The Church of Scientology returns to the Cradle of Humankind to open a new ideal Church in South Africa’s Johannesburg North.
Just an hour northwest of Johannesburg, researchers have discovered the oldest fossils on Earth, dating back 3.5 million years, in an area now known as the “Cradle of Humankind.” Life as we know it can be traced there.
Today, looking forward, Johannesburg, located in the most populated of the South Africa’s nine provinces, is home to an up-and-coming new civilization, free from the evils of apartheid and flourishing as a culturally-rich region of advanced technology and art professionals. And within Gauteng is the district of Randburg, where there is now a new kind of Cradle for Humankind—the new ideal Church of Scientology of Johannesburg North, which was formally dedicated at the end of December.
“There is no place on Earth that holds a place in my heart as your Africa,” Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center Mr. David Miscavige told the crowd of over 1,500 Scientologists and guests. “This place primeval, this cradle of the world.” The new Church, he said, “is a perfect expression of ideal Church architecture, and it absolutely mirrors basic patterns of the Universe … for a new civilization that begins as of right now.”
The new Church is nearly 70,000 square feet and sits on two acres, along a busy road, adorned with a lush garden. Decorated in earth tones of sand and sage, it sits up the road from the original—and still flourishing—Johannesburg Church, the very first ideal Church of Scientology.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard made his home for a short while in Johannesburg in 1960-61, where he led early moves against apartheid and declared, “From Southern Africa will spring the next great civilization on this planet.”
The grand ceremony began with magical sounds of African drums, accompanying native dancers and singers. Later, the 150-strong Church staff sang a joyful rendition of Shosholoza—a traditional Zulu song loosely translated as “Going Forward.”
Moving forward was a common theme among guest speakers. They included: Chief Fanie, of the Zalisidinga African Traditional Council; Mr. Martin Mande Advisor to the United Nations Refugee Agency, South Africa; Ms. Amy Fakude, Speaker Emeritus of the Gauteng Women’s Parliament and Pastor Errol Jacobs of the Eldorado Ministries. Each spoke of their fortuitous interaction with parishioners and volunteers participating in the Church’s programs.
Chief Fanie told the crowd of his experiences with L. Ron Hubbard’s Technology: “I first came across your technology while at work out in the townships surrounding Johannesburg,” he said. “Despite their simplicity, these tools were bringing trust, decency and honor to these people … it was like magic.”
Mr. Martin Mande recalled the spirit of African hero Nelson Mandela. “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination,” he noted, and spoke about the importance of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which the Church teaches to children across Africa, and around the world. “For Scientologists, it is not about talking, it’s all about implementation—the actions,” he told the crowd.
Speaker Emeritus Ms. Amy Fakude, highlighted L. Ron Hubbard’s The Way to Happiness and its ability to empower a generation: “Before, girls as young as 12 were becoming pregnant. Now, they are protected by their newfound self-integrity. And where young men believed stealing was okay because, ‘they were taking back what was originally theirs,’ well, now they’re taking back their self-respect. I’m telling you, with The Way to Happiness—we are giving humankind back its humanity.”
Pastor Jacobs is the son and grandson of pastors, one of seven men of religion in his family. All have seen the downslide of morality in their communities, and he has “parents, schools, principals” coming to him seeking help. “Just a few years ago, I couldn’t have told you … but now I know, and it’s a blessing—because I found Dianetics and the Church of Scientology and all that you bring to this world!”
Mr. Miscavige, joined by local parishioners who led the way in making the new Church a reality, cut the giant red ribbon to officially open the Church, and thousands poured through the buildings to marvel over the brightness and energy inside.
Tribal leaders, government figures and dignitaries pledge their continuous partnership for the future of Southern Africa.
Spreading the Word
“We preach, and we teach, only to see the world disappearing under our feet. Parents, schools, principals, they come to me and say, ‘Please Pastor, I need your help.’ But, to where do I refer them? Well, just a few years ago, I couldn’t have told you to where or to whom, but now I know, and it’s a blessing. Because I found Dianetics and the Church of Scientology, and all that you bring to this world.”
Giving Power to the People
“I first came across your technology while at work out in the townships surrounding Johannesburg. These tools were bringing trust, decency and honor to these people … it was like magic. So I started classes myself and step-by-step, you taught me this ‘magic.’ And very soon, I believed I had the power to help my people, because after studying all 19 courses—I’ve become the Chief with all the answers.”
Uplifting Souls Toward Human Rights
“Where others are static in their mindset, you are visionary revolutionaries. You are uplifting souls toward human rights. We must now establish rights clubs everywhere, in schools, in organizations and churches in every community. And so, in that way, from her head to her heart, Africa can be alive and free with a future of human rights.”
“Young people between the ages of 19 and 35—they’re the post-apartheid generation and The Way to Happiness is their answer. Before, girls as young as 12 were becoming pregnant. Now, they are protected by their newfound self-integrity. And where young men believed stealing was okay because ‘they were taking back what was originally theirs,’ well, now they’re taking back their self-respect. I’m telling you, with The Way to Happiness, we are giving humankind back its humanity.”