EAST GRINSTEAD, ENGLAND
MONUMENTAL IAS CELEBRATION MARKS UNFORGETTABLE ERA OF GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN IMPACT
NOVEMBER 3, 2023
Members of the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) representing 90 nations gathered in East Grinstead, Southern England, for a weekend-long celebration honoring four historic years of dedication, determination and accomplishment.
It was a celebration like no other in IAS history.
Hour after hour, headlights danced along the hedge-lined roads of the West Sussex countryside as thousands of Scientologists from every corner of the world made their way to L. Ron Hubbard’s legendary United Kingdom home—Saint Hill. The timeless strains of Great Highland Bagpipes and a drum corps soared up the castle turrets and across the rolling downs, welcoming the elegantly attired guests. So marked the beginning of the highly anticipated IAS Anniversary Celebration Weekend.
Gathered from across the United Kingdom, Europe, USA and as far away as Africa and Asia, the expectant crowd walked the red carpet into the exquisite Grand Marquee. As the stage burst into light, signifying the start of the opening event, Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center, made his entrance to a thunderous standing ovation—one of historic duration.
“As is traditional, tonight we will review all that ensued from our IAS Pledge to Mankind and, to that extent, the meaning of Full Responsibility,” began Mr. Miscavige. That pledge, signed at Saint Hill in 1984 by Mr. Miscavige and a courageous few, marked the birth of the IAS and its enduring purpose to unite, advance, support and protect the Scientology religion and Scientologists so as to achieve the Aims of Scientology.
“So, yes, tonight’s presentation will include epic accomplishments: from global salvage operations for oppressed populations to Volunteer Ministers for indiscriminate help. While following from that same equation, you will also meet this year’s IAS Freedom Medal Winners and, thus, those who epitomize ‘uncompromising commitment.’ And finally, you will also see not one, not two, not three, but actually four new Ideal facilities. By the time you have seen them all, it will have taken your breath away.”
And so it was, across a riveting three-hour celebration, Mr. Miscavige presented the awe-inspiring highlights of all the IAS brought to bear across the globe at every latitude and longitude over the last four years.
IAS DELIVERS PLANETWIDE
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “People lived in a system correctness and things went right so long as nothing was going wrong. Then one day things go wrong.” So began Mr. Miscavige when describing how the IAS answered the call during the planetary crisis.
First with a Volunteer Minister force greater than at any time in history, delivering 9 million hours of one-on-one help between 2020 and 2023.
Then, with the Church extending help over the airwaves and online, came the demand for solutions. The Church answered with distribution of 45 million humanitarian materials.
Whereupon, gratitude poured in from the likes of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, Canada’s House of Commons, the African Union and from everywhere else around the world, thus generating partnerships from all sectors and strata of society—some 29,000 new partnerships in just the last four years.
All the while, people looking for answers found them on Scientology Network, with more than 20 million new viewers tuning in.
While as for the IAS fulfilling its pledge to protect the Scientology religion and its parishioners world over, Mr. Miscavige recounted an unending parade of religious recognitions, even during recent lockdowns and restrictions:
REFORMING MENTAL HEALTH
The tour of IAS accomplishment continued with the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), culminating in a story of relentless perseverance. The site was the United Nations European Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The milestone victory was the result of decades of work by CCHR. After reporting on psychiatric abuse year after year in a total of 18 nations, CCHR received a formal invitation to a first-ever United Nations Consultation on Human Rights in Mental Health. CCHR presented expert testimony, vehemently calling for a ban on “coercion and the deprivations of liberty in mental health.” When the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights put the mental health mandate before the UN Human Rights Council, the result heralded a sea change for the field of mental health. The council’s final report and accompanying joint WHO implementation guidelines, both of which cite CCHR’s contribution, officially state by UN decree:
GLOBAL HUMANITARIAN MISSION
Further propelling the audience on the worldwide review of the Church’s humanitarian mission, Mr. Miscavige brought into focus IAS-sponsored education initiatives in use everywhere: United for Human Rights to make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a fact in every land; The Way to Happiness to restore dignity and honor to Mankind through common-sense morals; and Drug-Free World to turn the tide of drug abuse for a generation with the Truth About Drugs. As but a sampling of accomplishments achieved from 2020 to 2023:
During these past four years, IAS-sponsored humanitarian initiatives hit multiple milestones:
UNWAVERING VOLUNTEER MINISTER HELP
Mr. Miscavige next turned the spotlight onto the Church’s international volunteer force, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers. The group answered the call at every major natural disaster of the last four years—in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in Kashmir, typhoons in Japan, cataclysmic fires in Australia, flash floods in Indonesia, a volcanic eruption on St. Vincent, monsoons in Pakistan and hurricanes on Florida’s southwest coast. In all, Volunteer Ministers provided frontline help at the sites of 45 disasters across 20 nations.
Mr. Miscavige followed with an epic account of accomplishment in the name of the greater mission of the Volunteer Minister—to uplift individuals with the technology for life contained in The Scientology Handbook. Such is the story of South Africa, where the Church empowered virtually every pillar of South African society—first responders, educators, religious leaders and municipal, provincial and national officials. In total, the Church has graduated more than 22,000 new Scientology Volunteer Ministers, now serving communities across the nation.
As a final statement on Volunteer Ministers, Mr. Miscavige announced the forthcoming television premiere of Operation: Do Something About It, a feature-length documentary chronicling the Church’s story of humanity, hope and help in global response to the pandemic. The documentary film airs on Scientology Network December 5, International Volunteer Day.
RECOGNIZING EXEMPLARY ACCOMPLISHMENT
Mr. Miscavige punctuated the evening by bestowing the distinguished IAS Freedom Medal, recognizing Scientologists for their extraordinary humanitarian commitment. For the first time ever, each one of the medal recipients is a New OT VIII.
A VIEW TO THE FUTURE
Crowning the incomparable evening and its whirlwind review of a monumental four years, Mr. Miscavige then turned to a glorious and boundless future, presenting upcoming Church expansion across the width and breadth of the Scientology world. That expansive future comprises 10 new Ideal facilities with Grand Openings fast approaching in the days, weeks and months to come—beginning immediately in November, continuing through December, January and rolling on through 2024. In fact, such is the scope of the Church’s growth that ribbons are set to fall from Europe to Africa and all across North America.
EXPANDING IAS HUMANITARIAN INITIATIVES
The IAS Global Salvage Seminar, convened on Saturday morning, was standing room only as members of the IAS learned about the launch of a new year of global humanitarian initiatives. Scientologists from around the world joined IAS-sponsored campaigns to bring humanitarian solutions to their communities: The Way to Happiness, Foundation for a Drug-Free World, United for Human Rights, Citizens Commission on Human Rights and the Scientology Volunteer Ministers.
AN EVENING OF ELEGANT RECOGNITION
On Saturday evening, the Grand Marquee came to resplendent life as the venue for the annual IAS Patrons Ball. The black-tie affair recognized IAS members from 59 countries for their abiding dedication to furthering the IAS humanitarian movement. The evening took on even greater significance given that, in the four years since the last Patrons Ball at Saint Hill, almost 5,000 Scientologists became Patrons of the IAS—highest in history.
SAINT HILL CHARITY CONCERT
The weekend of IAS festivities concluded Sunday evening with the 23rd Annual Saint Hill Charity Concert. Carrying on a Saint Hill tradition of philanthropy begun by L. Ron Hubbard, the event benefits local charities to help them accomplish their goals for the betterment of the greater community. In attendance were representatives and volunteers from charity organizations across East Grinstead and the Mid Sussex District, including this year’s recipients: Queen Victoria Hospital, the East Grinstead Lions Club, Age UK, Access2Adventure and Crowborough Hospital. Among the evening’s honored guests were the Mayor and Mayoress of East Grinstead and Town Councilors from East Grinstead, Crawley, Tonbridge and Godalming.
The Charity Concert was hosted by award-winning actress Jenna Elfman and featured a wide variety of musical artists and styles, from Saint Hill’s own—and UK’s No. 1—jive and swing band, The Jive Aces, to Academy Award-nominated composer and performer Mark Isham, as well as world-renowned virtuoso concert pianist, the incomparable, Cyprien Katsaris.
Formed in 1984, the IAS is the official membership organization of Scientology. It is open to all Scientologists from every nation and now counts members from no less than 158 lands. 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.”