Scientology Fund-Raising in Plymouth is Being Stepped Up – Is There a *Lot* More to Come?

The active Scientology Org in Plymouth as of 2019

Recently, I published a letter from the consulting engineers who are organising the renovation of the building earmarked Plymouth’s Ideal Org . This stated that roads around the building would be closed on Monday the 26th August 2019, and may remain closed until September 2020.

The building was bought in late 2010 and one planning application has already been allowed to lapse. It seemed it was going to be allowed to rot away. However, this letter strongly suggests that work is finally about to begin.

That particular Monday is a public holiday, and the contractors will have to be paid extra if they close the roads then. However, starting work on a public holiday is exactly the kind of the thing Scientology tends to do on these occasions. Fewer people will notice that the closure is underway because they will be out for the day. When they arrive back home, it will be a fait accompli.

We will find out in a few days time. Watch this space ūüôā

For this post, however, I’m interested in the modest shop that presently serves as Plymouth’s org. It’s the one on the right, in the image above. There’s now evidence that local Scientologists are coming under greater-than-ever greater pressure to donate money to this project.

Also, I present a theory as to why only Plymouth – out of all UK orgs – appears to be undergoing renovation. Continue reading

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“Confidential” Magazine Warns Readers to “Beware of Scientology” in 1970

“Confidential” Magazine | October 1970 | Volume 18 No 10 | “Scientology Can Drive You Out Of Your Mind” | Jane Nellis ¬† Download as pdf¬†(NB – this document was made from a high-resolution scan – please be patient while it downloads/opens)

“Confidential” magazine was published continuously from December 1952 until 1978. It specialised in serious¬†expos√©s and show-biz gossip (originally about cinema, latterly TV).

In this edition there were articles about Jane, Henry and Peter Fonda, Jackie Kennedy, a long article about the contraceptive pill and another about fashionable and flattering swimsuits (“Are You a Bathing Suit Patsy?”). It seems to have been aimed at a young female audience, and was presenting an edgy but¬† commercialised version of then fashionable counterculture themes.

The article about Scientology is the nearest this issue comes to real¬†expos√© journalism. The cover reads “Beware of Scientology” and the contents page, “Scientology can drive you out of your mind”. It’s not a puff piece.

If you can get past the hip style of the writing, it is an interesting take on the culture of Scientology ‘missions’ during this period (with a few good black-and-white photos). It also shows how the basic operation has hardly changed at all Continue reading

Evidence that the Renovation of Plymouth (UK) Ideal Org Will Get Underway in 8 Days Time

I have obtained evidence that major building work is soon going to begin on the former Royal Fleet Club building in Plymouth, in order to convert it into an Ideal Org.

This includes a local council approved road closure, which will have a significant impact on the local community. This closure will begin on the 26th of August 2019 and has approval to continue up until September 2020, if required.

in my last post, I repoted that that preliminary work involving asbestos removal seemed to have stalled. It’s now evident that work had actually been completed, at least to the extent that major building works could begin.

The renovation of the building will soon begin, and is going to be pursued with determination.

The dates above are consistant with:

  1. Completion, and a ‘Grand Opening’ in time for the IAS event in October 2020. This is when the leader of Scientology, David Miscavige, is usually in the UK to preside over the annual IAS event at Saint Hill Manor
  2. A ‘Grand Opening’ that occurs during nationwide celebrations of the anniversary of the departure of the ‘Mayfower’ from Plymouth to the New World – a perfect opportunity for ‘religious freedom’ propaganda and a speech on that theme.

Miscavige is currently coming under considerable legal pressure in the US. For the first time there is a credible threat that he will be called to appear in court to answer accusations laid in a civil case.  Before that happens he must be served with court documents requiring him to appear.

There is a persuasive theory that the Ideal Org programme in the US has been suspended so that court officers will not be able to predict Miscavige’s movements, and he can avoid service. There will be no new openings – but Scientologists have been promised that all of the existing orgs will have their new buildings renovated and opened “simultaneously”, at some point in the future.¬† Fund raising will, of course, continue unabated.

I have taken legal advice and learned that US courts can retain a British solicitor to serve their documents on a visitor to the UK, so Miscavige has the same problem here*.

However, the Renovation of Plymouth Ideal Org is definitely underway. I have a speculative theory as to why. First, lets look at the evidence.

*Revised – I intially thought a US citizen would be immune from service here, but that is apparently not the case.

Continue reading

The Renovation of Plymouth Ideal Org Seems to Have Stalled Already

In late 2010, the Church of Scientology bought a substantial building that had been specified by the Royal Navy as temporary quarters for visiting Royal Navy personnel and Royal Marines. It consisted of 50+ bedrooms, two ballrooms, kitchens, bars, storage rooms and apartments for two live-in managers and their families. There is a video tour of the exterior here. It was to become the new home of the Church of Scientology in Plymouth.

This was puzzling. The 201l census revealed that there were only 28 Scientologists in the whole of the Southwest of England Рthe largest catchment area of any UK org.  I have independently confirmed that figure in a number of ways. There are certainly fewer than 30 active Scientologists attending the existing org, which struggles to pay the rent on a shop near the city centre.

On the 20th of May 2019, Plymouth Org was granted planning permission by the City Council to renovate the new building and open it as an ‘Ideal Org’. Local Scientologists celebrated with a “Milestone Event” held at a local hotel. Then a specialised company moved in to remove asbestos-containing materials from the structure. These materials include cement wall and ceiling board, internal plaster/wall texturing roofing materials and insulation on hot water systems.

One day, the company signs (including statutory signs warning that the area was an active building site) disappeared, as did some of the heavy equipment being used for asbestos removal. The rest was secured in such a way that it could not be used.

Since then, I have gathered evidence (including three eye-witness accounts) which strongly suggests that the renovation project has at least stalled, and might have been suspended for an indefinite period. Work has certainly (abruptly) stopped.

Details after the break.

Continue reading

Eight Recent Copies of Scientology’s “Affinity” Magazine Which Were Given to the Public – Why?

UK Affinity Magazine issues: 18 (2016) | 25 (2017) | 28 (2018) | 29 (1018) | 30 (2018) | 31 (2019) | 32 (2019) | US Affinity IAS Introductory Membership Edition | Download here

“Affinity” is billed as “The Magazine of the Church of Scientology of [insert location]” Almost the exact same magazine is sold to all UK Scientology orgs. The only difference is that the local orgs name is¬† at the top, and their contact details are in the text.

Sometimes, individual orgs get some locally relevant text invisibly inserted.  Issue 31 (published mid 2019) for example, gave interesting information about Plymouth Ideal Org, which I have examined in detail in an earlier post.  Issue 31 is included here in its entirety.

These were given away to the general public with the words “Please Take One”. They immediately struck me as an odd choice or promotional material. They are not aimed at the general public – the UK editions are written to encourage Scientologists to take further ‘courses’, and don’t mean very much at all to outsiders. The content of the US magazine is about events in the US and is given to committed Scientologists who have given money to become members of the International Association of Scientologists (IAS).

A likely reason for this is that head office sells literature to local orgs. This is printed at their own printing plant on the continent and economies of scale mean that they cost very little to produce. However, the orgs are required to buy them at near retail prices. This costs them a lot of money.

Plymouth Org recently¬† took delivery of a lot of expensive promotional material, including a sandwich board with interchangable inserts. This is used to¬† promote Scientology’s YouTube Channel. They are required to ‘disseminate’ but they can’t because the last time they tried, they were sanctioned by the local Council for selling copies of “Self Analysis” without a street trader’s licence and the Advertising Standards Authority for the unsupportable claims they made for that book.

The basket outside the org was their way of assuring head office that they were spreading the word. They likely didn’t mention the fact that they were doing so by giving away old magazines of no relevance to the general public, and hoarding the new stuff. They also offended against their own doctrine of “fair exchance”. This states that nothing should be given away, because this degrades both donor and recipient. Scientologists should only exchange goods and services of equal value.

More about the Plymouth Ideal Org building soon.

 

L Ron Hubbard, the Real Inventer of ‘Study Tech’ and the Tibetan Book of the Dead ‚Äď The Church of Scientology Bans Its Own Books (Pt4)

A Guide Through the After Death Experience | H Charles Berner | Download Here

This is a very short publication (only 22 pages). However, what it lacks in length is makes up for in its bizarre nature. The author attempts to interpret the Bardo Thodol – the Tibetan Book of the Dead – in Scientology terms.

Berner’s text is not dated, but it probably originated during the early years of Scientology when ordinary Scientologists were still encouraged to contribute (although the copyright always belonged to the Church of Scienotolgy. They wrote books which were sold at Scientology orgs alongside Hubbard’s works.

However In 1983, all such publications were banned and suppressed This included Berner’s odd text After Scientology had been transformed into a ‘religon’ (in order to avoid US tax) Hubbard declared himself to be “Source”. Ron was now the one and only valid source of ‘religious’ revelation.

Today, linking Scientology to Tibetan Buddhism is one of those ‘mixed practices’ which Scientology forbids. However , Hubbard¬† recommended the book on in the full-page forward (you can read this after the break).

Hubbard’s comments are general – so general you doubt he even bothered to read the thing – but he recommended it nonethless. Continue reading

A Scientology Publication Reveals that Plymouth is Next in the Ideal Org Queue – Or Does it?

After the break, there is a short extract taken from Issue 31 of Scientology’s “Affinity” magazine ( published mid 2019).¬† This page-and-a-half extract represents itself as “The Magazine Of The Church of Scientology of Plymouth” – it’s a magazine within a magazine.

I think this is disingenuous. I think that “Affinity”comes in many custom versions, each personalised with a the identity of a different org.

I posses a number of other issues which include Plymouth Orgs contact details and present as the magazine of Plymouth Org. However, none of the others have any news specifically concerning the Church of Scientology of Plymouth, so the  claim that this is their periodical is simply false.

However, the extract below does concern  Plymouth, and discussed the priority given to the renovation of Plymouth Ideal Org.

If you have been following this blog recently, you will know that the substantial hotel which Scientologists in Plymouth bought back in 2010 to become their Ideal Org has finally had some renovation done.

Work has commenced on the removal of Abestos-containing building materials. This must be completed before any other building work takes place for obvious safety reasons. It’s been undertaken by a reputable specialised company and may already be complete –¬† so what happens next?

The extract after the break might give a clue – or be deliberately misleading. Both possibilities – and the reasons for the confusion – are intersting Continue reading