New bid to turn Royal Fleet Club into Scientology church


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Plymouth Live
New bid to turn Royal Fleet Club into Scientology church
Nine years after buying Devonport hotel, the Church founded by Sci-Fi writer is hoping to turn it into Scientology hub for the South West

By Carl Eve Crime Reporter

Nine years after buying the Royal Fleet Club, the Church of Scientology are once again applying to restore it.
The church, via its agents Paul Butler Associates, lodged a planning application with Plymouth City Council requesting consent for the "comprehensive repair, refurbishment and change of use of the Royal Fleet Club to enable its conversion to a place of worship and religious instruction"

The request by the organisation which is referred to in documents as the 'Church of Scientology Religious Education College Inc', has stated that the planning application will also include "ancillary communal and administrative uses" and will require "associated external alterations, landscaping works and various signage".
After buying the Royal Fleet Hotel – formerly the Royal Fleet Club – from Midlands-based businessman, Kailash Suri, in the summer of 2010 for an estimated £1m, The Church of Scientology outlined ambitious plans for the 114-year-old site in Morice Square.

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Well l, someone should let the one resident who wrote in concerned about “where all the people will park who come” to the cherch know that the reason they only allocated 26 spaces (8 cycle, 15 reg parking & 3 disabled) is so their lot doesn’t always look COMPLETELY empty! That the events they propose 200 attending will nearly all be bussed-in staff from other locations, so a parking blight is the least of their worries with this location. Also interesting that CO$ couldn’t drum up a single letter in support of their project!

I love that the ONLY actual people pictured in the article are not scientologists, but protesters!


Iv'e been following this story on my blog (I live in Plymouth). Here are a number of posts with :

  1. Links to the detailed plans submitted to the Council
  2. News of the planning approval as given by the local paper online and scans of the (more detailed) print article
  3. A post showing that work has begun with the careful removal of asbestos contining materials This is complicated by the fact that the roofing leaks badly, that material has likely degraded - and Scientologists have been living there
  4. A high resolution (4K) video survey of the building and surrounding area If anyone would like to join upcoming protests this will tell you the lie of the land.
It's a massive place, once used as hotel, with 50+ bedrooms, two ballrooms, kitchens, bars, storage rooms, apartments for management and their families - all for the 28 Scientologists recorded in the whole of the Southwest of England in the last census. I've comfirmed that number independently by various means and there are less than 30 members all told.

There is more to come, as the situation develops.

PS Planning permission has been granted today for the former Windmill Hills home in Gateshead. This is in a derelict state but, once the whim takes Miscavige, renovations in the UK tend to proceed rapidly, by paying professional contractors overtime rates. Scientology also recently bought redunant Council offices, that has recently been renovated in Edinburgh, for another Ideal Org.

The empty org madness has just leapt forward here.


I think it's wonderful that this story was written by the papers crime reporter- and they put that in the byline!

Can you imagine the editor handing out assignments?

"We have a Scientology story, boss - shall I give it to the religous correspondent?"
"Don't be daft son - Scientology news is covered by the Crime Reporter!"


Work Hard and Bray
The Ideal Org phase of Scientology exemplifies a religious phase in which (1) a demand for greater purity divides and reduces the ranks of adherents, while (2) a legacy of shared suffering which is preserved in stories or symbols arises, which leads to (3) a more durable and focused set of adherents.

Think of the Amish, for example. The more worldly "militant" Amish basically died out in the military adventures they pursued, leaving to history only the pacifist Amish (and the idea that only pacifist Amish ever existed). The pacifist Amish have an immense legacy of shared suffering and stories about this to sustain them for centuries after the militant Amish perished in their quest for worldly power and influence. "Be ye separate!" was and is the motto of the pacifist Amish, who have endured. They depend upon shared suffering to sustain their ranks, along with their separatism and demand for purity.

The whole process of shared suffering, imposed from within in the process of fundraising to fashion these Ideal Orgs, is further intensified by the symbolic importance of keeping the Idle Morgues in existence despite the futility of this and the obvious criticism from outsiders that is embarrassing to endure, and loads of other reasons to feel one is suffering for one's faith. This tends to generate, historically speaking, a more faithful and intensely doctrinaire group of adherents who rally around this legacy of shared suffering, even if it is in fact self-imposed and the idiocy of this manner of practicing one's faith is undeniable.

Once the US government decided to give up the role of being Scientology's oppressor, the British decided that there was enough "fair play" incentive to relax its ban, and Australia lost its appetite for being Scientology's oppressor with kangaroo court proceedings like the Anderson report committee, etc., SOME kind of shared suffering to refine and purify the faithful was needed. It looked, at first, as if Germany would fit this role nicely.

If only the German state police had used their statutory authority to harass and hound Scientologists, instead of taking the more relaxed and rational course of action they did and are taking, the Ideal Org program would not be needed. The faithful Scientologist would have combating the authoritarian German government to rally around and be a point of fierce faithfulness. Of course, the German state police charged with protecting against anti-constitutional elements kind of shrugged and said "Sure we'll keep an eye on them, but really . . . what's the big deal?" Apparently someone in the German state police was well enough educated to understand the role of martyrdom or perceived oppression and injustice in radicalizing and empowering religious sects. They were smart enough to not play its role in what would fuel a new round of Scientology radicalism.

With the Germans out of the picture, and the Russians not really playing ball as one would think they would in being sadistic bastards all Scientologists must rally against and unite about, you really need some kind of source of suffering, even if internally imposed, to forge and perpetuate Scientology radicalism. Thus, Ideal Orgs which become Idle Morgues.

These are not just some dashed off thoughts. I've been thinking about this since the a.r.s. hatemonger crowd started wailing that the German state police were going to give powderpuff treatment to Scientology rather than oppress it severely as they wanted it to. Those Germans were smart. But Idle Morgues exists to make up for the fact that Germans declined to be fanatical oppressors. It's a second best source of shared suffering, because it is internally imposed, but it is being made to suffice.

Yes, the Ideal Org program is idiocy in one sense, but it is also "crazy like a fox" sensible if you are trying to forge an enduring small and insular religion that will last for ages, albeit as a small remnant forever bemoaning hows its purity is rejected by the world it would be so benign towards if only allowed to do so.


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I fail to see that being financially stripped as a form of suffering will provide useful cohering stories for future generations. Maybe for ex-scilons.

It's not crazy like a fox, its part and parcel of the money madness that has been fired to fever pitch over the past 20 years. Once (if ever) they manage to complete this Idle Org program it will be blatantly apparent that all the hype was pure bullshit.


Work Hard and Bray
Doomsday Failures

. . . prophecies, per se, almost never fail. They are instead component parts of a complex and interwoven belief system which tends to be very resilient to challenge from outsiders. While the rest of us might focus on the accuracy of an isolated claim as a test of a group’s legitimacy, those who are part of that group—and already accept its whole theology—may not be troubled by what seems to them like a minor mismatch. A few people might abandon the group, typically the newest or least-committed adherents, but the vast majority experience little cognitive dissonance and so make only minor adjustments to their beliefs. They carry on, often feeling more spiritually enriched as a result.
Seriously, if you can flub predicting the end of the world and still keep the faithful adhering to you, it gives one great motivation to consider how great and senseless afflictions upon people can lead to a stronger group.

Shared Suffering Bonds

"The findings shed light on why camaraderie may develop between soldiers or others who share difficult and painful experiences."
The above has long been understood as part of group loyalty and dynamics. But of course Your Mileage May Vary.