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Religion Library: Scientology

Sacred Space

Written by: J. Gordon Melton

For those who complete their work at the Advanced Organization, the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida, awaits.When the work of creating the higher OT levels aboard the three ships was completed in 1976, the staff members who had assisted in the research and were charged with delivering the most advanced of the OT Levels relocated to Clearwater.Originally established in the old Fort Harrison Hotel, the Flag Land Base has developed into the spiritual headquarters for the church and over the years has expanded to include more than thirty additional buildings.A large new building across the street from the Fort Harrison Hotel is under construction.

Today, the Flag Land Base is one of two facilities (the other being the ship Freewinds) qualified to deliver the highest levels of Scientology, namely OT VI and VII, as well as related specialized auditor training.As the Flag Land Base has grown, it has been touted as a place for all Scientologists to visit.Besides its specialized services, it provides instruction for all lower levels of Scientology. This, along with its location, makes it an ideal place for families who wish to combine vacations with taking their next step in Scientology.The Flag Land Base has become the largest Scientology facility in the world.It serves the thousands of Scientologists who reside in central Florida, and constantly receives a stream of Scientologists from around the world.It may not be a sacred place in the conventional sense of the term, but for many Scientologists it functions as one.

Simultaneous with the release of the highest level of Scientology currently available, OT VIII, the church purchased a large ocean-going vessel, dubbed the Freewinds, and designated it as the Flag Ship Service Organization.This ship, based at the island of Curaçao in the Caribbean, is now the only place where one may receive OT VIII and the various auxiliary courses associated with it.Only those who have completed their OT VII at the Flag Land Base are eligible to take courses on the Freewinds, and, like the Flag land Base, the ship has become a place of pilgrimage for Scientologists.

Study Questions:
     1.    Is sacred space an issue of concern for Scientologists? Why or why not?
     2.    Should the L. Ron Hubbard Exhibition be viewed as sacred space? Why or why not?
     3.    How is the Operating Thetan bound to a specific kind of space?
     4.    What is the Land Flag Base? Why has it gained popularity?


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