Long history in Los Angeles
Los Angeles has long played a central role in the history of Scientology — even before the first Church of Scientology opened its doors.
In the late 1940s and after his tour of duty in the second world war,
L. Ron Hubbard — author, philosopher and founder of Dianetics and Scientology — conducted important research which helped pave the way for the May 1950 publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. He established what was in effect the first Dianetics Center in an office at Sunset and La Brea, counseling those who came from every part of Los Angeles life — from local college campuses to studio backlots, from retirement homes to local acting
The publication of Dianetics set off a firestorm of popularity and groups were soon in operation nationwide and across the globe. But the first official organization was established in Los Angeles. And when Mr. Hubbard’s further research delved into the realm of the human spirit and Scientology was born — it was again Los Angeles where the first Church of Scientology was established, on February 18, 1954.
Today there are more than 3,100 Scientology churches, missions and groups in over 110 countries, dozens of them based in Southern California, including Church of Scientology International, the mother church, and the Church of Scientology Celebrity Centre in Hollywood.
But Los Angeles is also home to one of only five churches around the world which provide the advanced levels of training and spiritual counselling available in the Scientology religion. The other four senior churches, also known as Advanced Organizations, are in Copenhagen, Denmark; East Grinstead, England; Clearwater, Florida, and Sydney, Australia.
Scientologists from all over the United States and all parts of North and South America come to Los Angeles to study and receive counseling at the Advanced Organization, but it is also open to visitors who want to find out more about the religion.
Culmination of years of renovation and beautification efforts
The Church of Scientology Advanced Organization of Los Angeles started in a two-story building on Westlake Street in 1968 with a dozen staff. To accommodate the rapid growth, it moved to its present location in 1978. The organization now occupies more than 48,000 square feet with space for more than 2,000 parishioners at any one time. More than a half-million man hours were invested in the renovation of the building to its new classic yet modern style.
Yet more significant to Scientologists is what the grand re-opening of the Advanced Organization means in terms of spiritual progress. The Church organizations on L. Ron Hubbard Way now offer the full spectrum of Church services. That is, a Scientologist can do his very first services at the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles at Sunset and L. Ron Hubbard Way, move on to advanced studies and ministerial training at the Church’s American Saint Hill Organization at the middle of the block, and then onto advanced levels of spiritual counseling at the Advanced Organization at the street’s south end.
“Yes, it is a beautiful street,” explained Jeff Butler, who attends services at the Advanced Organization, “but to Scientologists, the most important and special thing is the range of services you can do here. Just about everything attainable from Dianetics and Scientology can be attained on this block. There is nowhere else in the world like it.”
“To Scientologists, the most important and special thing is the range of services you can do here. Just about everything attainable from Dianetics and Scientology can be attained on this block. There is nowhere else in the world like it.”
“The opening of the Advanced Organization’s new quarters represents the fruition of nearly a decade of work, to put every Church organization on L. Ron Hubbard Way into ideal quarters,” said Rev. Heber Jentzsch, president of the Church of Scientology International, “while also making the surrounding environment one of the most beautiful in all of the city. For us, what is most important is making our services more available, more accessible so that Scientologists can advance and more people can find out about Scientology for themselves.
“We are very proud that this project was such a success and very proud of the united community effort which made it possible.”