Hi all. First of all I want to apologize as I've not been well this week, and dragged myself up again today to the delayed opening -- but not in time to see the major festivities. Having said that, I wandered about listening to people on cell phones talking about how 'powerful' 'motivational' and my favorite 'it's the dawn of a whole new era' while they were reporting back to their orgs. Apparently Heber J. was the keynote and had them all besides themselves.
They managed to get 46th street closed from b'way to 8th ave. Anyone familiar with NYC will know this is no small feat as it is the height of tourist season and they are located in the heart of the theatre distict.
So, when I get there (around 1) the stage is still set up and those in 'choice seats' (middle of the street) are still gossiping and congratulating each other. They have huge tent set up in the alley next to the bldg. where they are handing out free food, water, coffee, etc. There is another tent on the other side of the street where they are offering personality tests, touch assists, etc. The VM's that approached me were all terribly friendly and didn't push when I turned down their services. They were getting quite a few takers I must mention (having said that anything 'free' in NY is a big deal).
When people approached me to ask what was going on, I was told them and kind of gently steered them away (I'm not much of a hard core protester without backup!). I am pleased to report that I did get quite a few people to walk away.
OK, next it is time to go in the 'church'. They must have been working like banshees last night because yesterday it looked nothing like this (from what i could see looking in). It was mobbed (i'm kinda not pleased to report). They have done a hell of a job on the bldg. (I was in there years ago when I first started studying cults). There is a nice big welcome reception area, and the rest of the 1st floor has a pictorial history of LRH starting at the beginning and making him look like the all around nice guy he was (sorry long post I need to keep myself amused). There are also a couple of film rooms in there, where they were showing a lot of DM stuff during awards ceremonies and another room showing only LRH interviews and such.
I sat down to watch one LHR film with a British journalist in the early 60's, which I watched straight through (although the DM yeehah film was eqaually loud about 2 feet away). It was the one where he is asked if 'processing' costs anything and he say, and i'm taking liberties here, he says something along lines of 'depends on how you want it, it can be free or it can cost money' OOOOKKKKK. That same interview had him talking about how Scn. welcomed all races, creeds, religions, colors.... I've never sat through a whole one of these...imagine with a 102 degree fever...trippy).
Next you go upstairs where there are auditing rooms and testing rooms and the like. All small, but done up really nicely. Up a little more you get to the (what do I call it?? temple, altar??) which has also been done up to a "T". Nothing was going on in there except very excited volunteers chattering away and tourists eating free food. Lining that room, whatever I should call it, are all the 'doctrines' and 'credos' of scn, which I read again but then watched in fever horror some tourists nodding and smiling and saying 'this makes sense, let's learn more'.
I went up another flight, and that is where all the exec. offices are (oodles of flowers, lots of people in very very scary YELLOW SUITS), the comm. office, the bookstore and the reg. room. I am not happy to report that there were quite a few people in the reg room -- can't give you a number, but I'd say around 30 or so were in there filling out forms. The bookstore was not doing quite as brisk a business.
All and all I can tell you that this will most likely be posted as some big win (keep in mind that people were wearing buttons from where they were from and for some reason lots of people from atlanta were there for a start).
I overheard a director type person (could not spy on her nameplate as I'm 5'2" and she was an amazon) saying the org will be open from 9 am to 10pm every day with staff doing a 9-6 weekday shirt or a 6-10 and then weekends shift).
Oooh, the big celebrity I saw was Issac Hayes (dressed in some bizarre outfit)...I wanted to go up and say "Hi Chef", but he was whisked away before I could.
Anyway, this is the longest post I've ever put here and sorry if terribly incomplete. Anyone with questions can get to me here.
I'll go back in a few weeks time (when back from holiday) and report in again on a regular day. Maybe I'll take a stress test and give you guys the results (as I so DON'T go aboard my bridge to total servitude).
Hope above helpful, and
cheers to all