An Estate Agent from Durban just contacted our correspondent with a strange tale: Some time ago Cameron Wade (SCN from PE but not sure if he’s joined the SO) approached the agency re selling the Durban Ideal Parking lot (this after we heard Elmien was boasting the Church had sold the property for double what they paid – we knew this was bunk at the time).
Selling price was discussed, and a value of R7 Million was affixed, with a maximum of R10 Million owing to the corner stand. Cameron then disappeared and the estate agent has battled to get hold of anyone since. Our contact told him to contact Elmien Lochner with a caution that he will be messed around somewhat.
For those new to this blog and as a bit of background, we published an article in October 2013 called “Durban’s Ideal Empty Lot” revealing the story of how the Church had paid R16 Million for a building, a further R2 Million for Phase 1 (architect plans, consultant fees etc) and then decided the building was unsuitable for an Ideal Org and demolished it in 2010.
As stated in that article, “Scientology in South Africa owns the most expensive parking lot in the country and possibly the world at a grand value of R18 Million Rand”.
Interestingly, after the announcement of Joburg North finally purchasing a building, Africa claimed to be “done” and positioned themselves as the “actual 1st Ideal Continent”.
Pictured below is the T-Shirt they designed in celebration of this
suspicious auspicious milestone. The fact that Durban doesn’t “ak-choo-uhl-ee” have a building is probably a minor detail, but they do have Ideal Containers, so maybe that counts.
And as for their incorrect pronunciation and butchered definition of the word *actual* – well, there’s nothing quite like deliberately forcing an MU on public, now is there?
So what’s been happening with Durban Org since it demolished it’s future Ideal Org?
Ideal Orgs Africa has focused mainly on Pretoria and Joburg North over the last few years.
As one of the smallest orgs in South Africa, Durban was left to their own devices to create on fundraising activities. Below are some pics to give you an idea of the popularity of these events – bearing in mind the pics include staff and public:
By late 2013/ early 2014, reports were filtering in that Durban org was in serious financial trouble. This was not necessarily new news – Durban has been a small struggling org for decades. Very few staff servicing a tiny field. Without constant straight donations to cover their rent, utilities and other overheads, Durban org would not exist. It was rumoured that Louis Peens (a wealthy SCN in Natal) and Dr. Lawrence Retief were virtually “keeping Durban Org alive”.
Early in 2014 Durban was in serious danger of being evicted from it’s premises. Lawrence Retief had been declared in Oct 2013. His daughter Taryn (Sea Org CMO staff posted as ED DBN) had to disconnect and of course it also resulted in the end of his financial support of the org. The situation was dire.
Not long after this we were informed that a “new” building had been found for Durban. Apparently the building had been bought outright and donated to the org. (The name “Peens” was once again bandied about, but we’re not sure if others were involved).
Much excitement ensued in preparation for their move, and we caught these pics of their “operation sort out” party. These are the Ideal Containers mentioned earlier. From the pics, it’s clear these containers are filled with filing cabinets and goodness knows what else.
Seeing all those filing cabinets and boxes is rather concerning. Heaven forbid there are CF, student or even worse, PC folders in those storage containers. We shudder to think. This is South Africa – those containers and all the paper would make a rather cosy squatter abode with plenty fuel for a winter’s fire.
The org’s imminent move and opening event to their new premises was announced on their facebook page – note the red ring. No report or pics showing how many people were really at the opening, but hopefully it wasn’t only 6.
And so, on the 12th April 2014, Durban Org opened their new premises. A quaint little building described as “the stepping stone on the way to our Ideal Org”. This despite the fact that Ideal Orgs Africa have consistently insisted that that ALL Ideal Orgs WILL be done AND opened this year (2015).
Curiously, when one visits the Durban org’s facebook page, the cover picture is the original artist’s rendering based on the old building. Anyone seeing the picture below and then visiting the ak-choo-uhl org is likely to be highly confused:
Sort of reminds us of another organisation famous for mastering the the art of deception:
Okay, so WHERE is Durban Org now?
When we set about looking for an address of the new location, the only refernce we couold find was on the events page announcing the opening. There is no address listed on the main page or the “about” page where one would expect to find it – only a telephone number is listed.
Taking the view of a “raw meat” public trying to find Scientology in Durban, we started on our Google journey. And this is what we found:
In fact all 3 links go straight to the international CoS website.
Both addresses above (shown next to the 2 links) are incorrect.
The first address is 245 Florida Road, Morningside. In fact this is the OLD Durban org address. When one clicks on this address link, this is what your’re presented with:
The second listed address is for “Church of Scientology Mission of Durban North” located at 527 Anton Lembede Street Durban. Clicking on this link gets one a blank pink wall, but move over a little and voila!
So having totally failed to find the Durban org by using the local Google map search, we went to the http://www.scientology.org website and finally got the current physical address:
Back to Google maps, enter 67 Florida Road, and this is the street view of the current org, which shows the building as some kind of “Life Clinic”. We were somewhat amused to see the building to the left is a “Christian Science” building! (This map is pretty outdated so not sure if this is still the case, but this is what people will see in real-time if they enter this address into Google maps).
And there you have it. Anyone looking for Scientology Durban will either arrive at a building they vacated almost a year ago, or find themselves tickled pink in the Fortress of Hope. Or, lacking all hope, they will end up at the Christian Science place and think they’ve finally found Scientology (like that’s never been confused by people before).
Is it any wonder then that Durban org calls this a “packed academy”:
And that brings us full circle back to the Ideal Parking lot – the property that makes Africa the “1st actual Ideal Continent”. Our Durban correspondent was kind enough to take some updated pics for BIC, and here they are:
We see the Ideal Containers are still in evidence. Wonder what’s in them?
And right outside the desolate lot stands a forlorn Dianetics sign with a web link to a page that is no longer available.
Perhaps a prophetic message of what’s to come for Ideal Orgs in Africa.
As the *actual* saying goes ……. It is what it is.