A fast-paced, high-tech presentation followed, incorporating excerpts of taped lectures by Mr. Hubbard, photographs and video footage, with live musical accompaniment, taking the audience from the days before the formation of any organized Dianetics activity, through the founding of the Church of Scientology to the present, with more than 3,100 churches,
missions and groups open in more than 115 countries on six continents.
That was just fascinating, said Ed Clarke, a Clearwater resident. I have taken services at Scientology missions and churches for almost a decade now, but never before have I really understood how carefully Mr. Hubbard researched and developed the subject of administration to truly help people.
L. Ron Hubbard also lived a diverse, multifaceted and exciting life, and ultimately delineated solutions for all he found.
Yet possibly best reflecting the rapid growth of Scientology across the globe is the explosive popularity and growth of the Churchs presence in cyberspace.
What began in the spring of 1996 as three sites on the World Wide Web known as the Global Scientology Information Center has now grown to more than 130 related sites and more than 39,000 pages of material. Those numbers may seem high, said Mr. Ingber, and according to most Netizens they are, such as in a letter recently received from the Association of On-line Professionals noting that the Church operates one of the worlds largest information-oriented web sites. Whats more, those sites have now received more than 120 awards and more than 55 million hits from Internet users.
Service to Parishioners and Communities
Mr. Hubbard also stressed repeatedly in his writings that Scientologists, both individually and working in organized groups, should do all they can to improve the communities around them and the lot of all who live in them. And so, each year, Scientology churches and missions strive to achieve as much as possible in their respective areas by Mr. Hubbards March 13 birthday.
Recognized for their service to their parishioners and their communities at the event were the Church of Scientology Mission of Moscow, Russia; the Church of Scientology in Milano, Italy; the European headquarters of the Church in Copenhagen, Denmark; and the Church of Scientology Advanced Organization, Europe, also in Copenhagen. The awardees were announced, and the awards presented, by Mr. Guillaume Lesèvre, Executive Director International of the Church of Scientology International.
In introducing the evenings closing segment, Mr. David Miscavige noted that the Church of Scientology in Clearwater is the place the world looks to when they look to Scientology. And so, he told the audience, it is important that the Church here be a reflection of Scientology to the world for Scientologists and non-Scientologists. Be it you coming for service, or wanting to bring your non-Scientologist family or friend, or even a visit from the worlds religious and governmental leaders.
He then presented the plans for construction and expansion of Church facilities in Clearwater. (See New Building Project to Bring Life and Beauty to Downtown, New Plans Un-veiled,) In addition to the more than 4,000 attending in Clearwater alone, the event was broadcast to over 5,000 at Los Angeles Universal Amphitheater the same evening and to record-breaking audiences across the world by video relay.