East Grinstead, United Kingdom
International Association of Scientologists Marks Year of Incomparable Global Impact
October 23, 2015
IAS 31st Anniversary Celebration at Saint Hill, UK, shines an incandescent light on Scientology’s historic expansion and unprecedented reach, climaxing 12 months of extraordinary worldwide achievement.
More than 7,500 Scientologists converged on Saint Hill in the United Kingdom to celebrate 31 years of sweeping accomplishment and spectacular triumph of the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) on Friday, October 23, simultaneously honoring the Scientology religion’s continued growth and impact as a planetary force for humanitarian uplift and social betterment.
Indeed, the past year has proven to be perhaps the most expansive and successful in Scientology history—a period marked by monumental victories in terms of both Church growth and its dynamic, tireless work in battling drug abuse and human rights offenses including in the field of mental health, as well as instilling morality and delivering freedom from travail for those suffering in the aftermath of disaster.
When the IAS was founded in 1984, Scientology could be found in 39 nations worldwide. Today, the association’s members hail from more than 130 countries across six continents—securing the Church’s eminence as the only world religion to emerge in the 20th century that continues to expand, evolve and thrive 15 years into the 21st.
The celebration was led by Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center, who recounted the unrivaled achievements of the year just passed. Mr. Miscavige also introduced three heroic IAS Freedom Medal winners who exemplify the courage and commitment to make a better world, and highlighted every aspect of the religion’s expansion since last October.
“As tonight we embrace 31 years of the IAS in this glorious cradle of Scientology history, we simultaneously celebrate a 12-month period marked by exponential expansion that has proven ideal in every sense,” Mr. Miscavige said. “We now have Ideal Orgs extending into cultural capitals all over the world, with new Ideal Sea Org Bases driving continental expansion across entire hemispheres. And with last week’s Ideal Advanced Organization Saint Hill UK inauguration, we have brought Saint Hill full circle. It conclusively demonstrates the ways in which Scientology soars as a world of eternal beginnings and limitless possibilities—a world in transit that has finally arrived.”
Among the most significant accomplishments to occur in the past year was the opening of two IAS-sponsored Ideal Churches of Scientology. In July, the ribbon fell on the first Ideal Organization of Scientology in South America—in the rapidly evolving Colombian capital of Bogotá—and in August, the stunning first Ideal Org for Japan in the beating heart of Tokyo opened its doors. During Friday’s event, national leaders from both nations were seen and heard hailing the moment as key to their futures.
Also opening in the last 12 months were three spectacular Continental Narconon centers—in the United Kingdom, in Denmark and Mexico—as well as the fourth model center on a breathtaking hilltop in Ojai, California (serving artists and leaders of society). These IAS-sponsored centers utilize Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s renowned drug rehabilitation technology in the fight against substance abuse. The dynamic facilities profoundly broaden the reach and impact of the Narconon program throughout Europe and Latin America.
Indeed, the vast roster of Scientology achievements in 2015 filled the nearly three-hour event, beginning with the peerless efforts of Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) to eradicate psychiatric human rights abuses around the world—at once bringing its perpetrators to justice and empowering its victims. CCHR’s trailblazing crusade to bring psychiatry under the law continued to ramp up dramatically over the past year.
It was also during 2015 that permanent facilities for the Scientology-supported humanitarian and social betterment initiatives were established along with a Scientology Information Center in Clearwater, Florida—spiritual headquarters of the Scientology religion. These serve as a model for raising entire communities with these enormously effective campaigns.
The programs represented are: The Truth About Drugs, an anti-drug education program designed to erase pandemic substance abuse worldwide; United for Human Rights, enlightening populations on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; The Way to Happiness, whose 21 universal moral precepts help to restore the bonds of humanity and basic decency of mankind; and Scientology Volunteer Ministers, providing urgent assistance to the devastated and traumatized and bringing succor in times of disaster, both acute and everyday.
Examples of the sheer impact of the initiatives during the presentation included:
The Truth About Drugs campaign reaches a potential user every five seconds along high-trafficking zones in 58 nations.
More than 70,000 children in 40 schools across the nation of Togo alone were educated on their inalienable human rights.
The Way to Happiness is now permanently woven into West Bank society in the Middle East to help bring calm to a volatile region, with full recognition as a charitable organization by the Palestinian National Authority.
Volunteer Ministers logged more than 300,000 miles to train in excess of 50,000 people worldwide in how to use the VM tools.
Volunteer Ministers persevered through one of their greatest challenges this year following the devastating 7.8 earthquake in Nepal in April. The temblor resulted in more than 9,000 deaths and 23,000 injuries and left some 2 million homeless. However, within 24 hours, the Volunteer Ministers International headquarters had dispatched and mobilized Mexico’s famed Los Topos and CINAT (National Circle of Aid Technicians) out of Colombia. VMs from Pakistan, India and Thailand joined in the search-and-rescue effort along with power teams from Colombia, Australia, Europe and the United States.
Mr. Miscavige declared during the IAS event, “A permanent VM headquarters has been established in Nepal in resolute reply to all future floods, droughts, cyclonic winds and earthquakes. Seventy VM groups have now been embedded in the fabric of this nation, born in the wake of 420,000 hours of service and more than 2 million assisted and succored in moments of greatest need.”
Putting an exclamation point to the evening were the IAS Freedom Medal winners, whose presentations were punctuated throughout the night. Awarded to Scientologists who forward the purpose of the IAS by aiding their fellow man, this year’s honorees were:
Steve Green, a native of Auckland, New Zealand, and the longtime Executive Director of that country’s Citizens Commission on Human Rights chapter who has exposed such psychiatric human rights atrocities in his nation as Deep Sleep Therapy (in which patients are drugged into a coma against their will and subjected to electroconvulsive shock treatments). Steve relentlessly tracked down former victims all over the country and created a media sensation condemning the practice while gaining restitution for every survivor. His efforts also revealed the crimes of several notorious psychiatric hospitals—including the abominable Lake Alice—and led to their permanent closure.
Mario Chirinos, a Venezuelan raised near the Colombian border who lost two cousins to the sinister drug cartels that have gained an increasing foothold in his own country. Concerned about the lack of drug information for young people in particular and determined to make a difference, Mario signed on as head of Drug-Free World Venezuela and became a one-man education machine. He began his anti-drug movement in his hometown of Maracaibo and took it to classrooms, police precincts, the military and media throughout Venezuela. His efforts led to a new law making drug education mandatory in every school throughout the country.
Rohit Sharma, a citizen of New Delhi, India, who after discovering Scientology through the Volunteer Minister Goodwill Tour in 2007, made it his mission to fight the culture of corruption, hedonism and Western materialism in his country. He recognized The Way to Happiness as the means to reverse his nation’s moral decay. After establishing India’s first The Way to Happiness Foundation, Rohit took the program’s 21 common sense precepts into schools to instruct first students and then teachers about making correct life choices. He then took his movement to police divisions—reforming those wracked by dishonesty—ultimately reaching 70 million Indians with The Way to Happiness.
IAS-sponsored projects on the horizon include:
The opening of three new IAS-sponsored Ideal Orgs with the first one to open in the heart of Harlem, New York;
Another fleet of five Ideal Narconons slated to open in the coming year;
The opening of three Ideal Advanced Orgs: in Sydney, Australia, overlooking Lane Cove National Park, to serve Scientologists from Australia, New Zealand, Oceania and Asia; another in South Africa’s Kyalami Castle, serving the entire African continent; and another in Mexico City, Mexico, for all of Latin America.
The following evening, October 24, more than 2,000 Scientologists gathered for the IAS Patrons Ball, an elegant black-tie affair in the Grand Marquee where the newest patrons were recognized for their dedication in furthering the IAS humanitarian movement while advancing the Scientology aims for a better world.
The International Association of Scientologists, a membership organization open to all Scientologists from all nations, was formed in 1984. The purpose of the IAS is to unite, advance, support, and protect the Scientology religion and Scientologists in all parts of the world so as to achieve the Aims of Scientology as originated by L. Ron Hubbard: “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.”