The Flag Issue:Celebrating Scientology's New Spiritual Center

A Turning Point for the Religion

The excitement rolled across more than 10,000 Scientologists gathered in multiple large venues at the religion’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater on November 15, 2013, as ecclesiastical leader David Miscavige opened a three-day convocation signaling completion of an evolutionary step for the religion and a new era of expansion.

“By the time this weekend is over, it is going to be a whole new world,” Mr. Miscavige declared. “You have arrived at a turning point—a turning point that guarantees our future into eternity.”

“By the time this weekend is over, it is going to be a whole new world. You have arrived at a turning point—a turning point that guarantees our future into eternity.”—Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion

By Saturday, the tempo accelerated during a series of announcements revealing complete, chronological Scripture and religious training materials, also precisely as intended by Mr. Hubbard, making Scientology training accessible to anyone and with an ease never before imaginable. The crowds—almost 6,000 at a massive “marquee,” while thousands more watched on closed circuit—thundered approval when Mr. Miscavige unveiled a new, technologically advanced, digital Hubbard Electrometer, or E-meter, a religious artifact at the core of Scientology religious counseling.

On Sunday the roars of joy crescendoed from an outdoor audience of 10,273, as Mr. Miscavige cut the giant red ribbon opening the Flag Building—the Scientology cathedral.

The festivities were grand, the Flag Building is beautiful and majestic.

But in the days that followed, what transpired at the Flag Building, at lower decibels and less dramatic in its own way, but was much calmer, much more important. It was the essential, transformative work of putting Scientologists on the religion’s Bridge to Total Freedom, the route whereby people free themselves from spiritual and mental impediments.

While that work has been ongoing since Mr. Hubbard first pioneered Dianetics and Scientology more than six decades ago, the Flag Building is the first structure conceived and erected as the Church’s spiritual home. It is also the first building in which the higher spiritual processes can be delivered.

The turning point that Mr. Miscavige described during seven hours of briefings was condensed to three letters, “KSW,” emblazoned on the side of the marquee, on the stage inside, in dancing lights on Fort Harrison religious retreat, and on the green lawn of the new Fort Harrison Park.

The letters stand for “Keeping Scientology Working,” and these are the bywords of every Scientologist as they pursue their religious studies.

Directly following the ribbon-cutting, thousands of Scientologists streamed through the Flag Building for their first glimpses of the structure—not only the magnificent design and artwork, but the precise work areas and expansive settings in which Scientology religious services, called “technology” or “Standard Tech,” are delivered.

By Sunday evening, Scientologists were flooding into the building to sign up for courses and auditing, the religion’s spiritual counseling. By Monday, staff at the main entrance reception desk were continuously welcoming and ushering people to the many religious services in the building.

At one reception desk for course enrollment, a young woman began an exuberant, impromptu dance when she was accepted. Embraces, high-fives and exultant exclamations flowed like electricity among the groups of Scientologists. Among the most ecstatic were those arriving for “Super Power,” a series of rundowns to increase perception, enhance spiritual awareness, raise competence and restore a person’s ability to be an active participant in life.

To make this possible required the training of 178 Super Power staff who speak a total of 24 languages. The Golden Age of Tech Phase II also necessitated building the ranks of the highest-level auditors in the world—23 new Flag Class XII auditors, speaking 11 languages.

“The Flag Building is glorious,” said one Clearwater Scientologist. “But the intention behind the building is far more senior than the physical structure. And that is what is truly glorious.”

“Keeping Scientology Working” was the title of a policy statement Mr. Hubbard issued in 1965 and released again several times thereafter. The intent was to ensure that Scientologists adhere to the tech he had discovered and developed, which if fully understood and correctly applied leads to total spiritual freedom.

That policy was at the heart of the announcements by Mr. Miscavige during the weekend—described as the “Golden Age of Technology Phase II,” an immense undertaking to ensure the permanence and availability of all of Mr. Hubbard’s scriptural materials that constitute the Scientology religion.

That daunting task, undertaken by Mr. Miscavige, began with a comprehensive search for everything Mr. Hubbard had written or recorded from 1948 through 1986, with teams sent to every Church or city where Mr. Hubbard had lived, worked or lectured, searching archives and personal collections for writings and recordings.

All materials were then arranged in chronological sequence, laid out on more than 1,000 tables stretching 1.4 miles inside a Los Angeles archive larger than a city block.

With a complete running record of Dianetics and Scientology materials in hand—184,000 individual writings—each piece was reviewed for accuracy and authenticity. The project required that all materials be reviewed as a whole, in full chronological order, to assess the complete content of any given aspect of the religion. Only in this way could any omissions and alterations be discovered and the material corrected.

“And I do mean by a review of every LRH original,” said Mr. Miscavige, “issue by issue, word by word, comma by comma.”

The result: dozens of new courses on Scientology spiritual technology and 2,400 pages of Scripture exactly as written by Mr. Hubbard; all administrative policy for its application and as a guarantee that it remain standard; other elements such as reference books specified by Mr. Hubbard but never before compiled—including a vital companion dictionary to the course on the technology of study.

All of that work was predicated upon the mission that the material can never be lost or altered.

“Wisdom is meant for anyone who wishes to reach for it.” —L. Ron Hubbard

The significance of this for the individual Scientologist is immense: Training in their religion with greater thoroughness and speed. Flawless and rapid spiritual counseling progress. Total confidence that all Scriptural materials and procedures are 100 percent correct and standard.

“What this means is that Scientology is within reach for people all over the world, at all levels of society,” said a Scientologist from Chicago. “It’s a whole new world.”

For Clearwater Scientologists and those who travel there for religious services, all components of the Golden Age of Technology Phase II are available in the Flag Building—the religious training courses, the spiritual counseling, all of the written and recorded reference works and materials.

But another aspect of Golden Age of Tech Phase II is that Scientologists may now also receive their training and auditing in their home churches, whether that is Minneapolis-St. Paul, Moscow or Melbourne. This worldwide availability of the Scientology religion is the result of an intensive training program in which 1,100 senior ecclesiastical staff members from Churches in 28 nations, speaking 31 languages, traveled to Clearwater for a six-month training program on the Golden Age of Tech Phase II. When Mr. Miscavige called all 1,100 to the stage for their official graduation ceremony, they received a prolonged ovation from the Scientologists in attendance.

One week later, the epic advance had been translated into 16 languages and presented to Scientologists worldwide. “This technology is a great leap,” said one Scientologist. “This is our religion on a firm foundation. This is Scientology.”

The Golden Age of Tech Phase II was made possible only because another major endeavor—the Golden Age of Knowledge—was completed earlier. Mr. Miscavige led a crusade to make the writings and lectures of Dianetics and Scientology available in their original form, exactly as written or spoken by Mr. Hubbard, in as many languages and to as many people as possible. That involved the codifying, translation and publishing of Mr. Hubbard’s works on the mind and spirit—more than 76 million words, including nearly 2,500 recorded lectures.

The Golden Age of Knowledge was completed in 2009. It constituted a sustained program to verify and recover Scientology Scripture and make it available in the exact original chronology. This major accomplishment of the Golden Age of Knowledge was launched by Mr. Miscavige in Clearwater in 2007, when he presented “The Basics,” Mr. Hubbard’s 18 books and 280 lectures at the core of the Scientology religion.

Other key materials included the Congress Lectures, public lectures in which Mr. Hubbard announced milestone accomplishments in his development of Dianetics and Scientology, and the Professional and Advanced Clinical Course Lectures—more than 1,000 lectures and 500 written issues that are a day-by-day record of Mr. Hubbard’s path of research and discovery.

The opening of the Flag Building, underscored by the epic events of Golden Age of Tech Phase II, is the result of the visionary leadership of Mr. Miscavige. Following Mr. Hubbard’s passing in 1986, it was Mr. Miscavige who steered the religion through the transitional years, obtaining full religious recognition in the United States and ushering Scientology onto the global stage.

Since then, Mr. Miscavige has advanced L. Ron Hubbard’s legacy until Scientology now stands as the only major religion to emerge in the modern age. Ensuring the permanence of Mr. Hubbard’s work, and enshrining it in the religion’s own cathedral, is a tribute to the perseverance and integrity of Mr. Miscavige.

“At this turning point in our religion, David Miscavige has given us the most magnificent gift possible—Scientology exactly as L. Ron Hubbard intended it,” said a longtime Scientologist.

“Every Scientologist can accomplish great things, but none of us comes close to what Mr. Miscavige has attained in his dedication to carry forward L. Ron Hubbard’s vision and intention to give the world a bright future.”

What comes after that turning point?

The future was written in mid-November 2013 with the historic opening of the Flag Building and the release of the Golden Age of Tech Phase II. Scientologists from across the globe gave thundering, sustained ovations to Mr. Miscavige as he announced those events.

The accolades proclaimed that Mr. Miscavige has launched Scientology onto a grand and noble future, the future conceived and carved into eternity by L. Ron Hubbard.

1,100 senior ecclesiastical staff from 37 nations completed the largest training program in Scientology history.