This profile was last updated in 2003
Established as “applied religious philosophy” by L. Ron Hubbard (d. 1986), the first Church of Scientology opened in Los Angeles in 1954. In Arizona, the first Church of Scientology was established in 1975, although the organization had roots in Phoenix going back to 1952. The present Arizona church has moved to larger facilities four times in the last 25 years and is about to move again. The church holds Sunday Services that attract between 30 and 40 members weekly. Other activities include live and taped lectures on Scientology on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and a workshop on Dianetics held on the second Saturday of each month. Attendees range in age from 14 to their late 50s, with a strong proportion of college-age youth. Women take a prominent role in the center’s activities. The building contains classrooms, a small chapel, and administrative offices. There are also rooms containing a sauna and other appliances connected with self-purification. The Church has nearly outgrown its present facilities and is planning to move from Mesa to a larger building in Phoenix that will accommodate 200 staff members and 100 students on a daily basis.