Plymouth Ideal Org – Asbestos Removal… Done – What’s Next?

I visited the Plymouth Ideal Org building today, and all of the plant and equipment that was being used to remove asbestos-containing material (as per planning requirements) is now gone, as are all the statutory warning signs.

When asbestos removal is complete the site generally has to be left in a sealed condition for some time in order to (quite literally) allow the dust  to settle. Then independent officials test assess asbestos levels in the air. If they are below a set threshold, the site is cleared for development.

Consequenly, I expect nothing happen for weeks – and then the real bulding work will commence.

Also, I commit myself to the prediction that Scientology is aiming to (finally) complete this project by September/October 2020. The images confirming that phase one is complete, and my rationale for this theory appear after the break. Continue reading

“Is there Anything You Don’t Understand?” A Sceptical Article About Scientology From 1969

Cover of April 1969 Issue of "Eye" magazineEye Magazine | April 1969 | George Malko | Is There Anything You Don’t Understand? | Download as .pdf File

in 1970, George Malko published a book entitled, “Scientology: The Now Religion” (full text here). The article that is the subject of today’s post – “Is There Anything You Don’t Understand?”  – had been published in “Eye” magazine about a year before. However, it does not mention an upcoming book. It’s likely, therefore, that the book was a work in progress.

“Eye” was an obscure but literate publication, devoted to youth culture. It was mostly concerned with popular musicians, fashion and make-up. The Cover story was “Boys and the Pill”.  Scientology seems to have appealed to young people with a counter-culture style in this period, so its inclusion of malko’s article isn’t as odd as it might seem.

The “Eye” article took a very sceptical view of Scientology, but emerged unscathed. In contrast, when Malko’s book “Scientology: The Now Religion” appeared, the Church of Scientology sued its publisher.

After the book had appeared in Hardback and Paperbook editions the publisher paid a settlement to Scientology and did not release it in a printed format again.

It was a common tactic of Scientology at this time to force publishers into protracted litigation without having an arguable case. The book went out of print simply because Delacorte Press could not afford to continue to uphold their freedom to publish.  Scientology successfully suppressed critical texts for years in this way.  It was a matter of policy, laid down by the founder.

The text of the article from “Eye” (which is transcribed in full below) is a short-form survey of Scientology back in 1969. It begins with an account of Malko’s visits to a Scientology org in New York, where he was ‘assessed’ by a young woman, and includes telling interviews and real insight into its belief and the mindset of Scientologists back in 1970.

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“Creative Learning” Scientology Style – AKA “Death Lessons” for Kids (the Church of Scientology Bans its Own Books Pt 5)

Creative Learning: A Scientological Experiment in Schools | V Solcox and LJ Maynard | 1955
Download the complete book as a .pdf file here


In 1961 there was a scandal in the sleepy UK town of  East Grinstead. This is the Scientology book that contained the ‘process’ which led to genuine and justified outrage when it was practiced upon young children at school without consent.

L Ron Hubbard had recently bought Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, and taken up residence there. It became an international centre for Scientology and is still its UK headquarters.

The scandal concerned ‘lessons’, taken from a Scientology text. which were given at  Aston House, a preparatory school for girls. Its pupils were aged between 3 1/2 and 11 years.

It emerged (when a frightened child told her doctor, who passed it on to her parents) that they had been recieving ‘lessons’ during which they were required to imagine dying as a result of failing all of their exams, and to imagine that their bodies subsequently turned to dust.

In case you don’t believe a teacher would do something so stupid, the passage is reproduced below (it appears on page 215, Section 7). The plain text is addressed  to the children and the italic “Acknowlege” indicates where the teacher should say something to show that the kids has completed their stange ‘task’.

After the break,  I will describe the scandal in East Grinstead, L Ron Hubbard’s agressive reaction to it, and look at some of the other ‘lessons’ in the book, which would be laughable if they hadn’t actually been applied in schools.  Continue reading

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 🙂

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

“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 exposés 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 exposé 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 Be Underway Again 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 – the 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.

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