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Phoenix home of Scientology founder could become a museum

Arizona Republic, USA
Sep. 11, 2007
Connie Cone Sexton • Tuesday September 11, 2007

PHOENIX – A Phoenix home once used by Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard could be the given a special-use permit to become a museum.

The house, near 44th Street and Camelback Road, has been restored and is now open for tours.

But there is a proposal to turn it into a museum, according to city officials.

For that to happen, the home’s zoning would need to be changed.

L. Ron Hubbard, Charlatan

Hubbard, the man who created Scientology in 1952, has an unusual CV for a religious and spiritual leader. As well as being a writer, he was a congenital liar: quite simply a “charlatan”. That was the view of a High Court judge in 1984, who said Hubbard’s theories were “corrupt, sinister and dangerous“.
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No formal zoning application has been filed, but the Phoenix Planning Commission on Thursday discussed the changes that would be needed to allow the home’s use as a museum.

Because it is a unique nature of the request, the members of the commission decided to present the scenario to the city’s village committees, in case similar requests were to come up.

Area residents say they aren’t opposed to the museum but would like to have the city include a stipulation that if the museum closed and the house sold, that the use would revert to single-family use.

Now zoned for residential use, the house would have to be rezoned for multifamily use and then receive a special-use permit to open the museum, according to Alan Stephenson, a city planner.

Marlyse Brock, the house’s property manager, acknowledged that there is an effort to create a museum.

“We are working on that, and we have to get with the neighbors” to let them know of the proposal, she said.

“Hubbard did some of his writing and philosophizing” while living at the house, 5501 N. 44th St., Stephenson said.

According to a chronicle of his life by the Church of Scientology, Hubbard lived in the home from 1952 to 1955.

• Original title: Home of religion founder could become a museum

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