Wednesday, December 30, 2009
As the decade comes to a close, Scientologists world over are celebrating their religion's most expansive year to date. 2009 marked the 25th Anniversary of the International Association of Scientologists, the official membership organization of Scientology. In addressing the more than 7,000 Scientologists and guests in attendance at the anniversary event on October 16th in England, Mr. David Miscavige praised members for their dedication and contribution to the tremendous accomplishments of the Church to date and expressed his optimism for the future of Scientology:
"Our battles of yesterday were to stay alive. Our battles of tomorrow are to overcome the obstacles to eternity itself. Because we have never taken our eye off the ultimate prize, we stand where we are today. Twenty-five years of magnificent accomplishment and a future more glorious than we could have ever imagined."
The scriptures of Dianetics and Scientology are comprised of over 500,000 pages and over 3,000 recorded lectures by Founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Since July 2007, over 67 million copies of L. Ron Hubbard's basic books and lectures on Dianetics and Scientology have been distributed. (During the Church's first 50 years a total of 39 million copies of L. Ron Hubbard's works on Dianetics and Scientology were in circulation.) With all of these materials available in 15 languages, and the nine basic books now available in 50 languages, the total number of Dianetics and Scientology translations over the last decade is 10 times the previous five decades combined. In recognition of this fact, the Guinness World Records acknowledged L. Ron Hubbard as the world's most translated author.
In-house digital publishing facilities can print over 500,000 books and 925,000 recorded lectures on CD per week
The demand for L. Ron Hubbard's materials has grown exponentially in the last year with the numbers of new people coming into Churches and Missions to find out about Scientology growing in the same fashion. Indeed, the Scientology religion is now enjoying its greatest era of expansion in history, with public demand for L. Ron Hubbard books and lectures escalating across more than 165 countries.
To keep pace with the demand, the Church operates two state-of-the-art digital printing and CD manufacturing facilities in Los Angeles and Copenhagen.
In 2009, the Church's publication arm, Bridge Publications, Inc. in Los Angeles, opened a 274,000-square-foot digital in-house printing and manufacturing facility, thereby increasing its publishing capacity to 500,000 books and 925,000 CDs per week, an increase of 660% over 2007.
State-of-the-art film and audio studios with the most advanced digital recording and editing equipment in the world.
In June 2009 the Church celebrated the 21st Anniversary of the Maiden Voyage of the Freewinds religious retreat and annual religious convocation for advanced Scientologists. During this week-long series of events and seminars, Mr. Miscavige announced "the single most momentous advance in Dianetics technology" since the original publication of Dianetics on May 9, 1950. The project, four years in the making and personally directed by Mr. Miscavige, resulted in 32 films totaling 4 ½ hours. The films have been translated into 15 languages. They put Dianetics fully into visual form, making the subject universally accessible to everyone.
June also saw the release of educational films to support Church-sponsored social betterment and humanitarian programs. The first of these was the new, full-length Truth About Drugs documentary giving addicts and at-risk youth the chance to find out from those who have lived it, exactly how addiction shatters lives. The second was The Story of Human Rights, an educational film which provides a short, concise and powerful lesson in the history and necessity of human rights and the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
October marked the completion and release of the feature-length film, The Way to Happiness. This 2-hour film presents this nonreligious common sense guide to moral living by L. Ron Hubbard.
Church-sponsored humanitarian programs touch the lives of hundreds of millions in 2009.
The Church-sponsored humanitarian programs using the latter three films reached hundreds of millions of people in 2009 and billions since their inception.
The Church-sponsored anti-drug education initiative ("Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life") is the largest nongovernmental anti-drug campaign in the world and, through the airing of public service announcements, distribution of free drug education booklets and events promoting a drug-free life, it has reached over 853 million people since its inception.
The Church-sponsored human rights education program ("United for Human Rights") is the largest in the world and based entirely on raising awareness of the 30 articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Through the airing of public service announcements, human rights symposiums and events and distribution of human rights educational materials, the campaign has reached over 943 million people since it commenced.
The Church-sponsored morals program based on the common-sense guide to living, The Way to Happiness, has now reached nearly 800 million people through its public service announcements, educational materials and Set a Good Example contests.
The Church of Scientology's Volunteer Ministers, over 200,000 strong, have helped over 1.4 million people in times of disaster in 2009 alone. The motto of Scientology's Volunteer Ministers is "Something Can Be Done About It."
Mr. Miscavige is driving a movement now spanning the world with new Ideal Churches of Scientology.
Mr. Miscavige's vision sets the direction for the acquisition, design and planning of new Churches-quite literally from inception to ribbon cutting. For the past five years, the Church has dedicated itself to a program to locate, renovate and open new Scientology Churches to service its parishioners and their communities around the world. Since the launch of this program five years ago, over 70 new buildings have been acquired internationally. Real estate holdings have increased from 5.6 million square feet in 2004 to over 11 million in 2009, with over 600,000 square feet of renovations completed in just 2009.
14 March 2009: At the Church's spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, the Fort Harrison Hotel opened in March 2009 after a $40 million renovation and restoration. The building was stripped virtually bare and rebuilt from its core, including the installation of new state-of-the-art systems. This landmark still bears its hallmark historical touches, however, including replication of the lobby's original black wrought iron work and gold leaf moldings. The resurfacing of the entire exterior with added architectural detailing makes this religious retreat even more beautiful than at its legendary beginning in 1926, when she was known as "the Aristocrat of Southern Florida Hotels."
4 April 2009: Three weeks after the inauguration of the new Fort Harrison, a new Church of Scientology in the Swedish seacoast city of Malmö was formally opened by Mr. Miscavige. European dignitaries and guests from 32 nations gathered to celebrate a historic day: dedication of the 72,000-square-foot landmark Church of Scientology, acquired, designed, renovated and opened in less than six months.
11 April 2009: One week later, in Dallas, Texas, a 41,000-square-foot Church opened its doors. With Mr. Miscavige officiating, the Church of Scientology Dallas was formally welcomed to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex by City of Irving Mayor Herbert Gears.
25 April 2009: The month of April ended with the grand opening of the new 36,000 square-foot Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre Nashville. The opening of the new Church building in Music City USA, an historical landmark, was again led by Mr. Miscavige and joined by scores of local dignitaries, residents and visiting artists totaling over 3,000 guests.
24 October 2009: In October, more than 6,000 people gathered in Rome's Casalotti de Boccea district to celebrate the grand opening of the new Church of Scientology Rome. The 69,000-square-foot Church, situated on 28 acres of parkland, marks the largest expansion to date for Scientology in its 30-year history in Italy. Mr. David Miscavige welcomed parishioners to their new home. The new Church will serve parishioners of Central Italy and other regions of the Mediterranean.
31 October 2009: One week later, the Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, originally established in 1955 by Scientology Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, opened its new premises six blocks from the White House and minutes from the Capitol Mall. Attended by nearly 3,000 Scientologists and guests, the celebration was presided over by Mr. David Miscavige. The newly acquired and fully restored 49,000-square-foot historical building now represents the largest Scientology presence in DC in Church history. Its grand opening now brings the Church of Scientology's presence in the nation's capital to three very important properties: The new Embassy Building providing all Church services for parishioners of Washington DC; the original Founding Church premises where L. Ron Hubbard personally worked, now fully restored and open to the public as a heritage property of the Church's history; and the Church's well-known Fraser Mansion at DuPont Circle which will now become the Church's National Affairs Office.
The Church of Scientology looks to 2010 for further unprecedented growth, with greater expansion and success in ministering to its parishioners and their communities than ever in its history.
This year has marked the greatest expansion in Scientology's history. The Church looks to 2010 for even greater success with scores of new Churches and Advanced Organizations on the horizon. New Churches are scheduled to open in Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Seattle, Washington; Harlem, New York; Portland, Oregon; Twin Cities, Minnesota; Boston, Massachusetts; Cincinnati, Ohio; Quebec, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; Tel Aviv, Israel; Melbourne and Sydney, Australia and Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Additionally and most significantly, the doors will open to the newly constructed 375,000-square-foot Church serving as spiritual headquarters for the religion, located in Clearwater, Florida.
Most importantly, 2010 will bring the completion of a decades-long project to restore and make available the complete library of Mr. Hubbard's works, including hundreds of his over 3,000 recorded lectures never heard beyond his original audience.
Monday, November 2, 2009
Says the Church of Scientology:
"It is with great pride that we present to you our new Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC. The opening of this Church marks both the beginning of a new era for our Scientology parishioners and for all people who live and work in our nation's capital - the heart and center of the Free World.
Over half a century ago, the Founding Church of Scientology was established in Washington, DC. In addition to being the home of our Church, the nation's capital was also once home to our Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and is a city he held very dear to his heart as the location of many significant events in his life.
During the formative years of Dianetics and Scientology, Mr. Hubbard frequently returned to Washington and served as the Church's Executive Director until 1959. As such, this city and church holds an integral place n our religion's history and has played a pivotal role in our expansion since that time.
The international importance in today's world of the capital of the United States of America has never been greater. At the same time, innovation on a global scale has never been higher. It has given us the Internet and a world where over a billion people can communicate to anyone anywhere in a nanosecond. Yet these and many other twenty-first century technological marvels have not been matched by commensurate advances in the humanities.
What has eluded Man in his hectic forward progress are the answers to their most deep-seated questions - Who am I? Where do I come from? Why am I here? Where am I going? Science has not solved the riddles of the mind - nor unraveled the mysteries behind broken relationships, instability in the workplace, general unhappiness, unreasonable fears and insecurity.
And what of the social challenges - those that impact on our daily lives: crime, violence, illiteracy and intolerance?
These and many other questions are the province of the Scientology religion. Scientology has answers to these problems. Real answers. Answers that work for individuals and entire cultures. Our new Church is a testament to our commitment to bring these solutions to all the people of Washington, DC.
The aims of Scientology are, "A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights."
And with more than 8,000 Churches, Missions and Groups worldwide, ministering to millions across 165 nations in over 50 languages, Scientologists are making those aims a reality by providing real answers, guidance and assistance in thousands of cities, towns and villages. "
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Scientology church seeks to maximize the most important resource we have – our children.
The Church of Scientology of Tokyo participated in the “Eco Life Fair 2009″ – an annual expo produced by the Environment Ministry with the theme “earth environment.”
Scientology was among more than 50 participant organizations, which included NPOs (non-political organizations), NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and businesses, which share the ministry’s purpose to care for our natural resources and take responsibility for the future.
With the belief that our most important resources are our youth, the Church of Scientology of Tokyo manned a booth at the fair to let young people know the truth about drugs. Using a series of award-winning 30 to 60 second videos that created immediate impact on those visiting their booth, awakening them to some of the most controversial aspects of drug abuse.
One local assembly member who visited the booth told the Scientologists, “This is a great activity. I agree with what you are doing. This is needed in Japan. I hope you succeed.”
A young teacher, only recently graduated from school himself, told the volunteers, “It is really necessary to improve people’s awareness about drugs through education.” He was so impressed with the quality of the drug education materials, he left telling the Scientologists he was going to see the principal of his school to get him to adopt the campaign.
A teacher who works at a girls’ school confided to the Scientologists that drugs are in very wide use among the children at his school. He asked the volunteers to come lecture his students on the dangers of drugs.
Scientology churches around the world have been involved in drug education and prevention activities for more than two decades. The videos and drug education pamphlets they use are distributed by The Foundation for a Drug-Free World, a secular, nonprofit organization that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions to be drug-free.
The Foundation was established in October 2006 to meet the growing demand for the Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life drug education materials, which were developed and refined through the drug prevention activities conducted by members of Scientology churches in collaboration with the interfaith community, volunteer organizations, education institutions and government agencies.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Last year’s blockbuster film, “Taken” brought to light a Paris you won’t find in the tourist brochures—an international hub for sex trafficking.
Despite freedom from slavery being one of the 30 rights mandated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which was ratified by the member nations of the UN 60 years ago, an estimated 600,000 to 800,000 men, women, and children are trafficked yearly across international borders. Of these, 70 percent are female and 50 percent are children, the majority of whom are forced into the commercial sex trade.
With this in mind, Scientology Churches in France have intensified their work to educate people on the basics of human rights.
The Church of Scientology is founded on the principle of human rights. In fact, the Creed of the Church of Scientology, written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954, begins with the words, “We of the Church believe: That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.”
For this reason, the Scientology churches and missions of France held a weekend-long human rights education and petition drive to inform people in their communities of their rights and responsibilities, believing that education in the subject is a vital first step in making human rights a fact.
In Paris, 24 teenagers and children converged on the Beaubourg Centre in the heart of Paris and collected 3,000 signatures on a petition mandating human rights education for all youth in France, and insisting that the French government fully implement the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Six members of the Church of Scientology Mission of Marseilles set up a booth at the old harbor. With a large banner telling people, “know your rights,” they distributed hundreds of booklets that clearly present the 30 basic human rights covered in the Universal Declaration.
Members of Scientology churches and missions throughout France are making human rights a fact.In the center of Bordeaux, Scientologists set up a display, and throughout the afternoon they played educational videos produced by the Church of Scientology that inform people of about Universal Declaration. In Angers and Vannes, eight Scientologists held their own petition drive collecting more than 400 signatures to support the UDHR.
“We believe in our country, and if everyone in France were aware of human rights and the kinds of violations that occur here and in other countries, and if we all demanded the implementation of the Universal Declaration, sexual trafficking and other gross violations would cease,” said Françoise Morel, Scientology Human Rights Director for France. “We simply wouldn’t tolerate it.”
For more information on the human rights initiatives sponsored by the Church of Scientology visit the Scientology video channel.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers were featured in a recent edition of India’s UpperCrust Magazine for their work in the wake of last year’s Mumbai terror attacks. The article acknowledges the importance of their contribution, not only in helping victims of the attack but in training emergency response personnel and health care specialists to cope effectively with any future terrorism or disasters.
The article tells how the Scientology team worked with the staff at Sir JJ Hospital to help the victims of the terrorism. Once the majority of those admitted had been discharged from the hospital, the Scientologists, consisting of members of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers India Goodwill Tour and local volunteers whom they have trained, worked with colleges and Mumbai University to train students and faculty in Scientology techniques that increase effectiveness in the face of disaster. Among those they trained were the trainers of the Maharashtra Civil Defense team.
The article featured an interview with Marion Whitta, the leader of the Scientology Volunteers. Asked why Scientology is so popular in India, Marion stated, “It’s simply a case of workability. People in India are interested in personality improvement and are seeking solutions for the work-a-day world, whether how to do better at work or how to be a great mother or how to be able to graduate as a student…who knows and can effectively apply what he or she has learned.” She went on to say that “people want solutions to their problems or they just want to improve their condition in life and when they find technology that is simple, something they can apply for themselves, then they want exactly that.”
Pointing out that this is not the first time Scientology has been acknowledged for its work in India, the article states: “As to the founder of this movement, Mr. L. Ron Hubbard, here is a man already known to many Indians as he was awarded, in March 2006 in Delhi, with the prestigious Shristi award (the first time this national award has been bestowed on a man not of Indian heritage),” and that he was again honored last August by the Indian Lions Club in Delhi with the posthumous presentation of their Humanitarian Award.
The article points out that the India Scientology tour has been traveling throughout the country since its arrival in 2005. “Training seminars have been delivered to literally thousands of professionals as well as students” and to “hundreds of police officers in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Mysore,” including BSF (the Border Security Force) and CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) officers.
But the article also notes that the Scientology Volunteer Ministers provide help and training to anyone, as the article states, including “the ‘man in the street’ who just wants to be able to get along better in some aspect of his life.”
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers web site offers 19 extension courses which can be done over the net as a free service to anyone who wants to improve some aspect of his or her life.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Salt Lake City—The Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR) was proud to participate with the national member organizations of the National VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) attending the 17th annual conference last week in Salt Lake City, Utah. The theme of the conference was “Life Elevated…A Celebration of Service.”
National VOAD is the forum where organizations share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle-preparation, response and recovery - to help disaster survivors and their communities.
Members of National VOAD form a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission, promoting the cooperation, communication, coordination and collaboration needed in disaster response not only among themselves but with local, state and federal agencies as well.
“Service to those in need is paramount,” said Susan Taylor, National Director of the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response. “We do our best in times of disaster to provide whatever help is needed whether it is distributing food, water, or supplies; providing direct services to individuals in need; helping to clean up after floods; or providing spiritual care to responders, survivors or care-givers-helping them to overcome stress, shock, loss or trauma.”
Scientology Volunteer Ministers specialize in providing “Scientology Assists” — simple light, non-intrusive emotional and spiritual stress relief techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. These assists help, among many things, to restore order and calm in an area, address and alleviate the emotional and spiritual effects of physical pain, shock and trauma, relieve stress, help orient a confused or distraught individual and help survivors, responders and care-givers to cope with the immediate situation more rapidly and effectively.
CSDR volunteers reach out to those in need in the field or from their field base. Their large yellow tents are often used as PODs (points of distribution) where water, food and supplies are given to those in need. CSDR activities have ranged from helping at recent fires in California, to assisting during floods in Washington State, tornados in the mid-west, and hurricanes in Florida and the Southeast.
This last week CSDR participated with other organizations at the National VOAD conference’s Exhibit Hall by having a booth where Scientology Assists demonstrations were given. During the final evening’s celebration at the Salt Palace, the CSDR yellow tent was on display alongside the Red Cross and Salvation Army trucks and other agencies’ emergency vehicles. CSDR volunteers offered Assists to the attendees, demonstrating their effectiveness.
Ms. Taylor noted that it is a privilege to work with so many other organizations to help those in need. “The collaborative efforts of all of us make it possible to bring real help and relief after a disaster,” she said.
In establishing the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program more than 30 years ago, L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Scientology religion, wrote: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”
Monday, May 11, 2009
The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre of Nashville held a spectacular ribbon cutting ceremony to signal the opening of their new quarters in Music City’s Fall School Building. Nashville, the home of the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, is now home to a very special new Scientology church as well.
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Scientology religion, once said, “The world is carried on the backs of a desperate few.” Because these desperate few are often the most neglected, Mr. Hubbard saw to the formation of Celebrity Centres—special Scientology churches, such as the new church in Nashville, that cater to artists, politicians, leaders of industry, sports figures and anyone with the power and vision to create a better world.
But the Celebrity Centre of Nashville is also open to the general public seven days a week, offering everything from weddings, Sunday service and naming ceremonies to ministerial training and life improvement courses. Introductory courses cover a wide range of subjects from overcoming relationship problems, learning difficulties, and stress at work to improving communication skills and raising children.
This spectacular new church in Nashville is just one reflection of the unprecedented growth of the Scientology religion, which now offers service in nearly 8,000 churches and groups across 164 nations.
Each church is dedicated to achieving the Aims of Scientology: “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights.”
Nashville Scientologists carry out their social mission through volunteer work to combat drug abuse and addiction. “We’ve been getting the word out about the dangers of drugs,” said Brian Fesler, the Church’s Director of Public Affairs. “In the past few weeks we’ve passed out thousands of booklets which cover the truth about drugs and the harm they cause.”
The Church also has an active Scientology Volunteer Ministers group, which carries out community service projects and provides emergency response and disaster relief.
The Fall School Building, the Church of Scientology’s new home in Nashville, is an historical landmark. Built in 1898 in a similar style to the legendary Ryman Auditorium, a prominent Nashville landmark erected six years earlier, the 36,000 square foot facility served the area as a public school until 1970. The Church purchased the building in 2007. Many of its original features were preserved, including the hardwood floors, doors and stairwells and eight solid wood pillars capped with iron that support a central three-story atrium.
The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre of Nashville welcomes visitors seven days a week from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays and from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekends. For more information on the Church and its programs, visit www.scientology-ccnashville.org or call (615) 320-5550.