MARCH 3, 2024

Thousands celebrate Grand Opening of a revitalized and reborn South Loop landmark building, offering hope and help to all.

On an unseasonably mild March Chicago day, just a few blocks from Lake Michigan and four blocks from the city center, a crowd of thousands, including local dignitaries, jubilantly welcomed the newest jewel to Chicago’s fabled Printer’s Row, the gloriously restored seven-story structure that is now the new Ideal Church of Scientology Chicago.

The Midwest’s most populous metropolis, Chicago is also a sports mecca, home to the Bulls, the Cubs and White Sox, Blackhawks and, of course, Da Bears. Perhaps more than any other city, Chicago loves its sports teams. Those in attendance at the ribbon-cutting event cheered just as boisterously as they have for their championship teams in the past. When it comes to Scientology, on this opening day, the City of Big Dreams proudly proclaimed, Game On!

Big day for the City of Big Shoulders as Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center, welcomes those in attendance to the inauguration ceremony.

Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center, Mr. David Miscavige, greeted the delighted crowd before the ribbon was cut. “Today this Second City is truly Second to None,” said Mr. Miscavige. “While before that Windy City ribbon comes cascading down, this is also the moment to recognize what you already know: how just as Chicago was once reborn, so today there is room for a new beginning. And thus, room for restoring to individuals the ability to live a better life—in their own estimation and with their fellows and the playing of a better game.”

Chicago is also defined by its rich tapestry of diverse cultures, ethnicities and religions spanning some 77 dynamic neighborhoods. In that spirit, community and civic leaders partner with the Church to bring neighborhoods together under the banner of building a better Chicago.

Among the guest speakers was attorney and advisor to the city Mr. Rob Fioretti. “Chicago stands tall—a bold slugger with one of the world’s most recognizable skylines,” he told the crowd. “Designs born here define the skylines of America and, indeed, the skylines of the world. And what’s awesome about the Church of Scientology is that you get it. You understand the character of this city on so many levels.

“As a city councilor, I fought with you to secure this heritage site. And through our co-endeavor, I watched as the Church restored this landmark to her 1915 splendor. More than 25,000 hours were invested—twenty-five thousand hours. And let me tell you: every second, minute and hour is proof that you are a prized and trusted custodian of this city!”

Dr. Gwen Appleberry, a Citizen Advisor to the Chicago Police Department and the Board of Education, spoke of the wisdom of the religion’s Founder: “I do know a little something about the potential inside those doors. You see, 47 years ago, I first laid my eyes on Dianetics,” the monumental volume by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.

“It resonated with me before I even took it off the shelf. And to this day, I keep his works on my shelf so I can always have his wisdom with me,” Dr. Appleberry said. “It’s what I call the booster shot of living. The booster shot of living!” she repeated. The crowd roared approval and rose to its feet as she repeated it twice more.

“Let me tell you, you’re precisely what Downtown needs,” Dr. Appleberry said. “You are going to light up the South Loop!”

Mr. Kweli Kwaza, Executive Director of the Club 21 Initiative, a coalition of neighborhood block clubs promoting unity, highlighted the importance of community partnership and empowerment. Raised on Chicago’s West Side, he said, “I set about getting neighborhoods to not only survive, but thrive.” And when the Church of Scientology began supporting the neighborhood events, he added, “You came back again, and again and again. So yes, you are community partners.

“With this new Church and the transformative programs you will infuse into our community, we have a blueprint to build, block by block, a city we are proud of. And it will now stand on the unbreakable foundation of our people, our organizations and upon centers of change like this new Church of Scientology!”

The final guest speaker, Mr. Norman White, works on the city’s Commission on Human Relations. “You know, I believe Chicago embodies the global community. Every flag and culture is represented in Chicago, whether Polish, Irish, Italian, Hispanic, Arabic or African,” he told the event’s attendees. “On the flip side, you could say this may also cause division. Still, no matter what—whether it’s Blacks, Whites, Latinos or Asians—the way I see it, we’re a human family.”

Mr. White recalled when the Church’s Volunteer Ministers responded to the pandemic. “I was damned impressed. You guys were on top of it. In fact, if it were a superhero movie, then while the rest of us were still in bed reaching for our masks, you had already zipped up your suits, put on your yellow jackets and were out there ‘doing something about it’! It’s all you!” Mr. White said.

“You’ve been keeping Chicago safe. You have demonstrated an inherent willingness to help—indiscriminately. You see, there is a whole lot of need out there. And to have you answering the call is precisely what this city needs,” said Mr. White. “Here stands a crown jewel which represents a friendlier, more supportive and more open city. What more could you ask for? So today, let’s recognize what stands before our very eyes—a home for every resident where we can unite and thus get better, together. And let’s make the most of today to make an even greater tomorrow in this city of Chicago!”

The new Chicago Ideal Org provides the city with an introduction to Dianetics and Scientology, beginning with the Public Information Center. Its displays, containing more than 500 films, present the beliefs and practices of the Scientology religion and the life and legacy of Founder L. Ron Hubbard. The Information Center also offers a detailed overview of the renowned Church-sponsored humanitarian programs—including a worldwide human rights education initiative; far-reaching drug education, prevention and rehabilitation programs; a global network of literacy and learning centers; and the Scientology Volunteer Minister Program, which has become one of the world’s largest independent relief forces. The center, which also features a streetside Four Star Café, is open morning to night for visitors to tour at their leisure and return as often as they wish.

The Church’s Chapel provides for Scientology congregational gatherings, including Sunday Services, Weddings and Naming Ceremonies—as well as a host of events open to members of all faiths in the name of community collaboration. The new Church further includes multiple seminar rooms and classrooms, in addition to dozens of rooms for Scientology auditing (spiritual counseling).

Ideal Church Organizations (Ideal Orgs) realize the fulfillment of Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s vision for the religion. They not only provide the ideal facilities to service Scientologists on their ascent to greater states of spiritual awareness and freedom, but are also designed to serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground for cooperative efforts to uplift citizens of all denominations.

The March Grand Opening of the Ideal Church of Scientology Chicago is one of the highlights of an already expansive 2024. Among the other Ideal Orgs dedicated at the beginning of the year: the Church of Scientology Del Valle, opened just two days ago in Mexico City, rising 12 stories above the city’s iconic enclave; and the Church of Scientology Austin, opened just last weekend, right across from the University of Texas campus on the bustling central corridor known as The Drag.

All told, in recent years, the Church has opened new Ideal Organizations in major cities all over the world, including in the Latin American capital of Bogotá; London, Birmingham and Dublin in the British Isles; throughout Europe in Brussels, Rome, Milan, Padova, Madrid, Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Copenhagen, Malmö, Amsterdam, Basel and Budapest; in the Middle East at Tel Aviv; all along the Pacific Rim at Tokyo, Kaohsiung, Auckland, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth; in South Africa at Johannesburg and Pretoria; and more in Canada at Québec and Cambridge.

The unprecedented expansion for the Scientology religion is further represented by the opening of new Ideal Church Organizations across the United States, including New York City, Harlem, Buffalo, Washington, DC, Atlanta, Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Nashville, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Twin Cities, Kansas City, Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Portland and Seattle. And in California alone, at Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Gatos, San Jose, Silicon Valley, Ventura, San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Inglewood, Orange County and San Diego.

For a complete list of Ideal Churches of Scientology, visit

To disseminate Scientology’s message still further and answer the overwhelming interest about the religion, the Church launched its own satellite TV channel, Scientology Network, on DIRECTV Channel 320, which also live streams on, as well as on multiple platforms in 17 languages across 24 time zones.