Historic Monument – In just five years since the May 1950 publication of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, Dianetics and Scientology had expanded from one foundation to an international organization headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona.
With the dramatic growth of the movement and the need for worldwide communication lines to coordinate Churches and groups on five continents, in the summer of 1955, Mr Hubbard moved the central operations of Scientology to Washington, DC., where he established the Founding Church of Scientology at 1812 19th Street NW.
The DC Historic Preservation Review Board has now unanimously approved an application by the Church of Scientology to designate this building as a historic landmark.
From his second-floor office, L. Ron Hubbard served as the first Executive Director, overseeing the organization of Churches and authoring the administrative articles and policies that continue to form the organizational structure of all Scientology Churches today.
The Church has also recently opened two other facilities in the nation’s capital: The D.C. Church of Scientology, which has retained its original name, The Founding Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C., at 1424 16th Street NW, and the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office on Dupont Circle at 1701 20th St NW.
Established July 4, 1955, by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, D.C., holds a unique place in the history of the Scientology religion.
The Rev. Susan Taylor, the national public affairs director of the Church of Scientology’s national affairs office in Washington, told the Washingtonian newsroom that the church aims to landmark properties with connections to Hubbard: “I think just like any other religion it’s important for our members to identify historic places where our founder has either lived or worked.”
Only blocks from the White House, the Founding Church of Scientology served as the first fully formed centre of Scientology training and religious counselling, and the first international administrative headquarters for the burgeoning religion.
The Beaux-Arts building, Andrew Beaujon from the Washingtonian wrote, “holds more history: Its primary architect was Waddy Butler Wood, who designed a number of significant houses and buildings around Washington, including the former Masonic temple that now houses the National Museum of Women in the Arts“.
Located at 1812 19th St NW, it was from his office on the second floor that L. Ron Hubbard served as Executive Director and coordinated the religion, its Churches, and activities on five continents.
More than five decades later, in dedicating the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C. in 2012, Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, spoke of “freedom” as an essential element in Scientology. He made it clear that Mr. Hubbard selected July 4th for inaugurating the new international headquarters in 1955 quite deliberately.
Mr. Miscavige said:
“Just as this nation was founded upon the principles of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, so too those principles are woven into the very fabric of our Scripture,”
He pointed out that the ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, whose adoption is celebrated on Independence Day, are incorporated in the Creed of the Church of Scientology, published in 1954.
The Creed affirms:
In an essay published in August 1954, L. Ron Hubbard wrote:
In that same essay, Mr Hubbard credits America with having “kept wide the doorway” for this accomplishment “by retaining religious freedom.”
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.