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Renovations for Scientology’s planned Mexico City ‘Advanced Org’ halted by local pols

[Scientology’s rendering of the finished Advanced Org project.]

Rod Keller has been keeping a close eye on Scientology’s attempted expansion in Mexico, and he has a surprising report for us today…

In 2008 Scientology purchased the vacant Palmas Plaza shopping mall in the tiny Lomas del Olivo neighborhood west of Mexico City. They announced to the Scientology world that it would become the home of AOSH LATAM, the Advanced Org Saint Hill for Latin America, a Sea Org base devoted to delivering some of the upper levels of Scientology. Not an Ideal Org such as the one in central Mexico City, it would be a total renovation to the standard of other Ideal Advanced Orgs and plans to build a private hotel on top of the mall were promoted. But they didn’t let the neighbors in on the plan.



With a sense of urgency typical for Scientology projects, on December 15, 2016 they received a one year permit to conduct repairs. They didn’t start the renovations until March of this year, when more than 100 workers were hired to create a gleaming white structure, complete with the star and laurel symbol of the Sea Org, about which L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “adopted and used as the symbol of a Galactic Confederation far back in the history of this sector. The laurel wreath represents victory. The five pointed star signifies rising towards the point of origin or source.”


The neighbors were alarmed by the increase in traffic of construction vehicles, and further alarmed to learn the identity of the property owner. They appealed to elected officials, and on April 28 Mayor Enrique Vargas del Villar, in consultation with Governor Eruviel Avila suspended work on the site, placing banners across all entrances that the work cannot continue as the permit has expired.


On Sunday the banners were ripped in half, and some neighbors suspect Scientologists of having damaged them. Other possible suspects include the vandals who damaged the Catholic church on the same block earlier last week.


The facility is part of Scientology’s plan to open new Advanced Orgs in South Africa, Canada and Mexico, and they have been recruiting members to sign the billion-year contract of the Sea Org. The members would work long hours, and be paid pennies per hour to host affluent Scientologists as they work their way up the OT, or Operating Thetan levels. Scientologists are audited by Sea Org members, paying tens of thousands of dollars to develop the superhuman powers promised by completing the levels. Each Advanced Org is part of a military-style base, consisting of the Advanced Org, the administrative Continental Liaison Office (CLO), a “berthing” in which Sea Org members sleep in crowded and often unsanitary barracks, and plush hotels for the visiting public members. The berthing for AOSH LATAM has yet to be identified, but the church buses Sea Org members to and from most other Advanced Orgs every day, including weekends and holidays.


Some neighbors are organizing to prevent the facility from opening at all, citing increased traffic and Scientology’s history of human rights violations. The work order suspension can be appealed; it seems likely that a new permit will eventually be issued, and the work will resume. As they did at the similar AOSH ANZO facility outside of Sydney, Australia, they will claim that traffic will be light because of the Sea Org buses, and that publics will rarely leave the base while they are going OT. Scientology doesn’t give up its plans easily.


Scientology has held briefings by Sea Org members in Mexico as well as Central and South America to describe the “final step to achieve an OT future for all Latin America.” It will be more convenient for Latin American Scientologists to come to AOSH LATAM rather than PAC base in Los Angeles or Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida. Members are promised that an Advanced Org is a prelude to opening Ideal Orgs in other countries. There are active fundraising projects to open such locations in Mexico City, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and more are likely in the early stages.

— Rod Keller


Bonus items

Mark Ebner spotted this gem — Burbank’s mayor declares a special day for Scientology’s front group, Youth for Human Rights…


On Sunday, we posted a photo of David Miscavige in Miami with the local officials who were wrangled into speaking at the grand opening of the Ideal Org there. One of them was Miami mayor Tomás Regalado. Our friend Tim Elfrink over at the Miami New Times explained in a great piece why the participation of Regalado, known for his human rights stance, is so galling, and he even got the mayor to explain why he spoke up for Scientology, which he considers a “legitimate religion,” just like Catholicism.



Countdown to Denver!


HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25 at the Residence Inn Denver City Center. Go here to start making your plans, and book your room soon!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,738 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,841 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,335 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,375 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,087 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 613 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,702 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,842 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,162 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,137 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 493 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,795 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 902 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,304 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,177 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 758 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,263 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,507 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,616 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 2, 2017 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.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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


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