Anyone want to know what the 2007 IAS event looked like? Well, have a look at this, taken on the 26th of October 2007:
If you double-click on the link, it should take you to my YouTube page (you may have to stop the one on this site to avoid having 2 versions going at once). If you have a high enough speed Internet connection, you can watch it in ‘high quality’, which gives a slightly improved ‘viewing experience’.
Unfortunately, due to the size and format of my camera, I could only make short clips (I could hardly lug a full-sized video camera into the event – it would have been a bit obvious).
For those of you not familiar with the annual IAS event, I will give some background.
The International Association of Scientologists (IAS) is an ‘umbrella’ organisation that was formed in October 1984 at St Hill Manor, near East Grinstead in West Sussex, England. It’s stated purpose is to unite Scientologists and to protect the Scientology ‘religion’. Nowadays, it appears to primarily exist as a fund raising and distributing organisation. All Scientologists are expected to join by making financial contributions. Members are recognised by different levels or ‘statuses’ according to how much they donate to the IAS. The donation levels required to achieve each status start at a couple of thousand dollars (US) and go up to about 10 million! I say ‘about’ as the IAS rather coyly no longer publishes how much each status costs. Perhaps the huge sums they have been extracting from celebrities and other wealthy people have become embarrassing?
So, each October, an event is held next to the castle at St Hill. There is a field at the back of the castle, where a very large marquee is erected. Apparently, this marquee is the biggest available and covers an area roughly the size of a football pitch. I would estimate that around 8,000 Scientologists attend this event each year.
As you can see, I was very near the front of the seating, which gave me a very good view of proceedings. I had read that most, if not all the international management strata, apart from DM, had been declared. So, I was eagerly looking out for all these ‘SPs’, to see if they were under guard.
However, I did not see one of the senior execs that were familiar to me. So, no Guillaume Lesevre, Heber Jentzsch, Ray Mithoff, Marc Yager, Peter Schless, Norman Starkey, Mark Ingber, Janet McLaughlin, Kurt Weiland etc. This was unheard of, as these people would normally be sat in the front row and very visible.
My conclusion is, that after Mike Rinder blew while in the UK, DM did not dare to allow any of the guys from the SP Hall out of the country. He couldn’t afford to risk any more leaving.
Also, several days after the event, I asked some of the staff at St Hill, if they had seen any of these people. In previous years, it was very common to see people such as Lesevre, Yager, Mithoff around the org buildings doing inspections and even running seminars. No one that I spoke to, had seen any of them. But the funny thing was, none of them had even wondered why these people were missing!
And, even more remarkably, during the event, you would normally have DM hand over to various other guys such as Jentzsch, Lesevre, Rinder etc to introduce happenings in their areas of responsibility. But, DM single-handedly presented the entire event, all 2 hours or so of it. There were no other presenters allowed onto the stage!
So, even more evidence that he does not trust anyone else.
As far as the event itself, I remember feeling distinctly underwhelmed. DM gave it a big build-up, but I cannot remember anything of any real note. And this was billed as “The night the world changed forever!”. Talk about BS!