Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Church of Scientology Grand Opening in Washington, D.C.

Three thousand Scientologists and guests attended the dedication and opening of the new Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, October 31, 2009. The ribbon was pulled by Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, and other distinguished guest speakers.

Thousands attended the dedication and opening of the new home of the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, DC. Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige presided and public officials praised the Church of Scientology for their work in human rights, criminal reform, anti-drug and disaster relief efforts.

Washington, DC - On Saturday, October 31, the Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, opened its new premises six blocks from the White House and minutes from Capitol Mall. Attended by nearly 3,000 Scientologists and guests, the Church was dedicated by Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion.

The building, over 49,000 square feet, represents the Church of Scientology’s largest presence ever in the nation’s capital, a presence that dates back to the 1955 establishment of the Founding Church of Scientology in the District by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard-an occasion considered a milestone in the establishment of Scientology as the only major religion founded in the 20th century, a religion that has since become the fastest-growing religion in the world.

Mr. Miscavige and other speakers gave special praise to the millions of Scientologists world over who have given of their time and effort to make the Church’s anti-drug education initiative the largest non-governmental program of its kind and the Church’s human rights education program the largest on earth. They also praised the work of over 195,000 registered Scientology Volunteer Ministers trained to respond in times of disaster.

In expressing the importance of a prominent Scientology Church in the nation’s capitol Mr. Miscavige stated:

“In a word, this Church is the sum total of all our history and all LRH envisioned when serving as our first Executive Director.

“This is also the kind of Church he envisioned when authoring our programs and campaigns-in anticipation of a day when turmoil knocks out the props and the whole social veneer collapses…

“Which, of course, is exactly what happened-and thus what prompted our Wake-up Call after 9/11…wherein our history intersects with the history of this nation.”

Yet the significance of a major Church of Scientology in Washington, DC, runs much deeper as Mr. Miscavige made clear:

“You are looking at a living embodiment of the freedom and equality that originally inspired this nation because, yes, this Church stands for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And, yes, it stands here today because of the freedom on which this nation was built-the freedom of religion. For it was here, in this nation’s capital, that we fought for and won our recognition.”

Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, officiated at the dedication and opening of the new Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, October 31, 2009.

And in the words of Congressman Brad Sherman of California’s 27th District in his address to the gathering:

“I have worked diligently and continuously to express my views, and I believe the views of the entire Congress, that all countries should treat all religions equally and provide true freedom of religion for everyone.”

Congressman Sherman praised the Church’s efforts in raising awareness of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and stated that the battle for human rights includes bringing human rights awareness to all people.

“That is why the efforts of many churches and religious organizations to focus on human rights issues are so important.”

Others speaking and participating in the dedication of the new Scientology Church were Ms. Addie Richburg, President and Chairman of the Board of the National Alliance of Faith and Justice; Ms. Diane Rothe-Smith, Executive Director of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD); and Mr. Mike Silverstein, President of the Dupont Circle Advisory Neighborhood Association who also represented District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

Rev. Sylvia Stanard, Director of Public Affairs for the Founding Church, invited all inside to tour the new Church, which includes numerous multimedia presentations in its Public Information Center, describing fundamentals of the Scientology religion, the Church’s worldwide humanitarian and social betterment programs, and the life and legacy of L. Ron Hubbard. As in any Church of Scientology, the doors are always open for people to walk in and find out for themselves.

The dedication ceremonies of the new Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, October 31, 2009, were opened with a brass band fanfare. Guest speakers including local and national dignitaries acknowledged the Church’s human rights and social betterment achievements.


Washington, DC, played a pivotal role in the life of the Founder of the Scientology religion. At age 13, as America’s youngest Eagle Scout, L. Ron Hubbard traveled cross-country to meet President Calvin Coolidge. As a student at George Washington University in the early 1930s, Mr. Hubbard learned the scientific methodology he later applied to unlocking the riddle of the human mind and life. After World War II, he tested Dianetics techniques on numerous cases at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital and wrote the first manuscript of his discoveries in Dianetics: The Original Thesis. In 1955, he established the Founding Church and became its Executive Director.

The Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, represents a milestone for the Scientology religion, which comprises more than 8,000 Churches, Missions and groups in 165 nations. As part of the continuing program to meet the demand for Scientology services, new Churches have been established in Berlin, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, New York and San Francisco. Earlier this year, new Churches opened in Malmo, Sweden; Dallas, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee and October 24, in Rome-five new landmark Scientology Churches opened newly in the last six months.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Artists “Creating Tomorrow's Reality”

Networking with a purpose — to create a better world for all to live in

Scientologists active in community and cultural betterment are (top inset, left to right) Grammy award winning composer and musician Mark Isham, who has helped to sponsor community Church activities in India; Oscar and Grammy award-winning entertainer, Isaac Hayes, who has pioneered literacy programs from South LA to southern Africa; and rock and roll legend Edgar Winter, who has supported — and performed for — global environmental efforts.
Under the stars, in the lush formal gardens of a historical Hollywood manor, entertainment industry luminaries mingle with community and civic leaders; TV and movie legends with diplomats from New Zealand and Ghana; judges and police officials with Church members and staff; old friends with new contacts — more than 1,400 guests gathering to commemorate the founding of the first Church of Scientology dedicated to the spiritual advance of the artist and the betterment of society.

This event hosts some of entertainment’s brightest stars — Tom Cruise (producer/actor, The Last Samurai); Kelly Preston (The Cat in the Hat); Anne Archer (Oscar nominee, Fatal Attraction); Leah Remini (The King of Queens) and her husband, Angelo Pagan (known internationally as “The Latin Frank Sinatra”); Isaac Hayes (Academy and Grammy Award winner); Catherine Bell (JAG); Erika Christensen (Oscar nominee, Traffic); Jenna Elfman (Dharma & Greg) and her husband, actor Bodhi Elfman; Juliette Lewis (Enough); David Carradine (Kung-Fu and, more recently Kill Bill); Marisol Nichols (Resurrection Blvd); Danny Masterson (That 70's Show); Lynsey Bartilson (Grounded for Life); Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson, The Simpsons); Mark Isham (Grammy Award winner); Gina St. John (E! News Daily); Jennifer Aspen (Vanilla Sky); Sofia Milos (The Sopranos); and hundreds more.

They are joined by honored guests, U.S. Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA); LAPD Chief William Bratton and his wife, Riki Klieman; LA City Council members Bernard Parks and Dennis Zine; former President Pro Tem of the California Senate, David Roberti; and his wife June; past NAACP Western Regional Director Ernestine Peters and current Compton Chapter President Fred Shaw; and dozens more.

Actor Tom Cruise (with actresses Catherine Bell [JAG] and Kelly Preston [The Cat in the Hat]), is a founding board member of the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project and was a recipient of the National Mentoring Partnership's “Excellence in Mentoring” award for 2003.

Helping to usher in Celebrity Centre International's 35th year (above), U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (left), said, “I applaud your efforts and your undying commitment to protect the rights of those who cannot fight for themselves.”

Ernestine Peters (above right), NAACP Image Awards Executive Producer, pledged to bring the joy of learning to every neighborhood and nation through learning programs inspired by L. Ron Hubbard and carried out by the World Literacy Crusade in South LA.
This celebration stands in a class by itself. What differentiates it from the usual Tinseltown celebrity fete is Celebrity Centre’s purpose and scope. Both extend far and wide — not simply focused on the success of artist members in achieving professional goals, but on their reach into society at large and the hope they bring to millions of people from Los Angeles to all corners of the globe.

Rev. Susan Watson, President of Celebrity Centre International, sums up the value of the artist to society with a quote from humanitarian and Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard: “The artist has an enormous role in the enhancement of today's and the creation of tomorrow's reality.”

Hence, the interest and involvement in the accomplishments of the diverse fields represented at this event.

This Hollywood church is more than a spiritual retreat for the internationally famous. It has become a nexus for ideas and resources from many sectors of Los Angeles, while offering a spectrum of effective programs that are aimed squarely at some of our most critical social ills. The common thread of these programs is that each employ practical, workable methods of personal and social betterment developed by L. Ron Hubbard.

Spotlight on Global Illiteracy

Of primary concern, says Rev. Watson, are the widespread challenges in the nation's education system and the magnitude of social action needed to turn the rising illiteracy rates around. The tale is told in these grim facts: students in America are dropping out of school at a rate of 25 to 60 percent. Combine this with more than 90 million American adults functionally illiterate, and “it is long past the time where any of us can ignore it,” she said.

“As a society we can no longer afford to depend on the existing ‘solutions,’ or leave it to our governments to solve these issues, they are concerns that affect all of us,” she said.

She said Scientologist celebrities and friends in a wide range of professional fields have responded to this urgency and have been working together for decades to establish literacy programs that use Mr. Hubbard's discoveries to help people overcome any and all barriers to learning:

“Today, through the combined efforts of many individuals, our literacy programs are bringing that help to 54 nations,” Rev. Watson explains. “We're working at the grassroots level to provide an actual technology that teaches one how to study and so allows one to be educated in any subject.

“You'll find these programs in the inner cities through mentoring programs operating under the banner of the 'World Literacy Crusade' and in tutoring programs right down the street on Hollywood Boulevard, where supposedly ‘lost’ and ‘hopeless’ children and adults have not only learned to read, but are now teaching others to do so as well.”

That program, the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project (H.E.L.P.), has grown to 26 centers in 21 cities across four countries. Spearheaded by Celebrity Centre parishioners, H.E.L.P. was established through a partnership with several social agencies that studied the measurable results of Mr. Hubbard's learning methods.