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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Church of Scientology buys longtime rental for $32.5M

The organization uses the Commerce warehouse for printing and distribution

August 01, 2016 12:00PM
By Cathaleen Chen

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Famous scientologist Tom Cruise and the property at 6130 East Sheila Street (credit: CoStar, inset c/o CBS)

Famous Scientologist Tom Cruise and the property at 6130 East Sheila Street (credit: CoStar, inset c/o CBS)

Updated, 9:15 a.m., Aug. 8: Thetans, rejoice — the Church of Scientology has acquired yet another piece of L.A. real estate.

The organization purchased a nearly 185,000-square-foot industrial warehouse in Commerce for $32.5 million in June, The Real Deal has learned.

The seller was the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, a mutual insurance company based in New York.

Built in 2008, the XEBEC Sheila Industrial Center at 6130 East Sheila Street is a single-story Class A structure. The religious group had been a longtime tenant of the property, which is uses for printing and distribution, and it already brandishes the Scientology logo.

The Church of Scientology is known for its vast portfolio of properties around the world. While it’s unclear the precise number of properties it owns, representatives told the Hollywood Reporter in 2011 that the church had purchased more than 60 properties globally in the span of five years.

In L.A. alone, the group owns at least two dozen buildings, including its sprawling, cerulean-hued storefront at 4810 Sunset Boulevard. As of last year, $1.5 billion out of the church’s book value of $1.75 billion is tied up in real estate holdings, author of the blog the Scientology Money Project told Fortune.

The IRS revoked Scientology’s tax exemption privileges in 1967, but reportedly reinstated it in 1993 after the group launched an retaliatory campaign that included lawsuits and church-funded investigations.

A Scientology spokesperson told TRD that there are “millions of Scientologists internationally, with approximately 425,000 in the Los Angeles area alone.” The latest American Religious Identification Survey found that about 50,200 Americans identify as Scientologists.

This article has been updated to reflect the latest ARIS survey number of Scientologists in the U.S. 

  • John Davis

    About 25,000 Americans identify as Scientologists, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

    Something tells me there is something wrong with this figure.

    • Mat Pesch

      No, that sounds right. About 3,000 – 4,000 staff. About 12,000 that did a paid service over $100 in the last 3 years and could be considered “active”. Another 9,000 that consider themselves Scientologists but have not been “active” for one reason or another.

      • johninokinawa

        Well, Mat. If you are right, it’s a tremendous endorsement for the abilities of Scientologists. That such a tiny group as you suggest could do all they are doing that is nothing short of incredible.

        • Bob Crouch

          So what are you suggesting as more realistic numbers?
          The 14 million members the cult claims? The 50-fold increase in the last few years? (which is interesting as they also claimed 15 million members back in 1971). The 10,000 that allegedly attended the opening of their Hollywood media center. Which is especially humorous if one considers that they had only set up chairs for slightly less than 1,000–many of which were bused in from pother locations. And not one A-list celebrity anywhere near the shindig! Even they have tired of the embarrassment!
          Even if you don’t trust the kinds of numbers that Mat suggests, one thing is readily apparent: The cult is lying big time when it publicizes its own numbers!

        • Bob Crouch

          So what are you suggesting as more realistic numbers?
          The 14 million members the cult claims? The 50-fold increase in the last few years? (which is interesting as they also claimed 15 million members back in 1971). The 10,000 that allegedly attended the opening of their Hollywood media center. Which is especially humorous if one considers that they had only set up chairs for slightly less than 1,000–many of which were bused in from pother locations. And not one A-list celebrity anywhere near the shindig! Even they have tired of the embarrassment!
          Even if you don’t trust the kinds of numbers that Mat suggests, one thing is readily apparent: The cult is lying big time when it publicizes its own numbers!

        • Bob Crouch

          So what are you suggesting as more realistic numbers?
          The 14 million members the cult claims? The 50-fold increase in the last few years? (which is interesting as they also claimed 15 million members back in 1971). The 10,000 that allegedly attended the opening of their Hollywood media center. Which is especially humorous if one considers that they had only set up chairs for slightly less than 1,000–many of which were bused in from pother locations. And not one A-list celebrity anywhere near the shindig! Even they have tired of the embarrassment!
          Even if you don’t trust the kinds of numbers that Mat suggests, one thing is readily apparent: The cult is lying big time when it publicizes its own numbers!

        • Hm. I read this over several times and didn’t once see you suggest alternate numbers. ;) Imagine that! It must mean your intention wasn’t to talk about alternate numbers.

          • J Woody

            Which indicates he said little of value, as did you! Mat Pesch gave a breakdown of why he thought 25k sounded sensible. Apart from blandly trying to assert the number must be higher because of “all they do”, neither yourself nor johninokinawa has added anything. Notably there’s also no indication of what it is that scientologists supposedly do!

          • Experience based (subjective) comments have “no value” because they cannot be calculated numerically. I don’t think I’ve seen your avatar before but I might as well have as your comment fits the mold. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I think of ya’ll as the number maniacs. You wouldn’t know the product of a human from the product of a calculator if your life depended on it. Which no doubt in the personal relationships department it often does.

          • J Woody

            Nope, the comments were of little value because they said nothing of substance.

            I don’t think I’ve seen your avatar before but I might as well have as your comments fit the mould. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I think of ya’ll as gullible fools. You wouldn’t know religion from a science fiction story if your life depended on it. Which no doubt in the personal relationships department it often does.

          • Ok. For you subjective experience is not substantive. This is seen as axiomatic to you.

            I stand corrected. That construction gets to the belief’s source much more decisively.

          • J Woody

            You seem intent on obsessively trying to over analyse what I’ve said. I simply think that nothing of substance was said in either of the comments. It’s not that complicated!

          • Your opinion about that is valueless.

          • J Woody

            I’m delighted you think so. Now let me write a thesis on what that means about your attitudes more generally; or not.

          • If you reread you will see that I wasn’t trying to understand your attitudes but rather your beliefs. But you may be right that it wasn’t worth the effort for me. I could have just let you set the tone from the start by dismissing the value of your opinion. Although to me personally that would have seemed far less interesting and profitable. To each his own is my motto and I’m sticking to it with pleasure.

          • J Woody

            You were making assumptions, rather than trying to understand. And attitudes and beliefs are somewhat intertwined. I’m sure I’m not worth the effort for you, and your comments did set quite a dismissive tone. To each his own as you say, I’m sure what you do gives you plenty of pleasure.

          • If I had been making assumptions you wouldn’t have witnessed me finding out followed by evolving and updating what I thought.

            Yes, finding out while respecting the motto “to each his own” gives me pleasure. Even in the case of rude and mean-spirited J Woody. What can I say, the level of curiosity I experience rivals that of my cat. 😼

          • J Woody

            If you were trying to understand it would have been more natural to ask questions rather than make statements, but I will take you at your word.

            You’re welcome to call me rude and mean-spirited; I admire your brassiness given the content of your remarks.

          • J Woody

            If you were trying to understand it would have been more natural to ask questions rather than make statements, but I will take you at your word.

            You’re welcome to call me rude and mean-spirited; I admire your brassiness given the content of your remarks.

          • J Woody

            If you were trying to understand it would have been more natural to ask questions rather than make statements, but I will take you at your word.

            You’re welcome to call me rude and mean-spirited; I admire your brassiness given the content of your remarks.

          • If I had been making assumptions you wouldn’t have witnessed me finding out followed by evolving and updating what I thought.

            Yes, finding out while respecting the motto “to each his own” gives me pleasure. Even in the case of rude and mean-spirited J Woody. What can I say, the level of curiosity I experience rivals that of my cat. 😼

          • If I had been making assumptions you wouldn’t have witnessed me finding out followed by evolving and updating what I thought.

            Yes, finding out while respecting the motto “to each his own” gives me pleasure. Even in the case of rude and mean-spirited J Woody. What can I say, the level of curiosity I experience rivals that of my cat. 😼

          • J Woody

            You were making assumptions, rather than trying to understand. And attitudes and beliefs are somewhat intertwined. I’m sure I’m not worth the effort for you, and your comments did set quite a dismissive tone. To each his own as you say, I’m sure what you do gives you plenty of pleasure.

          • J Woody

            You were making assumptions, rather than trying to understand. And attitudes and beliefs are somewhat intertwined. I’m sure I’m not worth the effort for you, and your comments did set quite a dismissive tone. To each his own as you say, I’m sure what you do gives you plenty of pleasure.

          • If you reread you will see that I wasn’t trying to understand your attitudes but rather your beliefs. But you may be right that it wasn’t worth the effort for me. I could have just let you set the tone from the start by dismissing the value of your opinion. Although to me personally that would have seemed far less interesting and profitable. To each his own is my motto and I’m sticking to it with pleasure.

          • If you reread you will see that I wasn’t trying to understand your attitudes but rather your beliefs. But you may be right that it wasn’t worth the effort for me. I could have just let you set the tone from the start by dismissing the value of your opinion. Although to me personally that would have seemed far less interesting and profitable. To each his own is my motto and I’m sticking to it with pleasure.

          • J Woody

            I’m delighted you think so. Now let me write a thesis on what that means about your attitudes more generally; or not.

          • J Woody

            I’m delighted you think so. Now let me write a thesis on what that means about your attitudes more generally; or not.

          • Your opinion about that is valueless.

          • Your opinion about that is valueless.

          • J Woody

            You seem intent on obsessively trying to over analyse what I’ve said. I simply think that nothing of substance was said in either of the comments. It’s not that complicated!

          • J Woody

            You seem intent on obsessively trying to over analyse what I’ve said. I simply think that nothing of substance was said in either of the comments. It’s not that complicated!

          • Ok. For you subjective experience is not substantive. This is seen as axiomatic to you.

            I stand corrected. That construction gets to the belief’s source much more decisively.

          • Ok. For you subjective experience is not substantive. This is seen as axiomatic to you.

            I stand corrected. That construction gets to the belief’s source much more decisively.

          • J Woody

            Nope, the comments were of little value because they said nothing of substance.

            I don’t think I’ve seen your avatar before but I might as well have as your comments fit the mould. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I think of ya’ll as gullible fools. You wouldn’t know religion from a science fiction story if your life depended on it. Which no doubt in the personal relationships department it often does.

          • J Woody

            Nope, the comments were of little value because they said nothing of substance.

            I don’t think I’ve seen your avatar before but I might as well have as your comments fit the mould. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I think of ya’ll as gullible fools. You wouldn’t know religion from a science fiction story if your life depended on it. Which no doubt in the personal relationships department it often does.

          • Experience based (subjective) comments have “no value” because they cannot be calculated numerically. I don’t think I’ve seen your avatar before but I might as well have as your comment fits the mold. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I think of ya’ll as the number maniacs. You wouldn’t know the product of a human from the product of a calculator if your life depended on it. Which no doubt in the personal relationships department it often does.

          • Experience based (subjective) comments have “no value” because they cannot be calculated numerically. I don’t think I’ve seen your avatar before but I might as well have as your comment fits the mold. Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. I think of ya’ll as the number maniacs. You wouldn’t know the product of a human from the product of a calculator if your life depended on it. Which no doubt in the personal relationships department it often does.

          • J Woody

            Which indicates he said little of value, as did you! Mat Pesch gave a breakdown of why he thought 25k sounded sensible. Apart from blandly trying to assert the number must be higher because of “all they do”, neither yourself nor johninokinawa has added anything. Notably there’s also no indication of what it is that scientologists supposedly do!

          • J Woody

            Which indicates he said little of value, as did you! Mat Pesch gave a breakdown of why he thought 25k sounded sensible. Apart from blandly trying to assert the number must be higher because of “all they do”, neither yourself nor johninokinawa has added anything. Notably there’s also no indication of what it is that scientologists supposedly do!

        • Hm. I read this over several times and didn’t once see you suggest alternate numbers. ;) Imagine that! It must mean your intention wasn’t to talk about alternate numbers.

        • Hm. I read this over several times and didn’t once see you suggest alternate numbers. ;) Imagine that! It must mean your intention wasn’t to talk about alternate numbers.

      • johninokinawa

        Well, Mat. If you are right, it’s a tremendous endorsement for the abilities of Scientologists. That such a tiny group as you suggest could do all they are doing that is nothing short of incredible.

      • johninokinawa

        Well, Mat. If you are right, it’s a tremendous endorsement for the abilities of Scientologists. That such a tiny group as you suggest could do all they are doing that is nothing short of incredible.

    • Mat Pesch

      No, that sounds right. About 3,000 – 4,000 staff. About 12,000 that did a paid service over $100 in the last 3 years and could be considered “active”. Another 9,000 that consider themselves Scientologists but have not been “active” for one reason or another.

    • Mat Pesch

      No, that sounds right. About 3,000 – 4,000 staff. About 12,000 that did a paid service over $100 in the last 3 years and could be considered “active”. Another 9,000 that consider themselves Scientologists but have not been “active” for one reason or another.

    • J Woody

      Yep, sounds somewhat ambitiously high to me. How can there still be 25k Americans that haven’t cottoned on to how ludicrous (and for some extremely damaging) scientology is? Are there still 25k Americans without access to the Internet?

    • J Woody

      Yep, sounds somewhat ambitiously high to me. How can there still be 25k Americans that haven’t cottoned on to how ludicrous (and for some extremely damaging) scientology is? Are there still 25k Americans without access to the Internet?

    • J Woody

      Yep, sounds somewhat ambitiously high to me. How can there still be 25k Americans that haven’t cottoned on to how ludicrous (and for some extremely damaging) scientology is? Are there still 25k Americans without access to the Internet?

  • John Davis

    About 25,000 Americans identify as Scientologists, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

    Something tells me there is something wrong with this figure.

  • John Davis

    About 25,000 Americans identify as Scientologists, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.

    Something tells me there is something wrong with this figure.

  • Larry

    Mathematical models predict that by 2037 there will only be 3 practicing Scientologists left in the entire world.

    But (or and) they will have a combined net worth of over 26 trillion dollars.

    Who’s laughing now?

  • Larry

    Mathematical models predict that by 2037 there will only be 3 practicing Scientologists left in the entire world.

    But (or and) they will have a combined net worth of over 26 trillion dollars.

    Who’s laughing now?

  • Larry

    Mathematical models predict that by 2037 there will only be 3 practicing Scientologists left in the entire world.

    But (or and) they will have a combined net worth of over 26 trillion dollars.

    Who’s laughing now?

  • Bob Crouch

    I wonder if the picture of Tom (jumping and turtle-necked as he was in his infamous cult-related videos a few years ago) is real or satire. I suspect the latter as he has worked too hard to revive his career from the ill effects that shilling for the cult produced for him a few years ago. These days, reporters are not even allowed to mention the cult or the faux “religion” around him–under pains of being banned from Tom’s access list forever!

  • Bob Crouch

    I wonder if the picture of Tom (jumping and turtle-necked as he was in his infamous cult-related videos a few years ago) is real or satire. I suspect the latter as he has worked too hard to revive his career from the ill effects that shilling for the cult produced for him a few years ago. These days, reporters are not even allowed to mention the cult or the faux “religion” around him–under pains of being banned from Tom’s access list forever!

  • Bob Crouch

    I wonder if the picture of Tom (jumping and turtle-necked as he was in his infamous cult-related videos a few years ago) is real or satire. I suspect the latter as he has worked too hard to revive his career from the ill effects that shilling for the cult produced for him a few years ago. These days, reporters are not even allowed to mention the cult or the faux “religion” around him–under pains of being banned from Tom’s access list forever!

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