This is the Vancouver org at 401 West Hastings St. in the West End neighborhood. In addition to all the processing and training, the org is home to a surprising museum of pop culture – the Cold World mural in the alley around back. This 250 foot mural on both sides of the alley depicts the mirror ball by M.C. Escher, a self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh, and other less identifiable characters. The city of Vancouver supports a web site – the Vancouver Mural Tour, and considers this and other murals in the city as part of its cultural heritage, and tourist attractions. They alley is small, usually full of garbage, and visitors report the strong smell of urine.
Of particular interest is the portion of the mural on the back of the org building itself. Is there a message to Scientologists in this “Freedom” scene? We like to think it’s an invitation to those inside to think for themselves, and not a reference to the Scientology PR magazine of the same name.
Update: Photos from Pussy Willow showing that Freedom has been painted over. It’s too bad, we thought it was a striking piece of art.