Church of Scientology Dedicates New Building for the Pacific Northwest | Scientology Newsroom – Church of Scientology International

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Scientology International: New Source of Information Launched

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Beginning of July 2010 the Church of Scientology International launched a new website: ScientologyNews.org

This site will inform the media representatives and general public about newsworthy occurrences in and around the Church of Scientology – with high resolution photos and video material for use by the media – in press release and news stories.

Further, the site provides answers to every aspect of Scientology in over 190 Frequently Asked Questions, many texts about the Church of Scientology’s ecclesiastical structure and its leader, David Miscavige. Short, summarized answers on many groups and organizations related to the Church of Scientology are provided in the “Quick Facts” section of the site and the latest official statistics of the Church can be found on the site as well.

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.”

Church of Scientology Holds National Volunteer Week Recognition Luncheon at Historic Fort Harrison Hotel

The Church of Scientology honored five Florida groups during National Volunteer Week.
CLEARWATER, FLORIDA—The Church of Scientology in Clearwater honored five Florida groups with National Volunteer Week awards at the historic Fort Harrison Friday, April 23.  Recognized at the event were Project Medishare, Feeding America Tampa Bay, United Way Tampa Bay, the United Relief Force Foundation and the Willa Carson Health Resource Center.

Accepting awards and $1000 pledge at a National Volunteer Week luncheon at the Fort Harrison, presented by Church of Scientology Public Affairs Director Pat Harney (center) are (left to right) Annie Tyrell, Executive Director of the Willa Carson Health Resource Center; Ernestine Carson Heastie, daughter of Willa Carson and board member of the organization; Harney; Muhammad Abdur Rahim, Carson Center board member; and Judy Fagerman, head of Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Tampa Bay. The pledge is for the Carson Center 5K and 10K walk/run fundraiser.

“We know the value of volunteers and our parishioners work actively to address drug abuse and crime, clean up the environment, tutor children and adults and do any of the myriad tasks it takes to improve the quality of life in our communities,” said Pat Harney, Public Affairs Director of the Church of Scientology in Clearwater.  “We join other Americans in honoring those who freely give their time and energy to help others.”

Willene Hayward (left), Volunteer Coordinator of Feeding America Tampa Bay, is acknowledged by Pat Harney, Church of Scientology Public Affairs Director, and Judy Fagerman, head of Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Tampa Bay.

Willene Hayward accepted the award on behalf of Feeding America Tampa Bay, formerly known as America’s Second Harvest.  Hayward is volunteer coordinator of the food bank that serves 35,000 Tampa Bay residents.

Also honored were Project Medishare of the University of Miami Hospital, which organized, built and staffed the largest field hospital in history on the airport grounds of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to care for the casualties of the January 12 earthquake; Hands On Tampa Bay, the volunteer network of United Way of Tampa Bay, which coordinates the work of 3,500 volunteers in Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties; and the United Relief Force Foundation, formed by Orlando college students in 2007 and providing humanitarian aid, emergency response and disaster relief to countries experiencing natural and man-made disasters. Several of the Orlando group’s members joined forces with the Scientology Volunteer Ministers to help provide disaster relief in Haiti this year.

“This award event was inspired by the founder of the Scientology religion, L. Ron Hubbard, who said, ‘A being is only as valuable as he can serve others,’” said Harney.  The Church of Scientology makes facilities of the Fort Harrison Hotel available to non-profit charity organizations for their meetings and events.

For information or to schedule the Fort Harrison for events, contact Pat Harney at (727) 467-6860 or email her at patharney@flag.org.

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.

Birthday of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard a Religious Holiday in Spain

Scientology event is broadcast to all Scientology Churches and Missions around the world in 16 languages.

Madrid—With the recognition of Scientology by the National Court of Spain in October 2007, the Ministry of Justice in December 2007 and the Ministry of Economy and Taxes in December 2009, the Foundation for Pluralism (Fundación Pluralismo y Convivencia) of the Spanish Ministry of Justice has added the birth date of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard to its calendar of religious holidays.

Each year, the Pluralism Foundation publishes a calendar of religious holidays in Spain, including those of Christians, Jews, members of Orthodox Churches, Hindus and Baha’is.  This year, the Foundation included the birth date of L. Ron Hubbard, March 13, with the following description: “Born Lafayette Ronald Hubbard in Tilden, Nebraska, USA, he is the philosopher and humanitarian who founded the Scientology religion in 1952. Every year, Scientologists celebrate the birthday of Mr. Hubbard with an annual summary of the impact, positive change and social betterment caused by the discoveries of Mr. Hubbard.”

On March 13, in Clearwater, Florida, thousands of Scientologists and their guests celebrated the legacy of L. Ron Hubbard at an annual gala celebration.  In Spain the rebroadcast event is Saturday, March 20, at the Church’s national headquarters in Madrid.

Scientology-Sponsored Relief Team from Italy Leaves for Haiti

Milan, Italy—A team of eight Italian disaster specialists sponsored by the International Association of Scientologists left for Haiti Monday, March 15.  Departing from Malpensa Airport in Milan, they took with them 2.7 tons of supplies, including more than 1,300 pounds of medical equipment and tents, 815 pounds of food, and 250 pounds of medicine.

The Italian team includes doctors, relief workers and two Scientology Volunteer Ministers trained in disaster response. It is led by veteran disaster specialist Mr. Dino De Pasquale, President of La Pubblica Assistenza Croce Giallo-Azzurra di Torino, a volunteer civil protection group founded in 1992.

The team arrived in Santa Domingo Monday night and are now clearing customs to enter Haiti with their truckloads of supplies.  Once in Haiti they will join the Scientology Disaster Response Team that has served in Port-au-Prince for the past two months.

The Consulate General of Haiti in Milan, Mr. Marco Umberto Pasini, marked their departure with the following message of thanks:

My dear friends,

In this time of great misfortune in my country, I am moved more than I can say by the volunteers who have come forward to help.  Doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, volunteers of all kinds have not hesitated to give of their time and skill, setting aside their own personal needs and those of their families.

The immediate emergency in Haiti is now over.  However, what remains are the daily emergencies the people of Haiti have to contend with, emergencies newspapers may not consider to be “newsworthy” but which are possibly even more serious than those reported on in the days following the earthquake.

This is where you come in, working in alignment with the traditions and mores of our peopleworking with the Haitian people. Fortunately, Haitians are accustomed to rolling up our sleeves and helping ourselveswe don’t give up or surrender to tears in the face of disaster.  And we know you are going there to work, not to be seen on the front pages of newspapers.

You work in the background, planting seeds that will grow and benefit the people in Haitiseeds of volunteerism. We value your help, your communication, your example to others, and your self-determined contribution no matter the difficulties you encounter.

With sincere wishes for your success,

Umberto Pasini

Consulate General of the Republic of Haiti in Milan, Italy

Actress and Scientology Volunteer Minister decides to dedicate her service to the Las Vegas Community

Cassandra Hepburn, 33, who recently returned from 12 days on the Scientology Disaster Relief Response Team in Haiti, has joined staff at the new Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre in Las Vegas. The actress, who appeared in the Quentin Tarantino film “Hellride” and the daytime dramas “The Young and the Restless” and “As the World Turns,” is eager to assume her new position at the Church to serve the Las Vegas community.

Cassandra Hepburn, 33, who recently returned from 12 days on the Scientology Disaster Relief Response Team in Haiti, has joined staff at the new Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre in Las Vegas. The actress, who appeared in the Quentin Tarantino film “Hellride” and the daytime dramas “The Young and the Restless” and “As the World Turns,” is eager to assume her new position at the Church to serve the Las Vegas community.

The volunteer service in Haiti on the Scientology Disaster Response Team changed her life, Hepburn says. Born in the Philippines and raised in London, Hong Kong and Switzerland, she has led no sheltered life, but she says her time in Haiti opened her eyes to what helping others is all about.

Hepburn arrived in Haiti on February 14 aboard a Scientology-sponsored charter flight and immediately joined the team of volunteers helping refugees in three IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps.

“Living conditions for the volunteers and medical professionals were pretty rugged–we slept in tents on cots or in sleeping bags on concrete slabs or hard floors, and we ate MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat– food rations that are also used by the United States Armed Forces), but compared to the conditions at the IDP camps this was luxurious,” she said. In the IDP camps, entire families live out in the open, their only protection from the elements a sheet or a tarp suspended from a branch. “Unless we act now to provide shelter for the refugees there will be devastation during the upcoming rainy season.”

Hepburn’s assignment in Haiti also included working in local orphanages with a team of medical professionals who provided checkups while volunteers gave food and toys to the children. “They were so happy to see that someone cared,” she said.

Back in Las Vegas, Hepburn is approaching her new position as a staff member of the Church of Scientology of Las Vegas with renewed spirit, taking her inspiration from Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard who wrote, “A being is only as valuable as he can serve others.”

For more information:
Cassandra Hepburn: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1141576/
Church of Scientology Las Vegas (Grand Opening on 6 February 2010): http://www.scientologynews.info
Scientology Volunteer Ministers Haiti Disaster Response: http://blog.volunteerministers.org

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Scientology Church in Milan and Human Rights Association of Italy Help Build Schools in Ghana

On January 6, 2010, Annalisa Tissoni, President of the Church of Scientology of Milan, and Fiorella and Gaetano Cerchiara, President and Director respectively of the Association for Human Rights and Tolerance of Italy, presented a special gift to the village of Twewaa—a new school.  With the opening of this school, the second sponsored by Italian Scientologists, the children of the village gained an important human right, as stated in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights—”the right to education.”

The Twewaa school opening ceremony included speeches by village Chief Nana Somua Nyampong II, Assembly Member Paul Adarkwah, and Chief Executive of Kwahu South District Assembly, Samuel Asomani.

“We involved the community in every aspect of the planning and construction of the school because it belongs to them,” said Ms. Tissoni.  They also hired local companies and artisans and purchased all raw materials for the construction from local merchants, as well as school supplies, clothes and shoes for the children and classroom furniture.

The project began three years ago when an educator in the Ghana capital city of Accra needed additional funds to complete the construction of a school. He invited Ms. Tissoni and Ms. Cerchiara to Ghana, and when they saw the need, they immediately decided to help.  With funds raised by the Milan Church of Scientology and the Association for Human Rights and Tolerance, the construction of the Untoma Oxford International School was completed, opening in August 2008 with some 300 children enrolled.

When the Untoma Oxford School was completed, Tissoni and Cerchiara visited outlying villages and chose Twewaa as their next project.  With the Twewaa school now opened, they are focusing on their third project, a school in a nearby village in Eastern Ghana, scheduled to open before the end of 2010.

“We have taken on this project because education is a basic human right and a vital component to creating a better world,” said Ms. Tissoni.  “Our Church is very much involved in promoting human rights awareness.  Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard said ‘Human rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream.’ By helping to build these schools, we are enabling the children to create a better future for themselves and their communities.”

To learn more about the human rights initiatives of the Church of Scientology, visit the Scientology website at www.scientology.org.