More than 1,400 attend Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre 41st Anniversary Gala

More than 1,400 guests attended the 41st Anniversary Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre Gala in Hollywood on Saturday, August 7. The guest list included many of the Church’s well-known members, including John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Anne Archer, Erika Christensen, Nancy Cartwright (voice of Bart Simpson) and Jenna Elfman.

The annual event highlights the humanitarian programs sponsored by the Church—programs addressing drug abuse, human rights, moral values for a modern world, illiteracy and disaster relief.

The evening’s guest speakers included California Congresswoman Diane Watson; LAPD Hollywood Division Captain Beatrice Girmala; Mr. Albert DeCady, Special Advisor to Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph; and the former Liberian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Nathaniel Barnes.

Congresswoman Watson told the audience of her history in working with the Church: “As a public servant I’ve had the privilege of a close working relationship with you for many years on many vital issues of our society, and especially since becoming the U.S. Representative for this district in 2001. The relationship has been productive because your social programs are for people no matter who they are—and it has been rewarding because they work, and the resources you so generously provide are very effective.”

Ambassador Barnes traveled to Los Angeles from Washington, DC, for the event, to thank Church staff and parishioners for their work in his previously war-torn country and neighboring West African nations, citing the Church’s human rights programs and volunteers for sparking a human rights movement in his native Liberia.

“We now have more than 9,000 youth activists—young people who are educated, who are taking a stand and actively imparting human rights principles crucial for the continued peace and stability of not only Liberia, but all of Africa,” he said. “I would like to personally express our deep gratitude to you for giving these young people a new lease on life by empowering them.”

John Travolta and Kelly Preston were publicly acknowledged by Mr. Albert DeCady, Special Advisor to Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph, for personally flying medical personnel and four tons of needed supplies to his native Haiti in the weeks following the January 12 quake that devastated the island nation.

Mr. Travolta described the programs he has engaged in for many years with hands-on volunteer work and support: “What we are doing around the world—the programs for drug rehabilitation, for education rehabilitation, for the Scientology Volunteer Ministers that help in all the disaster areas around the world—there are so many programs our group is involved with.”

The popularity of Scientology among artists and professionals in many fields mirrors its current growth internationally, expanding more in the last year than the last five years combined and more in the last five years than in the five previous decades. The rapid expansion is fueled by word-of-mouth based on successful application of the religion’s practical principles to improve conditions in life. Scientology Churches, Missions and affiliated groups now exceed 8,500 in 165 countries. Concurrent to the increased international interest, new Churches of Scientology are opening at an exponential rate, with three new Churches opened in the last month, seven in 2010 alone and a dozen in the last year.

Celebrity Centres are those Churches of Scientology established to provide artists, professionals and leaders in every field with a distraction-free environment to practice their religion. Whether for up-and-coming artists or established public figures, Celebrity Centres provide an atmosphere where all can discover Scientology for themselves.

L. Ron Hubbard once wrote, “A culture is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists.” As an artist himself, Mr. Hubbard understood how important those dreams are to the creative person. He recognized as well that artists supply the spark of creativity and the vision leading the society into tomorrow.

The Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood was founded in 1969. Celebrity Centres in other world cultural centers include New York, Paris, Nashville, Vienna, Florence and London, and in February of this year the new Church of Scientology & Celebrity Centre Las Vegas opened its doors. Celebrity Centres, like all Churches of Scientology worldwide, are open to the public.

Worldwide, there are more than 8,500 Scientology Churches, Missions and affiliated groups in 165 countries.

Since the beginning of 2010, the Church of Scientology has opened seven new Churches in Seattle, Washington; Pasadena, California; Mexico City, Mexico; Los Angeles, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Quebec City, Canada; and Brussels, Belgium. Each is configured to provide the full services of the Scientology religion to parishioners and to the community, housing extensive public information multimedia displays, and ministering religious services in efficient and aesthetic spaces, including congregational services in expansive Chapels. These new Churches have expanded their ministry of religious services many times over, giving more than a million new people the opportunity to find out about Scientology.

Each of these new Churches is active in its community while also providing a strong base for Scientology-sponsored social and humanitarian programs aimed at curbing drug abuse, illiteracy, immorality and criminality, as well as restoring human rights, assisting individuals with personal troubles, and helping in times of disaster, both natural and man-made.

Another five new Churches of Scientology are scheduled for completion before the end of 2010.