Mardi Gras with a sinister edge as Scientologists open new Dublin HQ - 2016-10-16
The question of how Scientology would transplant its cultish craziness into a leafy Dublin street was answered on Saturday afternoon as a small crowd of about 200 gathered to watch the ribbon cutting on the group's new national affairs office on Merrion Square.
It was like a mini Mardi Gras with a sinister edge. A line of people waved Irish flags and sang as a small band played As The Saints Go Marching In. A cheer went up as party streamers ignited and the doors swung open to "the public" - which excluded any passers by or members of the press, who were strictly barred from entering (journalists are thought of as 'merchants of chaos' by the church).
This was in keeping with the atmosphere of secrecy that pervaded the event. None of the gathered Scientologists would speak on the record about their new venture, which was attended by some bigwigs from the international church.