John lived a full and eventful life covering all the Dynamics. Here we touch on a few highlights.
John was born and bred in Plymouth, not too far from the burned out church that remains today as a war memorial. He spent his youth sailing in and around Plymouth Harbour and being rescued by the RNLI (2). John continued his passion for sailing his whole life and had even purchased a 36ft yacht as recently as the summer of 2020.
Between 1960 and 1971, John worked as a mechanical design engineer for a number of different companies, such as Decca Radar. This training and experience taught him the fundamentals of a project and the hall mark of a good engineer: one who can duplicate, follow through and complete a project.
John discovered Scientology in 1967, moving rapidly through to OTlll by 1969.
In 1971 John joined staff at St Hill and in 1976 was put in charge of the Castle Expansion.
In 1978, LRH sent his architect to St Hill to review the progress and to redraw the plans, adding the remaining basements which were missing from the original drawings. LRH sent a letter to John saying “You are doing well. Carry on.” John proceeded to complete the project which involved creating the Cloisters by adding walls, getting the roof on and the doors and windows in. LRH sent a telex thanking John.
The Castle project illustrates several examples of John’s genius with buildings and MEST in general. Here are some examples:
The Cloisters had no windows or doors. Employing contractors to frame and glaze the twenty windows would have been a major expense. John designed a frame, got the local blacksmith to build twenty of them for a total cost per window of only £30 and then all that was needed was to set the glass. All at a fraction of the quoted cost.
The Great Hall required a draught extraction system. Quotes had been obtained for a louvered canopy roof in the region of £25,000. John figured out a different design and had the whole job done for only £1,500.
John left staff in 1981 and became a designer/developer. He has designed and built several hundred apartments and many special building projects in Sussex and London.
John’s policy for building works was based on LRH’s Policy “Project Engineering”(3). As a result of this, John’s philosophy for building projects became “to be inventive in the design to produce the best possible result for the least possible cost, to use sub-contractors for each specialised job and to ensure that the work is closely supervised by an on-site project engineer who reports daily. This is the secret to bringing in jobs on time and in budget.”
John was a major contributor to Ideal Orgs in the UK but his heart was ever in Plymouth. In the year before he left the body, and under the restrictions of Covid, John undertook the building works for the renovations to the current Church of Scientology in Plymouth, a building wholly owned by the Church, which involved extensive repairs to the roof, remodelling offices on the ground floor, creating space out of nowhere for a new toilet facility handy to the reception area, all at considerable personal cost and with the result that the building will have gained in value as well as providing a more ideal experience for new and existing public entering the new public areas of the org. His intention had been to continue through the whole building, starting in 2021 with brand new sauna and exercise facilities for the Purification program and an upgraded room for delivery of the Survival Rundown; sadly this remains incomplete.
John has now moved on to a new adventure. We wish him all the best and thank him warmly for having lived and being a highly contributive member of our group.
*1: From “Funeral Service”, Ceremonies of Scientology
*2: Royal National Lifeboat Institute
*3: HCO Policy Letter of 17 November, 1958 Issue 1