Demented LRH wrote:
The question is -- why CoS acquire so much buildings without renting the building space out to other companies?
They have previously acquired buildings that still have tenants and when they do this they have to pay full property taxes. You might think that's fine because the rental income would cover all that and more. However, when tenants learn that the new owner is ultimately going to turn it into a church and not continue rental contracts then they tend to get out as soon as they find somewhere suitable, which leaves a few hangers on (not enough to pay property taxes). I've not seen any evidence that the cult looks for short term rental customers, or would even want to because most (especially retail business) don't want to be on short term contracts. Most of the buildings they have acquired are empty and stay empty, often for years, before anything is done about renovations. When they are empty they are a real phsyical bricks'n'mortar excuse to reg more money out of people (who were already regged to the hilt to contribute to the purchase) for the cost or partial cost of the renovations. It's like "come on folks, we've got the building now, we're nearly there, just another few millions $
". These pending Ideal Orgs also become adverts at the large scientology events such as the IAS anniversary and new year events to encourage more IAS donations. So, in many cases, the mothercult can do quite well with an empty building. The less the mothercult has to fork out for purchase and for renovations then the better for them.
Then when they are done, the mothercult owns it and rents it back to the local scientology church organisation even though they are the ones that largely paid for it.
What the cult somtimes does is purchase more than what they need and then sell off extraneous land/buildings attached to the main property that is the actual proposed Ideal Org building. This happened in Birmingham (UK) with the old Pitmaston House building (search Org Patrol forum and media reports) and the money did not
go back into the local org to pay for renovations. If it had then they would have had an Ideal Org there 3 years ago. Instead, according to local email leaks, the local scientology organisation is playing fast and loose with individual member's personal and business finances as well as encouraging abuse of bankruptcy process as they are forced to scrabble for donations. The cult made money from Pitmaston House and its grounds. It will earn interest for the mothercult and if they do have to dip their hands in their pockets to help the local org with the renovations then they'll probably still have come off better on the deal, or at least will have broken even on costs, and with a big property asset to boot.
I think Birmingham Pitmaston house is their best chance because of that land sale and the fact that the building is actually habitable but the rest of the handful of proposed UK Ideal Orgs are just falling apart and one wreck, in Northumbria, is even being sold off as a fire sale.