An Ideal Org is a large meeting house for Scientologists. They can get
high level, and more expensive, talk therapy and training here than at missions
or orgs. Hence they can be more profitable but they must be larger. Some
courses are so high level that even Ideal Orgs can's offer them. You have
to take a vacation to FLAG Land Base in Clearwater, Florida or on the cruise
ship The Freewinds to receive them.
Scientology purchased the four-story
50,000 square foot Braley
in downtown Pasadena in 2006 at the top of the real estate bubble.
Prices have since crashed. Next they threw out or bought out the tenants
but did nothing with the property until 2010. If they had waited until 2010
to purchase the property they would have saved a bundle but logical thinking
is not always their forte. Locals began to complain that it was looking
dilapidated after years of neglect by the new owner. People were
protesting there two years
before it even opened in July 2010. The Church
claims they can handle up to 300 scientologists daily here with 173 staff.
I saw three public people there and two of them were us protesters. The theming
is impeccable with consistent yet customized signage, logos and sculptures throughout.
If every Ideal Org is this "one of a kind" then that is a lot of work.
Everything here is done in the arts & crafts style associated with Pasadena.
The lush production values are meant to say "It's looks expensive therefore
it must work."
The opening day featured a big production with ribbons,
balloons and Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard. Cultists were brought in from
as far away as Seattle to boost the crowd to about 1,000. The Scientologists
claimed 4,000 but that is preposterous. Attendees were forced to walk
past sign waving protesters, some in Guy Fawkes masks.
and I visited the Org one week later we were almost the only guests. A
middle aged white lady had followed us in. She just wanted to use the