Those are great pictures of the berthing!
But I am sure many people wonder what the heck it looks like inside and what is going on in there, if anything.
So -- welcome to a guided tour of the Int Base berthing buildings!
The insides of the berthing buildings are actually very nice. This is not one your typical Sea Org berthings by a far cry. There are 2D berthing rooms (whatever those are needed for these days), and dorms ranging from 4-man dorm to something like a 12-man dorm. While there isn't a helluva lot of space per person there, it is still a very decent place, as good as or better than your average hotel room. The furniture is largely light wood, was custom built to Int Landlord Office designed specs in Mexico and shipped in. The motif is Scottish, like everything else on the base is supposed to be. The berthing buildings have names base on characters in one of the LRH fiction books (I don't remember the name of the book, for I haven't read it; but it was Scottish names like McLeod. If someone knows the book and lists some of the names, I can probably tell which names were used).
In a typical room, there is a bed, a dresser, one or more bookshelves with drawers, sliding door closets for clothes and laundry baskets and some space for your hygiene supplies. In 2D-rooms there are also nighstands and a table. Desks meant for solo auditing are also found in some of the rooms. White sheets and comforters and a tartan blanket at the end of the bed. Each room has a toilet and a shower, multi-person berthings can have 2 showers. It is very livable, and from an SO member viewpoint quite "upstat."(Does this sound like a frickin SO recruitment ad yet?)
Not that executives would fail to remind base staff how it has cost $36,000.00 per bed to put the berthing there and that they are not producing anything to even deserve this "reward" that COB has "given" them.
The story of how the berthing buildings ended up costing many times over the original budget of $8,000,000.00 to build is long and fascinating, too, and I hope that someone who knows the full story better than I do can enlighten us about it. Not like we didn't hear about it in every staff meeting of the past 10 years, but I mean the real story, not just what people got in ethics trouble for and had to report in "flaps and handlings" every week. Since I mentioned it I should tell you some highlights. Let's start with the tidbit that at least 5 consecutive Estates Secs were busted over the berthing building flap that extends more than a decade. Probably the worst problem of all times was the structural strength of the buildings versus sticking to the original budget. In order to build the buildings with a mere $8,000,000.00, massive savings had to be worked out, maximum utilization of base staff on renos to do everything that didn't require a highly trained specialist to do; and even some things that did require it. The Estates division covers trades from electrical to plumbing and HVAC, from rough and final construction to a furniture mill, and others; base staff were used to do framing, dry wall, painting, carpentry, tiling, welding, and a thousand other things.
But the entire framing, once it was all completed, dry walled an all, turned out, during an outside inspection, not to be earthquake safe and had to be torn down and redone, by outside hired labor this time! Talk about "saving money" by forcing a ten-year old budget to be adhered to, by no less than RPF assignments, offloads, post removals, sec checks, investigations, and heavy ethics penalties. Yeah -- behold the power of LRH ethics tech in full bloom.
In fact, the person who finally got the berthing buildings completed -- Wendell Reynolds -- was assigned to the SP Room as a reward for a job well done.
Okay, furthermore, there are common spaces in each building, such as a central lounge right when you walk into the building from the middle doors, a crew library above the lounge, laundry rooms next to the lounge and spaces for ironing your clothes. Bedsheets get washed in the separate Laundry building by people posted to take care of it.
Not a bad set-up, and you could actually enjoy living there if it wasn't for other factors that make it a nightmare.
Okay, enough of the surface show. Let's talk realities.
The first people to ever "arrive" to the on-base berthing were deckies on offload lines. It is a bit more difficult to enjoy the berthing under such circumstances. They were confined to the few dorms at the end of the East-most building next to the highway (or "Building 40"), under security watch during the night, on decks or being sec checked in preparation for offload during the day. Those were the first 20-25 people to "make it" to the berthing buildings.
Next came a steady flow of people who were in ethics trouble and thus "restricted" to the base. This soon amounted to more than 100 people. Also people not in ethics trouble, but who were on "service lines" (Security, galley, communication, etc.) or "directly on COB's lines (On individual basis; executives and staff who DM would call or have meetings with on a daily basis) were moved in. The two categories were kept in separate buildings. The "ethics particles" were in the east building (Building 40) and the ones who were either on-call or "not under immediate offload threat" in the west building (Building 39).
Also higher non-base executives and visitors would be berthed in the second row of buildings, the west one (Building 41) being reserved for people from orgs like CST, ASI and IASA. The last building (Building 42) was incomplete as of 2007. Half of this building was reserved for COB, but the plans had never been approved, so it was going nowhere. I guess the other half was meant for rest of RTC.
The lease agreements for most outside (off-base) berthing terminated in 2007, so it is fair to assume almost all Int Base staff now live in the on-base berthing. There are couple of outside berthings nearby, but there is no logical reason to keep anyone in them. The berthing buildings were designed and calculated to hold the Base complement of 900 people.
And there are many good reasons to move everyone onto the base. It will allow a closer monitoring of people, cut off the last of the external influences (such as going to the Jack-in-the-Box in the middle of the night for your anniversary), no travel time to berthing, losing 400 manhours a day, no hassle and waiting for busses to drive people in when DM decides to throw some division or the whole org in the lake or the pool or hold a Base Briefing about the Over the Wall campaign. And you can wake up anyone on a two-minute notice to come in and finish off that submission that was supposed to go up that day or else. How could you get more productive? (I have some ideas.)
Plus there is less worry about people blowing (although I did blow right from the Base), since you can now allot more people to watching the perimeter, and get even more remote-controlled cameras where they are still lacking, and even upgrade the motion detectors that they work flawlessly. It's a win-win (read: sing-sing) situation!
[This free guided tour of the new berthing buildings has been provided to you by LBV travels in cooperation with Roan photographic services.]
A short history of the Church of David Miscavige: From the fastest growing religion in the world to the fastest shrinking cult in the world in less than 20 years.