Scientology Awesomeness! More Than 2,500 people attend Grand Opening of the Church of Scientology Portland

Here is the press release and several awesome photos:

NEW IDEAL CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY BLOOMS IN THE CITY OF ROSES

02-Scientology-Portland-Ribbon-PullOn Saturday, May 11, the Church of Scientology Portland celebrated the grand opening of their new home in the city’s historic downtown quarter. More than 2,500 Scientologists and guests joined city and state dignitaries for the dedication ceremony.

The Church’s new home occupies the renowned Sherlock Building on the corner of Third Avenue and Oak Street. Originally erected in 1893, the landmark has long been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Sherlock Building is recognized as among the most noteworthy late-19th century structures in Portland and the preeminent example of Sullivanesque-style architecture in Oregon.

The Church undertook the restoration of this Portland classic to preserve its heritage well into the next century, including full seismic reinforcement of all seven stories. The building now houses all facilities of a Scientology Ideal Organization (Ideal Org), providing the complete range of religious services to a rapidly growing congregation. The Church further serves as a center for members of all other faiths to collaborate for community betterment across the Willamette Valley.

Portland itself holds a notable place in Scientology history as the site of the 1985 Scientology Religious Freedom Crusade. In a movement that inspired not only Portlanders but also religious advocates world over, tens of thousands of Scientologists united in the city. For some 60 days, they assembled for peaceful marches, concerts and candlelight vigils, which culminated with a landmark legal victory for religious freedom in America.

In recognition of Portland’s new Church, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, led the dedication. His inaugural address spoke to the history of Scientology in Portland and specifically the events surrounding a first Scientology Freedom Crusade of 1985:

“Portland was our test,” Mr. Miscavige explained. “It was a test of our resolve, our fortitude and determination to avert a grave assault on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. So when you look at where we stand today, remember it was all because our voices were heard 28 years ago.”

“In that respect,” he added, “your destiny has always foretold of the day when this Church would become a testament to what originally drew so many thousands to these streets. Namely, that our inherent right to spiritual salvation is intrinsically linked to tolerance, brotherhood and the right of every faith to champion the divinity of humankind. That this Church further stands for drug-free, crime-free, literate, moral and happy lives, is only the beginning; for with a hard-won right of religious freedom comes your responsibility to deliver that long sought goal of total freedom. And so I ask that you now extend your help to all who would dream of such a freedom, so they, too, may realize their destiny.”03-Scientology-Portland-Ribbon-Pull-2

Welcoming the new Church were Cornelius City Manager and former Mayor of Beaverton, Mr. Rob Drake; Executive Director of the Portland Marathon, Mr. Les Smith; Chair of the Inter-Religious Action Network of Washington County, Ms. Annie Heart; and Host for the national “Voice of Freedom” television and radio programs, Reverend Jim Nicholls.

In his address, Cornelius City Manager Mr. Rob Drake said: “The Church of Scientology has come to the table time and again for our community. Though downtown Portland has long been your home, your Church has always reached far beyond its boundaries in the name of help. And with your expansive new Church we dedicate here today, I know that this help will extend even further.”

Mr. Les Smith of the Portland Marathon recognized the Church’s Volunteer Ministers and their dedication to the city’s signature event: “Our American culture is based on the spirit of volunteerism. And it is with that same spirit that your volunteers have been showing up at our event for the last twenty years. By being here as long as they have, with their experience and with their understanding of our aims, they are invaluable. So as part of your celebration today, I want to acknowledge your dedicated corps: the world-famed Scientology Volunteer Ministers.”

Ms. Annie Heart, Chair of the Inter-Religious Action Network, spoke to the Church’s long-standing and indiscriminate work on behalf of residents across the state: “You have been a vital partner and leader in the inter-religious community. So thank you to everyone for being here, and for serving our county-wide cities and fostering partnerships and peace throughout our beautiful state of Oregon.”

Reverend Jim Nicholls, host of the national “Voice of Freedom” TV and radio broadcasts, honored Scientologists and addressed all present when proclaiming: “I hope you realize just how brightly the torch of Scientology blazes. I am convinced there is no religion and no organization in the world today that has done more for the fight for our religious freedom rights than the Church of Scientology.”

___________________

17-Scientology-Portland-Building-ChapelThe new 69,000-square-foot Ideal Org provides residents of the Willamette Valley with an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology, beginning with the Public Information Center. Its displays, containing more than 500 films, present the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion and the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center also offers a detailed overview of the many Church-sponsored humanitarian programs—including a worldwide human rights education initiative; an equally far-reaching drug education, prevention and rehabilitation program; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, now comprising the world’s largest independent relief force. The Center is open morning to night for visitors to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish.

The Church’s Chapel provides for Scientology congregational gatherings, including Sunday Services, Weddings and Naming Ceremonies—as well as a host of community-wide events open to members of all denominations. The new Church further includes multiple seminar rooms and classrooms, in addition to dozens of auditing rooms for Scientology auditing(spiritual counseling).

___________________

The Church of Scientology Portland is the third new Ideal Org to open in 2013, following Pretoria, South Africa, on February 23 and Cambridge in Ontario, Canada, on February 9. A parade of Ideal Orgs opened through the previous year: Padova, Italy (October 27); Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel (August 21); Los Gatos, California (July 28); Buffalo, New York (June 30); Phoenix, Arizona (June 23); Denver, Colorado (June 16); Stevens Creek in San Jose, California (June 9); Orange County, California (June 2); Greater Cincinnati, Ohio (February 25); Sacramento, California (January 28); and Hamburg, Germany (January 21).

Through the coming year, more than a dozen new Ideal Orgs are scheduled to open in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe, England, South and North America.

___________________

12-Scientology-Portland-Building-Exterior-DuskIdeal Orgs reflect 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, 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 Ideal Orgs opened in recent years include Seattle, Washington; Los Angeles, Inglewood, Sacramento and San Francisco, California; Dallas, Texas; Nashville, Tennessee; Tampa, Florida; as well as Quebec City, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; London, Brussels, Moscow, Berlin, Madrid and Rome in Europe; Johannesburg, South Africa; and Melbourne, Australia. 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 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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Going Clear

Going Clear” is a goal that many Scientologists have. Not so anti-Scientologists like Lawrence Wright and the gang of haters he listens to. They prefer throwing mud and lies on honest and well-meaning people. How lame is that.

Enough said. Those interested, check this out: lawrencewrightgoingclear.com

Update (I opened the comments too):

This is rather amazing information about L. Ron Hubbard that I never knew (no, I won’t thank Mr. Lawrence Wrong for this, but wow…!):

>> Statement: [Pages 23-24]

Wright dredges up a false allegation from a book written over two decades ago that L. Ron Hubbard only went to China once:  “Hubbard made two voyages to visit his parents in Guam. One trip included a detour to China… His trip to China, which was organized by the YMCA, lasted only ten days.”

>> True Information: Mr. Hubbard took two trips to Asia.

The first was in May 1927 as he covers in his journal, shown in The L. Ron Hubbard Series, Early Years of Adventure, Letters and Journals. His journal entries are confirmed with ship manifests of the Gold Star.  During this voyage, a young L. Ron Hubbard visited ports in Guam, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Kobe (Japan) and Manila (Philippines).  He returned to the United States in July 1927 aboard the USS Nitro as shown in the same L. Ron Hubbard Series volume. (It goes on over some pages, read it yourself:  http://www.lawrencewrightgoingclear.com/wright/chapter-2/trip-to-china.html)

Or this one, a nice “fact-checking” failure: http://www.lawrencewrightgoingclear.com/wright/chapter-3/broken-arm.html

 

A Sad Story of Tabloid Journalism

I am not saying something new when referring to tabloids as offensive to logical minds. But recently another magazine has joined the crowd of mind-boggling, hair-raising and nausea-inducing “news” magazines: Vanity Fair. Calling Maureen Orth’s recent Vanity Fair story about the Church of Scientology a “piece of trash” is actually an understatement. Even trash is more useful than Orth’s delusional rendition of the truth. The amount of unverified and misrepresented data in this article hits a new low in current journalism. And it is not a surprise to find out that it was completely based on the usual anti-Scientologist crowd a la Rathbun and Headley. Not one person presented in the story was actually talked to.  Headley, who just lost a second time in court against the Church and is notorious for changing his story as it suits him, is the grand “source” for Mrs. Orth. This journalist is a lost cause.

To save Vanity Fair, write to its editor at letters@vf.com . There might be some hope that they come to their senses. But we have to tell them about the erosion of quality that is happening right under their eyes.

The Church of Scientology issued a statement on the article. It is very well worth reading:

http://www.scientologynews.org/statements/csi-responds-to-vanity-fair.html

– L

ARTICLE OF THE MONTH: WHAT IS NARCONON?

Article: An International Drug Rehabilitation Program Saving Lives
(Text from: http://www.scientology.org/narconon)

Global drug abuse has led to what can inarguably be described as a world awash in blood and human misery.

In reply stands Narconon (meaning “no drugs”), the drug rehabilitation and prevention program founded in 1966 and based on the discoveries of L. Ron Hubbard.

The Narconon program not only addresses the mental and physical debilitation precipitated by drug abuse, but also the reasons why an individual turns to drugs in the first place.

As a result, the Narconon success rate is not merely the world’s highest, it is four times better than international averages.

But with drug abuse now ruining 200 million lives worldwide, the battle to eradicate abuse must also include prevention. To that end, Narconon graduates and volunteers conduct one of the most effective drug awareness programs on Earth. To date, it has provided more than 17 million young people with the facts about drug abuse.

Scientologists helped sponsor the creation of Narconon Arrowhead. Established in 2001, this is the premier facility of the Narconon network. It stands amidst 216 acres of woodland on the shores of Lake Eufaula in southeastern Oklahoma. In addition to being the world’s largest residential facility of its kind, Narconon Arrowhead also serves as the international training center for drug rehabilitation specialists. Since opening its doors, it has provided on-site internships for professionals from 13 nations and 43 US states.

Today, the worldwide Narconon drug rehabilitation and prevention network comprises more than 180 centers and groups across 47 nations—double the number of a decade ago.

More on Narconon.org:

Support from the Church of Scientology and Its Membership

L. Ron Hubbard, who developed the drug rehabilitation methodology which the Narconon Program utilizes, was also the founder of the Scientology religion. While the Narconon program is a purely secular program which is open to members of all faiths, it has enjoyed the support of the Church of Scientology and individual Scientologists since its beginnings.

In 1966, when Arizona State Prison inmate William Benitez wrote L. Ron Hubbard asking for help, it was Scientologist volunteers who helped him to set up the original Narconon courses inside the prison.

In fact, the majority of new Narconon facilities established since that time have been made possible by the volunteer and financial support given by Scientologists.

It is an important part of the Scientology religion’s social mission to reduce the suffering and degradation caused by alcohol and drug abuse on a worldwide scope. Scientology churches join churches of other faiths in seeking to improve living conditions as well as the social and moral environments in which we live. As part of this mission, Churches of Scientology actively encourage their members to support the Narconon program, by helping to open new centers for drug rehabilitation or drug education and by volunteering their time to assist existing Narconon programs.

Therefore, it is common to find Scientologists from all walks of life volunteering to help the Narconon organization by conducting fundraising drives, establishing new centers and making its solutions known to people in need.

The Narconon program brings new solutions to the field of drug rehabilitation and education to all peoples of the world. Scientology Churches and Scientologists are proud to support this program.

More exciting facts:

Narconon and David Love

I just updated ScientologyMyths.info with some new information about Narconon. Check it out! 

Here is one of the articles (or, rather, creative copypasta, but hey, information is information!)

Facts: Narconon Controversy – Agent Provocateur David Love

Here are some interesting facts about the recent (August 2012) allegations against a Narconon facility in Canadian (Oklahoma), Narconon Arrowhead. It is from various letters to the media that were posted on media websites (e.g. Tampa Bay Times). All of the letters were sent by the Church of Scientology International.

Bottom Line: The current media attention on Narconon is generated by the same group of anti-Scientologists and their hangers. One of them is David Love, who I think is an agent provocateur.

See yourself:

David Love is an anti-Narconon extremist who has been trying to generate anti-Narconon and anti-Scientology in the press in recent weeks. Yesterday, he posted the following boast on a message board used by members of the cyber hate group Anonymous“Just spent over an hour with Investigative Reporter in Florida. NBC Rock Center this Thursday at 10:00 PM should be very good, but this reporter in Florida has ‘balls of steel’ and will not be intimidated whatsoever…the shit-storm clouds are about to open in multiple directions this Thursday – this Friday – and next Monday.” 

While we find the posting offensive, we also disagree with his characterization as a reporter of any metal would investigate sources who are vehemtly opposed to natural, legal, law abiding and well accepted practices of drug rehabilitation and discover how and why he must support drug proliferation.

Since you have become part of his “agenda”, it is important for you to report to your readers the facts about your source. David Love has engaged in a public relations smear campaign against Narconon since
leaving the program in Canada in October 2009. He has never been to Narconon Oklahoma and has no knowledge about it. He has bragged that he stole thousands of confidential documents from Narconon in Quebec. He has suggested in writing to counsel for Narconon that he is willing to cease his prodding of “numerous government and private investigations” into Narconon in exchange for payment.

In particular, Mr. Love sent Narconon and a Church of Scientology attorney an email stating:“I have a short window of opportunity to discuss a comfortable mediation concerning the numerous government and private investigations into matters before your organization. . .If . . .you are willing to sit down with my lawyer and I, it is possible that the issues at hand could be resolved amicably.”

This email was preceded by Love’s August 31, 2010 written extortionate demand to Narconon for $255,000.00. Narconon did not pay the demand. You are seeing the result. Earlier this summer, David Love flew to Belfast, Ireland, and posted a video recently expressing his hate for the Scientology religion: http://www.you tube.com/watch?v=hcoo6vGnosU

Recently, Mr. Love covertly went into a Church of Scientology in New York, illegally recording (without consent) an interview where a private Church staff member was attempting to assist him—the video reflects clearly his religious bias and his attempt— and failure—to bait the Church member into saying something Love believed to be negative. Carrying on with his harassment of Scientologists, he posted this recording on You Tube, as you can see here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsgjaWHWfFU

Love’s recent correspondence to counsel strongly suggests that Love’s motives are not pure and that there is a financial gain to his using the Times to generate negative media about Narconon. It should be evident to any impartial media source that David Love has an agenda which goes well beyond contributing to improving drug rehabilitation in America.

He has partnered with members of Anonymous, he has partnered with antireligionists who wish to harm the Church; he is called an anti-Scientologist by media as you can see here: “Anti-Scientology activist Will Visit Oklahoma’s Narconon Arrowhead” (http://thislandpress.com/roundups/anti-scientology-activiston-his-wayto-oklahomas-narconon-arrowhead/): “A Canadian activist who told The Village Voice, ‘I think I have Scientology by the balls,’ is focusing his attention on the religious group’s flagship drug treatment center in Oklahoma. Narconon Arrowhead, located in the small town of Canadian—near McAlester in southeastern Oklahoma…”

In contradiction to any current claims Mr. Love makes, he previously lauded the Narconon program and credited it for saving his life. David Love’s daughter, Amber Wold writes that at the time she brought Love to Narconon in 2008, he was in bad shape:

“When my father contacted me in 2008 saying he needed my help as he was living on the streets and had no where to turn. David was in trouble with the law and had been arrested in November 2008 for Possession of Stolen Property in excess of $5,000 as well as Possession of Stolen Property under $5000 and Break and Entry. He was hooked on Heroin as well as other drugs and said he had been in the hospital because he had overdosed. He was on a waiting list for a treatment program in BC but really needed my help. I told him everything about Narconon and how they had helped me and I said I would talk with the Management and see what I could do for him.” 

The evidence of his convictions are public record. Do your homework before you publish his lies. His daughter arranged for Love to be brought to Narconon Trois Rivieres in Canada.

She describes the results as follows: “When my father graduated from the Narconon Program in April 2009 he gave an amazing speech singing praise of Narconon and how the Program helped him. My father David believed in the program so much so that he became a staff member at the Narconon Facility in Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.”

You can see this video of David Love on how the Narconon program helped him, here:

BAM! Another liar bites the dust

Go make babies!

Marc and Claire Headley

On 24 July 2012 Marc and Claire Headley (whoismarcheadley.com) lost their appeal in a “forced labor” case against the Church of Scientology.

The Headleys had left the Sea Organization in 2005 and went their way until running out of money. So in 2009 they re-defined their so far fond memories about their time in the Sea Org for the purpose to get some money from the Church. The first instance already took them apart in 2010 and on 24 July 2012 Ninth Cicruit Court of Appeal decided again on it. Key quotes from the judgement:

– The Sea Organization is a religious order, participation in it is voluntary and those who want to leave can do so easily.

“The Sea Org is an elite religious order of the Church and acts as Scientology’s evangelical wing. The Sea Org demands much of its members, renders strict discipline, imposes stringent ethical and lifestyle constraints, and goes to great efforts to retain clergy and to preserve the integrity of the ministry.” (page 8398)

– Nothing and nobody forced the Headley’s to join, participate and stay in the Sea Organization. To the contrary, the Headley’s testified under oath that they enjoyed it and wanted to be there.

” Rather, the record overwhelmingly shows that the Headleys joined and voluntarily worked for the Sea Org because they believed that it was the right thing to do, because they enjoyed it, and because they thought that by working they were honoring the commitment that they each made and to which they adhered.” (page 8408)

– The Headleys could have left whenever they wanted to but did not.

“We emphasize that the Headleys had innumerable opportunities to leave the defendants. They lived outside of the Base and had access to vehicles, phones, and the Internet. They traveled away from the Base often. The security that they decry afforded them a multitude of opportunities to leave, as hundreds of other Sea Org members had done-whatever their commitments and whatever they may have been told regarding the permissibility of leaving. … They did not take any of their many opportunities to leave until 2005 and chose instead to stay with the defendants and to continue providing their ministerial services. They have not established a genuine issue of fact regarding whether they were victims of forced-labor violations.” (page 8410)

But they first chose to stay and then – as the last of numerous violations of agreed-upon moral codes – took a hike instead of leaving like anyone else would.

“Sea Org members learn that strict discipline is central to preserving the integrity of Scientology’s ministry. If a member fails to meet Scientology’s ethical standards, he may be disciplined with verbal warnings or rebukes, loss of privileges, removal from a post, diminution of responsibilities, manual labor, or expulsion. Sea Org members also participate in religious training and practices, including “confessionals.” In a confessional, a member confesses transgressions and may then be absolved or disciplined.

This demanding, ascetic life is not for everyone-and is not even for many of those who go through the Sea Org’s extensive training and preparation. A member may formally withdraw his vows and leave the ministry through a process called “routing out.” Routing out allows a member to remain a Scientologist in good standing. The process involves filling out a form and normally includes participating in Scientology ethics programs. Routing out can take weeks or months. During that time members are excused from their posts but are expected to continue serving the Church by performing chores.” (page 8399)

What, no Suppressive Person declare for those leaving the Sea Org? Exactly. Luckily the court cleared that up too. And what about the people that “blow”?

“Some Scientologists leave the Sea Org without routing out – a practice known as “blowing” – but the Sea Org discourages members from doing so. When a member leaves without routing out, other members may band together to try to locate that member and attempt to persuade him to return to the Sea Org. Scientologists believe that such an effort-known as a “blow drill” – is integral to their efforts to clear the planet and to help their members (even departed ones) achieve salvation. So important is this to the Church that a blown member may be disciplined if he returns or may be declared a “suppressive person.” Being so declared is akin to being excommunicated or shunned, and can cause blown members to lose contact with Scientologist family or friends.” (page 8400)

Obviously. If a friend of yours goes missing you would go looking for her too, right?

And in the end this turned out to be one of those sad “apostate” stories: The Headley’s enjoyed their stay and work in the Sea Organization and only after they had repeatedly betrayed and lied to their former friends they found something “wrong” about it.

– L

PS: The full decision for download here.

PPS: Update on ScientologyMyths.info

What is silent birth?

Geez, I don’t know why “Silent Birth” is being talked about so much these days but I wanted to take the chance to repost the FAQ on the subject:

Silent birth is all about providing the best possible environment for the birthing mother and her new baby. Its origins can be found in L. Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health and are firmly rooted in a fundamental and abiding principle that women, particularly expectant mothers, be given the utmost in care and respect. 

A silent birth is labor and delivery done in a calm and loving environment and with no spoken words by anyone attending. Chatty doctors and nurses, shouts to “PUSH, PUSH” and loud or laughing remarks to “encourage” are the types of things that are meant to be avoided.

As L. Ron Hubbard wrote:

“Everyone must learn to say nothing within the expectant mother’s hearing during labor and delivery. Particularly during birth, absolute silence must be maintained and the more gentle the delivery, the better.”

The point of silent birth is NO WORDS. It does not mean a mother cannot make any sound during childbirth. It is doubtful that any woman could give birth without making any noise at all.

The principle behind not speaking during childbirth is delineated in Dianetics and to fully understand why, one should read the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. But to provide a brief explanation, L. Ron Hubbard discovered the hidden source of nightmares, unreasonable fears, upsets, insecurity and psychosomatic illness—the reactive mind. This part of the mind records all perceptions during times of pain and unconsciousness—which childbirth is for both mother and child. And words, in particular, spoken during these moments, can have an adverse effect on one later in life.

Mothers naturally want to give their baby the best start in life and thus keep the birth as quiet and peaceful as possible. That being said, a woman’s choice for her delivery is completely up to her and her doctor. There is no requirement to adhere to any specific routine. Just like care is taken in all other aspects of labor and birth, a woman and her doctor or midwife and any others present work out how to communicate without words.

Doctors respect the right of a mother to choose her birthing experience. Silent birth is not a medical model but a religious and philosophical approach based on L. Ron Hubbard’s research into the mind and spirit.

However, since the research, findings and practice of silent birth were first announced by Mr. Hubbard in the 1951 text entitled Child Dianetics, this method has been corroborated and applied by doctors, nurses and midwives world over.

The Church has no policy against the use of medicines to help a person with a physical situation and these principles do not preclude a mother from receiving any medical procedure needed to safely deliver the baby, including Caesarean section. These are medical decisions and these, too, are between the mother and her doctor.

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