On Sunday 8th February ex-members of the church of Scientology came together to celebrate a landmark event – the first “South African Indy/SP gathering” – hopefully the first of many to come.
Out of the 106 people confirmed, 98 people arrived – a scene unheard of within the hallowed Church walls whose average event attendance vs confirms is at best 30%.
Of special mention is that people travelled from as far as Cape Town and Bloemfontein to join in, and attendees comprised of people who left the church years ago, those recently resigned and/or declared, people still UTR and even some new folk who have never done a service in the Church but found the subject through one of the many Indy groups.
The event was for everyone, no matter their stance on the subject of SCN – those who had/have no interest in carrying on with the subject to those doing their advanced levels right here in South Africa – and everyone in-between. Everyone was granted the right to their own viewpoint and it was noticeable in the buzz and friendliness of people chattering away with each other like long-lost friends.
The morning kicked off with a welcome and introduction by the MC of the day Ryan Hogarth, followed with a presentation by Dani & Tami Lemberger of the infamous Dror Centre in Israel who declared their independence from the Church in 2012. Dani gave some history of how their departure from the Church came about, and briefed the audience on their “Story of Success”, including how their Centre is run, what services they offer and the success they are enjoying from correct application of LRH tech. For those of you new to the story of the Lembergers, you can read their story at this link on Mike Rinder’s blog.
Following the Lembergers, Mark Shreffler (no stranger to South African Scientologists who have enjoyed many hours of his talks in the past) delivered an up-beat briefing on “Having FUN in the field” – covering the fundamentals of life being a game, doing away with “seriousness” and giving one the tools of handling life while having a “whole lotta fun”.
And so ended the formal part of the event on a very high note, followed by a delicious tea and lovely snacks while people caught up with each other, made new friends and had a jolly good time. In stark contrast to Church events where people make a bee-line for the exit for fear of being collared by a reg or staff member, people stayed around for ages – chatting away, catching up and reminiscing on good times with tons of high-ARC interaction. And amazingly, all of this happened while credit cards stayed safely tucked away in wallets and purses.
Also in attendance were a number of trained technical terminals on hand to answer people’s questions. We believe we set some kind of record with no less than 42 OT’s in attendance and many highly-trained auditors – right up to Class 8, trained under LRH himself.
The universal message and feedback from people attending the event was “we want more of this”. And of course, there will definitely be more in the future. One cannot have too much of a good thing, now can they?
A couple of pictures were taken which we present below. One of these photos shows 5 people who all worked with and knew LRH from the early days. We believe there are more people OUTSIDE the Church who knew & worked with LRH personally than there are left in the Church today.
MC & Speakers
Knew & worked with LRH
Gracious Hosts & Guest Speakers
“And again, I want to thank you for all the support, old timers and newcomers alike, that you have given Scientology and its activities in South Africa.
This touches me deeply and I wish to make a public statement that I appreciate it to the bottom of my heart what you have done over these years.
L. Ron Hubbard
(South African Anatomy Congress, January 1961 – lecture “The Future of South Africa”)