A billionaire couple who are top donors to everyone’s favourite not a cult the Church of Scientology have bought a ghost town, leading neighbours to fear for what they have planned for the site.
Holy City, a 142-acre plot in California, was on the market for a decade before Robert and Trish Duggan bought the land for $6million nearly half the $11-million asking price.
According to The Daily Mail neighbours are concerned what the Scientology members will do with the mountainous woodland and speculate they could be planning a big development.
Mateo Uriarte, who lives close to the plot of land said:
My big fear is that they’ll build houses or condos that obstruct my view or interfere with the wildlife that comes through. It’s a little piece of heaven up here, and the reason we moved here is because we don’t want the hustle and bustle. We just hope they don’t bring the hustle and bustle to us.
It’s unknown what the Duggans, who are worth an estimated $3.2 billion, have planned for the area and they’ve remained quiet about their intentions.
Some neighbours have speculated that Trish Duggan wishes to set up an art studio as she apparently has a passion sand casting with glass, according to her website.
Back in 2013, Robert Duggan was alleged to be the Church of Scientology’s ‘largest financial supporter’ having donated more than $20 million to the notorious religion.
Scientologists aside, Holy City has quite the reputation in the area. It was founded a Nazi sympathiser, William E ‘Father’ Riker in 1918 who was allegedly a white supremacist who advocated communal living.
He eventually gathered a small community of like minded individuals and ended up building his own town using his followers’ savings which survived thanks to passing tourists.
The town declared itself the ‘headquarters for the world’s most perfect government’ and began publishing a weekly newspaper, unfortunately for Holy City
when Highway 17 began to divert traffic the town went into rapid decline.
Riker tried to run for governor several times and stayed in his home in Holy City through the 1960s before dying in 1969.
Lets hope the Duggans keep the area looking nice for the locals…