Inside and Outside the Churches of Scientology Around the World
Much of my growth as an individual came through my interactions and work with the staff and parishioners of the Church of Scientology in Portland, Oregon. As such, and despite the fact that I now live on the other side of the country, I did share in the pride that all other Portland-area Scientologists had at the announcement of the grand opening of their new Church building.
Photos follow of their gorgeous and highly purposeful new space.
In ceremonies attended by more than 2,500 Scientologists and their guests from across the U.S., the Church of Scientology Portland was dedicated on Saturday, May 11, 2013. Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, led the dedication ceremony with local Church officials. Dignitaries on hand to commemorate the occasion included Cornelius City Manager and former Mayor of Beaverton, Mr. Rob Drake; Executive Director of the Portland Marathon, Mr. Les Smith; Chair of the Inter-Religious Action Network of Washington County, Ms. Annie Heart; and Host for the national “Voice of Freedom” television and radio programs, Reverend Jim Nicholls.
In recognition of Portland’s new Church, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, spoke to the history of Scientology in Portland and specifically the events surrounding a first Scientology Freedom Crusade of 1985:
“Portland was our test. It was a test of our resolve, our fortitude and determination to avert a grave assault on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. So when you look at where we stand today, remember it was all because our voices were heard 28 years ago. In that respect, your destiny has always foretold of the day when this Church would become a testament to what originally drew so many thousands to these streets. Namely, that our inherent right to spiritual salvation is intrinsically linked to tolerance, brotherhood and the right of every faith to champion the divinity of humankind. And so I ask that you now extend your help to all who would dream of such a freedom, so they, too, may realize their destiny.”
Executive Director of the Portland Marathon, Mr. Les Smith, recognized the Church’s Volunteer Ministers and their dedication to the city’s signature event:
“Our American culture is based on the ‘spirit of volunteerism.’ And it is with that same spirit that your volunteers have been showing up at our event for the last 20 years. By being here as long as they have, with their experience and with their understanding of our aims, they are invaluable. So as part of your celebration today, I want to acknowledge your dedicated corps: the world-famed Scientology Volunteer Ministers.”
Ms. Annie Heart, Chair of the Inter-Religious Action Network, spoke to the Church’s long-standing and indiscriminate work on behalf of residents across the state:
“You have been a vital partner and leader in the inter-religious community. So thank you to everyone for being here, and for serving our county-wide cities and fostering partnerships and peace throughout our beautiful state of Oregon.”
Reverend Jim Nicholls, host of the national “Voice of Freedom” TV and radio broadcasts, honored Scientologists and addressed all present when proclaiming:
“I hope you realize just how brightly the torch of Scientology blazes. I am convinced there is no religion and no organization in the world today that has done more for the fight for our religious freedom rights than the Church of Scientology.”
Church of Scientology of Portland: The new Church of Scientology Ideal Organization stands on Oak Street, at the corner of Third Avenue, in Portland’s historic downtown quarter.
Reception: The Church welcomes all visitors wishing to obtain an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology.
Scientology Public Information Center: The Church’s Public Information Center provides a complete introduction to every aspect of Dianetics and Scientology—including the beliefs and practices of the religion as well as a biographical presentation on the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center further presents exhibits on the many humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs the Church sponsors. Visitors are welcome to take a self-guided tour of the Center’s displays at their leisure and to return as often as they like.
The Church contains a permanent exhibit honoring Portland’s notable place in Scientology history as the site of the first Scientology Religious Freedom Crusade. In 1985, tens of thousands of Scientologists from across the world and leaders of all faiths united in this city for a movement which culminated with a watershed court victory for religious freedom in America.
The Chapel: All Scientology congregational services and ceremonies are convened in the Chapel, including Sunday Services open to members of every denomination.
The Chapel: In addition to providing for Scientology gatherings, the Chapel serves as an ideal venue for banquets, receptions and events in the name of community collaboration for the betterment of Portland.
The Atrium: The atrium rises through five stories at the center of our Church.
The Atrium: Each floor overlooks the central atrium including Scientology course rooms and the Church’s Knowledge Center.
Rooftop Terrace: The rooftop terrace offers visitors and parishioners alike a panoramic view of downtown Portland and the foothills of the Oregon Cascades beyond.
Dianetics and Scientology Bookstore: The bookstore makes available Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s Scripture on Dianetics and Scientology. In all, Mr. Hubbard’s legacy comprises tens of millions of published words in dozens of books and thousands of recorded lectures. All materials are further available in 15 translated languages.
Introductory Seminars: One of several Seminar Rooms providing for evening and weekend seminars on the fundamentals of Dianetics and Scientology.
Introductory Courses: The Church houses multiple classrooms for introductory courses on Dianetics and Scientology principles and their application in life.
The Academy: The Academy is where Scientologists train to become auditors (spiritual counselors), capable of applying the technology of auditing to help others attain spiritual freedom. The Portland Academy comprises multiple course rooms, each devoted to a different aspect of training.
The Office of L. Ron Hubbard: Traditional in all Churches of Scientology is the Office of L. Ron Hubbard, honoring the religion’s Founder and symbolizing that this Church is true to his writings and ideals.
The Church of Scientology’s new home is the historic Sherlock Building. Originally constructed in 1893, the landmark was heavily influenced by the work of eminent architect Louis Sullivan, whose distinct style combined modern elements with the Romanesque Revival style then prevalent in America. The Sherlock Building has long been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is recognized as the preeminent example of Sullivanesque architecture in Oregon. The Church meticulously preserved its distinguished architecture.
The renowned Sherlock Building rises seven stories at the corner of Third Avenue and Oak Street. As a result of the Church’s work to preserve this historic landmark, it will stand for another century. The building retains its original Romanesque Revival features, including the distinctive brick piers with rusticated stone capitals and trim.
Among the building’s original details now preserved are the signature Sullivanesque windows, framed with brick arches and terra cotta medallions.
Historic elements preserved in the interior of the Sherlock Building include the foyer’s coffered ceilings.