A new national affairs office opened Wednesday in the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C., for the Church of Scientology. Located in the historic Fraser Mansion, the new office “stands as the central point from which the church coordinates its many social and humanitarian initiatives on a national and international level,” according to a statement posted on the Church of Scientology Web site.
Hundreds of people attended the dedication including David Miscavige, chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center and ecclesiastical leader as well as three members of Congress. The building was formerly used as the home of the Church of Scientology of Washington, D.C.
“The church’s office in Dupont Circle was the target of protests led by the group Anonymous in 2008. The following year, the church opened up a second outpost on 16th Street,” reported DCist.
The opening comes the same week of the limited release (it opens wide next week) of the Oscar-buzzed fall movie “The Master,” featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. Director Paul Thomas Anderson said the film was inspired by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and focuses on the relationship between a dynamic leader and one of his followers and is not a study of Hubbard’s religious movement itself.
“The narrative is just driven by these two guys, and their love for each other,” Anderson said a news conference earlier this month, the Associated Press reported.
The opening also occurs at a time when copies of the October issue of Vanity Fair are on newsstands; the cover story on the Church of Scientology by Maureen Orth focuses on the relationship between Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes as well as the famous adherent’s connection to Miscavige.