On January 21, 2012, the Church of Scientology of Hamburg newly opened its doors to the city in a dedication ceremony attended by 1,500 Scientologists, guests and dignitaries. The grand opening marked the culmination of a transformation of the seven-story Church into an Ideal Church of Scientology (Ideal Org) to better meet the needs of Hamburg’s growing Scientology congregation and the community at large.
In her commemorative statement, Ms. Pia Michel, Executive Director of the Church of Scientology of Hamburg, proclaimed: “There are some 300 churches, mosques and temples in the city of Hamburg. For more than forty years, the Church of Scientology has been a strong voice in that religious community. But the opening of this new Church marks a turning point, for the flame of religious freedom burns brightly today on behalf of all, and so it will forever.”
In honor of the occasion, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, stated: “This Ideal Org signals a new era for Scientology in Germany for, in a very real sense, this Church is Scientology itself. It was conceived to mirror the Scientology Organizing Board, and so accommodates every function called for in our Founder’s policy. It was meticulously planned to deliver all Scientology services in exact accordance with our Founder’s technology—from every Introductory Service to the top of our Bridge. And it was designed to embody the spirit of Scientology, and so provides an introduction where anyone and everyone can find out for themselves who we are and what we do. So allow me to extend a welcome to all. From this day forward, our doors are open and our help is yours.”
In full representation of that pledge—working together in a cooperative effort to help one and all—among those on hand to inaugurate the new Church were some of Hamburg’s foremost civic and religious leaders. They included a long outspoken human rights advocate, the founder of a leading youth drug addiction and prevention organization, a religious rights leader from the Greek Orthodox community and an advisor to Germany’s forthcoming Memorial and Documentation Center on National Socialism.
A prominent feature of the new Hamburg Ideal Org is a comprehensive Public Information Center, enabling all visitors to answer the pivotal question, “What is Scientology?” Occupying the entirety of the ground floor, it contains a gallery of multimedia displays presenting the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion, as well as the life and legacy of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center also provides a complete overview of the many Church-sponsored humanitarian initiatives, including a worldwide human rights initiative; an equally far-ranging drug education, prevention and rehabilitation program; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, now comprising the largest independent relief force on Earth. The displays offer some 500 informational and documentary films at the touch of a button. Open morning to night, the Information Center welcomes visitors to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish. In combination with its adjoining café, the Information Center is also configured to accommodate hundreds at a time for weekly Open Houses.
The new Hamburg Ideal Org also now includes expansive facilities to provide Introductory Services for those new to the religion, including regularly scheduled Dianetics and Scientology Personal Efficiency Seminars and an array of Life Improvement Courses.
The Church of Scientology of Hamburg is the newest of dozens of Ideal Orgs opened in the past five years.
Ideal Orgs realize 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 freedom, but 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.
The Church of Scientology Hamburg is the first Ideal Org to open in 2012, joining a parade of Ideal Orgs already opened in cultural epicenters across Europe, including: Berlin, Germany; Moscow, Russia; Brussels, Belgium; London, England; Madrid, Spain and Rome, Italy.
Other new Churches opened in recent years include Washington, D.C.; New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; Seattle, Washington; Tampa, Florida; Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; as well as Québec City, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico and Melbourne, Australia.
More than 15 new Ideal Orgs are scheduled for grand opening in 2012.
For a complete list of new Churches of Scientology, visit Scientology.org.
The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has now expanded to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.