If you have recently searched Google for “Church of Scientology Plymouth” you may have seen a helpful sidebar from Google maps on the results page (image right). This shows the modest Scientology premises in Ebrington Street.
This sidebar clearly states that the Church of Scientology of Plymouth is “Permanently closed”. It isn’t, and there’s a story behind this mistake.
If you are the owner of a business, featured in a Google maps listing you can contact Google and, after a verification process, post a link to your website and a description of your business there. Scientology has claimed all of the sites for Church of Scientology locations.
However, these pages are still operated by Google, and invite visitors to post reviews and pictures. Campaigners did so, and an image of one of the placards used in a recent public meeting opposing Scientology appeared on the front page (you can see it in the image above) . If you click on the pictures, more images of the meeting appear there.
The presence of these images seem to have embarrassed local Scientologists. However, as the listings are owned by Google, and the images are in the nature of customer reviews, Scientology cannot delete them.
Consequently, the Church of Scientology Plymouth seem to have told Google that their business has closed, hoping that the entire listing would be taken down. Unfortunately for them, Google has only added the words ‘Permanently Closed’ to it, and the offending images are still there.
We would like to point out that the Church of Scientology in Plymouth has not closed. What’s happened is that, in an attempt to suppress public criticism, they have shot themselves in the foot.
The Church of Scientology bought the Royal Fleet Club in 2010. They promised that it would soon be restored to its former glory.
Instead, it has been left to rot for six years (and counting). The fabric of the building has visibly deteriorated due to extensive leaks in the roof and we have reliable information that parts of the interior have been stripped out.
Historic features have already been irreparably lost. If the building is to be saved at all, renovation work must commence very soon. What are the prospects of the the Church of Scientology actually undertaking this work in a timely manner?
The Plymouth Herald published a statement from a Scientology spokesperson, Lisa Coffey, on September the 3rd 2014.
Lisa said that the current main focus for the Church of Scientology in the UK was on opening a new site in Birmingham. “After the Birmingham site is open we’ll be looking at Plymouth and Manchester, she said. Once Birmingham is open, we will have more of an idea of when Plymouth will open. We’re desperate to open it soon, but these things take time.”
How long with it take before the Birmingham and Manchester projects are complete, and the Church of Scientology starts “looking at Plymouth” – and will the Royal Fleet Club still be standing by then?
Click the ‘read more’ link below for a detailed account of Scientology’s appalling record of caring for historic buildings. Continue reading
On the 29th of May 2016 Mr William Drummond, made a presentation at a public meeting held in Devonport Guildhall (see the video below).
He set out some compelling reasons why the Church of Scientology should be refused planning permission to develop the Royal Fleet Club as its headquarters in the South of England and press its expensive services upon local residents.
This event was covered by the local newspaper, the Plymouth Herald, which published a sympathetic article, complete with pictures. The Church of Scientology was approached for a comment but failed to respond.
Mr Drummond, a resident of Plymouth himself, was once a member of the Church of Scientology in Plymouth and speaks from personal experience.
As a result of this meeting, 104 signatures were added to a petition addressed to Plymouth City Council urging them to refuse planning permission to Scientology. If you would like to add your support or ask a question, please use the comments section below, or email us.
The Present ‘Church’ of Scientology Premises
In 2010 the Plymouth Church of Scientology (presently based in Ebrington Street) bought Plymouth’s historic Royal Fleet Club. It then announced plans to transform this building into the headquarters for Scientology in the south-west of England. These plans include 150 staff and “tens of thousands of visitors”.
Scientology is a very controversial organisation. After learning about their questionable activities, local residents are expressing their opposition to these plans in the form of a petition.
This site aims to persuade local people to lobby their local council and ask them to refuse planning permission for for this project, We submit that the Royal Fleet Club (which has been left empty since 2010 and is in a state of decay) should be purchased by the Council so that it can be refurbished and used for socially beneficial purposes.