Boots on the ground: What the November IAS event means for Scientology and David Miscavige

Yesterday, we broke the news that after a four-year hiatus, Scientology’s annual IAS event is expected to take place next month at their UK headquarters in Sussex. A poster, leaked to Scientology Business by an insider, confirms the gathering is due to take place on the weekend of 3rd – 5th November 2023 at Saint Hill Manor, with the leaker explaining the expectation inside Scientology is that Church leader David Miscavige is due to travel to the UK to host the event in person.

This is a bold move for David Miscavige, who is currently in hiding in an attempt to avoid being served legal papers in a number of human trafficking and harassment cases made against him.

Earlier today, journalist Tony Ortega reported on the news, speaking with former Scientology executive Mike Rinder, who explained “I think he is feeling the need to ‘make a statement’: ‘I am not in hiding, despite what may be said.'”

Things on the ground near Saint Hill are certainly in motion. After publishing the story yesterday, one reader got in touch to let us know “I work in East Grinstead. There is a lot more activity than normal in the area. I was wondering when the IAS event was going to take place. I drive past Saint Hill often, you hardly see anyone, but lately it’s got busy. I work near their Central Warehousing, which I don’t know if anyone knew existed, in the industrial estate in Felbridge. A lot of comings and goings from there as well. Many secrets!”

The facility described is located in a business park a short drive from Scientology’s headquarters at Saint Hill. The building clearly displays the Sea Organization logo and reads ‘Church of Scientology Central Warehousing’. It is understood the facility is used as storage and archiving for Scientology’s mountains of documents such as PC (Pre-Clear) folders, Ethics files and reports. A flurry of activity at the warehouse indicates Scientology are preparing for an influx of parishioners to the area and could suggest staff are preparing for inspections by Church leader David Miscavige.

Church of Scientology Central Warehousing, located in Felbridge, Sussex (Image: Google Street View)

$1,000,000 event

In a live stream earlier this year on his Youtube channel ‘Blown for Good‘, Marc Headley spoke of his experience working in the production team at the Scientology IAS event. According to him, it was not unusual for “anywhere between $500,000 and $750,000” to be spent on production costs such as staging, costumes, makeup, talent and VFX. Separately, David Miscavige’s expenses often add up to an additional $200,000 in costs, with Headley explaining he “is going on a private jet or he’s chartering a plane… that comes out of a different bucket and that could be a hundred or two thousand dollars just for him and his crew.”

In a lot of cases, Headley goes on, he would use John Travolta or Tom Cruise’s private jet in order to travel discretely between the US and Saint Hill.

The Church is yet to comment publicly on the forthcoming event and has not yet confirmed whether David Miscavige will attend in person, but our inside sources make it clear: The IAS event is Scientology’s biggest fundraising event and it would be surprising for Miscavige to miss out on that.


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Alexander Barnes-Ross

Scientology Business provides analysis and commentary on the Church of Scientology's corporate structure, business operations and functions in the United Kingdom and Europe. The website looks at Scientology's shell companies, financial records and maps the web of international corporate entities responsible for their UK and European activities.

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