The Church of Scientology is exclusive, secretive, and has garnered in its brief existence the wary curiosity of outsiders. While we live in a country where the freedom to practice the religion of our choosing is a right, that doesn't mean all religions escape censure or criticism. The fact that Scientology has attracted so many members of Hollywood's elite has made it so much more fascinating to outsiders.
While we might not know the specifics of the faith, there are countless urban legends and true accounts of people "escaping" the religion, or of being blackmailed during their infamous "auditing" sessions. Any religion that involves entities from space is bound to illicit a few raised eyebrows. Now, not long after Leah Remini filed a missing persons report for leader David Miscavige's wife Shelly (which was subsequently dismissed by the LAPD), we're learning more about the secretive group than ever before.
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Former member of the church, Dylan Gill, is speaking out about his time with the church, and sharing photographs of the top-secret compound for the very first time. The place, which he calls 'Twin Peaks,' is a veritable fortress. According to him, it's prepped with secret entrances and exits and has been built to survive a nuclear war. It's also where Gill believes Miscavige's wife Shelly has been living -- happily and of her own free-will -- for quite some time.
It doesn't stop there. He says more than half of the facility is located underground to make sure they have maximum secrecy. This underground section also supposedly has special bunkers to protect their big-name members should we enter a third world war. I don't know if the place is formally known as 'Twin Peaks,' but if it isn't -- Gill has a cutting sense of humor, which any fan of the cult David Lynch hit of the same name can attest to.
If all this is true, having a creepy-Bond-villain-esque lair in the foothills of the mountains in California in no way endears you to a public already suspicious of your organization. Furthermore, while Shelly might be quite happy "being a Scientology librarian," the fact that she's hidden away from the world underground doesn't seem to speak to the mental health benefits of being a member of this highly controversial church. The structure seems to suggest a level of paranoia pervading its infrastructure. Either that or they know something we don't.*
Do you think this is a bitter ex-member ranting, or do his revelations about the secret compound make sense?
Image via Proehl Studios/Corbis
*THROBTRON, YOU GUYS
Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the missing persons report filed by Leah Remini was dismissed by the LAPD, and the case is considered closed.