Author Topic: Interesting theory on the basement enclosure  (Read 1696 times)

Offline ethercat

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Interesting theory on the basement enclosure
« on: November 23, 2009, 11:57 »
I've been participating in a thread over at OCMB, started by Gumby:

We have all noticed that the scientologists really, really WANT to enclose the basement, even to the point to where they could be in the building now if they would give up that idea, but they are still paying rent on the current N. Shallowford building, and letting the $5.6 million building deteriorate before their eyes.

J. Swift noticed it too, and has an interesting and plausible theory:

Ethercat, there might be hidden financing here. Generally, money is loaned on a commercial property based upon price per square foot. For example, if the building has 35,000 square feet and costs $100 per sq ft, the building costs $3,500,000 USD. If you throw up a wall and enclose the parking garage you can claim the building as 44,000 sq ft and inflate the value of the building to $4,400,000. Conversely, by increasing square footage from 35,000 to 44,000, CoS can drop the price per square foot to $79.54 per sq ft. My guess is that the Cult needs 40,000 -- 44,000 square feet to make something work financially.

There is also the fact that David Miscavige uses empty square footage to argue for expansion stats. Still, it is strange PR for the Cult to push so hard for a dungeon-basement given its horrendous RPF program. The whole story here looks at phony as Jeff Stone.

If anyone has any comments and/or questions for the thread over there, I'll be happy to post them for you.
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Re: Interesting theory on the basement enclosure
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2009, 11:38 »

Has sci ever really sold their buildings to outsiders?

Offline mefree

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Re: Interesting theory on the basement enclosure
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2009, 19:28 »
This PR theory is most interesting and at the same time baffling. Understanding this line of thinking would probably require understanding DM, which I do not.

I guess some people are impressed by big buildings, but in the face of all the latest allegations of against the cult... I would think not.

From the same linky:

The Cult's design firm was told to draw up a new design for the property that assumed the parking garage would be enclosed and did so. The Cult assumed it was a slam dunk to get approval.

2. Now that the City Council said no, CoS may be stuck with ~$200K in design plans (mechanicals/reinforcement/electrical/sound/video/surveillance/schedules) and permitting forms that have to be scrapped. This is not a trivial scenario. Drawing up a new set of plans entails a great deal of work and headaches. It is not just about the money. I know from professional experience how a project delay like this messes up everything else in the master planning.

3. The Cult does not want to take the hit, the delays, the headaches, and for damn sure does not want to have the local residents and SP's get the win in Sandy Springs! CoS does not want to spend another $200K on a new set of plans and so orders Attorney Galloway to make the enclosed garage happen.

4. Galloway tries and fails.

5. Assuming failure, Cult is saddled with starting from scratch and so Sandy Springs gets bumped to the back of the design queue.

6. Under this scenario, DM would have planned to have the build out/reno done asap and thus have some MEST to show at New Year's Eve Event in Dec 2010 and pix to show on an ongoing basis beginning Jan 2010.

IMO, this scenario explains it better than money. PR is always senior to money in CoS, and, DM needs PR now. Not later, now. DM may have also approved a PO for the new design that presumed approval. If so, persons unknown will be slapped and RPF'd for making a postulate that did not stick anywhere except in DM's nicotine-clogged gullet. Feel the burn Dave: Sandy Springs does not like Scientology and your throat does not like cigarettes!

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Offline Lorelei

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Re: Interesting theory on the basement enclosure
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2009, 22:13 »
That is an interesting theory. Although we are all aware of the existence of RPF camps, I sincerely doubt they'd have one in a busy area like SS, even in a basement. The option to say "screw this RPF noise!" and slip out would be there, and an angry, abused soon-to-be-ex-cultist is not an asset.

As such, joking aside, I think the speculation that they needed to, in some way, account for money spent or budgeted on the SS property or pretend it is anything other than an unwise purchase and a money pit, is probably dead on. Either they need to claim that the building was really a bargain because (if they got the extra sq. footage desired) the price per sq. foot was a reasonable cost, OR they needed the sq. footage to put it on a par, expense-wise, with similarly-sized buildings. Perhaps there is a tax loophole or kickback available in addition to the tax breaks they already get, for "sanctuaries" over a certain sq. footage, though that seems more far-fetched.

As for the other scenario, we are obviously at Stage Five, where the cult is saddled with starting over from scratch and DM has to pretend that "he meant to do that all along" somehow. Depending on the amount of internal boosterism this property has gotten, the CYA response that must be created out of whole cloth--their "shore story"--is going to have to be a whopper.

When you are "in", you don't hear about failures; only "wins." If promises or assumptions about the SS bldg have been made loudly enough that the public might notice that promises have not been kept (again), then, yes, the cult will be desperate to find an "Enemy" to blame failure upon. Right now, Woody Galloway had better praise his God that he is not a Sea Ogre or Scientologist, because the repercussions for his failure would have been SEVERE. Bob Adams might get some fallout as well.

If DM was counting on using the Sandy Springs bldg. to pretend that Scientology is "expanding," despite evidence world-wise to the contrary, then TOO BAD FOR HIM.

He probably WAS hoping to swoop in safely ensconced in his bubble of wealth and power, get the local LEOs to corral any Anons or residents who had the temerity to protest the cult (probably by claiming he had been "threatened" in some way, because that worked so well the other 5,000 times the cult has tried it) , dance his teeny tuckus up to a gaudy stage and tacky podium (with hidden shoebox to stand on), lie his ass off to the gullible public and specially-imported out-of-towner Scienos (used to make the crowd look larger) about how Atlanta is just GAGGING for the cult to "help" our locals, claim a huge "win" and pretend this is cult "expansion," praise the wood paneling and overpriced HDTVs, pass around some cheap trinkets to the biggest rubes who donated the most, grab some roadside peaches and peanuts and buy some overpriced material goods at Lenox et al, then swank it back home, feeling all a-glow with his cleverness.

We have denied him something to use to shake down more cultists for more money for non-existent "expansion." We have denied him the opportunity to swish about being Top Banana around yet another group of cowed cultists, and an opportunity to pretend generosity by handing out pats on the head to people who have practically impoverished themselves for nothing. We have denied him a chance to crow about the "beautiful" Idle Org in Sandy Springs, because it is anything BUT beautiful. It is the real estate equivalent of lipstick, glitter, and a hairbow being perched atop a steaming turd.

The more Scientology faces legal trouble and criticism, the more it has to deal with exposes of its crimes and abuses and fraud, the more it grubs money out of an ever-dwindling collective cultist wallet, the more it lies and claims expansion when people are fleeing Orgs worldwide in DROVES, and exes are speaking out more and more, the more desperate DM et al are for a big, showy "win."

You KNOW they can't trot out the "Super Power Building" in Clearwater! Twenty-five years of being a profitable money pit and donation goad, only to remain useless and empty. A nicely Photoshoop'd Sandy Springs Org building would have been a small biscuit to throw to the publics who donated so much. It would have been useful to them as yet another empty prop to flaunt to the gullible: "See, ATLANTA is expanding!" Never mind that the building is completely unsuitable, over-priced, poorly-located and in the middle of thousands of SPs who DO NOT WANT the cult in their 'hood. A nicely-'Shooped set of pictures and a cultist-penned article about how "totalyl wonderful and amazing" everything was SUPPOSED to be, and the cultists who wouldn't know any better would soon be feeling the pressure to "follow in Atlanta's footsteps" and give DM the tax shelters and real estate holdings--er, I mean, mostly empty building shells that give the illusion of expansion and wealth--that he demanded.

Also, as we have noted, most of these Idle Org buildings are located in run-down, crappy, unimpressive neighborhoods with few residential developments nearby. It is easy to make something like, say, the Nashville Org, look good when you take a tight shot, shoop in a bigger crowd, add a few fake trees, and make damn sure not to show the surrounding industrial area and vast tracts of dirty concrete, or the exposed, reeking, muddy sewage pit in the front yard of the property right next door. The mistake here in Atlanta was picking a NICE neighborhood with concerned neighbors, picking a building unsuitable for their desired purposes, and THEN trying to bully the locals into bending rules just for the cult.

Now, I don't kid myself that this will be the ultimate wake-up call for our local cultists. Not by a long shot. The public does not get to see most of the worst the cult offers. If anything, the desire not to face facts--that they donated a lot of money and time and energy to a crappy cult masquerading as a "helpful" "religious" self-help philosophy--will only be reinforced. Better for some to cling to the illusion than to face facts that they made bad choices and bad decisions.  If we're lucky, though, the cult will get the idea that Atlanta is a hostile environment for Scientology, and MAYBE they will eventually ship their True Believers off to other states and leave Georgia the hell alone.

As much as I love the Anons and exes and Old Guards, and I would hope we'd stay in touch, I would be thrilled to have a great excuse not to protest monthly BECAUSE the cult packed up and GTFO, and took their front groups like Narconon with them.

Maybe they need a few more demoralizing defeats and a few more exposes of their front groups and attempts to recruit children and the vulnerable, and a few more "WAKE UP" protests to get the point. They are slow learners; I don't see this happening this year, next year, maybe not even the year after...but when people of strong conscience finally get fed up, like the protesters have gotten fed up and angry, they DO NOT GO AWAY.

But, most of all, I am heartened that DM doesn't get to lie about how the cult successfully "postulated" a new culthive despite "SP aggressions."  You don't get to twist this one your way, Cult Leader. And it is all YOUR fault, because if you had not insisted on challenging the zoning guidelines that EVERYONE ELSE has to obey, your loyal cultists would have already been IN that heap of crap building. it's YOUR FAULT that you bought a building unsuitable for your grandiose plans, YOUR FAULT that you paid too damn much for that white elephant, and YOUR FAULT that your cultists and lackeys are so out of touch with non-cultists that they don't even know how to begin working out compromises, or addressing the actual concerns raised by neighbors, or recognizing when you are tilting at windmills. YOUR fault, YOUR fail, and it could have been much less of a FAIL if you hadn't tried to get special privileges you do not deserve and have not earned. Everyone knows the cult does not offer anything useful in exchange for the tax exempt status it swindled for itself. No charity, no non-recruitment outreach, no help for the downtrodden, just new and more evil ways to try to suck in children, or alcoholics, or the incarcerated, or the elderly, or drug-addicted, or lonely / soul-searching / unpopular college kids who are away from their family and normal support systems who are not sufficiently emotionally mature and intellectually discerning enough not to spot a cult when one tries to suck them in.

You do not get your photo op. Suck it.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2009, 22:16 by Lorelei »
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