Housing Complex

Where Scientology Makes Its Case

Welcome. (Lydia DePillis)

Welcome. (Lydia DePillis)

You've done the rounds of the Smithsonians. You may even have checked off the more minor museums, like the Textile Museum, the Postal Museum, and the Navy Museum.

But have you been to the Scientology museum?

Last October—the day the St. Petersburg Times published a long expose of the Church's pursuit of defectors—the new Founding Church of Scientology at 16th and P Street NW opened to a welcome of some 3,000 devotees and a speech by Church leader David Miscavige (a.k.a. Tom Cruise's best man and secret videotaper). The Church had bought the edifice for $17.35 million in 2005, and after extensive renovations, all 49,000 square feet and seven floors were put to use for a chapel, classrooms, bookstore, offices, and a "purification center."

To access the top floors, you might have to advance further in the actual pursuit of Dianetics than Housing Complex was willing to go. But the first floor, open seven days a week, is enough of a spectacle.

After entering through the front doors, you'll notice the "Office of L. Ron Hubbard," which has never actually been occupied by the religion's founder, who died in 1986 (to actually feel his spectral presence, you'll need to visit the L. Ron Hubbard house, just a few blocks away at 1812 19th Street). A friendly receptionist will ask you to sign in and call another uniformed staffer to give you an orientation. The attention isn't overwhelming; they've struck the right balance of warmth and distance, allowing you to explore at your own pace.

And the pace could be quite slow, if you allowed yourself to fully absorb the materials available. The relatively small visitors center floor has every kind of pamphlet and textbook the Church has produced, displayed with, um, Scientological precision. It packs in perhaps a dozen video bays with elaborate features documenting each aspect of Scientology, from the life of the founder to Scientology's "volunteer emergency ministers" to its take on drug addiction. Look at all these Indonesian public officials and 9/11 firefighters who value Scientology! I thought. What if there actually is something to this crazy religion?

Back away slowly.

Back away slowly.

It was a fleeting moment. Upon wandering all the way through to the back of the visitors center, I came upon a video theater, an apparently unused open kitchen, and then a "testing center." That's when I started to back slowly away, smiling weakly as the attendant asked what exhibits I had enjoyed. I told her it was getting late, and that I might come back later. Any time, she said. They even have an outdoor barbeque on Saturdays.

Picture 3

floors

Comments

  1. #1

    Scientologies survival is based on the "there's a sucker born every minute" theory. And just because someone has lots of money, does not mean they are smart. Hopefully, the FBI will find a way to shut this mind control cult down for good, next time they raid them.

  2. #2

    'Ian Walton', it's the P.T. Barnum syndrome! I live in the next block on 16Th Street and I am waiting for their mothership to come and take them away!

  3. #3

    i went to tag your article in del.icio.us and the first tag that came up when i typed "sc..." for "scientology" was SCAM.

  4. #4

    Ian- I'll see your comment and raise you a "this is true of every religion".

  5. #5

    Leave Xenu to me!

  6. #6

    "Look at all these Indonesian public officials and 9/11 firefighters who value Scientology!" I've had a chance to read about recent Scientology news, especially the recent gala where a lot of celebrities attended. It does seem like there's always notable officials and dignitaries attending their events! I think it is amazing that so many distinguished and titled people dedicated to public service are saying good things about them. I also heard about the many good things that the Scientology Volunteer Ministers have done in many international disasters, including Haiti. I think the Scientology religion is worth looking into.

  7. #7

    I wish the writer of this article would have written just a bit more in-depth...there's clearly a lot more to Scientology than meets the eye, as there are so many people's lives clearly enhanced by such...check out the "Meet a Scientologist" videos: http://www.scientology.org/videos.html

  8. #8

    Wow, I'm thinking of visiting the nearest Scientology church in my area...this building seems to be fascinating. Scientology has helped someone I know personally and I don't think it would hurt to check it out.

  9. #9

    $cientology is full of smoke and mirrors. For every lie there is a video on the internet that contradicts them. Gala events are attended by sea org members who are ordered to attend them. The numbers at their openings (such as the DC org this past year) are always stated much higher than the actual shown.

    Mina, you should check out other publications besides those from the IAS! lol

  10. #10

    Oh Mina and William, Scientology much?
    Typical Sscientologist commenters trying to sway you to go to a Scientology site. (which won't tell you anything about the abuses, the cost, OR the mind control)

    One only as to look at all the videos on Yotube to see just how this "church" behaves. Cultish behavior is rampant at the DC org. From fair gaming to setting traps for it's critics.

    This DC "org" is empty and hurting, just like all the other orgs they have bought amd renovated, and tricked it's members into believing that there is expansion. It's all smoke and mirrors and members are just making "church" leader David Miscavige richer.

    How's that Super Power (lol) building coming along down in Clearwater? Members sunk millions into it. By the way even if it does get completed, there aren't any upper levels pass OT 8 on the Brige, so save your cash.

    Just one big giant scam wrapped up in pretty buildings where Sea Org and staff members suffer. But that's ok, as long as you are having "wins"! Right public members? SHAME!

  11. #11

    I find it vastly intriguing that even after the Church reps patiently walked the writer of this article through the Church on 16th and P with charitable yet un-imposing attention, it was her own fear of the unknown that drove her away. If she had cared to ask questions and find out the truth for herself then her judgement would have been different. Instead, she knowingly decided to stay ignorant so to give her readers the same ol' bs that they crave for....

  12. #12

    Why is this deceptive and dangerous cult, which splits apart families, attacks critics, utilises child labour, forces abortions, abuses its staff, engages in human trafficking etc. etc. even allowed to EXIST in America (or anywhere), never mind being called a 'religion' and getting tax breaks.

    I'd recommend researching this cult on sites such as http://www.Xenu.net to protect you and your family. Knowledge is free.

  13. #13

    scientology does NOT work and it hurts people

  14. #14

    " think it is amazing that so many distinguished and titled people dedicated to public service are saying good things about them. I also heard about the many good things that the Scientology Volunteer Ministers have done in many international disasters, including Haiti."

    Are you already a Scientoloigst, Mina? I've never heard of one distinguished person saying anything good about Scientology, Scientology only claims they do. With all that money why hasn't Scientology contributed one dollar to Haiti? Scientology, as an institution, has not given anything to Haiti, they only pass out what other charities collected and take pictures of themselves doing it.

  15. #15

    One thing that the writer didn't mention was the ever-increasing number of protesters outside of the "church."

    $cientology accused one of them of stalking and filed charges, but more came to take his place. Their efforts to suppress people from exercising their 1st Amendment rights will fail, as will their "church."

  16. #16

    Someguy, and others who so easily believe what they read on the Internet without pursing direct verification of it's truth... You say you "Never heard of one distinguished person saying anything good about Scientology." Well, you might want to check out Sheriff Baca's, Commander of the Los Angeles Sheriff department, the world's largest law enforcement agency, remarks about the Church's Drug Free World efforts and certificate of appreciation give to the Church, here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Baca , or, The Mayor of Pasadena's remarks about what the Church of Scientology has brought to the community, here: http://pasadenanow.com/main/church-of-scientology-opens-in-old-pasadena , or California Congresswoman Diane Watson; LAPD Hollywood Division Captain Beatrice Girmala; Mr. Albert DeCady, Special Advisor to Haitian Ambassador Raymond Joseph; and the former Liberian Ambassador to the United States, His Excellency Nathaniel Barnes, here: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/08/prweb4365244.htm , Congresswoman Watson told the audience of her history in working with the Church: “As a public servant I’ve had the privilege of a close working relationship with you for many years on many vital issues of our society, and especially since becoming the U.S. Representative for this district in 2001. The relationship has been productive because your social programs are for people no matter who they are—and it has been rewarding because they work, and the resources you so generously provide are very effective.”

    Ambassador Barnes traveled to Los Angeles from Washington, DC, for the event, to thank Church staff and parishioners for their work in his previously war-torn country and neighboring West African nations, citing the Church’s human rights programs and volunteers for sparking a human rights movement in his native Liberia.

    “We now have more than 9,000 youth activists—young people who are educated, who are taking a stand and actively imparting human rights principles crucial for the continued peace and stability of not only Liberia, but all of Africa,” he said. “I would like to personally express our deep gratitude to you for giving these young people a new lease on life by empowering them.”

  17. #17

    I was in Los Angeles and it was about 100 degrees outside. I wandered into a building. Low and behold it was the main headquarters of scientology in LA. The air conditioning was so good I decided to stay for a tour.

    After learning about the mind reading machines and aliens - I am convinced its nonsense. The worst part is that right before the gift shop - a wall opened with trumpets blaring and it was a huge portrait of L. Ron Hubbard.

    Weird experience, though Ill say the staff was extra friendly - probably aliens in disguise

  18. #18

    To find data about the activities of Scientology visit these
    websites!

    http://blog.volunteerministers.org/
    http://www.volunteerministers.org/#/tent/enter

  19. #19

    Daniel Ramirez: that wasn't ignorance that drove her out the door, or fear,it takes intelligence and awareness,which is 99.9% of the worlds population to see past the bullshit of a handful of semi-trained con-artists.who let a science fiction writer and a Midget Dwarf who beats his staff. nobody cares about your crappy little corrupt insignificant religion, other than its a bunch of circus side show freaks,who got suckered into a cult,because they have blinders on.ruin your own life.worry about how screwed up your life will be in 25 years.if you continue to drink the Kool-Aid.

  20. #20

    Hi Folks,
    Google "Scientology" and find out about the crimes this church has commited. They coerce abortions, have slave labor camps, the leader David Miscavige beats his staff, they stalk and try to supress free speech and human rights among many other things. DON'T give your money or time to this CULT.

  21. #21

    Webmaster, I sent you an email about none of my comments appearing on the site. Please respond, thank you.

  22. #22

    I AM WRITING THIS IN CAPITOL LETTERS BECAUSE IT SEEM THAT THE WORD GOT OUT ABOUT THIS STORY AND ALL THE GOOD LITTLE SCIENTOLOGY DRONES HERE ON 16TH STREET STARTED TO CHIME IN!

    HEY PEOPLE!, REMEMBER JONESTOWN AND HEAVEN'S GATE! TO YOU SCIENTOLOGY DRONES, IS YOUR LIFE THAT PATHETIC AND THAT YOU FEEL THAT A CULT, AND THAT IS WHAT IT IS A CULT WITH NO MORAL STRUCTURE IS YOUR ANSWER IN LIFE! HOW SAD, HOW SAD INDEED, !

  23. #23

    They all missed the Real News of the legal judgment,just handed down because they are spoon feed what the cult wants them to hear. and aren't allowed to look at "entheta" (the real truth)

    the cult Won a court decision but at the cost of admitting their organization severely abuses their staff. with charges of human trafficking,forced abortions,strict punishments,Screening and censorship of employee communications,Church-enforced "Disconnection" .Sleep and food deprivation,Heavy and demeaning manual labor as punishment,of Sea Org employees

    by ascertaining and admitting that these abuses are protected church doctrine

    Scientology's whole argument in this case came down to laws regarding human trafficking do not apply to religious institutions.and their conduct was doctrinally motivated”
    .
    it is now public court record the Sea Org abuses its staff,

    In the court documents Scientology lawyers not only admitted that such conduct occurred, but that they claim such conduct is protected under the ‘Freedom of Religion’

    and their Lawyers have set themselves up for a big loss in the appeals court.

    a real badge of honor. schmucks

  24. #24

    KOOL AID ANYONE?

  25. #25

    to find the real data > avoid the Cult

  26. #26

    So the Washington City Paper is filtering comments in alignment with the prejudice of the moderator. Interesting and documented.

  27. #27

    Hey 'Louanne' my comments just got deleted too, it must be a Kool Aid drinker who is monitoring what is being posted! Hey web guy not a bright idea!

  28. #28

    A great building! Thank you for the interesting inside report. Scientology is as harmless as any other religious group as long as you stay interested and open to understanding their ideas.

  29. #29

    Rick, that's interesting. Fanatics should not work at newspapers but somehow I have the feeling that this can't be completely avoided.

  30. #30

    Commenting seems to work now that I moved from wireless to cable. Very strange.

    Ok, what I wanted to say is "thank you" for the great article. It is a nice description of this church. I only heard people talking about it and had not seen any photos.

    Thanks again for this interesting report!

  31. #31
  32. #32

    Thank you for the photo link! I am very interested in historical buildings in DC and this one has been magnificently restored and populated (unfortunately most historical buildings are quite empty and boring). It's good too that a church moved in.

  33. #33

    Webmister, please removed my double-post, thanks.

  34. #34

    BennyB says
    Someguy,and others who so easily believe what they read on the Internet without pursing direct verification of it’s truth
    *********************************
    you won't get Verification or and semblance of Truth from a Scientology web site.

    why would you trust a religion created by a Science fiction writer? from an organization who's criminal rap sheet is longer than John Gotti's Al Capones and the Gambino Crime family combined?.One that you have to Pay Hundreds of thousands of dollars for enlightenment only to find out half way through,your body is infested with alien clusters that cause you all your problems in life.

    one that dictates what you can read,and think.

    they want your credit cards your mortgage,the title to your car, and your first born.

  35. #35

    The "case" for $cientology is made in its history and the documented biographical details of the huckster who started it all, a college flunk-out who bought a PhD from Sequoia, a diploma mill.

    Hubbard was a chain smoker who advocated smoking as a cancer preventative.

    $cientology is designed as a trap, where people fall down the rabbit hole, and think their quackery constitutes "super powers" and "saving the planet."

    They are a dangerous and abusive mind-control organization and they need to be stripped of their tax status by the government and exposed worldwide for the lives they've ruined.

  36. #36

    bucket, obviously you will have to think for yourself.

    Scientology websites can be expected to present facts and positive news about the Church of Scientology. With that in mind they make an interesting reading (or viewing, such as http://scientology.org that has hundreds of videos).

  37. #37

    Based on this

    "they want your credit cards your mortgage,the title to your car, and your first born."

    I might add that your research sucked so far.

    There are hundreds of churches worldwide and many of them in the United States. I am sure you can find one to visit.

  38. #38

    Only Scientology can get ethics in on planet earth. Homo Sapiens are destroying the planet because of the agreement of their reactive minds. Scientology can erase the reactive mind and create Homo Novis, or "New Man."

    The Washington DC org is part of our zone plan, eventually Scientologists will run this planet. L Ron Hubbard is the greatest thinker and humanitarian ever! Read some books before you criticize mankind's only hope. Try Fundamentals of Thought.

  39. #39

    Scientologsts here don't actually read the article

    or check the links (David Miscavige (a.k.a. Tom Cruise’s best man and secret videotaper) or get the reference.

    heres a fair use portion of the Wikipedia article linked

    Miscavige has been faced with press accounts regarding reported illegal and unethical practices. A 1991 Time magazine cover story described Miscavige as "ringleader" of a "hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner." A 2009 series by the St. Petersburg Times details statements by former Scientology executives and parishioners that Miscavige publicly humiliates and physically abuses his staff members.

  40. #40

    Oh, the conspiracy dudes have arrived. Time to go to dinner.

  41. #41

    @Louanne

    Several people including Maria Pia Gardini and Jason Beghe, spent over a MILLION dollars trying to climb $cientology's bogus "bridge to total freedom."

    No one is "clear" in your cult. No one has "super powers" either.

    They and thousands of other ex-members tell their stories on the web. $cientology is a trap, and there is little the sheltered celebrities or Office of Special Operation shills like yourself can do to change that.

    $cientology teaches people the hard sell of $cientology, and counts every one who bought a Hubbard book as a member. That's ridiculous. Wake up!

  42. #42

    Having the "Purification Center" on the sixth floor doesn't look like a good idea. French Patrice Vic leapt through the window to his death when the Scientologists harassed him to death to buy Scientology's "purification rundown" (you see, in Scientology, it is a sign of great spirituality to contribute for the organization an increase of the gross income from the previous week.)

  43. #43

    to say they HARD SELL is putting it mildly
    not only will they not take no for an answer.
    but your be on their stupid mailing list.
    and have to put up with 6-8 phone calls a week pestering you to come into the Org.

    then they do their Regging,some orgs lock the doors and don't let you leave until you capitulate some of your hard earned cash..tell you buy some books you don't need at $200+each. that they publish for pennies! or tell you your required to buy an E-Meter.that will run you $3500+ and thats two soup cans some wire..and components you can buy at radio shack for $50!

    then they sucker you into Training routines where you model clay..then you talk to ashtrays,books and bottles then comes the auditing auditing. Kiss your money goodbye
    in 5-10 years you may learn about Xenu after you pay upwards of $250,000 or more,usually alot more ,because they are after whatever you got.

    you want to find out about what Scientology is ask an Ex-Scientologist or a Freezoner. avoid the cult.

  44. #44

    I agree. Their new building is really nice and I found all the information on the first floor really interesting. Good stuff. Wish more churches did the same.

  45. #45

    I know for sure that narconon works to get addicts off drugs. My friend went there and came home sober & clean and 8 years later he's still clean.
    I think these guys are onto something.......

  46. #46

    the DC Org is a ghost town.
    they get more protesters on a weekly basis,then public walking through the door.
    Nice to see most of the regular paid Scientology OSA,propaganda Handlers Louanne,Frank Gordon etc. flood the comments and promoting their failing Org in DC

  47. #47

    People have died doing the Narconon program.

  48. #48

    Hi there, thanks for writing this article. Scientologists are nice people. Mean people don't want to save the planet, but it can come at extremely high costs. A man named John Boucher was a Scientologist who committed suicide after the cult declared him an "illegal preclear", making him ineligible for further Church services. Scientologists also starved Lisa McPherson to death in the Fort Harrison Hotel. She had cockroach bites on her body, bruises, and was completely dehydrated. When a local protester told Scientologists at this very location what had happened, they laughed. If you want to lose your mind and/or your money, this is the place to go.

  49. #49

    A "religion" that now admits to coercing abortions and human trafficking? No thank you.
    I began researching Scientology a few months back and what I found is shocking, to say the least. This organization has a laundry list of scams, cons and abuses that would make a Mafioso blush. What genuine religion charges hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn its basic tenents? What religion won't tell you their beliefs up front? What religion thinks it perfectly acceptable to sign 12 year olds to "billion year" contracts, and then separate these kids from their parents for months or even years at a time? Operates their very own prison camp where those who dare question the wide-spread abuses are thrown into "the hole"? Bullies, harasses and inimidates people they perceive as "enemies, i.e. Paulette Cooper, a journalist Scientology tried to frame for bomb threats because she was writing an unflattering book? Scientology is responsible for the largest infilltration of government offices in the history of this country. Last month police in Italy raided a hidden room in which Scientology was keeping personal and health information on police, judges and politicians? Why is that necessary for a "religion" if not for blackmail purposes? Scientology was convicted of organized fraud in France in 2009 and is being investigated in other countries around the world.
    Research it for yourself, once you do you'll never go anywhere near one of these "churches".

  50. #50

    I met Larry Anderson, the actor a really nice guy. I heard he did the Scientology Orientation Videos
    I am glad to hear that he quit Scientology

  51. #51

    This Church is sincerely interested in helping people who want to improve and better conditions for themselves. My husband has responded to four disaster areas as part of the Volunteer Minister network. He was a first responder at 9/11, then the tsunami in India, Katrina and this year Haiti. Here's a man who volunteers his time for weeks to help those in need. That's what this world needs - some honest interest to help those in need. Recently I met two lieutenants from Columbia who are providing Way to Happiness booklets to their fellow countrymen. They thanked me and others for our kind and generous support in "helping to bring peace, civility, morality and the restoration of human rights in our nation". They also said "We are achieving great things because of it but without it we could not have accomplished what we have so far."

    I suggest readers visit http://www.scientology.org and watch some videos to see for themselves what humanitarian efforts the Church and its parishioners are active in. Look at the activities of this organization and the people they help.

  52. #52

    I have never in my life and in all my searchings found a faith or religion that even comes close to what Scientology has done for me. Given me a whole new understanding of life, given me the tools to help others with their personal problems to helping those devastated by disasters. It has also helped me to understand those who fear life and fear others who are doing well and who can only slash out with hate speech. Only thing I can say is - check it out for yourself. Sane people can see the truth.

  53. #53

    Spamming for Scientology is like Dwarf Tossing,Both are so,so wrong

  54. #54

    I don't need to check out crack or Nazism to know they're bad. Likewise Scientology. Scientology doesn't help with problems it creates them. Thousands have left the cult and spoken out about the horrific abuses, CONSTANT demands for more money and destroyed families. It"s a crime syndicate hiding behind religion for the tax breaks and the ability to abuse its members without being held accountable.

  55. #55

    God Bless you Cindy and Lee God will forgive you of your Sins against him

  56. #56

    When in D.C. you can spend days in the Smithsonian and still not have beheld all its wonders.

    In contrast, $cientology, with its buildings, "electronic displays," copies of Dianetics on steel encased in titanium and buried in vaults (in case of WWIII) can be characterized by any number of words:

    Fraud
    Nuttier than a fruitcake.
    Crazy
    Outrageous pseudoscientific claptrap

    Any of those is perfectly appropriate for a cult of dysfunctional people who claim they have "a monopoly on workable technology" to save the planet, coupled with their mission to "obliterate psychiatry."

    These are the brainwashed people who believe they are "above the law, and will be the law one day," according to the huckster whose portrait salute with such glassy eyed fervor.

    L. Ron Hubbard, hypnotist and liar. His lectures are all over YOUTUBE and he sounds like a raving lunatic.

  57. #57

    I have found the subject to be useful and beneficial to my personal and professional life. To understand what Scientology actually is, one needs to learn its philosophy by reading any of the books written by L Ron Hubbard. You might be surprised with the good sense found there.

  58. #58

    Congratulations to the author for seeing at least something good in an organization much maligned by people who don't even bother to visit and see for themselves. ("The attention isn’t overwhelming; they’ve struck the right balance of warmth and distance, allowing you to explore at your own pace.") Perhaps she should come back and get the rest of the story.

  59. #59

    Much love for the poor Scientologists who are forced to write those obnoxiously obvious plant comments from "interested public". I hope they're at least feeding you well.

  60. #60

    @Bill

    Reality check. She called it "crazy religion." Of course, there is SOMETHING to $cientology.

    Exercise and sauna, makes some people feel good. Problem is, $cientology exaggerates and lies, and the members are totally brainwashed, and insufferably arrogant as an organization, and often as individuals.

    They've said publicly, they aren't a "turn the other cheek religion."

    They will attack and attempt to ruin critics with frivolous law suits. They will hound potential "raw meat" with phone calls and mountains of junk mail until they are dead, and sometimes beyond, by going after survivors.

    They used to get college kids who were unhappy with college, wanted to drop out and join something to "save the planet." That membership has probably gone to near zero.

    They will continue to prey on the most vulnerable people in society: drug addicts, uneducated, and the mentally ill.

    Their motto might as well be, if you aren't insane going in, "we'll do the best to drive you over the edge" when we get a hold of your mind."

    They won't do that with poor people, except by enslaving them into indentured servitude, but they'll do with anyone who has access to money.

    $cientology is really all about getting people's money through mind control.

    $cientology is accurately captured in the TIME cover story:

    SCIENTOLOGY: THE THRIVING CULT OF GREED AND POWER

  61. #61

    I work closely with many of the local churches and faith-based community service groups in Washington DC. On every occassion when someone from one of these groups speaks of Scientology or their community programs, it's always very good and they're always quite thankful to the Scientology volunteers for their help, serve and care. It amazes me that this is consistent with all those who work with Scientology groups in the community. So, I'll just continue to judge any Man or group (including myself) by the helpful services they provide for another.

  62. #62

    Karen Jentzsch recently left Scientology.

    Poor Heber Jentzsch has disappeared from the public eye
    He once was the spokesperson for Scientology and the International President of Scientology
    Got arrested with 28 other Scientologist in Spain
    has fallen out of favor with David Miscaviage
    Heber is locked away on Gold Base,He has to be 80 years old? why is his wife not allowed to contact him?

    its a shame that Scientology Dictates Disconnection onto both Staff and Publics

    at least Karen Jentzsch is free

    and what ever happened to Shelly Miscavige? where did she disappear too?

  63. #63

    This endless shilling, lying and pretending by Office of Special Affairs (OSA) members is both disgusting and laughable.

    People who say their family member volunteered in "Columbia" but they can't even spell the name of the country. It's "Colombia!"

    If a person lies continually, in this cult is called "telling acceptable truths," what does that do to a person's mind over time, combined with the processing and security checks?

    They aren't allowed to be true to themselves. They lose concepts of personal integrity, and critical thinking skills, and give it all to the cult.

    That's freedom?

    Freedom is having the cognitive abilities to see the obvious, like their tiny leader beats his underlings.

    Mary Rathbun, the number two man in the cult for decades, was documented over 50 times, beating people over months, and nothing was done about it during that time?

    Why? Because David Miscavige beats people too, and he will beat the living crap out one of his underlings if that underling won't go beat someone up on his orders.

    Maybe some of that has ended now, but really, where is his wife.

    This is a so-called church whose leader will has not been interviewed in public since 1992 with Ted Koppel.

    This is a secretive, abusive and unbelievably creepy organization.

  64. #64

    sup Steve!

    If Scientology is so great why do the OSA need to post using 5 different nicknames, lol at the timestamps 4 minutes apart, posting using the same writing style. Very tricky, bwahahaha!

  65. #65

    Each finger of the OSA comment section poster, is possessed by different body thetan clusters, so they take on a different identity for each finger?

    It's all in the tech. Just read a book by Hubbard.

  66. #66

    Where is David Miscavige's wife Shelley? She hasn't been seen in 3 years and knowing Scientology,I fear for her safety. Why do high profile Scientologists like Shelley and eber Jentzsh just seem to drop off the face of the earth? Where are they Scientology?

  67. #67

    I have been a Scientologist for over 2000 years now and i really can't complain.
    In fact Scientology is the best religion ever, better than Christianity even and i know what i am talking about.

  68. #68

    I walk by the building every day on my way to work. I stopped by for a hot dog at the barbeque, but there were some guys with signs talking about someone named Lisa. I ate the hot dog, got some literature and googled her name. i now know all I need to know.

  69. #69

    Was there a Xenu exhibit? He is very important. People should know what they are getting into.

    Any videos of the FBI raid of the Washington office that eventually sent Hubbard's wife to jail and named him an unindited co-conspirator? That's important too.

    How about a tour of some of the stores he lived over when he was in hiding with Pat Broeker?

    Was there an early edition of "All about Radiation" where Hubbard claims on the cover to be a medical doctor and a nuclear physicist?

    Are there quotes from famous people who think Scientology is a load of baloney?

    How about a price list, I mean a list of fixed donations, for their services?

    Were there any clears there demonstrating their perfect memories?

    Were there any OT's there levitating ashtrays?

    Did they have a copy of the Time Magazine cover calling them the "Cult of Greed and Power"?

    Do they play that clip of Tom Cruise preaching to the choir, saying that sometimes at the scene of an accident a Scientologist is the only one that can help? I hope so. It is really very entertaining.

    Really though, the building is meant to impress people. What would really impress them is if there was even one Scientologist that could do the things Hubbard claimed Scientologists can do.

  70. #70

    Thank you for the article on the new Church in Washington. Since I will be there later this month, I will be visiting it to see for myself.
    Your pictures are great!
    Thanks again.
    JMG

  71. #71

    Either there are people perfectly willing to join a different religion and spend over 350K without doing any research because someone got a nice tour.
    Or there'a some foul play going on here in Scientology town.

    Y'know, I called the Westbro Baptist Church the other day, the person on the phone was warm and friendly, seen pictures of their church, looks pretty homely.
    I'll be there later this month, I will be visiting it to see for myself.
    Your pictures are great!
    Thanks again.

    Scilon

  72. #72

    I'm a long time Scientologist (more than 30 years) and with all the humanitarian and other activities Scientologists and the Church supports, it still surprises me to realize that some people don't know much about my church or what Scientologists believe. What I guess I shouldn't find surprising is the passion and, dare I say, extremism that the mere mention of religion can sometimes invoke in some people.

    But, I suppose that is nothing new and though the voice of bigotry is never pretty and is often outlandish, perhaps some progress been made since we no longer throw members of minority faiths to the lions.

    The simple truth is that at the center of a Scientologist's understanding of the world, is the belief that we are spiritual in nature and that that fact is the most important fact there is about Man and Woman. (It is also, of course, a fundamental belief of pretty much every other religion with which I have even passing familiarity.)

    And while we believe we are basically spiritual in nature, Scientology is also a practical religion -- the single "test" of its value to Scientologists is whether it works.

    For those interested in knowing more, in understanding why it has grown so much and why in some areas it has been controversial, the first floor display center in the new Church is expressly set up to find out about Scientology in a relaxed way. (The other floors are interesting to see as well, so perhaps the writer will make her way back someday to see the rest of the building!)

    I think the best advice we can follow when it comes to others' religious beliefs is to stand together for the right of everyone to believe as they choose. I also think it is a good idea to attempt to understand others' faiths. I've learned a lot about my own beliefs by talking with others about theirs. To that end, I would invite anyone to visit and tour the new Church at 16th and P -- it's actually quite lovely.

  73. #73

    You guys are such haters. I have been a Scientologist for 15 trillion years. I arrested Xenu myself and bit him on the bottom while doing so. You are all a bunch of haters and satan workshipping hackers/pedofiles turned model/actors. You are all criminals and haters and you're squirrels stuck in an electronic incident, just like Lisa McPherson.

  74. #74

    Scientology does not engage in any humanitarian efforts, it only sends people to hand out stuff that other charities have collected and take pictures of itself to document it's "humanitarian efforts", to try and deflect criticism that it's only a money-making cult.

    Hey, it's easy, instead of bloviating just prove that Scientology has contributed one dollar to Haiti,Indonesia or any of the other places Scientology has claimed to "help". You can't and you know you can't.

  75. #75

    I have been a Scientologist for 43 years now and watched it grow. And I am (practically) a native Washington DC resident. This new building is very exciting. I am pleased that we have space to demonstrate what we do. The truth of the tenets and practices of Scientology is something one experiences for oneself. In a world dominated by crime and greed, Scientology gives us answers that we can apply to improve ourselves and our world. Thanks, City Paper, for the lovely article.

  76. #76

    FSM lounge on the second floor must be for any visiting Pastafarians?

  77. #77

    http://www.holysmoke.org/cos/boo-hoo.htm

    Although I don't expect local papers to do as thorough an examination of $cientology as the above article from 1964 in the Saturday Evening Post, if would be nice if they hit on a few points, a little harder.

    Also, journalists who go undercover, and pretend to have any interest at all in courses or auditing, have a markedly different experience. One was even followed out into the street by the registrar, who tried to get money out of the person, fearing she had failed to hook her fish, or "raw meat" should I say.

    What kind of religion refers to potential customers as "raw meat" anyway?

    I know what kind. A scam!

    Journalists should expose, chop up, and barbecue all aspects of this scam, peeling back the layers of deceit and propaganda.

    $cientology has been in its death throes starting with the arrival of the web, but especially with the advent of video on the web.

    There's nothing like seeing Tom Cruise, in his manifold nuttiness, talking about a critic-free world of all $cilons.

    So even with the tents, the shiny video displays, and the free hot dogs...it allis enough to make you burp up that free hot dog anyway, if not choke on it from laughing.

  78. About-those-dignitaries
    #78

    After Sheriff Baca was given an award at the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles he was asked to endorse the Narconon program of Scientology. He did in spite of the fact that the California State Superintendent of Schools ordered that material removed from public schools and even before that U.S. Surgeon General C. Evert Kroop called it "junk science". Flattering people gets results. And Congresswoman Watson may applaud the
    $1 million gift the Church made to L.A. inner city work. But she is probably not aware of a 1999 article in a Boston newspaper commenting on Scientology's aim at recruiting black leaders.

    And nothing is said about recruiting well intentioned people, who know little about the "Church" of Scientology, to engage in charitable work without knowing what is behind the charity. The church wants people to see the yellow shirts advertizing the COS. "You can fool some of the people all of the time". EVERY claim Scientology makes MUST be verified. L. Ron Hubbard defined "ethics" as doing what ever it takes to get "technology" i.e. Scientology, in.

    Regarding its inflated growth figures...A Canadian reporter who was interviewing a Scientogy leader in Canada was asked by the reporter if he had read anything about Scientology. "Yes" the reporter responded. The Scientologist then stated that he too was a Scientologist because he had been helped by reading that material. Scientology may have thousands of hits on its site but I am sure that many came away rejecting what they had read rather than being influenced to become Scientologists.

  79. #79

    Dear Ms. DePillis, You aptly described the inside facade of the foundling Church of Scientology DC

    Looks like you got out just in time, lol!! Unfortunately, this is not the case for unaware others.

  80. #80

    Speaking of extremism, Scientology was recently charged with extremism and inciting hatred in Moscow. Scientology was convicted of organized fraud in France in 2009, and for some odd reason feels it necessary to keep files on its "enemies" such as public officials that contain personal info like medical history and sex life. L Ron Hubbard wrote that anyone who critisizes the organization should "tricked, lied to and destroyed". Scientology destroys families, ruins lives and bankrupts its members. All the pretty buildings in the world won't change that fact.

  81. #81

    How can anyone actually believe anything L Ron Hubbard said or wrote? The man was proven to be a pathological liar and paranoid schizophrenic. You would have to live in a bubble not to be aware of this.

    He claimed he was a Nuclear Physicist(college records dispute this showing he flunked his only course in this field).

    He claimed he was a war hero in the Navy receiving combat wounds in WWII, served as a commander and saw "action".( military records and fellow military personnel dispute this many times over since he NEVER saw combat! Affidavit on file in U.S. District Court in Boston and records available through the Freedom of Information Act).

    Anyone considering joining the Cult of Scientology (CoS) would best be served to do a lot of research before handing over their money which is all David Miscavige wants from them, anyway. He's laughing all the way to the bank.

    I really feel sorry for those taken in by all the lies. I'm uplifted by the efforts being made by so many people that are trying to expose this cult for what it really is, a money making scam that steals people's lives away from them.

  82. #82

    No one is reading this and thinking as a result its a good idea to join. Its just a load of Scilons capitalising on the rare good publicity they get on the internet.

    And this isn't even good publicity, all the writer said was that the place looked good.

    Why is Jett Travolta dead?

    Why was Lisa McPhearson covered in cockroach bites?

    If Josephus Havenith died of drowning, why was he in boiling hot water with his head above it?

    Why does CoS consider peaceful protesters and back in the day; childish hackers terrorists?

    CoS only cares about publicity, which explains the amount of Scilons commenting in this article.
    I'm glad anon is here to straighten things out.

  83. #83

    If Scientology is so amazing why are you made to feel so wrong about spending time with your baby? A baby who needs nurturing by it's mother. Why can't you just spend time with your family? Why is every waken hour taken up in the Org? Why can't you have your own life? Why can't you just take a few hours off and go catch a movie (a non-Tom Cruise one). In my experience Scientology robbed me of a good part of my life. We were always made to feel like saving the planet had to happen every second. Well, I've been out of Scientology for 12 years now, the Planet is still here and I'll guarantee the staff are still treated with the same urgency today. Stop drinking the Kool Aide.

  84. #84

    Another thing... To all Scientologists - Google "Susan Meister".

  85. #85

    This is a forum site for Ex Scientologists and curious current Scientologists.
    No one is asking you to give up your religion.

    The Murphy Report was a bitter pill for devout catholics to swollow, but in the long run led them to personal choices that enriched their lives.

    Whether it meant changing their faith or taking action to reform their religion, they faced the truth and were better people as a result.

  86. #86

    I understand and appreciate those who feel that Scientology has helped them, really I do. I respect your right to believe what you choose. However, when you distort the facts I feel compelled to speak out.

    What exactly does Scientology do for humanity? Human rights? Disaster relief? Soup kitchens? Clothing drives? Do they help find shelter for the homeless? The only information I can find is of them offering "touch assists", being asked to stop offering touch assists in Haiti and handing out The Way to Happiness pamphlets to disaster victims. Perhaps they can put all the pamphlets in a pile and burn them for heat. Disasters are merely photo ops for Scientologists who do little more than consume valuable resources.

    Every single one of your front groups was created to further the goals of Scientology first, help Scientology first and funnel money into Scientology first. You pay a great deal of lip service to the fine things you do, yet we do not see charity work, we see recruitment.

    When you are really ready to help, if you honestly want volunteer step outside and join the protestors in front of the org this month. Many of us volunteer our time not just to try to help you the Scientologist, but for other worthy causes. Come talk to us, we'll be happy to give you a hand in finding a way to really help. And we have cake.

    It is okay to doubt.

  87. #87

    Its understandable that some are afraid to leave their church or even contemplating leaving,
    wether it be the disconnection and loss of family and friends, the amount of information they have on you
    (the sexual experiences they ask about etc.),
    maybe its the addictive nature of being audtied or maybe you can't get any work after being in Sea Org, this happens.

    There are organisations out there that are on your side.

    Even if you don't trust anonymous, there is still Ex Scientology Kids and Ex Scientology members.

    You don't even have to give up your beliefs, there is still the Freezone which offers cheaper rates which are just as effective as the CoS.

  88. #88

    I am a Scientologist and it sucks reading lies about your religion. I love going to the org every week. I have no idea if all these bloggers know what they are really talking about... but anyway, being a Scientologist has been awesome for me.

  89. #89

    For NK-- Some of the bloggers know what they are talking about. I don't think your beliefs are any stranger than some forms of Christianity and some forms of Judaism. I think the actions of your organization, especially selling high priced services that claim results that just can't be backed up, stink.

  90. #90

    Wow Louanne, I found this awesome and informative too. Especially the hotlinks to St. Pete times and the wikipedia article on leader David Miscavige. Sounds like such a nice fellow! I should join so he could hit me too. I love that kind of thing. Treat me bad Dave! Treat me bad!

  91. #91

    There's a new troll in town. This latest iteration of the cheerful $cientologist shows up in droves whenever there's an article on the cult. They're Stepford-cheery and never aggressive. Most likely all of them are sock puppets for a handful of exhausted, stressed and very zealous OSA handlers. Check out the Seattle Times and Seattle PI articles from a couple of weeks ago. There were more than 900 comments. 900. On the remodeling of a church.

    The cult is exposed as it never has been in its fifty years of existence. Hubbard may have visited Venus and the Van Allen belts on a semi-regular basis, but he sure as hell didn't see the internet coming.

  92. #92

    There is a troll in town: Google "Artoo45"

  93. #93

    Drink the Kool Aid and walk into the light Edith Ann!

  94. #94

    I spent 7 years in the black hole called scientology. As bad as you think it is, I guarantee you it's a thousand times worse. As one critic said, "They are a cross between the Moonies and the Mafia."

    Simply put, organized scientology it a: mind bending, brain washing, FAMILY DESTROYING (and proud of it!), financial ruining, first amendment hating, U.S. government hating (just like Al Qeada!), public school infiltrating (scary!) criminal enterprise cult with satanic and black magic roots. Seriously, I'm not kidding.

    Google: "Operation Snow White" "Lisa Macphersson" "Susan Meister"

    http://www.whyaretheydead.com / http://www.xenu.net / wwww.xenutv.com

    Once this cult is gone, our world will be a better place.

  95. #95

    Life is good when you know how :) And what is the purpose of Life?

  96. #96

    My absolute favorite comment regarding the $cientologist claim that "we don't really believe in Xenu, that's all internet nonsense" can be found on a website for ex-$cientology kids operated in part by David Micavige's niece. To wit:

    "To be honest, we're not totally sure why upper-level Scientologists insist on publicly denying the fact that the OT materials have anything to do with Xenu. I mean, c'mon guys. The cat is so totally out of the bag. I mean, the cat has been out of the bag so long that if you asked the cat about the bag, the cat would be like, "Oh, the BAG? That was forever ago." And then the cat would roll its eyes and go back to being out of the bag. There are copies of the materials floating around in L. Ron Hubbard's own handwriting, and let me tell ya, the guy had very distinctive handwriting."

  97. #97

    If you want to know FACTS, look at FriendsOfLrh.org.

    EVERYTHING you need to now about the takeover of the church by David Miscavige.

  98. #98

    Best comment thread ever!!!

  99. #99

    "After Sheriff Baca was given an award at the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles he was asked to endorse the Narconon program of Scientology."

    Correct, that makes Baca not a distinguished person, just a person who fails to research groups they're shilling for. Got anyone else?

  100. #100

    It never ceases to amaze me how far the critics of Scientology will go in spewing their vitriolic and hypocritical allegations:

    They call Scientology a secretive cult, yet they form a group call "Anonymous".

    They say they beleive in freedom, yet they want to deprive Scientologists of practicing THEIR freedom of religion - just because THEY do not beleive in Scientology.

    They accuse Scientology of being a criminal organization, yet it is their members that have been convicted of criminal acts.

    They say that Scientology practices a "fair game" policy of harrassment, yet go to any of their forums and you will see how they practice their own version of harrassment. One member of which is currently facing criminal charges right here in DC.

    They tell people to not visit Scientology web sites because they are biased, yet the web sites that they recommend are all dedicated to the destruction of Scientology.

    They say they have "proof" of Scientology criminal activities. Yet they have reported Scientology "crimes" to local police authorities, Cal/OSHA, the FBI, and even to Amnesty International -- it is all well documented on their own forums -- and nothing has come of it.

    They accuse Scientology of "flooding" web comment sections, but a review of their own forums reveal that they conspire to do the exact same thing.

    Fortunately, the world does not operate the way they want it to operate. It takes more than internet bullying and DDOS attacks to impinge upon a constitutionally guaranteed freedom.

    Scientology is not perfect - no human endeavor is, and the Church does not portray it as such. It is portrayed as being workable, something that can be applied by ANYONE, in order to better their own personal enviroment. How the Church operates is no one's business but the Church's and their members. This is protected by the Constitution and recently affirmed by a Federal Court ruling.

    People should really question why there is a concerted effort of a few people to destroy Scientology, when those people contend that the technology applied by Scientologists is a "fraud" or a "scam". "Frauds" and "scams" rarely last beyond a few months, perhaps a couple of years, before they are exposed and usually impload. Dianetics and Scientology are going on their 5th decade and they have churches or organizations on virtually every Continent and it is still growing.

    The real enemy to freedom is not Scientology. The real enemy are the few Anonymous attackers who claim to "know" better than you, what is good for YOU. They do not want you to have the freedom to decide for yourself.

  101. #101

    @ Mem555
    Lets see if you think the same when you've got no money left or you're put on the RPF. Go to Flag with no money and watch the happy smiling faces disappear.

  102. #102

    Like all Freedom Factories, or religions, if you will, there is enough truth hidden therein for the person who truly wants to get out of this game and its playing field, called this universe, planet earth, etc., ad nauseum. Finding it and then having help to apply it is only allowed up to a point. One must therefore "grab the goodies and run". Hint: the early '50's material contains the best and simplest truths that will get one a good distance to where they wish to go spiritually.

    Dennis Stephens, of TROM (i.e., Timebreaking) did do that and so one can avoid getting entangled with the Church of Scientology altogether, even though Dennis does extract some ancient truths out of scientological axioms. Hope that helps, from someone who has been on both sides of the game of "Get Scientology" etc., etc. :-)

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