Upland, Mission

touchstone
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Claremont/Upland Mission barely there

Post by touchstone » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:24 pm

In Los Angeles suburbia, the Co$ "Claremont" mission is located two towns over, in a decidedly less upscale town called Upland. The Mission's phone number is 818 area code, while Claremont/Upland is 909.

Yesterday (Sunday) I decided to try visiting this Mission, bringing along two friends. Between the three of us we had four Master's degrees in religion, an ex-monastic, a preacher's kid, a Jew, a Unitarian/Universalist, an Eastern Orthodox Christian, extensive "Clinical Pastoral Education", a PhD student expert in gnosticism, at least seven languages, and about a dozen Xenu pamphlets in a bag for good measure. We were one compact theological wrecking crew.

This improbable crew arrived shortly after noon at the building which housed the mission. It was one of those two-story office buildings set back from the road, well behind the fast-food joints. It had a Charles Schwabb office and some kind of physical therapy thing on the second floor (possibly the folks bankrolling the mission?) and maybe a few empty offices. Not really a walk-up for casual shoppers, but undoubtedly more affordable than the space in genteel downtown Claremont that I think the mission tried to nab. The only indication of the mi$$ion's presence was the directory by the elevator. ("In case of emergency, use stairs." All stairwells were locked.) "Church of Scientology" was in the suite adjacent to the physical therapy.

A deep breath, and we pushed the elevator button to ascend into the den of the clams.

Nothing. The elevator never came. The place was shut down on this Sunday afternoon. Presumably no physical therapy was occuring this day, either.

We redirected our considerable intellectual powers and philosophical acumen towards watching old episodes of "Red Dwarf" on DVD for the rest of the afternoon.

dakota
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Post by dakota » Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:31 pm

Thanks for the report Brad, I love hearing about non-active orgs (and might I say watching 'Red Dwarf' was an excellent back-up plan)!

Cheers,
Dakota

don_carlo
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Post by don_carlo » Mon Sep 27, 2004 9:12 pm

Hee hee. "Compact theological wrecking crew." Sounds like fun just for you to get together.

free_for_real
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Post by free_for_real » Tue Sep 28, 2004 5:24 am

Brad, wow a mission has to really be dead to be closed on the weekend. That's usually when they ARE open.

Thanks for the report.

More evidence of scientologies demise.

touchstone
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Post by touchstone » Thu Sep 30, 2004 5:42 pm

Recent Sighting: three Sea Organs by member of the wrecking crew at Claremont train station. Said Orgers encountered questions like "Oh, Scientology, isn't that the one with the giant clams?"

"I don't know" seemed to be a frequent reply.

While exuding enthusiasm for the e-meters, the Scienos are reported to have had a hand-gesture which tended to invade personal space. Do bull-baiting exercises erode one's understanding of certain social nuances?

We'll keep you posted.

free_for_real
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Post by free_for_real » Fri Oct 01, 2004 12:44 am

Brad, that is great! They really ask them about Clams.

That really shows that this message board and web page is being read.

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programmer_guy
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Post by programmer_guy » Fri Oct 01, 2004 6:40 am

Is that the Claremont train station that is in Southern California?

http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/rail/depots/stops/clm.htm

(I almost went to Harvey Mudd in the Claremont colleges, which is near that train station.)
codo ergo sum.

touchstone
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Post by touchstone » Fri Oct 01, 2004 5:16 pm

That's the one, PG. Use the Mapquest function at scientology.org to find the mission closest to zipcode 91711: 3.5 miles, if I remember correctly.

touchstone
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Post by touchstone » Sat Oct 02, 2004 5:58 am

Sighting correction: Scienos were seen at the less-surprising location of the Red Line station near Sunset and Vermont. The bivalves remain less prevalent inland, I guess.

Two were fresh-faced white kids whose parents were Scientologists and one was a Italian woman converted from Catholicism... She'd met Scamology in Rome. Their answers weren't very clear, (i.e., stock)wrecking-crew member had to repeatedly explain the questions being posed. The hand-gestures was a shooting-forward kind, rather too close to the face of whoever was being addressed.

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programmer_guy
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Post by programmer_guy » Sat Oct 02, 2004 6:49 am

Brad,

"We were one compact theological wrecking crew."

I love your sense of humor!

What circumstances got you very different people together for this? I would like to hear the story. I really would.

Were you ever involved in SCN?
codo ergo sum.

touchstone
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Post by touchstone » Mon Oct 04, 2004 5:00 pm

I was never inside SCN; I simply have a passionate hatred for spiritual abuse, mind control, etc. I could just as easily be directing my ire at any number of other cults, but $cn has grabbed my horrified fascination for the moment.

My circle of friends includes a lot of graduate students and religionists-- swing a cat and hit a clergyperson or someone writing a doctoral dissertation.

One friend wanted to be covering my back when I went to check out the 'mission,' and we picked up another on the way. Next time may involve a completely different configuration of friends-- perhaps the atheist philosopher and/or the heretical Christian on the brink of the oral defense? We'll see.

touchstone
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Post by touchstone » Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:24 am

Mini-update: Claremont Mission's phone number is now 909 area code. Hmmm. Think they read my report and made an adjustment?

free_for_real
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Post by free_for_real » Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:42 am

Brad, doubt it, probably just a coincidence.

Keep us posted.

touchstone
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Post by touchstone » Thu Oct 14, 2004 2:29 am

Today (Wed Oct 13), a few minutes before 1700hrs local time, a philosophical shinobi operative ascended the elevator to second floor, found "Church of Scientology" as the last item on the floor directory, and strode along a nicely-appointed corridor to the door of Suite 201. Sign on the door called it the "Upland" mission and diahretics center, even though Scamology.org site still lists it as "Claremont". A knock, no answer. Tried the door, but it was locked. Operative returned safely to base to report findings. One suspects this mi$$ion opens by appointment only. Further investigation pending.
Cue the "Mission Impossible" theme, if the TC associations don't enturbulate you...

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prevail
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Post by prevail » Thu Oct 14, 2004 11:06 am

*grin*... Nice little update there, Brad. It's nice to hear that the Co$ mind-monkeys are on a nice, slow, slippery slope into the abyss. If they really *are* opening only "by appointment" then they must be in true dire straits, since they obviously aren't pulling in the bucks to have even one full time Staffer on lines.

I would have *loved* to be in the Theological Wrecking Crew with you lads... Along with the fundimental firepower at your disposal, add the cluster munition of the multi-god facets of Shinto to that, and you've really got a mindjob on the move! Seems from what I've read, Churchies have a hard enough time dealing with one deity in other belief systems, so imagine having to contend with the concept of 800,000 of them! :-D

Maybe you guys should attend a picket one day with "Theological Wrecking Crew" on the front, and the various spiritual affiliation of each individual on the back!

At any rate, why am I saying it's nice to see the Co$ in a slow burn? Because when that happens the lesson sticks better, IMHO. The more it hurts, the longer it stings, the more the memory of the error lives on.

Looking forward to other updates, I am.
S toboi ostatsa dol'she

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