Countdown to Portland: Scientology Planning a Rager on Saturday - 2013-05-10
Portland Mercury photo by Dirk Vanderhart Scientology leader David Miscavige began opening "Ideal Orgs" about a decade ago. In each case, local church members are pressured to raise huge amounts of money to replace perfectly adequate church facilities with much larger, more elaborate palaces that tend to stand empty. It's a controversial plan that has exacerbated splits in the church membership — there's lots of evidence that founder L. Ron Hubbard actually preferred more modest facilities and always stressed the need for new members, not new buildings.
But for whatever reason, Miscavige has banked the future of the church on his Ideal program, and seems to think tomorrow's grand opening in Portland is the most important one yet. We've been marveling recently at the effort going into tomorrow's big show, and we have some more updates for those thinking of stopping by for a gander.
First, we keep getting asked by Portlanders where this thing is going down. As the Portland Mercury pointed out, with some photos (see above), the podium for the big celebration has been set up on the west side of SW 3rd Avenue, just a little south of the intersection with SW Oak Street. We're hearing that SW 3rd Avenue will be closed off for tomorrow's celebration, which is happening at 1 pm. Knowing Scientology, a small army of local law enforcement and rent-a-cops will prevent you from getting very close, but we have several folks who are going to try and get us some photos of the ceremony. We're especially interested, as always, to know which local dignitaries get roped into participating.