Church of Scientology of Tampa Expands Into New Historic Landmark Ybor Square Home

March 15, 2011 at 3:09 am (Church of Scientology) ()

Church of Scientology Tampa

This weekend marks the hundredth birthday of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard (March 13, 1911). The celebration began Saturday evening, March 12, with a momentous Centennial Event including a two-hour biographical presentation of the Founder’s life. It was attended by more than 6,000 in Clearwater, Florida.

The following day, Sunday, March 13, thousands of Scientologists next gathered for a Grand Opening ceremony to dedicate the Church of Scientology of Tampa in its new home, the landmark Ybor Square. The new Tampa Church was made necessary by a fourfold growth in Tampa’s Scientology congregation over the past decade.

The 88,000-square-foot Church houses a Public Information Center presenting the beliefs and practices of Scientology, including the life of its Founder. The Information Center further presents an overview of all Church-sponsored humanitarian programs, including its initiatives for Human Rights, drug education and prevention, literacy and learning centers, as well as its world-famed Volunteer Minister program providing disaster relief and indiscriminate help. The Public Information Center also includes multimedia displays with nearly 500 documentary films.

Ybor Square is a designated National Historic Landmark. Originally built in the late 1880s by city father Vicente Ybor, the complex of three buildings served as the “cigar capital of the world” at the turn of the 19th century. In making Ybor Square its home, the Church has meticulously restored the historic site. It features period artifacts, including an original tobacco press, original embossed tin panel ceilings and original wrought iron steps at the entrance. Also preserved is the building’s “lectern,” the wooden platform from which “readers” read to workers to both entertain and educate.

At the Grand Opening ribbon-cutting ceremony, Church Executive Director, Lynn Irons, reflected on the significance of the new Tampa Church and the historically ethnic community it serves:

“The Cuban, Spanish, Italian, Jewish and German populations who settled here all thrived—thanks to the creation of Mutual Aid Societies. These societies were created by immigrants for immigrants. And it is in the same proud tradition of service to the community that we open this Church of Scientology today, in Ybor City.” Mr. Irons went on to say, “We bring the infinite value of L. Ron Hubbard’s priceless discoveries and technologies to improve the community and the human condition. Accordingly, we are very proud to expand in Ybor and in Tampa.”

Officially dedicating the building was Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion. In addressing the assembly, Mr. Miscavige placed the occasion in historical perspective for the worldwide religion:

“Unlike any other Scientology Church on Earth, this Church stands in the shadow of our spiritual headquarters in Clearwater. And with that comes another responsibility. For in the coming year, you will, indeed, see the ribbon falling on our new spiritual Mecca. And consequently, you’ll then see an unprecedented number of Scientologists arriving in Clearwater from virtually every country on Earth. As a matter of fact, coming soon to your neighborhood is the whole face of Scientology: Russians and Hungarians; Italians, French and Germans; Australians, Venezuelans, South Africans and Mexicans—not to mention Vietnamese, Taiwanese and Chinese. And they’re all going to want to see what now marks Tampa as a center for Spiritual Freedom and Greatness.”

Mr. Miscavige concluded his address by officially dedicating the building to the Church’s Founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

__________________

The Church of Scientology of Tampa is one in a series of new Ideal Scientology Church Organizations (“Ideal Orgs”). Ideal Orgs realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision for the religion and its Churches. Ideal Orgs not only provide the ideal facilities to service Scientologists on their spiritual ascent, but they are also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift citizens of all denominations.

Under the guidance of Mr. David Miscavige, 23 Ideal Churches have opened across 3 continents in the last 5 years. The Church of Scientology of Tampa is the third Ideal Org to open in 2011, following:

For a complete list of new Ideal Churches of Scientology see David Miscavige: At the Helm of the Era of Expansion.

__________________

The new Church of Scientology of Tampa stands just 24 miles from Flag, Scientology’s Spiritual Headquarters, in Clearwater, where construction is moving towards completion on a new 7-story, 375-thousand-square-foot Church, scheduled to open later this year.

This new Church will crown the completion of the Church of Scientology Flag religious retreat, which has already included:

  • The complete renovation, in January 2008, of the 13-story Oak Cove overlooking Clearwater Bay. The Oak Cove provides for the ministry of Scientology services, as well as accommodations for visiting Scientologists.
  • The full restoration, in March 2009, of the historic Fort Harrison Hotel. The Fort Harrison now serves as a religious retreat for Scientology parishioners who travel to Flag from some 60 nations. Its public facilities also host a multitude of community gatherings and events. (See The Landmark Fort Harrison Fully Restored)

__________________

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 9,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 165 countries.

Permalink Leave a Comment

Church of Scientology Opens New Church in the Heart of Moscow

March 8, 2011 at 5:47 am (Russia, Scientology, scientology.org) (, , , )

The Scientology religion has opened its first major Church in the Russian Federation—the new Church of Scientology of Moscow. The building stands in the city’s central Garden Ring, just a mile from Red Square.

Commemorating this new Scientology Church, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the religion, declared: “It has been said that Russia cannot be understood with the intellect, that it cannot be measured by any common standard and that it can only be believed in. Well, let Russia now believe this: The Church that now stands in Moscow possesses a technology that is all but synonymous with the human spirit. It is a technology to bring forth the goodness in people and the greatness they are destined to achieve. It is a technology that is both kind and strong. It is a technology for freedom and wisdom.”

Scientology established its first Church in the Russian Federation in 1993 after the fall of communism and has seen phenomenal growth in the years since. It has been recognized as a leading voice in the fight for universal human rights.

The new Moscow Church not only meets the needs of its growing congregation of Scientologists, but also serves as the center for all faiths to unite for community betterment and social improvement in the name of religious freedom.

The Church of Scientology of Moscow further coordinates the Church’s many humanitarian initiatives. The 65,000-square-foot building houses a Public Information Display presenting an introduction to all Church-sponsored programs, including those dedicated to drug education, literacy and human rights. The new Church also provides public conference rooms and an auditorium for religious community functions.

The Moscow Church already stands at the forefront of Russia’s greater human rights movement. It works in coordination with the internationally renowned Moscow Helsinki Group, founded by Ms. Lyudmila Alexeyeva. Ms. Alexeyeva is one of the original Soviet era dissidents to decry communist oppression. She is also the recipient of the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. On the occasion of the Moscow Church opening, Ms. Alexeyeva stated: “For me, as a human rights advocate, all religions are equal in their rights. Your Church is particularly devoted to defending the freedom of belief not only for its own parishioners but for all religious people of any denomination.”

The Church’s religious freedom victories are now legend. Scientology’s landmark decisions before the European Court of Human Rights set the standard for religious rights in all 47 member states. In recognition of what this new Church of Scientology represents to religious freedom, Mr. Boris Nikolayevich Panteleyev from the Russian Federation’s Public Chamber stated: “The precedents you have set in the European Court of Human Rights regarding your Church are very important for all those who stand for religious freedom. Today all lawyers, religious scholars, human rights advocates and representatives of other faiths carefully study these texts, seeing in them hope for justice and protection from discrimination in our own land.”

Mr. Panteleyev, who presented the Church with a recognition commemorating its grand opening, continued, saying: “Scientologists work to see that all have the right to thought, to practice religion and to rejoice. You work to see that all people have the right to assemble, the right to establish and support their own churches and organizations; that they have the freedom to think for themselves and to the expression of their thoughts and ideas. These freedoms are the very manifestation of the individual spirit. So it is important that we rejoice today, for this is a glorious day in the name of freedom for all of Russia.”

Scientology’s Drug Free World initiative is but one of the Church programs now adopted by citizens of the Russian Federation. Among its foremost advocates is Dr. Victor Ivanovich Cherepkov, two-term State Duma Deputy, who said: “The drug industry has taken its toll on Russians for years. Until recently we had no solution that could prevent the problem. Your drug education is well recognized in Russia. We are already using your literature and your methods in the fight against drugs. In fact, these are widely disseminated throughout Russia. And it’s spreading for one reason only: it simply is working everywhere and anywhere.”

Dr. Cherepkov went on to say, “In the effectiveness of your anti-drug campaign, I see the wisdom of L. Ron Hubbard—the great teacher and philosopher. For he unlocked the human mind and human problems with knowledge, to free us from the wickedness of existence in the name of creation, perfection and kindness.”

With the new Church of Scientology of Moscow, so begins the next historic chapter for Scientology. It is a chapter that not only signifies a renaissance for the religion itself, but a new era for religious and human rights in Russia.

__________________

Under the guidance of Mr. David Miscavige, the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, the Church is undergoing an era of explosive growth. The opening of the Moscow Church is the second since the beginning of 2011, and the 20th to be christened in cultural centers world over, in just the last 5 years, including:

There are currently another 60 major Scientology Churches in design, planning or construction around the world. (For the complete list of new Scientology Churches, see David Miscavige: At the Helm in the Era of Expansion)

This same period of unparalleled expansion also saw:

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 9,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 165 countries.

Permalink Leave a Comment