Las Vegas Review Journal

Church of Scientology buys into Oklahoma oil company

by Jack Taylor

November 30, 1983

The Church of Scientology, one of the nation’s wealthiest and most controversial religious organizations, has moved into the oil business with the purchase of a significant interest in an Oklahoma City oil and gas exploration company, the Denver Post has learned.

The church also has provided $3.3 million to finance drilling activities for the company, HG&G, inc.

The investment was made through a Florida-based non-profit unit of the church, and is the religious group’s first venture into active participation in the energy business.

HG&G, the Oklahoma oil company now 25 percent owned by the church, is a small exploration company formerly known as Highlands, Goodall & Greer Inc. The company encountered financial difficulties and shriveling conventional lending sources following the collapse of Penn Square Bank N.A. of Oklahoma City in July 1982.

The other 75 percent of HG&G is equally owned by partners Goodall, L. Wendell Knox and Jerry K. Greer. Goodall said none of the owners is a member of the Church of Scientology.