Scientology vaults

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A set of titanium cases in an unknown location.
Sample nickel audio record.
Text to IRS detailing the project's scope.

The Church of Spiritual Technology (CST), part of the Church of Scientology's corporate structure, owns and operates several mysterious vaults, said to hold copies of L. Ron Hubbard's writings and lectures. These are some of the most secretive of Scientology's properties, and so far, there have been few tours to outsiders and few vault staff who have left CST and told their version of what goes on inside these locations.[1] The vault locations frequently have an aerial marker of CST's double circles and diamonds logo.

The titles to at least some of the vault properties are held by Mile High, Inc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CST.

Vault contents

  • Original paper writings, chemically treated to prevent deterioration, in plastic envelopes.[2]
  • Special audio records. Sample versions are nickel-plated,[3] but production copies are said to be pure gold compact discs encased in glass.
  • Writings copied to approximately 1,800,000 etched stainless steel plates.
  • Titanium storage boxes, filled with inert argon gas.[4]


Some of these locations are referred to in Scientology's and critics' documents under various names. When it's clear that the same location is being discussed, the names have been combined. The expenses, where given, are not the total spent on the project, just the largest individual outlay.

Creston, California / Creston Ranch / Whispering Winds Ranch

Creston Ranch

The Creston Ranch with the CST logo.
Coordinates 35°27′10″N 120°29′58″W / 35.452822°N 120.49957°W / 35.452822; -120.49957

While not a vault location, the Creston Ranch, where L. Ron Hubbard died, is marked with the CST logo.[5]

Drone flyover[6]

Petrolia, California / Sunset View / Eureka

Petrolia, California
Coordinates 40°23′18″N 124°18′08″W / 40.388446°N 124.30231°W / 40.388446; -124.30231
Two levels, each 372 feet long.

In 1988: The planned usage for the property is to build an archival document storage repository there which will store religious documents preserved by CST.[7][8]

Drone flyover[10]

Rock Springs, Wyoming / Sweeney Ranch

Sweeney Ranch
Coordinates 41°27′06″N 109°03′08″W / 41.451749°N 109.052353°W / 41.451749; -109.052353

On land purchased by International Ground Support Systems,[11][9] work was begun in this location in 2008,[12] but apparently stopped in early 2009 and later abandoned when neighbors and local authorities objected to the lack of permits.[13][14] The current status of the site is unknown, but no news of continued work has surfaced.

Drone flyover[15]

Trementina, New Mexico / San Miguel Ranch / Trementina Base

Trementina, New Mexico

CST logo markings from above at Trementina.
Coordinates 35°31′28.56″N 104°34′20.20″W / 35.5246°N 104.572278°W / 35.5246; -104.572278
700 foot rock tunnel.

The site is about a 2 1/2-hour drive east of Santa Fe, near the small town of Trementina. Access is through a gated road and a private concrete airstrip, the San Miguel Ranch Airport (NM53).[16] The Trementina location is supposedly a store for material written by L.R. Hubbard, as shown in 1998 on ABC News's "20/20.":

"Buried deep in these New Mexico hills in steel-lined tunnels, said to be able to survive a nuclear blast, is what Scientology considers the future of mankind," ABC's Tom Jarriel said in his report. "Seen here for the first time, thousands of metal records, stored in heat-resistant titanium boxes and playable on a solar-powered turntable, all containing the beliefs of Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard."[17]

The site is marked from the air with Church of Spiritual Technology double diamonds.[18] A runway for smaller airplanes is located on CST owned land in connection to the site. The original short strip was expanded in the early 1990s on land acquired by a land swap deal between CST and neighboring land owners in 1992.[19]

Drone flyover[20]

Tuolumne, California / Lady Washington Mine

Lady Washington Mine
Coordinates 37°57′46″N 120°13′33″W / 37.962763°N 120.225953°W / 37.962763; -120.225953
250 foot tunnel, 15 feet wide.[21]

The Lady Washington Mine and two houses on 26.23 acres[22] were purchased in 1988 by William and Donna Daniels. In 1988, the Daniels gave the property to Norman Starkey, trustee of "Author's Family Trust". Starkey gave the property to the Church of Spiritual Technology in 1993. Digging began in 1997. According to the Los Angeles Times, the CST "is using state-of-the-art technology to protect Hubbard's writings, tape-recorded lectures and filmed treatises from natural and man-made calamities, including nuclear holocaust."[23]

Drone flyover[24]

Twin Peaks, California / Crestline / Lake Arrowhead / Mile High / Rimforest / Rim of the World / Running Springs

Twin Peaks
Coordinates 34°13′44″N 117°14′53″W / 34.2287508°N 117.2479491°W / 34.2287508; -117.2479491
Two 100 foot long heavy gauge steel underground structures.

As of 1988, this property has 15 buildings totaling approximately 22,000 square ft, including a three-story administration office, dormitories, dining halls, residences and other buildings and offices.[7][8] The originals are kept here, with copies made for other vault locations.[2]

  • Encrypted microwave communications link to LA and Int Base.[25]
  • Expense: $2,592,750.31 to William Kanayan Construction.[9]


Shelly Miscavige, wife of leader David Miscavige, who hasn't been seen in public since 2007, is said to be held at this location.[26][27][28][29]

Drone flyover[30][31]

See also



  1. Scientology's Secret Vaults: A Rare Interview With a Former Member of Hush-Hush "CST" February 6, 2012, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
  2. 2.0 2.1 Church Scriptures Get High-Tech Protection June 24, 1990, Robert W. Welkos, Joel Sappell, Los Angeles Times
  3. Images of sample archival nickel-plated record.[1][2]
  4. A new look inside Scientology's bomb-proof vaults, and a visit to Hubbard's final rodeo July 27, 2015, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  5. Scientology's Secret Ranch: Where LRH Will Reincarnate? February 16, 2012, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
  6. DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology's secret ranch where L. Ron Hubbard departed this Earth September 21, 2016, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  7. 7.0 7.1 RTC to IRS description of some Scientology properties (1988) (pdf)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Petrolia's New Neighbors -- L. Ron Hubbard's followers, the Church of Spiritual Technology June 1991, Joe Cempa, North Coast Journal
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Vault Expenses, Arnie Lerma. Information provided to the IRS by RTC in 1992.
  10. DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology's secret saucer-looking underground vault in Northern California October 5, 2016, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  11. Space for Scientology? December 6, 2008, Casper Star-Tribune
  12. Mysterious Scientology Project Raises Questions in Wyoming February 11, 2009, AP, Fox News
  13. Scientology project raises questions, ire in Wyo. February 12, 2009, Mead Gruver, Associated Press
  14. Work in Sweeney canyon stopped February 18, 2009, Jami Ford, Green River Star
  15. DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology's failed underground vault project in Wyoming September 1, 2017, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  16. NM53 San Miguel Ranch Airport, SkyVector, AirNav
  17. A Place in the Desert for New Mexico's Most Exclusive Circles November 27, 2005, Richard Leiby, Washington Post
  18. Scientology church's mark inscribed in N.M. desert scrub November 29, 2005, Richard Leiby, Washington Post, Santa Fe New Mexican
  19. Scientology's CST - Church of Spiritual Technology, Arnie Lerma.
  20. DRONE FLYOVER FINALE: Getting a close look at Scientology's secret New Mexico compound October 12, 2016, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  21. Church of Scientology asks for rezone to care for history July 18, 2008, Walk Cook, The Union Democrat
  22. Property map of Lady Washington Mine location, 2000
  23. Church reopens old Tuolumne mine December 11, 1997, Lenore Rutherford, The Union Democrat
  24. DRONE FLYOVER: First images of Scientology's Gold Rush mine in California September 28, 2016, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  25. Google Maps
  26. Scientology Leader David Miscavige's Disappeared Wife Shelly: What We Know July 5, 2012, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
  27. "Tom Cruise Worships David Miscavige Like a God": The John Brousseau Story, Part Two July 29, 2012, Tony Ortega, Runnin' Scared, Village Voice
  28. Love in the Time of Miscavige April 17, 2013, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  29. Shelly Speaks: Scientology Leader’s Banished Wife Says She’ll Get Out "Only One Way" July 17, 2013, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  30. DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology's secret base where David Miscavige keeps wife out of sight September 14, 2016, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker
  31. DRONE FLYOVER: An even closer look at where Scientology is keeping Shelly Miscavige May 15, 2017, Tony Ortega, Underground Bunker

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