The History of Dianetics and Scientology in Washington, DC
On July 21, 1955, the Founding Church of Washington, DC, opened its doors to the Scientology religion for the citizens of the nation's capital. Events which led to that singular occasion began decades earlier, however.
For more than a quarter of a century, L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Dianetics and Scientology, had searched for answers to the mind and life, a search that had taken him to the far corners of the Earth. Notwithstanding that quest, he continually returned to Washington, DC, which he had long called his home.
It was here, in fact, at the age 12, that his initial studies into the mind had begun, when he met a commander in the US Navy who had studied directly under Sigmund Freud. Although keenly interested in what these early authorities had to impart, he was also left with many unanswered questions, and a realization of how little man knew of the mind.
While still in his teens, L. Ron Hubbard traveled extensively throughout Asia and the Pacific, studying Far Eastern philosophies firsthand and again seeking answers to the human dilemma. Returning to Washington in 1929 to complete his formal education, he enrolled at George Washington University (GWU).
Although Mr. Hubbard's interests lay particularly in writing and ethnology, his major at GWU was engineering, for it was this field that provided the scientific methodology that would later prove so vital to his work toward the resolution of the human condition. Indeed, it was while still at GWU that he conducted his first crucial experiments into the structure and function of human memory.