Visit to the Amsterdam org Tl;dr: As a kind of daytrip I went to the Amsterdam org this week. First of all, I'd like to say that I've never been to any real-life protest. I prefer to do my job from the sidelines. So please don't baawww at me about never going into an org... I simply wanted to learn a little more about the “church” and about the people who work there. I was not at the org for a very long time, say approx. 1 hour. I was not masked, but of course I didn't use my real name. At first I only took a glance through the different advertising materials near the door. The receptionist after a while asked me if I was interested in a short guided tour through the building. I answered I was, and he asked a colleague to give it to me. This colleague was a young guy, around 20 years of age I estimate. He was really very friendly and nice to me, while trying hard to sell me anything – as he got the message that I wasn't going to buy anything he was obviously a bit disappointed but he still was very friendly, at the end even a little clinging: touching me in the side while reminding me that “I had to come back” (which I am not going to do – I've seen enough!). The guided tour itself I have not very much to say about. The Amsterdam org is a building of six stories high, of which I have seen three. I was permitted to take a quick glance at the room where people were being audited. To my surprise there were quite a few people over there. My guide said that the Amsterdam org is looking for a new building because the current one is too small. (I don't know if this is just boasting, maybe the three stories I didn't see are empty, maybe they are full loaded.) I also got to visit the “library” in the building. On one floor, they have a collection of LRH's works, and there is some furniture so you can read it. I took a quick look at the LRH books on management. As I have studied in this field I was interested what the big boss had to say about the subject. Apart from the typical Scientology-jargon I didn't see any subjects that were unfamiliar to me. However all the material looks (and of course is) quite expensive. According to my guide Scientology is now getting the simple books to public libraries. He admitted however that some libraries do not want to have the LRH books. I was interested in the guide himself, what kind of a person he was. Apart from being very friendly I thought to have noticed that he couldn't have had very much of an education. He more than once made grammatical mistakes in his (simple) sentences. He furthermore was really surprised to hear that I can read English (which in the Netherlands isn't a big achievement, almost everyone can do that). He mentioned his father also is a Scientologist. My guide was very ignorant of all that is going on on the internet. I told for example that DMSMH can simply be downloaded, he was very surprised to hear that. He also only knew about what is on YouTube and the net from other persons. He thought the reason for the monthly protests was not very clear, he told me he once had spoken to some Anon about it. However I can only think that he simply didn't (or even couldn't) understand what Anonymous is all about. He asked me what I thought of DMSMH and told the book is the most translated work in the world. First I said I had found the book at De Slegte, a well known shop for second hand books. He was surprised to hear that. I added that the book is not scientific in the way I have learnt about science. “Knowledge does not just fall out of the sky,” I said. “Hubbard in his book should have better explained where he got his ideas and information from. By saying 35 times “this is scientific fact””, I added, “it doesn't get a scientific fact”. As I recall, he didn't say much about this other than that Hubbard of course built his ideas on the work of others such as Freud (!). Both the receptionist and my guide from themselves said really “nice” things about big pharma, psychiatrists en psychologists, and about shock therapy. They really seemed to believe that all the protests are being paid for by Pfizer and the likes. Concerning shock therapy I said that it might have been misused in the fifties, but – as far as I could tell – it nowadays is only used if the patient is informed well and has said yes to the treatment. It didn't look like my guide really understood what I said, as he went on to tell that a physician being educated for so long a time shouldn't even propose this kind of a treatment. My guide thought I was quite well informed about Scientology already. However, I have not said very much about what I know about it. Instead, I asked him a few questions. Amongst other things, my guide mentioned that Scientology may be combined with other belief systems, such as Catholicism. When I asked how many Scientologists there are he wasn't very sure: “a lot, maybe millions”. He also made a remark about the upper level materials, saying that one could get very ill from reading it. I know that in Scientology this is said about these materials, but somehow I didn't think people really believe it - until my visit. Of course I couldn't resist saying that I very well survived reading it. At the end of the guided tour I got a short session on the e-meter. (My guide did not find out that I was an Anon...) All together, it was an instructive visit. The Scientologists I met were really very friendly people who just want to help. Somehow I now understand why people fall for the Scientology crap (or temptations if you like). If you don't have a critical mind, I imagine it must be really hard to resist. For my scrapbook (although I didn't say it was for that) I also got Dutch translations of the booklets “The Way to Happinness” and “L. Ron Hubbard, Reforming the 21th century with solutions for a better world”. I also got flyers about Anonymous, in which its "leaders" are made known to the public - being John Melskens, Wu Kapauw, Karin Spaink and Jeta Eggers. If anyone is interested, I'll scan these and put them here. It was a nice little day out.