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Scientology’s own plans show it paid $37 million for a building to serve only 87 people

NorthSydneySmallWe told you previously that one of the announcements Scientology leader David Miscavige made at an October 17 gala in front of a few thousand people under a giant tent in England was that he had plans for a new “Advanced Org” in Australia.

It’s a fascinating study in Scientology hubris. At a time when the church is shrinking, unable to attract people to the “Ideal Orgs” it already has, and with its drug rehab program Narconon increasingly under fire, Scientology doubles down by announcing plans for “Ideal Narconons” and new Advanced Orgs.

In Scientology’s model, local “missions” feed newcomers to larger “orgs” or “Ideal orgs” where they go through a significant part of their “Bridge” — Scientology’s long list of courses and training. For higher level instruction, they must go to one of several “Advanced Orgs” in places like Copenhagen, Los Angeles, or Clearwater, Florida. And they finish things off with a final course aboard the church’s private cruise ship which sails the Caribbean, the Freewinds. Justifying new Advanced Orgs, at the upper end of that scale, would make sense if the missions and orgs below them were proliferating. But they aren’t.

According to the church’s own website, the Advanced Org that Miscavige announced for Australia would serve as an “ecclesiastical management” center overseeing the other facilities in Australia and Asia. But recent census reports show that Australia has only about 2,000 Scientologists.

Whether the new center is needed or not, Miscavige has paid $37 million (about $32 million US) for a 1987 building that previously housed the National Acoustic Laboratory and Ultrasonics Institute outside of Sydney.

For years, developers tried to turn the property into a residential project but ran into opposition from the local government. Now, Scientology has submitted its plans for the Advanced Org, and public comment is open as Scientology’s request for a zoning change is considered.


We have the plans that Scientology has submitted. And here’s what we think is the most amazing statement in them. In a traffic study, Scientology’s consultants note that the church estimates that its new facility will have 290 staff servicing some 170 parishioners.

But then the consultants measured how many people were using the current facilities that the new Advanced Org is meant to replace, and they found that the numbers were actually somewhat lower…

“At any given time, the maximum accumulation of staff and parishioners would be some 220 staff and 87 parishioners. These occur from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.”


And note, that’s a maximum of people who are currently showing up at the center in Dundas, which this new building north of Sydney will replace.

That’s a pretty stark admission about Scientology’s notion of what justifies an expensive new center: A $37 million, 130,000-square-foot project for taking care of the needs of 87 parishioners.

Here, see for yourself. Here’s the traffic study that Scientology submitted for project approval…


Scientology North Sydney AO Project Traffic Study

We also noted that Scientology’s consultants and the people who live near the project were told only very vague things about what happens at an Advanced Org. “Ecclesiastical” this and “theological” that.

We imagine that none of them were told that what actually happens at an Advanced Org is exorcism, at hundreds of dollars an hour. It’s in the “operating thetan” levels (OT 3 to OT 7) that Scientologists spend months at a time removing unseen entities from themselves with the use of auditing. Those of us who are not high-level Scientologists can do nothing about the hundreds or thousands of unseen, disembodied space alien souls (called “Body Thetans”) which are stuck inside and around us. But lucky upper-level Scientologists can spend tens of thousands of dollars per level to chase their body thetans away.

We will admit that removing body thetans probably won’t add much to Sydney’s traffic or impact it environmentally, so Scientology is probably in good there.

We’re curious to know what kind of impact public comment might have on Scientology’s proposal. The locals sound like they’re so relieved that the old Lab building is going to be reused rather than leveled for condos that they might not ask too many tough questions about what Scientology plans to do with it.

In the meantime, here are more of the documents submitted by Scientology:

Operations plan
Community consultation report
Property plan (theological studies!)
Side view architectural plan


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 4, 2014 at 07:00

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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
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