Church of Scientology International response to ABC on the Church’s growth This letter addresses the elephant in the room with respect to the questions you have asked on behalf of ABC—a series of questions that are part of ABC’s one-sided anti-religious hit jobs (pending and past) on the Church of Scientology, the only religion to emerge from the 20th century as a world religion in this 21st century.
October 26, 2015
ABC News 20/20
47 West 66th Street
New York, NY 10023
Re: ABC’s program and the Church of Scientology
Dear Mr. Bentley:
This letter addresses the elephant in the room with respect to the questions you have asked on behalf of ABC—a series of questions that are part of ABC’s one-sided anti-religious hit jobs (pending and past) on the Church of Scientology, the only religion to emerge from the 20th century as a world religion in this 21st century.
Your ridiculous questions about the size of the Church’s membership are both ignorant and offensive. Your sources, per your own question, are “critics” which is better stated as a handful of individuals expelled from the Church for malfeasance or ethical lapses (which very much includes the subject of your program). Most were expelled a decade or more ago, and they know nothing about the Church today and have no information about our membership or our growth. They haven’t been inside a Church in years.
Meanwhile, you ignore the manifest growth of the Church worldwide that is visible in front of ABC’s eyes and ignore the voluminous information that we make available on www.scientology.org covering the Church’s growth, our beliefs and practices and the hundreds of videos of Scientologists from all walks of life, from a wide spectrum of professions and from nations across the globe that attest to their satisfaction in their religion of choice and in their spiritual quest.
While Ms. Remini continues to exploit the Church and harass its leadership for publicity and profit rather than move on with her life, Scientologists worldwide are assisting in disaster relief, fighting the drug epidemic, working with prison officials to reform inmates, and helping to improve education. None of that is covered by ABC. Dan Harris has proven he is afraid to look at the Church while shilling for Ms. Remini or other bitter anti-religionists. We believe it is time that ABC shows some objectivity and balance.
I have thus provided you with this succinct letter outlining the visible growth of the Church, thanks to the support of thriving worldwide congregations. If you can take a moment and throw away your preconceived ideas and look, you will see what men of goodwill do all over the world: The Church of Scientology is flourishing under the ecclesiastical leadership of Mr. David Miscavige. The Church of Scientology has grown more in the past decade than its first 50 years combined. Scientologists hold Mr. Miscavige in the highest regard as a visionary, forwarding the goals set by the religion’s Founder L. Ron Hubbard and creating the renaissance the religion is now experiencing. Mr. Miscavige works tirelessly for the parishioners and their benefit and to aid millions through sponsorship and participation in global humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs.
With all the enormous help the Church provides across the world today, it is disgusting that ABC only airs programs where expelled members are provided a platform to spread the same tired tales of anti-religious hate. We believe that one should respect the religious beliefs of others as a basic moral code. We also believe ABC should follow the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics and “Avoid stereotyping by … religion” while providing the Church’s perspective. ABC should also reveal any conflicts of interest and agreements ABC may share with the publisher or Ms. Remini, who coincidentally appeared as a guest host on an ABC program at the same time as this “news” program was in production.
Please note, I have attached a USB drive with HD broadcast-quality B-roll of many of the activities outlined in this letter and ABC is authorized to use this footage exclusively in your 30 October 2015 program(s) about the Church of Scientology. The footage shows new Churches of Scientology, the Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida, the release of Scientology Scripture, our all-digital religious publication plant, our dissemination and distribution center, Church of Scientology National Office in Washington, D.C., and sample shots of Church-supported humanitarian programs.
Here is an abbreviated list of Church expansion:
- More than 40 new Churches of Scientology opened to minister to parishioners and communities in major cities around the world, with the most recent the expansion of our Advanced Organization at Saint Hill, England, last week and new Churches in Tokyo, Japan; Bogotá, Colombia; and Basel, Switzerland.
- Church of Scientology Saint Hill, England, October 18, 2015
- Church of Scientology of Tokyo, Japan, August 8, 2015
- Church of Scientology of Bogotá, Colombia, July 5, 2015
- Church of Scientology of Basel, Switzerland, April 25, 2015
- Church of Scientology of Sydney, Australia, May 3, 2014
- Church of Scientology Pacifica Bridge, March 8, 2014
- Church of Scientology Advanced Organization Europe, Copenhagen, Denmark, February 15, 2014
- Church of Scientology of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, December 7, 2013
- Church of Scientology of Portland, Oregon, May 11, 2013
- Church of Scientology of Pretoria, South Africa, February 23, 2013
- Church of Scientology of Cambridge, Canada, February 9, 2013
- Church of Scientology of Padova, Italy, October 27, 2012
- Scientology Center of Tel Aviv, Israel, August 21, 2012
- Church of Scientology of Los Gatos, California, July 28, 2012
- Church of Scientology of Phoenix, Arizona, June 23, 2012
- Church of Scientology of Denver, Colorado, June 16, 2012
- Church of Scientology of San Jose, California, June 9, 2012
- Church of Scientology of Santa Ana, California, June 2, 2012
- Church of Scientology of Greater Cincinnati, February 25, 2012
- Church of Scientology of Sacramento, California, January 28, 2012
- Church of Scientology of Hamburg, Germany, January 21, 2012
- Church of Scientology of Inglewood, California, and its South Los Angeles Community Center, November 5, 2011
- Church of Scientology of St. Paul, Minnesota, October 22, 2011
- Church of Scientology of Tampa, Florida, March 13, 2011
- Church of Scientology of Moscow, Russia, February 26, 2011
- Church of Scientology of Melbourne, Australia, January 28, 2011
- Church of Scientology of Seattle, Washington, July 24, 2010
- Church of Scientology of Pasadena, California, July 18, 2010
- National Scientology Organization in Mexico City, July 10, 2010
- Church of Scientology of Los Angeles, California, April 24, 2010
- Church of Scientology of Las Vegas, Nevada, February 6, 2010
- Church of Scientology of Quebec, Canada, January 30, 2010
- Churches of Scientology of Europe, Brussels branch, Belgium, January 23, 2010
- Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C., October 31, 2009
- Church of Scientology of Rome, Italy, October 24, 2009
- Church of Scientology of Nashville, Tennessee, April 25, 2009
- Church of Scientology of Dallas, Texas, April 11, 2009
- Church of Scientology of Malmo, Sweden, April 4, 2009
- Church of Scientology of Berlin, Germany, January 13, 2007
- Church of Scientology of London, England, October 22, 2006
- Church of Scientology of New York, New York, September 6, 2004
- Church of Scientology of Madrid, Spain, September 18, 2004
- Church of Scientology of San Francisco, California, November 29, 2003
- Church of Scientology of Buffalo, New York, November 16, 2003
- Church of Scientology of Johannesburg, South Africa, November 2, 2003
- The Flag Building, the spiritual headquarters of the Scientology religion, opened its doors November 17, 2013. It serves thousands of parishioners every week who travel from around the world to attend services at the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Florida.
- The Oak Cove, a 13-story religious retreat, opened in January 2008.
- The Fort Harrison, the landmark religious retreat, opened in March 2009 after a top-to-bottom restoration.
- The Coachman Building, a historical building in downtown, was dedicated June 29, 2014, for religious training and counseling of the more than 2,000 members of the Church’s religious order who live and work in Clearwater.
- The Clearwater Building and related facilities opened July 11, 2015. The Clearwater Building contains a public information center open to the community at large, while the related facilities house Church-supported programs dedicated to human rights, morals, criminal reform and the Church’s Volunteer Minister programs.
- The acquisition of property adjacent to the Flag Building is for the future Ron Hubbard Hall, where thousands of Scientologists will attend events and conventions. Planning for its construction has already commenced.
- The Scripture
- Dissemination of the Church’s Humanitarian and Social Programs
- Church of Scientology National Affairs Office
- Humanitarian Programs
Additionally, thanks to the support of parishioners world over, the Church has acquired and is in the process of design and planning on more than two dozen churches in prominent locations in England, Denmark, Italy, South Africa, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and of course in other cities across the United States.
The Flag Building opened November 17, 2013, with more than 10,000 Scientologists and friends in attendance. Its ground-up construction was made possible through the support of thousands of parishioners, a project the leader of the religion conceived and saw to fruition over the last 20 years. The cathedral of Scientology is a 377,000-square-foot facility that occupies an entire city block to provide religious training and counseling for some 6,000 Scientologists at a time, with 22 course rooms and 275 individual auditing rooms.
The Flag Building is part of a greatly expanding Scientology community in Clearwater, Florida, which consists of some 50 buildings and includes:
Mr. Miscavige personally saw to the completion of specific assignments our Founder had given him to make all of the materials of Scientology available to parishioners in their pure form. As a new religion, Scientology is unique among the world religions in that it has its Founder’s words in written and recorded form. Mr. Miscavige carried out these instructions, scrupulously upholding the purity of the materials, conducting a line-by-line, word-by-word verification of every published writing against Mr. Hubbard’s handwritten originals, and providing all of it in its pure form in English and 16 other languages, many for the first time, to parishioners. This was heralded as a new dawn for all Scientologists.
At the same time, Mr. Miscavige personally supervised the largest training evolution for ministers of Scientology and implementation of everything that now comprises the Golden Age of Technology with the graduation of over 1,200 ministerial staff returning to over 100 Church locations around the world. All of this was announced at the historic event culminating these activities in November 2013.
The Golden Age of Knowledge
In 2010, Mr. Miscavige completed a 25-year project to recover all of L. Ron Hubbard’s writings and nearly 3,000 lectures by Mr. Hubbard—a project originally given to him by the Founder personally in 1984.
This endeavor involved developing the highest levels of audio restoration technology, processes which have since been employed by top specialists and in some cases adopted by the Library of Congress. Some 2 million man-hours were devoted to making this material available for the first time to our parishioners. Mr. Miscavige personally oversaw all aspects of this project, both in audio and written restoration, to make available the full body of Mr. Hubbard’s scriptural audio and written works. All of Mr. Hubbard’s written words including 18 books and 1,000 written issues were verified against his handwritten manuscripts and dictation, including the fragile wax disks used in early dictation equipment. Transcription errors, out-of-sequence or missing pages and chapters, and editorial alterations were all located and corrected. With restoration of the written and recorded Scripture, the fundamental books of Scientology have now been made available in audiobook form and most have been translated into 50 languages, making the religion accessible to more people today than at any time in history.
The Church established the 274,000-square-foot Bridge Publications in Los Angeles. It is a state-of-the-art and cutting-edge, all-digital, print-on-demand religious publishing organization dedicated to the propagation of the full Scientology Scripture. The Church also established new facilities for New Era Publications in Copenhagen, Denmark, which publishes Mr. Hubbard’s written works for Europe, CIS, the Middle East and India. Bridge Publications is capable of publishing up to 500,000 books and 925,000 of L. Ron Hubbard’s recorded lectures on CD each week, making it the largest religious digital publishing organization in the world, all so we can bring the religion to Mankind.
In 2010, another milestone was achieved with the establishment of a new 185,000-square-foot facility for the production of Church dissemination and humanitarian materials. This state-of-the-art facility enables the Church to produce and more broadly distribute our humanitarian materials at a rate 10 times our previous levels. This facility also manufactures Church artifacts, symbols and signs for Churches worldwide.
To coordinate Church-supported social betterment and humanitarian programs in the United States on a national level, the Church opened its National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., on September 12, 2012. Located in the historic and fully restored Fraser Mansion on Dupont Circle, it now serves as a gathering place for events, symposiums and meetings for human rights, drug prevention and social change.
I have sent you a separate letter on the Church’s worldwide humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs spearheaded by Mr. Miscavige. These programs have touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people and include:
- Foundation for a Drug-Free World: The Church supports the world’s largest nongovernmental anti-drug campaign. For further information, see www.drugfreeworld.org. The Truth About Drugs program features public service announcements, an award-winning documentary about real people and the destructive influence of the most commonly abused drugs, and an educator’s guide. It also includes information booklets exposing the myths of different drugs, all provided at no cost for mass distribution. The program has reached over 400 million through TV sponsorship, 30 million through booklet distribution, and 3.5 million children have pledged to lead drug-free lives through the Church-sponsored Drug-Free Marshals.
- United for Human Rights: The Church supports an international human rights public information campaign that broadly publicizes the 30 Articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For further information, see www.humanrights.com. In support of this campaign, the Church produced public service announcements for every article, an award-winning film providing the history of human rights, and booklets serving to fill the gap in human rights education. The campaign has reached half a billion people. The human rights education world tour has traveled 175,000 miles through 45 nations reaching 11 million people. More than 250,000 have signed petitions calling for mandatory human rights education. The materials are provided free to groups implementing human rights solutions.
- Church-sponsored and supported initiative to improve morals: The Church supports an educational initiative to raise moral standards through the nonreligious moral code written by Mr. Hubbard, The Way to Happiness. See www.thewaytohappiness.org. There are 21 public service announcements and an award-winning, feature-length book-on-film and educator’s guide which have helped this program to reach more than 700 million, with 93 million booklets distributed in some 100 languages. The Way to Happiness Foundation, located in Glendale, California, sponsors and advances these global programs.
- Scientology Volunteer Ministers: Volunteer Ministers have been active in more than 175 disaster relief efforts around the world, partnering with more than 800 agencies and organizations. For further information see www.volunteerministers.org. Our ministry has trained some 400,000 individuals to provide volunteer assistance, while helping nearly 11 million people one-on-one since September 11, 2001.
The Church has expanded more in the past decade than it has in the 50 previous years of its meteoric growth. This is thanks to its strong religious community, its social mission, the hierarchy which governs its ministry, and particularly the ecclesiastical leadership and vision of Mr. Miscavige, whom our parishioners enthusiastically support. Our new Churches serve as central points for our many social and humanitarian programs aimed at eradicating the crippling plagues of illiteracy, immorality, drug abuse and intolerance. As can be seen from everything I have covered, Mr. Miscavige is truly a religious leader for a new age.
I urge you to include the facts about the Church’s growth and use the video material I have provided to you to accurately describe the Scientology religion and its dedication to uplifting mankind.