What was the Castile Canyon School?
From the 1990 until the year 2000 Castile Canyon Scientology School was located in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains, 3 miles east of the City of San Jacinto—40 miles from Palm Springs and Big Bear, and 100 miles south-east of Los Angeles. It was on 478 acres of land, of which 15 acres comprised the school campus. Click here for a slideshow of the school grounds.
Former student Jenna Miscavige Hill claims that she had to work hard in the school. Why does she say that?
Jenna Miscavige Hill attended Castile Canyon School from 1990 until 1996.
These facilities were nothing short of spectacular. They included classrooms, swimming pools, basketball courts, football fields, baseball diamonds and even horse stables. Citrus orchards and organic gardens, maintained by professionally trained gardeners, were also provided. We pulled several photographs taken during the 1990s that are representative of how the school actually looked at the time Jenna Hill attended it almost two decades ago. The photos dramatically contradict Jenna’s description of the conditions during the time she attended the school. In fact, she is in one of the photos as a child. For an account of former students how life at the school was really like, see this video and the slide show about school activities.
Jenna Miscavige Hill left the Church of Scientology over six years ago and has since banded with a group of ex-Scientologists that have been expelled from Church staff and the Church of Scientology for malfeasance. This group has an axe to grind with the Church and is known to make up stories about their time in the Church of Scientology. Jenna Hill has broken any contact to other students since leaving the Church.
Did the students work at the school?
Not at all. We had chores to do just like most other kids. You can see this in the slideshow.
What is happening at the school now?
In 2004, the Church of Scientology sold the property to the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians.
What does “Int Ranch” mean?
The students of the Castile Canyon School referred to their school and campus as the “Int Ranch” or just the “Ranch.” “Int” stood for “international” as the school students were kids of Church staff members working for the Church of Scientology International.
Did the Church of Scientology build the school on waste land?
No. The property was first settled at the turn of twentieth century when the railroad came west. A family acquired the property next to the Soboba Indian Reservation and built a Victorian style main house which is still standing today. They planted orchards and harvested oranges, peaches, apricots, walnuts and plums. At that time a river ran through the property making it lush and green.
In the late 1930’s a 9 mile-long aqueduct was built through the San Jacinto Mountains which drained the water from the Soboba Reservation and Castile Canyon. In the 1940’s the river dried up, becoming merely an occasional creek except during heavy storms.
After that, the Campbell family, of Campbell Soup fame, bought the property and used it as a ranch. The Campbell House sitting on the eastern edge of the land still retains their name. In 1956, the Campbell family donated the ranch to the Catholic Church who used it as a nunnery. The property was sold by the Catholic Church to Melody Ranch Academy.
In 1976, the land was sold to the Church of the Ataraxia and it became the Singing Hearts religious retreat.
The Church of Scientology purchased the property in 1981. It was initially used as a facility to house some of the staff from Golden Era Productions and then became the Castile Canyon Ranch School from 1990 to 2000. It was sold in 2004 to the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians.
Why this website?
In the past media reported about the Castile Canyon School (or “Happy Valley”) in an awfully misrepresenting way. Jenna Hill has said some things we didn’t agree with. So some of us asked the Church of Scientology for archive material on the school and provided our own to put together this website–-to tell the story as it really was. About 30 former students and teachers shared their memories about the time they spent at the school. What you see on this website is only a fraction of the material. We have a lot more coming!