Pretoria’s heydays – over before they began……

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When Joburg celebrated its Ideal Org opening in November 2003, the elation among South African field was palpable.The then-Joburg OT Committee (some 30 able-bodied, upstat beings) were on fire and a force to be reckoned with. Many people were joining staff, Div 6 activities were humming and people were coming into the org in droves. It was probably the best time for Scientology in South Africa since the 60s.

The agreement after the opening was unanimous.  “Why stop here? Let’s take this puppy all the way!: We were going for Saint Hill Size! And so the already frenzied pace was stepped up a notch. Everyone pulled together – The staff worked like demons with strong support from a dedicated field.  Everyone working in unison towards a common goal. It was a heady time and everyone was determined to make it happen.

And then it happened! In March 2005 Joburg Org won the Birthday Game AND went Saint Hill size in the same year.  We had made it!  The Universe Corps arrived to much fanfare. Staff were going into session, public were being serviced and the org was doing well financially, although the staff pay scene was glossed over but it was better than it had been before.

Joburg Academy 2004

A busy Joburg academy in 2004. This was the real deal – not a “Gold Shoot”

And so it continued until mid 2005 when the org started slipping into insolvency – not hectic at first but definitely on the slope. And then the 2007 basics evolution hit. And everything changed.

Individual book commissions were cancelled. The Universe Corps left the building. Staff contracts were coming to an end and not being renewed. Morale was slipping badly.  The previously effective OT Committee was split into two teams – a local JBG Org Committee and a “National OT Committee” (apparently another “bright idea” of Ken Krieger) – effectively destroying what was a very successful action.

Very soon, the org was struggling financially with back-bills piling up and no money to pay them. Posts were left unmanned and the CF system which had taken 100’s of hours getting it into PT fell into total disarray. For the public, it was becoming impossible to get into session owing to the preference of servicing foreign PC’s who were paying big money badly needed as a “quick fix” solution. The org was being run on a “hey you” Org Board and the Sea Org were bypassing into the org more and more. Everyone on a course in the academy was stopped in their tracks and ordered onto the basics. Jobug Org’s heydays had come to an end.

The point to all of this is that from around from the time of the org opening in November 2003 until mid to late 2005 Joburg Org enjoyed a period of expansion and prosperity. It was awesome while it lasted, but it soon became apparent that the Ideal Org model was not sustainable. By 2007 the state of Joburg Org was living, glaring proof of this.

And so this brings us to the newest Ideal Org in South Africa – Pretoria.  

Pretoria Emblem

Pretoria org is 46 years old, having opened its doors to the public in 1968.

Despite the fact that the larger metropolitan area of Pretoria and surrounds boasts a population close to 3 million, Pretoria Org has never particularly been a big org. Certainly nowhere near the size of Joburg.  The average staff compliment was between 10-15 people – this was day and foundation combined. .

After the announcement that Pretoria was to be the next Ideal Org, it soon became clear that the bulk of the funding would have to come from the Joburg field since Pretoria simply didn’t have the numbers. Many Joburg public were frustrated that THEY were being expected to help raise funds for Pretoria (the “Ideal Org Alliance” had now been born) having just funded their own org and the Braamfontein Test Centre. 

Resentment was not openly expressed to Management but the rumblings were loud and clear -“how the hell are we going to pull this off”? And so the fundraising and “over the ramparts activity” began again. And it carried on. And on. And on. In the end, a very unusual solution was dreamed up by a certain few (full story on that will be revealed in due course). And ultimately, Pretoria finally became an Ideal Org in 2013. Sort of.

The opening of the Pretoria Org took place on the 23rd February 2013.  Contrary to the Church’s PR statement of “thousands of people” people attending the opening, people who were actually there estimated no more than 700 attendees – certainly no more than 1000 – including staff. This was the first warning bell. This figure was half the number that attended Joburg’s opening 10 years earlier. After all the hard work and sacrifice of so many, David Miscavige decided not to pitch for the opening with no explanation to the public for why he didn’t see fit to attend – another warning bell.

The Pretoria field lacked the combined staff/public drive that allowed Joburg to experience at least a period of success. The org burst out of the gates with a limp.

Less than a month after the opening, a picture of the Pretoria academy appeared on Mike Rinder’s blog. In comparison to the above picture of the Joburg academy in 2004, this one speaks a thousand words (we added our own little twist). Yet another warning bell.

Pretoria Academy

Several emails have been sent out stating percentage increases in production (number of new public reached is 600% greater, etc.) Outside of those emails the visible scene is that the org is no bigger than it was in its old building. Now with the costs associated with a massive building.

It is a simple thing to claim “double the expansion” if one person was on course and then two more arrived. A fanfare announcement was recently made of an anti-drug event held at the org for 65 non-Scientologists. While impressive sounding, this hardly contributes towards the real stats of an org – auditors made and happy PC’s. Yet more warning bells.

And then just 5 months after the opening, GATII preparations were in full swing. All Ideal Orgs including Pretoria were ordered to send a compliment of staff to Flag for training.

With a very new Ideal Org in its infancy PLUS the advent of the “greatest event in Scientology ever” (GATII) one would think the good news emanating from Pretoria would be plentiful.

Instead, this is the promo that gets sent out to public – yet another picture of an empty academy with what would seem to be the ONLY student on the new GATII Student Hat course. :

Pretoria Academy2

And then there is their facebook page. It’s stated claim is to “keep you updated on it’s (Pretoria Org’s) expansion”. The page was last updated 24th December 2013 – more than a month ago. The people following the page numbers at 285. And the stats page of people visiting, talking about and reading the facebook page speaks for itself:

Facebook Page Pretoria

Other interesting data on Pretoria Ideal Org is as follows:

  • Francois Groenewald,  one of the GATII Supervisors who returned from Flag after his training, left staff after his wife was threatened with a declare for not wanting to leave her job at the Corbetts. (His story has already appeared on this blog). He had to pay for his own air-ticket to get back to South Africa as the org could not afford a return flight for him.
  • Simone Licht, supposed to return as the Survival Rundown Supervisor,  is still at Flag. After she completed her GATII training, she was kept at Flag to do her full basics line-up. She is reportedly now on History of Man. She has been at Flag since May 2013.
  • Yet another GATII trained Supervisor, David Goldberg, has not been seen for a while and would seem to to be missing in action.
  • Another GATII trainee, Sipho Dlamini, a non-Scientologist at the time of being recruited for staff, was sent to Flag for GATII training and has not been seen since.
  • Yet another GATII trainee, Thinus Jacobz (son of ED Willem and LC Marianna) returned home to spend Christmas with his family and has now returned back to Flag to complete his GATII training.
  • Pretoria org has only one single-hatted auditor (Paul) on foundation staff. Other than this, the Tech Sec Day, C/S Day and Snr C/S Day double-hat as auditors.
  • The org is battling financially. CSI (Church of Scientology International – the REAL owners of the property) are paying the rates and taxes as the org cannot afford to. Based on how little delivery this org is doing, it is doubtful they are managing to pay their bills, and there is a high likelihood that just like Joburg, this org is already insolvent.
  • The org is not bustling with people. Very few public are on service and most of the offices/rooms and course rooms are not being used. One student reported having to switch on lights and request the air-conditioning be switched on so that the room could be used.
  • One public visiting the org recently reported than in the hour he was on the premises, he saw exactly 4 staff – receptionist, a supervisor and two others huddled in an office having a meeting of some kind. The coffee shop was completely unmanned.
  • One of the reasons given for the chosen location of the org was due to the surrounding foreign embassies and the hopes that this would attract Embassy Dignitaries. This has not happened. One lady who worked for a Govt Dept (Foreign Affairs) briefly joined staff in the DSA office, but has since blown. There has certainly not been any major influx of embassy dignitaries into the org.
  • An MAA from Flag told a Joburg public the reason for the recent arrival of the new Mission and SO Management team was due to the fact that “Joburg org is not doing well and PRETORIA IS FAILING”.
  • At the time of the opening, Pretoria boasted a staff compliment of approximately 70 people. Today, just 11 months later, the staff numbers have dwindled down to around 30 – less than half of the staff are left.

In summary:

  • Joburg Org lost it Saint Hill size status many years ago. To all intents and purposes, this org is bankrupt. Since 2005 it has lost more than 100 staff and they owe the City of Johannesburg in the region of R750,000 in unpaid lights & water. There are refund requests that have not been honoured despite policy stating that such requests should be handled  IMMEDIATELY.
  • Braamfontein Test Centre is a failure see our article on this. Joburg’s Life Improvement Centre: a Barren Wasteland 
  • Pretoria Org is in trouble. Grossly understaffed, not delivering nearly enough to keep the doors open and in less than a year after becoming an “Ideal Org” is having to be bailed out financially.

And now there is a MAJOR push to get Joburg North and the rest of South Africa done? Really? .

To cap it all, public are expected to pay for and attend a seminar this weekend so that they can be convinced how, despite the failure of the Joburg, Braamfontein and Pretoria projects have proved to be, it’s “really going to work this time” and we will have an AO in 2015.

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25 thoughts on “Pretoria’s heydays – over before they began……

  1. I can’t understand someone like Bob Petrie. Hell the guy runs a successful business and MUST know that the current policy is completely unviable. I know people like Albert de Beer have never really worked (you know, putting in exchange with the world for an income) and so believe the world will simply accord with their postulate. But Bob knows that virtually NOBODY in South Africa is going to pay R10,000 for the Student Hat and another R10,000 for the Purif. Both courses are simply preparatory to doing the main actions – they are not actions in themselves. I did the Student Hat for free (as preparatory to doing the Levels).
    Even when I first came into Scn and has hot for the subject I would not have paid much for the Purif. Hell, I sit in a sauna every damn day of my life. The Purif gets toxins out of your body so when you receive auditing (remember that?) you can differentiate between body reactions and case. It isn’t some proxy for OT8.
    Why doesn’t Bob (ED Joburg Fdn) just say “Fuck it, let’s charge what the market thinks it’s worth, and to hell with these c**k s**cking Command Team and horseshit GAT 2”.
    Can he not see Miscavige is PURPOSELY destroying the subject of Scn??

  2. There are other astute business people, Walter Hex and Philip Park. They both built up businesses from scratch and hard work, learning and planning. They didn’t start in a huge, ornate building believing it would bring the business in. It defies understanding. These otherwise sane, savvy people have bought into the lie lock, stock and barrel.

    I can’t imagine their reaction when they find that they’ve been duped – the fury and embarrassment, will be overwhelming. The invalidation will be so immense that there will be nothing on Earth to resolve it.

    • In virtually all the fundraising photos, you see the grinning faces of Phillip, Ines and Walter. The delusion on their faces is plain to see. It’s hard to fathom how otherwise astute businessmen are so blindly allowing themselves to be ripped off. I know – I used to be one of them. And you’re right – the initial embarrassment followed by the seething anger at being so duped has not worn off – and probably never will. Now I do everything in my power to get others to see what is REALLY there.

  3. DUPED – DUPED – DUPED!
    The problem cannot be looked at and Duplicated!
    The above mentioned may be successful buisness
    men but they are asleep as Thetans!

    They have no Confront!
    They can not Confront Evil!

    If they do wake up they have to Confront their own
    misdeeds!

    The ETHICS BLIND SPOT IS BIGGER THAN THEY
    ARE AND THEY ARE BLINDED BY THE OVERWHELMING
    BULLSHIT!

    So SAD to see so much good group intention – only to be destroyed

    This blog really does carry our true intention of our group
    to follow our intention of Exposing their War Crimes because
    that is what it is a WAR against destruction of the only true
    technology and to follow the intention of LRH and get the tech
    out there and applied and this will be done!

    This is our Purpose and it is HONEST and TRUE xx

    • Goldie “They have no Confront!
      They can not Confront Evil!”
      Oh.. yes but first they need to realise that subject was evil.. and there is no difference between subject that one is more valuable or less… ALL CONSIDERATIONS ARE EQUAL in value regardless what their meanings are.
      LRH has left few great gifts behind.. one of them is he thought us what is confront and what can be accomplished while one confronts faces ones dilemma… the other gift that we have AWARNESS that we are aware beings. These gifts are tools also and they need to be used in order to be affective…

      Goldie: “So SAD to see so much good group intention – only to be destroyed”
      Nothing has been destroyed, what meant to happen it will happen and those who really want their dream to materialise, location and time factor will not change their dreams to become reality.
      The church had not destroyed anything it is peoples agreement that it can not be done “”because”” we can add here some lame justification ….Nothing but nothing can stop something which meant to happen!

  4. Very good article.

    What really annoys me is how the EDs of these orgs continue to lie to their public. Bob, Albert, Willem and JhbN ED ALL know that the whole Ideal Org concept is a load of bull shit! Yet they will still host fundraiser after fundraiser and convince people to dig deep and give more than they have to give in order to fund these useless buildings.

    As you pointed out – they are not stupid – so why do they keep up the deception? Bob? Does it make you feel good to force people to waste their resources like this?! Is it really OK with you when you go to sleep at night knowing that people have paid money on your say so to something that has failed worldwide?

    Seriously? Is this how OTs operate? With callous disregard for their friends’ and public’s welfare? Who and what are they serving?

    Shame on them all. They do not deserve respect or support. They have failed their public and caused more harm than good. What are they afraid of? Why don’t they just say “NO” loud and clear? Or just leave – there is no way on earth that they could possibly believe they are doing good; just no way.

    • Draco. Very well said indeed.

      Joburg North? Seriously? Doing fund raisers for Joburg North building is SUCH an overt. While the place is dead?

      In the bubble, mid ships, the staff work furiously, while up on deck the captain ploughs into one iceberg after another. They hear the noise out there. No that’s just new people coming on board folks. Oh yay, they say, oblivious of the reality.

      Delusional and sad in the extreme.

      To the looking-in folks, if you donate, it will read on your sec-check. Don’t do it!

      What a well put together article. Well done.

    • Draco….”As you pointed out – they are not stupid – so why do they keep up the deception?”‘
      sometimes one hopes that conditions will change with times.. so for the time being just let things go as they are… other times: it is difficult to admit failure, or don’t give the rats as any more, or simply could not confront the issues because there was no solution to replace those problems… or simply they did not realised that there was anything wrong…when one is inside of something things do look and feel different than when one is separate from the same incident.

    • To give is something delightful.. it keys out that person..that is the reason one feels better when giving than when one receives! Till one walks in the other persons shoes one will never know those reasons why that person act.

  5. Great write-up Scn. Africa.
    What a bitter pill to swallow realizing all of those good efforts were wasted by people who don’t really produce. The Sea Org are basically scavengers and wasters of the publics money and efforts. I do think there are some excellent Sea Org members of high integrity and ability. This fact of taking funds and wasting them has been a long standing out-point with Corporate Scientology.
    I would bet that if some of the South Africans opened their own center that within months (maybe sooner) they will surpass the “Ideal” Org in probably every category and could continue to expand and the pay would be much better.
    We all allowed the out-points to continue too long. We didn’t say NO!! and we got the condition that we didn’t assign.

    • Tony…”We all allowed the out-points to continue too long.” you are right.. , when admitting what ever has happened to us we are the cause of that, it is than responsibility enters into ones universe.

  6. People’s hard-earned cash isn’t the only thing certain SO members are willing to destroy in building these so-called ‘ideal orgs’…

    Experience at both Joburg and Pretoria Orgs in recent years has shown me they are perfectly okay with telling public to leave their jobs, move out of their established homes and even… Wait for it… Divorce their spouse – just to be able to ‘get with the program’ and join staff!! It’s all quite insane really, but of course it’s cloaked under the guise of ‘the greatest good’…

    I was told there were 80-odd Pretoria staff in Feb 2013 when the new org building opened. That there are only 30 or so remaining is testament to the overt-product recruitment that was carried out by the establishment mission, which includes all the PR (read ‘lies and deception’), lack of real project prepares, glossing over of staff prospects’ genuine life situations (e.g. debts) that would prevent them from following an on-policy post schedule let alone a 12.5 hour study schedule in addition… etc etc etc. These guys do not understand the meaning of a ‘long-term survival concept’ and that’s why they will never be able to build flourishing orgs that last.

    As it stands I’m pretty sure the figure of approx 30 Pretoria staff in PT is a false report, one of those ‘hopeful crew lists’ where the majority of staff listed are off on LoA’s handling some PTP that wouldn’t exist if they had simply been allowed to do a proper project prepare, as per LRH policy, in the first place.

  7. You guys are doing an immensely valuable service. This immense body of lies cannot go uncontradicted. I’ve never been a member, but I lost good friends to the “church” who came out decades later, bitter that they had “wasted their lives,” and that’s a direct quote. You, Mike, Tony, Monique, and a bunch of others are the early rocks in the avalanche that will bury this global fraud and the tin-pot peewee who runs it.

  8. This is such a fuckup. Here’s an honest question: (not sarcastic)
    Has anyone anywhere ever seen an ideal org which is actually running and viable and producing its product? Ignoring Joburg in 2004-2005 as that’s history. I know of precisely one real stat that has truly climbed. That’s value of properties owned by Int Management.

    And all the staff and public were paying to buy their OWN ORG. This for me is one of the biggest lies and deceptions and basic fraud that has been perpetrated on us. If pretoria owned their building they could tell management to f@#$ off and get on with the job. Instead they now owe rent for a building they were supposed to OWN. here’s a tough question and a challenge to readers of this blog: “what has Scientology said or done in the last 10 years that was not a lie?”

    • Like the event stories. BS. I used to give them the benefit of the doubt, way back, but have seen SO many times the facts distorted and lies manufactured in these events. Same for the number of staff in Pretoria, same for the lie that ideal orgs are doing well.

      I went to London ideal org on a Thursday 130 pm and they had 3 students on course.

      The little mielie cob runs an ad in the USA that directs people only to ideal orgs. How destructive is that? To all other orgs. It trashes them, makes nothing of them. The guys a nut. This is all indicative of how the church is “run” by current management.

      You guys with your pictures in the latest fundraiser, we see you, we know who you are.

      It’s time people. Fundraising is an egregious overt of note folks. Continuous PT overts. That’s being kind.

      Man this pisses me off.

  9. Awesome post!! Don’t feel bad South Africa – it is happening in the US too! Check out WUS and EUS stats reported on Mike Rinder’s Blog by a MOLE!! It is the same thing you have experienced. Thank you for posting this!!

  10. The stats speak for themselves. The Ideal Org program does NOT work and is completely off policy. It is a complete contravention of the Ideal Org policy letter. I wonder how many of those still in the RCS being drained of their hard earned wealth and future bridge progress have actually read the policy in its entirety?! What is equally astounding, these individuals are bombarded with verbal references from various policies to convince them to further DONATE, DONATE, DONATE; which in itself is Verbal Tech. I too was guilty of allowing this off-tech behaviour to perpetuate and so was duped. But NO MORE!

    The Ideal Org program is a failure worldwide. Just look at the stats being reported from the East United States OT Committee.

    http://www.mikerindersblog.org/disastrous-eus-ot-committee-report/

  11. FANTASTIC ARTICLE, VERY CLEAR AND FACTUAL; THIS SHOULD BE READ BY ALL SOUTH AFRICANS, SPECIALLY THOSE STILL INSIDE THIS FRAUDULENT CHURCH WHICH IS FULL OF ABUSES OF PARISHIONERS AND FULL OF LIES TO STAFF AND PUBLIC ALIKE…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH…LIKE YOU SAID ¨”GAME IS OVER”

  12. I have just latly sat next to and be past a couple that have been in since the early 90 s,

    I greeted them and though it was clear they new I have moved to the dark side, and wanted to shun me the love I felt for these guys was real and they were not able to stay serious , ya ! I do miss them ,

    These stats tell a tail and 18 declares is good reason to step back take a new view , and realise the best have be Attacked. Not ok!

    Kill them with love,

    thought of the day
    you can fool some of the people, why stop a good thing !!

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