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This is How You Finance an "Ideal Org"

Tuesday morning we included a recruitment video from the Scientology "org" in Orange County, California in our post about Lisa Marie Presley. It was loads of fun, but then our tipsters alerted us last night that it was just the tip of the iceberg.

Orange County, in fact, has lots of diverting videos at its "Ideal Org" channel, where they are documenting what it takes to finance a big new building when, actually, there's really no influx of new people or anything to justify it. In this first video, above, you see one of the key strategies -- pore over records of people who may have at one time had some connection to Scientology by purchasing a book or taking a course, and mine those old files for new contact information. Surely, there's some gold in them thar hills!

Here's another strategy: hold a big Christmas party, and then after everyone's in a good mood, hit them up for cash! Just look at them race to that easel to write down how much they're going to contribute. One family gives so much money to help renovate a building no one needs, they get named triple humanitarians!

Here's an inspirational pitch -- while it's still dark outside, and your husband and your kids are still asleep, why not come on down to the org to go through files! Now this is living!

Executive Director Ed Dearborn wants to see you down at the weekend fundraiser. I'm excited!

Cathy Moore tells us 160,000 thetans are getting new files so they can be fleeced, er, contacted for the big party!

Easter Saturday's big barbecue is Scottish, or something!

Holy Frickin' Moly! Easter Sunday afternoon action at its finest!

That Orange County org is really going places!

We hope you enjoyed this bonus post today. Come back tomorrow morning when we'll have an investigative piece you should enjoy. And remember to check our Facebook author page for schedules and announcements.


********** Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and is now being sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.


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