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Nov 06 2012

What’s that big blue thing in the sky?

Yesterday I took a look at the Scientology building on Fountain Avenue, which is very near the hotel I stayed in on Vermont. Holy shit that place is creepy.

 

Think the name is big enough?

The building is a former hospital, and it’s massive. The paint job makes it very conspicuous – it’s like a blue Oz.

There are security guards and guardish-looking people with belts festooned with surveillancey equipment all over the place. The street that runs along the east side of the fortress building is named L Ron Hubbard Way. It’s a public street but I felt very…not on public property while I was walking north on it.

It looks like fascism; it looks more like fascism than fascism did. It’s like fascism cartoonishly exaggerated and made visual.

Creepy. creepy. creepy.

25 comments

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  1. 1
    a miasma of incandescent plasma

    Reminds me of the buildings Winston worked/lived in in 1984.

    What’s up with the cross on the top? I must’ve missed the part about zenu being crucified by Romans 1 trillion years ago.

  2. 2
    Sajanas

    It looks a bit like the Tardis from Doctor Who, to my eyes. Very blue, big windows. Perhaps it could become a Doctor Who themed hotel after Scientology collapses in on itself.

  3. 3
    notsont

    Scientology has always been a bit scary I think a big part of the scary factor is that their rules and doctrines are secret and probably still being laid out, so they are an even more unpredictable religion. Sort of like a more unpredictable rabid dog.

  4. 4
    Phil Mole

    That really reminds me a lot of the pulpy font they use on the cover of sci-fi novels, and not coincidentally, on the cover of the Dianetics paperback itself:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/da/LRonHubbard-Dianetics-ISBN1403105464-cover.jpg

  5. 5
    billdaniels

    I’ve parked on the street behind the building several times while waiting for a friend who was at the nearby medical center. I wait there until she calls saying she is ready. Every time I park there I get about a half dozen Scientologists slowly walking by and peering into my car. Several of them try to strike up a conversation, asking me why I was there. I’ve told them that it was none of their business a few times, but that only brings out more gawkers. It’s spooky.
    I’m always afraid that they will convert me and make me not-gay, like they did with Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    God, that’s exactly what I was expecting – people to challenge me. They’ve gone to great lengths to make it look as if everything nearby belongs to them and as if it’s all Highly Classified. It’s all so pompous.

  7. 7
    vernonbalbert

    I was born in that former hospital. I enjoy telling people that I was born there and seeing their reactions.

  8. 8
    ruthseid

    After reading Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman (SCARY book!) I got all paranoid every time I drove by there.

  9. 9
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Looks to me like somebody’s over-compensating for something. Lots of massive,shiny black 4x4s with reflective windows in the car park, I suppose?

  10. 10
    AJ Milne

    (Lawls at size of sign…)

    I think it would be slightly amusing* to pull an innocently oblivious face, and approach the jackbooted security types with questions like: “Sayyyy… Is there a Scientology headquarters somewhere around here? ‘Cos, y’know, I heard there was one, but I guess it must be pretty poorly marked…”

    (*/Not to mention generally undermining of the whole Aren’t We Intimidating head games being attempted. But that’s really just a bonus.)

  11. 11
    Audra

    I agree, super creepy. Also, I enjoyed your talk and meeting you Ophelia.

  12. 12
    Ophelia Benson

    Acolyte – yes! Hell yes. Black SUVs all over the place. It looked like the fuckin Secret Service only more shiny. Creepy fascist shininess.

    Ditto, audi.

  13. 13
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    I’m gonna echo the question at number 1…

    What is up with that cross? Scientology and Christianity aren’t connected…

    Are they?

  14. 14
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    AJ Milne @ #10… and then, when the security guards point to the building and say “it’s right here”, say “oh! I was confused by the cross on top! I thought it was a Christian Science church!”

    *snicker*

    >:D

  15. 15
    LykeX

    What’s up with the cross on the top? I must’ve missed the part about zenu being crucified by Romans 1 trillion years ago.

    The scientology cross is one of their standard symbols, representing 8 principles of whatever. The resemblance to the Christian cross is apparently entirely accidental. According to wikipedia:

    the horizontal bar represents the material universe, and the vertical bar represents the spirit. Thus, the spirit is seen to be rising triumphantly, ultimately transcending the turmoil of the physical universe to achieve salvation.

    Yep. Not intentional at all. Completely unrelated. It’s not at all an attempt to appropriate the symbols of religion so as to hide the fact that it’s just a pyramid scheme. Nope. Nothing to see here.

  16. 16
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Look at the building again. I’ve seen that exact same blue somewhere else. The Scientology sign’s a decoy. It’s the secret headquarters of…..The Smurfs.

  17. 17
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    It’s like a Fortress of Solitude Indoctrination.

  18. 18
    Argle Bargle

    Acolyte of Sagan #16

    It’s the secret headquarters of…..The Smurfs.

    Of course. How silly of us not to realize that.

  19. 19
    AJ Milne

    #14/Nate:

    Heh.

    Still, the setup I’m really hoping for is:

    (Guard pointing to sign…) Umm… It’s right there. See? Where it says “Scientology”?

    (Me squinting…) Oh! Right! Well, I guess I missed that… Listen, I think it might really help if they’d just make that bigger…

  20. 20
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Oh, FFS, I was hoping the answer was a punchline-esque, “The sky, silly!” Instead, something very much not-the-sky. Very creepy indeed.

  21. 21
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Heh:

    They’ve gone to great lengths to make it look as if everything nearby belongs to them and as if it’s all Highly Classified. It’s all so pompous.

    Excepting the Highly Classified bit, and that everything nearby does belong to them, this is something they share in common with some actual hospitals. This is also creepy in its own way.

  22. 22
    'dirigible

    I’m sorry, who’s in that building again?

  23. 23
    Ophelia Benson

    F – true – the nation of Scientology borders directly on the nation of Kaiser Permanente, which goes on and on and on, building after building. I felt slightly affectionate toward it at the time because the buildings are big so that was two blocks of shade (it was a very hot day in the desert), but you’re right, it’s creepy. Corporate health care, whoopee.

    Still. It lacked the roaming security people.

  24. 24
    Jafafa Hots

    The creepier one is the headquarters in Clearwater FL.

    They have “spies” for lack of a better word, watching everyone in the neighborhood. The bus station is across the street, and anyone who dares cut across their parking lot on the way towards downtown and the beach is at the very least going to be reported and photographed, and might be stopped and questioned.

    There is an alleyway next door that was redone by the city as a kind of gardeny walkway with historical murals on the wall and a brick walkway.

    The bricks in the brick walkway bear the names of donors, like many such projects.

    One bears the name of Lisa McPherson, the women the scientologists murdered in that building.

    The brick keeps having to be replaced because someone keeps chiseling her name off the brick.

  25. 25
    Bjarte Foshaug

    Speaking of which, you are going to love this (I hope this works). It’s this ridiculous animated gif that goes on about how scientology is “the study of knowledge” (“Knowledge about yourself”, “Knowledge about God” “Not just questions, but answers” etc.). Well, I guess it only means a few more dollars for B&W and no new recruits for scientology, so no harm done ;)

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