An investigative reporter phoned David Love today concerning the delayed opening of what the Church of Scientology is calling “Advanced Organization Saint Hill Canada.” In 2009, the international Scientology organization purchased the former Hockley Highlands resort and is renovating it to accommodate its national administrative office, currently located in Toronto.
The massive complex, which consists of 196 acres of land and about 160,000 sq. ft. of building space, will have the capability to hold “several hundred” guests and will require 200 staff members to operate.
To date, however, no trucks or vans have been seen going in or out of the new retreat to indicate that renovations have begun — only a few bags of garbage have sporadically appeared at the roadside.
Another lame-duck Scientology purchase in Montreal has been sitting idle, with no funds to renovate the La Patrie building, which is located at 182 St. Catherine Street East and was acquired in 2007 for 4.25 million dollars.
According to Scientologist Jean Larivière in 2009, “When we bought the building, we thought it was going to be a piece of cake.” However, the recession and the $4-million Ideal Org that was under renovation in Quebec City tapped local Scientologists dry. Larivière said the Montreal Church, like many others in North America, relies almost exclusively on donations, which means the Montreal Ideal Org will have to wait, but that was in 2009.
David Love filmed the idle new org earlier in 2012, and the only activity appears to be space rented out to an art exhibit appropriately entitled “Under Pressure.” Given Scientology’s charitable tax exemptions for property and school taxes, this raises question about whether the revenue this generates should be taxed.
Tracey Lindeman reported the following in 2009:
“Mike Kropveld, who founded Info-Sect in 1980 in Montreal to help inform those curious or concerned about new religious movements, states ‘I’d say Scientology is one of the most controversial religious groups, to say the least.’
“Founded in the mid-1970s, the Montreal Church of Scientology doesn’t keep formal membership records, although Larivière pegs membership at around 1,000 active Scientologists. However, Kropveld says he suspects the number is a little inflated, citing the 1991 Statistics Canada census, which estimated there were 1,220 Scientologists in the entire country, with 210 in Quebec. In 2001, Statistics Canada estimated there were 1,525 nationwide, with 300 in the province. While times have changed, Kropveld ‘would be surprised if 1,000 people [in Montreal] considered themselves Scientologists.’
“’They claim they have more members, but we highly doubt that,’” says Montreal Anonymous chapter member Richard Rols. He says that asking a group of fewer than 1,000 people for $10-million is a tad unrealistic: ’It doesn’t add up.’”
Adam Holland, an ex-Sea ORG member from Toronto who has been declared a Suppressive Person, states that the Narconon Trois-Rivières Scientology rehab in Quebec was one of the largest revenue generators for Scientology in Canada. In April 2012, the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services forced the Scientology rehab to shut down immediately — citing numerous practices that were dangerous to patients.
Narconon had a capacity to treat up to 100 patients at $30,000 each, with a stay for each patient of approximately 3-5 months. Since the annual revenue potential was up to nine million dollars, its loss was obviously a devastating blow to Scientology’s pocket books.
Indeed, Scientology appears to be having many difficulties on a global scale, with several recent lawsuits following numerous patient deaths at the Narconon Arrowhead Scientology rehab in Oklahoma and other litigation, undoubtedly depleting Scientology’s legal war chest at an ever increasing rate.
Also, several Quebec Human Rights cases against Narconon, Scientology, ABLE International, and David Miscavige have been filed by multiple complainants and are moving forward. Another drain on Scientology resources.
Once touted at millions of parishioners world-wide, Scientology’s following is now estimated at about 40,000 globally — a clear indication of another cult in failing mode.
David Edgar Love