New 377,000-square-foot Scientology building has entire floor where members can get 'super powers'
The Flag Building is the tallest build in Clearwater, Florida and the home to Scientology's 'Super Power' program.The Super Power program was designed by the religion's founder L Ron Hubbard in the 1970s. The church broke ground on the building in 1998 but stooped construction for several years
. After 15 years of construction, the $145million building opens this weekend with an estimated 10,000 members in town for the ribbon-cutting
By Ashley CollmanPUBLISHED:
15:39 EST, 15 November 2013
Ten thousand scientologists are expected to descend on Clearwater, Florida this weekend for the grand opening of a 'cathedral' which has been under construction for 15 years.The $145 million Flag Building is a massive seven-story, 377,000-square-foot complex and the tallest building in Clearwater, which is the 'spiritual headquarters' of the 59-year-old religion.The opening of the building on Sunday will mark the first time Scientologists have had a space to receive 'Super Power' training - a program developed by the religion's founder L Ron Hubbard in the 1970s.
Grand opening: Scientology's Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida is set to open this Sunday
Celebration: Most of this weekend's activities will take place in a gigantic tent erected near the building
HOW TO BECOME SUPERHUMAN THE SCIENTOLOGY WAY
The Super Power course was developed by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and promises to boost a person's perceptions or senses through a series of mental and physical tasks.Scientologists believe that in addition to the five senses of hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell we have 57 additional abilities known as 'perceptics'.These include an ability to sense blood circulation, balance, compass direction, temperature, gravity as well as an 'awareness of importance, unimportance.'
In his writings Hubbard described the course as: 'A superfantastic, but confidential series of rundowns that can be done on anyone whether Dianetic clear or not that puts the person into fantastic shape unleashing the super power of a thetan.'This is the means that puts Scientologists into a new realm of ability enabling them to create the new world. It puts world clearing within reach in the future.'It consists of 12 separate high-power rundowns which are brand-new and enter realms of the tech never before approached.'
Hubbard had originally wanted to offer the course in 1978 but many of his staff who had been through the instructor training left the church on completion of the course.
In a written statement, church spokesman Ben Shaw said: 'Super Power is a series of spiritual counseling processes designed to give a person back his own viewpoint, increase his perception, exercise his power of choice, and greatly enhance other spiritual abilities.'The group broke ground on the Mediterranean Revival-style building in 1998, but stopped work after finishing the shell.For three years, the group ceased construction on the project until the city started imposing $250-a-day fines for code violations.
Scientology defectors have explained that the building's slow construction is due to church leader's who have used the project as a fundraising cash cow.An analysis by the Tampa Bay Times
discovered that the church had raised $145million for the building, much higher than the $100million it was estimated to cost.
Former Scientologist couple Rocio and Luis Garcia of Irvine, California contributed more than $340,000 to the construction of the Super Power building, before ultimately suing the church in federal court for dragging out the project 'as a shill'.
Church representatives have described the Garcia's suit as 'frivolous'.While the new building is part of a larger complex of buildings that serve as a spiritual retreat for Scientologists, there will be space on the ground floor for visitors to learn about the religion.The visitor center will have a 'grand lobby' with a three-story atrium and exhibits that explain the religion's belief system and practices. The second and third floors are home to offices and classrooms while the basement houses a huge kitchen and dining areas.
Three hundred small rooms for 'auditing' can be found on the buildings upper floors. Auditing is the religions form of counseling and a session can cost $1,000. But the jewel in the crown of the Flag Building is on the fifth floor, where members can participate in the Super Power program for the first time.The Super Power program was developed by the religion's found L Ron Hubbard and described as one of his greatest discoveries.
Super powers: The main purpose of the building will be to provide a space for members to receive 'Super Power' training - a program developed by the religion's founder L Ron Hubbard (above) in the 1970s
Famous followers: The religion is famous for drawing a celebrity following. Actors Tom Cruise (left) and John Travolta (right) are Scientologists
'Super Power is a series of spiritual counseling processes designed to give a person back his own viewpoint, increase his perception, exercise his power of choice, and greatly enhance other spiritual abilities,' church spokesman Ben Shaw said in a statement.
Hubbard went further in his description of the program saying: 'Super Power is the answer to a sick, a dying and dead society...With it we literally revive the dead.'
As part of that therapy, members will be spun on an anit-gravity simulator blindfolded to improve their 'perceptics' - Hubbard's 57 senses which include sight, smell, taste, blood circulation, and awareness of awareness.Another interesting feature of the building is the circular running track located on floor six.
Scientologists use the track for 'Cause Resurgence Rundown'. Basically they run until they have a moment of enlightenment called 'cognition'.