But Aren’t the Ideal Orgs Actually Booming?

(Section 10 of Part 3 – Why I Left the Church)

I have seen many reports of people who have been in “Ideal Orgs”. Virtually all of them have said that these buildings are relatively empty.  I have also seen a few videos taken in front of “Ideal Orgs”.  In the videos I’ve seen, there was no foot traffic and nothing going on in front of the orgs at all.

I know of only three “Ideal Orgs” that were said to have become Saint Hill Size: Johannesburg, Tampa and San Francisco.  Since then, I’ve been told that the management structure that was in place in Johannesburg (when it became St Hill Size) was unmocked and moved to a newer “Ideal Org”.  I have been told that the testing center for the Tampa org does not exist anymore and that Tampa’s even new building has 85,000 square feet of space which they cannot even fill 1/10th of.

In late 2010, I talked to one guy I know who had recently been on staff in Buffalo and when I asked him how that org was doing he was very conservative about it.  I did not get the kind of response from him that I expected from someone who had been working at an org that was actually expanding the way an “Ideal Org” was supposed to be expanding.

Actually, Buffalo was one of the first orgs to become an “Ideal Org”, if not the first.  I remember watching the video of the mayor of Buffalo setting the goal for the org to become Saint Hill size.  It’s been about nine years and the org there has not become Saint Hill Size.  Now you can criticize me for having a defeatist attitude about this (and you are certainly entitled to your own opinion) but, I think that’s it’s a mistake to overlook the contradiction.  If this Ideal Org program were really THE program that was to solve the expansion of Scientology, it would not take nine years, after the opening of Buffalo’s new org, for it to become Saint Hill Size!  From the reports I have, it’s still not even close to Saint Hill Size!

The last time I got information from a staff member in London, about two years ago, she said they had three auditors on staff.  London’s new building opened up about two years before that.  Are they St Hill Size yet?  Not that I’ve heard.  I haven’t received any news that they went from 3 auditors (two years after opening their new building) to a total of over 15 or 20 auditors as of this writing in March 2012.  Have you?

I also talked to a lady who had just gotten off staff in Dallas.  She was on staff at the beginning of the period where they had opened up their new building and then after.  She told me they had, now, less than 10 staff and very little pay and low production.  Though it may have not opened with that few staff, it soon dwindled down to less than 10.  If this is too general, then find out for yourself.  This is all the data that was available to me.  The church does not publish its stats, which in itself is a huge outpoint.

The only information I have received about an “Ideal Org”, which showed expansion, was in late 2010 from someone who works at Washington DC.  He said that they had over 400 Bodies in the Shop (combined for Day and Foundation orgs), about 100 or more Well Done Auditing Hours a week, 10 first starts, one Clear made a month and over 100 auditing hours a week on Dianetics co-audits. So that was an improvement since they had opened up their new building in late October 2009.

But now it has been two-and-a-half years since they opened their building and still, no Saint Hill Size.  It’s great that they had an improvement in their production and I’m sure that it was due to a lot of hard and conscientious work and application of tech and policy. I commend anyone who had a part in that improvement.  I’m sure there may be more “Ideal Orgs” that have had improved overall statistics.

But the point is this: if a group is going to go all-out on raising millions of dollars from public, many of which are taking out second mortgages on their homes, cleaning out their retirement and life insurance funds, spending tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars – that they could be spending on their Bridge or on raising their families – it had better be for a damned good reason!  Moderately improved stats won’t cut it in this case.  Even “much better” won’t cut it.  An org that is pretty empty definitely doesn’t cut it.  If the “Ideal Org” program was really THE solution to the expansion of Scientology (that it has been all cracked up to be), and if you are going to contribute and have others contribute as much as they are contributing to it, you should be expecting EVERY org that has their new building to be absolutely BOOMING.

St Hill Size should be diminutive and puny compared to what you should be expecting from a program that requires as much personal financial sacrifice from the public as the “Ideal Org” program does — not to mention the fact of taking staff off of their on-policy actions, such as establishment, coordination, service promotion, service sales, delivery and correction, for many years to raise the millions that each org needs to buy their new building.

I may not have all the stats of all the orgs that have their new buildings but, I can say with total certainty that, I haven’t seen anywhere near the amount of expansion that I would demand of such a program.

I think you should be expecting auditors being made in droves, orgs packed with students and pc’s every single day and swarms of new people coming in and cogniting.  You should see thirty or more auditors actively auditing in the HGC and lots of field auditors auditing and selecting people into the org regularly.  There should be lots of missions in that org’s area, all of them packed with new public.

Isn’t this what you thought the Ideal Org program was supposed to produce?  I did —  before I actually read the policies that it violated and wondered if it was really happening.

If you think that LRH policy is insufficient and that we need David Miscavige to figure out a new way to expand, then I can understand why you would excuse his violations of LRH policy, as long as you didn’t also observe the results.  But I would strongly recommend that you intelligently investigate the situation before coming to that conclusion.

If you want to disagree with LRH, that is surely your prerogative.  But, I wouldn’t recommend that you pretend to yourself that you are in agreement with LRH policy when in fact you are agreeing with, supporting and contributing to COB’s unusual solutions that clearly violate it and which are destroying the viability of the church as a whole.

So, in conclusion regarding the “Ideal Org” program, before you continue to give kudos to David Miscavige for his great leadership, if that is what you are doing; and before you conclude that only an SP or PTS would ever have anything bad to say about how he goes about running the church or how he treats his juniors, I think you ought to look for yourself into whether he really has the stats he claims to have and whether or not he really is the expert on LRH policy that he has always given the appearance of being.

This utter disregard for policy, which is something I can see with my own eyes, is a major contributing factor in 1) my believing what some former church members are saying about COB that I can’t see for myself, and 2) my decision to leave.  But more on both of those is to come.

Next…A Note on Interpreting Policy

12 thoughts on “But Aren’t the Ideal Orgs Actually Booming?

  1. The Oracle says:

    What are you trying to do here? Make Hubbard right and Miscavige wrong? Geeze! No wonder you got declared! It does not matter if nobody is in the Orgs can’t you see the pretty pictures? The value is in the real estate! What does it take to wake some people up and get them on the same page with Miscavige?

  2. Watchful Navigator says:

    Possible typo on the Dallas Org info? Should read: started with ~120 staff (many of them imported from California and/or Sea Org on mission). This dipped to well below 100 staff after opening in 2009. Operating at a deficit with a $15,000+ electric bill per month subsidized from uplines. Scientology Mexico (ITD) is a fairly thriving Ideal Org in Mexico City but I do not know if it is expanding, or not.

  3. davefagen says:

    WN,

    I will let your additional data that you have given here serve to clarify and to make it more accurate.

    All I have to go by, when I am not there to witness things myself, is what someone tells me, and I try to make it clear that I am going by someone else’s account when that is all I have to go by.

    The main point of this section, as your comment verifies, is not necessarily that all the “Ideal Orgs” are completely in the most miserable doldrums all the time; but that if any org has improved after opening up their new building, the improvement pales in comparison to what one should expect after so many have made so many enormous sacrifices of time and money.

    I doubt that ANY of them are even close to St Hill Size, including the ones that were said to have achieved SH Size since they got their new buildings.

    The Ideal Org program is clearly a failure even if there are any orgs that have improved.

  4. LTC Forever says:

    I just drove by Dallas Ideal Org a few days ago. It is totally tucked away on some commercial plaza with not only zero foot traffic, but zero traffic period, especially on a weekend. It is mid some small office buildings that are closed during the weekends. Nearest residential area is what seemed to be relatively poor neighborhoods of Irving with a small stretch of suddenly nice looking area leading up to Downtown Irving. Even with an address and directions in hand, the building was hard to find. There were no signs leading to the building, and a relatively small sign out front. There were some cars on the parking lot, I wonder how many of those belonged to staff. The building felt practically vacant.

    I really don’t understand what the donors were thinking. Real estate is not as expansive in Dallas area as in some other parts of the country. If local Scientologists wanted to spend millions on a new building why not get it somewhere in North Dallas closer to all the well to do residential areas full of restaurants, schools, parks, and other churches? Why have a giant office building on some isolated office plaza where no one would ever even drive through unless they worked in one of the nearby buildings or went there for some business appointment? To my knowledge there are also no missions in the area so who will direct the traffic to the gigantic office building? I just don’t understand.

  5. Seeker says:

    As to DC’s 100 WDAH per week. That includes purif… Back mid-80’s the HGC was doing over 100 hrs a week in the chair (HGC) not including the purif. That was in the ratty old ‘S’ St. building. No success story for DC today IMO.

  6. Johannesburg Org was the first Ideal Org on the planet. The building was built by Scientologists and it is attractive.

    However, to claim that is St Hill Size is a lie. For one, it never had 200 staff as the old St Hill in Eastgrinstead had. It did have a good compliment of staff to start off with but many of these had been brought in off the street, literally. They were untrained, in fact, most of the ‘street’ people didn’t know what Scientology was.

    Staff left in droves – no pay. Disagreements.

    There was a revival a couple of years ago and the staff compliment rose to about 60 but six months later was down to 30 staff.

    There are no auditors being made. There is one Class V Clear auditor and a couple of Class IV; no CCRD team and I doubt if any of the auditors can audit FPRD except the Class V.

    The place is struggling and the blame is being put on the field. The CO CLO and CO CMO were whipped off somewhere, probably the RPF and a new command team swooped down and are now ‘cleaning up the field’. There is a witchhunt of some magnitude here now and it’s spreading to the rest of the country, that is, Durban, Cape Town and it’ll go to Port Elizabeth, no doubt.

    In the past six weeks or so, 24 very productive and upstat Scientologists, OT VIIIs, and other excellent credentials, have been declared SP (Special Persons!f). There are more to roll off the block.
    We’re preempting a whole new batch of declares and soon.

    What did these ‘SPs’ do? They asked questions, wanted LRH policy applied, objected to the continual IAS fundraisers and, most of all, expressed their disagreement with DM’s Ideal Org Strategy and no delivery.

    I refer you to the blog, http://www.backincomm. It’s the new South African blog in existence from October 1012.

  7. With regards to the Testing Centre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, it has been closed down for quite a while now. The building stands empty with graffiti on the exterior walls.

    There was a huge fuss made about the opening of this centre. It was broadcast on many international events.

    The area was selected because of the biggest university in South Africa in close proximity, Wits (Witwatersrand University). The target market was the students. Some of the students did arrive for services but this market does not have money to spend and the interest in what was on offer soon wained. There are many stories about what happened here, the phones being cut off, staff not pitching and org staff being pulled off post to salvage the scene; and more but I don’t remember it all.

    Bottom line, the building stands there with ‘Scientology’ emblazened in huge letters on top of the building, looking deserted and derelict and embarrassingly out-PR. No one talks about it now. It’s as though it never happened, never existed.

  8. davefagen says:

    Thank you very much for the information.

    Other readers of this blog: I urge you to post information (good or bad) about your local org such as the above.

  9. Ronnie Bell says:

    I’ll chime in here and re-iterate what LTC Forever said about the Dallas Ideal org. Folks, it’s a beautiful office building, in the heart of nowhere, with very little traffic or activity of any kind.

    As LTC F said, it would have made far more sense to locate the new org premises in a busier, more prominent location. In my estimation, it was a suppressive and destructive act to choose the location they’re in today, as it’s well off the beaten path, hard to find, nearly invisible when you do locate it, and very expensive for that small organization to maintain.

    When I was on services there in 2011, I never observed more than a handful of students in the Academy at any hour of the day. The rest of the org felt like an empty museum, with only the occasional staff member visible. The public areas always seemed to be devoid of people, and I never saw any of the hustle and bustle you’d associate with a thriving org.

    I know quite a few locals who were once staff or public there. As with many other orgs we’ve read about, these people were some of the org’s best and brightest – now living their lives and using Scientology outside the corporate church.

  10. davefagen says:

    Ronnie, Thank you for your input on this. The more specifics the more effective the message.

    Dave

  11. katyled says:

    I have never been a scientologist, but I read that one of the reasons why DM builds these empty Ideal Orgs is because of US tax exemption rules against inurement, or the unlawful enrichment of the leadership of the church. Scientology has to spend a certain % of its income on its members, or on the poor. The way that DM fulfills this requirement is to build these empty cathedrals for millions of dollars, and then claim that they are built for the benefit of scientology parishioners. This is why he cannot just buy a luxurious building; he needs to buy a rundown building and then fix it up. He controls the accounting for the rehabilitation costs and can inflate them to whatever price he needs it to be to avoid inurement charges. It would be laughable if one way he inflates the rehab costs is to value Sea Org labor at industry standard prices, instead of at slave wages.

    Meanwhile, he racks up a portfolio of high valued real estate that can be sold off with only his personal authorization any time he needs cash. He could do it by closing down the Ideal Org on the basis that the local org is not bringing in any new believers and has down-stats. He’ll buy a smaller, shabbier building that more closely fits the size of the local org, order them to fix it up, and sell the palace to add to his treasury.

    It could be that the Ideal Org portfolio represents an exit strategy for DM when he is eventually forced to leave.

  12. davefagen says:

    Welcome to my blog Katy.

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