Scientology Life Improvement Centre Opens in Johannesburg, South Africa
The world’s largest Scientology Life Improvement Centre opened to the sounds of traditional African music on March 26, with 1,000 university students, community and government leaders, artists and local Scientologists crowding Station Street in Johannesburg for the dedication celebration. The Centre offers practical courses such as improving communication, learning how to learn, conflict resolution, how to accomplish goals and overcoming personal and work-related stress.
Located near the University of Witswatersrand (WITS) in the Braamfontein district of the city, the Centre serves a richly diverse community whose common goal is expressed in the district’s motto: “The place where people rise to greatness.” The Centre’s director, Edmund Dladlu, who served as master of ceremonies, pledged to work with the community to make this motto a reality.
Special guest speakers reflecting the diversity of the district included Commander Eddie Mboweni of the Hillbrow Police Precinct who spoke of the partnership of his officers and the Church in its anti-drug and human rights education campaigns.
“The Centre is well-placed here and we are looking forward to working together with the Church regarding programs that will assist in fighting crime and improving the quality of life for the citizens in this area. These campaigns implemented in this district will help to reduce crime and uplift our community spirit. It is our wish that we will work together on these important issues.”
Scientologist and music producer Robin Hogarth described how Scientology has helped him in his work to bring the music of South Africa to a wide audience, including producing “Blessed” and “African Spirit” with the Soweto Gospel Choir which won Grammy Awards for Best Traditional World Music Album in 2007 and 2008.
“This is for you,” he told the audience of the new Centre. “It is for all—painter, king, poet, worker, student, musician, husband and wife. For Braamfontein, for Johannesburg, for South Africa and for Africa herself. And this is why I am so proud to stand here on this momentous occasion. This Life Improvement Centre opens the door to a new future, a brighter life, an African renaissance."
Ms. Phumzile Zuma, daughter of President Jacob Zuma, spoke of the common-sense moral code, The Way to Happiness, and how much this book can help students, the community and the world.
“Imagine a world where everyone is clear as to exactly what is wrong and what is right. Imagine a world where you can achieve your goals and purposes while being at peace with yourself and those around you. Well, fellow South Africans and students, I have come to realize we can achieve that with the tools this new Scientology Life Improvement Centre is bringing into our neighborhood.”
Member of Parliament Setlamorago Thobejane, General Secretary of the Congress of Traditional Leaders and Chair of the Institute of African Royalty, spoke of L. Ron Hubbard and the future of Africa.
“The Founder of Dianetics and Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, was a true leader amongst men. I learned that Dianetics was but his first step in a path to total spiritual freedom and that he has brought to us all the tools we need to improve our lives, no matter what is holding us back. Most remarkably, for a man whose every way has proven true, he prophesied that the next great civilization on this planet would arise, of course, from the Southern part of Africa.”
The ceremony closed with the traditional cutting of the ribbon, signifying the official opening of the Centre. Hundreds poured in to tour the public information center, viewing films and multimedia presentations describing Scientology beliefs and practices, the life and accomplishments of L. Ron Hubbard, and humanitarian activities of the Church including the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program, which provides community outreach, goodwill tours and disaster relief throughout Africa and around the world.
The new Scientology Life Improvement Centre in Braamfontein is an outreach facility of the Church of Scientology of Johannesburg. In 2003, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, traveled to South Africa to dedicate a new Church for the Johannesburg congregation at 1605 Langermann Drive in Kensington, the first of a new breed of Ideal Scientology Churches in Africa.
The Braamfontein Life Improvement Centre is the ninth new Church facility to be opened in the past year. Major Churches opened so far in 2010 include the Church of Scientology and Celebrity Centre of Las Vegas, the Church of Scientology of Quebec, and the Brussels branch of the Churches of Scientology for Europe, now Europe’s largest Scientology Church. In 2009 five major Churches were dedicated: the Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, DC, the Church of Scientology of Rome, and Scientology Churches in Nashville, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; and Malmö, Sweden.
For more information on Scientology Churches and activities, visit the Scientology Website at www.scientology.org.