June 23, 2016 / 10:32 PM / 3 years ago

Church of Scientology opens LA studios

With a cadre of movie stars including Tom Cruise and John Travolta within its rosters, the Church of Scientology is venturing into the film business with a new production studio in Los Angeles, aimed at making content to promote its teachings.

Scientology Media productions, located near the religious organization’s West Coast headquarters in Hollywood, boasts film, television and radio broadcasting facilities on a five-acre property valued at $42 million.

Scientology was founded in 1954 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, and describes its practices as a religion, believing man is an immortal being whose experience extends beyond one lifetime. Critics of the church say the religion is a cult, and have accused Scientologists of harassing people who seek to quit.  The church denies such allegations.

Scientology leader David Miscavige said the new studios will aim to raise the public profile of the church and be open to other religious and charitable organizations.

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