Scientologists Open Two New Mega-Churches in a Single Weekend
Polling data and sociologists tell us that the category of "religious nones" is growing. Mainline denominations are bleeding members at unsustainable rates. Even the overall growth of evangelicalism has become stagnant, and the only reason that's true is because it's growing among Hispanics and African-Americans. However, one religion that seems to be growing and thriving is the weirdness that is Scientology.
To be clear, I'm not convinced that Scientology should be classified a religion and not a cult. I've always thought of it as a pyramid scheme with eternal rewards in place of a pink Cadillac. How it could be growing is beyond me. I mean, I know that I immediately lock the doors, pull the shades, and turn off the lights whenever I see a neighbor approaching with an Amway flipchart. However, since movie stars seem especially susceptible to Scientology, the religious cult has taken on an aura of glamour for some people. Never underestimate the selling ability of a pretty face, I guess.
Those pretty, vacuous faces have helped Scientology open two new, state-of-the-art churches. In the parlance of Scientology, the religious cult has opened two "Orgs." If you're curious where the cultish sounding "Org" comes from, Scientology's website explains,
To meet increasing worldwide demand for Scientology services and community initiatives, the Church of Scientology launched a program to transform all Scientology Churches into what Founder L. Ron Hubbard termed "Ideal Organizations." An Ideal Org is configured to provide the full services of the Scientology religion to its parishioners, while also serving the community with social betterment and outreach programs.
To date, dozens of Ideal Orgs have opened their doors in major cities across four continents, and new ones are dedicated each month.