"C'mon. No one is listening.... What do you really want to know?"
(sidelong glance, flushed cheeks)
"Well, I have wanted to know..."
"It's okay, I won't tell anybody."
"Okay, okay! Look! Why does it have to be so fancy?! My first service was done in somebody's basement! When somebody had to go to the john, everybody had to take a break to let the poor guy into the bathroom. It was crowded. And stinky. And the paint was peeling - but nobody cared."
This question, and a dozen like it, have been asked of me repeatedly over the last few years. It is an interesting question, and one that is posed by the guys who were there in the beginning - the guys who worked their butts off in the early days to make sure that Scientology would even exist.
Coming from veterans as it does, this question deserves a solid answer. It is true that our facilities have not always been the prettiest (or, at times, the warmest...) but that hasn't stopped the church from expanding rapidly. Why do we now devote time and money to create a new church that is so, well... pretty?
I have a few answers for that. The first is from Mr. Hubbard, who said, "The spirit of Scientology is one of help, a flippancy for the Authorities Who Know Best, a hope of getting onward, the one possible escape from the damnation of this place.... It's an aura of new horizons, a better life, an invitation out of the muck of all the misspent yesterdays. It's an offer to be born again."
This is exemplified by the Scientology ads, such as this one here.
If you could translate this ad and turn it into a new building, you would have a very clear picture of what our new building should communicate to individuals walking in for the first time.
So... yes, while it is true that many of us began our Scientology experience in less than stellar environments, it is also true that perhaps the environment itself can assist us to achieve our goals even faster.
Finally, there is this question - Do you love your church? Has it provided answers for you and for those you love?
Of course, I know the answer to that question. Since I do, I can then offer this quote from G. K. Chesterton -
"Decoration is not given to hide horrible things; but to decorate things already adorable. A mother does not give her child a blue bow because he is so ugly without it. A lover does not give a girl a necklace to hide her neck."
By completing this renovations project, we are all giving something that we love a new blue bow.