Ny "Ideal Org" i Sveits, ett år etter forrige ble åpnet i Australia

Tony Ortega melder at Basel har fått en “Ideal Org”, en slags påkostet, ekstravagant variant av organisasjonens sedvanlige, trauste “kirker”, kalt “Orgs”. Det som er verdt å merke seg her, er at forrige gang en slik Ideal Org ble ferdigstilt, var for ett år siden. Det ser med andre ord ut til at CoS sliter med å melke den krympende medlemsmassen for penger. (Ja, medlemmene må selv betale for oppgraderingen til en “Ideal Org”.)


Scientology opens a new ‘Ideal Org’ in Basel this weekend — nearly a year after its last one

Our man in Paris — British journalist Jonny Jacobsen — has a special report for us today about what’s been happening in Switzerland. Almost a year since the last new “Ideal Org” opened in Sydney on May 4, 2014, a new one is set to open this weekend. That’s a much slower pace than Scientology leader David Miscavige was on in past years, an indication perhaps of how much more difficult it has become to raise funds from a dwindling membership.

Jacobsen has been talking to the locals, and he sets us up for this weekend’s festivities. Take it away, Jonny…

Local residents and critics of Scientology — including former members — are mobilizing Saturday in Basel, Switzerland, to protest the official opening of the latest “Ideal Org.”

Local resident Thomas Erlemann got official clearance for his counter-demonstration earlier this week, and it will run from from 1:30 pm local time (12:30 London, 7:30 New York) at Burgfelderstrasse — just over the road from the official opening.

Supporters from Austria, France, and Ireland are among those expected at the three-hour event, says Erlemann. There will be music, there will be speeches and their permit even clears them for two five-minute bursts of “ALLES WAS KRACH MACHT” — which appears to translate mean “EVERYBODY MAKE A RACKET.”

Erlemann means business: In his announcement about the protest, he invites participants to bring drums and trumpets. And the Swiss edition of the free paper 20 Minuten has a photo of him holding a vuvuzela, those god-awful horns used during the 2010 South Africa World Cup. (There’s a reason they were banned from last year’s Brazil World Cup.)


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David Miscavige åpnet nylig en Ideal Org i Bogotá i Colombia:

LIVE REPORTS: Scientology leader David Miscavige opens “Ideal Org” in Colombia today

Scientology leader David Miscavige is scheduled to open the latest “Ideal Org” today, this time in Bogotá, Colombia, and we have a correspondent on the scene.

It’s been less than three months since Miscavige opened an Ideal Org in Basel, Switzerland, which is a much faster pace than he set the last two years. (There was only one Ideal Org opened in all of 2014, in Sydney, though the existing Advanced Org in Copenhagen also got a facelift that year.)

We’ve written extensively on the Ideal Org push by Miscavige, but if you’re new to Scientology watching, what’s important to know is that beginning in 2003, the Scientology leader set a goal to replace all of the existing churches — called “orgs” in Scientology parlance — with gleaming new cathedrals, financed by local members. These are not new outposts for the church, but merely replacements for facilities that already existed. But the purpose of it is to give the impression that with new buildings opening, Scientology is expanding — when voluminous evidence actually suggests the opposite. After an initial push of new buildings, things have slowed down as fundraising efforts in places like Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Boston, Montreal, Toronto, Kansas City, and in California have left the church with decaying buildings the locals can’t afford to renovate.

But the money was found to spruce up an eight-story building in Bogotá, and we’re guessing this is one case when Miscavige paid for it from the funds of the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) as he is doing in New Zealand, where there just aren’t enough local members to raise big sums. The Bogotá building cost $5 million US to renovate, according to a local newspaper.

According to the map, it’s on the north side of downtown, at the intersection of a major east-west thoroughfare, Avenida Calle 100, and Carrera 19. The building is on the northwest corner…