Inside Scientology’s Super Power Building - Where Worshippers Are Told They Can Become Superhuman (WIDK)
Posted to WIDK by Emily Moore
(Daniel Miller, Daily Mail) — These space-age images show the inside of the Church of Scientology’s new $90m training center where devotees of the controversial religion will be told they can develop superhuman abilities.
The Super Power Building in Clearwater, Florida, is due to finally open later this year after being beset by a long series of delays, which saw construction halt and costs spiral.
The imposing structure, a bizarre cross between a Mediterranean-style hotel and the Starship Enterprise, boasts 889 rooms, an indoor running track and Nasa-style training equipment to help worshippers boost their ‘theta’ power.
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 building contains specially-developed equipment, which the church claims,’expands on the technology developed by Nasa to train astronauts’.
Among the most bizarre contraptions is the antigravity simulator - a gyroscope that spins a person around while blindfolded to improve their perception of compass direction.
Trainees will also be instructed to watch a special video screen that moves back and forth while flashing images to hone their abilities to identify subliminal messages.
It is not yet known how much super power training will cost. Some higher-level Scientology training courses are priced in tens of thousands of dollars.
The images, which were leaked on to the web, are believed to show artists’ impressions of what the building will look like.
The project, which had an original budget of $24m (£15m), was stopped in 2003 after costs more than doubled because of rises in the price of steel and labour.
But after a major appeal to their members, which include celebrities Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley, it was back on track and is due to be competed this year.
Actress Alley is described as a ‘founding member’ of the project and is reported to have made a donation of around $250,000 (£160,000).
But the delays prompted Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard to describe the building as ‘an eyesore, surrounded by dirt and chain-link fence’.
The city’s code enforcement board ordered the exterior, including landscaping and sidewalks had to be completed by early summer 2006.
But the work wasn’t finished meaning the Scientologists were slapped with a series of $250 dollar fines, which by the end of 2006 had totaled more than $40,000 (£25,000).
The church had announced the building would be ready for occupancy by late 2010, but no additional work took place.
Then, in June this year, it was reported that it had passed inspection and a Certificate of Occupancy had been obtained.
Visitors will be greeted by an imposing main lobby lined with austere bronze sculptures depicting various aspects of Scientology.
There are two museums: one in honour of the Scientologists’ Sea Org association and another dedicated to the religion’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard.
The sixth floor houses a full-size indoor running track and the complex also features dozens of audit rooms where Scientologists can test their abilities.
There is even a special VIP audit room reserved for rich donors and the religion’s highly-prized celebrity devotees.
The building, which has been described as ‘Mediterranean revival-style’, also boasts a bookstore and a library as well as hundreds of course and study rooms.
It has a total of 447 windows and 42 bathrooms, plus a 1,140-seat dining room and two kitchens.
There is a bridge conveniently connecting the building to the Scientology-owned Fort Harrison Hotel on the other side of the street.