Tony Ortega: Scientology in Brighton, England

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Nov 28, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member


    Scientology’s apocalyptic ‘expansion': A hint at the real story in a Brighton shiny moment

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, November 28, 2015


    A number of our readers noticed that Scientology has been putting out gushing news about its unstoppable “expansion” in press releases that show up in the oddest places, like in a piece masquerading as a story that showed up in Digital Journal and in Jim Cramer’s news website The Street. We have to wonder at the people who might take such claims of Scientology’s growth seriously.

    Yes, David Miscavige has convinced some of his followers to fork over huge amounts to pay for some new buildings, but these “Ideal Orgs” have replaced perfectly serviceable facilities and didn’t actually represent any growth in the movement. Meanwhile, the orgs and missions that haven’t gone Ideal are suffering as fewer and fewer people visit them.

    We want to thank the tipster who has given us a glimpse of what’s going on in Brighton, England, for example. He sent us the photo above, explaining that a few years ago, the Brighton org was housed in the top floor of the building you can see on the left. And, at one time, it was a thriving concern on a busy street.

    But that was years ago. What sort of shape is Brighton org in now?

    Well, to find out, you’d have to notice this attractive advertisement as you were strolling through one of Brighton’s less glamorous areas.


    And if you decided that you were, in fact, interested in a personality test, you’d need to negotiate your way down this alleyway, which doesn’t look sketchy at all.


    And that would bring you to this totally welcoming store front. Well, it’s just a door really. Not a store front at all. More like a prison door, actually, but as prison doors go, it’s rather inviting, isn’t it?


    Just imagine the straight up and vertical stats the Brighton org must be getting out of that traffic-stopping setup. England will be cleared in no time!

    Source, and open comments:


    Tony Ortega: What should we tell the UK government about Scientology?
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  2. Random guy Member

    The same post has a video with Allison Hop Weiner doing a more in-depth interview with Jonny Jacobsen. It's worth a watch.
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Church of Scientology faces calls for compulsory purchase orders on historic English properties in danger of going to 'rack and ruin'

    By Shane Croucher, International Business Times, May 20, 2016
    • Millions of pounds of Scientology-owned property languishing across England.
    • Growing frustration at lack of redevelopment of important historic buildings.
    • MP calls it 'money-making cult' and says he would 'support compulsory purchase'.
    • Church says it is a legitimate religion and property development plans are progressing.
    Valuable landmark properties worth tens of millions of pounds are in danger of going to "rack and ruin" across England under the ownership of the Church of Scientology, a legacy of an aggressive expansion plan devised by the religious group's controversial leader David Miscavige.

    Historic listed buildings in Manchester, Birmingham, Gateshead and Plymouth have been purchased over the past decade for an estimated £10.35m under the Church of Scientology's "Ideal Organisations" project to expand into new communities across the world. This value is likely to be substantially higher today after years of property price rises.

    Now Scientologists face battles with local authority planning departments amid support for costly compulsory purchase orders to bring the properties back into use by their communities after years of redevelopment delays, despite promises to lavish millions on renovation.

    Critics of Scientology call it a "cult" and say the expansion – described as a "spectacular failure" – was intended to generate donations for property development work which has not materialised. The church strenuously denies these claims, insisting it is a legitimate religion recognised by the European Court of Human Rights and the British High Court. Church officials added that Scientology's growth over the past decade has been "meteoric" and that progress is being made to develop the properties.

    However, Roger Godsiff, the Labour MP for Birmingham Hall Green, claims Scientology is a "money-making cult". He said he would "support a compulsory purchase order" on a property the church owns in his constituency which is in danger of going to "rack and ruin".

    Continued here:

    Also, these articles by the same author were published today:

    Scientology and its languishing English property: Pitmaston House, Birmingham

    Scientology and its languishing English property: Windmill Hills Nursing Home, Gateshead

    Scientology and its languishing English property: Royal Fleet Club, Plymouth

    Scientology and its languishing English property: Duckworth's Essence Distillery, Trafford
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  4. Random guy Member

  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Petition against Scientology plans for historic Plymouth building reaches 100 signatures

    By Alex Wood, Plymouth Herald, June 3, 2016


    More than 100 people have signed a petition urging the council to reject plans to convert an iconic Plymouth building into a hub for the Church of Scientology.

    Former scientologist, William Drummond, launched the petition amid fears the Church is trying to "take over" the South West by converting The Royal Fleet Club into its regional headquarters.

    The impressive building, situated in Morice Square, was snapped up by the religious group in June 2010 for about £1million but has been left to rot as church members continue to raise the required funds to start renovation work.

    After knocking on doors in Devonport, canvassing businesses in the city centre and staging a two-man protest outside the Church of Scientology's current base on Ebrington Street, Mr Drummond hosted a public meeting last weekend to highlight the Church's plans for the area.

    He claimed more than 150 senior-ranking scientologists will be flown in from across the world to run The Fleet Club centre and accused the Church of "hounding people for money".

    His petition, urging Plymouth City Council's planning department to reject future Fleet Club proposals by the Church, has since gathered 104 signatures.

    "Although the turnout wasn't huge, the meeting was a success and we managed to take our signature total over the 100 mark," he said.

    "The people of Devonport don't want the Church of Scientology moving in this historic building. They purchased it six years ago and have done nothing but let it rot.

    "Residents are worried about what the Church plans to use this building for and there was an overwhelming feeling among those present that the Church of Scientology is detrimental to our society.

    "The council should take this into account when considering planning applications by the Church of Scientology. I don't want anyone else to experience what I did as a former member."

    After buying the Royal Fleet Hotel – formerly the Royal Fleet Club – from Midlands-based businessman, Kailash Suri, in the summer of 2010, The Church of Scientology outlined ambitious plans for the 114-year-old site in Morice Square.

    The plans included a library, chapel, information centre, book store, course and lecture rooms, offices and a cafe.

    Fast forward six years and the site is still yet to be developed, with Plymouth scientologists unable to explain the delay or say when work will begin.

    Lisa Coffey, community affairs director for the Church of Scientology Plymouth, told The Herald in May: "The fundraising targets are high, but we are pleased to announce that a major target has been reached and in the near future we hope to start work on the roof and the entire outside structure."

    Both The Church of Scientology and Plymouth City Council have been approached for comment.

  6. fishypants Moderator

    This is an interesting little piece. A transcript would be welcome, if someone can be bothered to type one out.
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  7. The Wrong Guy Member


    I spent an afternoon with the Church of Scientology

    They were creepily persuasive

    By Kilian Tscherny, The Tab, March 6, 2017


    Karl sat on the table’s edge opposite me, beaming. “We want to bring Scientology to more people at universities”, he said. “We need more people like you.”

    Nestled in an unassuming office building above Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, just a few doors down from Casablanca’s, is Brighton’s very own faction of the Church of Scientology. Publically recognisable only by an A4 sheet stuck to a window, Scientology’s local headquarters aren’t exactly begging for attention. Odd, considering this is an international organisation whose celebrity adherents include Tom Cruise, John Travolta, even Beck.

    This is an organisation with some bizarre origins and even weirder beliefs, so a recap is in order. The Church of Scientology was founded in 1954 by L. Ron Hubbard, an American science fiction author. It’s based on Hubbard’s concept of ‘Dianetics’, a set of ideas that regard the relationship between body and mind. Though the concepts of Dianetics are somewhat more complex than that, it’s Scientology’s core beliefs that are just completely bonkers.

    For Scientologists, the story goes that 75 million years ago there existed a galactic warlord named Xenu, ruler of a confederation of 90 planets, including Earth — back then called ‘Teegeeack’. Xenu paralysed and brought billions of his people to Teegeeack, chucked them into volcanoes before killing them with nuclear bombs. The souls of those murdered people (known as ‘Thetans’) live on in all people and cause them to do bad things. Through ‘auditing’ sessions, Scientology’s purpose is to get people to remember their true selves and ultimately ‘go clear’. This all sounds mad and, to top it all off, it comes at an infamously hefty price. Adherents have to pay the Church thousands of pounds for teaching, auditing and ‘educational’ material. Pay-as-you go religion or what?

    I approach the front door and ring the buzzer. A few anxious seconds pass before I’m let in. This is definitely the right place. I ascend one floor and find myself in what looks to be not much more than an downbeat office. A pair of eyes gaze at me through a doorway ahead.

    Continued at

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