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The Church Is Born

“After a very careful examination of a poll,” declared Scientologists in a 1954 Journal of Scientology, “one would say very bluntly: Scientology fills the need for a religion.” Consequently, and independently of Mr. Hubbard, the first Church of Scientology was founded by parishioners in Los Angeles.

At about the same time, in Phoenix, a major Scientology and Dianetics congress was underway. Featuring L. Ron Hubbard’s lectures, seminars and auditing demonstrations, the congress attracted 450 Scientologists from across the United States.

Also indicative of expansion through this period: news that Scientology had taken root in Australia; word from South Africa where 35 Scientologists had enrolled on a course taught in Durban; a notice from New Zealand (which now had a church in Auckland) that a Phoenix-trained auditor opened a course for some two dozen new Scientologists; and letters from Tel Aviv and Cairo where Scientologists were desperately hungry for more books. All told, by the summer of 1955 there were eight buildings in Mr. Hubbard’s Phoenix center and 22 full-time staff members.

Although still lagging in comparison, Great Britain now boasted nearly 500 auditors in such towns as Farnham, West Croydon and Liverpool. As the worldwide Scientology network grew, Mr. Hubbard moved to more centrally located Washington, DC, where, in July 1955, the Founding Church of Scientology and the first Academy of Scientology were formed. Here also, the first Scientology distribution center was established to oversee the printing and dissemination of material around the world. To ease the administration of this now sizable organization, Mr. Hubbard drafted the first of what would ultimately be volumes of administrative policies laying out the functions, actions and duties of the organization.


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