The Santa Ana Sentinel

Prelude to a New Song?

Posted in Downtown, Opinion, Progress Report, Ward 2 by Omar Ian Ávalos on June 2, 2012

The Church of Scientology held a grand opening for its new Orange County church at the site of the old Masonic Temple at 5th & Sycamore streets in Downtown Santa Ana on Saturday, June 2, 2012.

A number of guest speakers lined up to sing the new location’s praises. The president of the Orange County branch of Scientology explained the building’s history, and said that the center would be open to the community. What their definition of community is remains to be seen.

They could be talking about the larger county or they could be more specifically talking about Santa Ana.

No matter if one agrees or disagrees with their views, they must be commended for the improvements done to the building, even though it looks like something out of BioShock. It’s been restored to its past Art déco glory.

It also brings that corner of the downtown back to life, and this could tie into the monthly art walks.

I find myself now thinking about the Yost’s reopening and how they said they’d be open to community. They have yet to satisfy me.

Will the Scientologists be open to the community? Surely they’d be open to recruiting so in that sense yes. But can a Santa Ana community organization hold an event there? Time will tell.

This is a common theme. One incoming group says, “We’ll be open to the community,” like the Yost, the Scientologists, and Newsong church is saying about the Santora.

Following the Yost’s example, these other two centers could be more for busing in visitors to this city. The least they could do is open up to hold events that the Santa Ana community would want to see.

If they do allow the Santa Ana community to use that historic space, I’m okay with them being here, and the same goes for Newsong.


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