Scientology Owns 484 Square Feet of Property for Every Member

The Daily's Hunter Walker adds up the church's many real estate acquisitions.

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Today, the Church of Scientology acquired the KCET-TV studio in Los Angeles, former home of PBS. In honor of the church's new property, The Daily reporter Hunter Walker took a look at Scientology's various other real estate purchases, including an 185,000-square-foot International Dissemination and Distribution Center in Los Angeles and the construction of 23 churches and counting over the last six years. By his calculation, the church, which according to the lastest national religious survey boasts 25,000 American members, has "purchased at least 484 square feet of real estate for each believer as of 2010."

Cult deprogrammer and consultant Rick Ross told The Daily that the expansion is likely "a P.R. game. It's kind of like their Field of Dreams'--if you build it then they will come. In reality, they seem to have a serious problem stuffing these buildings, a lot of them are empty."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.