EXCLUSIVE: St. Paul Scientology Church Gives Tour

Fox 9 in the Twin Cities toured the new Church of Scientology in St. Paul, Minnesota, and this published this video and story on their site:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Church of Scientology is often a lightning rod for controversy, but the religion known for its congregation of celebrities just opened up a new center in St. Paul and gave an exclusive tour to FOX 9 News.

Founded by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950s, the church has had a presence in the Twin Cities since 1962. Now, there are more than 10,000 members in Minnesota and surrounding states, and no matter what has been said about the religion — its new house in St. Paul is a work of modern art.

“We call them Scientologists — parishioners,” said Erin Banks, a Scientologist. When you’re here taking a course, you’re certainly a student — but you don’t have to be a Scientologist to come.”

The group raised more than $10 million to renovate the old science museum into what they call an “ideal org,” a state-of-the-art center for personal development.

The church is 82,000 square feet, and is one of only 25 ideal orgs in the world. Of those, it is one of only a few that offers the complete range of Scientology services, including what they call personal-efficiency seminars.

“We hope that they’ll come in and find answers to the problems in their life,” said Executive Director Mary Gaiman.

It’s also the only one that features a chapel that was once an IMAX theater. Inside the facility, everything from the displays and artwork to the furniture is made in-house.

“Everyone is welcome to come in and ask questions,” said Banks. “They can stay for 20 minutes or 2 hours.”

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