Letter of 29 May 2013
May 29, 2013
Roast Beef Productions
22 Denmark Street
Dear Ms. Clark:
I have received the list of questions you sent on May 14, 2013. Because of their nature, I have referred them to our UK legal representatives for response. This letter addresses a broader issue.
As has been made clear to you from the letters you and Channel 4 have received from our UK legal representatives, the entire premise of your documentary is a fiction. There is no burgeoning movement of independent Scientologists. There is only a tiny number (particularly when compared to the number of Scientologists worldwide) of disaffected former Scientologists and they have not formed any independent Scientology movement that the Church can discern.
The Church has neither the need nor the interest in going on camera to respond to false allegations for the simple reason that the story of Scientology is not one that can be told accurately through the eyes of individuals who have an axe to grind. In the Creed of
the Church of Scientology:
“WE OF THE CHURCH BELIEVE
“That all men of whatever race, color or creed were created with equal rights.
“That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance.”
(For the full text of our Creed see www.scientology.org/Creed.)
As such, we believe that everyone has the freedom to practice the religion of their choice and that there is much misinformation in the world. We very much desire that people understand what Scientology is, free of such misinformation, and that is not possible in the program as you presently envisage it.
However, in light of the fact that you intend to go ahead with your documentary, it is important that you understand where the Church as a whole stands today so that whatever story you broadcast will have some context within the larger picture of Scientology in the 21st century.
The Church of Scientology is enjoying a period of tremendous growth internationally. Our unprecedented expansion and increased global presence is exactly what L. Ron Hubbard envisaged for the religion, and parishioners and staff alike have never been happier with their Church.
1) IDEAL CHURCHES OF SCIENTOLOGY
At the forefront of the Church's expansion has been the establishment of new Ideal Scientology Churches. Our goal is the establishment of these “Ideal Organizations” in every geographic area where our Churches currently exist and to do this we established a considerable organization dedicated to our needs that is commensurate with the scope of this Church building project. Since the program began several years ago, 36 new Scientology Churches have been acquired, restored and rebuilt, including those in the world cultural capitals of Rome, Madrid, New York, London, Berlin, Washington, D.C., Moscow, Pretoria and Melbourne. The most recent new Ideal Church of Scientology was dedicated on May 11, 2013 in Portland, Oregon.
These new Churches represent a more than tenfold expansion in the past decade, increasing our facilities to minister to our parishioners and the communities we serve. Please visit www.scientology.org/idealorgs to find out more.
Due to the growth of our Churches, on September 12, 2012, the Church opened its National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. For more information see http://www.scientologynews.org/press-releases/grand-opening-church-of-scientology-national-office-washington-dc.html.
The Church has the following renovation/construction projects in progress or already planned and about to commence renovations:
- Church of Scientology of Kaohsiung, Taiwan—under renovation
- Church of Scientology of Harlem, New York—under renovation
- Church of Scientology of Bogota, Columbia—under construction
- Church of Scientology of Basel, Switzerland
- Church of Scientology of Sydney, Australia
- Church of Scientology of Toronto, Canada
- Church of Scientology of Auckland, New Zealand
- Church of Scientology of Copenhagen, Denmark
- Church of Scientology of Venezuela
- Church of Scientology of Milano, Italy
Additionally, the Church acquired some 50 premises now in the design and planning stage, many of which can be found on our website including in the United Kingdom: Birmingham, Plymouth and Manchester; and in North America: Burbank, San Diego and Mountain View, California; Kansas City, Kansas; Saint Louis, Missouri; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit and Battle Creek, Michigan; Boston, Massachusetts; Atlanta, Georgia; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; New Haven, Connecticut; Montreal, and Winnipeg, Canada; as well as Mexico City, Mexico; similarly in countries abroad including Denmark, Italy, Switzerland, Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Facilities to open new Church Advanced Organizations to minister our higher level religious services have been acquired in every continental zone:
- For Canada, a new facility in Ontario, located on a 190-acre estate;
- For Latin America, a 250,000-square-foot facility in Mexico City;
- For Africa, the Kyalami Castle outside Pretoria to minister to Scientologists from across the continent.
All of the above is in addition to our tremendous growth in Clearwater with the near completion of the construction of the Church’s new spiritual religious retreat, the Flag building, about which your correspondent is well briefed as we corresponded about this over a year ago. You can see information on the Flag building at www.scientology.org/Mecca.
2) HERITAGE SITES
In addition to new Churches of Scientology around the world, the Church has acquired, restored and opened to parishioners L. Ron Hubbard Heritage Sites—homes and offices in which the religion’s Founder researched and developed the spiritual path of Scientology. These Heritage Sites have been restored because of their historical significance to our parishioners and for the development of the religion. Many are now registered historical landmarks. They are located in Phoenix, Arizona; Washington, D.C.; Johannesburg, South Africa; London, England and Bay Head, New Jersey. (www.lronhubbard.org/heritage-sites.html).
3) THE GOLDEN AGE OF KNOWLEDGE
In 2010, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center and the ecclesiastical head of the religion, completed a 25-year program to recover all of L. Ron Hubbard’s writings and lectures on Scientology. The 25-year endeavor involved 2 million man-hours to restore more than 2,000 recorded lectures, the majority of which were never before available and are a significant portion of the religion’s Scripture. All of Mr. Hubbard’s written words including 18 books and 1,000 written issues were then verified against his handwritten manuscripts and dictation, including the fragile wax disks used in early dictation equipment. Transcription errors, out-of-sequence or missing pages and chapters, and editorial alterations were verified and corrected.
The 18 fundamental books and 280 accompanying lectures that are the core part of the Scientology religion are referred to as “The Basics.” The release of these materials changed the world of Scientology. With restoration of the written and recorded Scripture, the most fundamental books of Scientology have now been translated into 50 languages. The religion is accessible to more people today than at any time in history. Scientologists heralded these materials as a dream come true for the legacy of the religion. When announcing the completion of this project, Mr. Miscavige described it as, “the ultimate guarantee for the permanency of Scientology itself.” He describes its importance to Scientologists in an historic briefing, which has been enthusiastically received worldwide and is available on our website: http://www.scientology.org/GoldenAgeofKnowledge.
4) PUBLICATIONS ORGANIZATIONS
To make this material available required a new approach to their production, owing to the unique problems inherent in disseminating a modern religion. Unlike normal book publishers, whose titles go in and out of stock, we keep every title in stock as it is the Scripture of our religion. And it must ultimately be made available in every language on Earth, even where few, if any, Scientologists currently reside. How to do this in an economical manner is a question addressed by all religions. For us, digital technology opened the door to both reducing costs and increasing the quantity and dissemination of Mr. Hubbard’s works. Thus, the Church established all-digital, print-on-demand, religious publishing facilities in the 274,000-square-foot Bridge Publications in Los Angeles and a sister publishing house, New Era Publications, in Copenhagen, Denmark. Combined, these facilities can now publish the full Scientology Scripture up to 500,000 books and 925,000 CDs per week. They are the largest all-digital publishing houses in the world. They have made possible the broad dissemination of the Scripture of Scientology so we can bring the religion to Mankind.
5) DISSEMINATION AND DISTRIBUTION CENTER
In 2010, another milestone was achieved with the establishment of a new 185,000 square-foot facility for the production of Church dissemination and humanitarian materials. This state-of-the-art printing facility enables the Church to produce all of its religious dissemination items in-house as well as more broadly distribute our humanitarian materials at a rate ten times our previous levels for virtually the same cost.
6) FILM PRODUCTION
The Church produces films to disseminate our religion and to advance our social programs. The production of films is the primary activity of Golden Era Productions and you can see a video showing this facility at www.scientology.org/goldenera.
A sampling of recently completed films:
- In October, 2012, we released a feature-length book on film of L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology: The Fundamentals of Thought. This is the basic book of the religion and it is now available in 16 languages as a major motion picture to allow more people to learn about our religion.
- A book-on-film version of L. Ron Hubbard’s landmark work, Dianetics. At over 4½ hours, this serves as a companion to the book, visually demonstrating Dianetics principles and procedures. The film is the centerpiece of all new Dianetics services and materials for new parishioners.
- The Problems of Work film drawn directly from Mr. Hubbard’s book of the same title, illustrating basic Scientology principles for use in everyday life.
- The common-sense guide to better living, The Way to Happiness, produced as a completely unabridged book-on-film. It is for any individual to help those around him by following the precepts to live a happy and fulfilling life.
- A full-length documentary giving the experiences of real people and their real stories, The Truth About Drugs.
- A film giving The Story of Human Rights as an educational aid.
- The Scientology Handbook, a feature film production providing tools for everyday living. We simultaneously made available corresponding online courses in 17 languages. This new film is composed of 19 segments, each a 5-to 10-minute introduction and overview of one of the 19 chapters of The Scientology Handbook. Viewers are invited to log in and enroll on any of the 19 corresponding free online courses, each with step-by-step procedures to apply to resolve any problem or challenge.
7) HUMANITARIAN INITIATIVES AND SOCIAL BETTERMENT PROGRAMS
The Church sponsors one of the largest non-governmental anti-drug campaign in the world. Drug abuse is a global problem which requires a global solution. To that effect, the Church has developed an international initiative—the Truth About Drugs program. The program is based on studies showing that when young people are given the truth about drugs, usage rates drop proportionately. Drawing from three decades of experience in the drug prevention field, the Truth About Drugs program features public service announcements, an award-winning documentary about real people freeing themselves from the destructive influence of drugs and an educator’s guide for use in classrooms. It also includes information booklets exposing the myths of the most common drugs (including alcohol, marijuana, ecstasy, cocaine, crystal meth, inhalants, heroin, LSD, prescription drug abuse, painkillers, etc.). The entire curriculum and information and education materials are available free of charge to government agencies, community groups and educational institutions that use them.
The program has reached over 400 million through TV sponsorship, 30 million through booklet distribution and 3.5 million children have pledged to lead drug-free lives through the Church-sponsored drug abuse awareness activities like the Drug-Free Ambassadors.
In the past year, the Church has supported the publication and distribution of more than 7.5 million Truth About Drugs booklets and thousands of banners, posters, information packets and educator kits, making them available free of charge to health educators, law enforcement officers and other drug prevention specialists.
In the UK, Truth About Drugs volunteers work with members of law enforcement and other civic organisations to inform about drug abuse. They host numerous drug education events and make our drug education materials widely available through hand distribution, seminars and lectures. In London Scientologists distributed one million copies of the Truth About Drugs education booklets during the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Three hundred volunteers distributed the booklets in 27 London boroughs between July 27 and September 9. Recently, a team of volunteers engaged in a countrywide anti-drug marathon to raise the public’s awareness about the dangers of substance abuse travelling town to town offering drug education lectures, distributing booklets, seeking to uplift the next generation to live drug free. ...
From 16 April to 20 May 2013, Truth About Drugs volunteers staged a Marathon for a Drug-Free UK. The team of seven runners traveled 600 miles from Brighton to Edinburgh, visiting 32 cities along the way where they presented drug abuse awareness lectures to thousands of students, collected signatures on Drug-Free World pledges and met with community officials and law enforcement to raise awareness of the need for drug abuse prevention education. ...
For further information, see: www.drugfreeworld.org.
Why was there not one question about the Church’s social work to make a drug-free world?
For more than 40 years Scientologists have championed the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In 1969, L. Ron Hubbard reprinted the UDHR in the Church’s Freedom magazine and wrote: “The United Nations came up with the answer. An absence of human rights stained the hands of governments and threatened their rules. Very few governments have implemented any part of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These governments have not grasped that their very survival depends utterly upon adopting such reforms and thus giving their peoples a cause, a civilization worth supporting, worth their patriotism.” Inspired by these words, the Church and its members sponsor an international human rights public education campaign, broadly publicizing the 30 Articles of the UDHR with public service announcements for every article, an award-winning film providing the history of human rights and booklets serving to fill the gap in human rights education. The campaign has reached half a billion people.
Here again, the Church is making the human rights education materials available free of charge to community activists, human rights groups, educators and government agencies who use them. The human rights education world tour has travelled 175,000 miles through 45 nations reaching 11 million people with the important message of the UDHR. More than 250,000 people have signed petitions calling for mandatory human rights education in schools and in some countries, laws have been passed adopting such training thanks to our program (Mexico is one such nation).
Volunteers from the United Kingdom host human rights seminars and events across the United Kingdom and throughout India. Our human rights public service announcements have aired over 100 times in the United Kingdom including on the National Geographic channel. In Scotland, the Church staff has been working with the Scottish Parliament’s Human Rights Commission to improve human rights education.
On 8 December 2012, the Youth for Human Rights London Team celebrated United Nations Human Rights Day in Central London with a March that took in Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and the London Embankment. Carrying a 20-foot banner which read, “What are Human Rights? Find Out,” the marchers walked along the pavement where car and bus occupants could read the message as they walked along the Embankment. Similar events were held in Manchester, Brighton, Plymouth, and Edinburgh.
The Youth for Human Rights chapter in the UK oversees Youth for Human Rights activities in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. The local chapters host human rights workshops, marches and seminars in which some 30,000 people have participated. Among these was a presentation to over 1,000 Police Cadets in various states and to several schools.
In April 2013, the Youth for Human Rights representative for the UK presented a human rights workshop to 600 members of the Nepalese Armed Police Force, using our booklet on the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As a result, the police force has requested 35,000 copies of the booklet so that every member of the police force can be educated on basic human rights.
For further information, see: www.humanrights.com.
Why was there not one question about the Church’s humanitarian work to make human rights a fact, rather than an idealistic dream?
L. Ron Hubbard initiated the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program after observing that crime and violence were rising in proportion to the decline of religious influence in society. With tools and practical solutions for helping others available for use by Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, the Volunteer Ministers extend unconditional help in reflection of the motto “Something can be done about it.”
While the Volunteer Minister Program dates from the 1970s, the Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response Team came into its own out of the disaster on September 11, 2001. Since then, teams of Volunteer Ministers have been active in more than 175 disaster relief efforts around the world, partnering with more than 800 agencies and organisations. Our ministry has trained more than 100,000 to provide volunteer assistance, while helping nearly 11 million one-on-one since 2001.
Members of the Volunteer Minister Corps, including many from the United Kingdom, have served in every major disaster site in the last 12 years—from Ground Zero after 9/11 to European natural disaster zones. Closer to home, volunteers from the United Kingdom chapter have been on hand to provide relief to first responders and survivors of incidents such as the London Underground Bombing of 2005, as well as floods, civil unrest and a train derailment.
For more information see www.volunteerministers.org.
Should you have asked a question about the Church’s volunteerism to help their fellow man to live happier and more fulfilling lives?
Church-sponsored and supported Initiative to Improve Morals:
To address the deepening moral crisis, L. Ron Hubbard authored The Way to Happiness, an entirely nonreligious common-sense moral code that can be embraced by anyone of any race, culture or creed. By presenting copies of the booklet The Way to Happiness to friends, associates or even strangers, anyone can help those around them survive better.
The booklet invites and promotes responsibility for one’s fellow man across neighbourhoods and communities.
The Church sponsors an education program that uses The Way to Happiness along with public service announcements and an award-winning, feature-length book-on-film illustrating its 21 precepts. These effective tools along with an educator’s guide are available free of charge to institutions and groups that wish to implement the program. This endeavour has reached more than 700 million, with 93 million booklets distributed in some 100 languages.
In cooperation with members of the anti-gang task force “Peace Keepers,” volunteers regularly deliver copies of The Way to Happiness in inner-city high risk neighborhoods.
The Criminon program—a prison re-education program that incorporates The Way to Happiness—has been used in prison and half way houses throughout the country including in Shrubbery, England.
For more information see: www.thewaytohappiness.org.
The Church is committed to its religious, social and humanitarian missions. Its leadership has worked for a quarter of century to build the Church to the point where it could fulfill its goals. Mr. Miscavige has worked tirelessly for the benefit of all parishioners and the brief listing I give does not even approach his 24/7 dedication to our religion. In the past several years, the Church has experienced unparalleled growth, which could be measured by these simple facts:
- The opening of 37 Ideal Scientology Churches in major cities and cultural centers;
- Over 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups in 169 nations;
- 335 million L. Ron Hubbard books and lectures on Dianetics and Scientology in public hands;
- 100 people completing a Scientology religious course or ministerial service every hour world over;
- Scientology Volunteer Ministers serving at some 40 major disasters in the last three years;
- The Church-sponsored and internationally recognized drug rehabilitation program, Narconon, now extending its help through 50 residential facilities spanning five continents;
- The Church-sponsored education program, Applied Scholastics, now serving some 1,100 schools and learning centers across four continents, bringing educational improvement to millions of students worldwide.
This is the real story of Scientology, not the tired allegations of people who have not been around the Church for many years and whose only interest is in trying to tear down what they proved themselves incapable of building.
Church of Scientology International