Seaside Grand Opening of stunning new Church on Highway 101 marks a milestone for Scientology’s spectacular growth across the Golden State.
Riding a never-ending swell of expansion for the religion, the Church of Scientology cut the ribbon on a new Ideal Organization (Org), Saturday, February 22, along this slice of surfing paradise. The first Ideal Org devoted to Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties opened before an exuberant audience of some 4,000 Scientologists and federal, state and local dignitaries. The dedication crests an ambitious period of growth through the past decade, only accelerating into 2020.
For the 100,000 daily commuters motoring on the 101, the glass-encased, new Church gleams as an unmistakable beacon of freedom just minutes from Downtown Ventura and Surfers Point, and but 500 yards from the San Buenaventura State Beach. At 66,000 square feet, the expansive and striking structure provides the capacity to immediately multiply manyfold the Church’s outreach and services to the hundreds of thousands who call this stretch of coastline home.
Stirred by a wafting Pacific breeze, a festive air of accomplishment pervaded the occasion. Leading the grand celebration was Mr. David Miscavige, the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, who told the assembled that the wave for which they were waiting was now about to break: “A perfect wave. An endless wave. A wave anyone can ride to higher plateaus of ability and spiritual immortality. But, of course, not everyone knows where the shoreline ends and the ride of a lifetime begins—which is where you come in with an invitation to freedom and a lesson on how to catch that wave and never be the same again.”
In recognition of Ventura and Santa Barbara’s longstanding partnership with Church-sponsored social betterment and humanitarian programs, a series of luminaries from Port Hueneme to Montecito converged to lend a passionate welcome at the new Ideal Org’s inauguration.
Joining the Scientology parishioners and Church officials were Councilman Steven Gama, from the City of Port Hueneme, Ventura County; Sharon Byrne, Advisor to the 4th District of Santa Barbara County; John Chavez, Voluntary Agency Liaison, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and Barbara Gaughen-Muller, President of the Tri-County United Nations Association.
In highlighting the Church’s work toward environmental responsibility, Councilman Gama described L. Ron Hubbard’s nonreligious moral guide, The Way to Happiness, as having “the power to get people into action.” He went on to state: “Your Way to Happiness volunteers have already been out with us all along Ormond Beach at our cleanups. From early morning until we’re done for the day, you are there taking care of our precious environment and helping it to thrive.… So not only will this new Church help preserve all that is good about our incredible home, it will be a beacon inspiring an even better environment, better neighbors and a better community for us all.”
Sharon Byrne of Santa Barbara County praised the impact regional Scientology-sponsored drug education has had on raising awareness and ultimately saving young lives. “Your film The Truth About Drugs provides the vision and guidance people need in 2020,” she said. “It gets in your face and tells it like it is. That’s precisely why it works. And why, with the Truth About Drugs program here in our Tri-County high schools, students are already saying, ‘I would never have smoked marijuana if I had seen this film, and I’m not going to do it again.’… So, one by one, you are helping realize an altogether new premise. You are helping shepherd our kids so no child will ever go down the path of taking drugs.”
John Chavez, Voluntary Agency Liaison for FEMA, acknowledged the many Scientology Volunteer Ministers in the audience, honoring their dedication to local recovery efforts in the wake of the Ventura fires. “When you’re dealing with a crisis of this magnitude,” he stated, “you need strong community and church support. And the Volunteer Ministers were there. You were on the ground in Ventura City. You were there in Ojai. You were at the side of firemen and distributing masks in the streets. You stayed right to the very end. You are a crucial link in our disaster response chain. In fact, I’ve got you right on my speed dial!”
No less laudatory was Barbara Gaughen-Muller of the Tri-County United Nations Association citing the Church’s tireless dedication to human rights education, inspiring forums and workshops through area charter schools and nonprofits. In light of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s enduring commitment to upholding human rights, Ms. Gaughen-Muller proclaimed: “Seventy-five years ago, the prophecy for the UN was that: Housed within its unique glass building, there was a power that would change the world. Well, you now have your own beautiful glass home here, where all the world will see you. Your presence is powerful. And so on the eve of your Founder’s Birthday Celebration, let us now say, ‘Yes, Mr. Hubbard, here is a house of eternal freedom to transform lives all across this Golden Coast!’”
The striking new facility provides the region with an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology, beginning with the Public Information Center. Its displays, containing more than 500 films, present the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion and the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center also offers a detailed overview of the many Church-sponsored humanitarian programs—including a worldwide human rights education initiative, far-reaching drug education, prevention and rehabilitation programs; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, which has become one of the world’s largest independent relief forces. The Center is open morning to night for visitors to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish.
The Church’s Chapel provides for Scientology congregational gatherings, including Sunday Services, Weddings and Naming Ceremonies—as well as a host of events open to members of all faiths in the name of community collaboration. The new Church further includes multiple seminar rooms and classrooms, in addition to dozens of rooms for Scientology auditing (spiritual counseling).
Ideal Church Organizations (Ideal Orgs) realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision for the religion. They not only provide the ideal facilities to service Scientologists on their ascent to greater states of spiritual awareness and freedom, but are also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground for cooperative efforts to uplift citizens of all denominations.
This past decade has seen the opening of new Ideal Orgs across the US, including New York City, Harlem, Buffalo, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Nashville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle. The opening of Ventura’s new Ideal Org marks the 12th to open in the state of California—Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Gatos, San Jose, Silicon Valley, San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Inglewood, Orange County and San Diego.
This era of explosive growth for the Scientology religion is further represented by the opening of new Ideal Church Organizations in major cities all over the world, including London, Birmingham and Dublin in the British Isles; throughout Europe in Brussels, Rome, Milan, Padova, Madrid, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Copenhagen, Malmö, Amsterdam, Basel and Budapest; in the Middle East at Tel Aviv; all along the Pacific Rim at Tokyo, Kaohsiung, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth; in South Africa at Johannesburg and Pretoria; more in Canada at Québec and Cambridge; and in Latin American capitals of Mexico City and Bogotá.
For a complete list of new Ideal Churches of Scientology, visit Scientology.org/IdealChurches.
To disseminate Scientology’s message still further and answer the overwhelming interest about the religion, the Church launched its own satellite TV channel, Scientology Network, on DIRECTV Channel 320, which also live streams at scientology.tv, as well as on multiple platforms in 17 languages across 24 time zones.