| EAST GRINSTEAD, UNITED KINGDOM • OCTOBER 28, 2012 |
Marking a year of unprecedented accomplishments, the 28th anniversary of the International Association of Scientologists was a celebration of the many humanitarian and life-changing achievements of the Church worldwide.
An overflow crowd of more than 7,000 Scientologists from 50 countries gathered on the grounds of Saint Hill Manor in the town of East Grinstead, England, to commemorate the 28th anniversary of the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) on Friday, October 19. Saint Hill Manor is internationally renowned as the Great Britain home of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard and is where Scientologists founded the International Association of Scientologists in 1984.
The annual event presents an expansive overview of the IAS’s unwavering dedication in accomplishing the Aims of Scientology, as set forth by Mr. Hubbard: “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights.”
Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, presided over the IAS anniversary, which highlighted a dynamic year of Church growth and unparalleled accomplishments for the Scientology religion and the humanitarian programs it sponsors.
These programs include the largest non-governmental human rights initiative in the world; an equally wide-ranging and impactful drug education and prevention program; a global campaign to uplift moral standards; and the Scientology Volunteer Ministers, a world renowned independent disaster relief force, which helped over 2 million people in 2012 alone. In the past 12 months, some 60 million Church-sponsored humanitarian program informational booklets, films and educator kits have reached an audience of 650 million across all 24 time zones.
Among the many individual stories of humanitarian accomplishment for 2012 presented in the event were:
- The drug awareness campaign carried out over the course of London’s 2012 Summer Olympics, wherein hundreds of volunteers stationed in 70 locations across 27 London boroughs, distributed more than one million Truth About Drugs booklets;
- The Youth for Human Rights program in India that has formed a Human Rights social network now reaching 151 million across India;
- The Venezuelan stage and television artists who joined forces to create a series of Public Service Announcements based on The Way to Happiness, a booklet containing a non-religious moral code, to promote peace and tolerance to over 25 percent of the population of their nation;
- And the South African King, trained as a Scientology Volunteer Minister, who has now united South African tribal nations to utilize Volunteer Minister tools to better the lives of their people.
The celebration further saw the announcement of the 2012 International Association of Scientologists Freedom Medal recipients. The award is presented annually to those Scientologists who have worked tirelessly and relentlessly to forward the Church’s humanitarian objectives as champions of dignity and freedom for all humanity. The 2012 winners were recognized for their effective defense against psychiatric human rights abuse in Germany; the successful efforts to incorporate the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights into the constitution of Mexico; and the selfless, unconditional help provided by disaster relief volunteers to hundreds of thousands devastated by brutal and unprecedented natural disasters in Pakistan.
Crowning the event was the announcement of the grand opening of new milestone Scientology centers:
- The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., opened its doors on September 12. Located in the historic Fraser Mansion at Dupont Circle, the new National Affairs Office stands as the central point from which the Church coordinates its many social and humanitarian initiatives on a national and international level.
- The IAS-sponsored Center for Scientology in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel. The Center is the first Ideal Scientology Organization in the Middle East, designed to both serve the growing membership and provide Scientology-sponsored humanitarian programs throughout the region.
To further underscore all the IAS brings to help others and in response to the more than 160 million visitors to the Church’s website, asking the question, “What is Scientology?” the event culminated with the release of a new film, Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought, based on L. Ron Hubbard’s first book on the theory and practice of Scientology. The film, available in English and 15 other languages, provides the answer in an entirely new way, providing a visual journey through which one can learn and understand the principles that define the primary architecture and essence of how life works along with the elements that comprise the “game of life.” (Watch the Introduction fromScientology: The Fundamentals of Thought.)
The International Association of Scientologists, a membership organization open to all Scientologists from all nations, was formed in 1984. The purpose of the IAS is: “To unite, advance, support and protect the Scientology religion and Scientologists in all parts of the world so as to achieve the Aims of Scientology as originated by L. Ron Hubbard.”
The Scientology religion was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion today spans the globe with 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups. The Church website, www.scientology.org, has welcomed more than 167 million visitors to the Scientology religion.