I saw an accurate media report today – What is Scientology?

No shit, really! The Los Angeles Times this morning came out with a great interview called “What is Scientology?” And guess what? They actually answer the question!

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-what-is-scientology-20120712,0,2872139,full.story

Ok, without the help of Laurie they probably had not gotten the point. But it’s a start.

- L

Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2012:

What is Scientology? A Scientologist offers her point of view
July 12, 2012, 7:00 a.m.

The tabloids tell us that Scientology was at the root of the breakup between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. If the “sources” fueling the entertainment media’s frenzied coverage of the divorce are correct, Holmes realized Suri was reaching an age where her religious instruction would begin in earnest, and could not bear it. Neither Cruise nor Holmes nor their representatives are confirming any of this.

Regardless, the rumors and related coverage raise the question: What is Scientology?

Critics portray Scientology as a cultish religion brought to the masses via science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, one that allegedly encourages its members to part with the contents of their wallets in order to achieve higher levels of spiritual awareness.

But what about the other side? There are plenty of people who believe Scientology has helped them achieve great personal fulfillment and happiness — and no shortage of celebrities who say Scientology gave them the emotional foundation they needed to withstand the rigors of Hollywood.

We asked Laurie Hamilton, a second-generation Scientologist and ordained Scientology minister who does consulting work, to talk about her experiences with Scientology and to offer readers a primer on it from her point of view. She declined to reveal specifics about where she lives or works for fear that some clients might hold her beliefs against her.

What follows is an edited transcript of an interview conducted via email at Hamilton’s request because she wanted black-and-white clarity to her answers.
What is the reaction within the Scientology community to the Cruise/Holmes breakup?

That’s a little like asking what the reaction is in the Catholic community. Catholics as individuals may have opinions, and may know that Katie is Catholic, but I doubt that as a “community” they have an opinion.  Scientologists are nothing if not individualistic.

My own personal reaction to the break up was threefold. As a fan:  “Bummer — they looked really happy together.” As someone over halfway through the 37th year of my first and only marriage: “Wonder why they couldn’t make it work?” As a Scientologist: “Oh, great. Here comes all the BS, prejudice and ill-informed commentary again.”

Does Scientology consider itself a religion?

Yes. We believe in a god and in a supernatural origin of the cosmos — and that by doing Scientology, we can regain our direct awareness of the ultimate truths of things for ourselves.

What is Scientology? (Admittedly, this is tough to answer in brief. But we’re trying to give readers a primer on its basics.)

Scientology is a religion. It is a philosophy. It is a way of life. It is a hella-big toolbox full of ways to deal with life, success, failure, and life’s vicissitudes. It approaches life and living from the idea that there are root causes and mechanisms for all natural, spiritual and human events, issues and states of affairs. Scientologists as a whole tend to agree that L. Ron Hubbard (whom we refer to almost exclusively simply as “Ron,”) had a unique insight and a particular knack for figuring out these root causes and using them to develop a useful methodology for dealing with life, preparing for the hereafter, and achieving mental and spiritual clarity, strength and equilibrium.

What Scientologists are trying to do by way of their study and use of the subject, and by being counseled according to its methods, is to become more themselves, jettison mental and spiritual junk that they have accumulated over time, and to become happier and more effective in their lives so that they can retain mental and spiritual clarity and grow as individuals — not backslide and fall back into traps and misery that they knew before, and which is all-too-commonly the human lot.

We take the view that we are not bodies or minds, but that we are spiritual beings who have bodies and minds, and that the hierarchy is: Spirit is greater than mind is greater than body. This is a natural outgrowth of the idea that the physical universe is here only because we (spiritual beings in general, including you) are here, rather than the other way around. Theoretically, you and I are the ultimate cause of everything, though we have fooled ourselves over time into believing that we are not, that it is all being done to us, that the universe is the ultimate reality and we are just muddling through.

Can you talk about the role of Hubbard’s teachings to today’s Scientologists?

Part of being a Scientologist is the agreement held in common with other Scientologists that Ron had it right, that as to Scientology we will do it the way he said and not some other way, and that we won’t try to develop or change Scientology to be different or “better,” but we will adhere to Ron’s teachings on the subject.

Scientology is the body of thought as contained in Ron’s dozens of books, hundreds of lectures and tens of thousands of individual bulletins and letters respecting technical theories and procedures and organizational policies. Scientologists are people who take these writings as authoritative, and whose life experience is that they have found a way to a better life through Scientology.

You take issue with the portrayal of Scientologists as blind followers or believers.

A prime principle in Scientology is Ron’s statement on personal integrity, “What is true for you is what you have observed yourself. And when you lose that, you have lost everything.” — L. Ron Hubbard. That prime principle is one reason why you find Scientologists to be perfectly happy to disagree with each other about nearly anything. It reminds me of the Jewish tradition of healthy debate.

The Church of Scientology is the way we keep everything organized and preserve the fidelity and the practice of Ron’s writings so that we can spread the word, and not fall victim to gradual changes, and therefore losses in effectiveness, in using the techniques he developed.

Can you discuss Scientologists’ opposition to drugs?

Part and parcel of our principles is that psychoactive drugs are bad for you and limit your spiritual growth. Abuse of them can physically damage your nervous and endocrine systems, and this physical damage can make it so that you can’t benefit from our practices anymore. You’re just too damaged for them to work. So we like to speak out against the abuse of both recreational and “medicinal” psychoactive drugs.

Name three of the most basic beliefs in Scientology. What do members have to believe in, in order to be Scientologists?

There is no belief, per se, in Scientology, because folks are asked to come to experience and therefore know things, but not to believe them until they have observed them. However, some basic principles are:

You are a spirit (we use the word “thetan” to refer to your spiritual self), who has a mind and a body. You are eternal. This is not your first corporeal life, and is unlikely to be your last. You are basically good. When you behave badly, it is due to having the wrong answers about how to solve your problems, and/or because you have strayed from healthy and constructive purposes. Having done bad, one tends to limit and punish oneself in ways that can do lasting damage. Some of Scientology’s techniques are aimed at unraveling self-inflicted damage.

What is ARC?

Understanding can actually be broken down into elements of Affinity (liking or willingness to be near), Reality (sameness, accuracy or agreement with a referent) and Communication (the exchange of unaltered information). The increase of these factors increases understanding, life, “love,” vitality, success, camaraderie, emotional state, etc. The decrease of these factors decreases the foregoing. The decrease of one of these elements with regard to a particular person, activity, thing or subject, will reduce the other two elements. So you hear Scientologists talk about ARC — and when they do so, they are referencing understanding, friendship, cooperativeness, etc. It’s a little like “Shalom” or “Aloha” as a word. It multitasks.

What are three of the most commonly held mistaken beliefs about Scientology?

1) The belief that Scientology or Scientologists are odd, secretive, “different” in some way, or that their exposure to Scientology causes them to view the world through a filter, etc. We’re regular folks.

2) That we have something against medicine or doctors. We are some medicine-takin’, doctor-goin’ fools, with respect to anything that might be a physical ailment, and for which there is some known/approved medical treatment/remedy. Yeah, some of us think herbs, vitamins, chiropractors are a good first line of defense, but when a dog rips a hole in my hand, you will find me in the ER getting stitched up, and then at the pharmacy filling my scrip. Further, I may seek an “assist” from a Scientologist friend to help me not be bogged down by trauma or “phantom” pains from the bite. Or, I might just see the doc and get the antibiotics and leave it at that.

3) I gotta say, I recently read an article which named Tom Cruise as the “No. 2 or 3 ranking” Scientologist. What? He’s not even a Scientology staffer or anything like that. How’s he gonna have a “rank?” He’s a private Scientologist like me — except I’ve BEEN on staff, and he never has, to my knowledge. This is all tied up in this weird idea that Scientology or Scientologists or the Church of Scientology somehow have some say in what high-profile Scientologists do with their lives, how they behave, what kinds of things they say, who they hang out with, what projects they pursue, etc. Hogwash.

Critics of Scientology bring up unusual topics such as Xenu and thetans and aliens …

You are a thetan. I am a thetan. Think of it as “soul” or “spirit” or “identity.” We have our minds and our bodies, but we are not these things. We don’t have mass or motion or wavelength or a position in time or space. We can perceive, and we can imagine/decide/postulate things. As such, it’s not useful to try to think of the real “you,” in measurable material terms. There is a general view among Scientologists that people’s personal histories predate the very existence of the material universe as such, and that had we not been here already, matter, energy, space and time would not be here. That view naturally subsumes the idea of ancient and future civilizations rising and falling over time, and the potential of intelligent life in more than one place in the universe. We do not otherwise take “aliens,” etc. into account in our daily thinking or Scientology practice. The vast, vast majority of Scientologists have never even heard of such things, except in the context of “how did we arrive at the state of affairs of human society today?”

Ron put forth some early theories as to how intelligent life might have happened to arise on this particular planet, and these theories [take] into account the possibility that you and I existed for a very long time before Earth was habitable and that the presence of water, carbon compounds, and the resulting evolution of life here provided an opportunity for you and I to be alive here rather than somewhere else.

The idea of the existence of timeless, deathless spiritual beings necessarily assumes that we exist independent of the state of affairs on this speck of rock at the edge of the Milky Way. It also implies that  it would be rather conceited of man to think himself the only intelligent life in the universe. We think of ourselves (many Scientologists do — if they have experience, recollection or perception they see as supporting the view) as spiritual beings who preexisted this planet, and we may not be alone in the universe. Scary, no?

Do you think Scientology is secretive?

No. The Masons are secretive. The CIA is secretive. Anonymous is secretive.  We’re a bunch of folks studying stuff you can access on the shelves of any library in Los Angeles.

Critics say the highest levels of Scientology are only available to those who pay large sums of money to access it. Is that true?

It is true that the very top levels are reserved for people who are ready for them. Access to very advanced principles can be either useless or upsetting to people who can’t digest them. As a person who has done most of them, I can tell you they are as controversial (from the point of view I had going in) as recipes in a cookbook. They are ways to look at, and to do things which leave one with a forever-improved outlook on life and existence in general.

Some people pay handsomely once they are at that level. I didn’t. I exchanged my labors and some little (not a lot of) money as well. Were I not giving something for what I got, there would have been no building to do it in, and nobody to do it. So I’m cool with that. I and my family are persons of very modest means. So were most of the people who were on the upper levels at the same time I was. And yet, there we were. I met John Travolta one day while I was there. Another time, I bumped into Kirstie Alley in an elevator. Sure there were well-off people there, and I suspect they were donating a good deal more than I was — because it was easy for them to do so, and they didn’t mind. I pinched my pennies and did the same stuff they were doing right alongside them. Anyone who really wants to do it can do it.

What do you say to ex-members who refer to Scientology as a cult?

I say “Good job of self-justification, jerk.” Apostates have to denigrate that which they formerly held dear. It’s a human psychological necessity.

Critics say some people join Scientology and become completely absorbed in it.

Adherents to a cohesive “theory of life” that helps them to define not only who they are, but who their friends and not-friends are, and how life works, and the reasons for everything, may get eyeball-deep in it because it is working for them. They may join the most hard-core adherents in a total dedication to the cause.

Some religions have monks and such who dedicate themselves to all-religion-all-the-time. Scientology has a small order of deeply dedicated staffers, adults only, which does not admit all comers. It’s called the “Sea Org,” (short for sea organization) because it began at sea as Ron’s crew on a boat manned by his closest supporters. The vast majority of Scientologists are grocers, mechanics, secretaries, baristas, cabbies and the like.

What are two or three things you would like people to know about Scientology?

1) Scientology is not “weird.” It is logically and internally consistent, and answers a lot of questions and solves a lot of problems. It’s not a plot, conspiracy or cabal, we don’t want any members who don’t want to be members, we don’t want to brainwash you or your kids, and we are not trying to take over the world. We would like less war, less insanity, less criminality; people who are free, kind to their fellow man, and not suffering from the psychic wounds that make some seem evil or without hope. We want people to be able to rise through their own accomplishments, and without harming others along the way.

2) Scientologists are not “weird.” We’re ordinary folks who do ordinary things — with a little more insight, success, and a little less upset than before we had Scientology, we like to think.

3) It’s not about power, and it’s not about money. No one in Scientology profits from it. We do insist that if anyone wants our help, that they earn it with work, or with some material contribution that we can use to keep the lights on, pay the rent, keep a roof over the staff’s heads, pay our “supervisors” (think teachers), counselors, clergy, etc., maintain our cars and vans, mow the lawns, provide private spaces for counseling and quiet, orderly rooms and texts, etc. for training, chapels for services and ceremonies, get the word out, etc. We don’t pass a contribution plate at services. We only ask those who are actually getting something to give anything. Everyone else is allowed to hang around to their heart’s content for no exchange at all.

 

Grand Openings Galore!

Today the Church of Scientology Buffalo will re-open as an Ideal Organization. In case you missed it, there have been Grand Openings of Ideal Churches of Scientology every week for the last month and there is no sign that the series of Grand Openings will stop any time soon:

Church of Scientology Orange County (Santa Ana, California)
Church of Scientology Stevens Creek (San Jose, California)
Church of Scientology Denver (Colorado)
Church of Scientology Phoenix (Arizona)

coming up today: Church of Scientology Buffalo, New York!


(Buffalo News, 30 June 2012)

PS: If you lose track where the new Churches are, check out the Global Locator on Scientology.org. Very handy!

PS2: Press release on Buffalo Grand Opening: http://www.scientologynews.org/press-releases/grand-opening-scientology-ideal-organization-buffalo-new-york.html

ScientologyMyths.info updated

Always worth a look:

ScientologyMyths.info updates log.

Australian Prosecutor Got the Point

The Telegraph reports that Australia’s creeps have pulled in another loss today. Well, actually… here is the report:

Charges dropped for Scientologist

PROSECUTORS this morning dropped charges of perverting the course of justice against one of the leading members of the Church of Scientology, Jan Eastgate. (http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/charges-dropped-for-scientologist/story-e6freuy9-1226337017187)

BTW, Jan Eastgate is not a leading member of the Church of Scientology. Oh well. I am curious if any other media that broadly spread the (unfounded) accusations last year will print a correction now. 

- L

PS: Yes, I closed most of the comment threads. Too much trolling going on vs not enough time on my part to respond to all of it. You can send me email anytime though: ll(at)scientologymyths.info

Update 24 April 2012, in The Daily Telegraph

(http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/charges-dropped-for-scientologist-police-felt-they-were-being-used-in-church-case/story-e6freuzi-1226337017187)

POLICE who laid criminal charges against one of the world’s leading members of the Church of Scientology believed they were being used as part of a campaign by senator Nick Xenophon.

As prosecutors yesterday dropped the two charges of perverting the course of justice against Jan Eastgate, internal police documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws have revealed officers’ concerns.

The charges alleged that in 1985, Ms Eastgate intimidated an 11-year-old girl and her mother into not reporting sex abuse allegations within the church. The girl’s stepfather pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault in 2001.

When the victim went to Balmain Police Station in May 2010 to make a complaint against Ms Eastgate, she was accompanied by Mr Xenophon, the independent Senator from South Australia, and the media. Mr Xenophon had been pushing for an inquiry into Scientology beforehand.

 When the woman returned four days later to Balmain Police Station to make her statement, she was accompanied by Mr Xenophon’s then-political adviser Rohan Wenn.

The police recorded that ABC’s Lateline, which had interviewed the woman, was screening the following week .

“(Senator) Xenophon is pushing for a senate inquiry into the Church of Scientology,” said the police in their internal report. “Following this interview (with the woman), investigating police are of the view that this matter … will be used as a political tool to push towards a Senate inquiry being held.”

An Office of the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions spokeswoman said yesterday the charges were dropped “because there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction”.

Ms Eastgate, who left Sydney in 1993 and is now international president of the Scientology-linked Citizens Commission on Human Rights, based in Los Angeles, said she had always maintained her innocence. Mr Xenophon denied he had been using the police or the woman because parliament had already refused his call for an inquiry into Scientology.

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INAUGURATES NEW LANDMARK HOME IN CALIFORNIA’S CAPITAL

Just a week after Hamburg, the next Church opened! Read it, that mayor rocks!

(below the press release from: ScientologyNews.org)

California’s capital celebrated the grand opening of the new Church of Scientology of Sacramento on Saturday, January 28. The dedication ceremony was attended by more than 2,500 Scientologists, guests and city, state and national officials.

The Church’s new home, located just blocks from the State Capitol, is one of the city’s most prominent architectural landmarks. Originally opened in 1930 as the Ramona Hotel and designed by California’s first state architect, the building is Sacramento’s finest surviving example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style. The Church meticulously preserved the building’s structure and restored its features to their original glory, including the characteristic stucco, ornamental glazed brick and terra cotta tiles, decorative iron accents and the original blade sign. All restoration was planned and executed for minimal environmental impact and maximum sustainability, meeting the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification standards.

The grand opening of the new Church was distinguished by the presence of Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, who officiated at the ceremony.

In signifying the importance of this new Church, Mr. Miscavige said: “The dedication of this new Church signifies a solemn pledge. It’s a pledge to employ the full measure of what lies within those walls on behalf of this City. It’s a pledge to make a world of which we can be proud. A world without insanity, criminality, illiteracy and immorality; a world where the able can prosper, where honest beings have rights and where all are free to rise to greater heights. That’s our responsibility as Scientologists. And, yes, a responsibility we willinglyembrace.”

Also in attendance and commemorating the occasion were Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson; California State Assembly Member Mike Gatto; Greater Sacramento Urban League president David DeLuz; Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento president Jon Fish; and International Faith-Based Council president and founder Bishop Ron Allen.

In his salutatory address, Mayor Kevin Johnson welcomed and acknowledged the Church for demonstrating its commitment to the city: “Sacramento is the most diverse city in the country, and your church and what you guys are doing is diverse. This building here is not just a building for you—it’s a building for the community.  It’s a building that will help us revitalize this downtown area. The Church of Scientology came to us and said, ‘Look, we want to help. We want to take a historic building and preserve it and renovate it and make it a masterpiece for the downtown area showcase.’ We really wanted to transform Sacramento into the greenest region in the country and a hub for clean technology and you folks are helping to make that a reality. You have done your part.

California State Assembly Member Mike Gatto commended the work of the Sacramento Church of Scientology and its Citizens Commission on Human Rights to protect children from psychotropic drugging: “These kids may never have the chance to find themselves before being prescribed a drug.  They may never know what it means to feel their own pure emotion in their hearts and their own thoughts in their minds. You can rest assured I will continue to do everything in my power to see that every legislator and parent hears your voice, and thereby gains their own power to act for the sake of all children in California.”

Interfaith Council of Greater Sacramento President Jon Fish recognized the Church’s effective contribution to the community, including its humanitarian program utilizing L. Ron Hubbard’s book, The Way to Happiness: “I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to know there are people out there every day—the Scientologists—addressing moral virtues in society, and who really know what they’re doing. For those reasons and so many more, we welcome members of the Church of Scientology. We know this will always be a home of friendship toward us and others. There shall always be an open invitation and an outstretched hand.”

Highlighting the Church’s work in human rights education, Greater Sacramento Urban League president David DeLuz said: “You are educating people on their rights and thereby building up the coming generation who we’ll rely on to protect those rights for everyone, no matter their race, color, creed or religion. Here in California’s capital, we come from everywhere… We need to nurture that, which is exactly what you’re doing. Because this is a Church, not just open to everyone but you freely give to anyone the many tools you have. That’s why this Church is as much a gift to Sacramento as to your parishioners.”

Citing the Church’s worldwide Truth About Drugs education program, International Faith-Based Coalition founder and president Bishop Ron Allen said: “I’ve always said ‘so goes California, so goes the nation.’ Cleaning up the capital and blanketing it with Truth About Drugs materials will cause an effect so great it will ripple out across America. This program is the answer to the global epidemic.  I want it mandatory for school children across America to go through the Truth About Drugs curriculum.”

_________________

The new Ideal Church of Scientology of Sacramento rises seven stories and measures 57,000 square feet. In addition to its central Chapel for all congregational gatherings, Sunday Services and religious ceremonies, the Church further includes multiple seminar rooms and classrooms, in addition to dozens of rooms for Scientology auditing (spiritual counseling).

The entirety of the ground floor has been reserved for Introductory Services, welcoming visitors and those wanting to find out about Scientology for themselves. It further includes an expansive Public Information Center, providing a complete introduction to the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion, as well as the life and legacy of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center additionally presents a detailed overview of Church-sponsored humanitarian programs, including a worldwide human rights initiative; an equally far-ranging drug education, prevention and rehabilitation campaign; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program now comprising the largest independent relief force on Earth. In full, the Information Center’s multimedia displays offer some 500 informational and documentary films at the touch of a button. The Center is open morning to night and visitors are invited to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish.

_________________

The Church of Scientology Sacramento is the second Ideal Org to open in 2012, following the Church of Scientology Hamburg, in Germany, on January 21, 2012.

Ideal Orgs realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision for the religion.  They not only provide the ideal facilities to service Scientologists on their ascent to greater states of spiritual awareness and freedom, but they are also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.

Other new Churches opened in recent years include Washington, D.C.; New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; Seattle, Washington; Tampa, Florida; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; as well as Québec city, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico and Melbourne, Australia.

More than 15 new Ideal Orgs are scheduled for grand opening in 2012.

For a complete list of new Churches of Scientology, visit Scientology.org.

_________________

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

  • For more information on the founder of Dianetics & Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, visit L. Ron Hubbard.org.
  • For more information about David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, visitScientology.org/David Miscavige.

HAMBURG DEDICATES A NEW IDEAL CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY FOR GERMANY

On January 21, 2012, the Church of Scientology of Hamburg newly opened its doors to the city in a dedication ceremony attended by 1,500 Scientologists, guests and dignitaries. The grand opening marked the culmination of a transformation of the seven-story Church into an Ideal Church of Scientology (Ideal Org) to better meet the needs of Hamburg’s growing Scientology congregation and the community at large.

On January 21, 2012, the Church of Scientology Hamburg celebrated the opening of their fully transformed home at Domstrasse 9 in Altstadt, the center of Hamburg’s historic district.

In her commemorative statement, Ms. Pia Michel, Executive Director of the Church of Scientology of Hamburg, proclaimed: “There are some 300 churches, mosques and temples in the city of Hamburg. For more than forty years, the Church of Scientology has been a strong voice in that religious community. But the opening of this new Church marks a turning point, for the flame of religious freedom burns brightly today on behalf of all, and so it will forever.”In honor of the occasion, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, stated: “This Ideal Org signals a new era for Scientology in Germany for, in a very real sense, this Church is Scientology itself. It was conceived to mirror the Scientology Organizing Board, and so accommodates every function called for in our Founder’s policy. It was meticulously planned to deliver all Scientology services in exact accordance with our Founder’s technology—from every Introductory Service to the top of our Bridge. And it was designed to embody the spirit of Scientology, and so provides an introduction where anyone and everyone can find out for themselves who we are and what we do. So allow me to extend a welcome to all. From this day forward, our doors are open and our help is yours.”

In full representation of that pledge—working together in a cooperative effort to help one and all—among those on hand to inaugurate the new Church were some of Hamburg’s foremost civic and religious leaders. They included a long outspoken human rights advocate, the founder of a leading youth drug addiction and prevention organization, a religious rights leader from the Greek Orthodox community and an advisor to Germany’s forthcoming Memorial and Documentation Center on National Socialism.

________________

A prominent feature of the new Hamburg Ideal Org is a comprehensive Public Information Center, enabling all visitors to answer the pivotal question, “What is Scientology?” Occupying the entirety of the ground floor, it contains a gallery of multimedia displays presenting the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion, as well as the life and legacy of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center also provides a complete overview of the many Church-sponsored humanitarian initiatives, including a worldwide human rights initiative; an equally far-ranging drug education, prevention and rehabilitation program; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, now comprising the largest independent relief force on Earth.  The displays offer some 500 informational and documentary films at the touch of a button. Open morning to night, the Information Center welcomes visitors to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish. In combination with its adjoining café, the Information Center is also configured to accommodate hundreds at a time for weekly Open Houses.

The Church was further planned to serve as a gathering hub for the entire community. The Chapel, home to all Scientology congregational services and ceremonies, can also be configured as a venue for events and other assemblies to coordinate humanitarian initiatives for the benefit of Hamburg and all her citizens. The venue is fully equipped with state-of-the-art video and audio for special film presentations and seminars. The Chapel further includes facilities to host receptions and banquets.

The new Hamburg Ideal Org also now includes expansive facilities to provide Introductory Services for those new to the religion, including regularly scheduled Dianetics and Scientology Personal Efficiency Seminars and an array of Life Improvement Courses.

________________

The Church of Scientology of Hamburg is the newest of dozens of Ideal Orgs opened in the past five years.

Ideal Orgs realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision for the religion. They not only provide the ideal facilities to service Scientologists on their ascent to greater states of spiritual freedom, but they are also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.

The Church of Scientology Hamburg is the first Ideal Org to open in 2012, joining a parade of Ideal Orgs already opened in cultural epicenters across Europe, including: Berlin, Germany; Moscow, Russia; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; Madrid, Spain and Rome, Italy.

Other new Churches opened in recent years include Washington, D.C.; New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; Seattle, Washington; Tampa, Florida; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; as well as Québec City, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico and Melbourne, Australia.

More than 15 new Ideal Orgs are scheduled for grand opening in 2012.

_________________

The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has now expanded to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

Happy Holidays

It’s xmas eve and still so many presents to wrap and prepare for tomorrow… so only a short pointer to an interesting article. Otherwise: Happy Holidays!

Source: http://www.scientologynews.org/press-releases/christmas-media-advisory.html

The Scientology Religion and the Holiday Season

At this time of year, media often ask how Scientologists observe the holiday season. To answer that question, the Church of Scientology International provides the following:

How do Scientologists celebrate the holiday season?

Observances of the holidays are as diverse as Scientologists are.

Because the Scientology religion is practiced in 165 countries and territories, Scientologists come from a wide variety of faiths and cultural traditions.

But no matter what their background, they, like most people, gather with loved ones to enjoy the warmth of friends and family and celebrate the joy of the season.

Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard honored the great religious leaders of the past for the wisdom they brought to the world, writing that Scientology shares “the goals set for Man by Christ, which are wisdom, good health and immortality.” It is in this spirit that Scientologists celebrate the holiday season, whether Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa or any other religious or cultural tradition.

Scientologists live by a code which includes: “To use the best I know of Scientology to the best of my ability to help my family, friends, groups and the world.” During the holiday season, Scientologists are especially active in this respect, volunteering in a wide range of endeavors to improve the lives of individuals and the community and bring joy to those who may need assistance.

What do Churches of Scientology do during the holiday season?

In addition to regular Scientology religious services, Churches of Scientology provide many special holiday activities for Scientologists and open houses and tours for the community at large.

Scientology Churches and their parishioners also organize and support numerous charitable events during the holidays, such as toy drives, food and clothing collections, and parties for underprivileged children. Scientologists visit nursing homes, orphanages, hospitals and homeless shelters, bringing holiday cheer through gifts and entertainment.

With the opening of new Ideal Churches of Scientology, community and charity events sponsored by the Church and its members are held continuously throughout the holiday season. In Inglewood, California, with its new Church and the nearby Scientology Community Center, in Melbourne, Australia, Twin Cities, Minnesota, Moscow, Russia and Tampa, Florida, social campaigns have their own dedicated spaces to get together and work out support actions for the community.

Christmas Stories

The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre International in Hollywood produces Christmas Stories, an annual holiday benefit performance presented in the style of a 1930s radio show with traditional and original stories, songs and skits. (http://www.scientology.cc)

For nearly two decades, proceeds have benefited the Hollywood Police Activities League’s annual Christmas party for underprivileged children and PAL’s year-round inner city programs for at-risk youth.

Winter Wonderland

In an annual tradition beginning in 1983 when Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard provided a 60-foot Christmas tree as a gift to the people of Hollywood, Winter Wonderland holiday village is erected each year on Hollywood Boulevard as a service to the community. The opening of the village on the Sunday after Thanksgiving signals the start of the holiday season, when Santa arrives in his sleigh—always the final float in the famed Hollywood Christmas Parade—and lights the tree and village. Made possible by the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation, Winter Wonderland attracts more than 40,000 Los Angeles residents and tourists to daily live performances by community vocal and instrumental groups and snow banks imported for the season.

Winter Wonderland is also presented for three weeks each December in Clearwater, Florida, as a service to the community and to benefit needy children. The Church of Scientology and parishioners organize and sponsor the Christmas village, with ten of thousands of residents and tourists enjoying Santa, Mrs. Claus’s cookie decorating kitchen, live entertainment by local school, church and professional performing groups, a petting zoo and pony rides. (http://www.clearwatercommunityvolunteers.org)

  • What is this blog?

    I am running a website, ScientologyMyths.info which deals with critical questions about Scientology.
    So naturally I am into finding answers to the questions that are constantly being asked all over the internet about Scientology, Scientologists, the Church, L. Ron Hubbard and the Church's leader, David Miscavige. I want to find answers from independent sources, not only Church of Scientology owned sites or anti-Scientology hate sites. So what's left? Court documents, photos and other reliable sources. Help me find stuff and ask whatever you want. Thanks!

    The easiest way to shoot a question over to me is to click here.

    Or search below.
  • Archives

  • Religion Photo Feed

    ROLY0219- Église Saint-Pierre de Coutances Basse-Normandie France

    'Glory To God In The Highest'

    Buslingthorpe, Lincolnshire

    More Photos
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.