Over the past few weeks I've posted a series of articles reviewing the history of the Buffalo Org renovations and the murder of the Org's top auditor, Elli Perkins, by her son Jeremy, a Scientologist and untreated schizophrenic. Jeremy worked on the renovations of the new building even after being declared "PTS Type III" and banned from the existing Org.
Let us now focus on the grand opening event. The date is November 16, 2003. The attendees included cult leader David Miscavige, minor starlet Jenna Elfman, Mayor Anthony Masiello, and Mark Sommer of the Buffalo News. Teresa Reger was doing PR, and already trying to "handle" Mark Sommer. Jeff Carlson was there too, but not in his Executive Director capacity. He'd been replaced as ED by an OT5 brought up from Florida -- who would blow after just a few months. Jeff was a lowly PES that day, watching other folks bask in the glory. It's ironic that Jeff's mother was once ED of this same Org. She has since left Scientology.
Mayor Masiello, a former basketball jock (http://www.ci.buffalo.ny.us/document_4.html), read the speech that Scientology had prepared for him. Manipulated like a ventriloquist's dummy, the hapless mayor found himself exhorting the crowd to take the new Buffalo Org to "Saint Hill size" -- a phrase whose meaning it's doubtful he understood.
On Scientology's web page celebrating the grand opening, you can see a photo of Danielle Perkins Carlson, wife of Jeff, younger sister of Jeremy, and daughter of the murdered Elli. She's in the brown sweater, demonstrating an E-meter:
So what do we have here? Buffalo was the newest "ideal Org", a shiny Scientology outpost that was supposed to boom with new business. The article below, from the International Scientology News, shows the hype that surrounds this "ideal Org" concept. It talks about a course room that can accomodate 100 students simultaneously! (A hopeless dream. The Buffalo Org is dying.)
I'll discuss what happened after the grand opening in a later post. For now, let's just take in the manic hype of the grand opening itself, and meditate on a few things we now know:
1. This "ideal" Org was already stained with the blood of one of its most valued members. All the Org staff knew that what happened to Elli was the product of Scientology, but they were forbidden to discuss it.
2. David Miscavige came to town to sell a lie. As COB RTC and head of the Sea Org, he had monitored the Perkins coverup. The destruction of sensitive Org files and the denial that Jeremy had ever been a Scientologist were carried out on his orders. So here he was, smiling and shaking hands with the mayor, keeping everyone's attention diverted from the corpse under the table.
3. Jenna Elfman probably didn't know a thing. Jenna doesn't like entheta. If she saw a hint of misery in the staffers' eyes, or caught a glimpse of the blood on the walls, she'd have simply averted her gaze.
4. Buffalo News reporter Mark Sommer also didn't know about the Perkins murder when he attended the grand opening that day. This was his first Scientology story. But it would not be his last!
I'm posting this at 7:30 am on March 13th, 2005. Two years ago today, Elli Perkins had only a few hours left to live. Happy Birthday, L. Ron Hubbard. Your empire is crumbling.
-- Dave Touretzky http://PerkinsTragedy.org http://BuffaloScientologyInfo.com
International Scientology News Issue 27 May 2004, pages 34 and 35:
BRINGING A NEW CIVILIZATION TO BUFFALO
Chosen to determine if a Centeral Organization could be established rapidly and anywhere, Buffalo now has a new Central Org on Main Street-- setting a standard for Central Orgs everywhere.
While both Johannesburg and San Francisco represented extreme circumstances in terms of distance, economic and social factors, there was the matter of cities which, while not the seat of government, entertainment or business, were still vital and representative of their respective countries.
"And in this case," Mr. Miscavige said, "a city that represents the heart that pumps the lifeblood of America: Buffalo, New York." The second largest city in New York State, with a long history of its own, Buffalo was once known as the Gateway to the West, connecting New York to the Great Lakes and the Midwest.
Today, Buffalo is still a strategic location, next to Niagara Falls, and with a population of 320,000, it is a main city on the Canadian-American corridor representing 9 million inhabitants.
"Yet with all that, Buffalo also represents all that is good, and bad, in cities everywhere," continued Mr. Miscavige, "and while Scientology has had a long history in Buffalo, the org first beginning in 1971, it has never had a prominent presence."
That is, until the field stepped up and with a concerted effort, acquired another historic landmark that once served as a central community library, located right on Main Street, and the creation of the new Central Organization of Buffalo began.
Now complete, this org sets an ideal standard across every division, beginning with its Scientology Information Center, including three introductory rooms for films, lectures and workshops.
Buffalo's ideal public course rooms can accommodate more than a hundred students at a time. The new Academy is set up to train all auditors for their zone. The HGC has dozens of auditing rooms to take public up the Grades and to Clear and the Qualifications Division literally overlooks the Technical Division, ensuring technical standards with a full LRH library, Cramming facilities and Internship. "As for their Public Field Division," said Mr. Miscavige, "it's a tour-de-force presentation of our activities around the world, where everyone can learn, join in and get onboard." The magnificent Chapel can accommodate larger gatherings of all types-community events,seminars, even banquets.
"So that's Buffalo-and what our new Central Organizations mean to any town, anywhere."
As to the impact the new org had on that city, the opening ceremony said it all -- the city closed Main Street so all could participate, every TV station in the area was in attendance and speakers included the president of the Preservation Association, a senior advisor to President Bush's Points of Light Foundation, a City Council member and the mayor of Buffalo himself.
And as for how rapidly our churches become their churches, the mayoral address made the point. For when Mayor Anthony Masiello took the stage he talked in terms of our purposes, our goals, Old Saint Hill and L. Ron Hubbard. And after telling one and all, "Let's take the Church of Scientology of Buffalo to and beyond Saint Hill size!" he proclaimed November 16 Church of Scientology of Buffalo Day, "on behalf of the people of Buffalo, New York."
PHOTO: "Let's take the Church of Scientology of Buffalo to and beyond Saint Hill size!" ANTHONY MASIELLO Mayor of Buffalo