Church of Scientology confirms plan to open new visitor centre in Edinburgh's West End

The centre is expected to open late this year or early 2021 – with videos and audio visual information displays depicting the basic principles of the mysterious religion

Edinburgh Live, UK/January 29, 2020

By Robert Fairne

The Church of Scientology is planning to open a new visitor centre in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh Live can reveal that the controversial church has plans for a new facility in the Scottish capital, which is expected to open late this year or early 2021 in the West End or Murrayfield area.

This will take the form of a visitor centre with audio visual information displays and videos depicting the basic principles of the religion.

The US-based Church of Scientology, which counts John Travolta and Tom Cruise as members, was borne out of author L Ron Hubbard's Dianetics idea in the 1950s.

The church claims that the human is an "immortal spiritual being" whose experiences extends beyond a single lifetime and whose capabilities are unlimited.

The human, termed the Thetan, can progress from level to level within Scientology on what is called 'The Bridge to Total Freedom'.

Investigative journalist John Sweeney previously accused it of "brainwashing" while Louis Theroux made a documentary exploring the "inner workings of the mysterious organisation".

It has previously had to deny rumours that claim they believe the Earth was created by an evil overlord called Xenu who killed billions of his own people by stacking them around volcanoes and attacking them with hydrogen bombs.

It was reported in 2017 that the church had been trying to get a lease on Lothian Chambers in Parliament Square, but were beaten to it by the French consulate.

The Church of Scientology already has one centre in Edinburgh – the Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence – on South Bridge, and the new facility would add to their Scottish portfolio. They'll also dedicate a large section of the building to community programmes such as drug education, human rights education and volunteering.

A spokesperson told Edinburgh Live that they have plans to open a new centre in the city, but don't have a confirmed date just yet.

They add: "When it does open there will be a visitor centre with Audio Visual Information displays depicting the basic principles of the Scientology religion and our humanitarian programmes around the world.

"One large section of the building will be dedicated to community programmes, including drug education, human rights education and volunteering to help people in need."

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