The Copenhagen Expansion Project
On Wednesday 27th August 2003 I attended a briefing at Sea Org Hotel Nordland, Copenhagen. The briefing was about the Copenhagen Expansion Project. In short, a group of Sea Org members headed by Zara Kotric and George Aslanis (President WISE EU) is working on a special project of acquiring a new building for the Copenhagen org. Similar projects are currently running in Madrid and Frankfurt.
They presented that Int Management had found the why for no expansion in Denmark. They hereby admitted that there were no expansion in Denmark which is quite contrary to what you hear on the events. Well, the truth of it is that they are quite right, there are no expansion in Denmark. But the WHY they had found was really interesting. Here it is: The reason for no expansion in DK is that there are no prober lines set-up. By that they meant a nice upstat building with nice upstat furniture. While FSM's and org staff's try their best getting new people into the orgs, the orgs can't handle the inflow (what inflow?). They don't have nice quarters to show people around, they can't make in-house exhibitions so that the raw public can be introduced to all the different aspects of Scientology. We have no local org of which we can be proud to bring new people in. This was the WHY they came up with. And setting up a model org was their handling. At that point I knew what this was all about. They wanted more real estate and they wanted Scientologist in the field to pay for it by fund raising. Of course they also wanted staff to run the org, so that the mortgage loan would be paid. They promised that the staff would make high enough wages to be able to live of it, and not have to moonlight, and that the staff would be getting their OT levels for free. But, when asked how they could guarantee this, they said that the staff just had to apply policy, then they would be upstat and make enough money.
I was the only one present who made notes, and after a few minutes a Sea Org members sat next to me keeping an eye on my notes.
The speakers was very talented and the crowd was excited and applauded enthusiastically when this completely wrong WHY was introduced.
Then the president WISE, George Aslanis, told that he had experienced there was only two kinds of people who would not join staff in such a project: 1) The uninformed, 2) The grossly out ethics. This was very smoothly presented, but in fact almost everybody present were more or less old timers, and the possibility of any of us being uninformed was not very likely. Well, the only other option then - if we wouldn't join staff - was gross out ethics. But it would be considered in-ethics if one instead could support the project by donating money for it.
A day or two after the briefing, I was called by Gudrun Boncz, Copenhagen Expansion Project to come in for a personal meeting with more data. I told her that I found their WHY completely wrong and that the heavy focus on buying a nice building was completely off the rails. Standard Tech, Scientology and Dianetics well applied is the only thing people really want and is the only thing which really makes a difference. I told her to take a look at the huge disaffected field in Denmark, if they wanted to find a real why for no expansion. The disaffected field which in fact came about in 1981-82 after the current management took over the Church. Now, in 2003, that same management claims that the why for no expansion is that we don't have enough nice buildings with upstat interior....But if you look at the pictures of LRH supervising in the old Saint Hill you will find that upstat mest had no part of it. If you are an oldtimer Scientologists you will know that the orgs didn't have any bigger or nicer buildings in the seventies when there was real exapansion. It is also worth noticing that people who are looking for spiritual freedom seldom have much interest in upstat buildings. Therefor it is safe to conclude that the WHY is indeed off the rails.
Gudrun said that she agreed to my views and that she would really appreciate talking more to me so I accepted to come in to CLO EU for a meeting on Sunday evening 31st August.
Zara Kotric, George Aslanis and Gudrun Boncz was present for the meeting. Some admin staff was working also there doing their admin. Gudrun was the first one who came and I had a brief talk to her about the early eighties. She said that she was around as staff in Germany at that time and had seen how everything crashed completely after the management takeover. She also said that they had made a count of staff in Denmark. Before 1981-82 there was 240 staff in the Danish orgs and missions, after Management takeover, the screaming and shouting, gang sec-checks, DPF etc. there was only 40 staff left. I looked in the book "What is Scientology" 1978 edition and found the figure 255 staff in DK orgs and missions. So Gudrun's figure is verified.
The meeting was not really to hear my views, but to recruit me for the Copenhagen Org. I wanted more information about the finances of the building and was told that the initial down payment should be paid by donations from the Danish field. After that the mortgage loan would be paid by Copenhagen Org. Zara Kotric further said that Scientology Europe was really strong financially because they own a lot of real estate (New Era, AOSH, Nordland etc.). She also told me that the new building would be owned by Church of Scientology Europe which is under Church of Scientology International (CSI). They were not the least bit interested in my observations of the disaffected Danish field and the Int Management suppression which made tremendous negative impact on the individual Scientologist back in the early eighties. They just said that mistakes can happen and one should not be stuck in that.
So here we have another building project, just like the Super Power. It's all about real estate. Well, this civilisation does have something with buildings. You rarely go wrong if you invest in real estate. So in terms of financial matters the Church is doing the right thing by getting the field and the staff to pay for it's assets. The individual Scientologist wants his religion to do well, wants it to expand, which is appreciated. Int Management then just have to present a WHY which necessitates buying another building, and make it look like that will be the handling.
This is the same strategy used by McDonnalds internationally. Everybody thinks they are in the burger business, but they are not, they are in the real estate business. They own all the buildings of the outlets in all the contries while a local businessman own the franchise to run the place. As with the Church, everybody think they are in the spiritual freedom business, but they are not, they are in the real estate business.
Read an email from WISE, dated 19th July 2005, about the progress of the Real Estate project
See the references they use to make the project look on-policy here
See their fund raising award system here