You can either make a one-time donation to the site via Paypal...

...or you can subscribe and get billed monthly:

To join our e-mail list & get daily updates on new stories, e-mail us at
RSS Feed
Click here to add The Underground Bunker to your RSS Reader

Scientology is making this world ideal, one renovated building at a time


Yesterday, Scientology leader David Miscavige made the scene in San Diego to open Scientology’s newest “Ideal Org.” We asked Rod Keller, who keeps an eye on the program, to update us on where it stands today.

The number of people joining Scientology may have declined, but the real estate owned by Scientology is still being upgraded. David Miscavige plans to grow that property portfolio until every normal org has been renovated as or replaced by an Ideal Org version. He also wants an Ideal Advanced Org on every continent, and each of those is supposed to have its own associated Ideal Org, which is sometimes called a Continental Ideal Org. [UPDATE: Former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder helps us get this right: “The ‘continental’ Ideal Org is associated with the CLO (the Continental Liaison Office), not the Advanced Org. In Sydney, London, Los Angeles, Copenhagen, Joburg and Milano that is one and the same.”]


Mike Rinder explained the origin of the Ideal Org program at his blog. In 2002, Miscavige found for various reasons that he needed to replace orgs in three cities — Buffalo, Tampa, and Johannesburg. He decided that the new facilities should be larger, more elaborate, and updated with the latest A/V equipment. Thus was born his obsession with replacing all of the rest of the world’s regular orgs with Ideal ones, and putting intense pressure on local members to raise the money for it.

In order to qualify as “Ideal,” an org needs to have 50,000 square feet of space. So in some cases, orgs that are large enough can stay put and only need to pay for renovation — such was the case in New York City, for example. But most places have to find a new building, as in London, Dallas, Rome, and many other places. In several cities, decaying landmark buildings were purchased, but then there wasn’t enough local money to pay for the extensive rehabbing necessary to transform them. So they sit rotting, unrenovated, in places like Chicago, Manchester, and Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

That may be changing. We’re seeing in some places that the church is giving up on landmarks that take too much money and time to fix, and are going with less sexy facilities. Boston is a good example. After wasting years on a building they couldn’t afford to renovate, the Alexandra Hotel…


…the church has put that property up for sale and has settled for a much less romantic setting that can be made ready at a much lower price tag…


Expect this trend to continue as Scientology tries to open Ideal Orgs at the rate of about one per “continent” per year.

And with the opening of the Ideal Advanced Org in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood, expect additional Ideal Advanced Org openings in Africa, Canada, and Mexico in the near future. Scientology opened the checkbook for the Chatswood AO, and the previous practice of raising money from local Scientologists for their AO may be ending.


In Scientology, the United States is divided into two “continents” for operating purposes, Western US and Eastern US, and the Western US Ideal Advanced Org is the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO) on L. Ron Hubbard Way in Los Angeles. The associated Ideal Org is the Los Angeles Ideal Org…


(This was the place where Caitlyn Jenner and Kate Bornstein paid a visit last year.)

Western US Ideal Orgs: Dallas, Denver, Inglewood, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, Minneapolis, Mountain View, Orange County, Pasadena, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana, Seattle

Western US Non-ideal orgs: Albuquerque, Austin, Hawaii, Kansas City, St. Louis, Salt Lake City, Santa Barbara, San Fernando Valley


The building for the Valley Ideal Org is under renovation now and will be the next opening for WUS. Salt Lake City will probably be next after that. WUS has two decaying landmarks that may be too expensive to renovate, in Kansas City and St. Louis. If the Boston policy is followed, expect them to be sold in the near future. Western US is about 70 percent converted to Ideal Orgs, the highest percentage of any continent.

For the Eastern US the Ideal Advanced Org is the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida, and the continental Ideal Org is New York City.

Eastern US Ideal Orgs: Atlanta, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Harlem, Nashville, New York, Tampa, Washington DC

Eastern US Non-ideal orgs: Battle Creek, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Long Island, Miami, New Haven, Orlando, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico


The new Miami Ideal Org is under renovation now and should open next year. Expect Boston to be next after that. EUS has solved the problem in Boston, but still has decaying landmarks in Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia. There has been some indication that actual work is finally getting underway in Detroit, and someone is spreading the rumor that Philadelphia will be opening on December 3. But these recent photos show the only work done on the building in Philly is the addition of Way to Happiness posters in the windows. Expect these three buildings to be sold under the new policy rather than renovated.


For the United Kingdom, the Ideal Advanced Org is L. Ron Hubbard’s former home Saint Hill Manor, and the associated Ideal Org is in London. There are no other Ideal Orgs in the UK.

UK Non-ideal orgs: Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh, Plymouth, Sunderland, Manchester.



Manchester, Plymouth, Sunderland, and Birmingham all have decaying landmark buildings that should be sold, and no Ideal Org openings can be expected here in the next year or two.

Scientology counts Canada as a separate Continent. The Ideal Advanced Org is being renovated near the small town of Mono, Ontario. The associated Ideal Org is Toronto, which is just a decaying building awaiting renovation for the moment.

Canada Ideal Orgs: Cambridge, Quebec City

Canada Non-ideal orgs: Edmonton, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg



Toronto, Montreal and Winnipeg have decaying landmarks that may be sold. Don’t expect Ideal Orgs to open in Canada in the next few years.

Europe’s Ideal Advanced Org is in Copenhagen, and they are currently renovating an associated Denmark Ideal Org. Expect it to open next year, and it will probably be staffed by Sea Org members.



Europe Ideal Orgs: Basel, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Hamburg, Madrid, Malmo, Moscow, Tel Aviv

Europe Non-ideal orgs: Aarhus, Amsterdam, Angers, Athens, Barcelona, Bern, Clermont-Ferrand, Dusseldorf, Florence, Frankfurt, Geneva, Gotenborg, Hanover, Laussane, Lisbon, Lyon, Munich, Nice, Oslo, Paris, St. Petersburg, Stockholm, Vienna, Zurich

There is no news out of Europe of impending Ideal Org openings, there are also no decaying landmark buildings to sell. The conspicuous lack of a Paris Ideal Org probably puts that city at the top of the list. [Mike Rinder tells us not to expect any Ideal Orgs in France, not as long as Scientology is considered a business convicted of fraud there.] Expect one per year in Europe, but not in St. Petersburg given the recent crackdowns by authorities there. Twelve Ideal Orgs in Europe is an impressive number, and they have a long way to go as there are many small orgs in this continent.

Also, Italy is considered its own “continent.” Its Ideal Orgs are Milan, Padova, and Rome. Its non-Ideal Orgs are Brescia, Cagliari, Catania, Monza, Novara, Pordenone, Turin, Verona.

Africa will get an Ideal Advanced Org in Kyalami Castle, purchased in 2008. Renovations will be expensive, but the building is less than 25 years old, and this is not a decaying landmark. Expect money from the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) to finally open this AO.


Africa Ideal Orgs: Johannesburg, Pretoria

Africa Non-ideal orgs: Bulaweyo, Cape Town, Durban, Harare, Johannesburg North, Port Elizabeth

Expect Johannesburg North to be the next opening in Africa in a year or two. Port Elizabeth has a huge decaying landmark building, which may be sold. The thought of an Ideal Org in Bulaweyo or Harare is comical given the terrible economic conditions in Zimbabwe. They are planning for it anyway, perhaps in the far future. If there is a plan for Harare, then there is a plan for every other Scientology org to go ideal…


Australia, New Zealand and Asia recently opened Chatswood as the new Ideal Advanced Org, with Sydney as the associated Ideal Org.


[Bryan Seymour covering the Chatswood opening]

ANZO/Asia Ideal Orgs: Kaohsiung, Melbourne, Sydney, Tokyo

ANZO/Asia Non-ideal orgs: Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Canberra, Perth

Auckland has nearly finished renovations and could open as early as this year. Taipei may be the the next Ideal Org opening in Asia. They have a large mission and are raising money from a large network of other missions in Taiwan who want to see an Ideal Org in the capital city. There are no decaying landmarks to be sold in Australia or Asia.


In Latin America the Ideal Advanced Org will be in Mexico City, and the associated Ideal Org is also there.

Latam Ideal Orgs: Bogota, Mexico City

Latam Non-ideal orgs: Buenos Aires, Caracas, Cuauhtemoc, Guadalajara, Leon, ODD, Polanco, Puebla, Valencia


Expect an Ideal Org opening at ODD, the Organización de Desarollo y Dianética, in the next few years, which would be the second Ideal Org for Mexico City. Buenos Aires has a decaying landmark that should be sold.

Anticipating Scientology’s Ideal Org program is difficult, but developments in San Diego and Boston may indicate they are ready to put the embarrassing situation of dilapidated Scientology buildings in multiple cities behind them. Scientology’s real estate spree is proceeding and they intend to continue as long as the money holds out. Even with fewer members, the money is flowing and we can expect more Ideal Orgs every year.

The motivation behind the Ideal Org project is the subject of much debate. Why is Scientology opening new buildings if the membership isn’t growing? One theory holds that it started because Tom Cruise was embarrassed bringing a friend into an org, and Scientology leader David Miscavige wanted orgs to be a place he would be proud to bring guests. There is certainly also an aspect of public relations in it, to be able to say Scientology is expanding at a time when they are actually losing membership. There is also a monetary aspect, providing another avenue that Scientology can divert donations from the local level to higher levels to pay for space planning or other services. These are probably all true to some extent.

I think the ultimate motivation is to further Miscavige’s vision that he is perfecting Scientology, and is a worthy successor to L. Ron Hubbard. He personally edits Hubbard’s books and lectures to correct minor errors, he has re-written Scientology processing and training procedures through the Golden Age of Tech and Golden Age of Tech II initiatives, and he is even perfecting the buildings in which Scientology is delivered. He commands the orgs to build anew because he has the power to do so and it boosts his reputation within Scientology and with the outside world. He personally opens each Ideal Org, and meets with the most important opinion leaders in each city. He thinks of himself as the Pope of Scientology and that is the level of world leader he believes he has reached. Perhaps he even believes his gleaming new buildings puts him on equal footing with L. Ron Hubbard himself.

— Rod Keller



Go here to start making your plans.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 20, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Observer
    • JJ

      Be proud!

    • Kay (aka Nasty Lady)

      OK that is a funny pic !!

  • TonyOrtega

    HowdyDutchCon looked really fun. I wish I could have gone.

    • Robert Eckert

      You’re far from the only one feeling jealous.

    • Juicer77

      You were missed!

    • Newiga

      You were in our thoughts. We kept thinking how your blog has brought a group of people from different countries and backgrounds together.

      We had so much fun. Laughter, joy and warmth surrounded us where ever we went. You would’ve been proud of us. 😛

  • JJ

    Trying to find a way to email Fox Sports. Pretty sure they just don’t want to hear it, but having to listen to a sportscaster get all gooey throat-ed (there is not other way to describe it) about the upcoming change for the better in this country while watching the Cougs play football ( and lose) was really just too much.

    It was mostly this:
    “_____’s mother is some woman, she has a degenerative muscle disease and can’t come to the game…. but one time when her youngest son sassed her, she picked up a cup and threw it at him and knocked out his teeth.” “She then made him go to school before going to the doctor.”

    The white male sportscaster said this in admiring tones. Clearly child abuse is O.K. with him when it comes to African American families, esp young black men. How do I know this is so. Try to imagine the exact same thing being said about a white family or say a father doing it to his daughter who was “sassin’ him.” “Picked up a cup, threw it at her face and broke out her teeth…” Is it still funny, still O.K. still just tough love?
    I was literally sick listening to that tirade. I can’t imagine being a black man today, apparently you can smack them around as children to get there attention (Sinbad), beat their ass when they are sassing teenagers (sportscaster) and then shoot them in the streets for looking at you funny. (statistics?)

    • Frodis73

      I hope you get in touch with them…not that they will care, but hey…

      • JJ

        Mnn found one and got a hit. We shall see. Yeah I might just be raving but come on! If he wants to have a pod cast go do one, just give us the scores, stats and injuries and not tell us how in love you are with Coach Leach and which bible characters individual players like best.

    • LongtimeLurker

      I hope the Trump administration throws a metaphorical cup at this guy’s fat head and knocks his metaphorical teeth out in some terrible, unexpected way.

    • Juicer77

      I much prefer the bathrobe. *covers eyes*

      • I could not get myself to post the actual link.
        He must be a troll – it’s the only explanation for my cognitive dissonance.

    • LongtimeLurker
  • Newiga

    Got home at 3am. Like a zombie in the office. HowdyDutchCon takes it’s toll. 😀

    • Vaquera


      • Juicer77


      • Newiga

        xoxo, Texas <3

    • Juicer77

      Worth. It. 😉

      • Newiga

        Definitely! I’m still smiling like a fool just thinking about this weekend.

    • Eivol Ekdal

      Thanks for checking in.

      • Mymy88


    • Vaquera

      Slept an hour and change last night because I was afraid my alarm wouldn’t go off, or maybe because there was a small Finn missing from the women’s closet-sized berthing.

      • Newiga

        Poor lamb! 😘

        Pssst. It was the missing Finn. The Finn also misses the kick-ass Texans. 😉

  • Vaquera

    Schiphol Airport, I am in you.

    • Ella Raitch

      Safe travels Boots

    • Juicer77

      Safe travels! Xoxo

    • Vaquera

      The airport terminal is gently swaying.
      Side effect from sleeping on a boat.

      • that will go away when you sit in the aeroplane 🙂

    • Newiga

      Have a safe trip back home. xxxoo Thank you for joining us in Amsterdam. You are a sweetheart!

  • Juicer77

    I can’t help feeling that Hubbard’s sense of his own Specialness would be horrified at this boring office building trend over facilities with more character.

    • LongtimeLurker

      Unless his greed and hunger for power weighed in.

      Poor Hubbard, so many competing psychological issues and character flaws.

    • jmsr

      Isn’t there a quote somewhere? I remember seeing on Mike Rinder’s blog a quote to the effect that if Scientology starts being about office buildings then “would you born revolutionaries please burn the damn things down?”

      • Juicer77

        Yes! but I don’t know the source of this Source. 😉

    • Missionary Kid

      The total distance from the front of the $cientology org on the right to the brown building across the street is about 70′ (~21 m). This was shot with a wide angle lens, and, by the size of the org, I’d estimate the actual distance from the camera to the person on stage is about 50′ to 70′. Let’s be generous and say the area is 70′ by 70′. That’s 4900 square feet. At nosh pit density of 2.7 square feet per person, the total number of people, densely packed, would be about 1800 people. On the other hand, there were chairs set up for people to sit in, so the density would be far lower. I’ll say 3.5 square feet per person, so the maximum amount of people in this photograph would be 1,400 people, but there’s usually a clear space in front of the podium, so I’ll say there is about 1,000 people, max, and probably 800 in the area covered. I’ll bet that the actual number of people at the opening was 2,000 max and probably about 1,500. (That’s assuming that there’s more behind the camera).

      That, folks is a spitball estimate that doesn’t include the usual stunt of shooping in more people, as $cientology often has done in the past. I’ll bet they bused in people from all over the West Coast to achieve those numbers.

      When I visit SD, I’m going to see how many people actually walk in or out of the Ideel Org. That’s the real number that counts. When I visited the org before, the number of people that they claimed were in the building was 100, but I only saw about 2 people that were not staff walk in or out of the building, and 5 staff in about an hour.

      • they posted another picture (same angle) but with 3 flat screens on the left side, it might turn up again, that definitely looked shopped. That event was a total flap!

        • Missionary Kid


        • Missionary Kid

          That one is shot from 20-30′ further back.This time, you can see that all the people are sitting, and only a few people are on the sidewalks.That makes the width of the crowd about 55′ wide. If the depth of the crowd is, generously, 100′, that’s 5,500 square feet, divided by 3.5 gives a total of about 1,575 people.

          • still – 1,575 people is generous

            • Missionary Kid

              Agreed. That’s still ~7.5 to 10% of the world’s $cientologists, to be generous and estimate that the amount of $cientologists is between 15 and 20K.

      • aquaclara

        Nice math, MK. Thanks!

  • Juicer77

    I gots a whoopin’ this week in Bunkerball. Well played. I am now going to eat a bunch of Melkehjerter in the corner and cry. 😉

    • Vaquera

      Why, oh why, did I bench Brady and play Big Ben?
      //bangs head on the bulkhead wall//

      • Eivol Ekdal

        Chicken or pasta?

        • Vaquera

          They’re calling it chicken. I’m suspicious.

          • Eivol Ekdal

            Tastes like nothin’

      • Juicer77

        Let’s go commisserate over a drink.

        • Vaquera

          Give me a sec to text Root to see if he’s working today and then I’ll meet you at Busters.

          • Juicer77


  • beetee

    David Miscavige looks TERRIBLE – old and dried out! The smoking, drinking and slapping is catching up with him. Remember Muamar Gaddafi …he once was a handsome man but the evil he did caught up with him and he was just as ugly on the outside as he was on the inside.

    That is what is happening to David Miscavige. He will age fast and hard!

    Talking about aging fast and hard – Tom Cruise. He looks so bloated and resembles Jerry Mathers from Leave it to Beaver…

    Tom Cruise is the reason for these “Ideal Orgs”. It is all about PR for Miscavige…smoke and mirrors.

    • JJ

      Cognitive dissonance. He smokes, drinks, lives a type A high stress lifestyle and is getting old, probably terrified of illness and death. He treats people like shit, rips people off, harms their families and wants to be seen as a great guy…

  • bradleyg

    I believe that, if I ever visit Zimbabwe, I may just visit $cientology’s casino in Harare.