Archive for the ‘David miscavige’ Category

Seattle Times about Scientology

Scientology church finds new home in Queen Anne neighborhood

For the Rev. Ann Pearce, the opening last month of the Church of Scientology Washington State’s new headquarters in the Queen Anne neighborhood has been a long time coming.

By Janet I. Tu

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Rev. Ann Pearce of the Seattle Church of Scientology is seen at the church's new headquarters, recently opened at 300 W. Harrison St. in the Queen Anne neighborhood.

Enlarge this photoGREG GILBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES

The Rev. Ann Pearce of the Seattle Church of Scientology is seen at the church’s new headquarters, recently opened at 300 W. Harrison St. in the Queen Anne neighborhood.

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For the Rev. Ann Pearce, the opening last month of the Church of Scientology Washington State’s new headquarters in the Queen Anne neighborhood has been a long time coming.

The local church, organized in 1956, is one of the oldest Scientology churches in the world. Over the years, parishioners have met in Belltown, downtown and in an 8,500-square-foot building on Aurora Avenue North.

But in recent years, they found “the facility just wouldn’t hold us,” Pearce said.

Seven years ago, they bought the approximately 34,000-square-foot building at 300 W. Harrison St. and, over time, raised approximately $14 million to renovate the building, along with opening a smaller Life Improvement Center in downtown Seattle.

“Compared to what we’ve been in, it’s huge,” Pearce said. “We finally have room to offer all our services.”

In addition to chairs set up in rows for weekly services, there are high-tech video displays showing everything from the life of founder L. Ron Hubbard (who attended Queen Anne High School and spent many years in the Northwest), to videos on “eradicating psychiatric abuse” and touting the organization’s anti-drug and human-rights efforts.

The expansion of Scientology’s presence in Seattle is part of a building push worldwide. Last year, the church opened new or renovated buildings in cities including Rome; Dallas; Washington, D.C.; Nashville; and Malmo, Sweden. About a dozen new churches have opened or are scheduled for completion this year.

Scientology representatives say the building campaign is in response to explosive growth — though others have questioned whether the church in the U.S. is indeed growing. Church leaders say their increased numbers are because people are searching for something, and/or are curious about the religion, which has garnered much publicity — and controversy — in recent years.

Actor Tom Cruise’s rant against psychiatry several years ago highlighted the religion’s opposition to much of that medical field. The New York Times and St. Petersburg Times have run stories reporting some who’ve left Scientology have accused church leader David Miscavige of physically attacking staff members. The St. Petersburg Times recently reported that a dozen women said the culture of Scientology’s religious order, the Sea Organization, pushed them or women they knew to have abortions.

Church leaders have denied those accusations.

Bob Adams, a spokesman with the Church of Scientology International, says the articles were based on lies by “apostates” who want to see the church fail.

“The history of all new religions is they go through a time of trial where the public is skeptical,” Adams said.

Besides, he said, the attention may actually draw in people. “It’s a new religion. Whatever publicity we get, people are curious.”

The grand opening — which was not open to the media — a little more than a week ago of the Queen Anne headquarters drew Miscavige, along with several prominent Washingtonians, including state Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders and state Rep. Maralyn Chase, D-Shoreline.

Sanders said he was invited because several decades ago, as a lawyer, he represented a woman who was referred to him by Scientologists. The woman was about to be involuntarily committed for mental-health reasons. The case went all the way to the state Supreme Court, where Sanders won his argument that the state constitution required a court hearing before someone could be involuntarily summoned to a hospital for a mental exam.

Others honored the local church for its history of community service in areas like disaster response, park cleanups and hunger relief.

“Their level of service to the community is very high,” said Dave Peterson, president of the Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce.

Church leaders have been touting the renovation, inviting members of the media on tours. On the first floor of the Queen Anne headquarters, the public can browse through videos and books. People can ask for guided tours of the other floors, where there are, among other things, saunas and treadmills used for “purification rundowns” (in which toxins are sweated out), and an office set up in honor of Hubbard, who died in 1986. (Every Scientology church has such an office, a spokeswoman said.)

Hubbard’s father was a Naval officer stationed at Bremerton. Hubbard, who was a pulp- and science-fiction author, had a writer’s retreat in Port Orchard, and it was there that he wrote the book “Excalibur,” which is regarded as the philosophic foundation of Scientology, according to the church.

There are also rooms for “auditing” sessions — a kind of counseling, where an auditor asks a person questions about his or her life while the person holds on to the silver cylinders of an “e-meter” — which the church says can indicate when a person is thinking about particularly stressful subjects.

Scientologists believe that people are, first and foremost, immortal spiritual beings — or “thetans” — and that thetans can be cleared of negative energy through auditing. People pay for auditing sessions and study courses, which can range from free online to $25, to up to thousands of dollars each.

Angie Rodriguez, a 21-year-old sales director in Seattle, said Scientology has given her tools that enable her to see her life and relationships more clearly.

What’s unclear is the exact number of Scientologists.

The church counts as members anyone who’s had some significant contact with the church, either by undertaking auditing sessions or study courses.

One study — the 2008 American Religious Identification Survey — found that the number of Scientologists in the U.S. fell from 55,000 in 2001 to 25,000 in 2008.

Sociologist Barry Kosmin of Trinity College, one of study’s principal researchers, said the sample size of Scientologists used was too small to give a reliable count of members. Still, he said, the data “strongly suggests that there has been no recent vast increase and that the number of Scientologists (in the U.S.) is in the tens of thousands.”

Adams, the Church of Scientology International spokesman, estimates there are millions of Scientologists worldwide, though he couldn’t be more specific on the number, and about a million in the U.S.

He said total assets and property holdings of the Church of Scientology internationally have doubled since 2004.

About 1,600 people attended the grand opening of the Queen Anne headquarters, the church said, though not all were members and some were from out of state.

The local contingent says it’s proud of what it’s accomplished. It’s a dedicated group, said Pearce. Plus, “there’s such a history of our founder in this area.”

Janet I. Tu: 206-464-2272 or jtu@seattletimes.com

Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre of Nashville Mobilizes Scientology Volunteer Ministers to Cope with Floods

photo by Jett Loe

NASHVILLE—The Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre Nashville mobilized Volunteer Ministers to staff shelters at Lipscomb University and McGavock High School over the weekend when the Cumberland River overflowed its banks and flooded downtown Nashville, causing thousands of residents and visitors to evacuate homes and hotels.

Flooding began in low areas and valleys on Saturday, May 1, and by Sunday the Cumberland River overflowed into downtown. Vehicles were swept away, homes were engulfed and authorities were rescuing stranded residents by boat.

Muddy water cascaded into The Grand Ole Opry House and Country Music Hall of Fame and forced the evacuation of 1,500 guests and 500 staff from the Opryland Hotel.

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers worked with the Red Cross and other community groups to aid evacuees in shelters at Lipscomb University and McGavock High School, including providing food services. They helped evacuated hotel guests find their luggage and make their way to the airport and home.

Scientologists also volunteered at a shelter set up at the Jewish Community Center for stranded residents of Belle Meade and Bellevue and helped evacuate tenants of an apartment complex that was about to be engulfed.

With waters now receded, the volunteers are helping residents with the daunting task of cleaning up flood damage.  “We started with our parishioners whose homes were badly damaged.  Now we are going through neighborhoods checking at each home to see if they need help,” said Julie Forney, Public Affairs Director for the Nashville Church of Scientology.

The Volunteer Ministers program is an integral part of the community outreach of the Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre of Nashville, which opened its doors at 1130 8th Avenue South, in April 2009.  At the grand opening celebration, Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, acknowledged the Nashville Scientology Volunteer Ministers for their dedication and effective aid to hundreds of families after the 2008 Lafayette tornado.

The Volunteer Ministers program was created by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1976.  He 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.”

For more information on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program, visit their web site at www.volunteerministers.org.

One year ago: Church of Scientology Dallas, Texas dedicated by David Miscavige

The Church of Scientology Dallas, located in Irving at the heart of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, opened its doors April 11, 2009. Mr. David Miscavige’s presence underscored the import of the day.

Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, presided at the grand opening event of the Church of Scientology Dallas, where he said Texas dreams of spiritual freedom would be realized.

The Church of Scientology Dallas was formally welcomed to the city of Irving by Mayor Herbert Gears. Next up to the podium was Ms. Teddie Story, Executive Director of a nonprofit social services agency, Irving Cares. She was followed by the Rev. James McLaughlin, Chairman of the National Congress of the Interfaith Alliance on Addiction. Finally, Ms. Shirley Dobson presented an official welcoming proclamation to the Church on behalf of the Texas State House of Representatives.Whereupon Mr. Miscavige took the stage to place the day in a still greater historical context:

“The fact is that all we have accomplished in our formative years was the dream that we could one day expand to such a degree that our organizations would rise to the level of the technology itself, that they would embody what appears in L. Ron Hubbard’s technology and policy. Well, that goal is now within our reach. The momentum is building for a future more glorious than ever imagined.

“And while Texas is known for expansive dreams and a spirit of independence, let her now fulfill those dreams with total spiritual freedom. And so it is today we give her the gift of our new Church, which we offer as her home and by which we extend the gift of immortality.”

And as the ribbon came down, Scientologists and friends, old and new, entered the new home of Scientology in Texas.

Texas House of Representatives Commemorates New Dallas Church

A resolution from the Texas House of Representatives, presented on behalf of State Rep. Linda Harper-Brown by her personal ambassador, Ms. Shirley Dobson, welcomed the Church: “Be it resolved that the House of Representatives of the 81st Texas Legislature hereby commemorates the grand opening of the new home of the Church of Scientology Dallas, congratulates its staff and parishioners on the outstanding achievement in building this new church, and extends sincere best wishes for the future.”

Scientology Life Improvement Centre Opens in Johannesburg, South Africa

Scientology Life Improvement Centre Johannesburg, South Africa—The world’s largest Scientology Life Improvement Centre opened to the sounds of traditional African music on March 26, with 1,000 university students, community and government leaders, artists and local Scientologists crowding Station Street in Johannesburg for the dedication celebration. The Centre offers practical courses such as improving communication, learning how to learn, conflict resolution, how to accomplish goals and overcoming personal and work-related stress. Located near the University of Witswatersrand (WITS) in the Braamfontein district of the city, the Centre serves a richly diverse community whose common goal is expressed in the district’s motto: “The place where people rise to greatness.” The Centre’s director, Edmund Dladlu, who served as master of ceremonies, pledged to work with the community to make this motto a reality. Special guest speakers reflecting the diversity of the district included Commander Eddie Mboweni of the Hillbrow Police Precinct who spoke of the partnership of his officers and the Church in its anti-drug and human rights education campaigns. “The Centre is well-placed here and we are looking forward to working together with the Church regarding programs that will assist in fighting crime and improving the quality of life for the citizens in this area. These campaigns implemented in this district will help to reduce crime and uplift our community spirit. It is our wish that we will work together on these important issues.” Scientologist and music producer Robin Hogarth described how Scientology has helped him in his work to bring the music of South Africa to a wide audience, including producing “Blessed” and “African Spirit” with the Soweto Gospel Choir which won Grammy Awards for Best Traditional World Music Album in 2007 and 2008. “This is for you,” he told the audience of the new Centre. “It is for all—painter, king, poet, worker, student, musician, husband and wife. For Braamfontein, for Johannesburg, for South Africa and for Africa herself. And this is why I am so proud to stand here on this momentous occasion. This Life Improvement Centre opens the door to a new future, a brighter life, an African renaissance.” Ms. Phumzile Zuma, daughter of President Jacob Zuma, spoke of the common-sense moral code, The Way to Happiness, and how much this book can help students, the community and the world. “Imagine a world where everyone is clear as to exactly what is wrong and what is right. Imagine a world where you can achieve your goals and purposes while being at peace with yourself and those around you. Well, fellow South Africans and students, I have come to realize we can achieve that with the tools this new Scientology Life Improvement Centre is bringing into our neighborhood.” Member of Parliament Setlamorago Thobejane, General Secretary of the Congress of Traditional Leaders and Chair of the Institute of African Royalty, spoke of L. Ron Hubbard and the future of Africa. “The Founder of Dianetics and Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was a true leader amongst men. I learned that Dianetics was but his first step in a path to total spiritual freedom and that he has brought to us all the tools we need to improve our lives, no matter what is holding us back. Most remarkably, for a man whose every way has proven true, he prophesied that the next great civilization on this planet would arise, of course, from the Southern part of Africa.” The ceremony closed with the traditional cutting of the ribbon, signifying the official opening of the Centre. Hundreds poured in to tour the public information center, viewing films and multimedia presentations describing Scientology beliefs and practices, the life and accomplishments of L. Ron Hubbard, and humanitarian activities of the Church including the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program, which provides community outreach, goodwill tours and disaster relief throughout Africa and around the world. The new Scientology Life Improvement Centre in Braamfontein is an outreach facility of the Church of Scientology of Johannesburg. In 2003, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, traveled to South Africa to dedicate a new Church for the Johannesburg congregation at 1605 Langermann Drive in Kensington, the first of a new breed of Ideal Scientology Churches in Africa. Inside the Scientology Life Improvement Centre The Braamfontein Life Improvement Centre is the ninth new Church facility to be opened in the past year. Major Churches opened so far in 2010 include the Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre of Las Vegas, the Church of Scientology of Quebec, and the Brussels branch of the Churches of Scientology for Europe, now Europe’s largest Scientology Church. In 2009 five major Churches were dedicated: the Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, the Church of Scientology of Rome, and Scientology Churches in Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; and Malmö, Sweden. For more information on Scientology Churches and activities, visit the Scientology Website at http://www.scientology.org.

Scientology: Historic Growth

Toledo Blade on 3 January 2010:

In a tumultuous year in which most religious groups scraped by or tried to hold their own, the Church of Scientology reported its biggest expansion in history in 2009. The church that was founded in 1954 by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard said it has expanded to more than 8,000 churches, missions, and affiliated groups in 165 nations. Its in-house publication arm, Bridge Publications, Inc., opened a 274,000-square-foot digital printing and manufacturing facility in Los Angeles that has the capacity to print half a million books and 925,000 CDs every week. It also opened a publishing facility in Copenhagen. David Miscavige, Scientology’s ecclesiastical leader and chairman of the board of its Religious Technology Center, announced the completion of a four-year project to produce 32 films of Mr. Hubbard’s lectures. The Church of Scientology also completed a $40 million renovation and restoration of the Fort Harrison Hotel, its spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Fla.

New churches opened last year in Dallas, Nashville, Washington, Rome, and Malmo, Sweden (see ScientologyToday.org for more details).

The church’s total assets and property holdings internationally have doubled since 2004.  (more on the Toledo Blade website)

Meeting the Demand for Scientology Materials

New facilities can print 500,000 books and 925,000 compact discs a week

Since release of the Dianetics and Scientology Basic Books and Lectures in 2007, Scientologists have flooded into their churches in greater numbers than ever. Demand for the materials has grown exponentially and, as parishioners have progressed through those books and lectures, the numbers of new people coming in to find out about Scientology have likewise grown. Indeed, the Scientology religion is now enjoying its greatest expansion era in history, with public demand for L. Ron Hubbard books and lectures escalating across more than 200 nations, 150 cultures and in some 50 languages.

Meeting that demand required facilities to provide books and lectures in any language, any quantity, with adequate speed and economy—no matter if 500 copies of a title in Swahili for Uganda or 1 million in English. No conventional printing house would serve—not with a 2,500-lecture library times 50 languages. Time frames could never be met and printing costs for a relatively small number of books for new pioneer areas would prove entirely prohibitive.

A new publishing strategy was needed and, under the direction of Mr. David Miscavige, that strategy was developed and put in place in early 2007—even prior to release of The Basics.

Mr. Miscavige directed that all books and lecture CDs be produced inhouse, the entire line from inception to distribution: printing, foiling, embossing, laminating, CD replication, packaging and shipping. Housed in massive new headquarters, the Church’s publishing arms are now the world’s largest all-digital, print-on-demand facilities. Their precision operation is visited regularly by industry leaders as a model of innovation and efficiency.

Bridge Publications manufactures all Dianetics and Scientology books, lectures and course packs for the Americas, Asia and the rest of the world, except Europe and the United Kingdom which are under the purview of New Era Publications in Copenhagen, Denmark. In combination, Bridge and New Era can print 500,000 books and 925,000 compact discs a week. Annually, that amounts to 26 million books and 48 million CDs.

Add in paperbacks and course packs, and the printed pages placed end to end would extend to the moon and back.

With digital printing and print-on-demand, production has soared and keeps pace with the demand. Eighty million L. Ron Hubbard books and lectures have been distributed in the past five years alone, more than in the previous 50 years—and 60 million in just the past two years.

Moreover, with all Mr. Hubbard’s religious works now available to anyone the world over, what has ensued is no less than a renaissance for the Scientology religion. Read more in Freedom Magazine

Scientology Volunteer Ministers Address Slum Conditions

Scientology Volunteer Ministers, Nick and Erin, traveled to Kolkata, India in an effort to make a difference.

Every year, 26 million children reach school age in India. With this, the problem of education in a severely overcrowded school system becomes even more unmanageable. Despite increased school enrollment, some estimate that as many as 50% of India’s children do not attend school. That’s more than 150 million kids.

Time to bring out the Volunteer Ministers! As Church of Scientology leader, David Miscavige, described the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program: “The final word, as regards our front-line work bringing our help wherever and whenever needed is our corps of Scientology Volunteer Ministers — on call, 24 hours a day in scores of nations.”

“Slumdog Millionaire opened our eyes to the horrible conditions in India. We decided to go there and volunteer in the slums and we funded it ourselves,” said Erin.

“We thought if we could bring help there to some of the children who had no formal education and no real hope in life, at least that would be doing something about it,” said Nick.

While in India, Nick and Erin documented their work in the slums to communicate an accurate view of living conditions in India. “We wanted to let people back home know what it’s REALLY like living here, and through raising awareness get more help to the people here, especially the children,” reflected Nick.

These two young Scientology Volunteer Ministers helped teach English and mathematics to the slum children. They used study technology developed by L. Ron Hubbard to helping the kids improve their learning.

“Mr. Hubbard discovered that the first barrier to study is not having the real thing there that you are studying about. The real things or the object that you study are called mass,” said Erin “So, for example, we made sure the kids had things they could actually count with, 5 little wooden blocks lets say that represented the number 5, so they didn’t have to do it all in their heads. They liked that!”

“Conditions here are the worst of the worst,” they wrote to their friends. “It’s been just a continual amazement to both of us that there have been such magical moments, and bright smiling faces in amongst everything else. With all that’s going on in the world it can be very easy to get wrapped up in one’s own problems,” they continued. “The truth is that there are so many people in need of help and with far worse conditions than most can possible imagine. We decided to turn our efforts toward others for a few months and make a difference.”

For more information on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program visit their web site at www.volunteerministers.org or the Scientology Video Channel.

Definition: out-ethics / putting in ethics

First, how is “ethics” defined in Scientology? Here is the primary text about it:

“Ethics is so native to the individual that when it goes off the rails he will always seek to overcome his own lack of ethics.

He knows he has an ethics blind spot the moment he develops it. At that moment he starts trying to put ethics in on himself, and to the degree that he can envision long-term survival concepts, he may be successful, even though lacking the actual tech of ethics.

All too often, however, an individual becomes involved in an out-ethics situation; and if the individual has no tech with which to handle it analytically (rationally), his “handling” is to believe or pretend that something was done to him that prompted or justified his out-ethics action, and at that point he starts downhill. When that happens, nobody puts him down the chute harder, really, than he does himself.

And, once on the way down, without the basic technology of ethics, he has no way of climbing back up the chute – he just collapses, directly and deliberately. And even though he has a lot of complexities in his life, and he has other people doing him in, it all starts with his lack of knowledge of the technology of ethics.

This, basically, is one of the primary tools he uses to dig himself out.”

(Source: Scientology Handbook(online) )

For those who did not get it up to here: out-ethics is just a violation of any ethics code somebody abide. Here is a bit more detail on scientologyethics.org:

“Scientology ethics, explained L. Ron Hubbard, are reason. They provide the means by which men conduct themselves toward their long-term survival, the survival of their families, their groups, their planet and more. Implicit within the subject is the recognition that all things are, to one degree or another, interdependent upon all else and that only by constantly considering the survival of the many can the individual ensure his own survival.

With this thinking firmly in mind the Scientologist obeys the law, remains faithful to his spouse, truthful in his business dealings and otherwise conducts himself in accordance with honesty, integrity and decency.

Scientologists understand that rules and laws form the agreements by which a group, society or nation survives, and that high ethical standards, far from inhibiting the enjoyment of life, foster it.

Yet what of the rest of the world?

For want of a workable system of ethics and justice, whole civilizations have gone to ruin, whole forests have been laid to waste and whole sections of our cities have been reduced to racial battlegrounds. Simultaneously, we have witnessed the steady disintegration of the family, a general decay of sexual values, escalating drug abuse, theft, assault and on and on until it seems there is no hope at all – except this: The Scientologist must also live in this society, and he truly does possess the tools to make a difference.”

Scientology Works!

The Scientology religion is about the individual man or woman. Its goal is to bring an individual to a sufficient understanding of himself and his life and free him to make improvements where he finds them necessary and in the ways he sees fit.

Scientology is a workable system. Evidence may be seen in the lives of millions of Scientologists and the positive effect they create. People improve their lives through Scientology principles. As Scientologists in all walks of life will attest, they have enjoyed greatest success in their relationships, family life, jobs and professions. This web site contains some of these successes.

It also provides suggested books, materials and courses one can do to learn and apply Scientology principles and apply them to one’s life to create successful relationships, deal with stress, communicate with others and resolve family problems and more, all on the road to true spiritual freedom.

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