Scientology's building projects & front groups under the microscope in 2018 - 2018-12-30
On this final Sunday in 2018, we asked Rod Keller to give us his own year in review. We're so fortunate that Rod gives us a report every week while he keeps such a close eye on Scientology's "expansion" projects and front-group operations around the globe.
January brought news that Scientology plans to open a new Narconon facility in the small town of Ballivor, Ireland. Residents there protested the construction site, and in November An Bord Pleanála, a national planning board, ruled that Scientology's drug rehab facility was a change of use, as the site was previously a nursing home. Given local opposition it now seems unlikely that planning permission will be given, adding Narconon Ireland to a long list of failed facilities. Scientology expressed shock that they were not welcomed with open arms as they plan their next move. They don't think this battle is over yet.
In February we reported on the efforts of public Scientologists in Manchester to start renovations of the new Ideal Org building on their own, without professional help. That project has withered as the easy projects are now complete. Manchester set a goal to start professional renovations "by Christmas" but that date seems to have slipped. Hopes for a new Ideal Org in the UK by the end of 2019 are slim.