Last month the Church of Scientology opened a new headquarters in Auckland.
The premises at 136 Grafton Road is housed in one of Auckland’s landmark heritage buildings – the red-brick former Whitecliffe Art College.
The international leader David Miscavige mingled with the hundreds of attendees. They included local followers as well as curious members of the public.
The centre will be open daily to the public. Facilities include a public information centre with more than 500 films about the beliefs and practices of Scientology.
On the second floor, in a clean white room featuring a bold New Zealand-inspired mosaic, is the Purification Centre.
Auckland Church of Scientology spokesman Nick Banks told the NZ Herald toxins that pesticides and drugs get lodged in the fatty tissues of the body.
These could block someone’s spiritual progress if they didn’t sweat these out.
“It’s where people will take vitamins, where they sweat out different toxins.”
There are multiple seminar rooms and classrooms and a Cafe
There is an entire floor dedicated to ‘auditing’ or spiritual counselling.
A chapel provides for Scientology congregational gatherings, including Sunday services, weddings and naming ceremonies.
It is available for community-wide events open to members of all denominations.
Around 100 staff will move into the church from the organisation’s previous building on the Ellerslie-Panmure Highway.
The building was purchased in 2007 for $10 million, borrowed interest-free from the Church of Scientology International.
Its restoration is estimated to have cost $6 million.
A spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology said hundreds of members from New Zealand, Australia and around the world have donated towards the restoration of the new HQ.
“We are extremely delighted and excited about the opening of this building.”
“The new Auckland Church provides visitors with an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology,” said the spokeswoman.
News category: New Zealand.