Residents forced to move from their homes so the Church of Scientology can expand its golf course

Daily Mail, UK/April 8, 2011

Residents at a long-established trailer park have been forced to leave in order to make way for an expanded Scientology-owned golf course, it has emerged.

The Sleepy Hollow Trailer Park, in San Jacinto, California, sits next to one of the Church of Scientology's headquarters and has been providing affordable housing for more than 30 years.

Now all but one of its 21 residents have gone after Business Management Services, which buys properties for the Church of Scientology, bought the land from an investment company.

The park property will be used for an expansion of the nine-hole golf course, which is run by Golden Era Productions - the Scientology centre that makes videos and training materials for the religion.

Catherine Fraser, director of public affairs for Golden Era, said in a statement that the residents' rent 'was waived in order to assist them in their move'.

She also wrote that Golden Era Productions lets local non-profit and charity organisations use the course for fundraisers and has helped more than 100 groups raise a total of $200,000 in the past year.

The new owner offered to wave the rent 'not because they were obligated to, but they felt it was a way to facilitate the move, to make it a little easier for them,' he said.

Neely, 55, a six-year Air Force veteran with college degrees, who paid $335 a month in rent, had been worried about how he would afford the move and what would become of his two beloved collie dogs.

He is disabled after a suffering a head injury in a car accident that killed his five-and-a-half-year-old daughter.

A spokesman for the Church of Scientology confirmed that Neely has since moved from the seven-acre park and in with his girlfriend.

Savage, who paid $275 a month in rent, is yet to move.

'I can't afford to lose my RV,' Savage, 43, she told the PE. 'I need help monetarily to move it.'

She had been offered $800 but that was withdrawn, she said. She then received a 60-day notice to move and later the eviction notice.

The Church of Scientology spokesman added they were helping Savage to move however.

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