This article was submitted by one our ex-SA patriot Scientologists. We thank him/her for shining the light on this important story.
Every now and then a South African becomes a star in Scientology’s firmament.
There was the illustrious John McMaster announced by LRH to be the first real Clear. Seen and heard all over the world. John turned out to be a great and moving ambassador for the movement. Unfortunately he came to an untimely end by being declared a suppressive person and thus disappeared from view.
John McMaster was a product if you can call it that of the Sea Organisation launched in the sixties and run by Hubbard himself.
It ‘ran aground’ so to speak in the seventies when it returned to the United States and set up a land base that became known as Flag.
Little was heard from Hubbard after that and a decade later he died and the ensuing power struggle between the disgraced Guardian Office and the Sea Org resulted in the triumph of the latter.
In 1984 in an effort to recover from the bad press and non existent public relations of the Church of Scientology an organization known as the International Association of Scientologists was born at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead. Its prime purpose: to create a war chest to fight off legal battles that were looming.
Ever since then the IAS has bestowed a series of Freedom Medal awards on individual Scientologists. Among these have been no less than six South Africans.
These were Joan Lonstein, Rena Weinberg, Greg Capazorio, Lawrence Anthony and Kevin Jones.
Joan Lonstein was conspicuous by her absence from the 2004 Freedom Medal winner Summit held at Saint Hill in 2004. Lawrence Anthony passed away several years ago; Kevin Jones tried to pawn or sell his medal only to find out that all that glitters is not gold thus it was valueless (he was was financially struggling at the time and is now a staff member in Johannesburg).
But of all the South African medal winners we would like to focus on one.
Who is Rena Weinberg? When the Pretoria Org was about to open, first rumours were rife that David Miscavige himself was to do the ribbon cutting. Then it was rumoured that Rena Weinberg was going in his stead. But at the end of the day it was merely Kerry Ibert (daughter of Geoff Murray) who got the honours.
Back to Rena Weinberg. According to Wikipedia she is the President of the Association for Better Living and Education. So, one can ask, how did she reach that elevated position?
Rena Weinberg is mentioned by Marc Hedley in his book Blown for Good. During Marc’s gradual absorption into the Sea Organisation he was posted for a while at the International headquarters of ABLE (Association for Better Living and Education) and he tells how this South African lady was the Executive Director. He said that he was told she had joined the Sea Org at the age of 16 and finally found herself in a key position.
Well there is no way that Rena Weinberg joined the Sea Org at the age of 16. Rena was born Rena Rosy. A nice Jewish girl but she turned out to be a nasty junvenile delinquent. Into sex and drugs (mostly marijuana) in her home town of Durban, Natal. She was enrolled in University studying Engineering at the time (circa 1973). Her father was only too pleased to give permission for Rena to join staff whereupon she dropped out of University and was then rapidly recruited into the Guardian Office.
Stationed in the Johannesburg head office of the GO (known as GOAF), it was not long before Rena became Mrs Theo Hill. Her husband (and John McMaster incidentally) were both featured in news items in Auditor 35 which appeared recently on Mike Rinder’s blog. A very youthful Theo (Toff) Hill was shown on the shoulders of his father at Saint Hill, being lauded as the youngest Clear. Years later, when he met and wanted to marry Rena, he had to get circumcised to comply with Jewish lore.
Well in the African Guardian Office young Mrs Hill was posted into the notorious Bl (Bureau of Information, formerly Intelligence) and soon became the number one under cover black ops person ever known throughout the entire network for Africa.
One would bump into Rena in odd places; shopping malls; newspaper offices; all over the place. Sometimes she would be wearing a blonde wig; other times a black one – she was always dressed in a tight mini skirt, and was obviously using her sex appeal to further her subterfuge activities. Sometimes one would hear she was known by one name; on other occasions by another.
Aided by a young Austrian by the name of Hans Lehner (father of JBG Org Staff member Diane Cook) who was later deported, and a young South African by the name of Richard Beghin, this trio repeated the actions of their counterparts in the USA by breaking not only into the Department of Health but also offices of the Dutch Reformed Church who was vehemently opposed to Scientology. Operation Snow White was alive and well in South Africa. Daily coded telexes reporting their shenanigans were being sent back and forth between GOAF and GOWW (situated at Saint Hill).
When things began to heat up and the Bureau of State Security (BOSS) began taking an interest in the activities of the South African Guardian Office, Rena hopped on a plane and hid out with the UK branch housed at Saint Hill Manor. When the heat died down she received a cable “Dear …..(her code name)….all clear; fly home fast”.
Soon, as a result of its vigorous recruit programme, GOAF was able to secure the services of a nice young Jewish dentist from a wealthy Johannesburg family by the name of Brian Weinberg. It was not long before Mrs Rena Hill divorced Theo and became Mrs Rena Weinberg. No circumcision was needed this time.
Then the house came tumbling down and the GO was disbanded. One of its six bureaux was known as Social Co-ordination (SOCO) and this was the bureau that housed all the “social reform” activities engaged in by the Guardian Office. Major juggling occurred. Many GO staff simply walked away and the rest joined the Sea Org; spent some time on a “deck project force” (forerunner of the Rehabilitation Project Force) for their sins and were then posted to a variety of Sea Org posts. Gordon Cook, the head of GO AFRICA went to the USA and took over Mary Sue Hubbard’s post of Controller. Jane Kember whom Hubbard had appointed “Guardian for Life” was extradited from the UK and went to prison in the US.
Gordon Cook was present during the Miscavige-run Mission Massacre and Finance Police era. He found the conditions so appalling under the new regime that he and his wife Yvonne together with their two small children blew under the pretext of visiting their family in South Africa. They were both declared suppressive for not returning to the US. Apart from attending LRH’s memorial service in Johannesburg in 1986, Cook never put his foot near Scientology again.
The Social Co-ordination Bureau became the Association for Better Living and Education (ABLE) and Rena Weinberg was soon sailing under this bright new flag. She and Brian packed up and headed for the U.S. They had access to Brian’s family funds and could pretty well dance to their own tune. Needless to say they were now Sea Org and Rena, for sure, needed a ‘shore story’. The one dreamed up for her was that she had been “under age” when she carried out all her dark deeds for the GO and therefore she could not be held culpable!! Tell that to the Marines!
Where is Rena now? Her ‘message’ as President of ABLE INT still shows on the ABLE website but rumour had it not long ago that she was languishing in the notorious Hole at Hemet.
Who knows? Perhaps that is where she should be. Narconon, one of the programmes headed by ABLE is in deep trouble; Criminon and the education/literacy arm Applied Scholastics are also struggling.
So Quo Vadis ABLE INT.