(Article by Special Correspondent)
The news is out that David Miscavige is loaning Scientology Auckland the sixteen million dollars needed to renovate their new “Ideal Org”. This will follow up the ten million that they were loaned already to buy the building. There has been some speculation as to why he might do this, since Auckland is not exactly the “crossroads of the world”. His constant companion Lou Henley-Smith is from Auckland, as is her large and almost entirely Scientologist family. So I would think that would be a factor.
Perhaps another factor is that the new Auckland “ideal org” is one of the first buildings David Miscavige announced as being purchased by an “IAS Grant” back in 2007, early on in the Ideal Org campaign.
The building has sat empty for almost seven years now, and the local Scientology spokesmen lets slip in the article below that the 10M was actually a loan- not a grant.
The article notes that according to the 2006 New Zealand Census there are 357 Scientologists in the entire country of New Zealand.
But a quick check shows that for the 2013 Census just completed, there are now only 315 Scientologists in New Zealand – a 12% drop.
By the way, commonwealth countries take their census very seriously – everyone fills one out. You don’t have to put your religion but there is no reason to hide it. The figure of 315 is likely quite representative of all the active Scientologists in the country at this time.
In the same article the Scientology spokesperson states there are 5000 Scientologists in New Zealand. So either he is lying or there are 4,700 Scientologists in New Zealand who are hiding their religious affiliation. I am not sure which is worse.
Interestingly the Auckland org was for a great many years on one of the busiest walking streets in the city, only a hundred yards from the bus station, the train station and the ferry station. They have moved now, to a much quieter location and their new building will be even quieter still. Once again, a pretty building trumps practical considerations like local foot traffic.
Scientology’s $16m statement church
The Church of Scientology of New Zealand will make a $16 million “statement” restoring and converting a heritage-listed Auckland building into its flagship church.
The local arm of the controversial religion purchased the former Whitecliffe Art College campus in 2007 for $10m borrowed interest-free from the Church of Scientology International. It is the church’s only New Zealand property.
The church, which counts actor Tom Cruise among its parishioners, said it’s nearing construction on the Grafton site that includes major seismic strengthening and a new fitout.
Church of Scientology New Zealand head Mike Ferriss told the Sunday Star-Times the cost of the restoration was $16m.
More than $3.5m had been raised mostly from the church’s 5000 local members, Ferriss said, but scientologists around the globe including expat Kiwis would contribute.
Non-members who wanted to see the building restored had also donated, he said.
The 2006 census counted 357 Kiwi scientologists; meaning each would need to donate more than $44,000 to reach the $16m target.
The church’s annual accounts for the year ending December 2012 showed donations were down more than $170,000 to $245,253.
It booked $1.18m from members in advance payments. The church had about $300,000 in the bank and owed its international office more than $8.6m, reporting a $2m deficit.
The “huge” project is estimated to take around 12 months of construction, Ferriss said.
New Zealand’s top scientologist said the condition of the building when the church purchased it was not good.
“We will save this building. There’s no question about it.”…
…Once complete the 11,000 square metre site will have more than 70 rooms dedicated to spreading Scientology’s message.
At 118,000 square feet (11,ooo sq m) it will have over 300 square feet of space for every Scientologist in New Zealand.
On the Subject of Census
The last Australian Census was completed in 2011 and showed 2169 Scientologists – a 13% drop in the number of Scientologists since the 2006 census where 2513 where reported.
Every Census information I have come across shows numbers of Scientologists slumping noticably over the last 5 or 7 years. Once again, we have to call “Liar Liar” to David Miscavige and his grandiose delusions of “straight up and vertical expansion”.
One thing bugging me is it’s claim of ‘over 70 rooms’. Let’s just say 75 rooms, splitting the difference. 75 rooms in a building that is 118,000 sq feet works out to 1,573 sq. feet per room. Even if you say 25% of the floor space is hallways! it’s still 1,173 sq. feet per room.
An auditing room shouldn’t need to be any bigger than 100-150 sq. feet… So what does this location have? An indoor basketball court? Bowling alley? The whole thing is ludicrous. The Ideal Org program is the noose around the neck of scientology. The carrying cost of silly properties like this will be its downfall.
I believe that the number of Australian scientologists is incorrect,when you fill out the census you count everbody under your roof at that time overseas relatives,friends or family,employess etc.etc.There are or were a large number of tawainese staying at a compound in NSW at the time.(according to aca)
Also i get the sense from the chatter(long time lurker) that if it were not for DM running the COS that scientology would be expanding and growing.
I hate to be the one to burst anyones bubble but scientology is a running joke in the real/wog world.The face of scientology TC is either laughed at or booed,LRH is only reveared in scientology circles and anyone interested in scientology wont be after 5 minutes on the internet(XENU,soul destroying dead spacelice,superpowers etc)
I mean no offence by my comments and am happy if you used the tech to learn,grow and be a better person.I support your rights to believe/study what you want and the freedom of speech to promote your beliefs.
The point is that reformation is a good thing(DM must go)but the name Scientology is done no matter who is running the show.
Any way great blog i read all the comments and never miss a post you are very interesting and entertaining people.
Mike Rinder says
Thanks 4. Nice to hear from you. The broader the spectrum of views, the more likely it is that people can form sensible and well-informed opinions. This actually has a name in Scientology — the multiple viewpoint system (though its not used as only one viewpoint is acceptable within the RCS).
Rick Mycroft says
On the subject of census. One thing that apologist academics never seem to account for is the ass-clown factor. They come up with many excuses of why members of group X might under-report their numbers, but they never explore the idea that when people are presented with a census which they must, by law, fill out, a significant number (the ass-clowns) will answer many questions with the most outlandish response possible. From the success of the Jedi in recent years, it is certain that the ass-clown factor is at least 20 times larger than Scientology numbers. It’s quite possible that the New Zealand numbers haven’t really declined, it’s just that Scientology is seen as more icky than previously, and the ass-clowns have moved on to new target, such as the Jedi.
Johnny Tank (Forever Autumn) says
Isn’t it true that you can be of an other religion, or even an atheist, and still practice Scientology..?
Yes ,that is supposed to be true
Well I just posted this link to the cracked.com website on Tony Ortegas site. I must do it here also. It sadly cracked me up! http://www.cracked.com/article_20869_5-ways-growing-up-inside-scientology-was-nightmare_p2.html
In a flyer published on Tony Ortega’s site, the church says these two interesting statements:
Re. Scientology commercials: “Starting on the 13th of January — the ad will begin playing on Prime Time TV in every US city with an Ideal Org.”
Re. Scientology web site: “When people visit http://www.scientology.org the new ad will be right there. When someone clicks to watch it, at the end, the image of their nearest Ideal Org appears with an invitation to come in for a tour. The address and phone number of the org also shows up along with a map of how to get there…For any person who is not located near an Ideal Org, they will be offered the option to start an on-line course.”
Another two BIG Miscavige “fuck you’s” to the DBs in those cities which don’t have idle Orgs: We are spending some of the interest we earned on YOUR IAS donations on advertising, but if YOUR city doesn’t have an Idle Org, you are not getting ANY of it. No ideal org? No ads in your city. And we send your public to do an online course, you CSMF.
By the way, you’d better make your f***ing donation quotas this week!
Visiting anon says
Thank you Special correspondent for keeping things interesting for us anons while Rinder is away for some R&R!
That would be the neutron bomb, the big boogeyman of my early adolescence. It’s too late for that for virtually every org on Earth. The life is already gone, and the buildings still stand.
Cat Daddy says
Watching the weirdness unfold, maybe he is planning on escaping the US and going to live in quiet beautiful New Zealand!
Doloras LaPicho says
As a New Zealander (never-in but watching for 20 years, thanks for asking), let me speak on behalf of all people, sheep and hobbits here when I say: nooooooOOOOOOOOOOOoooo!
The Invisible Man says
Nice to see the 13% drop in Australia. I’m not surprise at all. I’ve seen so many leave the SO in Sydney, a mass exodus after the ridiculous pressure of book selling on dear leader’s basics. I saw first hand as an outer org trainee the madness of their late nights to meet unreachable quotas. The stress and tireness on their faces. It was certainly the turning point of my own exodus.
Robert Almblad says
Mmmmm… maybe it was after one of those uncomfortable but inevitable family “get-togethers” with Lou’s family or maybe just communications with Lou’s family members that caused DM to figure he had to apply some “extra showmanship” for Lou? Read: Lou’s family needs an extra dose of bullshit to keep Ponzi “expansion scheme” alive…
Also, after a couple Scotch’s you can make some oddball promises! DM’s late night comment might have been: Yeah, sure baby.. anything you say.
DM has little freedom of movement these days with choosing new friends or getting rid of old friends. He now understands that even the best of his closest staff or 2D can become his worst enemy. The people that are doing him the most damage today are the ones that were closest to him. Not the Psyches or the Pharmaceutical companies…
Stalin didn’t have this problem. He just killed them all.
DM uses Stalin’s tyrannical strategy, but forgot to actually kill his enemies. Oooops
DM is now backed into corner.
Watch as the weirdness unfold and pass the popcorn.
The Rock says
Exactly as previously stated. This is how you know that DM’s C of S is not trying to clear the planet, and could not care less. For the $70 MILLION that was spent building RTC’s new office building at INT (to be used by what…30 people?) He could have funded the full-time training of at least 1,000 Grad V auditors. and I’m talking about PUBLIC. Not even staff!! Staff already get the training for free if they finish their contracts. There have never been 1,000 auditors auditing at a time in the history of Scientology.
If he really wanted SCN delivered everywhere he could remove the financial barrier. It would actually be CHEAP compared to all the weird things the Church of spending money on.
I’m sure COB would say “that would be such a degrade to train auditors for free. It would throw everyone’s exchange out and degrade them as beings, an with their exchange out their banks would be pulled in on them and their ethics would be out and they could NEVER get tech in”.
Any excuse not to train and deliver I guess.
$26 million on Aukland. $25 million on London (or more?). $40 million to re-reno the Fort Harrison. $40 million to re-reno the PAC base. It’s amazing
But reduce the cost of training?? Hello no!
If he would just LET the subject expand, it would. He’s actively holding it down. Truly a sociopath.
Boy, this really shows where DM is at.
Stuffing money galore into a building situated in a quiet area when tons of auditors could have been trained
with the same money.
It somehow reminds me of a military weapon -not sure what it’s called- that snuffs out all life but preserves
Could be DMs attorneys have advised him that he is at risk for a copycat Garcia lawsuit in NZunless he forks over the dough for an Auckland Ideal Morgue per his own public statement to do same uttered on record years ago. Could be his attorneys are telling him that henceforth he’s got to put the money wherever he’s already put his mouth, so to speak. If this is the Why – and if I were his attorney I would advise him of such legal vulnerabilities – if this is the indeed the case then I imagine parting with this kind of money must be killing the Dwarf, so, to make the medicine go down, and to save his own face, he’s declaring the Auckland grant a “loan” Yeah, right! Like he really expects the Auckland field to one day pay it back! What a farce!
Jane Doe says
Aqua, what you say makes sense. So if that is the case, let’s get our librarians and people searching all the old magazines where his quotes are and all the old events on tape etc to find out what he promised and never delivered on, and then hurriedly we put together a class action lawsuit or a regular lawsuit before they can plug the holes of the dike. What do you think? Let’s do it!
Madora Pennington says
Eventually all this nonsense will grind to a complete halt.
Robot Chicken says
Just curious, did anyone from Auckland contribute to this report?
Special Correspondent says
No, all information came from internet research.
I can’t understand this at all. Isn’t Scientology, whatever its troubles, bigger than Davey Miscavige? Will no one rid Scientology of this enturbulating priest? Where is Scientology’s Man for All Season’s? The one who will be the salt of the earth, so Scientology can ketchup and cut the mustard!
I simply cannot believe that intelligent, close reasoning people like Scientologists, the kind of people who know which shell the pea is under, and can feel it under the mattress, will let one man, one short dipsomaniac, ruin the efficacy of this fine tech!
Old School says
Interesting point. If ONLY LRH had been trained in spotting “SP’s”! LOL!
My first thought, Mooser, is what happened to the Man for All Seasons. No one wants that particular chore.
I know what you mean. But I recently concluded that the scientology I knew died with Ron in 1986. There was a succession war and Pat and Annie Broeker lost. The Pure tech still works fine: the church doesn’t. Using a combination of “black Dianetics”, real scientology, and Miscavagology they can still get some results, But something like “The Ideal Orgs” is Miscavagology at its worst.
I personally think we are at beginning of a “great reformation”. Marty Rathburn spells it out in “The Scientology Reformation”. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. (some folks don’t like Marty but he’s really a great writer. I don’t agree with all that he writes and blogs about— that Jeff Hawkin’s article on his blog about scientology ethics is utter bullshit. I just apply the old creed of the church, which In never did within the church: “That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.”
And he takes the fight to Miscavage like nobody else.How can you not like the guy? I’m more of a Mike Rinder guy myself, a Rinderite I suppose.)
I really do think that “a great reformation”, of historical proportions, is ongoing. We may be few in number, but the Tech, despite what the skeptics says, despite our own bad experiences , despite the everything , is very, very powerful. It really does have potential to the change world. I haven’t had a proper session in 25 years and I still yearn for one. I still feel the results of that old comm course I did in 1973.
Why the church folks can’t figure it out, I don’t know, Probably some dramatization.I know
the church has gone totally feudal. They may not have dukes and earls but they have plenty of patrons and :humanitarians. Look at these events or “Impact magazine” or just observe some “whales”. If you’re a “peasant” within the church you can join staff or the sea org. A very odd culture has developed inside those churches.
Totally agree with you about the workability of the the pure tech, Ashaman.
Hallie Jane says
Insightful post Ashaman, thank you. I too, still treasure the many wins and gains I’ve had and choose what I apply because I feel it is right. I wish you a fine indie auditor and gains you’ve always wanted.
Jon Cruisolta says
Hahaha yeah right. produce ONE non-$cientologist who gave a penny for that building, or STFU.
All this is assuming that the numbers given are true, ($10 M, $16 M).
Wouldn’t be the first time that the numbers are altered for convenience, or are simply estimates not actually done yet..
Rick Mycroft says
I believe that when RCS won charity status in New Zealand in 2002, it opened them up to more reporting requirements and public disclosure, certainly a lot more than an American IRS Form 990. These IAS “loans” only seem to appear in countries where the government has the books under a microscope, such as New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland. It’s possible that they could cook the books, but there is a chance of getting caught.
Or he is loaning funds so as to ‘prove to the courts’ that funds have been correctly used…He has zero intention to expand Scientology and buildings have been used to juggle accounts; but if He does this he feels covered from further legal threats, I suppose.
Too late Black Heart…
Jane Doe says
That is an astute comment. He DOES NOT WANT more trained Scientologists. He has expelled all the old-timers. He is not training any new auditors. He is buying an Org in a country where there are 351 Scientologists… it’s either totally cookoo or else he is deliberately spending money in ways that will only enhance his real estate portfolio, will look good on “paper” for the courts… but absolutely has NO INTENTION of doing anything to create or train more Scientologists.
The lies about Up Straight and Vertical are merely to shave more $$$ off the flock.
It is fascinating. Yes, I agree he is a very sick guy…. not rational. Crazy? Hmmmm…maybe crazy as a fox who discovering he is now caught in a trap.
Jose Chung says
I just have trouble understanding this.
My company put in an atmosphere detector in New Zealand.
It had to be self powered and other problems because of remoteness.
Enough money anything is possible,I suppose. Kiwi number one say’s I have
a million sheep that make the finest sweaters. Kiwi number two says Ha !
I have a huge bloody Ideal Org that shears Dollar bills straight away from my sheep !
(I really don’t know the answer )
So, excuse me for asking, but how is the atmosphere in New Zealand? “Bracing” is the usual description, and I accept it, but more specific information would be welcome.
Jose Chung says
The atmosphere in New Zealand is just fine as far as I know.
It’s monitored in Vienna. Lot’s of sheep farms and myself and crew came home with sweaters.
Just Me says
If you’re asking how the air down there is, it’s clean. And the country is gorgeous. Climate-wise, it ranges from “sub tropical” on the north end of North Island to “sub arctic” on the south end of South Island. (They like to keep names simple down there.)
Fewer than 5 million humans. Still lots of sheep, but fewer than there used to be. Just enough hobbits, dwarves and elves to go around. And maybe just a tad too many tourists. IMHO, it’s bloody heaven on earth. Seriously — like California in the 1920s and three times as beautiful.
This raises the question of whether the rest of the Ideal Orgs paid for by IAS “grants” were also loans. These would include: NY, Madrid, Harlem, Inglewood, Kaioshung, London, Brussels, and, if I am not mistaken, Moscow and Rome. I also wonder if they can pay off their loans by regging the equivalent amount in IAS donations from their members.
Jane Doe says
Also wasn’t the LV org partially paid for by a grant or loan from DM cuz they didn’t get the entire amount of money needed? I seem to remember hearing that. Anyone?
All of that money…my first thought was how many auditors could be trained if money like this were used for training grants instead of real estate. What a waste. This cult will go the way of the Ancient Egyptians who were the poster civilization for altered importance on Mest. Only, they’ll go a lot quicker
Roy Macgregor says
This is a great comment. It truly boggles the mind that David Miscavige could spend 26 million dollars for a building that will sit in a country almost completely devoid of Scientologists. If he had provided a 26 million dollar grant he could have paid to train almost 1000 people to Grad V – even at the current insanely high rates. In a few years there really would be several thousand Scientologists in the country. He could breathe live into a area where the Scientology religion is flickering out. Instead he chose to bring more invalidation and despair about making his impossible and meaningless targets..
Jane Doe says
Yes, instead he chose to bring more invalidation and despair about making his impossible and meaningless targets. SPs wrong target.
But also there was the little line in the article that in 2007 the Aukland bldg is one of the first buildings DM announced as being purchased by “an IAS Grant” early on in the Ideal Org campaign. I think DM reads every line of this blog and others and he is only reacting now instead of acting. He is reacting to try to fill up every hole in the dike as water pours through threatening to flood everything. He has to make Aukland an IdealOrg because he knows that we will point out that the IAS Grant given was never used for what he said it would be used for, which is similar to what Luis Garcia is suing him for right now. He’s frantically trying to do things to avoid future lawsuits and he’s killing Scn in the process.
Very astute comment. Makes it very clear that assets for DM are far more important than an expanding scientology. But I guess that’s always been the case.
Maybe they can use it as an insane asylum – it kind of looks like one already. 82,540 (= 26,000,000 cost / 315 Scns). The 26 million is the 10 mil cost and 16 mil in renovations. Dark. Foreboding. Stone. Teeth over the entrance. No wonder it was in bad shape – nobody wanted it. Poor building. And just when it thought it couldn’t get any worse ….
Not to be anal…but, 11,000 sq mtrs = 118,403 sq ft. Or approximately 332 sq ft per member. I guess once their members are broke they could live there 🙂
Special Correspondent says
Thanks I corrected that.
LOL. It’s that absurd.
phil pipieri says
No, that would be out-exchange charity to a downstat.
That space will be shared with 26 other RPFers from TaiWan.