The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.

Last Sunday we went out to eat at Mother’s Bistro in downtown Portland.  If you ever happen to find yourself there, get the salmon hash.  They serve sockeye salmon with diced potatoes and leeks with two side eggs and some toast.  I recommend not eating the day before, or else you won’t finish.  When you finally decide you’ve had enough, you will not be hungry for another 72 hours.  I am only slightly exaggerating.  But not much.

While we were waiting for our table, I caught this outside the window:

The First Church of Situational Irony

You can click on the picture to get a larger version.  If you can’t see the sign on the awning, it’s for Al-Amir Lebanese Restaurant, which is residing where a Catholic bishops’ house had once been.  Their website gives some of the history behind the building.

This was in fact the residence of the Archbishop. The Catholic Cathedral was around the corner and upstairs was a balcony where the Archbishop held prayer meetings and, on occasion, entertained guests with scared [I think they mean “sacred”] music sung by the Cathedral choir. Times changed and by the thirties, the balcony housed a band for the speak-easy that operated in the basement of the building. During the first major refit in the sixties, wires were discovered that ran from the the Bishop’s House to the Police Station. However, history does not relate who was bugging whom. As time kept passing, the Bishop’s House kept changing and now offers an exotic flavor from Al-Amir. Today, this family owned restaurant graciously has been hosting and serving the best Lebanese food in Portland. We’re sure the Bishop would be pleased.

Indeed.  It would seem that this building has seen its share of both religious and secular – if not outright worldly – history in the span of its lifetime.  Glad to see it’s being put to good use, even if it’s a far cry from its original purpose … it’s a nice little building.

Well, not too far around the corner, I ran into this guy:

I had heard back in 2010 that these guys were interested in moving to another place (this is it), but I”m not sure if the boarded windows means they’ve only just started setting up or if they’re renovating.  Personally I hope they’re moving out, but that may be a little too optimistic.  Any organization that completely loses its shit in the face of any criticism – either through mass rioting and murder or through threats, harassment, and epic levels of retaliation doesn’t really deserve a place in civilized society.

Which reminds me, I saw this in the news today (from Australia):

Church of Scientology denies holding woman in isolation

[Alice] Wu was 20 and studying commerce when she signed Scientology’s billion-year contract in late 2011, joining the elite Sea Organisation and moving from her home town of Taichung to Sydney.

Teresa Wu, a family spokesperson, told Lateline that Ms Wu soon tired of her life in the Sea Organisation at Dundas and asked to leave.

“They put her into a place called the isolation room. She was still offered food but was locked in a room. It is an isolation room in the Sea Organisation,” Teresa Wu said.

The CoS lawyers, of course, deny everything … and even go so far as to attempt some kind of moral high ground by calling the use of the word isolation “derogatory”.  When countered with the documented fact that L. Ron Hubbard used the word himself in the context of addressing mental breakdowns similar to the one Ms. Wu allegedly had, he categorically denied it ever happened.  Looks like a real stand up guy.

The day before the interview with the Mouth of Hubbard, Lateline received an email that was signed – but not actually written – by Alice, “witnessed” by a notary public, stating the following:

The ABC’s managing director, Mark Scott, received an email from Ms Wu where she denied she was held against her will, or was treated badly or hurt herself trying to escape.

In the email Ms Wu wrote: “I do not give ABC, your reporter or any other media for that matter permission to publicise or use my unfortunate circumstances to your advantage or to vilify an organisation I freely support.”

The statement is witnessed by a Taiwanese notary Yu-Lung Chen and dated February 14, three days after Lateline first raised the allegations with the Church of Scientology.

Her family obviously calls bullshit on this, especially given her current mental state and the fact that it arrived three days after Lateline spoke to the Church of Scientology about her.  Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

In the end, the police didn’t have enough evidence to pursue a case.  So, this girl’s life is ruined, her experience with the CoS deemed nothing more than circumstantial, and life goes on.

It would certainly be a different ball game if Scientology – not Christianity – ran the show in this country, wouldn’t it?  For more information on the awesomeness that is Scientology, check out Operation Clambake:  “Undressing the Church of Scientology since 1996!

This entry was posted in Dr. Bob's House of Crap, Freedom from Religion, generic skepticism, Profiles in Fundamentalism, Religion in the News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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