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Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Members of Congress, ambassadors and hundreds of guests mark the first anniversary of the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office in Washington, D.C.

Actress and humanitarian Jenna Elfman, National Affairs Office Executive Director Beth Akiyama, Congresswoman Corrine Brown
Actress and humanitarian Jenna Elfman, National Affairs Office Executive Director Beth Akiyama, Congresswoman Corrine Brown

Hundreds of government officials, diplomats and community leaders joined the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office October 3 to celebrate its one-year anniversary.  Special guests included Congressional members Corrine Brown of Florida, former Congressman Dan Burton of Indiana along with Ambassadors of African, European, Asian and Latin American countries.

Helping to host the celebration was actress Jenna Elfman, Golden Globe Winner and recipient of the Howard University Goodwill Ambassador Award for her work in the field of human rights and criminal rehabilitation and reform.

Congresswoman Corrine Brown stated that, as compared to a difficult week on Capitol Hill, “being here is upbeat and positive.”  “When you’re born you get a birth certificate,” she said, “and when you die you get a death certificate and that little dash in between is what you’ve done to make this a better place, so we all have a responsibility and a calling to do whatever we can.”

Former Congressman Dan Burton spoke about First Amendment rights and religious freedom, and commented that he was glad to come full circle on the one year anniversary of the National Affairs Office, stating, “I was here a year ago when this beautiful edifice was opened and I was proud to participate.”

As national headquarters for Church-supported humanitarian programs and religious freedom initiatives, the office has worked with dozens of Congressional offices, embassies, U.S. State Department desks and nonprofit groups since its dedication September 12, 2012, to bringing the public and private sector together to create a better world.  It has hosted more than 100 workshops, forums and seminars on issues including human trafficking and other human rights abuses, illicit drugs, recidivism, energy reform and illiteracy.

One such program on UN Day Against Drug Abuse featured DEA Special Agent Robert Bell with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and Illicit Trafficking presenting a forum on synthetic drug abuse.  The program featured the Scientology-supported Truth About Drugs initiative that is used by more than 1,200 organizations, government and law enforcement agencies internationally. The Truth About Drugs is one of the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education and prevention campaigns.

Jenna Elfman discussing all programs supported by the Church stated, “When you reach to help someone you want to actually see that you did something.  That’s what I love about the social betterment programs.  Every time I use them, effective change happens, conditions improve in society and that makes me happy—to see people get better.”

The Church also supports a worldwide human rights education initiative, a global network of literacy and learning centers and the Scientology Volunteer Minister program, now comprising one of the word’s largest independent relief forces.

The office makes its facilities available to dozens of nonprofit groups who meet regularly at the Fraser Mansion on issues ranging from civil rights and immigration reform to criminal justice and drug prevention, and it partners with embassies to provided unique cultural and humanitarian events.

Through its continued work with community, national and international leaders, the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office is carrying out the vision expressed by author, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in The Aims of Scientology: “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where Man is free to rise to greater heights.”

To learn more about the Church’s global humanitarian initiatives, visit http://www.scientology.org/how-we-help/introduction.html.

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