You’ve probably heard of Scientology (or rather, the “church” of Scientology). Scientology is a body of beliefs and practices created by L. Ron Hubbard, and to most people, it seems like a cult that is literally insane and focused only on taking people’s money. Scientology teaches that “people are immortal beings who have forgotten their true nature” and through their many books and systems you can pay for, you can reach enlightenment. If that doesn’t sound familiar, then you’ll recognize all of the celebrities that are Scientologists: Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, Jason Lee, John Travolta and Juliette Lewis.
And if you don’t believe just how many people the Church of Scientology convinced to donate the big bucks in exchange for “spiritual freedom,” check out their new headquarters in Clearwater, Florida. It cost $145 MILLION.
The spiritual headquarters was originally valued at $80 million.
But the church delayed construction to raise more funds.
They obviously are training Bond villains here.
Just walking into this place would leave your jaw (and all of your money) on the floor.
“It’s so beautiful, how could they possibly be wrong?”
The atrium is three stories tall and spans the length of an entire block.
Now, there is even an in-church cafe where the workers spend their money, instead of walking to other shops in the downtown area.
Scientology churches often have Sunday services and even perform weddings, although it is all very expensive and often happens behind closed doors.
The ministers that preside over them are volunteers and the services aren’t well attended. They are just trying to prove they aren’t that different from Christianity.
Although, in these churches, L. Ron Hubbard’s nonsensical quotes cover the walls.
The building includes book stores where “pre-clears” can buy all of their introductory material.
All of the ancient-looking texts that members are encouraged to buy.
The “planetary dissemination” office is responsible for providing Scientology materials throughout the world.
A hallway filled with “auditing” rooms.
Their bridge to total freedom (hmm, I wonder how many donations are included on that list).
An expensive and exclusive E-meter that they use at the headquarters.
And it’s starting to look more than a little futuristic…
The church offers courses at their headquarters.
A private terrace for high-level donors.
Their digital, interactive displays educate visitors on how benevolent Scientologists are.
Scientology has numerous front groups with different goals, like A-B-L-E and WISE.
And of course, L. Ron Hubbard has an office in every Scientology organization, to symbolize that it’s true to his ideals and teachings.
When you look at the people, the teachings and buildings of Scientology, it’s hard not to be overwhelmed by how creepy and fraudulent it seems. We don’t know if Scientology is a lunatic’s set of beliefs, but we do know that it looks like they make evil villains at their headquarters.