Montreal Ideal Org article – Jornal Metro

The following article by Jeff Yates was published today in the Jornal Metro of Montreal
Here is the link

This screen capture was created and uploaded with Grabilla: Here is the google translations into English:

The Church of Scientology of Montreal owes nearly $ 117,000 to the City in unpaid property taxes for the building it owns on Sainte-Catherine Street in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Les Affaires and Métro investigated this building to become a kind of cathedral of Scientology, but which remains unoccupied.

Les Affaires and Métro learned that the Church of Scientology has always $ 62,563 for his property taxes in 2014. For those of 2015, the amount payable reaches $ 117,132, confirmed the City. Of this amount, $ 62,756 must be paid before 1 June The outstanding amount for the first payment of the year, which should have been paid on March 2, thus reaches $ 54,376.

The total outstanding amount currently reached $ 116,939. They are so close to $ 180,000 as the Church of Scientology should pay in total by June 1st.

Interest shall accrue “all day,” do we confirmed to the City. Contacted at the end of day Monday, or the Mother Church in California or the Montréal sector have issued comments concerning unpaid taxes.

In 2007 the Church of Scientology of Montreal buys the building La Patrie, which then belongs to the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), for $ 4.25m. The property must then be transformed into “Ideal Org” [ideal organization], a place of worship coupled to an ultra-modern center services.

But while the Church says raise money from its members to achieve its renovation project, it is clear that it can not pay property taxes.
For if the current premises of the Church on Papineau Street, in the Plateau-Mont-Royal, enjoy exemption from property taxes paid to places of worship, the building La Patrie is taxed at the normal rate, as it is empty.

An unused building
Almost eight years after the purchase, the Borough of Ville-Marie confirms that according an inspection in June 2014, no renovation has yet been undertaken. The borough also received, on 25 June 2014, a complaint from a citizen who heard a “popping sound round the clock” in the building. A technician was dispatched to the scene could see that it was a fire alarm that rang incessantly because of low batteries.

Asked about the future of the building a few weeks ago, Jean Larivière of the Montreal branch of the Church of Scientology, confirmed that the project still held: “[The project] is still on track and still raises the enthusiasm of our religious community. […] We are in line to make fundraising [sic] to fund the renovations. ”

Yet in 2009, La Presse quoted the same man who said then be “still in the preliminary stages and fundraising.” The project had already been postponed from 2008 to 2009. Then in 2010, according to Le Devoir, work had still not begun. They were then carried in 2011.

Same thing in 2013, while the same newspaper headlined “The Church of Scientology’s expansion project in Montreal he would be paralyzed?”. Several church leaders had then said no. But two years later, things have not changed.

Issues raised
So, why a group which is struggling to pay his property taxes and carry out renovations he stubbornly buy property?

According to the former spokesman of the Mother Church in Los Angeles, California, Mike Rinder, the central management chooses buildings, often in spite of the needs on the ground, but these are local organizations that must find funding to buy and renovate. That is why many of these projects in the world seem to trample.

“I am convinced that the organization of Montreal has no idea what it does. They are told what to do from Los Angeles, and they therefore can not sell the building or renovation plans changed without the approval of the leaders. They have little room for maneuver, “he said by email.

“It would not surprise me if they had enough members to purchase buildings in the 2000s, it became more difficult for them to raise funds for renovations, because
many people around the world have left [Scientology] in 2007 or 2008. “- Tony Ortega, American journalist investigating the Church of Scientology since 1995

According to the journalist and editor of the news website Raw Story Tony Ortega, who is investigating the Church since 1995, the Central Church sells to local organizations the idea that the construction of an Ideal Org allow their community gain new members.

“They say,” When you have your Ideal Org, we will promote it, you will have an explosion of new members, and it will be a golden era for Scientology in your city. “But what we see in cities where we opened buildings of this kind is that they are empty, “he says. In short, the mystery surrounds the future of the six-storey building of Montreal.

On the website of the Central Church of Scientology, one can find a list of buildings located around the world and destined to become Ideal Org. Montreal is listed. It is claimed that these buildings will be completed “in 2014 or 2015″.

Thank you Jeff Yates.
Screenshot made with Grabilla

Chicago Idle Org – update January 2014

Roger wrote

“:Hello Izhar,

I just wanted to send you these very recent pix of Chicago Idle org status, which I’d taken last Thursday (Jan 30 2014)  when down in the city for some work stuff.
They are hardly any different, from those taken several years back, but felt you may like them for updating purposes..

“It is just beyond unbelievable, that the many people who did donate to this, are not completely up in arms about the scam they’ve been lead into – yet it looks like all the other city violations that the building has been experiencing, are assuredly going to prevent any revival of the whole concept.  This is a good thing.
IMG-20140130-00276 IMG-20140130-00277 IMG-20140130-00278 IMG-20140130-00279 IMG-20140130-00280 IMG-20140130-00281 IMG-20140130-00282 IMG-20140130-00283 IMG-20140130-00284 IMG-20140130-00273 IMG-20140130-00274 IMG-20140130-00275Thank you Roger

New Zealand Future Idle Org

Scientology’s $16m statement church

An article that appeared on Stuff.co.nz BusinessDay

whitecliffe

The former Whitecliffe Art School in Grafton, Auckland. Its owner, the Church of Scientology, has resource consent for it

 

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.”

The Oamaru sandstone facing the building’s entranceway and windows is in need of repair.

Ferriss said internally the major work would be tying joists to the walls to give the building the ability to move laterally in an earthquake. Floors will be overlaid with ply and ceilings may need repairing too, he said.

Some walls may need additional strengthening, he said.

The church has resource consent to disseminate the “applied philosophy” of church founder and pulp fiction writer L Ron Hubbard from the site.

A building consent application is with its head office in the US pending final sign-off and will then be lodged with the Auckland Council, Ferriss said.

Once complete the 11,000 square metre site will have more than 70 rooms dedicated to spreading Scientology’s message.

The prominent site will have a chapel, library, reception and waiting area, offices for upper management, public display areas, a cafe, courtyard and rooms for the church’s one-on-one counselling called auditing.

The Auckland restoration is part of an international programme by the church to boost its presence with high-profile churches called Ideal Orgs.

“What we are essentially doing is like the Church of Scientology putting down roots. We have been around for 60 years; this is a statement. This is us. This is where you can find us,” Ferriss said.

When asked if Tom Cruise was likely to come to the opening of the restored church, Ferriss laughed and said: “It doesn’t always default to Tom Cruise.”

Portland Idle Org Starts With A Lie

Thank you James for sending this.

Gizmodo.com:

Scientology Is as Bad at Photoshop as It Is at Not Brainwashing People

The Church of Scientology held an event for the opening of a new facility in Portland over the weekend. The crowd was around 450-750 people. But the church claims it was more like 2,500, and it Photoshopped in the proof.

Except the proof is about as convincing as your thetan’s origin story. In reality, there were no people in the right-hand side of the photo. There was actually a line of rented trees set up to block the view of people not so friendly to Scientology (see the photo below), as well as police blocking off a four-block radius for the event. And it’s not just that the picture was doctored, it’s that it was done quite poorly. They added people right on top of the trees in the altered section. So it very obviously wasn’t the buzzing crowd of L. Ron Hubbard supporters the church would lead you to believe. But when you’re in the business of convincing people to buy into a faith created by a sci-fi writer, you need all the spin you can get. [Mike Rinder, Tony Ortega via BoingBoing]

Buffalo Idle Org owes money of course…

Just got an email from Dan who says:

“I had a friend in Buffalo spot the attached mechanic’s lien filed against the Buffalo Org. It was settled on the same day. You can almost see the expression on the local Scientologist’s faces when they got the lien… “Oh shit! This is bad PR.”

Enjoy,
Dan”

Mechanic’s lien

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A mechanic’s lien is a security interest in the title to property for the benefit of those who have supplied labor or materials that improve the property. The lien exists for both real property and personal property. In the realm of real property, it is called by various names, including, generically, construction lien. It is also called a materialman’s lien or supplier’s lien when referring to those supplying materials, a laborer’s lien when referring to those supplying labor, and a design professional’s lien when referring to architects or designers who contribute to a work of improvement. In the realm of personal property, it is also called an artisan’s lien. The term “lien” comes from a French root, with a meaning similar to link; it is related to “liaison.” Mechanic’s liens on property in the United States date from the 18th century.

Here is the scan of the Business First