rob, thanks for this data. I hope others will be inspired to come forward, as mentioned by Mocking Jay.

      I cognited yesterday that our senior execs are chronic liars, bullies and thieving criminals. One could feel sorry for them under the pressure they’re under but I don’t. They have/had Power of Choice as did the rest of us. They’ve made a mockery of the tech and the purpose of Scientology which is a without war, crime or insanity. Well, it’s a far cry from that!

      It makes me all the more proud and pleased that I saw the writing on the wall and made my departure. I decided long ago that I couldn’t participate up the Bridge any longer (out-tech makes it dangerous) or contribute in any way any longer (I stopped in time before losing too much) and it was the right decision.

  10. Hee hee Rob, I got all the “pictures” with your blog post. Do you remember when the SO reg used to turn the finance computer’s clock back before invoicing, so they could count the stat for that week.
    Have you read what LRH says in HCOPL Financial irregularities. These guys have f#cked themselves big time

  11. I Remember Scientology.

    In the song “Stairway to heaven” by Led Zeppelin, one version performed live, included the words “…and the forests will echo with laughter. (Does anybody remember laughter?)”
    This was apparently the one song they produced after their brief interlude with Scientology in the 1960’s.
    Now, more than 40 years later, the question is just as poignant. Does anyone in the church remember laughter?
    Staff and students would talk excitedly about their course progress or their wins in session, or an awesome cognition they had. Tea break during the evening (foundation) study session were eagerly looked forward to. You would chat and discuss and share and it was altogether infectious. You heard about the wins Joe had on grade 2 and you wanted that too! Jane took her first PC into session on the meter and it went fine and the PC FNed at the examiner. Awesome! And you knew as soon as you finished your Student Hat you were going to do that level 0 course and also have those gains. After course in the evening you couldn’t chase the students away. 11pm when staff were leaving for home, there were often still public outside chatting and laughing. Now sadly I cannot remember when last I saw that. Students brave enough to come on course and run the gauntlet of regges, IAS fundraisers, bookstore officers, (all staff whether Org or SO are now booksales terminals) you would study ( no tea break anymore) and try to duck out through the same gauntlet. Get out of there quickly at all costs and hope nobody sees you.

    My question is now ” Does anybody remember Scientology?”

    • It’s funny you mention Stairway to Heaven. I only recently found our that Led Zeppelin had a brief flirtation with Scn and that their iconic song was actually about that flirtation – “she’s buying a stairway to heaven”. How appropriate from more than 40 years ago. Also Jimmy Page bought a manor house/castle once owned by LRH’s “good friend” Alaistair (?) Crowley.

  12. Last post can ask others to share rheir own real scientology stories – how it used to be when it was nice to go to the org.

  13. Hey Robert,

    Good to hear from you after all these years. I post under the name splog (what it means is a very long story 🙂 ), in real life I’m Alan McKinnon.

    I’m so glad you were not the guy to sell me my Basics – that honour goes to David Lipschitz and Robert Bokelmann. I did get to hang up the phone on Krieger though when he phoned me on Thursday 11am just when I’m teaching a class and after I told David and Robert not to do that.

  14. Isn’t it interesting that the very organization that was charged with the responsibility to put in ethics and safeguard standard tech now is doing the opposite? “That which you resist, you become – if you fail”.

    Scientologists are being pressurised to violate finance policy in their own life (spend more than they earn, take loans, etc,) which if done by an Org FBO would end that person up in RPF or declared.

    That many never recover from that mess without a bankruptcy, is just considered “collateral damage” it seems, and all for the greatest good.

    I thought things were mad when I was in Joburg on Commissioner street, but this is just insane. Althought one day I heard a lot of commotion upstairs in the CLO. I thought they were rearranging the office or something. Later on I heard it was Ken Krieger beating up one of his juinors. This was the first time I heard of physical violence in the SO.

    • I never heard of Kenny doing that, but it doesn’t surprise me. I did hear him balling out one of his staff members one time, and it was rather scary thing to see. That guy is a big bully, and radiates pure evil. I hope the RPF knocks some humility into him.

  15. I’d also just like to say thanks to Craig Sivell for phoning me up that 23rd day of August 2010, and giving me the data as to what was actually happening in the orgs! You did me such a massive favor dude, it’s because of your call that I finally left!

    And thanks to Rob and Lin Horn, who further helped me understand the full extent of the lies!

    • LOL and thanks to you for listening and looking. Those first two weeks i was on the net i was actually feeling guilty for my massive overt of going onto the entheta net. I Q and A ed how/if to approach you but the data was so mind blowing i couldn’t keep it to myself so i took it out on you 🙂
      I would also like to thank Willem Jacobz -ED PTA – for starting me on the path by recommending i Facebook friend an ex public to “recover them”. Only to discover that ex public was ex for a reason…………

      • I had a similar experience. I had an ethics handling at St Hill. Was told to send the link to the scientology site to a number of people (I forget number maybe 5 or ten) on my email list. So I sat in the NOTs lounge at St Hill with my bitty lap top — and that was when I discovered there was so much stuff on the internet. That was when I found out that Marty Rathbun had escaped some 6 years earlier. It was news to me then!

    • Jees lucky you, I wish someone had knocked some sense into me years ago. I feel like a real twit for having been on staff for 10 years, and I knew it was all wrong.
      I stand to be corrected but I believe Carol Krieger was also sent to “handle” someone and was instead herself enlightened. Now she’s on the prestigious J18 list 🙂
      Hi Carol (If you are listening, I’m very glad to see you made it out and I hope you are well)

  16. Very happy and proud of you for writing your story!

    People need to know what you were ordered to do in the name of ‘freeing’.

    Very proud!

    Alex 🙂

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