t opened with cheering crowds, a marching band and Hollywood stars. And for the more than 4,300 Scientologists and friends in attendance, it signaled both the culmination of a 10-year project to renovate and beautify all Los Angeles Churches and a renewed dedication to helping their fellow man.
The occasion was the February 14 grand re-opening of the fully renovated Church of Scientology Advanced Organization of Los Angeles at the intersection of Fountain and L. Ron Hubbard Way in Hollywood. It was kicked off with a lively parade featuring the Church’s Golden Era Musicians, an honor guard and drill team and a four-horse equestrian exhibition.
Even an El Niño-spawned downpour didn’t dampen the spirits of the thousands in attendance. Some under tents and many more under umbrellas, they crowded into the street to see the opening festivities and the guest speakers.
Guillaume Lesèvre, Executive Director International of the Church of Scientology International, mother church of the Scientology religion, was the first to address the crowd. He spoke of the heritage and role of this crucial Scientology Church.
“It was in 1968, right here in Los Angeles, that the first Advanced Organization was formed in the United States,” he said. “Today, in its newly renovated spaces, this Church represents everything originally envisioned those 30 years ago. It is all there for you.
“The new Advanced Organization of Los Angeles is one more step in the realization of L. Ron Hubbard’s statement of the aims of Scientology: ‘a civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights,’” he said. “This is a new Church, and this is a new future.”
The thousands on hand took that invitation, spending the afternoon touring the new facilities and meeting with the staff. Many celebrities and community leaders were also present for the occasion, including Anne Archer, Kirstie Alley and Jenna Elfman. “Today’s opening of this renovated church represents just one aspect of all the wonderful things the Church of Scientology has going,” said Elfman, who went on to praise Scientologists’ work — and results — in criminal reform and education (see “Turning Lives Around”, “No More Revolving Door”).