Concurrent with the org moving to Kensington, a massive recruit drive was taking place., mainly headed up by the CLO. With the additional staff on post, CLO assistance and ongoing public participation, stats were rising. 4 months after the unveiling of the new org, Joburg won the 2004 Int LRH Birthday Game. Another huge win.
But it didn’t stop there – the next target was Saint Hill Size, and the frantic activity was upped another notch. Yet again, public got behind this new target, working in tandem with the org. Our entire family also played their part in the push – involved in virtually every committee or activity going. Bookselling, Clear Africa Committee, Anti-Drug marches, WTH Campaigns and of course, the Arts Festival. My son Jean was on the team sent to India to assist with the Dec 2004 Tsunami disaster.
The OT Committee at this time consisted of a large contingent of very able and hard-working people who contributed greatly towards Joburg going St Hill Size and winning the 2005 Birthday Game (sadly, most of these people were later nailed in the now-famous “Joburg 18” SP declares).
A little off time-track here, but a story that has to be told is that of the Global VM Campaign. In late 2003 (December if my memory serves me correctly), the VM Campaign was launched, and every org had to send representatives to the Freewinds for a VM convention. I believe at the time Wendy Honnor was the VM I/C Int. Andrew was one of the people “volunteered” to attend (amongst others from JBG North and Pretoria), but the orgs didn’t have the necessary funds to buy all the air tickets needed. A “deal” was conceived by David Lipsitz to put about 8 tickets on Andrew’s credit card, and then reg public over the next few weeks to replace the money. The next thing I knew, I was roped in to reg this money by David, with him helping here and there in amongst other stuff he was doing. In the end, only about a third of the money was ever paid back, ultimately resulting in Andrew’s credit card “going legal” as there was no way we could afford the astronomically increased monthly payments.
Returning to South Africa, Andrew was assigned as the VM I/C for Joburg Org in early 2004 and each org duly took receipt of their own VM Cavalcade Tent. True to type and with the inherent “must be done now now now” attitude, Andrew steadfastly refused to erect the tent in an area where it would be damaged (which is exactly what was being demanded of him). This resulted in both of us being KR’d and Andrew being summarily replaced as the VM I/C. And so ended Andrew’s sojourn with the Global VM Campaign – a major credit card debt to pay off, and taken out by 3P and a very nasty KR. All of this was written up, of course, but we were done with the entire debacle.
Today, after millions of funds donated by the public to finance the “Grand VM Global Cavalcade Campaigns” – there is not one intact tent left in South Africa – and not one Volunteer Minster anywhere – except for a couple of Sea Org members on “special project” who are using bits and pieces of various tents – cobbled together and being erected in far-flung rural areas for the purpose of schmoozing “African tribal Leaders” in some weird PR Campaign.
In March 2004 my father dropped the body – a devastating loss to me. I bought some intensives in the hopes of being able to handle the loss of my dad and continue up the bridge. Once again, I was confronted with an illegal PC declare (of course AFTER having paid for the intensives). Thanks to many hours of hard work, collating evidence and putting together a very comprehensive petition (done by Melissa Hogarth to whom I will forever be grateful), I received a Senior C/S Int Gold Seal letter stating I was NOT an illegal PC, never had been, and thanking me for my contribution to Scientology over the years.
All set to finally get into session, the first “action” I received was Gaby Ryan taking me into a room next to the Examiners Office and telling me that I was definitely NOT Clear. Again, no e-meter on hand to handle the upset that would ensue – just a “quick R-Factor” and being shown some obscure reference about the fact that what I thought was achieving the state of Clear, was just a “temporary release” or some such garbage. Of course, what I didn’t know at the time was that I was just one of the many victims in the worldwide scourge of non-clear R-Factors being given.
Another tailspin. So clearly it was patently clear that I nor anyone else had any idea whether I was clearly Clear – or not. I didn’t even bother asking when I could be scheduled for session, as by this point, my interest in going up the bridge was seriously starting to wane.
To this day, I have never had the death of my father addressed in session. Instead, I have burned through God-knows how many intensives of what I refer to as band-aid auditing – sessions “just to take the edge off” or enough to get me just functioning – all the while stuck in this HUGE non-Clear invalidation.
The amount of end of endlessly endless PTS handlings, wrong items and why’s were insane. Typical example was coming up with item “mother in law” who I hadn’t seen or spoken to for 18 years, and having to phone her out of the blue and “handle”. I am sure she thought I had completely lost my rocker – which I probably had! Yay! PTS situation handled…….in a pigs eye, that was.
The intermittent patch-up auditing “handlings” were endless, including having some weird NED assist where I was having to mock-up total bullshit incidents just to get a flipping F/N and the hell out of the auditing room before I went stark raving crazy – all delivered by a Pakistan auditor who I could barely understand due to his thick accent and every last syllable of his sentences bellowed with such emphasis that it virtually hit me physically – “vas de(re an earlier inciDENT” ?
But no real auditing, no bridge progress. I would get C/S’d for Gr1, then told “no, you need to re-do the Purif” then told (in the parking lot of the Org) I had to redo objectives (having both delivered and received 100’s of hours in the 70’s while on the HQS Course and during other actions). Back to, “no you definitely need to get onto Gr0…… “. And so it went. For 7 long years.
Back to the drive of achieving Saint Hill Size, it was around this time Andrew and I started noting major outpoints. In preparation for the “big event” (March 13) Gold was all over the org filming. Mass phone calls and text messages for “all hands” were being sent out to public to come to the org and participate in set-up photo-shoots. People were being ushered into the academy and pretending to “study” and then re-routed to Div6 to act like new public being introduced to the Div6 Panels, or walking into and out of the org in droves – all to make the org look like it was a hive of activity. My son and other public were used as models pretending to be on the Purif so that a photo of a full sauna could be shot – all of it staged. Of course at all future events of other “Ideal Orgs” we saw similar set-up scenes – Andrew and I would look at each other and smile – knowing full well we were being duped – just like we witnessed in our own org.
In addition to these staged photo-shoots, it became apparent that the CLO/CMO/FOLO was actually running the org. There were SO staff all over the place – in virtually every Division of the org, regging, recruiting, sorting out CF, working in Treasury, pushing booksales, organizing book-a-thons and the like. Personally, I spotted this as a major outpoint and knew this was blatant off-policy in terms of command channels and the relationship between orgs, SO and the public. (HCOPL 22 July 1971R REVISED 22 January 1991 Admin Know-How Series 25R).
Albert de Beer was being bypassed as the ED of his own org and was just acting as CO CLO’s (Ken Krieger) lackey. I also realized that the SO involvement in the org couldn’t carry on forever, and there was going to be one hell of a collapse when they left. In effect, the “Saint Hill Size” declaration was actually a very cleverly camouflaged hole thanks to the SO virtually running the org, and once they all left, the “Saint Hill Size” status was not sustainable. Unfortunately, my prediction turned out exactly right.
Despite the warning bells, I made the decision that I wanted to help and in February 2005 I originated joining staff as a reg (I believe this was a rather rare occurrence – someone WANTING to be a reg). John Gething (then Dissem Sec) was ecstatic. I remember Christie Collbran taking me through the signing of the staff contract and my project prepare, handling me with great ARC and admiration. Obviously I had some cycles to handle before being able to arrive fully on post – this was all written up and agreed to.
And then the bomb dropped. Peach Bokelmann told me that the upcoming LRH Birthday Event (the one where Joburg would be announced as having achieved St Hill size) was a flap. She needed help, as she was almost single-handing the whole thing.
I was promised that if I just worked on this one cycle, I could go back to handling my project prepare and be posted in Div2 as a reg. Stupidly, I agreed. And my fate was sealed.
I suddenly found myself virtually 2 I/C on the entire event, organizing the venue and catering issues, attending meetings with the “top brass” (Ken and others) as well as having to run the call-in – day and night. Any thought of slowly “phasing in” was very quickly squashed – before I knew it, I was virtually on a Sea Org schedule.
An interlude here – having been a very active public participant in field activities, I had worked on many projects with Peach and I always fondly called her “Peaches” – as I believe many others did. No sooner had I joined staff, she told me that from now on, I had to refer to her as “Sir”. I blatantly told her that joining staff was NOT a downgrade or demotion, I wasn’t in the army or the Sea Org, and that she was either going to be “Peach” or “hey you” – but I would NEVER call her “Sir”.
Once the “great 2005” event was over, I was told that I had to remain in Div6 as, being SSII, it was against policy to move me (musical chairs). Besides which, the org needed a full-time Event I/C due to the number of events being held. By this time, there was virtually an event every weekend (IAS, Freewinds, WISE, Field Expansion etc etc).
And then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, the Field Control Sec blew her post and I was suddenly in charge of the entire Div6C Division. John Gething was livid (he even KR’d the situation to higher Management). I felt utterly betrayed, and yet helpless. And so, here I was, stuck running Division 6C.
As the Div6C Sec, I constantly had one or another CLO terminal (I-Help, WISE, CO SMI, IAS) and the like giving me verbal and direct orders or quota’s. These people would just arrive at my desk and start speaking to me – all without going via my senior or minimally, the ED. Most of these encounters were not exactly friendly – I was having orders “barked” at me with ZERO tolerance for non-compliance. Once, when I did pluck up the courage to enquire why the pattern of the Org Board wasn’t being followed by going via my senior, I was written up for “flashback” of a Sea Org terminal.
I wrote numerous reports on this and other outpoints. Having been on staff before, this new “off policy and ignoring the pattern of the Org Board” was foreign to me. Here I was, in 2005 feeling like I had landed on some weird spaceship where policy was “optional” and only necessary for the purpose of punishment. I wrote numerous reports – all were either ignored or thrown in file 13 because nothing changed. The barrage continued, and I spent many times in HCO on the verge of tears explaining that I couldn’t take this insanity much longer. My senior at the time was in her own hell with extreme pressure being exerted on her of insane quota’s and the like. We were both absolutely spinning.
And then came the 2005 MV events. This was in the days of the events being spread over 4 weekends in a row. None other than Alex Faust (then the Chf Of AF) was dispatched to the org to personally run me on making sure these events were the “highest ever attended” (I swear to God if I ever hear another person saying “highest ever” I will not be responsible for my actions).
And so a whole new level of insanity ensued. Run call-in all day, have dinner, then return for the FDN shift. THEN do all the admin of confirms and re-print the lists ready for the next day’s call-in – and this went on for close to 8 weeks. There were some nights I didn’t even leave the org, I just curled up on the couches in the Div6C area and got a bit of sleep before having to get back onto post in the morning. It was insane.
Whether due to sheer overwork, constant stress or long-term screwed up and weird auditing actions, I started getting sick – which of course resulted in more screwed-up weird auditing and useless PTS handlings. (How could I say I was PTS to my senior/post/overwork/lack of sleep/the org?) And so, one day in November 2005 I left the org, went home and back to work with Andrew. Albert and Belinda came to visit me, and I told them I wasn’t coming back – my health and sanity were just not worth it. They didn’t put up much of a fight – I think they could see my resolve and determination that I would not return on post. I was done.
Andrew was by this point having to salvage the org’s IT problems which were plenty as the original “IT Guy” (Valdi Serjenko) had supplied inferior equipment and total overt products which were failing all over the place. The work that Andrew did for the org in handling this mess was free – he only ever charged direct cost for equipment supplied. In the last 12 years, Andrew has delivered (donated) hundreds of hours of free IT support to both the Org and the CLO. We estimate the value of free labour to be in the region of R80,000.00
Despite my aborted staff attempt, Andrew and I never stopped supporting the org. We attended every event (at which I often assisted on call-in and other set-up activities). We donated money and supported virtually every campaign going. . Andrew became a Sponsor of the IAS. I continued my work with the Arts Festival, Clear AF Committee, Anti-Drug campaigns, bookselling etc. I would often get SOS calls from Albert to help with some or other cycle which I would gladly help with. Andrew of course, continued his “free” IT support for the org on an ongoing basis. My entire family joined in on many of these activities.
In 2006 the org had a 14-strong TTC team consisting of mainly young Scientologists, including my daughter who was 13 years old. Within short order, she became a fast-flow student and I remember experiencing one of the proudest moments of my life as she had her “wings” pinned on her by Albert at graduation.
I will do a separate article on the Joburg TTC tragedy in the future, but the upshot of the story ended in the TTC being systematically unmocked and destroyed to the point of non-existence, ending in a totally off-policy mass-comm-ev of young children – including my daughter who was summarily offloaded and put through ethics hell, including having to do 5 Liability Formulas (no kidding). At the time of her comm-ev, her student points were in screaming affluence, and she was in the middle of her Pro-TR’s Clay Table Processing – a state she was left in for 5 years until my mother eventually completed this cycle with her in 2012. Today, only 1 member of that TTC remains – and it took him nearly 5 years to finally get in the chair.
Around this time, Andrew and I were spotting more and more outpoints. Despite MAJOR IAS fundraisers being held virtually very weekend, every time any money was needed for a special project or one of the 4D Campaigns (VM, WTH, Psych Busting, etc) – this was separately funded by one-on-one regging from the public. If additional regging was necessary, then where was all the IAS money being raised at the fundraisers going to?
I was constantly being called on to “help” with some or other flap including having to buy intensives I didn’t need or want because the “GI was a flap” or donate money for booksellers T-Shirts or donate towards bookselling venues etc. It was evident things were not going well at Joburg Org. I had also noticed that the staff numbers were dwindling – hence the necessity of Albert constantly phoning me and asking me to come help out with various cycles.
Andrew was also being phoned daily – sometimes numerous times a day for some or other help, IT assistance, donation and the like. Understand, he was on the road and servicing clients – such is the “bread and butter” nature of our business, and the constant Dev-T emanating from the org on his lines eventually resulted in him getting another phone and leaving his old one with me at the office to fend off the calls.
From Andrew’s point of view, the fact that the org never had any money to upgrade IT equipment they sorely needed was an outpoint. Despite all claims to the contrary (rave successes of expansion and rising stats being given at graduation and various events) we could SEE that things were not as they were being made out to be.
I was often involved in doing the head-count for a number of org events (having previously done this when I was on staff, I was hatted and thus trusted to handle this cycle – but I was always accompanied by a SO member – usually Kim Brandle). If Alex Faust (by now CO CMO) wasn’t satisfied, we would have to count and re-count – even resorting to counting the catering company and waiters delivering the food, the kids playing outside, nannies supervising them and the guard sitting in the guard hut. This carried on until “Sir Faust” was happy and could claim “highest ever” attendance. He knew, and I knew it was a blatant lie and false stat. This was probably one of the reasons the civil tolerance between the two of us worsened over time until in 2013 when he flatly refused to acknowledge my very existence.
And then ……….The Basics hit us. Oh boy. A whole new kettle of fish – and one we will take up in the next chapter!
NEXT: DOWN THE SLIPPERY SLOPE