The Church of Scientology’s Chatswood facility at 126 Greville Street is understood to represent the largest Scientology spiritual centre outside of the United States and will be Australasia’s centre for Scientology training and practice.
In honour of its historic opening, the ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion and Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Centre – and reportedly Tom Cruise’s best friend – Mr. David Miscavige travelled to Sydney to lead the dedication ceremonies for the new facility spanning 145,000 square feet.
The controversial group acquired the site for about $37 million and outlaid a further $20 million in renovations and construction. The facility will include a three storey concrete building and a 2 storey concrete car park nearby.
Built on the bones of the former National Acoustics Laboratory, Mr Miscavige described the new centre as a ‘physical wonder that gives meaning to the spirit of Scientology itself’.
In his ceremonial address to the more than 2,500 Scientologists present, Mr. David Miscavige said: “Today we mark yet another monumental done with a grand opening that is positively like no other. For where else can you dedicate a new Scientology Advanced Organization as breathtaking as this? Or for that matter, where else can you offer the timeless freedom of eternity to the most populated zone on Earth? Well, that is exactly what we inaugurate today as we cut the ribbon on your new Ideal Advanced Organization for Australasia!”
National and state dignitaries welcoming the new Church included Ms. Le Lam, Mayor Emeritus and Chairwoman of the Asian Cultural Association for Greater Sydney; Dr. Amin Hady, former religious advisor to the Australian Prime Minister; Ms. Gracelyn Smallwood, international human rights activist, recipient of the Order of Australia and a professor at James Cook University; Dr. Keith Thompson, Associate Dean, University of Notre Dame; and Dr. David Bennett AC, QC and former Solicitor General of Australia.
The Church’s newest and largest spiritual centre will become the centre for the Asia Pacific region representing an “architectural masterpiece” with soaring windows that open onto views of the national park outside its massive 145,000-square-foot building.
Describing how he “first laid eyes on this arboreal palace nestled at the rim of a eucalyptus wonderland,” Mr. Miscavige said, “the most descriptive phrase beyond ‘mind-blowing’ was, ‘perfectly perfect.’ Well, so too, is the timing of your grand opening.”
The historic event comes in the wake of a new “Golden Age for higher states of spiritual awareness” in Scientology. It’s a Golden Age comprising yet another monumental achievement in making Scientology technology available. They include Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s original Advanced Course film lectures now fully restored, and advanced materials extending to the upper reaches of the Bridge to Total Freedom, which have been translated into 17 languages, including Chinese and Japanese. Consequently, Scientologists are ascending the Bridge at seven times earlier numbers.
The new Ideal Advanced Scientology Organisation is equipped to accommodate these numbers with facilities that include a Hubbard Guidance Centre, replete with 60 auditing (spiritual counselling) rooms, course rooms for the training and guidance of Solo auditing (parishioners auditing themselves through the state of Clear and Advanced Levels), and course rooms for the training of auditors to serve in Scientology Organisations across the Asia Pacific.
The expansive facility also houses a new Ideal Continental Liaison Office for the ecclesiastical management of every sector of Scientology in the region. That includes Scientology Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, as well as the establishment and expansion of Church-supported humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs.
The ultra-modern structure presents a minimalist style with multi-story glass blending into a striking concrete landscape. Outside, the Blue Gum Creek wends its way through the 8.5-acre eucalyptus forest, a virtual Garden of Eden in the heart of Sydney’s metropolitan area.
That one-of-a-kind locale was the site of convergence for the more than 2,500 Scientologists and their guests who came together to celebrate the opening.
Sydney’s new “Ideal Org” provides all visitors with an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology, beginning with the Public Information Centre. 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 Centre also offers a detailed overview of the many Church-sponsored humanitarian programs—including a worldwide human rights education initiative; an equally far-reaching drug education, prevention and rehabilitation program; a global network of literacy and learning centres; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, now comprising the world’s largest independent relief force. The Centre 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 community-wide events open to members of all denominations. The new Ideal Org further includes multiple seminar rooms and classrooms, in addition to an entire floor dedicated to Scientology auditing (spiritual counselling).
The dedication of the Ideal Advanced Organisation and Saint Hill for Australia, New Zealand and all of Asia comes during a period of epic expansion for the religion. Under Mr. Miscavige’s leadership the Church of Scientology has opened the doors of more than 50 new Ideal Churches across six continents. Recent openings have taken place in Harlem, New York; Budapest, Hungary; Atlanta, Georgia; Milan, Italy; Tokyo, Japan; Bogotá, Colombia; and Basel, Switzerland.
The Church recently opened Scientology Media Productions as well, a five-acre, technologically cutting-edge studio in Hollywood, California, in which the religion’s message will be proclaimed via television and radio broadcasting, Internet and social media and every other media platform.
More Ideal Org openings are planned in the coming year for cultural epicentres in New Zealand, Europe, Latin America and North America.