Church of Scientology of Los Angeles
| Los Angeles, California • APRIL 24, 2010 |
The world’s first Church of Scientology, formed in 1954, joined the global roster of Ideal Churches of Scientology on April 24, 2010. Six thousand parishioners, guests and Los Angeles-area officials were on hand as Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, officiated at the ceremony dedicating the new Church.
Describing the significance of the occasion, Mr. Miscavige said: “Today marks a milestone step in our planetary crusade to bring on our help on a truly global scale—so that one day there is no crime, no war, no insanity, a world in which Man is free to rise to greater heights.”
In describing the significance of the city of Los Angeles to Scientologists, Mr. Miscavige said: “It’s the city where the Church of Scientology was first incorporated in 1954. While even more than that, it’s the city with the largest concentration of Scientologists on Earth.”
Also commemorating the occasion was Ms. Karen Bass, Speaker Emeritus of the California State Assembly: “As a public servant, I try to do everything in my power to give a voice to the voiceless, and to guarantee that no one goes unheard. But through human rights education, we empower everyone to lift their voice and to be heard. The Church of Scientology I know has made a difference, because your Creed is a universal creed and one that speaks to all people everywhere.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca acknowledged the actions of the Church and its members: “You have been consistently reliable in helping me to achieve my goal for a safer Los Angeles County. In particular, your drug education means everything to the safety of our schools and neighborhoods. That is why we trained a corps of our own deputies in the use of your unbeatable program, so I want to thank each and every one of you for everything you do in helping me do my job—because today, crime in Los Angeles is at its lowest in 40 years.”
Los Angeles City Council member and historic preservationist Paul Koretz spoke of the Church’s place in the rebirth of Hollywood: “Those of us in the City long had a dream for Hollywood. It was for a Phoenix to rise from the ashes, after decades of decline. We needed to transform Hollywood with a cultural revitalization, one that would then ripple out across all of LA. What we are witnessing here is the essence of that Hollywood transformation. Because if ever today there is an example of making this the city of our dreams, it is the Church of Scientology.”
He continued, “This striking Church and the complex extending south behind us were once the imposing Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, crafted 80 years ago in the height of the Art Deco period of American architecture. In renovating this landmark, you have gone beyond all of our expectations for what the new Hollywood can be.”
In addition to an expansive Chapel are many unique elements including an extensive public information area with 20 multimedia displays to provide answers to the question, “What is Scientology?” The new Church further includes a library, seminar rooms, film rooms, volunteer workspaces for its many social and community programs and projects, course rooms that seat over 480, and 35 rooms especially appointed for the religion’s one-on-one spiritual counseling.
Formerly a functional building annexed to the 1928 Art Deco Cedars of Lebanon Hospital buildings designed by Claud Beelman, the massive reconstruction began in November 2009 and encompasses new walls, all new ceilings and finishes, as well as furniture constructed in-house at the Church’s state-of-the-art custom mill with imported wood and marble from Italy.
The Church of Scientology of Los Angeles was incorporated in 1954 as the first Scientology Church in the world. The Greater Los Angeles area is the seat of the religion’s Mother Church, Church of Scientology International, and Bridge Publications who publish and disseminate Mr. Hubbard’s books and recorded lectures for all of North America. Worldwide, there are more than 9,000 Scientology Churches, Missions and affiliated groups in 165 countries.