Swift Preventive Measures by the Church of Scientology Help Staff, Parishioners & the Community
The Los Angeleno reports how the actions taken by the Church of Scientology resulted in zero cases of COVID-19 at its Sunset Hub.
“By adopting strict preventive measures early on, hundreds of Scientologists avoided coronavirus infection,” wrote Los Angeleno reporter Tony Pierce, who reached out to the Church to find out about its approach to the pandemic.
Here are some of the highlights of his interview with Bari Berger from the Church’s public relations department.
What safety measures have you implemented for the people who work at the church there and the living quarters?
We’re adhering to the safer-at-home order and applying, and exceeding, all regulations because the well-being of our staff, parishioners and community is our priority. One of the first steps we took was to identify the most powerful decontaminant and put this into use to disinfect our churches and staff living quarters from top to bottom every day, multiple times per day, including with special fogging equipment to reach all surfaces.
We suspended congregational gatherings in early March, implemented social distancing protocols and took the temperatures of each parishioner with a no-contact thermometer before they entered our church. Staff have their temperatures taken daily and all are wearing masks when outside.
Concurrently, we collected reliable information on effective prevention measures and published this in the form of booklets, which we provided to our staff and parishioners, including How to Keep Yourself & Others Well, How to Protect Yourself with a Mask & Gloves and How to Prevent the Spread of Illness with Isolation. We created an online How to Stay Well Prevention Resource Center to make these tools available to all, in 20 languages.
Each of the booklets can be downloaded on the website, along with signs on prevention protocols. You can also watch a number of videos there, for example, one on how bacteria and viruses are spread — the kind of thing you need to understand in order to grasp the importance of the preventive measures we’re all being encouraged to take right now.”
Some L.A. churches have turned to either livestreaming or taping their services and posting them on their websites or YouTube. Not long ago, you bought the former KCET studios on Sunset Boulevard. Are you using that video production facility to broadcast to your members so they can stay inside?
Yes, we broadcast from the former KCET studios on Sunset Boulevard, now Scientology Media Productions. From there, the Scientology Network launched in March of 2018. It streams in 17 languages at scientology.tv and can be watched on DIRECTV Channel 320, allowing us to stay in touch with Scientologists and the world at large.
For example…we launched a new series, “Scientologists@home,” which showcases the many people across the globe who are staying safe, staying well and thriving in life. Our members are also staying connected with the Church through social media, webinars and other online events and conferences.
Why was it important to the Church to react so early and swiftly in response to the coronavirus before similar measures were adopted elsewhere?
Because an ounce of prevention is worth a ton of cure, which is why from the get-go, the goal of our ecclesiastical leader, Mr. David Miscavige, has been a ton of prevention so as not to require an ounce of cure. He has been the driving force behind the Church’s response to this crisis.
In terms of fast action, while this pandemic is unlike anything we have ever experienced in our lifetimes, it is, at its core, a public emergency and the Church has a long history in the field of emergency and disaster response.
Our Volunteer Ministers have been in virtually every major disaster worldwide since 9/11, and we are often among the first to arrive. In 2018, for example, Volunteer Ministers were on site within 24 hours of the Woolsey Fire breaking out, with a total of 500 Volunteer Ministers providing disaster relief services across Agoura Hills, Camarillo and Thousand Oaks. So we have never been ones to wait for instructions to do what needs to be done. We act fast and that can make all the difference.
Does the Church have a message that it has sent to its members about the pandemic like “It’s going to be OK,” “This will make you stronger” or anything like that? Or does the Church not say things like that?
Our Church’s message to its members is: Set a good example, employ all possible precautions and take care of your neighbors, families and friends. Even though we are all keeping our distance, we are all in this together.
We are also urging people to spread the one thing every one of us can: a smile. We recently released an uplifting music video to that end, featuring artists from around the world like Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, Diego Verdaguer and Tebogo Louw, and quite a number who call L.A. home, including David Campbell and Mark Isham. All united to show the power of togetherness, even in a time when we’re all apart. The video quickly went viral and, in fact, just surpassed 10 million views on YouTube.…All wanted to convey the message that even if you’re stuck at home, you can lift the world up by spreading positivity.
To read the full article, visit the Los Angeleno website. And for more information on the Church’s responded to the pandemic, visit the How to Stay Well Resource Center on the Scientology website. The website includes information on how viruses and bacteria spread, how to properly wash your hands, the proper use of masks and gloves, social distancing tips, how to clean and sanitize your home, and what to do if you become sick or have symptoms.
The website is available in 20 languages and is offered as a public service by the Church of Scientology.
The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.
Church of Scientology Media Relations
(323) 960-3500 phone
(323) 960-3508 fax