Property values in St Paul just plummeted

In an unfortunate twist of fate for the former home of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Church of Scientology is moving in.

The Church of Scientology has purchased the former Science Museum of Minnesota building in downtown St. Paul

Eric Rapp, a Welsh Cos. broker who marketed the space, said the church plans a major renovation of the building that once housed exhibits and has since been the home of the failed Minnesota Business Academy.

Rapp wouldn’t disclose the sale price of the 80,000-square-foot west building of the former museum complex. The sale closed Friday. A number of financial institutions had come to own the building, which was on the market since May 2006, he said.

It’s depressing, but the new building the Science Museum of Minnesota is in is wonderful, and you all ought to visit it. Skip the scientologists, though.


  1. says

    In my brief experience with the Scientologists, about 15 years ago in Santa Barbara, they barely made any effort to uphold the fiction that their belief system was a religion. They seemed impressed with the cleverness of their leadership in obtaining that status, which they felt insulated them from persecution by the state, not to mention exempting the organization (the “org”) from taxes. I remember the sly smiles that would accompany any conversation about Scientology as a religion.

    And I remember them saying over and over, “See? Everybody thinks we’re a bunch of weirdos or cultists or something, but we’re just regular people like everybody else,” while being totally oblivious to the fact they were the creepiest group of people I’d ever met.

  2. says

    Max, agreed… scientologists are by far the creepiest cathegory of ppl I’ve encountered this far. There’s something… synthetic about them.

  3. David Wilford says

    I’m reminded of the cargo cults on some remote islands of the South Pacific that built airstrips after WWII in hopes that planes laden with goods would then land on them. I doubt being in a former science museum will make Scientology any more scientific, except to the gullible.

  4. says

    For people interested in learning the truth about Scientology, the most informative site in the world today is Wikipedia. Scientologists and anti-Scientologists have been duking it out there on the online encyclopedia (as they have been doing so in every other forum they’ve come to), but Wikipedia’s rules have kept the storm down to a dull roar. The result is a series of articles on Scientology that are as close to “neutral” as one could hope for, with links to both official Scientology sites *and* critical sites that expose the “dark side” of Scientology.

  5. stogoe says

    “The Sancitiy of [that] place has been fouled.”

    OT, I am sqee about Judge Walton’s smackdown of Libby’s DC Elitist Fuck Legal Team and their handwaving backstab of the Rule of Law. Scooter’s goin’ to the clink!

  6. JohnnieCanuck, FCD says

    Scientology is one of the nastiest cults out there. They are worse than any religion I have heard of and do not deserve to be labelled as one in any case. Given my low opinion of religious organisations in general…

    They should have special goverment status all right, as terrorists and organised criminals.

  7. yoshi says

    @ johnnieCanuck

    really? I could name a dozen cults/religions worse than Scientology…

    yesterday I caught two mormon missionaries rushing pass the Scientology storefront in Minneapolis. And me without a camera… sigh

  8. Steve P says

    All hale the mighty Xenu! Finally you Minnesota non-believers will learn the wonderful truth of how we were brought to this planet on spaceships that look like DC-7s, dropped into volcanos, brain washed, and….. ahh fuck it I can’t even fake this insanity.

  9. stogoe says

    The big problem with Scientology isn’t their wacky DC-7-Xenu-volcano-frozen-soul beliefs. They can be as stupid as they want. No big deal. What scares me about them is that if you criticize the org, they will stalk you and harass you and sue you without end until you are a withered shell of a hairless ape, unsuitable for anything but untrained labor.

  10. Sonja says

    That bites.

    Last time I was in that building was to see the Wellstone! play in the theater space. Also, a friend’s daughter attends the McNally School of Music.

    Don’t tell me those Scientologists are tax exempt!?

  11. Brian W. says

    Part of me admires L. Ron’s ability to dupe so many. If only he’d used his powers for good instead of evil.

  12. Boosterz says

    You guys in that area better keep tabs on them or they’ll try and take over the whole town like they’ve done in Clearwater Florida. They basically own the police force down there and can get away with just about anything.

    And yes, scientology filed a ton of law suits and basically harassed the living hell out of the IRS and a bunch of individual agents until the IRS caved and granted them tax exempt status to make them go away.

    Anytime you meet a scientologist, ask them who Xenu is. They love that. :-)

  13. Bob L says

    Makes you wonder if the Scientologist bought that building specifically in hopes that people would wander into not realizing the Science Museum of Minnesota had moved.

  14. says

    Wow, all my childhood memories of that admittedly cramped little museum (I remember it from way back), trampled.

    I hate Scientology! I hate it with a passion. Stupid pyramid scheme, stupid cult about nothing sucking up people’s time, ugly old frog L. Ron Hubbard inexplicably ordering around a bunch of women on a boat. (Women, snap your chains!)

    Cat’s staff said it. We’re not even keeping up with inflation trying to raise money for a building. I guess we just won’t have the dough rolling in, telling people not to feel crappy about themselves and not having meaningless “levels” or whatever mediocre standard for them to measure their unique selves against, so that they can “clear” or “clarify” or whatever stupid meaningless thing people are supposed to do (because human beings are the only animal teach ourselves to hate ourselves).

    I guess shame and guilt sells.

  15. RamblinDude says

    Ya, I’ve read horror stories. They remind me of fire ants. A comparison I’m sure they find favorable. (they also remind me of Gestapo.)

    They seem to attract the segment of the population that wants to belong to a big group, like in the mainstream religions, but who don’t want to turn the other cheek and inherit the earth by being meek. I don’t think any of them really care how stupid some of their basic tenets are as long as they can feel aggressive and mobilized.

    I guess as long as inane beliefs of any kind are condoned, sponsored and tax exempt, there will always be a niche for groups like scientology.

    It’s just so creepy, though, to think of waking up tomorrow and hearing “All hale the mighty Xenu!” over a million surreptitiously installed speaker systems…

  16. MJ says

    Stogoe wrote: “What scares me about them is that if you criticize the org, they will stalk you and harass you and sue you without end until you are a withered shell of a hairless ape, unsuitable for anything but untrained labor.”

    A bit like Zionists, in my experience.


  17. Chris says

    Every religion, including non-belief, at some point or another is the target of criticism and ridicule. Scientology is the only one I know of that responds by suing you and digging through your garbage cans.

  18. Dahan says

    Ah Shit! I used to work for the science musem there! This is just wrong. Plus I’ll probably run into them way more often now, since my wife works a block from them…glad I Live in Midway…

  19. Dahan says

    Thought I’d point out that Hubbard once said that you’d have to be crazy to try and make your living writing, the real money is in religeon. He admitted money’s why he created it and people still want ot buy in…truly pathetic.

  20. RamblinDude says

    Maybe scientology is simply the evolution of religion. I mean, Jesus has had a pretty good run in his old timey robe and sandals, but alongside this titanium plated, rocket powered set of kooky beliefs he’s starting to look pretty un-hip.

  21. JohnnieCanuck, FCD says

    really? I could name a dozen cults/religions worse than Scientology…

    But you didn’t name them.

    Mormons? Not the mainstream LDS. Maybe the FLDS comes close. Their abuse of their children, both male and female is awful, of course. However, their numbers are low, and they don’t recruit outsiders. To my knowledge, they also have never been convicted of running covert criminal operations against government offices.

    On the other hand, from the Ottawa Citizen 2005/10/26 : “Scientology is also the only religious group ever to be criminally convicted in Canada. It was found guilty on two counts of breach of the public trust related to a 1982 conspiracy to break into government offices.”

    There is also the conviction of 11 high ranking members for infiltrating the IRS and stealing confidential documents, related to their campaign to win recognition as a tax exempt religion.

    Follow the references given by the Wikipedia entry for ‘Fair Game’ if you need proof that these people are far worse than any suicide cult or whatever.

    There isn’t much risk of a suicide cult expanding its impact beyond one place at one point in time. Scientology spokesman Bob Adams claimed in 2006 that they have 10 million members, though it is likely less than the 500,000 credited to them by

  22. gravitybear says

    Dahan, my wife had some classes at the former Musictech (across the street form the old Sci Museum). Glad that’s done so I don’t have to walk by the Scientology building (shudder).
    I also live in the Midway. In the shadow of the Hamline Hi-Rise.

  23. Bruce says

    One big bite out of rationality, one small bite out of the tax base.

    I wonder how long a “What would Xenu do?” bumper sticker would last on my car?

  24. RamblinDude says

    Doonboggle Frog: ‘Ramblindude, “Hale” means one of two things as a verb, either “to coerce through physical force” or “to haul or drag”.’

    Oh! I didn’t even notice. Actually I just cut and pasted it from Steve P up above cause I thought it sounded cool and wanted to coninue it.

    That’ll teach me not to think for myself.

    Thanks anyways Steve, it’s still cool.

  25. says

    It’s nice that the science museum has a new building, but that’s sad that their old building is suffering such a fate!!! I have so many fantastic memories of that place — my family had a membership there when I was a kid, and we used to go once a month for years.

  26. anonymous for fear of retaliation or worse says

    Make no mistake–scientology is NOT a religion, it is an insidious cult. For example, one popular strategy is for a member to write a letter of “disconnection” to parents and family members. Vulnerable and/or confused young adults are told there is something “wrong” with them and this organization can “fix” them. Scientologists are coerced into spending more and more money to take more and more “courses” so that they can become “clear”. Ex-scientologists are shunned by spouses and friends who are still “in”. Scientology is a well-oiled litigious machine and attempts to win by overwhelming the legal system with thousands of lawsuits claiming religious discrimination. Scientology hides under the guise of religion so that it can maintain its tax-exempt status–too bad for Ramsey County and the City of St. Paul.
    City of St. Paul, do the research, do the math. Get out while you still can. If you don’t, you’ll become another Clearwater, FL.

  27. Eric Rapp says

    No, I’m not the Eric Rapp in the story. However, if you Google my name (and throw in “Scientology” as another term) you’ll find that my name was on the “blocked terms” list of the web browsing software that the ‘Church’ gave to its members a few years back. I used to be a somewhat vocal opponent of the church on the internet, so naturally my name was dangerous.

    What an odd connection. I wonder if any of the people in the church setting up the deal were using that software and had any trouble due to that block. I sure hope so.

    Eric Rapp,
    Suppressive Person