While headquartered in St. Petersburg, Fla., Scientology makes its biggest splash in L.A. According to a recent article in The New Yorker, one of its recruitment strategies is to use celebrity converts to draw favorable attention to the church. It also favors recruiting artsy types who would be famous (thus its presence in L.A.).
Royce . . . said that if a non-artist or non-celebrity wanted to pursue Scientology at Celebrity Centre, “they wouldn’t be turned away, but we might recommend a different church.”
Since 1973, the L.A. headquarters--Celebrity Centre, in Hollywood--has been housed in a former apartment hotel for movie stars, built in the late 1920's as the Château Élysée. The church has since bought and restored other Hollywood landmark buildings.