[Guest post from Arthur who was in Portland for the “Grand Opening”.]
I dropped by the “Grand Opening” of Scientology’s latest “Ideal Org” in Portland, Oregon. It was nothing much. I guess that’s typical of these events. Only a couple of hundred Scientologists showed up.
As much as it was nothing much, a few things struck me about the event and how Scientology “welcomed itself” into the community.
The overwhelming image and attitude of Scientology in that neighborhood and in that community was, “We don’t like you, we don’t trust you. Keep out.” There were tons of security all over the place plus rented off-duty police. The police were polite, the Scientologists were most definitely not. At one point I saw one Scientology “security” person hassling a non-uniformed Scientology security person because he didn’t recognize him. That was funny.
If you were not a known Scientologist, you were most unwelcome. Even if you were just curious and only wanted to know what was going on — you were not welcome.
As Bill likes to say, compare Scientology with how a normal organization or a normal church would carry out their Grand Opening. The whole community would be invited. Everyone would be welcome. A normal organization or church would want everyone to show up, participate and feel welcome.
Scientology demands that “All you people stay the hell out of our building.”
And that is why these “Grand Openings”, and all the empty days following them, are such failures. If you welcome yourself “into the community” by erecting barricades, keeping the community out and harassing those who are curious, you are sending a message that the community is not welcome at the Church of Scientology. And it’s true! Go to any Scientology organization and see what their attitude is. It is, “We don’t like you, we don’t trust you. If you try hard, you might be welcome here, but we doubt it.”
It’s called a “Bunker Mentality”. (It has nothing to do with Mark Bunker — a “bunker” is a fortified place to hide.) That’s Scientology in a nutshell.
You could blame it all on Anonymous, making the problems of Scientology so visible — and that’s true in a superficial way. Certainly Anonymous was there at Portland’s Grand Opening, but they were small in number and pretty polite, considering.
Anonymous was the spark, but the fuel was there in abundance. The endless Scientology tricks and lies, the horrible abuses and the crimes were all there. The Scientology survivors and the witnesses were all there in large numbers. The continuing crimes, so carefully covered up, were all there.
Scientology has been creating their victims and, consequently, their enemies for over 60 years. Thanks to Anonymous, it finally became safe to talk about it, document it and finally, finally, bring Scientology to the attention of the law and the courts.
The Church of Scientology is very, very frightened. That was never more apparent than today, at Scientology’s small “grand” opening of their latest fortress against justice, truth and the very community they claim they want to help.