Trementina Base

Trementina Base

Trementina Base is the popular designation for a property of the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) near Trementina, New Mexico.


According to the CST, the purpose of the base is to provide storage space for an archiving project to preserve L. Ron Hubbard's writings, films and recordings for future generations. Hubbard's texts have been engraved on stainless steel tablets and encased in titanium capsules underground. The project began in the late 1980s. [ [ 1994 article on N Mexico vault ] ]

The base includes a number of dwellings and the archives themselves, the latter in a network of underground tunnels. The base also has its own private, concrete airstrip, the San Miguel Ranch Airport (NM53); it is not shown on FAA sectional charts or in navigation databases by the owner's request.


The property history of Trementina Base is complex. The Federal Register shows that CST has owned two properties in the same area at different times. The one they originally built the underground vault on, between 1986 to 1992, was traded to the U.S. government on 24 August 1992:

*Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management Number: G-910-G3-0006-4210-04; NMNM 83264

*The United States issued an exchange conveyance document to the Church of Spiritual Technology, a California corporation, on August 24, 1992, for the surface estate in the following described land in San Miguel County, New Mexico, pursuant to section 206 of the Act of October 21 1976 (43 U.S.C. 1716).

*New Mexico Principal Meridian T. 15 N., R. 22 E. ...Containing 400.00 acres.

*In exchange for the land described above, the Church of Spiritual Technology conveyed to the United States the surface estate in the following described land located in San Miguel County, New Mexico:

*New Mexico Principal Meridian T. 17 N., R. 23 E. ...Containing 400.00 acres.

*The values of the Federal public land and the non-Federal land in the exchange were appraised at $28,000.00. The public interest was served through the completion of this exchange.

This image shows the two parcels of land in New Mexico:

According to a June 1992 Claims Court ruling [CHURCH OF SPIRITUAL TECHNOLOGY, Plaintiff, v. The UNITED STATES, Defendant. No. 581-88T. United States Claims Court. June 29, 1992] [ [ Church Of Spiritual Technology V. United States ] ] CST had purchased the original site in 1986 for $250,976, then had invested millions [ [ 1 October 1992 (circa) Excerpt from CST submission to IRS ] ] in building an underground vault on the property. But the Federal Register record says both properties were valued at only $28,000 at the time of the land swap in August 1992. There is no record of CST actually building a second vault, so though the vault they built is on the original property—now in the ownership of the federal government—CST's logo (see below) is displayed on the second property that CST received in trade from the U.S. government at a loss. It is unknown what, if anything, was in the vault when it was conveyed to the ownership of the federal government.

Just a little over a year after the trade, on 1 October 1993, the U.S. government granted tax exemption to Scientology.

Aerial symbols

report, the Church's first reaction was to attempt to suppress the information:

The church tried to persuade station KRQE not to air its report last week about the aerial signposts marking a Scientology compound that includes a huge vault "built into a mountainside," the station said on its Web site. ... Based in Los Angeles, the corporation dispatched an official named Jane McNairn and an attorney to visit the TV station in an effort to squelch the story, KRQE news director Michelle Donaldson said.

The church offered a tour of the underground facility if KRQE would kill the piece, the station said in its newscast. Scientology also called KRQE’s owner, Emmis Communications, and “sought the help of a powerful New Mexican lawmaker” to lobby against airing the piece, the station reported on its Web site. [cite web | first = Richard | last = Leiby | title = A Place in the Desert for New Mexico's Most Exclusive Circles | url = | work = Washington Post | date = 2005-11-27 | accessdate = 2008-03-02 ]

The huge symbols on the base, distinguishable only from an aerial view ( [ [,-104.561605&spn=0.029618,0.086002&t=k&om=1 Google Maps] ] 35°31'28.56"N 104°34'20.20"W), are specifically those of Scientology's Church of Spiritual Technology.cite web | first = Anderson | last = Cooper | title = Inside the Church of Scientology | url = | work = Anderson Cooper 360° | publisher = CNN | date = 2005-12-02 | accessdate = 2008-03-02 ] Former members of the Church have said that the symbol marks a "return point" for Scientologists to help find Hubbard's works when they travel here in the future from other places in the universe. [cite web | first = Richard | last = Leiby | title = Scientology church's mark inscribed in N.M. desert scrub | url = | work = Washington Post | publisher = Santa Fe New Mexican | date = 2005-11-29 | accessdate = 2008-03-02 ]

Other locations

Reportedly, two similar bases maintained by the Church of Spiritual Technology are located in Petrolia, California, and Crestline, California. [ [ 1994 article on N Mexico vault ] ] , both for archiving permanent backups of Hubbard's every written and spoken word. [ [ 1994 article on N Mexico vault ] ] Internal Revenue Service records show that Scientologists spent $13 million in 1992 to preserve Hubbard's fiction and non-fiction writings on 1.8 million stainless steel discs, and recorded his lectures on 187,000 nickel records. [ [ 1994 article on N Mexico vault ] ]


External links

* [ "Scientology Compound Marks Return Point After Intergalactic Travel"]
* [] (CST pages)
* [ Photos of "Scientology Secret Base"]
* [ Albuquerque Journal: "Mountain of Mystery"]
* [,+New+Mexico&ie=UTF8&om=1&z=14&ll=35.525,-104.567&spn=0.047012,0.107889&t=h&iwloc=addr Google Map of the location shows the logo on satellite image.]

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