The president of the Canadian national office of the Church of Scientology says their new downtown Guelph office is open and operational.
The Church of Scientology’s new national office is located at 40 Baker Street, a location formerly occupied by Chalmers Community Services Centre and the Out of Poverty Society.
Reached by e-mail Thursday, the Church of Scientology’s Canadian president Yvette Shank said they are tenants, the building was not purchased by them.
“This is the Continental Liaison Office, responsible for the coordination of Church activities across Canada,” said Shank.
The Baker Street location will be used as an office and not as a church. Previously, their rented office was located in Erin, Ont.
“We very much like our location as it is very central for us and Guelph provides all the amenities we look for. This city is a great place to be in,” said Shank.
The new office, which the Church began to occupy earlier this month, will serve as a coordindinating and rallying point for Scientology activities across Canada, she said.
Shank noted various humanitarian activities the Church of Scientology supports as part of their mandate, including literacy programs, drug-prevention campaigns and human rights public information campaigns.
“Scientologists have further spotlighted and worked to outlaw the enforced drugging of schoolchildren, the psychiatric brutalities of electric shock and lobotomy, and biological warfare experiments,” she added.
According to 2011 census data, some 1,745 Canadians cite Scientology as their religion.
The Church of Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard in 1954 in the United States.
Cambridge, Ont. is the closest of the group’s churches to Guelph. In total, the Church of Scientology has eight churches and four missions across Canada, said Shank.