Scientology loses another soldier



In the early hours of yesterday morning the 1st of Feb 2015 Gavin Slender passed away after losing a battle to brain cancer.

Our sincere condolences go to his family and his wife Maria.

Gavin was a long battling soldier of Scientology for over 35 years.

Those who should most appropriately pay tribute to him will not do so on this forum.  It is hoped that a proper and fitting memorial will be held by the friends he had in the church but many here knew Gavin and remember him fondly – and it is thus important we pay our respects.

Gavin was a gentle soul with a real desire to help. His smile and temperate nature will long be remembered.

He was a man who was always around – never being the centre of attention or trying to claim it. A man who was just happy to be part of the action and do his part. During 35 years in Scientology he almost always played an active part, either in the field or on staff.

One of his true loves was music – in particular he was a blues man. He never missed an Arts Festival and always amazed people when he got onto stage and blew them away with his songs. He was involved in virtually every Arts Festival activity and participated keenly in drumming, dancing, acting and of course singing workshops. He was also a stalwart supporter of Creative Arts.

Gavin was a legendary book-seller up there with names like Dennis Glynne and Dave Atkinson. His success at this activity was attributable to his keen interest in people and a true desire to help others. He was interested, never interesting.

He was involved in just about every 4D campaign activity going. If there were drug booklets to hand out, he was there. If VM’s were needed, Gavin was in his yellow T-shirt ready to assist. He handed out WTH booklets in the thousands. While trying to find a picture of Gavin for this tribute, we were amazed at how many photos there were of him at virtually every org event. If Gavin could give, he did so willingly. He never sought accolade or praise – he gave from the heart.

Gavin joined Joburg Org staff in 2011, Division 6, posted at the Braamfontein Test Centre. Although he could only be on staff part-time due to having to support both himself and Maria on staff, he was nonetheless a valuable and stable terminal. He used his own car to transport staff to and from the test centre every day – no complaints, just got on with it.  He was a successful body-router, could always be seen on the street chatting amicably to passers-by and made friends with everyone he came into contact with.

Belinda Van Pype, (former PES of Joburg org) kindly lent Maria and Gavin a helping hand towards the end of his illness. Her final words in tribute to Gavin echo the sentiment of the BIC community:

”Gavin was always smiling and ready to help – all the time. An awesome being.”


19 thoughts on “Scientology loses another soldier

  1. Gavin, affectionately known by some of us as, “Boytjie” due to his use of the term and which had become more than second nature to him. He was ever-smiling; ever-optimistic and willing to invest his time, energy and care in people. He had the remarkable ability to get excited and enthusiastic about anything he put his attention on.

    He was able to really see the best in people, the situation or the subject and so was able to see the opportunities that were not always obvious, but nevertheless present. His almost child-like enthusiasm would often bubble to the surface and spread contagiously to those he engaged with whether he was in engaged in casual conversation, debate or selling the benefits of something he believed would assist the person he was dealing with.

    It is with sadness that I say “goodbye for now” and with a joyous heart that I celebrate the experiences we shared with each other. With eager anticipation I look forward to our future meeting and experiences, in other times and places with the being I came to know as Gavin Slender.
    Love DJ

  2. Bon voyage, Gavin. My recollection of Gavin is that he was always very easily able to get into the beingness of something – I always remember him at parties, especially fancy dress parties as totally in the spirit of it and looking the part. Yet thinking about him (and thinking of something to say here) I was struck by the fact that although we had perhaps 20 years together in scn at the same time I can’t recall ever actually having a real comm cycle with him. Obviously not his fault as he was an extremely friendly guy – but I can only presume we had different paths. I possibly took things a little too seriously in terms of training and going up the Bridge, where I don’t particularly recall seeing him. I think he took a lot of fun out of scn and didn’t take it all too seriously – and I’m sure many oldtimers recall when scn was like that.

  3. A sad loss. Always liked Gav, he cracked a smile which would always lighten our load, especially while book selling. He was a Joburg boietjie who had real compassion and care for his fellow man. I think he gave too much and never did get his just return ie. his bridge or genuine validation from the org. But he happily toiled away all for the cause. A testament to his good character no less!

    JJ Botha once told me a story that always tickled me pink. Obviously the manner in which JJ (thick farmer Afrikaans accent and all) made it sound even funnier!

    Him, Gavin and Johann were at Badplaas (resort with hotsprings, pools and camping available) were making their way to the hot pools. They were walking in a line next to one another dressed in nothing but what can be called the western equivalent of a loin cloth AKA – speedos! So picture that will you, JJ with his huge pot belly on the left, skinny Gavin Slender (scuse the pun) in the middle and wadling next to him jovial Johann, looking as if he had swallowed an elephant his boep(gut) stuck out so much!!

    Fellow braaiers (barbeque men) busy cooking their red meat all stopped dead and started clapping, whistling and tooting at the sight of a skinny little jewish boy walking in between two extra large Afrikaaner men – all in their speedos, practically naked!

    I asked JJ after I dried my eyes out from laughter if he was embarrassed while they were walking the gauntlet of cheers and hoots with loud claps? He said Jussus bra, maybe it was da Speedos? Hahahahahaha! Definitely JJ, deffinitely! 🙂

  4. This is really tragic and unnecessary in today’s world. There have been so many deaths of people I knew.My mother 2 brothers and a sister died from this debilitating disease. My ex wife Peggy Morsehead and several other Scientologists have passed on due to cancer. This must stop as today cancer can be handled.

    According to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, sugar poses a health risk—contributing to around 35 million deaths globally each year. So high is sugar’s toxicity that it should now be considered a potentially toxic substance like alcohol and tobacco. Its link with the onset of diabetes is such that punitive regulations, such as a tax on all foods and drinks that contain “added” sugar, are now warranted, the researchers concluded. They also recommend banning sales in or near schools, as well as placing age limits on the sale of such products.

    Sugar’s harmful effects do not stop at diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hyper- and hypoglycemia, GERD and heart disease. Sugar and cancer are locked in a death grip, yet oncologists often fail to do what’s necessary to stop their patients from feeding their cancers with sweets.

    Whereas many within the mainstream medical community insist on promoting the belief that the link between certain types of food with an increased risk of cancer is “weak” or only “nominally significant.” They believe that research “linking foodstuffs to cancer reveals no valid medical patterns.” We also find such superficial attitudes promoted in the medical press-all of which lack any kind of medical depth.

    The world is now waking up to what is causing this dreadful disease and there are several movies on the subject which I have in my possession. Scientologists should take a stand against it. Chemo therapy is a very harsh treatment and not always successful.

    • Sad to see Gavin go. He was such a nice and happy bloke.

      I agree with you Travers that Cancer kills too many scientologists (and people in general for that matter) and you often hear of it too late – when they have dropped the body.

      This is a sad consequence of a society driven by profits and control. There has been effective cancer cures for many years, but they get suppressed, declared illegal or subjected to black PR. There is big money in “treatments” but a cure offers little money – since the person is well after that.

      There is a substance that is effective against over 90% of all cancers. It kills malaria in 24 hours, people with HIV become symptom free, etc. It is clorine dioxide. A water soluble gas that kills any pathogen it encounters as it is passed around by the blood. It is made with something called MMS for short. It is dirt cheap and very potent for all kinds of aliments. There are people in SA making and selling it.

      I am writing this as it concerns many people and more should know there are cures around. I consider MMS the most potent of alternative cancer treatments. More so than vitamin K, an alkaline diet, cannabis oil, colloidal silver, etc. which are all good and if I got cancer I probably would use them all, and not worry about what cured me.

      Here is a link to the best site for getting info on MMS:

      • Please do not take this as medical advice. “MMS”, chlorine dioxide is a fraud. Do not postpone or avoid valid professional medical advice and treatment in favor of fraudulent treatments touted as miracles that only seek to defraud you of money. The same applies to auditing in favor of professional medical advice and treatment. Delaying valid medical treatment can be fatal. Don’t listen to snake oil pitches. Seek professional advice.

  5. So sorry to hear this. Although Gavin was my junior in Div6, I never considered him as such. He was such an easy, relaxed guy and I seldom saw him in a bad mood. If he was asked to do something, he did it with a smile. He was passionate about helping others and took great care with people. I watched him in action book-selling many times – he was never “hard sell” – he really got interested in the person with kindness and ARC and never crush-sold. Anyone he sold a book to walked away with an intention to actually read it and a warm feeling that someone cared for them. And care he did.

    Of course the area Gavin and I got along the best was the many Arts Festivals over the years. I don’t think he missed a single one in the 10 years I was involved. He had a smooth crooner voice, and even played the harmonica pretty damn well. He loved aesthetics and I remember one day in the canteen he was sitting with his laptop while others stood around him watching an incredible acrobatic act. The admiration and respect for talent just flowed from him, and he treated all people the same. Safe travels Gav, go well.
    Love Shelley

  6. I read this with sadness and great surprise…I did not know Gavin was not well and I only remember him with tremendous fondness…I will hold it that way.I worked with Gavin too,on many Arts Festival and Creative Arts cycles and if one thing stands out ,it was that Gav..Boytjie…was always there..always wanting to be involved…he was a go to guy when I needed someone to get up and sing…and entertain.He showed me a few things about Art..and performance.. and I am grateful for having known him.See you at a gig sometime bro!Keep singing..whatever you do..just keep singing..and smiling….

  7. I too remember Gavin with a great fondness.
    He was a staff member who always had a smile on his face!
    What makes me Sad is that we have the the greatest tech
    on Planet Earth and like many before him not sure if he actually got the
    tech needed to help him!
    Thank goodness outside the Church we have the correct Tech!
    The real Care and high ARC.
    I wish Gavin all the best in creating his new future and postulate
    he moves in the direction of the Indie Field.
    Look forward to meeting up with him again.

  8. Very sorry to hear this. Gavin was/is an awesome being. I always felt free to say or be anything I wanted when I was in his space.

  9. This is very sad news. Gavin was a lovely guy – and what a great voice he had too. But somehow I know he is OK now. Gavin, I wish you well. I am sure your future will be peppered with happiness and love you richly deserve.

  10. Going by all accounts, Gavin’s life left a warm impact on all those whom he touched. One of those rare beings, that had the ability to move others with his caring, and genuine interest, often at the expense of himself.

    Gavin, you leave a space behind, that no-one else can fill, so thanks for your humanity, the best legacy of all.

    Sincere condolences to his family. Rest well Gavin, till the next chapter.

    — Calvin.

  11. Gavin was a true Peter Pan of our real world who we all loved. An effervescent bubble of champagne filled with a light and a joy that lit the world for all he met. Forever positive, even in the darkest moments he kept going, savouring every golden moment. Having been blessed with the privilege of having worked side by side with him for several years I sadly let him go, knowing we shall meet again.

    “Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

    When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

    When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

    Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”

    But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

    Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

    Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.”
    – Kahlil Gibran

    Kind regards,
    Joel Kay

  12. It’s ironic that the cherch of $cientology pays so much lip service to being Humanitarians and then when one of their staff gets sick they usually kick them to the curb.
    At one of the missions here in Seattle, the ED Robyn has had a recurrence of cancer and she has to do one of those internet donation sites to get the money for her treatment. Also absent are all the major Idle Org donors who are conspicuously absent from her donation site. Pretty sad.

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