Inside and Outside the Churches of Scientology Around the World
I was fortunate enough to be present a the grand opening of the new Church of Scientology National Office in the Fraser Mansion in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.
The grand opening was special to me on a number of levels. First, the location itself is special to me, as the Fraser Mansion was formerly the location of the Founding Church of Scientology until growth necessitated its moving to its new building on P Street, about a 10-minute walk away. I had the good fortune of being a staff member at this Church during that time, and know virtually every corner of that beautiful building like it was my own house. So, seeing it restored again (including the work on that beautiful parquet floor in the reception area) definitely was something special.
But even more special is the work which will now take place in that building, work that I’ve spent a good chunk of my life supporting. Work like the Volunteer Minister program, which as Ms. Liz Gibson, Senior Program Manager at the Federal Emergency Management Agency pointed out, has been active in the relief efforts of every single major disaster planetwide since 9/11. That’s 210+ separate incidents that they’ve responded to, in case you were counting.
Or the church’s Human Rights program, which is virtually un-paralleled in its drive to ensure the world is educated on basic human rights, and to make those a fact in every country on earth.
The church’s Drug Education program, Way to Happiness mentoring programs, criminal-reform programs, and education programs will also be spearheaded from this new office — all of which I’ve been involved in to a greater or lesser extent, and all of which have immense efficacy.
Three members of congress, and another high-ranking government official were on-hand at the opening of the building. By far the most impactful of which were the words spoken by the Honorable Sheila Jackson Lee, Member of U.S. Congress. In addition to a powerful tribute to Isaac Hayes which left my wife and I both nearly in tears, she not only honored what the members of the church had done thus far but also looked forward to a long partnership that we can have with other like-minded groups in America which are working to make a better place for us and for our children. She said:
“I want to thank L. Ron Hubbard for recognizing that courage is not rewarded but it is valued. And to be able to have the wonderment of people coming together and ensuring that people come together for peace. That’s what I see in the Church, that you have come together for peace. I welcome and support that.”
And that, I couldn’t agree much more.