Amid a burst of confetti and a flight of balloons, the ribbon was parted on the new Church of Scientology Ideal Organization of Phoenix on Saturday, June 23. More than 1,500 Scientologists, neighbors and dignitaries joined Church officials for the dedication ceremony.
Located on the northeast corner of 44th Street and Indian School Road, the new Church stands just a mile south of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s historic home in the shadow of Camelback Mountain. It was there in 1952 he arrived at the monumental discovery that gave birth to the Scientology religion: the isolation, identification and exteriorization of the human spirit. During the formative years of the religion, Scientologists traveled to this city from across three continents to hear Mr. Hubbard speak. He delivered over 600 lectures in Phoenix—more than in any other city in the world. These lectures, along with seminal Scientology works he authored in Phoenix, comprise a significant portion of the religion’s fundamental scripture.
Signaling the historic import of the opening, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, dedicated the new Church. In honoring the moment, he told Phoenix parishioners: “You are about to embark on a new chapter in your history. And it all begins with an undying pledge to uphold that rare spirit of competence, compassion and benevolence with which L. Ron Hubbard originally founded Scientology. For only in that way will we ever achieve the Aims of Scientology, and thus that world without war; a world of which we can be proud, where the able can prosper, where honest beings have rights and all are free to rise to greater heights. And, yes, that is our responsibility as Scientologists. And, yes, it’s one we proudly embrace.”
Phoenix dignitaries welcoming the new Church included Mayor Greg Stanton; Arizona Interfaith Movement Founder and Executive Director Dr. Paul Eppinger; Higley Unified School District Community Programs and Policy Executive Director Tony Malaj; and West Mesa Justice of the Peace Mark Anderson.
Mayor Greg Stanton said in his salutatory address: “I consider myself to be the luckiest mayor today. Because there is only one city on Earth that can claim the title ‘Birthplace of Scientology’, and I am proud that it’s right here in Phoenix. So congratulations to the Church of Scientology for your amazing Ideal Org.”
Arizona Interfaith Movement Founder and Executive Director Dr. Paul Eppinger highlighted Scientology’s role in the interfaith community: “The Church of Scientology has had strong, effective representatives on our board. Being so close to where L. Ron Hubbard lived, conceived, and wrote so many of the basic and original concepts of Scientology, it is natural for the Church of Scientology to be a vital part of the Arizona Interfaith Movement—and such you are!”
Higley Unified School District Community Programs and Policy Executive Director Tony Malaj spoke of the Church’s literacy and study programs: “There are teachers in Arizona public schools and charter schools today who are breaking through barriers and achieving a new level of success with their students as a result. I want you to know that you are helping those of us in education to achieve our mission.”West Mesa Justice of the Peace Mark Anderson recognized the work of the Church to protect families in Arizona: “When I was in the Arizona Legislature, we guaranteed that parents would no longer be forced to put their children on damaging psychotropic drugs. That was a landmark victory for all of us. And I am proud to say that our success, in large part, was due to the dedication and hard work of staff and parishioners of the Church of Scientology.”
The new 45,000-square-foot Church comprises a complex of buildings on a two-acre campus. The Church invites Phoenix residents to learn about Dianetics and Scientology in its expansive Public Information Center. Visitors are welcome to take a self-guided tour of the Center’s displays, which present informational and documentary films on the beliefs and practices of the religion, as well as the life and legacy of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center further presents the full array of Church-sponsored humanitarian programs, including a worldwide human rights initiative; an equally far-reaching drug education, prevention and rehabilitation program; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program now comprising the world’s largest independent disaster relief force. In full, the Center’s multimedia displays contain more than 500 films, available at the touch of a button. The Center is open morning to night and visitors are welcome to return as often as they wish.
The Church’s Chapel provides for Scientology congregational gatherings, including Sunday Services, Weddings and Naming Ceremonies—as well as a host of community-wide events open to members of all faiths. The new Church further includes multiple seminar rooms and classrooms, in addition to dozens of rooms for Scientology auditing(spiritual counseling).
The opening of the Phoenix Church marks the sixth new Ideal Organization (Org) to open its doors in 2012, including the Church of Scientology Denver, June 16; Church of Scientology Orange County, June 2; Church of Scientology Greater Cincinnati, February 25; Church of Scientology Sacramento, January 28; and Church of Scientology Hamburg, Germany, January 21.
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 awareness and freedom, each is also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.
Other Ideal Orgs opened in recent years include Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; New York, New York; Washington, D.C.; Tampa, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Seattle, Washington; Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; Pasadena, California; Inglewood, California; as well as Quebec City, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; London, England; Melbourne, Australia; Brussels, Belgium; Madrid, Spain; Rome, Italy; Berlin, Germany; and Moscow, Russia.
Seven new Ideal Orgs are further scheduled for grand opening in 2012.
For a complete list of new Churches of Scientology, visit Scientology.org.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 10,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.