Life in Paradise: The Scientologists Are Here!

The New Scientology Church and Celebrity Center is open
Photo by Steve Fey

Recently a new neighbor moved into Paradise Nevada. Pictured here is the newly opened Scientology Celebrity Center, located not far from where I live, a few blocks East of Eastern Avenue on Emerson. I’ve heard about Scientology with increasing frequency ever since my college days. Since the reports I’ve read over the years have taken two extremes, as in love ’em or hate ’em, I couldn’t let the opportunity to go see for myself pass unused. I’m not a highly religious person, so this article reflects the observations of someone who might be as close to neutral about Scientology (or any other religion) as one can get.

First, the place looks brand spanking new. I was told by one of my guides on the tour I was given that in fact it was recently a Jewish synagogue. In fact, my congressional representative, Shelly Berkely, was a member of that congregation. She also spoke recently at the dedication of the refurbished Scientology Center. Oscar Goodman, the closest thing Paradise has to a mayor even though he lives in Las Vegas, also spoke. To judge by the photographs I saw, it was quite an occasion.

An Interactive Information Station
An interactive information station
Photo by Steve Fey

My occasion was a bit lower key. I was taken on an informative tour of the facility and encouraged to ask any questions I wished. And the facility is sparkling, with new decor and the latest in technological gadgets to help get out the word. The word I saw illustrated most abundantly was the effort to do good works in the world. They have developed a “Secular Morality Program” that can be used in schools. The Information Kiosk in the adjacent picture is about that effort. They also have an anti-drug educational program, and an ongoing effort to support worldwide human rights. They make Public Service Announcements around these programs, some of which I have seen while watching television. I hadn’t noticed that they were sponsored by Scientology, but I never saw anything in them that I’d care to argue with. The largest informational display is about the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard. I watched a 7-minute video biography, in fact. I was surprised to learn that he lived until 1986. Somehow I always had the impression that he was older than he was.

Exercise to Sweat Out Toxins is Emphasized
Sweating out the toxins at the Purification Center
Photo by Steve Fey

Those good works efforts may be a part of the reason that Scientology seems to appeal to folks like John Travolta and other celebrities. Then, too, there is the emphasis which I saw on good nutrition and detoxification, which are also hot topics for many people these days. This is a church that might seem a bit odd to those used to the traditional idea of what a church looks like. But, taken all around, it seemed to me to be a friendly and accommodating place. There is an open invitation for anyone to drop by from 9am to 10pm Monday through Sunday, so if you’re curious about what Scientology is about, you can drop in any day to check them out for yourself.

The Scientology Celebrity Center of Las Vegas,
2671 Emerson Avenue Las Vegas Nevada 89121


21 responses on “Life in Paradise: The Scientologists Are Here!

  1. Your readers will have a greater chance at finding salvation inside one of the casinos than they will with Scientology. It is a criminal cult and it is evil. Congratulations on being duped by their PR machine. Adolf called, he needs a press secretary for his comeback. You interested?

  2. The good people of Paradise Nevada would be well advised to Google “Scientology” before going within 100 yards of the place. They might also be interested in knowing that its their tax dollars that are going into building the flash new cult palace.

  3. Scientologists are by enlarge a well meaning bunch. They are recruited from the vulnerable and impressionable so most just want to be accepted and to have some meaning in life. Scientology gives them that meaning, to recruit more people for the organisation calling itself the church of scientology and sell and buy scientology literature.

    The organisation takes in basically good people and converts them in to recruiting and revenue machines for its own benefit. Unlike other religions, which it could be argued do similar, the organisation never does anything that does not benefit itself; charity is considered “out exchange” according to its teachings.

    The organisation operates for profit and currently has cash reserves estimated at $4900 million US stashed around the world. At present the organisation’s membership is crashing because publicity has shown it for the con it is however the organisation is using its cash reserves to give the illusion of growth, it is buying up buildings around the world but aside from a couple of show cases it is not renovating them rather leaving them to be funded by the dwindling number of local members; there are constant drives to contribute to renovations for the local “ideal org”.

    The celebrity centres exist to appeal to celebrities because the organisation sees them as opinion shapers and so panders to them. The organisation’s leader, David Miscavige, has laid on more than a couple of very lavish parties for Tom Cruise for instance. The organisation strokes the egos of celebrities and in the case of Tom Cruise and John Travolta both of which they caught when they were young and impressionable, it uses them as poster boys.

    The fact that the organisation can really only be afforded by the rich and lives off the blood, sweat and tears of lower members wouldn’t be an issue but for the abuses perpetrated by the cult on both members and none members alike.

    The organisation has been accused of people trafficking, physical and mental torture, coerced abortions, corruption, harassment and fraud among many other things by many people who have escaped its clutches. It was recently found guilty of fraud in France. It was at the heart of the largest ever infiltration of US Government offices.

    The organisation conducts a coordinated hate campaign against the Psychiatric industry with its’ world wide obliteration of psychiatry agenda. The organisation does not tolerate detractors, subjecting them to campaigns of “noisy investigation” and litigation.

    The organisation calling itself the church of scientology has no place in modern society. It does not deserve the support of decent people let alone those unfortunate celebrities whose life is so insular they cannot see what is really going on.

    Let them have their celebrity centres, but let them be empty but for the occasional visit from a d-list celebrity like Peaches (I did not do heroin) Geldof and her one night stand; it would seem Peaches’ judgement is as impaired when it comes to choice of partner as it is venue to end the evening at.

  4. Good to see your responses this morning….

    I am not a fan of the Scientology movement per se, but intolerance of any social, religious organization is a dangerous path to follow. Steve’s article was written with no hidden agenda — it was based on his personal experience from visiting a new business here in town.


  5. Wow, I, too, found the article neutral in tone, and I’m amazed at what appears to be an Internet campaign against Scientology. My five stars got lost in the blizzard and that’s not fair. This was a most interesting newsy piece.

  6. Yep, any positive rating “stars” will be covered up by today’s activity! Alarmingly, one can find campaigns on the Web against just about any organized religion or cultural belief…. Or maybe this is a good thing — freedom of expression and all of that.


  7. Mark said it well: I have no agenda, other than welcoming a new business to the neighborhood. One of the tenets of Scientology, or so they say in their literature, is to “respect other people’s religious beliefs.” Whatever else one might take from them, that would be a good one for anyone to follow, or so I believe.

  8. I really appreciate your candid impressions of the place, Steve. I’d been wondering what the place was like. I find the practices of many organized religions odd and manipulative. I also respect the rights of people to gather and act as they wish, as long as they aren’t trampling on other people’s rights to do the same. And you’re right. Churches are businesses. Not sure they should be tax-exempt, but it’s a long-standing tradition that if your business is God, you get a free ride.

  9. As a fan of conspiracy theories, I’d like to offer this: All those negative comments are actually from Scientology supporters, hoping to make their opposition look like wackos (and in my opinion, succeeding).

  10. If you think Scientology is benign, if you think it’s no different than any other religion, maybe you should ask Lisa McPherson. She’s a devotee of Scientology, Been in many years, but oh wait she can’t answer you and if you search out her name, you will find out why, and you will find she is not alone in her position.

  11. I find it perplexing to see a small number of people creating such a stir attacking Scientology and other organized religions. The fact that some people find help or hope through a religion, whatever it may be, should be defended not attacked.

    These whackos are WORKING to destroy religions that help others. It can be likened to a kid who constantly destroys his own toys. When they are not replaced, he finds he has less than before. Is his life better? Will we be better without the Golden Rule?

  12. Hey Mr. Fey, Thanks for your article and thanks for sharing your observations. I enjoyed reading it very much. Nice camera work too. All the best, Cody

  13. Mark Sedenquist says:
    “I am not a fan of the Scientology movement per se, but intolerance of any social, religious organization is a dangerous path to follow. Steve’s article was written with no hidden agenda — it was based on his personal experience from visiting a new business here in town.”

    Steves article was written with no hidden agenda — it was based on a PR handling. If Steve had asked any “uncomfortable” questions he would have been shown the door in a New York minute and by now, a team of private investigators would already be working overtime trying to “find his ruin”.

    The simple fact that many Americans are squeamish when it comes to questioning the validity of religious organizations is something that the scientology corporation took full advantage of upon it’s eventual decision to cloak itself as a “church”. There is nothing in the U.S. Constitution or Bill of Rights to suggest that organizations such as this should be given a pass from scrutiny. On the contrary, considering the long history of criminal convictions that have been leveled against the scientology organization in the U.S. and abroad the very idea that scientology deserves to be given any sort of a pass or to not have it’s highly questionable tax exemption status carefully examined under the guise of religious tolerance is antithetical to constitutional values. This is no church. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    So how about it Steve, ready for a follow-up story? Be sure to ask your new friends about “Operation Freakout”. “Operation Snow White”. Lisa McPherson, Joseph Havenith, Greg Bashaw or any of the many other unnecessary scientology related deaths that have occurred in recent years.

  14. Betty,

    Nobody said I consider any organized religion benign. But I do respect the fact that people practice a great many of them, and that one person’s great revelation is the next person’s brainwashing. So long as I’m not forced into one, I’m okay with letting other people be what they choose to be.


  15. Dave Davidson,

    Sorry, but if anyone has an axe to grind they’ll have to grind it without me. I’m sorry if you misinterpreted my point of view, but that’s the way it is. They are half a mile from my house, lots of people like them, and they’re worthy of virtual ink. That’s it. They’re not my friends, and they’re not my enemies. They’re my neighbors, nothing more.

  16. Funny, I thought the article was about the Scientology Celebrity Center, and what visitors will find there, rather than about Scientology. But then, I didn’t have an agenda when I read the article. I’m not a fan of any religion. In fact, I can’t think of any that don’t have some thing dark and troubling in their past. But that doesn’t mean a visit to their buildings can’t be interesting. Lighten up, folks.

  17. If you can stand one more post about Scientology, consider this article from the New York Post, entitled “Screenwriter of “Battlefield Earth” Apologizes for the Movie.” It’s a funny article. I’ve never seen the movie, but from what I’ve heard, that apology was necessary.

  18. One needs to understand that there is a big difference between scientology and the organisation calling itself the church of scientology.

    Scientology is a hierarchical belief system, the teachings change dramatically the higher up you get (the greater understanding you get). As a belief system it is neither here nor there. It borrows from many existing philosophies including early Freudian psychology and various middle Eastern sects and throws in some rather interesting story telling.While the mix may be unique to scientology the ingredients are not.

    It is also touted as a self improvement philosophy. It’s not particularly outstanding as a self improvement philosophy except for the price, it is perhaps the most costly self improvement philosophy there is and that includes the likes of Tony Robbins. As a rule such philosophies can help but again it is not particularly unique and the same material can be obtained else where for much less. Still if one wants to spend wads of cash on such things even to the point of bankruptcy it is a human right to do so .

    The organisation calling itself the church of scientology is however a different beast. It is a wholly for profit operation that has cloaked itself as a religious institution. It is this organisation that perpetrates the abuses that are the subject of the protests and awareness campaigns.

    Although there is some piss taking of the religious teachings of scientology, the whole Xenu and space Aliens thing as is allowed under freedom of expression. the protests (the Internet and world media campaigns) are not really about to the scientology beliefs they are about the abuses perpetrated by the organisation.

    Quite a few “independent scientologists” have been part of the protesters from the start and as more are leaving the organisation calling itself the church of scientology, many retaining their beliefs in the teachings of L Ron Hubbard, more are joining the protests.

    This is not a campaign of religious hatred, this is a campaign against an aggressive and dangerous organisation that has no more place in society than the Spanish inquisition. To suggest the campaigns against the organisation calling itself the church of scientology are ones of religious hatred is like saying the investigations in to organised paedophilia in the Catholic church is all about religious hatred.

    tl;dr if you want to believe ghostly space aliens are the cause of your problems be my guest, but damn you if you split up my family, coerce my daughter in to having an abortion, move my son to another country and retain his passport while making him work like a slave or attack me for complaining that you do.

  19. As a rule the protesters don’t hate scientologists, they understand most are simply victims of the corrupting and perverting influence of the organisation calling itself the church of scientology.

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