Dress for Excess: The New Ideal Org Uniforms
In the latest edition of International Scientology News are photographs of new designs for Ideal Org staff uniforms. Let’s set aside the differing opinions about these black and red outfits for the moment (some find them classy, some think they look like vampire costumes, and one fashion website, Refinery29, said they looked like “magician flight attendants”). And let’s set aside questions of practicality (Wool? Really? In LA or Florida? And heels for female staff?).
The real question is David Miscavige’s priorities.
The outfits were designed by Hollywood celebrity fashion designer and Project Runway guest judge Richard Tyler. Outside of dressing a number of celebrity wives at this year’s Oscars, Tyler is maybe best known for outfitting Northwest/Delta flight attendants, a job that ended in controversy, with Delta’s heavier attendants complaining that his signature sexy red dresses had not been provided in plus sizes.
But the whole thing smacks of Miscavige’s style-over-substance management. The few Ideal Orgs that have been opened are reportedly empty of public, and struggling to meet costs. I’m sure in Miscavige’s “Field of Dreams” universe, he felt that if he built these orgs, people would come. But the posh new quarters didn’t magically fill up. And as for staff, reportedly they are having to shuffle staff members around the country to make the Ideal Org photos look full. So there are problems staffing these Ideal Orgs, and there are problems filling them with enough public. The solution – have a celebrity designer create 20-piece uniforms, at great cost? Isn’t that like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?
Who is supposed to pay for these very expensive uniforms? Orgs aren’t even making their rent payments and have to reg public even for their operating expenses. Or is Miscavige planning on having wealthy public buy them? And what about upkeep? Dry cleaning? Replacement parts? Staff can’t afford that sort of thing; they make next to nothing. Reg the public again?
But with Miscavige, it’s all about “looking good” and hanging with celebs. It’s all about image. It’s all about photo ops for Impact Magazine and Int Scientology News and event videos. And blaming others when no real substance appears.