Scientology is (just about) alive in Manchester

When travelling down to Oxford Road this morning on the free Shuttlebus service (it’s one of 3 covering the whole city centre) I was pretty surprised to see, on Deansgate, a “Church of Scientology” shop-front. Bold as anything, with a proud blue and yellow sign, it sits beside Hobs (By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen) Reprographics, right on the corner.

I took this photo discreetly...then ran!

The shop offers workshops, seminars, books, and who knows what else if you actually step inside rather than just staring in shock? The entrance looks welcoming and almost like a travel agent, enticing you to take a cute little wooden seat. According to the shop’s website, Scientology converts have in the past defeated that confusingly titled discipline “Science” to perform miracles no less impressive than the revival of babies and motorcycle crash victims from comas. Seriously: that’s what they claim. Follow the link. You don’t really need to be the wonderful Christopher Hitchens or (is he an Atheist?) Richard Dawkins to realise there is something a little bit “Trades Description Act” about that.

A Google search reveals that a few years ago an anti-Scientology protest took place outside the shop. Organised by the masked Anonymous network, it was only one of several held world-wide on the same day. Despite the best efforts of “V” and his followers the shop remains open for business…

Adding to its majestic property portfolio, the “Church” has spent over £3.5 million on a former distillery at Old Trafford. Sadly, they were refused planning permission to turn it into a “place of worship” and the building has been theirs, but disused, since 2007. See it described and rendered here in their video library as the “Future Manchester Church of Scientology” – accompanied by a voiceover that makes squirm-inducingly awkward references to the working class “machine” and the Georgian interiors. The Church of Scientology’s motto is, reassuringly: “Something CAN be done about it”.

Right now, I am starting to wonder if the photos I took through my bedroom window – in an attempt to capture the trains that move peacefully over the red purple and grey brick railway arches – are proof that aliens really are here? I am also uploading (for purposes of comparison) a Photoshopped version of the image where the lights are notably absent. Not convinced? Think clearly!

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7 responses to “Scientology is (just about) alive in Manchester”

  1. Jemster says :

    Wow! Cool photo! Are the streaks of bright light electricity from overhead cables? And is that blurred streak below them the train flashing past? It looks like one of those amazing ‘natural phenomenon’ photos you see in National Geographic doesn’t it?
    Or maybe it is L Ron Hubbard’s ghost making his presence felt in Manchester. Guess he could be angry at them stopping his church plans going ahead? LOL.

  2. Jemster says :

    Just thought – they could be his giant arms reaching down from the sky? 😉

  3. musingfrommanchester says :

    Glad you like the picture. Could be aliens or ghosts. Or just relics of my ineptitude with the camera. A man in a black suit told me to say that… 😉 Hope to get a decent one of the shop soon!

  4. Jemster says :

    Lol. Maybe you could venture inside the shop and tell us all what you find? Could make interesting reading. (As long as the staff inside don’t covert you.) Glad they didn’t get the go ahead for the church. Britain isn’t ready for their lunacy. Looking forward to more pics.

  5. Geoff says :

    Lol, I’m pretty toxic it seems. No huge surprise there.

  6. Anonymous says :

    For information, the Anonymous protests outside the Scientology Manchester “Church” have happened monthly since 2008 and are still ongoing. We support the right of anyone to believe in what they wish, but protest the deception and abuses of this dangerous cult.

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