Scientology spending millions on Birmingham headquarters

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Albion Member

    Hi folks.

    As I'm now based in Birmingham, looking to contact anyone involved in the Birmingham protest next weekend.

    I want to do a series of stories, starting with one today, so sooner, better.

    And can anyone can send me some recent protest photos / videos (Dublin?) that they can authorise me to use? They must have copyright.

    For those of you who don't know me, this is the stuff I've done over at Tony Ortega's site (and I had my own blog for several years too).

    You can reach me here or by email. Please spread the word.

    Jonny Jacobsen
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Church of Scientology is opening a new multi-million pound 'Ideal Org' in Birmingham
    • David Miscavige is expected to be at the grand opening.
    • Scientologists bought £4m Pitmaston House in 2007 and converted it.
    • Protesters will be attending the launch.
    By Josh Robbins, International Business Times UK


    The Church of Scientology will open a major centre at a Grade-II listed building in Birmingham on 21 October where protesters are expected to greet its leader David Miscavige - anticipated to cut the ribbon on the day - and his devout followers.

    IBTimes UK understands the controversial church has finished renovating the iconic property, called Pitmaston House, which it purchased 10 years ago, and lies in Moseley, a leafy suburb of the West Midlands city. Hundreds of Scientologists from across Europe will descend on the estate for the opening, and members of the local community are also invited.

    The grand unveiling comes just a week after another Scientology hub, or "Ideal Org", was opened in Dublin with a large security operation to keep out a group of vocal protesters and the media. Miscavige was in Ireland for the opening.

    Ex-Scientologist-turned-fierce critic Pete Griffiths told IBTimes UK he would be heading over to Birmingham from Ireland along with a handful of others who believe the church is about nothing more than making money – a claim Scientology strongly denies – to join other protesters.

    Griffiths said: "There will be serious security. I have no doubt there will be loud speakers to block out the noise of the protesters. If you are a Scientologist, they'll let you in through a narrow entrance to take part in this 'wonderful' event.

    "Hopefully the protesters will be well behaved because some people get very upset. It'll be people holding signs and if any members of the public want to ask questions and talk then that's what it's all about. It's about sharing information and telling the truth."

    Griffiths said he hoped members of the local community would also make their way to Moor Green Lane to voice their opposition to the secretive organisation that boasts a large celebrity following, which includes Tom Cruise.

    In the 2011 census, 51 people from Birmingham identified themselves as Scientologists. The figure was 88 for the entire West Midlands.

    In May 2016, IBTimes UK revealed that Pitmaston was part of a multi-million pound UK property portfolio held by the church but had been empty for years. Other sites are in Gateshead, Portsmouth, and Trafford.

    Moseley residents expressed concerns that such a historic building was left languishing after it was bought for more than £4m pounds in 2007. But the completion of its renovation was largely welcomed by the community as a new chapter for the historic building. Fiona Adams, chair of local conservation group the Moseley Society, said it is "better that it's used and looked after by someone that can afford to keep it up".

    However, Adams said that some people living in the 25-30 houses and flats on the Pitmaston Estate were distressed that large signage at the front of the hall gave onlookers the impression that everyone using the driveway was a Scientologist. She also mentioned concerns the society had about increased traffic and overflow parking in the area.

    Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, Roger Godsiff, said previously that he is "not a fan of the Church of Scientology, which is essentially a money-making cult" and expressed concerns about Pitmaston. But he has now praised the church for its work to restore the building to its "former glory" and said he was disappointed to be unable to accept an invitation to the opening due to other commitments.

    Asked more generally about the Church of Scientology, Godsiff said: "I take as I find. I have not had anyone come to me and say 'my friend or family has had a bad experience'. I have an open mind. My concern was that this prestigious building shouldn't go to wreck and ruin."

    The Church of Scientology declined to comment.

    However, in a previous statement, Graeme Wilson, its spokesman in the UK, said: "The Ideal Org programme is entirely about creating churches which provide an ideal environment for people to engage in religious services and as an emanation point for all the church's social programmes – including drug rehabilitation and education, criminal rehabilitation, human rights and moral education, youth literacy and disaster and suffering relief.

    "It is not about anything else. It is contributed to by parishioners who support this purpose – in exactly the same way that followers of other religions contribute to better churches and places of worship for their religions, the world over."

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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    We Welcome Our Lizard Overlords |Eye on Moseley


    Hot on the heels of M&S raising Moseley’s retail offer to a previously unimaginable level of luxury we now see our spiritual life similarly revitalised. For many, the acquisition of Pitmaston House by the Scientologists was just one of the rumours up there with Toyah Wilcox living on Wake Green Road. This week we realised it wasn’t just a rumour; though we had got a fair few hints through eight years worth of planning applications and the massive sign on the front of the building.

    The opening of the new Church of Scientology has made many of us understandably worried so we approached the Church for some insight into their plans.

    They told us “We have come to Moseley because like no other area of Birmingham it symbolises the values we believe in. Moseley has scientifically been proven to be the most gullible part of the West Midlands. You consistently vote for anyone that promises you a railway station and the centre of your High Street is a shop that makes money out of getting people to drink their own urine. To be honest, we want a bit of that action, the easily led bit, not the piss drinking bit, that’s disgusting. So basically, whatever you might have heard we’re not going to brainwash your kids and nick your money. Also, the cricket pitch in front of Britannic is just the right size for a spaceship.”

    In a statement Moseley Forum told us “For the love of God does anyone know whether this will make house prices go up or down?”

    We might joke about this but it is a lose-lose situation for the people of Moseley. Either the Scientology belief system is credible, in which case we might all be eaten by hungry space lizards, or it’s all a sham and they will systematically break up families and prey on the vulnerable. Neither appears to be an enticing prospect for the rest of us.

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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Birmingham gets its Ideal Org today!

    By Tony Ortega, October 21, 2017


    David Miscavige will be in Birmingham, England today for the grand opening of the new Scientology “Ideal Org” in the suburb of Moseley, and we expect to start receiving reports from our correspondents there soon.

    In the meantime, let’s look back at the long road the “Brummies” took to get to this point. It required years of fundraising efforts, and none more delightful than a tropically-themed shindig thrown way back in 2011 which featured a conga line.

    <photo snipped>

    And right in the mix was local mystery writer RJ Ellory, who, besides taking part in dance parties to raise money for Scientology, is also known for faking his own book reviews online, and for helping in the effort to attack Leah Remini’s television show.

    <photo snipped>

    We can’t wait to see if Ellory is a featured speaker at today’s event. We sure hope so!

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    What Brummies are saying about new Scientology HQ in our city

    The new Church of Scientology will be opened today and here’s what you had to say

    By Jessica Green, Birmingham Mail


    News that the Church of Scientology will open a headquarters in Moseley today has resulted in a mixed response from readers. The organisation has been subject to rumours in the past 10 years after Pitmaston House was bought with great fanfare for £4.2 million in 2007.

    One objector claimed the the church was a “corrupt, sinister and dangerous cult”. And Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Hall Green, has previously said he was “not a fan of the Church of Scientology, which is essentially a money-making cult”.

    This was strongly denied by the US-founded church, which says it is a legitimate religion - something that was backed by the Supreme Court in December 2013.

    Scientologists have also faced opposition from the medical community over its claims about mental health.

    Readers were quick to offer their view on the new Scientology HQ with some objecting to the religious group using the building.

    Zakariah commented: “It’s a cult. Period.”

    Nazareena Poet added: “It’s not a church.”

    Emma Lou said: “Seriously, this place could have been made into apartments or offices, or something else useful. Why are they allowed to open this useless building?” But Emma added: “Mind you, it might bring Tom Cruise to the area.” Cruise is an outspoken advocate for the Church of Scientology and credits it with helping him overcome dyslexia.

    Adnan Khalil said: “It just seems like a bit of a rich people’s club.”

    Andrew Clayton said: “Their belief in profit is masked as a religious doctrine. That’s all you need to know.”

    However, not all the opinions were critical.

    Lisa Murphy said: “Film crew outside this morning. If Tom Cruise turns up, then I’ll join.”

    Max Payne said: “Birmingham is a city that welcomes all religions and cultures. I’m sure that the Church of Scientology will be of great benefit to our wonderful multicultural city.”

    And Margaret Little said: “Only time will tell what will happen.”

    Source, with video and photos:
  6. The Wrong Guy Member


    This is what happened at the opening of Birmingham's new Church of Scientology

    Protesters, speakers, secrecy - it was an interesting start for Birmingham's newest church

    By Jessica Green, Birmingham Mail


    Protesters against the Church of Scientology lined the streets of Moseley after the new luxury HQ opened its doors. The church bought the Grade II listed Pitmaston House ten years ago for £4.2million and has finished renovating the property.

    Revealing the new premises to members only, with a garden sing-along to We Built This City and numerous speeches, the church was met with loud protests from those watching on the sidelines. The protesters - many who were ex-Scientologists - released mini alien balloons as the grand opening went underway.

    Adrian Bailey, 51, who was a Scientologist in his twenties, said: “I never saw the really bad side of it that some people did. They helped me with my confidence. “What annoyed me the most was that they always asked for money. And with all the secrecy, it’s not surprising people think it’s a cult.” The teacher from Great Barr added: “I’m a bit skeptical that they’ll hit it off here. It’s more an American thing.”

    Coaches blocked the road view of the property, with security and police officers on hand to ensure no one saw the opening action.

    William Drummond, 67, a former Scientologist of 51 years, with relatives who remained in the church and whose mother, Betty Wordie, was a high ranking Scientologist, said: “People don’t understand what’s going on in their local area and that’s very frightening.” William, from Plymouth, said: “The main motivation for them is money, property and expansion and that’s evident here.”

    Protesters came from across the UK and some had been campaigning against Scientology for twenty plus years. Yet the newly renovated church wasn’t met with only criticism.

    One local resident said: “We’re a welcoming city so I think it’ll be interesting to have the group on our doorstep.

    The building was run down but now they’ve really rejuvenated the place.

    “I walk past it everyday and you could see the vast improvement they were making to it.”

    Another resident said: “It’s insane. I live down the road and I can’t believe they’d want to be here.”

    Any claims of being a cult have been strenuously denied by the US-founded church, which says it is a legitimate religion - something that was backed by the Supreme Court in December 2013.

    Graeme Wilson, the Church of Scientology’s UK-based public affairs director, previously said: “A major function of our churches is to give help in the local community, including with drug education, human rights education, literacy programmes, crime reduction programmes, helping those in need, and more.”

    Source, with video and photos:
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  7. TorontosRoot Member

    I can bet my testicle's fur that most of the positive responses are by scientologists. Hahahahahahaha
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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Despite Scientology’s best efforts, a Bunker reader attended Saturday’s grand opening

    By Tony Ortega, October 23, 2017


    On Saturday, Scientology leader David Miscavige opened his newest “Ideal Org,” his ongoing and very expensive effort to create a Potemkin Village of new and empty cathedrals to pretend that the rapidly shrinking church is actually undergoing “unprecedented expansion.” If this weren’t just all about fakery and PR, then Scientology wouldn’t expend so much energy keeping out onlookers and the press. But we’re fortunate that one of our regular readers, “Graham,” managed not only to visit the event but get inside. He sent us this account, and we figured you’d enjoy it.

    By a peculiar twist of fate, I found myself on Saturday needing to do business with one of the non-Scientologist residents housed adjacent to the new Birmingham Org. Anticipating Scientology barriers at the entrance, I rehearsed all kinds of speeches in order to insist on my right to proceed.


    The first speaker was the guy in charge of the “Day” bit of the new org. Believe me when I say: I have never seen a more smug and self satisfied person standing on a stage. He just radiated a self-satisfaction way beyond what any human being could justifiably lay claim to. Smug veering towards creepy. There then followed a succession of speakers with impressive sounding credentials, provided you didn’t listen with anything like a critical ear. Significantly, no local politicians, dignitaries nor representatives of any local Birmingham groups. First the inevitable “interfaith leader.” He apparently had been impressed by the Volunteer Ministers he had met and how they’d been wearing yellow so similar to his Buddhist volunteers it was difficult to tell them apart (cue appreciative laughter). Then someone who’d used Study Tech with young people. Then someone who thought Narconon was the bee’s knees. Apparently Narconon can boast a 50 percent success rate (massively down from any previous claim I’ve ever seen) to set against the feeble 4 percent success rate of every other drugs rehab program. Then someone who’d used Crimanon successfully.

    I’d always assumed that such speakers were safe-pointed dupes but here, with the possible exception of the interfaith happy Buddhist, I began to doubt that. Certainly they’d drunk so deeply of the kool-aid as to be seemingly unshakeable in their belief in L Ron Hubbard’s wonderful Tech. And two of them so Tone 40 it’s a wonder they didn’t accidentally bounce off the stage. I highly suspect they were actually Scientologists.

    Later, Scientology itself identified them on its website. Here they are, with David Miscavige:


    Scientology’s caption: “Ms. Decima Francis MBE, Founder, From Boyhood to Manhood Foundation; Ms. Diana Coad, National Drug Prevention Alliance representative; Dr. Paul Baiden-Adams, Multi-Cultural Support Aid Services, UK; and Mr. Yann Lovelock BEM, Senior Advisor for the Birmingham Council of Faiths.”

    And the standing ovations! Every few minutes some minor point, if delivered with enthusiasm and referencing the wonderfulness of some aspect of Scientology or Scientologists, would have everyone up on their hind legs, leaving the locals sitting and looking bemused. It was content-free stroking. Let’s give ourselves the ra-ra applause usually reserved for the exceptional. Our standards are so low, and we’ve been so long in the bubble, and so desperate for any clue that the Tech might really be working that we have actually come to see these routine achievements as exceptional. While the speeches were inspiring to those wishing to be inspired, to the more widely informed they were merely a tedious litany of lies and half truths, no matter how enthusiastically delivered.

    By now the cold was having its effect on an old man’s bladder, so I quietly left my seat and walked behind the crowd to the portaloo trailers parked at the far side. Thus by the time perfectly groomed multi-millionaire David Miscavige took to the stage I was standing at the back. Unfortunately I have no smartphone. My camera is primarily a video camera and thus rather conspicuous; the same type indeed that Scientology operatives use as tools of intimidation. Not wishing to appear ungracious to my hosts (and not wishing to get chucked out) I decided to quietly take out my camera for just a couple of still pics.

    Immediately a young staff member stood in front of me! Oh right; he was just checking a piece of equipment and soon moved off. Wot me, paranoid?


    [The view from the loo.]

    David Miscavige’s speech. What can I say? His speeches really are impossible to follow; like being assaulted by waves of glutinous treacle. There was an immediate avalanche of clichéd aphorisms, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, piled up, one upon another, so fast they were impossible to absorb. This seemed to be building to a climax which would be resolved by a clever punch line. But none came. Was he actually nervous? Blasé about the whole charade? For whatever reason, a series of wise saws which might have borne contemplation had they been delivered at a measured pace were reduced to a confusing jumble.

    Perhaps he needs a speech coach; but who would dare?

    There then followed an equally confusing jumble of “clever” references, presumably intended to demonstrate how tuned in he is to local culture and the spirit of the age. Shakespeare blah blah blah, Shakespearian phrase blah blah, fake Shakespearian type phrase somewhat mangled… London in the south and Birming-ham here in the north. OK Dave, so you think Birming-ham is in the north. Not sure what your tiny Sunderland contingent thought of that.

    Then the treacly word-cascade rolled on, weaving in references to points made by each of the previous speakers. All done so intricately and smoothly there was no way this was off the cuff. So it looks like his speechwriter had had access to the speeches of all the previous speakers, well in advance of the event.

    At some point there were noises off. Some people on the back two rows turned in surprise. Was that the faint sound of “what a load of rubbish” being chanted from the other side of the trees? Was someone having more fun than me, standing on the outside enjoying themselves whilst I stood on the inside, bored, damp and “taking one for the team?”

    And then Dave’s speech got very parochial. A long series of thank-yous to key Scientologists accompanied by an in-joke or two while their delighted images appeared on the big screens and perfectly groomed Dave Miscavige gave that cute little salute we all know and love from videos of him. There was a Calcioli somewhere in there, and a blissfully happy Sheila Gaiman received the loudest round of applause. I was sad for her, to see her joy.

    Oh. And a brief pic of L. Ron himself up on the screen, to be applauded as is the custom. Then finally the rope-yank, with so many yankers they could hardly fit on the stage, accompanied by the release of rather a meagre number of balloons considering the size of the building.

    Then it was all over and people started towards the main entrance, to see inside the building. I’d estimate the crowd to be about eight to nine hundred. All trying to get in through one entrance door. I joined the crowd, which seemed not to be moving. Someone grumbled about the two side doors not being used.

    Were they trying to funnel us all in through the same entrance so they could greet people individually? Validate their paperwork? This was going to take forever. If only they’d had some kind of admin tech to help them cope with things like this. I was standing, cold, damp and weary after a long journey down. While on the other side of the fence was a lively bunch of SPs with tales to tell. Time to call it a day, exit and find out who it was who’d been chanting “What a load of rubbish.”


    More at
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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Here is the most-recent press release that the cult has had published on

    Church of Scientology Opens New Facility in Birmingham, UK

    By Kelly Frazier, World Religion News

    Birmingham, called a “City of a Thousand Trades,” has been dubbed as enjoying a recent renaissance by the Financial Times. The city is seeing economic success in their manufacturing, automotive, and retail industries. In 2015, business leaders noted the need to attract more industry leaders to the area and applauded HSBC’s announcement to relocate their headquarters to Birmingham.

    Upon opening the church and cutting the ribbon, David Miscavige, Scientology ecclesiastical leader said: “When that inaugural ribbon falls, so a curtain rises… and so it becomes every Scientologist’s responsibility to uplift England’s Salt of the Earth, thereby turning an industrial revolution into a spiritual revolution.”

    A band of dignitaries also graced the event, including: Mr. Yann Lovelock BEM, Senior Advisor for the Birmingham Council of Faiths; Dr. Paul Baiden-Adams, Director of Multi-Cultural Support Aid Services, UK; Ms. Diana Coad, National Drug Prevention Alliance Representative; and Ms. Decima Francis MBE, Founder, From Boyhood to Manhood Foundation.

    In 2007, the Church of Scientology acquired the Pitmaston House in the Mosely suburbs. The Birmingham facility was built in 1930 and is now a restored 45,000 square foot facility. Residents were initially concerned about converting the historic property on speculation that traffic in the area would increase.

    Yann Lovelock, Senior Advisor for the Birmingham Council of Faiths, commented: “What we’re all welcoming today is the opening of a resource that contributes to the good of Birmingham; that contributes to better awareness of who we are individually and what we can add to the general welfare.”

    The church has been working with the Birmingham community for more than 20 years, through its literacy programs, anti-drug initiatives, and human rights and morals education. In the past year, Scientologists have distributed anti-drug literature called The Truth About Drugs, reaching more than 140,000 people since the inception of the program. The group also distributed The Way to Happiness materials and copies of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

    The Church of Scientology has restored several historic sites and facilities over the years into “Ideal Organizations,” places for Scientologists to practice their faith.

    Continued at
  13. TorontosRoot Member

    Another puff piece full of fake news.
  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Moseley residents 'fuming' after Church of Scientology personality test posted through doors

    Residents angry or baffled after test to determine 'future success and happiness' is posted through doors

    By Luke Beardsworth, Birmingham Mail


    Residents in Moseley were left angry after the newly-opened Church of Scientology posted invitations for a personality test through their doors. The test, which several people in the area have reported receiving, tests 'the 10 key personality traits that determine your future success and happiness' and helps you 'find out how to improve them'.

    Graeme Wilson, the Church of Scientology’s UK-based public affairs director, said: "The personality test is a measure of how people see themselves, particularly if they want to learn more about life and improve conditions for self and others. "We are planning to distribute invitations for tours and a cup of tea, and it appears that a couple of our enthusiastic volunteers distributed some personality test vouchers in the meantime.

    "We do welcome neighbours and Moseley residents who want to come for a tour and a complimentary cup of tea or coffee, and they don't need to take a personality test in order to visit!"

    However, the invitation has not been met with open arms, with many expressing their anger. Jonnie Daly said: "If they are an honest free respectful "religion" they shouldn't be using cheap sales and marketing techniques to sucker us in."

    Andrew Cook added: "Oh god. Fuming." Others merely noted that the tests could make good bonfire flint.

    The opening of the new Church of Scientology was met with protests from local residents. Protesters came from across the UK and some had been campaigning against Scientology for twenty plus years.

    Continued at
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  15. It appears the good residents of Moseley aren't impressed by Scientology and why didn't Scientologists KNOW this?
    In Birmingham knowingness and beingness hasn't caught up yet and it's not Keeping Scientology Working.
    Shame. Not.
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    London “Ideal” Org – Still Failing After All These Years

    By Mike Rinder, November 5, 2017


    Twelve years after becoming “Ideal” and combining two orgs into one (London and CC London) London is STILL not SH Size.

    The building IS magnificent. And they have a separate Test Center on an enormously busy street (the former London Org premises).

    If you took all the times they have announced their “highest ever expansion” and “bigger,” “better” and “faster” over those years it would be more words than are found in DMSMH. But nobody seems to notice that despite them claiming all this incredible expansion they have not even achieved the “make-break point” of an org. St Hill size. L. Ron Hubbard said this is when the staff earn a living wage — which is the purpose of “St Hill Size”…

    This is true for EVERY ideal org. NO expansion has taken place despite their posters proclaiming “10X expansion” (featuring a photo of Atlanta “ideal org” — which is completely dead).

    L. Ron Hubbard also said that achieving the size of old St. Hill doesn’t take a long time — “a matter of weeks”… his proof was that he did it at St Hill and then Boston did it too. The same Boston that has not been able to make the grade as an ideal org now for 13 years. He said the only reason orgs would NOT expand was that they were not operating “on purpose” and the staff didn’t have a “purpose to expand.” Of course it was all their fault.

    Just look at the “graphs” in this promo piece, no numbers, no dates. Who knows, their VSD could have gone from 500 pounds per week to 800 over the last 2 months as they got one person on their grades. I would love to see the graphs since 2005 and see just how effective this ideal org program really is. And frankly, it tells you EVERYTHING you need to know that they are too embarrassed to put numbers on their graphs. You know if London org really HAD expanded steadily over the last 12 years they would be shouting the number of clears they make every week from the rooftops. It should be HUNDREDS, if not thousands per week by now.

    And there should be another dozen orgs in London by this time (remember Miscavige’s little graphic with arrows spouting new groups, missions and orgs around all the ideal orgs???).

    This is really pathetic. But excellent evidence that even with an infusion of $20 million into 2 buildings (the org and the “Test Center”) they have achieved nothing and clearly have no idea how to expand scientology anywhere.

    Continued at
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  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Visit to London Ideal Org shows that the Scientology bubble is still firmly in place

    By Tony Ortega, September 17, 2018


    What a treat we have for you today. Over in London last night, the UK Auxiliary Unit of the Underground Bunker — our clever correspondents Pete Griffiths and Andrea Garner — were showing around Beth Pearson on a visit from the U.S. when they came by the Scientology Ideal Org on Queen Victoria Street.

    Certified as “Ideal” at its grand opening on October 22, 2006, the London facility shows off all of the fancy displays that Scientology leader David Miscavige thinks is the best way to present Scientology to the unwashed masses. But as you’ll see, in the following videos that Andrea recorded, Scientology always comes back to its people.

    As much as Miscavige might want his permanent trade show displays to tell Scientology’s story, it’s Richard, the staffer working late, who provides a wonderful running commentary that manages to present the lion’s share of Scientology’s quaint myths about itself.

    Our fearless trio are pretty brilliant at encouraging the man to keep up his patter. By the time Richard says that there are 20 million Scientologists in the world, we were howling.

    Continued at
  18. TorontosRoot Member

    Bubble needs to be popped!
  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    Dispatches from our far-flung correspondents agree: Scientology still sucks

    By Tony Ortega, October 1, 2018


    We were super fortunate to have reports come in this weekend from two of our great correspondents. In England, Graham updated us on the Birmingham org, and in California, Erin Hodges Plumb had another of her upstart adventures.

    Continued at
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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    ‘Voodoo classes for kids’ posters plastered over London Scientology centre | Osburn Oracle


    Posters advertising ‘voodoo classes for kids’ have been plastered over a Scientology centre in London.

    They proclaim the voodoo courses can help people to ‘curse friends’, ‘reanimate deceased animals’ and ‘perform blood sacrifices’.

    The spoof posters are the work of Birmingham artist Foka Wolf who has blitzed London with ‘Tube dating’ and ‘baby eating competitions’ adverts.

    Foka Wolf told Metro: ‘I was walking in London and saw the Scientologist shop and thought it would be funny to put one of my voodoo posters on the shop.

    ‘I hope I don’t get into trouble and am hoping I have not taken it all too far. A few people commented about not wanting to annoy Scientologists off and having Tom Cruise after me.

    ‘I’m not sure I want to piss off the Scientologists.’

    But the artist need not worry because staff at the Life Improvement Centre said they were not offended.

    A woman from the centre said: ‘We washed off the poster as soon as we saw it, it did not cause any offence.’

    The Life Improvement Centre is open daily and says it ‘welcomes all visitors wishing an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology’.

    During the recent heatwave, the artist put up ‘mobile sauna’ posters in Tube stations offering commuters to ‘sweat out a fifth of your body weight in one journey’ and ‘experience the afterlife of a sardine’.

    He also created a ‘how to be a moped mugger’ advert which he put up around Camden.

    In April the artist posted adverts offering ‘free penis enlargements for 4×4 drivers’ in Birmingham.

    Foka Wolf always puts a number at the bottom of his spoof posters and records messages or even has a chat with the person ringing.

    The artist said: ‘I started by wanting to show people that just because something is written down on something does not mean it is true, but since doing them I’ve come to the realisation that there is a section of society who are that stupid they actually believe anything they read.’

    But Londoners fearing being pranked can rest easy, because the artist has now left the capital to return to Birmingham.

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  21. TorontosRoot Member

  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Checking in on a Scientology ‘ideal’ Christmas as we continue our year in review

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, December 22, 2018


    Before we continue our year in review today, we have a holiday treat for you from reader Graham, who makes a return trip to the Birmingham Ideal Org after he so sneakily brought us a report from its grand opening last year. We’re always curious to see how little activity there is at these facilities after the confetti is swept away.

    Seasons greetings from Birmingham

    It’s been a couple of months since I last walked past the Birmingham Ideal Org. As it was a Sunday I wondered if the car-park might be packed with attendees at a Sunday service. Unlikely, as Scientology’s Sunday services are often advertised (in order to fake being some vaguely Christian-like religion) but rarely delivered. Checking their website beforehand I could find no reference to a Sunday service so presumably this is a bit of fakery they’ve abandoned; for now at least.

    There were 12 cars peppered round the huge car-park as I walked past last Sunday morning. One had a ladder on the roof, so presumably at least one vehicle belonged to a maintenance worker rather than a ‘parishioner.’ And of course the Sad Lonely Yellow Van, like a character from Thomas the Tank Engine, standing forlornly in the same place as over two months ago. Not exactly a hive of activity consistent with a vast 3,750 square metre former insurance HQ. Even discounting the absent Sunday service, surely weekends and evenings must be prime time for those on course to be working here?

    Then, a surprise when walking past the main driveway entrance. The small sign inviting people in to see a FREE! exhibition was no longer almost invisible by the front door but standing outside on the pavement. Had they been reading the Bunker, I wondered, and taken my advice? However, looking at the sign there was no reference to free exhibitions, personality tests or any other ‘body routing’ guff. Just an advert for the ‘Scientology Network App.’ So now even the slightest pretense at body routing has gone, replaced by a small sign just outside the property boundary telling anyone ‘curious’ to go away and download an app. And incidentally, propped up against a tree and thus completely invisible to west-bound traffic.

    As for their rather feeble attempt to get down with the locals by attempting some Christmas decorations, the least said the better; a giant inflatable drunken Santa, a couple of inflatable snow-persons and a feeble herd of ghostly mini-reindeer on the front lawn.

    — Graham

    Source, with four photos:
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