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As Scientology prepares for Saturday’s grand opening, its controversial sign goes up

SMPSign

 
The Church of Scientology’s new Los Angeles television studios on Sunset Boulevard suddenly became a hive of activity yesterday as preparations got underway for Saturday’s big grand opening. Scientology purchased the old KCET studios in 2011, and has been fundraising ever since to open what it’s calling “Scientology Media Productions,” a complex of TV and radio studios that the church says will help it get its message out.

But one move by the church took locals by surprise. Cranes lifted a sign to the top of the facility’s 15-story antenna yesterday evening, and on local websites residents were buzzing about whether this was the neon sign the church had been told it couldn’t put on the tower.

One of our readers lives in the neighborhood, and he tells us he’s pretty shocked to see the sign go up. Two of the people on his block are on the neighborhood council. “They said that the [church’s] application was rescinded based on advice from the council, but we’re gonna have to find out what really happened,” he says.

Last summer, Scientology was trying to get permission to put up a neon sign that would contain two interlocking triangles and the letter S, Scientology’s logo…

 
ScientologyLogo

 
Is that what Scientology lifted into place last night? The last we heard, Scientology had postponed its attempt to convince the local government to let it put up a bright neon sign. Looking at the photograph, however, we aren’t sure that what was lifted into place yesterday is an electric sign at all. Maybe our readers can get a look at it this morning and let us know.

Meanwhile, the site has suddenly turned into a busy place. Says our reader, who snapped the photo of the sign being lifted on cranes: “They’re putting up lighting trusses, stages, audio gear, big red ribbons on the buildings, and appears they’re going to finally uncover all of the signage as well.”

According to the instructions that were sent out to church members, security at the event will be tight. But we’ve heard from numerous readers who tell us they plan on attending and will get us some reports from the scene.

Scentologists have been under considerable pressure to donate money to the Scientology Media Productions project, and they’ve been told that it’s a crucial step in helping the church get its message out to the world. Former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder and other former church executives have pointed out to us that Scientology already has state-of-the-art production studios at its base near Hemet, which is about 90 miles away. If the studios are redundant, why is so much work and money being pumped into them?

Fundraising appeals from the church have implied that the studios will enable Scientology to broadcast its message over its own television station. Is that what Scientology leader David Miscavige is planning, Scientology TV? So far, we haven’t seen evidence that the church has obtained a license to broadcast over the air. We may learn more about that on Saturday, when Miscavige presides over the grand opening.

We’re also very curious to see who Miscavige has convinced to share the stage with him. When he opens a new “Ideal Org” somewhere, the ceremony usually features a few local political figures. But in this case, will it be entertainment figures? We’re anxious to find out.

 
UPDATE: Here’s a more close-up photo of the sign that was put up last night. What do you think, crew, does this thing light up?

 
SMPSign2

 
And here’s a look at where the ceremony will be happening on Saturday…

 
SMP6

 
2nd UPDATE: And now the crane is out again. What are they doing up there?

 
SMPSign3

 
A closer look. Is he wiring this thing up?

 
SMPSign4

 
——————–

Bonus items from our tipsters

In Tampa, someone wrote a very big check. Actual caption: “VERY WELL DONE to Craig Guignon for securing his full training package and new E-meter with Tampa, and he also secured his Super Power and Cause Resurgence with the help of our awesome Tampa registrars!”

 
SciTampa11

 
In London, the local Nation of Islam group celebrates its kids learning to clay model…

 
SciLondon13

 
——————–

HowdyConBanner

 
——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 25, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

 

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  • L. Wrong Hubturd

    OT note about Anonymous for those of you living in Floriduh like me.

    http://www.nbc-2.com/story/32066634/anonymous-declares-cyber-war-on-gov-scott#.V0ZaKZErK00

  • Mockingbird

    The Scientology TV station can run commercials for spirit singles, Tom Cruise movies, John Travolta movies and Grant Card one seminars. They can advertise Narconon and NOI.

    • jazzlover

      Grant Cardone seminars, you say?:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCGsqBn9pog

    • jazzlover

      Grant Cardone seminars, you say?:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCGsqBn9pog

      • Todd Tomorrow

        I saw a documentary on this joker. Funny…

        • jazzlover

          He was big in NYC for a while…….until he got indicted and convicted for fraud and went to prison for 8 years. In a perfect world, Granty would suffer the same fate.

          • Todd Tomorrow

            I was just gonna say they remind me of each other. He would get leggy bikini models to distract the auditors sent to inspect his crazy amount of inventory before he had his IPO.
            Edit; they were actually empty boxes.

            • jazzlover

              The insane prices always remind me of Grant’s insane prices 🙂 If you’ve watch any of his Grant Cardone radio spots on youtube, the insanity will be apparent.

      • JanInThePan

        Oh Gods. There was a rumor i heard when i was young that somehow my family was related to this guy. Not sure how true that is, but..ick.

        • jazzlover

          Genetic rumors, eh? We’ve all got relatives that we wish weren’t 😉

        • Kay

          Hey I used to laugh at “Swamp People” on the animal planet UNTIL one of my friends pointed out that one of the families has my family name, AND they live in an area where my Dad and his 9 siblings grew up, PLUS there is a definite resemblance there if you can visualize them with all of their teeth. (I’m not being mean here….bad teeth run in my family as well, but my siblings and I are lucky enough to be able to afford fillings, crowns, or implants if needed. or we would look just the same as my possible shirttail cousins) Now that’s not as bad by any stretch of the imagination to being related to Cardone, but at least it’s amusing.

          • JanInThePan

            Wow! Now that’s a story.

      • Mockingbird

        Crazy Eddie is a wild guy with a wilder life.

        • jazzlover

          And Grant isn’t? LOL

  • Mockingbird

    For fans of Scientology’s claim of supporting human rights and the declaration of human rights it includes the right to set up unions

    Scientology oddly allows no unions or human rights whatsoever in the cult
    But Scientology does use ecclesiastical dildos on occasion.

    There is now a union sex store in New York city !

    So Scientologists can support unions when they get their sex toys !

    I am sure that is something Hubbard could get behind.

    http://m.democracynow.org/headlines/2016/5/25/45223

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      I thought my Catholic upbringing produced a uniquely unhealthy relationship with sex and sexuality till I started digging into scientology.

      Yay for Babeland! Ever see the documentary Live Nude Girls Unite! It’s about a strip club in San Francisco and the dancers’ fight to unionize. It was really interesting. They succeeded, but the club went out of business several years ago.

      • Mockingbird

        I feel I need to watch that for…research purposes…yeah, we’ll say that’s the reason.

  • Sejanus

    Hooking up power to that monstrosity?

  • Scientology symbol on the Moon would greatly improve Thursday stats.

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      This is better.

      “Last night I dreamt / I’d forgotten my name / ‘Cause I sold my soul / But I woke just the same / I’m so lonely / I wish I was the moon tonight”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCV-YMD6oXA

      • Neko’s coming to town and I’ll be there in the front row with Deep Red Bells on.

        • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

          Awesome, take me with you. That tour stops in DC in late July, but I think it’s sold out. I’ve seen her a bunch in the past, but it’s been too long.

          Deep Red Bells…Gawd, I love that song…”It looks a lot like engine oil / and tastes like being poor and small / and popsicles in the summer.”

          • “Who took the time to fold your clothes.” Just a chilling, gorgeous song.

            • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

              Mmm, indeed. At first, I thought it was just plain gorgeous. Then I paid closer attention to the lyrics. Whoa.

            • Yeah, the BTK serial murderer was a terrifying episode in the northwest. Like the Zodiac was when I was a kid in the Bay Area. That she was able to spin a compelling tale about such an awful subject with such dark beauty speaks to her talent as a songwriter.
              EDIT: It was the Green River Killer, not the BTK dude. I hate it when I mix up serial killers.

            • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

              No kidding. Beauty in the darkness seems to be her sweet spot. I feel honored to have watched her hone her craft over the years. Her songs take me to church.

  • The Dude

    This is funny. The first time I saw the Term FZ’s was 13 years ago. I
    was just starting to research LRH an $cio. I thought they meant Frank
    Zappa heads man. That is what we call ourselves, FZ’s. Strange little
    parallel. For a “never-in” this is funny to me.

    • I’m pretty sure the ship that arrived too late to save the drowning witch was the Apollo.

  • The Dude

    For everyone knows Frank Zappa would make a much better Deity than LRH or DM could ever dream of.

  • The Dude

    And to Jimmy. I have quit smoking. 3 months. No looking back. Scoff all you want.

    • Jimmy3

      I’m very proud of you.

      • The Dude

        Still Buds?
        You were scaring me.
        So hostile the other day.

        • Jimmy3

          I think I was hostile because you called me “Jimbo-bob-boy-fucker”.
          But it’s all good. We’re still cool.

          • Todd Tomorrow

            JJBF, it has a ring to it.

            • Jimmy3

              Already had t-shirts printed up

          • The Dude

            Yeah Man like I was a little… like “Tipsy” at that time. Forgive me. I’m Gonna have a kid! I was drinking??

            • Todd Tomorrow

              I thought you had one?

            • The Dude

              Another. It happens, Todd.

            • Todd Tomorrow

              Congrats!

            • The Dude

              Thanks! I have grown a bit jaded in my time away from the bunker.

            • Todd Tomorrow

              Getting ready to get back in the sleeping bag on the basement floor to get some sleep?

            • Jimmy3

              It’s all good. Congrats on the kid, man.

            • The Dude

              Thanks Jimmy.

    • I don’t know about proud, but I surely missed your Dudeness. These times require The Dude.

    • Todd Tomorrow

      Wow what a fuckin’ flashback. How yah been?

      • The Dude

        Hey Todd. They have not kicked you off yet for being inappropriate?

        • Todd Tomorrow

          Me? No just a few time outs in the hole but I have a Dr’s note for my tourettes.

    • Todd Tomorrow

      I quit by using that thing with all the needles. Help I can’t think of what’s called?

      • Robert Eckert

        acupuncture

        • Todd Tomorrow

          No Heroin and I just loved it! You should have seen my Mother’s face when I dropped that joke on her.

          • The Dude

            That is why I did not respond.

            • Robert Eckert

              well, Todd owes me then. I’m only a straight man for pay.

        • Kay

          I was going to say that but then upon further consideration I thought maybe he was talking about something much more exotic….laugh.

    • Kay

      Hi Dude !!!! I hope Little Dude is doing great ! Haven’t seen you around for awhile.

      • The Dude

        Gonna have another! Thanks. He is doing great. Rock on, Kate!

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Whoa Dude that is terrific! Congratulations.

    • Juicer77

      Great job! More money for diapers when the time comes. 😉

  • Kay

    I’m late to the site tonight and too tired to read back through the comments. However here’s my teensy little 2 cents worth:
    Miscavage is putting this other broadcast station up because it will be VISIBLE to everyone in the city in this new location, whereas the other one is out in the boonies and can only be seen via brochures, Freedumb mag, etc. There is no other reason I can fathom to duplicate such an expensive venture.

    Re: the signage on the antennae: Well that’s just damned ugly, and yes I think it’s going to light up. The neighbors will NOT be amused. But then again, it would have to go a LONG way to “out-ugly” that assault on the senses that Big Blue is.

    O/T but related to TC: I was watching a re-run of Craig Ferguson where his guest was Mark Harmon, who is such a charming and really lovely man who has none of that “show biz” ego nonsense. In the comments section for the show, the following comment was posted:

    “Mark Harmon is the man Tom Cruise could have been if he wasn’t a know it all, self important, controlling, and annoying prick.” LOL

    • Juicer77

      And Mr. Harmon has been married to the same lovely woman for many years. And did actually save someone from a wrecked car outside his home. Hmmmmm…….

    • Mr. Awesome

      As a neighbor, no we are not amused. We weren’t amused when they originally brought it before the neighborhood council and convinced the council to recommend to the city council to deny the application. And after thinking we won, we’re especially not amused that the sign is going up anyhow.

  • Squeeee! My neighbor just dropped off the latest Source and some flag promos.

    • The Dude

      Did someone say “Squeeze”! Not Clams but “Pulling Mussles From a Shell”
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYtQK63o4zE

      • It was supposed to read “Squeeeee!” Autocorrect and so forth. But Squeeze is always welcome. Clams. Mussels. Not much difference when you get down to it. Boo-hoos and weepers one and all.

    • Jimmy3

      The first rule of indoctrination is do not speak about indoctrination. The second rule of indoctrination is… ahh, fuck it… just print it on the cover.

      • edge

        I know, eh?! They put it right on the cover. Indoctrination. And yet, that seemingly doesn’t set off any red flags for those still in. Oh, the maxed out credit cards, and the lost friendships and relationships definitely kick you. But you didn’t get the hint when entire courses are labeled Indoctrination?

    • Narapoid

      I guess I need to start papering my outhouse with the crap I get sent…

      • OOkpik

        Wouldn’t that make it a twaddle and daub outhouse??

        • Juicer77

          Hee hee

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      Oohhh, tell us what they say about the Ls…Those things scare the shit out of me.

    • Dave Reams

      Please post the latest and greatest OT abilities column!

    • JaxNGold

      My favorite part about the Sea Org flyer is –

      “To find out if you qualify…”

      Who do they think they’re kidding? As if they’re in any position to turn away a new slave.

      • Mr. Awesome

        The illusion of exclusivity and promise of elite status is exactly in keeping with their core premise of preying on people with low self-esteem.

    • Juicer77

      “To find out if you qualify for the Sea Org, just show up and see how hard we beg.”
      I see JaxN already made this comment. 🙂
      Your neighbor is awesome, BTW.

  • scottmercer

    BLECCH. Since I worked in that red brick building for three years, this takeover is really my only personal connection to Scientology, since I’m mainly a never-in watcher. Still, it really makes me want to vomit.

    • Elegant Mess

      I volunteered at many a pledge drive there while it was still KCET. It’s a damn shame.

  • OOkpik

    RPF’s RPF prisoners will be climbing that SMP tower ladder to polish those ugly signs with worn out toothbrushes. Surely Shortarse won’t be able to resist the temptation to push his beleaguered slaves to new heights.

  • Todd Tomorrow

    Sleep well Bunkeroo’s
    l

  • Guest

    The Daily Mail has an article about Tom Cruise who secretly trained with Nasa to become an astronaut.

    I like one of the comments at the end of the article from a reader:

    “Tom already lives in outer space practicing his ‘religion.'”

    • Kay

      Laugh…….plus no one “secretly trains” with NASA….it’s all very public. AND we aren’t doing space shuttles anymore so he’d have to launch from Russia. Maybe he’s training to hang off of the side of one of the solid rocket boosters during launch !!

    • His ‘achievements’ are very Hubbard-like, except that the media connives, rather than exposing him. I’m betting that he was photographed strapped into a centrifuge, or something like that, and this was billed as ‘training’. Hubbard did his ‘research’ in the same way.

      It’s even possible that, since he has been told that he has experience of spacflight from previous lives, he believes h realy is trained.

  • Kay

    Wow….I was just checking my email and I got what looked like an email from You Tube….you know the kind that tells you responses to comments you have made? Well the subject of the video was Alex Gibney and Going Clear, and even though I hadn’t remembered making any comments (I rarely comment anywhere but here) I clicked on it. (stupid me) The message was that the response to my “comment” (which it turns out that I never made) came up on the screen as “F____ YOU !!” Well I got into the video in question, it was all propaganda by COS and the person who told me to have carnal relationships with myself wasn’t even one of the commentors listed. Such LOVELY people, aren’t they? Now I can’t even open an email from youtube. I had stopped opening anything from a source that is not familiar to me because I know a lot of us are getting offensive emails, but you know, “best laid plans of mice and men” and all that. They must be pretty good at getting emails because I very rarely give mine out, and have never done so on this site.

    I did report it to Yahoo, as I don’t appreciate people screaming that language at me out of the blue.

    • Juicer77

      Is the link still in your email? If so, post a link under your comment with a “NSFW – attack email” warning. The technical geeks here will be able to dissect it. Also email it to Tony but warn him what it is! 🙂
      ETA: ew, creepy.

      • Elegant Mess

        Waaay creepy! Be safe everyone. Don’t open any suspicious emails.

    • 9001

      Get CSI’s forensics on the case (F5)

  • Adrien Marcel Drea

    cult of shitology on air …. thin air smells like motion scamology…..

  • OOkpik

    Where did everybody go?
    Wake up, WAKE UP!

  • Lighthouse

    I’m looking forward to hearing about the scn sign being lit up or not. Good that we’ve got people on the ground.

    • Mr. Awesome

      I’m definitely watching very closely and will provide an update as soon as I know if it lights up or not.

  • UhLasare

    Good morning!

    • 0tessa

      Good afternoon!

  • richelieu jr

    FWIW, Beck’s pad is only about 200 yards from there, so if he’s not on that stage it is either a sign, or he has a really good excuse for Megaphone Midget.

    • dungeon master

      Previous commitment, I’ll bet. The way They schedule these events, with all the maybe dates six months or more before the event, how can a working stiff (especially a musician, who perform on weekend’s) plan on attending??

  • richelieu jr

    God, that Scientology Logo!

    Honestly, for the Holiday Inn, TNG Enterprise, Trumpian aesthetics of the cult, it is quite well designed.

    Yet, whenever I see it I hear a little voice say, “Fishhooks are for squares! Scilon Esses Hook Triangles!”

  • richelieu jr

    Those Tampa “registrars” must really be special to get a shout of “Thanks” for relieving him of his savings.

  • flyonthewall

    Don’t know if this has been mentioned re the reason for SMP opening now but Rinder says it’s so that Miscavige has something big to show for the upcoming 14Jun Maiden Voyage event. Comment is from the linked article, 26May. f5

    http://www.mikerindersblog.org/thursday-funnies-85/

  • Imelda Marcos

    I’m way far behind in the discussion of this television studios project, but one question occurs to me – does this mean that Scientology has a channel? They can buy up all the old studios they want, but if they don’t have broadcast rights, doesn’t that still limit them to their usual hamster-wheel existence, producing film after film, TV show after TV show, without any airtime? Or is all this production going to be for their online existence?

  • Stephanie Loving

    So it looks like there are 2 SMP metal logo signs attached to the tower? They would have done a third sign but they need to attach the dishes to one side at least. Act like they are sending or receiving something! If both signs light up? The neighborhood will most certainly be ticked off.

    • Dice ✓

      They might get in trouble, if people around the tower got the idea it was dangerous radiation coming from those disk? Just an idea 🙂

      • Ann B Watson

        Hi Dice ✔️, I can’t resist.I can glow in the dark with the best of them! Radiation will do that.If I was in LA I would offer to light up that ridiculous sign tower thing,and totally interfere with their electricity and anything else connected to,KSCAM too.

        • Dice ✓

          Make it spew out Arabic calling for Jihad – that would soon be shot down 🙂

  • ithilien
    • Dice ✓

      Owned!