Scientology heads to Harlem: Religious group puts down roots in new areas to ‘attract members who don’t know its history’

The Church of Scientology and Community  Center of Harlem, New York is set to open in 2014

Welcome to Harlem: The Church of Scientology is set to open a center at 220 East 125th Street in Harlem, New York next year

Welcome to Harlem: The Church of Scientology is set to open a center at 220 East 125th Street in Harlem, New York next year

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.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2404377/Scientology-heads-Harlem-attract-members-dont-know-history.html#ixzz2dJrZqWK2 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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