I’ve come across several news articles that chronicle the end of the Temple for Hope & Knowledge. The church was sued successfully in 2001 for $200,000. The church then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In November 2003 the paper reported that “A sheriff’s sale of the Temple of Hope and Knowledge was delayed on Thursday for the second time. The sale was originally scheduled for October, but the temple’s owner, 92-year-old Sole Mio Balaam Nicola, was granted a postponement (Press of Atlantic City, NJ)”
I visited the temple in January 2004 and discovered that the temple has suffered a massive fire.
Follow the dates. The church gets sued, it declares bankruptcy as reorganization but is forced to sell the property, and now there’s a fire? Hello? Can anyway say “insurance scam”? The church settled a lawsuit accusing it of having scammed a man out of a lot of money, so if true, insurance fraud and arson aren’t an unreasonable assumption. Note: this all entirely speculation by me. I have no evidence other then two eyes and a brain.
As of January 2005 there is a for sale sign on the property.