Our Family Trip to Los Angeles for Scientology Services

Kathryn in front of the American Saint Hill Organization - a Scientology Church in Los Angeles

My family recently returned from a trip to Los Angeles, a trip we took primarily for the purpose of doing Scientology services. I figured it’d be a good opportunity to illustrate one of the somewhat usual facts of life that goes along with growing up in a Scientology family: trips taken for the purposes of Scientology counseling or training.

Most Scientologists participate in church services primarily at their local Church of Scientology.  Most local churches, like our church in Portland, Oregon, can help people through all introductory services in Scientology up through the State of Clear.   And whilst the vast majority of one’s participation in Scientology is done via one’s local church, there are more advanced services which are only delivered at an Advanced Organization.

My daughter’s Scientology naming ceremony at the Church of Scientology in Portland.

In our case, my wife had been getting Scientology counseling (known as auditing) at our local church.  In her progress, the next particular prescribed action she was to do was only delivered at a more advanced organization owing to the level of auditor training required.   For us, in the USA, this meant traveling to either Flag in Clearwater, Florida, or the Pacifica Bridge in Los Angeles.   As my wife would be there for a week, and is still breastfeeding our baby, we opted to go as a family.  And, because flying 5 people is expensive, and because driving 20 hours with a baby is painful, we opted to book a trip on Amtrak, and took the train down & back.

Hamming it up with all 3 kids in the Amtrak train dining car
Hamming it up with all 3 kids in the Amtrak train dining car

I’ve written about our love affair with traveling by train before, so I won’t belabor it too much, but please – if you’re in the USA and haven’t done long-distance travel by train, absolutely give it a go.   We took the Amtrak Coast Starlight from Portland down to LA, and even getting a sleeper car it was still less expensive than flying, and was utterly, completely stress-free.


On the Amtrak Coast Starlight at Los Angeles Union Station
On the Amtrak Coast Starlight at Los Angeles Union Station

Upon arriving to Los Angeles Union Station, a shuttle from the Church picked us up and took us to where we’d be staying for the week.   We booked the week at the Church’s new Golden Crest hotel, and were extremely pleased with the new facility.   The church opened the hotel, which is directly adjacent to Celebrity Center International in Hollywood, in October 2015, expressly for the purpose of servicing folks like us who come from elsewhere to stay for Scientology services. It’s about 1.5 miles from the Pacifica Bridge complex on Sunset Blvd, which translates to about a 30m walk, though my wife would generally just take the complementary shuttle back & forth.

Getting Comfortable at the Golden Crest Religious Retreat in Los Angeles

Most of the rooms in the Golden Crest are set up for folks who are staying a week or more, and as such are appointed well as extended-stay suites.  We got a 2-bedroom one which (honestly) would have functioned just fine as a long-term apartment.  Kitchen, dining area, living area, all were spacious and usable for our family of 5.   If you happen to be a Scientologist and are considering bringing more than just yourself along for a trip to LA, I’d highly recommend it.  If it’s just you, or you & a spouse, the new Fountain Hotel would probably suit you better as it’s even more cost-effective (the Golden Crest rooms already undercut any area hotels by a healthy margin) and it’s directly across the street from the Pacifica Bridge.

The Golden Crest hotel is part of the Scientology religious retreat in Los Angeles.

Speaking of the Pacifica Bridge, this was my wife’s first chance at experiencing all of the newly-refurbished facilities since their opening last year.

For those new to the subject, the Pacifica Bridge is a unique facility comprised of multiple Scientology organizations paralleling the religion’s Bridge to Total Freedom. In that respect, and from this single location, one can ascend from introductory services to increasingly higher levels of spiritual awareness, and of auditor training.    The arrangement and function of the various organizations at the Pac are best described here, but please let me know any portion of this needs better explanation.

My wife’s services were done at the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO), the hub of higher-level auditor training for Scientology Churches in the USA.   The “Saint Hill” in the organization’s name refers to Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard’s home in the UK where he ran a global hub of Scientology research and training, and which subsequently provided for counseling services and auditor training requiring a higher skill and precision of delivery than what’s deliverable at local churches.    The American Saint Hill Organization carries forward that tradition, and as such delivers a few specialty services unique only to Saint Hills and to Flag.

I won’t comment too much on the services she got herself (they’re an intensely personal thing by definition) but I will say she was extremely pleased with how it turned out, and found the actions she did immensely stabilizing for herself as an individual.  And, seeing as she’s the rock – the absolute center that our family revolves around, anything we can do which helps her be more happy and stable as an individual is energy well-invested.

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