A report from our man in Brisbane, Australia.
Brisbane, like Adelaide, Perth and Canberra (ACT) in Australia is not an “Ideal Org” and doesn’t even seem to be on the horizon for idealishness.
This is the real state of the vast majority of Scientology Orgs around the world in this era of “massive international expansion, greater in the last 5 years than in all 50 years before, straight up and vertical like a runaway train on a downhill thundering avalanche of destiny unlike anything ever before witnessed in the history of mankind searching for answers on a collision course between destiny and destruction, given all that has come before and all that will follow into the future of planetary clearing!!!!!"
As you can see from the below, it doesn’t seem the expansion has made it to Brisbane. Nor Buffalo. Nor Berlin or NY or Joburg or Pretoria or, or, or… the numerous other orgs I have heard from and haven’t yet had a chance to post about.
If you have reports on your local org, please send them along.
Special Correspondent Report
I am not a Scientologist nor have I ever been but find the whole thing very interesting and really feel for the people still in the COS who are just trying to help people but are having their good intentions twisted by DM's narcissism.
I have spent the past year investigating Scientology. I've read a lot of the books and done a lot of online courses and consider it my hobby at the moment as I have no-one to really try it with and would not feel comfortable trying to go up the Bridge in the CoS.
I just wanted to email you to let you know of the state of the Brisbane org. I know it's not an Ideal Org … (Yet)… and that is what this blog is mostly focused on, but I thought you may be interested in the state of affairs there.
I first went to the Brisbane org in October 2012. The first thing I noticed was how hard it is to find the building. It is in a residential area, but only 100-200m away from a MAJOR traffic road. But are there any signs on that major traffic road letting people know that only metres away is a CoS offering services to help people? Nope. Not only is there no signage to lead people to the building, when you finally find the street address you wouldn't really know it had anything to do with Scientology.
The building looks like a nursing home. Identical to all the other nursing homes in the area. There is a small sign out the front which is covered by hedges on one side. From the outside you can see people's washing hanging in the windows of the building and there are broken windows and graffiti covering the back of the building.
I don't understand why the org moved to this area, where they were before this address was a truly IDEAL location. It was in the perfect area that attracted the kinds of people Scientology can minister to. It was central, had lots of foot traffic and people KNEW it was there (big neon sign on a major road). I guess it's this whole new thing that Scientology is doing "We won't come to them, we'll make them come to us… (But we also won't do anything to make people come to us either)".
After finding the place and figuring out the entrance (the building still has all the original signs from when it was a nursing home saying that the reception is in one area and visitors to go to another, but the entrance to the org is a completely different entrance).
I walked in. There was no-one there. Not even a staff member. I stood there for 5 minutes. Still no-one. This was a Thursday night at about 6pm. I went to walk down one of the dimly lit hallways to see if I could attract some attention. Nothing. I left. I went for a walk and decided I would go back and try again and see if it was just a fluke that no-one was there.
This time there was someone, I said hello, but they ignored me and walked straight past me. So I went back to waiting. Finally a man (who was wearing construction gear, I had heard sawing and hammering in the background while I was waiting) came up and asked me if I was ok. I said I lived in the area and was curious and wanted to know what the deal was with Scientology. He seemed really thrown off like he didn't know what to do. He said he would be right back. He came back later with a DVD. He sat me at a table in a room which was obviously the dining room when the building was still a nursing home. The tables were covered with Ideal Org merchandise. Hats, balloons, pens, books… Blue and white everything. He didn't explain any of this and acted like it wasn't there. He then put the DVD on and said the DVD should answer my questions. He then left the room.
I had a bit of a look around while I was waiting for the DVD to start and saw white-boards with names of people who had signed up for a fundraiser (there was two people's names on the list) and a big sign saying "AUDITORS NEEDED". There was A LOT of GAT stuff and Ideal org stuff and Basics stuff EVERYWHERE, then there was the one photo of LRH hidden in a corner.
So essentially I sat in the room, alone, for hours, while only one other person walked in to get a cup of coffee out of the room. I left before anybody else came back in the room (he didn't even come back after the DVD ended).
That was experience one.
Yesterday (Saturday), I decided to go back. This time telling them I had watched the "How to use Dianetics" DVD and was looking for people to try auditing with (which was legitimate because I am interested in seeing if it works).
Again the building was empty and nobody was there to greet me. I waited another 5 minutes before the same man came back and greeted me. I explained what I was there for and he seemed really baffled. He didn't know what to say to me. He took my details on a piece of scrap paper and said "There are heaps of people out there who do it, I'll give your contact details to them and they'll organise it with you". I turned to leave but then turned around and asked him about the Dianetics Seminar. He seemed to vaguely remember what that was. He then told me they only run it when they have the volume for it and usually students twin up with a staff member for the weekend (he used a lot of Scientology jargon with me, which would have been really confusing if I w as an actual member of the public with no previous knowledge of Scientology). But he couldn't tell me when it was being run next or even how much it cost. He asked me AGAIN if I had watched the Scientology an Overview DVD. I said yes. He didn't really know what to say after that.
I was pretty much standing there asking to be signed up for a course (I even said "Is there anything I can do while I wait for a seminar to be held?" and he said "no"). He didn't even offer to sell me a book after I told him I didn't have a copy of Dianetics and that I probably should read it before trying auditing and not just watch the movie. I asked "Should I just borrow it from the library?", he said yes…. I was a bit dumbfounded.
I only mention all of this because it seems what you say about people focusing on the displays in Ideal orgs doing the missionary work (I apologise I don't know ALL of the Scientology lingo yet) seems to be applied in the 'normal' orgs as well. It's "Watch a DVD… we don't know what to do after that…. because nobody seems to join Scientology any more… So there's no focus there… but we're raising funds for a new building… where we still won't know what to do when a new person walks in off the street… but you'll want to walk in off the street more because it's pretty inside right?"
I don't understand how someone with the LEAST business/sales/common sense (which you would think most of them would have considering the money to pay for courses has to come from somewhere) hasn't stopped for a moment and thought "Wait a minute… this is the opposite of good business practice." I just want these people to get it right…Ron seemed to have his head screwed on about how to get people into a building to give Scientology a go… but from what I read in your blog, it seems like it might be too late for a turn-around.
Sorry that was incredibly long, I just thought you might be interested to hear what is happening in an Org that you rarely see updates on.