The “Historical Inventory of the Miscavigeville Ghost Town” is a project for the Bureau of Land Management, Los Angeles, California. The report is to provide a cultural and historical study of the town of Miscavigeville, and is to include a site location inventory.
Photo Caption: Miscavigeville, 4401 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.
Miscavigeville was formerly the home of KCET Studios (1970-2011); before that, Allied Artists and Monogram Pictures (1943 to the 1960’s). Film production on the site began as early as 1912. Since its purchase by the cult of Scientology, however, little history of the area has been written, despite the site’s former glory. A marker at the entrance to Miscavigeville declares the site’s historical importance: “This plaque parks the location of the original northwest corner of El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles, founded on September 4, 1781, and established by survey in 1849.” The first part of this project consists of historical research, and the finished study is thoroughly documented. But this report is by no means complete, for there is much information on Miscavigeville that still needs to be explored.
This project includes locating, describing, and photographing a number of sites in the Miscavigeville area.
METHODOLOGY AND OBJECTIVES
The history of the town of Miscavigeville from 2011-2015 is taken almost entirely from the newspapers of the period. Local newspapers, such as The (Miscavigeville) Mountaineer, The Miscavigeville Gazette, and The Miscavigeville Messenger, were invaluable in providing descriptive information on the town.
The objectives of this report are four: (1) to provide a history of the Miscavigeville district; (2) to provide a general history of the town of Miscavigeville; (3) to provide a more intensive study of transportation and, among other things, forms of entertainment in Miscavigeville; and (4) to complete a site location inventory so that remaining structures of historical value in the Miscavigeville area might be preserved for future generations.
INTRODUCTION AND DISCUSSION OF SOURCES
One of the major research problems of this project was the location of reliable information. After much reading in a variety of sources (such as press releases from Miscavigeville) it seemed, at least to this writer, that a great deal of misinformation exists.
In spite of these difficulties, a sizable amount of information has been collected on Miscavigeville from a number of primary sources. The Underground Bunker (Tony Ortega on Scientology), Something Can Be Done About It (Mike Rinder’s Blog), and Moving On Up a Little Higher (Mark “Marty” Rathbun’s Place) bring to light the folly of Miscavigeville.
Photo Caption: Entrance to Miscavigeville, 4401 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California.
Whenever possible, Los Angeles County records were consulted to settle questions concerning the discovery and ownership of certain whales (such as billionaire Bob Duggan). Old newspaper reports, written by the residents of, or visitors to, the Miscavigeville area during its heyday were also used. Any figures on whale production should be read and examined with some reservation; however, for no authoritative estimate of their total yield has yet been compiled, and present sources vary by as much as $30,000,000,000.
Although the town of Miscavigeville is said to have been a thriving community in the 2010’s, there is little mention of it in local newspapers during that period. In 2015, for example, The Los Angeles Times, a daily newspaper, mentioned Miscavigeville about once a month in short, scrimpy articles that dealt mainly with real estate activity.
The editors of the Miscavigeville weeklies appeared to have published inaccurate information about their town, which includes articles on cult socials and local whaling exhibitions, and they almost invariably fail to describe the vices that exist in a booming whaling town; a town that is said to possess half a dozen saloons.
There are many sources yet to be searched for information on the Miscavigeville area, but the time limitation of this project demands that these sources be left for future students to explore.
THE MISCAVIGEVILLE WHALING DISTRICT
According, to records held at the Los Angeles County Courthouse, there are over 1,250 patented whaling claims in the Miscavigeville district. Many sources suggest that the earliest whaling claim in the Miscavgeville area was made by Tom Cruise in 2011.
The town of Miscavigeville is located in the heart of Hollywood at 4401 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. Scientologists rushed into the area as soon as word of Cruise’ s whaling strike got out. Cruise named the boisterous young camp “Miscavigeville,” in honor of Four Foot Thirteen, Mr. David “Let Him Die” Miscavige, the leader of the cult of Scientology.
Photo Caption: The cult of Scientology symbol as seen through the front gate at Miscavigeville.
There were reportedly as many as 1,500,000,000 Scientologists in Miscavigeville in 2011, and within two years the population was said to have increased 46X. But most sources regard this growth as inaccurate and the least significant in the town’s history.
Photo Caption: A relic of a promotional campaign made by the cult of Scientology, circa 2011.
Miscavigeville was deficient in certain areas and of this the editor of The (Miscavigeville) Mountaineer was well aware. The paper frequently advertised for a cult leader in notices like the following: “Miscavigeville needs a reputable, honest, ethical and moral leader. We need a leader who won’t use his parishioners as punching bags and must have one immediately.”
The need for a leader was not the only problem facing Miscavigeville. The lack of workable technology may have been an issue prior to the publication of The (Miscavigeville) Mountaineer, but it is from this source that one becomes aware of the problem.
Photo Caption: Miscavigeville as seen from Sunset Dr.
The (Miscavigeville) Mountaineer published numerous articles on Miscavigeville’s need for workable technology, but the solution to the problem has remained on the drawing board (although OT 9 and OT 10 were scheduled for release as recently as 2015).
The lack of a leader and workable technology has continued to plague Miscavigeville.
By 2013, The (Miscavigeville) Mountaineer was pushing for an Ideal sewage system, an Ideal harness and saddlery store, an Ideal merchant tailoring establishment, new Ideal business blocks, new Ideal residences, and of course, an Ideal Leader. The editor of the paper also asked for Ideal Scientologists who could make Miscavigeville the “Clearwater of California.”
Photo Caption: Miscavigeville as seen from North Hoover Street.
An attempt was also made to incorporate the city of Miscavigeville: “Other places not one-third the size of Miscavigeville are enjoying the benefits of incorporation. It will not cost more than $1,500,000,000,000 to incorporate and that sum could be raised by subscription in seven minutes by the clock if some of our whales would take the initiative. Who will make the move?”
“Croakers” denounced the construction of Ideal buildings in Miscavigeville as well as the town’s incorporation, and predicted the town would soon be “an abiding place for only frogs, crickets, owls and coyotes.” There had been little concern about incorporation while Miscavigeville was enjoying what seemed to be unlimited prosperity.
The editor of The (Miscavigeville) Mountaineer responded to the “croakers”: “Miscavigeville must of necessity increase in population and when the present generation has reincarnated, Miscavigeville will be a great and populous whaling center. Her whales are both durable and extensive. Don’t listen to the ‘croakers,’ but continue to build ‘Ideal’ organizations (orgs) everywhere. Every dollar invested in Ideal buildings will net you at least 46X.”
According to Southwest Magazine, Miscavigeville had four Ideal dry goods and clothing stores, five Ideal groceries, three Ideal drug stores, seven Ideal hotels, three Ideal restaurants, four Ideal boot and shoe stores, four Ideal meat markets, three Ideal hardware stores, forty-two Ideal banks, two Ideal breweries, two Ideal livery stables, seventy-seven Ideal pawnshops, three Ideal jewelry stores, two Ideal lumber yards, two Ideal photograph galleries, two Ideal furniture stores, three Ideal hay and grain stores, two Ideal bakeries, two Ideal insurance agencies, two Ideal opera houses, three Ideal halls, three Ideal weekly papers, eighty-four Ideal saloons and an Ideal partridge in an Ideal pear tree. But Miscavigeville, despite outward appearances, was already starting to decline in 2014.
The Miscavigeville Ideal Electric Light Works was established by Faye King. The plant, located in Miscavigeville, was said to consist of 2,500,000-light Ideal Thompson and Huston dynamos and one-thousand 600 Ideal h.p. engines and boilers. In addition, there were ninety-three thousand miles of wiring in the town.
Photo Caption: An Ideal Broadcast Building, Miscavigeville, as seen from N. Hoover St.
The Miscavigeville Ideal Electric Light Works also owned an Ideal spring, 5,000 feet above Main Street, that produced 400,000 gallons of water in four hours. Since the town’s water supply still came from wells, local officials encouraged the firm to establish an Ideal water company that would furnish water for the entire town, but Faye King rejected the plan.
Photo Caption: A security camera at Miscavigeville goes “Blue Screen,” as seen from N. Hoover St.
Ideal stage coaches ran from Miscavigeville to Scientology’s secret International (Int) base outside of Hemet, California, and PAC Base in Los Angeles on a regular basis. Miscavigeville also benefited from the services of an Ideal Western Union and Ideal Telex Office.
Most news articles published in The (Miscavigeville) Mountaineer were concerned with the town, its lack of toilet paper and over population of body thetans, but by 2013, a noticeable change could be detected in the tone of the paper. A much larger section of The (Miscavigeville) Mountaineer was being devoted to news of the galaxy and DC8’s as well to volcanoes on planets in this sector, including Teegeeack (Earth).
Despite a general lack of interest in local events, a crusade for improved public safety and sanitation was launched by The Miscavigeville Messenger. Scientologists were advised to bury their dead body thetans, to wash their hands before plucking body thetans off their backs, and to remove body thetan rubbish (excrement, etc.) from streets and doorways. Editors of the paper felt clean air was as important as clean water; later, they published a series of articles on “The Ideal Garbage Question.” The populace, if it didn’t see fit to build the first Ideal body thetan crematory advocated by The Miscavigeville Messenger, was encouraged to at least bury their body thetans outside of town.
But a once prosperous town that was losing businesses and citizens could hardly consider developing a new industry. Miscavigeville, like many other whaling camps in 2014, had seen better days. An attempt was made through local newspapers to get foreign interests to farm new whales and develop them. But Miscavigeville, which was ultimately dependent on whaling for its growth and development, was unable to generate the necessary interest to keep many of the whales afloat.
Miscavigeville residents were dependent on Ideal ox teams and Ideal horse drawn wagons to furnish them with supplies prior to 2012. In 2013, the growing whaling camp came to the attention of the Ideal Northern and Ideal Northern Pacific Railroads, and the two giants were soon racing to complete the first Ideal railroad from the Int Base outside Hemet, California, to Miscavigeville. The Ideal Northern Pacific sent trains to and from Miscavigeville twice daily, and apparently there was little trouble.
Local newspapers indicate there were a number of activities, some more socially acceptable than others, going on in Miscavigeville in the 2010’s. Much of the town’s more conventional entertainment was provided by cult socials, which were apparently quite popular with the local citizenry.
Ideal speaking and spelling contests were held at the Miscavigeville school, but I. Ramble, editor of The Miscavigeville Gazette, felt the town needed something more. According to him, Miscavigeville had little, if any, society because Scientologists were too busy “going after money.” Ramble suggested the citizens of Miscavigeville begin to take the time to meet, converse, and exchange ideas, since they seemed to do little intermingling outside of the cult, except for an occasional whaling party.
Other “proper” entertainments in the 2010’s included Ideal candy pulls and Ideal dancing classes. The Miscavigeville Ideal Brass Band gave occasional concerts.
There is absolutely nothing of historical value in Miscavigeville that needs to be preserved for future generations.
Something Can Be Done About it (Mike Rinder’s Blog), “Thursday Funnies,” November 26, 2015 (specifically, “Whatever happened to that place [the Scientology Global Media Center, formerly KCET Studios, 4401 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, California]? Wasn’t it supposed to have opened in the summer? Must be saving it for New Years or something so Miscavige can ‘announce it’ at the event…”].