So the UK is now flaunting that dreaded Fitzroy Street plaque as the “first ever fund raiser” for a building. Well let’s shine a bit of light on the damn thing.
In true colonial style (copying Britain) South Africa has flown the Fitzroy plaque flag in Ideal Org mailing after Ideal Org mailing after Ideal Org mailing – ad nauseum.
There is a veteran Fitzroy Street staff member who has this story to tell about the pesky plaque.
“I worked at Fitzroy Street from the end of l956 when the building was acquired and I left England to go abroad half way through 1959.
I never laid eyes on that plaque.
However I since learned from a former fellow staff member from that era, also now living in Europe, that his name was on it and it did eventually get hoisted on a wall somewhere but that was in the sixties.
He further tells me that he and others (members) in the UK field were ”assessed” for donations after the fact in accordance with their membership status. Bear in mind that membership in those days varied from five shillings to ten pounds or something thereabout. The early edition red volumes describe memberships in HASI.
But what is most intriguing about that plaque is the banner inscription at the top before all the little individual plates. South Africa allowed one mailing to go through with it intact and thereafter it was defaced on all the subsequent e-mails.
This headline (beneath the heading ‘THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THESE MADE THIS BUILDING OURS’ read: L.Ron Hubbard, Mary Sue Hubbard, Jack Parkhouse, Jean Thomason, Reg Sharpe.
This raises a bunch of questions and highlights some outpoints.
Ron and Mary Sue were kind of obvious – but did they in fact “donate” part of their non-existent salaries? Also of interest was that the Hubbard family had left the UK about October 1956. They were actually living and working in Washington DC (Ron was delivering the 15th Washington ACC) when the UK org moved from Notting Hill to Fitzroy Street.
Jack Parkhouse the Association Secretary of the UK org negotiated the purchase of the building from former owner Reg Sharpe who ran his business from there.
LRH returned to England in April 1957, ran the Radiation Congress; arranged for the tapes to be transcribed and the book All About Radiation to be prepared for publication, briefly hatted a London staff member on the Upper Indoc TRs and departed back to America. He did not return to England until he came to deliver the 5th London ACC towards the end of 1958.
Jack Parkhouse and his wife Alison were exiled to South Africa to open the first org there near the end of 1957 after there was some internecine warfare among the staff at Fitzroy Street (no KR-system in existence then; only the SO No 1 line by which staff could rat out each other).
Jean Thomason was personally fired by LRH within hours of him arriving back in the UK in April 1957. Immediately after he did that he had a handwritten note posted on the staff notice board (it later became a PL) that said in effect “The thing that has hurt me most in Dianetics and Scientology is the phenomenon of the rise and sudden fall of executives.”
Later that year Reg Sharpe was declared persona non grata by LRH after he found out that Reg had inveigled himself, a non staff member, onto an illegal “Congress Committee” that began meeting weekly at the Fitzroy Street org. This was an entity dreamed up by Reg and allowed by Jack Parkhouse with the stated purpose of ‘telling Ron what to talk about at the next Congress’
No wonder LRH was so pissed off with the English operation that he stayed away so long. He sent his son Nibs (LRH junior) and a Washington staff member, John Fudge to the UK. Nibs was allowed to conduct a farcical Congress (what a hash he made of it) and John Fudge turned out to replace Jack Parkhouse when he was booted to Johannesburg (and later to Cape Town).
So please guys, no more about the Fitzroy Street plaque!