Photo: Scientology Church
In 2010, major Churches of Scientology opened across Europe, North America and Africa.
These new Churches are the realization of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision, where he prescribed the standard and model for all Churches of Scientology to aspire to in becoming what he called an Ideal Organization (Org). Ideal Orgs are built to provide all services of the Scientology religion while also serving as a home for the community at large for the cooperative advancement of the underprivileged and forsaken of every ethnic and denomination. Ideal Orgs are made possible by the contributions of Scientology parishioners dedicated to uplifting their communities and helping their fellow man.
New Church Grand Openings are attended by thousands of parishioners, guests and dignitaries from across the social spectrum.
The first new Ideal Org opened in 2010 was the Brussels branch of the Churches of Scientology for Europe, on the 23rd of January. Thousands of guests were on hand from across Europe to cut the ribbon on an 88,000-square-foot historic structure along Boulevard de Waterloo. Among the distinguished guests was the Honorable Hugo Coveliers, Senator in the Belgian Parliament, who addressed those gathered: “This new Church in the capital city of Europe stands as a beautiful testament to your help, and you can be certain of my continued support. You care for people, and this Church is such an example of this attitude.” Since opening, dignitaries from across the European community have visited the Church and toured its massive Public Information Center, comprising hundreds of multimedia presentations illustrating Scientology beliefs (19), the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard, and the full array of Church-sponsored social betterment and community outreach programs.
One week later, on the 30th of January, Scientologists and their guests assembled in Quebec, at the heart of the Nouvo Saint-Roch district to open a new Ideal Org for that city. Many dignitaries participated in the dedication, including the Honorable Pamela Appelt, from the International Center for Human Rights and Democratic Development, who declared: “It has been my privilege to work alongside the Church of Scientology for 25 years. Whatever the issue, you have answers that are useful to anyone in public service.”
The following week, on the 6th of February, came the Grand Opening of the new Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre of Las Vegas. Thousands of Scientologists and community leaders gathered to dedicate the new Ideal Org designed to serve those who work in the entertainment capital of the world. Those taking the podium for the ceremony included United States Congresswoman Shelley Berkley and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who stated: “As the Mayor of the fastest-growing city, I look forward to partnering with you, as the fastest-growing religion.”
On the 26th of March, a new Scientology Life Improvement Centre opened in Johannesburg, South Africa, directly adjacent to the nation’s university. Joining Scientologists for the dedication ceremony were university students, community leaders and government officials. The welcoming address was delivered by Ms. Phumzile Zuma, daughter of the nation’s president.
On April 24th, the new Ideal Org of Los Angeles opened its doors. More than 6,000 parishioners and guests celebrated the opening of this Church which stands at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and L. Ron Hubbard Way. Formally welcoming the Church were a host of local and state officials, including State Assembly Member Karen Bass and Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, who spoke to the Church’s social betterment programs in his address: “Your drug education means everything to the safety of our schools and neighborhoods. That is why we trained a corps of our own deputies in the use of your unbeatable program. So I want to thank each and every one of you for everything you do in helping me do my job.”
On the 10th of July, the National Scientology Organization opened in Mexico City. More than 7,000 Scientologists and guests attended the dedication of this first Scientology Ideal Org in Latin America, in a fully restored cultural landmark that stands near Mexico’s National Fine Arts Palace and the Supreme Court. Here, too, officials took the opportunity to recognize the Church and its social betterment programs. Ms. Laura Chapa from the Federal Ministry of Education addressed the gathering by stating: “I believe that with the opening of this new Organization, leaders of all sectors of society will have the same realization I had: that you have the solution. And so I also believe that what will come from this new Organization is a turning point for our nation.”
On the 17th of July, an assemblage of 4,200 parishioners and guests filled the streets to inaugurate the new Church of Scientology of Pasadena. The heritage of the 58,000-square-foot historic Victorian landmark is preserved in the fully restored structure, including the classic four-story atrium galleria, and the interior Chapel featuring Tiffany-inspired stained glass windows as a backdrop for Scientology religious services and community gatherings. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard was among the notable guests who participated in the dedication ceremonies: “With this beautifully restored structure in Old Pasadena, the Church of Scientology represents not only a growing religion, but an important factor in the future of this city.”
On the 24th of July, parishioners and their guests congregated just blocks from the Seattle Center and Space Needle for the opening of the new Church of Scientology of Washington State. Among those welcoming the new Church was State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders, with whom the Church has partnered in the field of human rights for 35 years: “There is nothing more important in life than being true to yourself and standing up for what you believe. That is freedom, and that is what makes life worth living. And that, to me, is what you represent.”
In the last five years, the implementation of Mr. Hubbard’s vision for Ideal Orgs has resulted in 22 new Churches. An additional 60 buildings are currently under construction or renovation to house Ideal Orgs scheduled to open over the next two years.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has today expanded to more than 9,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 165 countries.