Where We Worship
Scientology is an open church
By Mary Kaye Ritz
Advertiser Staff Writer
Name of church: Church of Scientology of Hawai'i.
Our denomination: Pan-denominational: "Anyone of any religious background can come and practice," said Sakura Thompson, church spokeswoman.
Where we are: 1148 Bethel St.
Our numbers: Active, about 80-100, but thousands pick up reading materials about Dianetics, "the modern science of mental health," Thompson said.
Lead pastoral counselor: Amy Suzuki.
What we believe: According to the Scientology Handbook, based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard, the essential tenets of Scientology are:
You are an immortal spiritual being. Your experience extends well beyond a single lifetime. And your capabilities are unlimited, even if not presently realized.
Furthermore, man is basically good. He is seeking to survive. And his survival depends upon himself and his fellows and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe.
In Scientology, you are called a thetan (from the Greek letter theta, for thought or life or the spirit). This is to avoid confusion with previous conceptions of the soul.
Our history: Church has existed in Hawai'i for 35 years, and about 10 years at its current location.
What we're excited about: According to Thompson, the church is for interfaith activities, promoting tolerance and peace in the community and bringing people to a higher level of understanding of one another and what is needed in the world today. Its aim is to help people become more tolerant, she said.
The church offers daily programs to members of any denomination, often taught by its members. Some of the courses, lectures and handouts are free; some require a fee. Bookstore materials are available for a fee.
What's special about us: Courses and services are offered in these areas: interpersonal relations, overcoming the ups and downs of life, personal values and integrity, understanding others, working more efficiently, marriage and raising children. Some services are used by artists and celebrities.
If you would like to recommend a faith organization for a Where We Worship profile, e-mail faith@honoluluadvertiser .com, call 525-8035 or write: Where We Worship, Faith Page, The Honolulu Advertiser, P.O. Box 3110, Honolulu, HI 96802.