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Scientology keeps pushing for ‘Ideal Orgs’ in places where it’s pure madness

Rod Keller examines the state of Scientology in South Africa, where there’s as much pressure to create “Ideal Orgs” as anywhere else…

South African Scientologists feel a strong bond with founder L. Ron Hubbard and quotes from his writings are being used in promoting the next Ideal Org for South Africa, in Durban. Hubbard spent six months in Johannesburg from September 1960 to February 1961, and during that time offered the technology of Scientology to a government that had recently imprisoned Nelson Mandela and created faux homelands for blacks that prevented them from being citizens of South Africa.


[L. Ron Hubbard’s house in Johannesburg is preserved as a “heritage site.”]


[Cancelled previous plans for a Durban Ideal Org]

Scientology’s plan for planetary expansion requires each continent to create Ideal Orgs and Durban is next, to join Johannesburg, Johannesburg North, and Pretoria in South Africa. Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Harare and Bulawayo will have to wait their turn. Durban has not yet purchased a building to replace the plans for a previous project that was abandoned, shown above. Contributions are coming in from local Scientologists and other South African orgs, but not yet from the big money donors in Clearwater. Members are organizing the Central Files, a key step before opening but without a building this seems premature.


[Central Files project]

In October and November 1960 L. Ron Hubbard wrote to H. F. Verwoerd, the last prime minister of the Union of South Africa offering to help the public relations problems resulting from his policy of apartheid. (South Africa paid little attention to Hubbard until 1969 when it opened an investigation into Scientology’s activities there.)

To cope with those who could be swayed we work ceaselessly to secure communication lines to create an image closer to the fact. We are doing everything we can to change the complexion of the English language press and in a very few months we hope to have the means of completely altering this public image. Peace with strength can yet save, with your undaunted leadership, South Africa. Meanwhile we sincerely hope that vileness such as that in last week’s Sunday Times does nothing to dismay your dedication.

Having viewed slum clearance projects in most major cities of the world may I state that you have conceived and created in the Johannesburg townships what is probably the most impressive and adequate resettlement activity in existence. Any criticism of it could only be engaged upon by scoundrels or madmen and I know now your enemies to be both.


[The original of the bronze bust found in every Scientology org was created by sculptor Coert Steynberg in 1960 while Hubbard was in South Africa.]

Today Scientology claims Hubbard was in favor of democracy and voting rights in South Africa. In reality he applauded the government’s policies, and seven years after departing the country offered a weapon to identify “terrorists,” the name given to any who would question or oppose apartheid.

In South Africa terrorism and its attendant dangers can be fought more effectively by E-Meters than by guns, since only Scientologists with meters could detect subversives.
[E-Meters Replace Guns, HCO Information Letter 16 October 1968]

[Durban ideal org fundraiser]

And now more than 50 years after Hubbard left South Africa Scientologists invoke his name as they intend to open a new Ideal Org in Durban, a city which appears to have only a few dozen staffers and public.


The push for Ideal Orgs in South Africa comes at a difficult time for the country. White residents are emigrating at a higher rate than ever before as the country’s power system is on the verge of failure, the area around Cape Town is facing a dire water shortage, and the government is debating whether to redistribute agricultural land seized during apartheid to black farmers.


The active donor list includes more Johannesburg and Joburg North publics than from Durban. The lack of names from the U.S. seems to indicate they intend to rely on African donors, which was enough to open Joburg North last year. Whether they will remain to open Durban or emigrate as so many others have will largely determine the fate of this Ideal Org project.


[Clockwise from upper left – Joburg, Pretoria, Joburg North, Port Elizabeth, Harare, Durban (no building yet), Bulawayo, Cape Town. This poster was distributed to publics without a contact name or phone number.]

— Rod Keller




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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,218 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,821 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 364 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 252 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,427 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,201 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,975 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,321 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,887 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,555 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,815 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,855 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,567 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,093 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,182 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,322 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,642 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,498 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,617 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 973 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,275 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,381 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,784 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,655 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,238 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,743 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,987 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,096 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on August 26, 2018 at 07:00

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The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

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