Imagine telling the entire world you are purchasing an ultra-luxury state-of-the-art $100,000,000 private 757 business jet. As the interior of your jet is designed and built with the most opulent of appointments, you boast to the entire world and show off the spacious interior:
The big day arrives as your magnificent $100,000,000 private jet is rolled out of the hangar to great applause and fanfare. However, there is only one problem: You have no money for jet fuel, pilots and crew, ramp fees, landing fees, maintenance, or any other operating costs. In other words, you are so broke that you can’t actually fly your new plane unless people donate money to you for operating expenses. And so your shiny new jet remains parked on the tarmac like a giant useless paperweight.
This, apparently, is exactly what has happened with the recently opened Scientology Media Productions (SMP) facility in Hollywood. As reported by Mike Rinder, the Church of Scientology is now claiming that it needs to raise money in order to fund productions at its $100,000,000 studio. SMP is all set to fly but, alas, has no gas money. Hence, the “Panhandling on the Streets of Hollywood” begging letter from SMP posted by Mike Rinder:
Of course, this is all nonsense and is simply more Scientology greed at work. Scientology has plenty of money to fund SMP operating expenses. The IAS could write a big fat check from its billion dollar plus cash reserves and be done with it. After all, the IAS slush fund exists, it is claimed, to advance the aims and purposes of the Scientology religion, right? Seriously, though, Scientology will never fund anything when it can take in “new money” from credulous status-happy Scientologists and hang onto its “old money.”
As Mike Rinder has pointed out many times, the Church of Scientology already has a giant state of the art television, film, and music production facility at its Gold Base in San Jacinto, California that does not operate at anywhere near capacity. It’s not like Scientology actually needs a second underutilized production facility.
Variation on a Scam: The SMP fundraising scam reminds me of the old Super Power building scam. David Miscavige gave endless excuses for years as to why he couldn’t open the Super Power Building. One of Miscavige’s lamest excuses came in 2010 when he said he needed “1,000 more” Scientologists to join the Sea Org before he could open the Super Power building — and this is really no different than Miscavige saying Scientology Media Productions needs operating funds before it can produce content:
David Miscavige’s next excuse was that he needed the “Final 300” Sea Org members before he could open Super Power:
Having failed to get all of the “Final 300” Sea Org members, David Miscavige was down to needing 110 new Sea Org members:
There are always excuses in Scientology for why the planet cannot cleared, buildings cannot be opened, or content cannot be produced in a new $100,000,000 studio. The usual excuses are that more more money has to be raised; more Sea Org members are needed; there has to 10,000 on Solo NOTs; all Orgs must be St. Hill size; all Orgs must be Ideal, etc. It really doesn’t matter so long as an excuse is provided.
I don’t know if Flag ever recruited the 1,000 Sea Org members. What I do know is that the Super Power building remained the most profitable empty building in the world from 1998 until it opened on November 17, 2013. As Ashley Collman of the Daily Mail wrote at the time:
The group broke ground on the Mediterranean Revival-style building in 1998, but stopped work after finishing the shell.
For three years, the group ceased construction on the project until the city started imposing $250-a-day fines for code violations.
Scientology defectors have explained that the building’s slow construction is due to church leader’s who have allegedly used the project as a fundraising cash cow.
An analysis by the Tampa Bay Times discovered that the church had raised $145million for the building, much higher than the $100million it was estimated to cost.
Who knows? David Miscavige and Scientology may need to postpone production at Scientology Media Productions indefinitely until more money is raised, more Sea Org members are recruited, or until the Commodore returns from Target 2.
To whimsically add to our excursion through one of Scientology’s Scams of the Past, former Sea Org member Aaron Saxton made a very humorous and prescient comment on ESMB during the 2010 “1,000 Sea Org are needed for Super Power!” campaign:
It just occured to me that this statement by DM [that 1,000 Sea Org members are needed for Super Power] will be sending the jitters through the SO, especially within Los Angeles.
They know they will not have a hope in hell of getting this many recruits.
So what they will do is start doing “utilization” surveys on SO members around the world. They will give CMO quotas in each continent to find people “under utilized” and send them to Flag.
Following this they will empty out their RPF’s to get crew to the FSO to get the numbers up.
A similar incident happened in 1995 when DM went nutty at the FSO and we ended up sending over 150 missionaires to FLB.
None of them bar a very select few, ever made it back. They all ended up getting posted down there.
I can see DM doing a similar thing.
It is apparent that DM is going to keep command teams in the continental liaison offices to run things directly as I think DM can see the end of IMO/HGB middle management on the horizon.
Why run things on a via when he thinks he is so great at running it directly?
1000 recruits…LOL, I would pay a dollar to see that!
Hey, should I send in my billion year contract? Perhaps they will re-hire me? I soooo want to be part of the biggest failure in Scn history. Please please please!
In related news, Scientology fundraising in now under way for the L. Ron Hubbard Hall and park in Clearwater, Florida. As gushing Scientology coverage of the recent LRH birthday celebration enthused:
There was also the momentous announcement of the future L. Ron Hubbard Hall in Clearwater, a magnificent auditorium designed to seat thousands with convention and banquet conversion capability, complemented by a beautifully-appointed L. Ron Hubbard Park.
Scientology likes to brag about its accomplishments. I have to give Scientology credit for this: It has amassed the world’s largest irrelevant and non-performing real estate portfolio ever and continues to do. We have the IRS to thank for giving this deviant and real-estate-obsessed group its wholly unmerited tax exemption.