The important dates of Scientology have always been: 13 March – LRH’s birthday; 9 May – anniversary of Dianetics; second Sunday in September – Auditors Day.
There have always been events to mark these days. Since the late 80s greater emphasis has been placed on events in general and the roster increased. In addition to the above three dates the additional days of “celebration” which required events became: 6 June – Anniversary of the Freewinds maiden voyage (and the 3 or 4 weeks of events this spawned); 7 October – Anniversary of the IAS and new years as a general celebration of the previous years progress.
The subject of these events has been a hot topic on blogs and forums the world over. In 2004 something interesting happened. As May 9 approached it was announced that the Dianetics anniversary wouldn’t be an “int event” meaning local events would be hosted in orgs around the country with local speakers. A script was sent to each org to be followed but there wasn’t the usual pressure that comes with an “INT EVENT”.
As the end of August rolled around the same thing happened for Auditors day. For a few years after this these events would sometimes be Int Events (with COB doing the event at Flag and the video being sent out to orgs for their own events) and sometimes local events.
The reaction of staff was one of relief. Local events carried much less pressure and less expense as they could be held in the org as opposed to an expensive event venue.
However looking at this now in retrospect we see that two of the “holiest” days in the Scientology calendar have been reduced to a local side show. While at the same time the “post LRH” dates of the Freewinds maiden voyage and the IAS anniversary are huge. Of course the LRH birthday remains a main focus event.
This shift in attention is symptomatic of what we see in orgs today. Dianetics and the training of auditors is no longer a main line activity. Despite the promotion of Dianetics seminars every weekend and the hoopla of GAT II. The reality is, these are not important activities.
Above is the promotion of the Dianetics celebration in Joburg North. Reduced to a local event this Friday night. Ho hum. Probably an hour or so and then whoever is around can go on course for a bit. We need to leave Saturday night open for a themed fundraiser. At least Pretoria are having it on a Saturday night with hopefully a bit more prestige.
Nothing in this post should suggest that we are punting for events. These events are an abomination and have been destructive in themselves. But if the time and money is going to spent on events, surely it should be for the heart of what it’s all about?
And that, friends, tells us why we find ourselves outside having this discussion. All that Scientologists hold precious has been reduced to a small side show.