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Scientology in Sweden: A telling snapshot of a failed Ideal Org under pressure

 
God morgon. Today we take a look at Scientology’s footprint in Sweden — a country with more residents than any other Scandinavian country at nearly 10 million. Scientology opened the Malmö Ideal Org in 2009. It’s really in the municipality of Arlöv, north of the city and an odd choice for the first Swedish Ideal Org, because Malmö is the third largest city in the country with 320,000 residents.

[2019 The Way to Happiness trash removal event, with VR code poster]

The org is active in Arlöv, passing out copies of The Way to Happiness, hosting CCHR events and Drug Free World events as well as hosting Ideal Org fundraisers and broadcasts of the international events. But all is not well in Arlöv.

[Malmö staff photo]

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Sources tell us the familiar pattern of boom and bust hit Malmö hard since the opening. This 2019 photo could have been taken been taken years ago and you would have seen nearly the same 30 faces. There are almost no new staff members or publics, and those who attend events at the org and distribute literature in the street are rarely seen in the course rooms.

When the org opened, staff were recruited from Hungary, Russia, Germany, Israel and Romania who were promised a salary and housing. These were never delivered. They eventually left Scientology, either returning home or remain trapped in a country where they didn’t even speak the language. Now the org is ruled with an iron fist by Sea Org members sent to inflate the staff numbers and to increase donations and production. In Scientology they are known as “staff from above.”

[“Fredrik Ericsson has reached the level of Viking-Chief”]

[The current Göteborg org is on the second floor over the oldest gay nightclub in the city]

Despite the lack of expansion in Malmö, Scientology is preparing a second Ideal Org for Sweden. Göteborg (spelled Gothenburg in English) is the second largest city in Sweden with a population of about 570,000. The org is small with no storefront and few staff, but the stagnant Malmö org has been charged with raising funds to open a new Ideal Org there. It’s an impossible task that will only happen if outside money from the U.S. buys and renovates a building there. The existing facility is too small to qualify.

[Stockholm org]

But what about the largest city in Sweden? The Stockholm org rents modest space in an office building in the Kungens Kurva district. There is no foot traffic, and the org is difficult to find even when you have the address. We have seen no plans to upgrade to an Ideal Org soon, but that day will come after Göteborg has a new facility.

[Narconon Eslöv]

The largest success for Scientology in Sweden is Narconon Eslöv, a 12-bed facility in a small house 20 Km north of Malmö. Svenska Dagbladet reported in 2008 that the facility received funds from nearly half of the country’s municipalities to pay for addiction services for their residents. Despite warnings from the Swedish government that Narconon’s program is not scientifically supported, we have no information that these payments have stopped. Money from Narconon is sent uplines to international Scientology and the Scientologist staff members donate to Ideal Org campaigns.

Scientology is small in Sweden, but they have big dreams of building more Ideal Orgs. Every org in Europe and the rest of the world is charged with opening an Ideal Org, and when they open they will become part of an alliance to open more of the same in their country and continent. The theory is that money from the U.S. opens Malmö, Malmö helps open Göteborg, then in the future both raise funds to open Stockholm. Given the lackluster state of Malmö, however, we believe it will not be enough and American money will be needed to open each of these. Göteborg is next, and there are dozens of similar small orgs across Europe to continue the Ideal Org movement for years to come.

— Rod Keller

 
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Meanwhile, Toronto remains on fire!

 

 
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HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles

THURSDAY NIGHT OPPORTUNITY: This year’s HowdyCon is in Los Angeles. People tend to come in starting on Thursday, and that evening we will have a casual get-together at a watering hole. But we also want to point out that Cathy Schenkelberg’s “Squeeze My Cans” will be running at the Hollywood Fringe, and we encourage HowdyCon attendees to see her show on Thursday night, June 20. Tickets and more dates available here.

Friday night June 21 we will be having an event in a theater (like we did on Saturday night last year in Chicago). There will not be a charge to attend this event, but if you want to attend, you need to RSVP with your proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail.

On Saturday, we are joining forces with Janis Gillham Grady, who is having a reunion in honor of the late Bill Franks. Originally, we thought this event might take place in Riverside, but instead it’s in the Los Angeles area. If you wish to attend the reunion, you will need to RSVP with Janis (janisgrady AT gmail), and there will be a small contribution she’s asking for in order to help cover her costs.

HOTEL: Janis tells us she’s worked out a deal with Hampton Inn and Suites, at 7501 North Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, (818) 768-1106. We have a $159 nightly rate for June 19 to 22. Note: You need to ask for the “family reunion” special rate.

 

 
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Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, and Nancy Cartwright]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] DENIED: Los Angeles judge rejects Scientology’s latest delay tactic in forced-abortion case
[TWO years ago] Thanks for the slick videos, Marty Rathbun. Here’s a not very slick one for you.
[THREE years ago] There’s nothing quite like when Scientology cancels your superhuman powers with a ‘declare’
[FOUR years ago] When the FDA interviewed L. Ron Hubbard’s first family about Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Casey Kasem’s sordid family drama: Is Kerri’s involvement in Scientology relevant?
[SIX years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies, Revolt in the Stars Edition!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientologist Giovanni Ribisi to Play David Koresh: Why There’s a Precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian Connection

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,472 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,601 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,105 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,625 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 645 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 536 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,843 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,711 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,485 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,259 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,605 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,171 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,091 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,258 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,839 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,100 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,139 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,851 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,377 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,466 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,606 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,926 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,782 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,901 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,256 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,559 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,665 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,067 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,939 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,522 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,017 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,271 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,380 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on June 9, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele

 

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