The Church of Scientology and Community Center of Harlem, New York is set to open in 2014
Scientology is heading for Harlem – with its new home to be located in a towering, multimillion-dollar brownstone slap bang in the middle of the neighborhood.
The Church of Scientology and Community Center of Harlem, New York is part of an alleged mission to infiltrate new areas, targeting potential members who may not have heard some less than savory rumors about the organization.
The building at 220 East 125th St, Dr Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard is set to open in the first half of 2014.
A Church of Scientology International spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘The Church of Scientology and our volunteers have been extremely active in Harlem for decades.
‘And so it has been both the demand from parishioners as well as the community that we increase our work in Harlem. This brand new Church of Scientology and Community Center Harlem enables us to do so.’
They did not reveal the cost for purchase of the building or the renovation.
A spokesperson added that the center will be an ‘Ideal Church of Scientology’ – meaning provides full services of the religion.
At the Harlem center will be a chapel for 200 people, a public information center and a dozen classrooms.
There appears to be a move by the organization to add to its plethora of glitzy centers in places such as Silicon Valley, Orange County and Los Gatos, California with buildings in poorer, crime-ridden areas.
Critics suggest that the plan is to tap into parts of society that may be less aware of the negative associations of Scientology – including reports of mind control and enforced manual labor by the church.
Scientology has had a number of troubles recently. Last month, actress Leah Remini defected from the church and stirred controversy. The King Of Queens star reported that the organization turned friends against her and she filed a quickly-dismissed missing persons report about leader David Miscavige’s wife.