Monday, January 18, 2010

Scientology Is Going Up-Scale in Columbus

The Columbus Dispatch had an article last Friday about the church of Scientology purchasing the old Time-Warner building on Dublin Rd to use as their new "Ideal Church of Scientology." This places them conveniently near the up-scale neighborhoods of Grandview Heights and Upper Arlington whose residents can, presumably, afford the monetary demands of participation in Scientology. I don't have any problem with this as long as they don't teach it in public schools. They can follow the teachings of a sci-fi author and ignore the fact that "fi" is short for fiction if they want.

What cracked me up was the quote from Scientology spokesperson, Frank Dean. He stated that the new church would be "an island of sanity in Columbus." Sanity? I do not think that word means what he thinks that word means. As I understand it, scientologists oppose main stream psychology and psychiatric medications. Since their religion (pretty much by the definition of religion) isn't rational, and they steer their followers away from the only proven treatments for insanity, could he have meant to say "an island FROM sanity in Columbus"?

They spent $3.2 million purchasing the property and estimate the cost of renovation at $3.5 to 4 million, but they have only raised $500,000 so far. They obviously need to sell a lot more Dianetics books, which makes me wonder what would be the effect on their recruitment if they filed for bankruptcy.


Anonymous said...

What I absolutely adore about Scientology, "The Fastest Growing Religion in the World(tm)" is that their "parishioners" who are paying millions-and-millions of dollars for these new buildings consider this to be expansion.

The real laugh though is that after a local org brow-beats its membership into buying some grandiose building at outfits it with hilariously gaudy trappings -- ownership of it is transferred to Big Scientology Inc., who then has the nerve to charge them rent on it.

In some sick way, it's a brilliant scam. One I don't ever expect that someone who falls for this nonsense in the first place to ever understand.

Anonymous said...

Sadly the Columbus scientology group heavily pressures (serious coercion) every local member to give every penny they can to this Ideal Org.

Two shady things are happening.. (1) some Sea Org soliders from the HQ paramilitary wing came to town and they pick out the suitable building and have a cookie cutter formula for how to raise the funds to buy the building. The max out the total amount the hundred or so local members of the "church" can afford. (2) After they buy the building and everyone thinks they can move in, then the real pressure comes to raise another set of millions of dollars for renovations. At this point it is squeezing blood from a turnip.

What is interesting is that corporate HQ scientology benefits from the renovations as they have a single planner for every one of these new buildings across the country and Canada. The plans look nearly identical but tailored for that cities building. So licensing fees, planning fees, and the renovation labor comes from unskilled, out-of-state so-called religious workers who do none of the work up to code. In fact in California there is a Brotherhood of Carpenters union staked out in front of Scientology buildings all over Hollywood over disputed labor practices.

Anonymous said...

What I find fascinating is where the money comes from for these new million dollar "church"/ book stores.

In Columbus there is a roofing company (Durable) that is owned and managed by scientologists who happen to be leaders in the Columbus org. That company made a huge windfall with the hail storms and in fact funneled over $1M to the new Ideal Org building.

What is also troubling is the reports of many local church members who took out loans and other financial tricks to raise the money for a new building by being promised full-time money making jobs, and a daycare and school in that building.

Yes, in Scientology, if you sell enough books and courses you can make a living being a "religious worker". Clearly this is a "religion" and not a business.

Make sure you stop by the new location to check out the saunas and workout rooms. Oh, they also have a coffee shop in case you want to hang out in the reading room of the book store. (all true, you can check out the blueprints for yourself).