These drone videos give a rare view inside the secretive headquarters of Scientology

“Gold Base” is a facility in California owned by Scientology, the secretive religion based on the works of science fiction author L. Ron Hubbard.

Hubbard died in 1986, but there are Scientology bases and buildings around the world where followers are encouraged to buy his works.

In short, Scientologists believe that “thetans” cling to human souls and are the cause of psychological issues. They say that thetans were spread over the universe in the fallout of an intergalactic war caused by an alien dictator named Xenu.

Scientologists believe in a form of therapy called “auditing” that uses an electro-magnetic “e-reader” to revisit past memories. They reject tradional psychotherapy in favour of their own form of therapy.

Gold Base is one of the largest and most secretive Scientology compounds in the world, and is essentially the religion’s headquarters. The church and its members have publicly identified the location as belonging to the religious organisation. It’s protected by a sturdy fence and microphones to detect intruders.

But someone has been able to fly a drone over Gold Base and record two 4K-quality videos showcasing life inside Gold Base. Scientology journalist Tony Ortega has published an in-depth examination of the footage with the help of former Scientologists.

Here’s a look inside Gold Base:

Here's the first flyover video.

Here's the first video in full, but we're going to break down what you see here.

It starts with a view of the full base:

There's a playing field near the drone, and people are playing football.

Many former Scientologists claim that life in Gold Base is not a pleasant experience. Ron Miscavige, the father of Scientology leader David Miscavige, recently published a book in which he claims that people are too exhausted to play sports.

So how come people are out on the playing field? Ortega includes some speculation on his blog that the leader of Scientology was away and people had a rare bit of free time.

Right at the top of Gold Base is 'Bonnie View,' the mansion built for Scientology's dead founder L. Ron Hubbard in case he reincarnates.

Next door is The Religious Technology Center (RTC) Building, which is basically the command centre of Scientology and the office of its leader David Miscavige.

Anti-Scientologist activist and journalist 'Angry Gay Pope' has more information on the RTC building here.

'The Hole' is a facility that people have claimed is used to contain Scientology members and punish them.

Scientology, however, has always denied that it imprisons or punishes people, and says people are free to come and go as they please.

There's a swimming pool on Gold Base with a building next to it that's been decorated to look like a boat.

The Castle sits on the outskirts of Gold Base. It includes two soundstages that Scientology uses to film movies and TV shows.

As the drone leaves Gold base, we see that people have stopped playing football. Did they realise they were being filmed?

Youtube/Angry Thetan

The second drone flyover video gives us another view of the base.

Here's a look at the lodgings offered to Scientology members.

And here's another angle of The Castle.

The drone video gives us a clear shot of Bonnie View. All the blinds are lowered.

And here's a rare view of the mansion's rear garden.

Scientology leader David Miscavige reportedly lives in this villa.

Tony Ortega identifies the eastern villa as the one used to house Miscavige.

Right next to The Hole is the music studio used to record Scientology music.

Ortega identifies the building on the left as a music studio in his blog post about the drone videos.

The videos give us an incredibly rare look at the headquarters of Scientology.

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