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It’s a miracle! Scientology put ‘more than 10,000’ people in these 1,000 chairs!

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It’s time again for Rod Keller’s Scientology Social Media Review. He’s made a specialty of hunting down the odd and wonderful things Scientologists post to the ‘net. He’s a chronicler who piece by piece builds a highly detailed assessment of what Scientology is doing around the world, and this is what he found for us this week…

 
Yesterday, the Church of Scientology posted an overhead photo of the chairs it had put out for its grand opening of its new media center in Los Angeles (a cropped version of that photo is shown above). Several of our readers made counts of those chairs, and all came up with an agreement of around 1,000 seats.

In short videos that were posted from the event, attendees could also be seen on balconies and other areas. So, a generous estimate for the total number of people who attended the brief ceremony would be about 2,000. With the foreshortening effect from Scientology’s use of wide-angle lenses (and not with Photoshop, as is so often leveled at the church) the crowd looks bigger than that, as you’ll see in the photos. But this event is down from the 2,500 people Scientology attracted three years ago for its last really big opening in the US, the November 2013 dedication of the Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida.

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And Los Angeles is generally understood to have the largest concentration of Scientologists in the world. So 2,000 is a pretty unimpressive showing for a group that claims to be the fastest growing religion on earth, with millions of members. (A 2012 Scientology TV ad claimed that 4.4 million new members were joining every year.)

Once again, the turnout tends to corroborate what we’ve been hearing from inside Scientology, that the organization is shrinking fast and may now be under 20,000 active members worldwide at this point.

But even as Scientology is shrinking, its ability to lie like a rug is not in short supply. According to the church itself, David Miscavige presided over a ceremony that included an audience of “more than 10,000 Scientologists and friends.” None of the photos provided by the church show any of Scientology’s big celebrities, and so far, we’ve seen no reports that any of them were on hand, even though, as Tony reported yesterday, his inside source told him that celebrities were being hounded to attend.

 
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Also, Scientology’s sign atop the SMP’s antenna did light up last night even though the church withdrew its request for permission from the local neighborhood council for the sign. It will be interesting to see if city officials do anything about it. We’re doubtful.

 
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On March 9, 1966 John McMaster became the world’s first Clear. This week Scientology made Clear #65,480, and it’s Maru Paniagua, at the Madrid Ideal Org. That’s an average of 1,310 Clears per year for the past 50 years.

 
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A new Narconon facility has been recently opened in the city of Navajoa, Mexico, operated by Desarrollo Integral de la Familia, or DIF. The organization also provides services for disabled persons, and provides legal services for minors.

Did you know that Difnavojoa has a centre for the rehabilitation of drug and alcohol narconon programme? The Centre provides stability and comfort to help inmates to break free from addictions and to rebuild her life without drugs, through this international programme created by L. Ronald Hubbard in 1966 and currently operates in 20 nations. For more information go to Calle Nogales Esq. With Alley sixth, Col. Tepeyac or call (642) 439-0948

 
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“Hollywood star Michael Peña is arriving to Clearwater and you are invited! Ant-Man Movie Showing – May 28th at the Historic Fort Harrison from 6:00pm – 9:00pm The Way to Happiness is hosting Ant-Man Movie Showing. Enjoy the Free FOOD, the MOVIE and get your photo with Michael Peña! Seats must be reserved – RSVP”

 
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Scientologist Jessica Maciel and friends will participate in the Tustin, California Chili Cook-off on June 6th. The announcement sounds as if they will not have a booth, but rather distribute flyers as they walk the festival grounds.

I need as many volunteers as possible June 5th as that’s the Chili Cook Off and it is VERY well known in the City of Tustin. We will be doing booklet distribution on Marijuana. We will also be holding our banner as we walk through. And have a pledge for anyone wanting to sign it. Please let me know if you can make it. This will be photographed and recorded.

 
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This is the first artist’s rendition of the planned Taipei Ideal Org, which will be the second Ideal Org in Taiwan. Funds to purchase the building are being raised in orgs and missions around the country. At Kaohsiung Ideal Org, the target on the donations board is 500,000 New Taiwan Dollars, or about $15,000 US.

 
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At the Taipei Mission, the goal is 57,800 NYT, or about $1,500 US. They have a dragon costume to raise excitement at the events.

 
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The New York Ideal Org hosts singer/songwriter David Pomeranz on June 4th for the IAS World Tour event. Pomeranz is known for his Scientology anthem “We Stand Tall.”

 
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Scientology has opened a new mission on Lenin Square in the city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, Russia. The city of over 250,000 is in far Eastern Russia, over 8,500 Km from Moscow. A mission in the city of Ulan-Ude near the Mongolian border is planned to open next.

 
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These Scientologists in Kazakhstan are not OT-8 yet. They are putting postulates into the physical universe that they intend some day to be OT-8.

 
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Quito, Ecuador is raising funds for an Ideal Org in their city. A staff member is dressed as a dalmation.

 
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The Foundation for a Drug-Free World distributed literature at the Ezperando music festival in Bornem, Belgium this week.

 
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— Rod Keller

 
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Trouble in Austria? Where’s Wilfried?

A reader pointed out to us that Wilfried Handl’s excellent Scientology blog seems to have disappeared. We sent an email to Wilfried, but we haven’t heard back. Anyone know what’s happening over there in Austria?

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 29, 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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