Largest Scientology church in Midwest opens in downtown St. Paul

Discussion in 'Media' started by Robocat, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Robocat Member

    COMMENTS OPEN. Video at ling.

    Once upon a time, a science fiction author invented his own religion.

    Inspired by his studies in Eastern spirituality, engineering and nuclear physics, L. Ron Hubbard's controversial theories on psychology, reincarnation, extraterrestrials and the mental blocks holding most people from achieving greatness quickly spread, and the Church of Scientology grew to become the only major new religion established in the 20th century.

    It's still growing. On Saturday, the church opened its latest mega-center - or "Ideal Organization" - at the corner of Wabasha and Exchange streets in downtown St. Paul, adjacent to the Fitzgerald Theater.

    The three-level, 82,000-square-foot building occupies the old west building of the Science Museum of Minnesota and encompasses dozens of classrooms, seminar rooms, video rooms, a coffee shop, two saunas, a bookstore and 300-seat IMAX theater, which is now a chapel, conference center and concert hall.

    The building, which opened in 1979, most recently housed a charter school, the Minnesota Business Academy, which closed in 2006.

    Erin Banks, a spokeswoman with the Church of Scientology International, said the "dinosaur-sized" site is the 25th fully outfitted new "Ideal Org" the church has opened worldwide in the past five years, and the largest Scientology center in the Midwest. Others opened this year in Tampa, Fla.; Moscow; and Melbourne, Australia; and another 60 mega-sites are on the drawing board around the globe.

    multimedia displays throughout the building show some 500 different videos documenting the church's religious outreach, anti-drug abuse and humanitarian work, and a second-floor "purification center" offers treadmills and saunas for new members to release body toxins purportedly hindering their self-realization. The displays in the lobby, or public information center, are free and open to the public on a walk-in basis seven days a week, from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday to Friday, and from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.
    The new site employs 150 uniformed staffers, all of them Scientologists, and replaces the church's former Twin Cities headquarters on Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis, which closed last fall in preparation for the move across the river.

    The 505 Wabasha St. location is about five times larger, a testament to the religion's growing popularity, organizers said. Hundreds of church members attended Saturday's opening.

    There are an estimated 10,000 Scientologists in the five-state area served by the church.
    "Scientology has expanded more in the past five years than it has in the past 15 or more," said Nancy Schumacher, a local spokeswoman for the church.

    The grand opening also drew some well-wishers from the political field, most of them happy to see such a large, long-vacant downtown space fully occupied.

    Among those well-wishers were St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune, state Sen. Sandra Pappas, state Rep. Rena Moran and V.J. Smith, president of the Minneapolis Chapter of MAD DADS, which hands out the church's "Truth about Drugs" anti-drug abuse pamphlets. Moran praised the church's commitment to volunteerism, and Pappas spoke of its commitment to human rights work around the globe.

    City permits list the conversion from school and museum building to mega-church at $2.5 million, though church officials once estimated the actual pricetag at closer to $7 million. The church bought the site in 2007 but construction was delayed during the recession.


    The Dianetics and Scientology Bookstore is inside the new Church of Scientology, Twin Cities. The church's new site employs 150 uniformed staff, all of them Scientologists. (Courtesy to Pioneer Press: Church of Scientology)

    The building will be tax-exempt, although the church still will pay the city's street assessment fees to cover street cleaning, snowplowing and other routine work downtown.
    • Like Like x 2
  2. Sponge Member

    Lol, "dinosaur-sized". Great choice of phrase. Can't wait till the asteroid comes.

    There was some stuff on the opening also posted n this thread:
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Robocat Member

    EXCLUSIVE: St. Paul Scientology Church Gives Tour

    $10-million facility opens in St. Paul

    ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Church of Scientology is often a lightning rod for controversy, but the religion known for its congregation of celebrities just opened up a new center in St. Paul and gave an exclusive tour to FOX 9 News.

    Founded by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950s, the church has had a presence in the Twin Cities since 1962. Now, there are more than 10,000 members in Minnesota and surrounding states, and no matter what has been said about the religion -- its new house in St. Paul is a work of modern art.

    "We call them scientologists -- parishioners," said Erin Banks, a scientologist. When you're here taking a course, you're certainly a student -- but you don’t have to be a scientologist to come."
    The group raised more than $10 million to renovate the old science museum into what they call an "ideal org," a state-of-the-art center for personal development.
    The church is 82,000 square feet, and is one of only 25 ideal orgs in the world. Of those, it is one of only a few that offers the complete range of scientology services, including what they call personal-efficiency seminars.

    "We hope that they'll come in and find answers to the problems in their life," said Executive Director Mary Gaiman.
    It's also the only one that features a chapel that was once an IMAX theater. Inside the facility, everything from the displays and artwork to the furniture is made in-house.
    "Everyone is welcome to come in and ask questions," said Banks. "They can stay for 20 minutes or 2 hours."
  4. Robocat Member

    82,000 square feet. "We hope that they'll come in and find answers to the problems in their life," said Executive Director Mary Gaiman. Good luck with that.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Anonymous Member

  6. Robocat Member

  7. Sponge Member

    Bzzzt! Wrong answer. Thank you for playing.
    They *wish* they could have 10,000 members in Minn and surrounding states.

    A transcript of the bit at the end of the news video:
    • Like Like x 4
  8. Anonymous Member

  9. Anonymous Member

    Erin Banks, a spokeswoman with the Church of Scientology International, said the "dinosaur-sized" site is the 25th fully outfitted new "Ideal Org" the church has opened worldwide in the past five years, and the largest Scientology center in the Midwest."

    Sorry for the derai,l but I saw the name Erin Banks, and it's a name I will not soon forget.
    Erin Banks, "voulunteer minister" is now a COS spokeswoman? Sad she is till drinking the kool aid. I guess her "Slums To School" project/farce to build an orphamage in India wasn't enough of an embarassment with her Aussie idiot husband rich boy Nick.
    His whole family is heavily involved with COS.

    Many of their videos were quite lulzy
    I wonder what ever happened to that prohange they built? I never heard of it being finished. They were in "temporary schools" made out of bamboo walls with no doors when they were there. And they were asking for donations of beds, windows, construction stuff and all sorts of stuff on their slums to schools website at one point. There was also a donate button on their webiste.
    What happened to all these donations and where's that orphanage?

    here are a few video gems from their trip cut short, which nobody ever heard about it again
    Sorry for the wall of vids

  10. Anonymous Member

    sorry for all the typos^ in a hurry
  11. Jeff Jacobsen Member

    Doesn't this Ideal Org push mean that DM is emphasizing MEST instead of Theta? He's not pushing the things that supposedly help mankind, he's pushing the things that make his here-on-earth stats look good.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Anonymous Member

    sorry, last derail, and I know there is already a thread on this slums to school stuff, but the mention of Erin Banks as the Spokeshole for COS in the write up got my blood boiling. People should know who she is.

    It looks like Erin never took down the "Slums to School" website?
    For any people visiting that site, it looks like they are still collecting money for this orphange? from their sister group Help for Orphans.

    Help for Orphans is a project/farce that was headed up by Southhampton's scilons Sara Elhrich and her husband. Their story is another whole kettle of clams.

    Fromthe Slums To Schools website:
    This project needs US $275,000 from start to finish. Here are some of the ways you can help:
    Whether you sponsor a child’s education, an instructor or the actual grounds and building, YOUR HELP IS NEEDED.
    As a Patron Benefactor you or your family will have a plaque on site at the Residential School dedicated to you as well as the room/rooms named after you and/or your family.
    Sponsor a 4-classroom primary school: $100,000
    Sponsor the kindergarten: $50,000
    Sponsor a classroom: $25, 000
    Sponsor the Medical Room: $25,000
    (All amounts are in US Dollars)

    As a Benefactor you will have a plaque on site at the Residential School dedicated to you or your family.
    Sponsor the outside playing area: $20,000
    Purchase the land: $17,000
    Build the roof of one classroom: $15,000
    Purchase a school van: $15,000

    Sponsor a school restroom: $5,000
    Purchase 1000 bricks: $1,000
    Purchase the furniture for a classroom: $1,000
    Purchase a classroom computer: $500
    Purchase 100 individual slates: $200
    Purchase a 3-tier bunk-bed: $200
    Sponsor a child’s schooling for 6 months: $150
    Sponsor a teacher for 2 months: $150
    Purchase a water purifier: $150
    Sponsor a teacher for a month: $75 (room and board, basic salary, training and more)
    Purchase a classroom fan: $50
    Sponsor a child’s schooling, room and board for a month: $50
    Sponsor a child’s schooling for a month: $25
    Sponsor a child’s room and board for a month: $25
    Purchase a child’s school uniform: $25 (shoes, uniform, school bag)
    Purchase sports equipment (cricket bats, balls, skipping ropes etc): $25
    Purchase a set of bedding: $20

    Donations are currently being accepted through our sister concern in the US: Help for Orphans

    Where did all this stuff and money end up Erin? Or was the orphange built and never mentioned again? lol
    You would think that would be a a HUGE deal in India and broadcasted far and large! Image the PR COS could have had? That's what makes me think it never happened?
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Anonymous Member

    looks like the following people who have no idea who they are endorsing need an edumacation?

    POONS AHOY!!!!

    Among those well-wishers were St. Paul City Council member Dave Thune, state Sen. Sandra Pappas, state Rep. Rena Moran and V.J. Smith, president of the Minneapolis Chapter of MAD DADS, which hands out the church's "Truth about Drugs" anti-drug abuse pamphlets. Moran praised the church's commitment to volunteerism, and Pappas spoke of its commitment to human rights work around the globe.
    David Thune <

    Sandra Pappas
    email form
    snail mail

    starred1sm.gif Capitol Office:

    100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    State Office Building, Room 143
    St. Paul, MN 55155-1206

    Rena Moran
    FB page

    Rena for Rep
    671 Aurora Avenue W
    St. Paul, Minnesota 55104.

    V. J. Smith MADD

    contact form
    snail mail
    3026 4th Ave. S. Minneapolis, MN 55408
    Phone: (612)822-0802 Fax: (612)253-0663

    • Like Like x 1
  14. AnonLover Member

    bump for damn... chapel is a former imax theater!??
  15. Squirrel King Member

    Chapel is former Omni theater.
  16. Anonymous Member

  17. DeathHamster Member

  18. Anonymous Member

  19. amaX Member

    • Like Like x 1
  20. Anonymous Member

    need moar
  21. xenubarb Member

    LOL..."get a brain, moran!"
  22. Anonymous Member

    He was right all along. Who knew? lol!
  23. Robocat Member

    This here ^. Also, old Ronnie said that buildings didn't matter.
  24. RightOn Member

    this is true
    so why does COS have to have an office for him in every building? lol!
  25. Anonymous Member

    Because Ron ordered it. There's an "advice" from Ron somewhere, where he's supposed to have an office in every org.
  26. Anonymous Member

    And a coathanger in every womb.
  27. Triumph Member

    startribune article and slideshow puff piece
    Scientologists settle in at old science museum

    Article by: ROSE FRENCH , Star Tribune
    Updated: October 26, 2011 - 6:41 AM

  28. Anonymous Member

    and a washing of every brain
  29. Anonymous Member

    she makes me wanna hurl
    clueless bimbo
    yeah I'm hatin'
    she married Nick who is attachched to a with a very wealthy Aussie Sci family.
    she scammed her way through India with Nick as VMS to &quot;build an orphange in India&quot;
    Where's the orphanage ERIN? And all the stuff and donations people gave to the Slums To Schools project? huh?
  30. Triumph Member

    the come from all over the world, to look and gawk at another building that will be sit empty and be useless to the community
  31. RightOn Member

    well at least the Sea Orgers and staff that were flown in got to dress up and get a day off. well sort of
    • Like Like x 1
  32. Squirrel King Member

    That photo has been shooped. Unless they brought in green shrubbary to barricade the street. And very few trees are still green this time of year..
    • Like Like x 2
  33. Anonymous Member

    in other pics, the "bushes" appear to be potted evergreens placed in a row. So yes it is a barricade of sorts.
  34. Squirrel King Member

    I just got word A Prairie Home Companion was playing that evening about 200ft behind the photographer.
  35. Anonymous Member

  36. Anonymous Member,63899/
  37. Anonymous Member

    More from the Onion:
    http colon //www dot scientologynews dot org/press-releases/grand-opening-scientology-ideal-organization-st-paul-minnesota.html

    Mod Edit: apparently this is not a parody, but a real Sci site; link broken.
  38. Smurf Member

    It's only a matter of time....

    • Like Like x 2
  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    The YouTube channel PioneerPress uploaded this video today:

    The grand opening of the Church of Scientology in St. Paul

    Published on Mar 7, 2013

    The Church of Scientology Twin Cities celebrated completion of their landmark building's renovation, formerly the Science Museum of Minnesota, in downtown St. Paul. Scientologists, guests, neighbors as well as leading city and state officials convene.
    • Like Like x 1
  40. The Wrong Guy Member

    St. Paul police: Visitor steals $5K Electropsychometer from Church of Scientology |

    The Church of Scientology in downtown St. Paul was the victim of a theft of a device worth $5,000, according to St. Paul police.

    A security guard at the church at 505 N. Wabasha St. was showing a man around the building at 3:30 a.m. Thursday, and later discovered that an "electrometer" valued at $5,000 was missing, according to St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos.

    A spokesman for the church could not be reached Friday.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 2
  41. DeathHamster Member

    ^^ I wonder if the guy had any idea what he was lifting? If not, he's probably in for a disappointment when he tries to pawn it.

    Wait. Sanity check! A security guy was showing a man around the building at 3:30 AM in the morning?!?!
  42. The Internet Member

    Insurance fraud?
  43. DeathHamster Member

    Unless they were required by law and someone enforced it, I don't know if they would have insurance.
  44. The Internet Member

    I was just thinking, it probably costs CoS $100-200 to manufacture those e-meters and I'm told they have a warehouse full of the things. Does anyone want them anymore?

    Filing an insurance claim for a $5000 loss per emeter really wouldn't be fraud as the price is published. However if you were DM hoping to unload some emeters, you might want to file claims with several different insurers to stay under big money radar, probably $10,ooo.
  45. BigBeard Member

    Someone should clue the PD in on the fact all the e-meter is, is a Wheatstone bridge with a fancy name, containing less than $100 in parts vs what the Cof$ charges it's rubes for it. Oh, and to check to make sure the FDA required label is present in a "Prominent location".

    • Like Like x 1
  46. OTeleventy Member

    LOL @ $5k. 45 bucks scrap value at best. Dumbass clams.
  47. DeathHamster Member

    Maybe the security guard took it and made up the story?

    Better get him on the cans and sec check him!

    Umm... Does anyone have a meter?
  48. Anonymous Member

    It's been quoted that the new Emeters mark8 still at Int on shelves for a decade cost $45 to be made overseas
  49. The Internet Member

    Also, ugly outdated design.


    Tandy level coolness.

    • Like Like x 1
  50. Ha! "Employs 150 people". They do not get paid. They either volunteer or exchange for more courses so I wouldn't call them employees.

    I am friends with a former member who was close to the current leadership of the church. He says the 10,000 members number is a joke and they are nowhere near that.

    Overall they are just buying valuable real estate property around the world for asset purposes. He says they can't even really afford the utility bills and keep the heat at the bare minimum.
  51. The Wrong Guy Member

    This showed up today in The Wake Student Magazine. "University of Minnesota students from many disciplines do all of the reporting, writing, editing, illustration, photography, layout and business management for The Wake."

    A Walk Down Scientology Lane | The Wake Magazine

    One writer makes the brave journey into a tabooed church

    Many are intimidated by the enormous, 82,000 square-foot home of Minnesota’s Scientology community. Hanging outside of its doors are two large, crimson colored “welcome” banners. A plaque outside of the bathrooms reads: “Free introductory lectures are available. Come as often as you like. Bring your friends.” Before you can begin a self-guided tour, you must enter your name, address, email, and phone number, along with the programs you are interested in learning about.


    Upstairs, I spoke with a minister of the church. I asked her about the E-Meter, a device used in the “auditing process,” a form of supposed therapy where the participant is asked to recall traumatic memories from their current life, as well as past ones.

    Fortunately for me, all guests can receive a free E-Meter test. The minister placed the two metal nunchuck-like instruments in my hands.

    “I see you work out,” she said.

    The fact that I was bundled up in my winter jacket made the observation all the more creepy. Perhaps she knew my past experiences better than I thought.

    “How did you know that?”

    “The calluses on your palms,” she smirked.

    Next, she gave me a small pinch on the back of my arm. When I was asked to recall the pinch, the meter swung from one side to the other, supposedly indicating that the machine had picked up on a change in my electrical current, clear evidence that I had recalled a valid memory.

    “There you have it!” she said.

    Unconvinced, I told myself that she was better at reading palms.
    • Like Like x 1
  52. anoninoob Member

    any data on how empty the Idle Morgue is?

    any leaks on stats?
  53. RightOn Member

    Why would this one be any different than the others? :D
    I imagine you can hear crickets chirping in the new Atlanta Org!
    Hip Hip CHIRP!
  54. The Wrong Guy Member

    Ex-Church of Scientology attendee allegedly sets church's books ablaze in St. Paul | Star Tribune

    The suspect had been previously removed from the church for being disorderly, police said.

    By Chao Xiong, April 19, 2017


    A suspect entered the Church of Scientology library in downtown St. Paul Tuesday night, splashed presumed accelerants on some books and set them ablaze, according to police.

    The fire was quickly extinguished and no one was injured. Police spokesman Steve Linders said the suspect, a man who had attended the church until administrators removed him for being "disorderly and threatening to assault members," remains at-large.

    "The investigation's continuing, and we're trying to locate the suspect," Linders said.

    The man is not suspected in any other vandalism against the church, he said.

    The fire, which authorities are labeling as arson, occurred about 9:30 p.m. at 505 Wabasha Street N.

    According to police: A female church member was sitting at a desk in the second-floor library when she saw the suspect enter the library. The woman asked him if he needed any help, but he did not respond.

    "He then removed a jug from his backpack and splashed an unknown liquid on some books," Linders said.

    The woman told police she saw flames and smoke, and ran to retrieve a fire extinguisher as other members called 911. The suspect fled.

    The fire was quickly extinguished. It's unclear how much damage the fire caused, Linders said.

    The suspect is known to the church, and had attended it for "a few months" until the church removed him for his behavior, Linders said.

    He had previously taken a wheelchair that did not belonged to him and "was rolling around the building," had been arrested in a drug case in Hennepin County, and was trespassed from church property on March 16, Linders said.

    Church officials could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday.

    • Like Like x 1
  55. Quentinanon Member

    In scientology it's all right to batter your subordinates, but not all right to threaten assault and start fires.
    • Like Like x 1
  56. The Wrong Guy Member

    St. Paul man charged with starting blaze at Church of Scientology


    A member of the Church of Scientology in St. Paul was sitting in the building’s second-floor library when she says she saw a man pull out a jug from his backpack.

    He started splashing liquid from the container onto the facility’s books. Then he took out a match and set them on fire.

    That’s the account from a criminal complaint filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court.

    The court document charges Anthony Odell Johnson, 26, with first-degree arson for the April 18 incident.

    Officers responded to a report of a fire at the church around 9:30 p.m. that evening.

    Continued at

    Man charged with felony arson in fire at St. Paul Church of Scientology

    Anthony Odell Johnson had previously been removed from the church.


    A man accused of setting fire to a library at The Church of Scientology in downtown St. Paul last week has been charged with felony arson.

    Anthony Odell Johnson, 36, was charged Monday with first-degree arson in Ramsey County District Court. Judge Stephen Smith set bail at $100,000 with conditions.

    Continued at

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