Support the Volunteer Ministers
You can support the Volunteer Ministers by linking to the VM website. There are a range of different links on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers - Link to Us page.
My favorite is this one:
A gallery of photos of Scientology Volunteer Ministers in action has been set up on the Volunteer Ministers website: Scientology Volunteer Ministers - Hurricane Katrina Photo Gallery.
Central America still needs help following Hurricane Stan. The Scientology Volunteer Ministers are active in the area and are calling for more help: Scientology Volunteer Ministers Helping On The Guatemala Disaster Relief Efforts
Here are two news items about what the volunteer ministers are doing in Gulfport and Biloxi Mississippi:
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers have been very active in helping with relief efforts in the disaster areas. News of their activities can be found at: Scientology Volunteer Ministers Disaster Response Team News
Come in for a tour of our new premises at 1865 Lundy Avenue!
We're open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Feel free to bring your family, friends and associates - everyone is welcome.
Church of Scientology of Stevens Creek
1865 Lundy Ave., San Jose, CA 95131
Telephone: (408) 441-6661
A new foundation was recently formed at the European headquarters of the Scientology religion in Copenhagen. More than 250 religious leaders, scholars, human rights advocates and members of government joined to accomplish the stated aim of the new foundation. You can read about it here: European Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance
I just received this from a friend:
It is February in this remote Siberian town and the temperature is an unbelievable minus 47 degrees Centigrade. Even vodka will not pour at that temperature and most of the 350 people attending this event wish they had some, if only to numb the cold.
This event was the grand opening of the first Hubbard College in Siberia, and the first time the attendees had heard of L. Ron Hubbard... or so we thought.
Picture yourself being in one of these large Russian style lecture halls. One used by the local people for both political and social gatherings and where the temperature in the hall is only somewhat warmer than outside but does protect from the wind chill. Now look to your right and you will see ice covered windows where the weak sun tries to make its way through.
The Hubbard College in Moscow had trained a group of Russians to open and operate the Hubbard College of Siberia. This was the Grand Opening and all of the major opinion leaders were at this two day event. Nearing the end, those who had studied Mr. Hubbard’s works were invited to come to the microphone that had been set up in the front of the auditorium to share their wins and successes.
As they were coming to the front of the auditorium, we noticed an older woman that we did not recognized. Someone asked me, "Who is that?" I commented that I had never seen her before and immediately wondered who this person was and more importantly what was she about to say to this huge audience!
She introduced herself as a retired school teacher from a small town about 800 miles north in one of those small villages in the most remote part of Siberia. She went on to explain that 8 days ago she had received a newspaper in the mail containing an article about the pending opening of the Hubbard College and wondered could this possibly be the same Mr. Hubbard?
This story begins in the 1970’s when she was appointed to a delegation of teachers who were to attend a State sponsored educational symposium in Communist East Germany. While there she was able to get a pass into West Berlin so she could do some shopping. While looking into the display window of a woman’s cloth store, she was approached by someone selling books. Yes, it was a German translation of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. She purchased the book and began reading it immediately, spending most of the day on a park bench, engrossed in the book, rather than shopping as she had originally intended. It did not take her long to understand that she had in her hands an important work; one the authorities would probably object to. She made up her mind to smuggle it back to her small village where she was the senior teacher.
She said how she attentively read every line about ten times to make sure she fully understood it. More than that, she went on, she used the book to gain an understanding of people around her and to apply it first had. She described how after using Dianetics techniques on her husband for some hours, she had cured him of being a hopeless alcoholic and went on to cure factory workers, miners, farmers and their families of any number of ills. Quickly, her students were no longer taken ill during the winter months where 30% absenteeism is normal. Their grades soared way above the national average and as one might guess, she became the subject of an investigation. No one had achieved the academic and attendance records that she had and they wanted to know why?
When the authorities arrived, she went over all of her methods explaining what and how she achieved such stellar results. They asked where she learned to do these things and she promptly produced her worn-out Dianetics book. This created quite a stir and as she had anticipated the officials confiscated her Dianetics book and strongly reprimanded her for using unapproved propaganda in her school.
She looked on as they departed with just the right amount of visible anguish and as they disappeared into the Siberian night, this sly grin worked itself into the corners of her mouth as she returned to her small house where she had safely hidden her hand written translation of Dianetics. She had been using this translation to teach others in the village how to use Dianetics techniques!!! In fact she had made 5 copies, anticipating this moment, and had them hidden around the village in friends’ houses and farms.
She explained to the audience that once she saw Mr. Hubbard’s name in the newspaper, she somehow knew it was the same Mr. Hubbard and with the help of the people in her village, they came up with enough money for her to make this trip. She had traveled in the dead of a Siberian winter for days, riding first in a truck, then a cold rail car and then by bus so she could simply tell someone THANK YOU! from herself and the people of her village.
By this time, we could hardly speak.
We just stood there, chocked up and with huge tears running down our faces. We now had a new understanding of WHAT ONE BOOK CAN DO.
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) in London received a letter from an officer who was on the scene after the terrorist bombings, personally thanking them for the assistance and support they provided to the police at that time.
A team of runners set out today to launch the first multathlon for peace and human rights. The event is supported by the Moscow Helsinki Committee, the city Ombudsman's Office, the International Association of Peace Funds, Moscowskoye Pole Pobedi (Moscow Victory Field) Association, the Moscow Bureau for Human Rights, the Russian division of the International Society for Human Rights and The Church of Scientology of Moscow.
Human Rights is something Scientologists take seriously. The key to improving Human Rights internationally is to educate people on what their rights are and the most important people to educate are children as they will be the leaders of tomorrow. The Annual Youth for Human Rights International Summit 2005 this year took place in India and was co-sponsored by the Human Rights Department of the Church of Scientology International: Former President of India Calls for Human Rights Education.
Here is an article about the Scientology Volunteer Ministers in Brazil: Scientology Volunteer Ministers Goodwill Tour Opens in Grand Style in Brazil
The popular Scientology swing band, the Jive Aces, held their 'Summertime Swing' event at St. Hill Manor in East Grinstead. Over 600 people including many local dignitaries attended. The Jive Aces' single "The White Cliffs of Dover" got into the UK singles chart and has helped raise money for the Royal British Legion. They've done such a good job that they've been awarded honorary membership in the Battle of Britain Historical Society.
Panafest is the largest and most prestigious cultural event on the African continent. This year at the event the Church of Scientology International brought its human rights program for youth to African leaders during a special presentation: Scientology Human Rights Youth Education Program Presented at "Panafest" in Africa
The Church of Scientology website has just been given a new cleaner, simpler look. I must say it looks great. Right there on the front page is a clear definition of Scientology. There is a new What Is Scientology? section with a snazzy Flash video presentation, a cool section on L. Ron Hubbard, a section on Scientology's Worldwide Activities, a section on how Scientology can help you in life: Scientology Success: Family, Marriage, Relationships, a Scientology Newsroom that includes Scientology Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and a nicely presented general Information on Scientology section. Check it out!
Here is a journalist actually getting it right: Scientology joins modern with Eastern philosophies
When the terrorist attacks on London occurred a couple of weeks ago, Scientology Volunteer Ministers were there to help: Scientology Volunteer Ministers Assist Emergency Services In London
Juliette Lewis is an Oscar nominated actress and a singer in a very wild band, Juliette and the Licks. On the subject of Scientology she has this to say: "... I'm fiercely independent and defiant and its all the stuff that I've done in Scientology that has helped reinforce that and make me even more of an individual."
Kirsty Alley and Kelly Preston are both Scientologists and are both dedicated to helping parents and children everywhere. Rather than using their celebrity to get publicity for themselves they are on a crusade to get dangerous, suicide inducing psychiatric drugs under control: Hollywood's Kirsty Alley and Kelly Preston crusade against anti-depressants. and Kirstie Alley - Kelly Preston And Travolta Join Cruise's Anti-drug Crusade and Kirstie Alley, Kelly Preston's Anti-Drug Push | Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley
Scientologists in Hungary have completed the 4th annual "Marathon for a Drug-Free Hungary," running 2,086 kilometers through 30 cities and villages and giving drug awareness lectures to 6,559 individuals in 102 schools. Read more:
Scientologists Complete 4th Annual Marathon for a Drug-Free Hungary
At last a journalist who gets it right! After reading through so much nonsense from various so called journalists who get their data from god knows where, certainly not anyone who knows anything about the subject, it is refreshing to read an actual accurate description of what we Scientologists actually believe:Elemental beliefs of Scientology
It's interesting to see a journalist actually trying to be accurate. I do appreciate that. In this case she does a not bad job. One major error is that the term "thetan" refers to a being, whereas in the article she says it is made up of three parts. What we say in Scientology is that a person is made up of three parts: body, mind and spirit. The spirit is actually you, that which is aware of being aware. To avoid confusion since the term "spirit" has many definitions and interpretations we use the term "thetan" instead (from the Greek letter "theta"). The way you use the word is to say something like "I am a thetan". The second error is that she says that in the Scientology Funeral service "the deceased are believed to be in a better place". We believe that people live again, Saying "a better place" implies somewhere other than here, for a Christian it would probably connote heaven. So we don't believe people go to a "better place" they simply come back to this one. Anyway, with all that said, here is the article: Scientology: Theology & Practice
For the actual book the article was (somewhat) taken from: Scientology: Theology & Practice
On NBC's "Today" show, Scientologist Tom Cruise said he had carefully studied the history of psychiatry, that it is a pseudoscience, that children are being put on psychiatric drugs against their will, without their parents knowing the side-effects, that Ritalin is a drug available on the street, that there is no such thing as a chemical imbalance, and that psychiatric drugs do not cure anything but merely mask the real problems. Well, here are a lot of links to show that he was right and that these violations of human rights are occurring:
Scientologists are against all forms of abuse of people and human rights. One of the worst fields for abuse of both individuals and of human rights in general is the field of psychiatry. Here is an excellent article about the current media obsession with psychiatric drugs and chemical imbalances and the opposition of Scientologists to psychiatric abuses: War of two religious worldviews
In his interview on the "Today Show" Tom Cruise said that the "chemical imbalance" theory, used to justify the use of antidepressants, had no proof to back it up. Well, he was right as you can see from these statements by various experts: "Chemical Imbalance" Hoax
Medical doctors have come out in support of the position taken by Tom Cruise when he criticized Brook Shields for promoting the antidepressant Paxil as a treatment for Post Partum Depression (PPD). In fact the FDA has issued a warning that adults who use antidepressants could be at risk of suicidal behavior. One doctor bluntly stated that PPD is not a mental disorder but a physical problem and that treating PPD with antidepressants is very dangerous. Added to this are the well established finding that the majority of so called mental disorders (such as anxiety disorder and depression) stem from a physical problem (such as under-active thyroid)
The complete article can be read here: Doctors Lambast Shields’ Dangerous Position on Paxil
Scientologists in Hungary have completed the 4th annual “Marathon for a Drug-Free Hungary,” running 2,086 kilometers through 30 cities and villages and giving drug awareness lectures to 6,559 individuals in 102 schools: Scientologists Complete 4th Annual Marathon for a Drug-Free Hungary.
Scientology is a huge subject so when you first come across it you can have a tough time knowing where to start. Well, a good place to start is with a basic course. There are many good beginning courses that I'd recommend and you can find them all here: Scientology Life Improvement Courses.
This reference is very comprehensive and not only describes what Scientology is, but also goes into how it fits into society: Church of Scientology: The Bonafides of the Scientology Religion
Although L. Ron Hubbard is mainly known as the founder of Scientology, he is also a best selling author of fiction: L Ron Hubbard Bibliography. Many of his stories reflect his belief in the basic goodness of mankind and the fact that any individual can rise above his or her current situation. Books such as "To The Stars", "Final Blackout" and "Battlefield Earth" (my three favorites) are great examples of this.
Whilst not exactly as I would describe them, this article on Beliefnet gives an outsiders view of the basic beliefs of Scientology: What Scientologists Believe
One thing I feel obliged to add is that Scientology is not based on faith or belief but on personal experience as to whether its practices work or not. For example, If a couple where to receive Scientology marriage counseling then they can see for themselves whether it works or not. They don't have to believe anything, they just have to see if they got the result of an improved marriage.
I just received this from a friend in Sydney, Australia:
St. Ives Festival on the Green was celebrated with the Drug Free Ambassadors group achieving a milestone in the uphill battle against drug abuse, the scourge of the suburbs and inner cities alike.
The Ambassadors are a drug education initiative of the Church of Scientology and have achieved an amazing of 5,117 sign ups on the drug-free pledge for the year so far.
It's a 7 step pledge that gets youth thinking and acting for a drug-free Australia. And it works.
Sunday they signed up over 300 and the responses were great. The Ethnic Liaison Officer of the local police took fliers in both Chinese and English for her contacts and the Youth Centre in Gordon requested the Ambassadors group come for their barbecue Thursday at the Gordon Student Resource Centre. Rotary was interested in guest speakers and many in the general public and the local teens just wanted to join in the fun and pledge for a drug-free Australia.
The group uses research from humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard that promotes living drug free because "drugs rob life of the joys and sensations that are the only reason for living anyhow" and promotes getting off drugs without the further use of drugs to achieve that.
These events are in celebration of Anti-Drug Day coming up 26th June. For more information on events or anti-drug booklets for info, pledge call the coordinator 9692 7308.
Scientologists are very active in communities all over the world doing their part in making a better world for all. Here is a letter to the editor of the Saint Petersburg Times in Florida regarding the work done by Scientologists in that area: Scientology works to make things better
Scientologists all over the world get involved in their local communities. They are interested in giving back to their communities and in helping their fellow man. A couple years ago I got training as an emergency response team member in my local city so I could help if ever a disaster struck, something that is not uncommon in California. The article I'm presenting today is about Scientologists in Clearwater Florida who are part of their local emergency response team: Scientology Volunteers Take Part In Emergency Rescue Drilling.
It's sometimes nice to be proved wrong. While this article from Newsday still contains some to the seven elements I mentioned in an earlier article, they are pretty mild. (See The Press, Scientology and Accuracy. The elements in this case being big names, a tiny bit of harm, money, controversy and a smidgen of two opposing forces.) The reporter even spoke to an unbiased religious expert something the gutter press seems incapable of doing. Therefore I have to say that Kathryn Masterson actually qualifies for the title "journalist" and I feel okay about linking to the article: Scientology the 'it' religion
I am impressed. I've been whining about reporters failing to do any research and instead just spewing out nonsense about Scientology but now I have to acknowledge Saurabh Bhattacharya in the Hindustan Times for an accurate piece about Scientology: Scientology: The Doctrine Of Clarity. Nice work! You can tell he actually did research and studied the subject before he put pen to paper.
Here is the full text of a letter published in the Asian Tribune. The letter was written by Jon von Gunten of the Scientology Parishioners League
"Change No Man’s Religion" is a prime policy of Scientology, written by its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. I know Scientologists who are also Catholics, Baptists, Jews, and Muslims. There are Scientology missions in Nepal and India that conflict with no religion there.
" Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others " is another directive about religion. Some religions-not Scientology-demand that one renounce all former religious ideas. Some religions-not Scientology-use the word "converts," meaning "to change a person from one thing to another." We do not "convert" people from any religion. We "disseminate" our knowledge, which means to spread the wisdom that we have learned. We do not change people's religions; we add to their knowledge and abilities to ethically help themselves and others.
"Scientology " Demands No Belief For Faith And Thus Is Not In Conflict With Faith," Mr. Hubbard wrote in 1959. This is because Scientology is a religion built upon practical knowledge. If you knew a way to shorten a child's fever from two days to a few hours, would you tell others how to help their children? As a good person, when you learn something new that helps you, you of course want to tell people you love and like so your new knowledge can help them. People telling people how Scientology helped them is primarily how Scientology has survived and grown so rapidly to so many countries for 50 years.
That is why a devout Christian, Jew, Hindu, Muslim, or Buddhist can deliver a Scientology "Assist" to speed the recovery of a wounded person, then can immediately and faithfully attend the religious service of their chosen faith. The person remains faithful to his/her own religion, but has opened his mind, without prejudice, to learning proven new ways to help others.
Scientology is a group of discoveries about the human mind and spirit that people of any religion can use to increase their abilities to deal calmly with situations that previously upset them, to accomplish more in their day, and to peacefully communicate ideas to others. Scientology counseling increases one's own spiritual awareness, and coexists with the peaceful beliefs and practices of other religions.
Jon E. von Gunten
Director , Scientology Parishioners League
It is amazing to see the amount of nonsense spewed out by the press these days. In my younger, naive days I actually thought (don't laugh) that reporters cared about accuracy and truth. I had that idea thoroughly squashed in the early 80s when I was traveling in a train seated by a newspaper reporter. I asked him about his job and to my astonishment he openly admitted that he wrote the stories he was told to write and facts, truth and accuracy were not important.
Years later I read an article by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, that talked about the press and the rules they follow to print a story. Here is a quote from the article:
To be printed a story must contain one or more of these things:
- Harm (blood, violence, damage, death, scandal)
- Big Names
- The story must be written to invalidate something
- The story must contain a controversy
- A story must contain two opposing forces
If you take a look at any mainstream news article you will see these elements. As Hubbard observed:
You could be elected Queen of the May and the headline would be "Controversy Rips Queen Election, Sexual Bias Hinted".
As a Scientologist I see this in the definitions the press give for it and their crazy versions of what Scientologists believe. The truth of what Scientology is and what Scientologists believe doesn't contain any of the above elements of a story so they rarely print it.
For a simple and accurate description try: What is Scientology?
I'm proud to say that this blog got mentioned in an article on the "Best Spiritual Blogs" on the BeliefNet website! The article even said "These blogs are all worth checking in with daily or weekly." So follow their advise and come back often :)
Here you can read the entire article: Best Spiritual Blogs/Best Religion Blogs
Hear an interview with Rev. Heber Jentzsch covering the religious recognition of Scientology in Taiwan and more. This page also contains good news about many different religions: Good News: Religion/Spirituality. Or go directly to the interview: Interview with the President of the Church of Scientology International
Denmark has quite a drug problem so one group of youngsters has decided to do something about it by distributing booklets that tell the truth about various popular "recreational" drugs: Determined Youngsters Inform Denmark about the Dangers of Drugs
I've seen some reports in the media about Katie Holmes "converting" to Scientology. Unfortunately the use of the term "converting" demonstrates the lack of true journalism that pervades much of the media. If these people who call themselves journalists actually were interested in accuracy rather than sensationalism they would have put some time into studying Scientology so that they could say sensible things about it.
Let me explain: The word "convert" means "to change religious beliefs" and the implication in the Western world in that you have forsaken the old religion in favor of the new one. That does not apply to Scientology because you can be a Scientologist and a member of any other religion at the same time.
It's a difficult concept to get across in a world with a 2,000 year history of exclusivity in religion. The tradition has been something like "my concept of God is right and yours is wrong." For example, it would be difficult to be both a Christian and a Muslim. Scientology doesn't intrude into the area that most religions concentrate on, it leaves the concept or description of God up to the individual. Because of this it can coexist quite happily with all religions.
Now you are probably wondering "If it leaves the concept of God up to the individual then how can it be a religion?" The answer is quite simple. Scientology is an applied religious philosophy. That means it contains knowledge and techniques that you use to improve your life and the lives of others, It's not something you believe, it's something you use. So how is that different from some other practical subject, such as engineering or auto repair? Well, the knowledge in Scientology is based on the fact that man is a spiritual being and it deals with the spiritual nature of man.
Let me give you an example. Let's say Jim calls Mary using his cell phone. The technology exists and works to do that, so mechanically there is no problem with Jim communicating with Mary. However, Mary tells Jim to go take a hike and Jim is very sad and doesn't know what to do. Why is Mary angry with him? What can he do to handle the upset? The mechanics of speaking into the cell phone, sending the signal, having it picked up at the other end, etc. are all working fine, so we see that the communication problem Jim and Mary are having doesn't lie in the area of the mechanical but in the area of the spiritual. Scientology has knowledge about communication between living beings and methods of improving communication between spiritual beings. Using this knowledge and the techniques based on that knowledge Jim can communicate with Mary and handle the upset so they are once again friends.
Hopefully, this example demonstrates how Scientology can coexist in harmony with other religions. Having a method of improving communication with ones fellows based on the idea that they are spiritual beings is something that a person of any religion can use. So now if I say that my friend is a "Jewish Scientologist" or a "Muslim Scientologist", it should make sense to you and you should now be able to see that the idea of "converting" someone to Scientology is silly.
The human rights music video UNITED now has its own website: United Music Video. On the site you can find out about the video, how it was produced, how teachers can use it in lesson plans and you can download a special edition of the What are Human Rights booklet which teaches kids the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The new website was announce by the Church of Scientology just a few days ago.
The Church of Scientology is a big supporter of efforts to forward human rights in all parts of the world. Last weekend an event was held at the Church of Scientology of New York where teens in dozens of countries were honored by Imaculee Ilibigaze of the UN Development Program: Rwandan Genocide Survivor Commends Human Rights Education Effort
Here is a piece about Tom Cruise and his success with the Study Technology developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard: Cruise credits Scientology for his success
Just to clarify a couple of things from the article: a) the Study Technology is secular, it is not religious in nature. b) the "having an object you are studying" described in the article is only one small part of the Study Technology. For more details check out this description on the Applied Scholastics website: What is Study Technology?
Alissa Sears just returned from 4 months in the tsunami disaster area working as a Scientology Volunteer Minister. Here she tells her story: Sri Lanka volunteer returns from four months abroad
With so much in the news about Tom Cruise and his religion, Scientology, I thought I'd provide some links that might give you more information.
Well I hope that is all helpful
Tom Cruise is an amazing guy. The amount of positive press he generates about Scientology is phenomenal. Here is a piece from an Indian paper: Cruise thanks Scientology for IQ
I can personally say that he is absolutely right. Scientology does provide the tools one needs to improve your conditions in life. In fact there is even a course on it: How to improve Conditions in Life Course. I did this course a few years ago and have found what I learned invaluable.
Throughout the years, Tom Cruise has been very open about his criticism of the German Government's violations of the human rights of Scientologists in that country as reported in this article from the BBC: Cruise lobbies over Scientology
The truth of his assertions has been bourne out by the Higher Administrative Court of the German State of Saarland, which just ruled that the state intelligence services are no longer permitted to intrude on and monitor the activities of the Church of Scientology and individual Scientologists in Saarland.
Human Rights Leadership Award recipients for 2005 join Freedom Magazine in calling for less sensationalism on behalf of vested interests and more investigative journalism in the public interest. I think we can all get behind that.
You'd think that with its horrendous human rights record of the last century, the German government would respect the rights of its citizens to believe as they choose. After all, Germany is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But no. The German government still insists on discriminating against and demonizing minority religions. So it takes the likes of Tom Cruise to stand up and take action as the article below shows.
I just found the site of the L. Ron Hubbard Foundation. It develops and supports programs aimed at creating a safer environment within today's culture through such things as developing and supporting organizations that help handle the major social ills faced by mankind.
The site is quite large, so I've not had a chance to check it all out, but it looks fascinating: ePolitix.com - Hubbard Foundation
Scientology Assists are techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard. They operate on the principle that one tends to withdraw mentally or spiritually from an injured area. Only by restoring communication with this area can one bring the spiritual element into healing, thereby greatly speeding the healing process. Assists are used to alleviate stress and physical aches and pains, or to orient a confused or distraught individual to his present environment. The article below is about how Tom Cruise made such assists available to the crew on the set of his latest movie "War of the Worlds"
Another murder committed by a man on anti-depressant drugs, but this time someone is making the connection between these drugs and violence known: Scientologists decry use of anti-depressants: Claim drugs had a role in local murder
Actor Tom Cruise has been a Scientologist for 20 years, so the headline below is a little inaccurate (he hasn't just "become an exponent" - but then the press are often inaccurate). Recently in an attempt to spread understanding, he took some film company execs on a tour of some of the Scientology Churches in Los Angeles: Tom Cruise becomes an exponent of Scientology
The newly released 18 sets of Congress Lectures will answer any questions you have about Scientology. What is it? In what way is it a religion? How does it help people? And anything else you can come up with. It should all be answered here: L. Ron Hubbard's Congress Lectures
The European edition of Freedom Magazine has instituted an annual award for top humanitarians from that continent, as reported in India news: Freedom Magazine honors top European humanitarians
The fact that Scientologists and Buddhists are able to work together as successfully as has occurred in the areas hit by the Tsunami is no surprise to anyone who has a broader understanding of religion than the average westerner. It is possible for religions to be inclusive rather than exclusive and Scientology and Buddhism are examples of inclusive religions. Because Scientology allows the individual to have his own beliefs about God and allows him to worship in whatever way he desires and because it provides spiritually based methods for improving life, it can be embraced by people of any religion. This is exemplified in this story from Sri Lanka: Scientology Volunteers And Buddhist Monks - Accommodating Spiritual And Physical Needs
Kirstie Alley and Kelly Preston are Scientologists and mothers who care about what happens to children: Alley, Preston want help for kids refusing mood-altering drugs
Here is a funny little piece from the Village Voice in New York. It's a (sort of) interview with a couple of people living in NY. The section is NYLife-Shelter, so I suppose it's a regular column about life and where you live in the Big Apple. Anyway, the people chosen this time are a couple of Scientologists: After Scientology: Things aren't a mess in the apartment.
April 14, 2005: Medan, Indonesia -- Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) continuing in Sri Lanka gave a Dianetics workshop to university students and local residents. Once completed on their training, a team of 5 new VMs will go out to assist with the relief work badly needed in Nias.
April 15, 2005: In Hambantota on the southern tip of Sri Lanka where thousands of homes were lost, Scientology Volunteer Ministers working with Buddhist Monks from the city of Kandy in Sri Lanka, assisted in the opening of the first 25 houses built – the start of a large housing project.
If you live in almost any large city in the world you will know the frustration of traffic congestion. The slow and go, the fumes and the time spent sitting behind a wheel all add to the stress we experience every day. The Church of Scientology of San Jose decided to help their community by doing something about the traffic problem: Church of Scientology in San Jose Supports the City's ''Traffic-Calming'' Project
Here is a web site of the US Navy Chaplains. The description of Scientology is not bad. The page is accurate until about half-way down when it starts talking about attacks form anti-religious groups, from there on down it is way out of date.
I always find it interesting to discover how someone got into Scientology. For me it was someone asking me some survey questions that I found intriguing so I bought the book Dianetics and then took the Success Through Communication Course. But how does someone like Priscilla Presley come across it? It's not like she's walking down the street and wanders in to do a personality test. So it was interesting to find this article. I guess they got it from an interview with Lisa Marie while she is out promoting her new album: Travolta Credited For Presleys' Interest In Scientology
For anyone living in the Miami area here is data on your local church:
Church of Scientology, 120 Giralda Ave., 305-445-7812: Sunday service is at 11 a.m. in English and noon in Spanish. L. Ron Hubbard taped lectures at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. ''Clear Body, Clear Mind'' book lecture Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Dianetics introductory lecture at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays. ''Truth About Drugs'' lecture presented by Dr. Marie Williams the last Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Free assists by the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Saturday and Sunday. Call for locations. The website is www.scientology.org.
For more info see: Miami Herald: Religion and Values
The President of the Church of Scientology International has sent the Church’s condolences on the passing of Pope John Paul II to the Vatican. Mr. Jentzsch stated that Pope John Paul II’s long life of service to mankind is a testament to his vision of a better world.
Two large Volunteer Minister tents have been erected in prominent locations in the city of Milano, Italy by the local Church of Scientology. These tents are open to all members of the community to receive spiritual aid or just come and have a look.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers have the motto "Something can be done about it" and are ready to help in any way they can from relief efforts in disaster areas to helping individuals solve the problems of everyday life.
CESNUR stands for "Centro Studi sulle Nuove Religioni" or the "Center for Studies on New Religions" in English. It is run by a group of religious scholars from leading universities in Europe and it keeps a very objective view of religions. Here is its page on Scientology: Scientology (CESNUR)
I've sometimes had trouble explaining to people what Scientology is and why it is a religion. The reason, as this article demonstrates, is that Scientology is more like Eastern religions (such as some forms of Buddhism or Hinduism). Few people in the western world really know what these eastern religions are and how they differ from the traditional western view of what is a religion. Scientology may be new, but it is following a tradition of religious philosophy that has been going on for at least 10 thousand years.
Anyway, here is the article by a Professor at the University of Stockholm: Scientology - A Comparison with Religions of The East and West
The March edition of Glamour Magazine contains a piece by Jenna Elfman in which she tells how she and her husband keep their marriage rolling along successfully. The piece is in the mag and is not on the web, but there is a picture of it that you can read on Jenna's website: The Official Jenna Elfman Site - Hot Projects. Scroll down a bit and you'll see a graphic of the article. Click on it to see a readable sized copy.
The Tampa Bay, Florida chapter of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers has just received an award from the Florida Governor for their work in the 2004 hurricane season: Scientology Volunteer Ministers of Tampa Bay Honored by Governor Bush as ''Hurricane Heroes''
John Travolta says how Scientology helped him get over the death of his mother: John Travolta: Scientology help me get over the death of my mother
In a recent interview (mentioned here) musical genius Beck had a lot to say about Scientology:
"It's reinforced certain things that were really constructive and good, Things that were truly important to me in terms of my family, friends, being creatively awake and pushing forward with music. It helps look at these things and strengthens things that are the most important aspects of my life."
And what about his creativity? " ...it definitely reinforces that,"
What does Scientology do for the world? "... in education, helping people with illiteracy, second language students, all that stuff. The drug rehabilitation programmes have the highest success rate of any in the world.
Who are the people in Scientology? "...people who are working really hard to make a difference in a cynical world. It's very grass roots, its not closed off at all, they are so involved with the community. You go there and it's like the city councilmen and people working with charities and that kind of stuff. They are highly involved and recognized in that."
And what should people think about Scientology? "The point is it's important to make your own judgments on your own experience, and not on third or fourth-hand information. But opinion is made in strange ways. I've read horrible things about good friends of mine, or myself. I remember when I came out I read I was the worst thing that ever happened to music. But like anything that's an alternative to the conventional means, it's going to cause controversy."
The governments of Tanzania and Zimbabwe have officially recognized Scientology as a religion, while the Zimbabwean government has additionally confirmed Scientology churches to be tax-exempt.
National Sunshine Week was a very important event that not enough people heard about. If you are concerned about the growth of government secrecy then you need to find out about National Sunshine Week: Let's Celebrate National Sunshine Week by Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch
On March 14, 2005, Narconon Arrowhead, the largest residential drug rehabilitation facility in the United States, received permanent certification from the Board of Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse. The Narconon program utilizes the discoveries of L. Ron Hubbard in the field of drug rehabilitation.
An interview with Erika Christensen about her life and her new film. One question she is asked is "Do you think Scientology keeps you out of trouble?"
An article about the founding of the "European Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance" Now, European group takes action against religious discrimination
Yesterday, a hundred teenagers participated in an interfaith youth forum at the Church of Scientology Mission of the Foothills in Los Angeles. Young Sikhs, Methodists, Catholics and others came together to raise public awareness and thereby bring about action to end teenage violence.
A story of a Scientologist who donated a kidney and how things are a year later:
Life has changed, for the better, a year after transplant surgery
The "most religiously intolerant state in Western Europe" is found guilty of violating the rights of a German Scientologist: Germany's Highest Administrative Court Rules Against Bavarian Ministry of the Interior In Scientology Human Rights Case
News of Rohn and Vikki Walker in Thailand and Indonesia: Asian Disaster Relief Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers Updates
Here is a news article on Randy Meyers from Battle Creek, Michigan: Scientologist 'assists' victims of tsunami
P.S. The description of Scientology in the article is incorrect. For an accurate description go to "What Is Scientology?"
"Alley, a devotee of Scientology, said she did 'some different Scientology activities' that promote personal responsibility. She would, she decided, lose weight and write something to suit her sense of humor." Full story: Kirstie Alley proves she's 'still in the game'
While most aid agencies have left the Tsunami disaster areas the Scientology Volunteer Ministers continue to help where help is most needed: Asian Disaster Relief Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers Updates
So often the news media presents negative images of youth, so it's great to hear about positive actions being taken by young people to help improve the world: New Newspaper for Youth Hits London Streets
The newspaper mentioned here is also available online at: Youth for Human Rights: International News
The newest Scientology Mission just opened in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles: Hollywood Stars open newest Scientology Mission in Los Feliz
The disgusting practice of human trafficking must be stopped. Youth for Human Rights International holds a video conference to highlight what goes on and what can be done to stop it: Actress Lynsey Bartilson Demands Youth Activism to End Modern Slavery
A human rights relief team has just returned from a fact-finding mission to tsunami hit Sri Lanka. They came back with a major question: "What happened to the billions of dollars reportedly donated for tsunami relief?
The European Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance has just been founded in Denmark. Board members of the new foundation include Catholic, Muslim, Hindu and Scientologist representatives along with law and police experts.
Executive Director, the Danish Institute for Human Rights Morten Kjaerum, was awarded for his outstanding achievements in human rights advocacy.
The Dream Maker Awards were held on Saturday at the Church of Scientology’s Fort Harrison hotel in Clearwater: 2005 Tribute to African-American Achievement Honors Entertainers, Educators and Humanitarians
Another story of effective help being delivered by Scientology Volunteer Ministers
Rosi Mortensen gives her personal story of helping the survivors of the Tsunami: Tsunami Survivors Aid - Asian Disaster Relief - A Profile
The President of the Church of Scientology International attended the 13th annual religious festival in Suttur, IndiaPresident of the Church of Scientology International Pays Tribute to the East - the Home of Spirituality
The large number of people affected by the Tsunami makes it impossible for a few hundred Volunteer Ministers to help everyone affected using one-on-one techniques for handling trauma. The solution? Train the people to help each other.
The word from those on the ground in the disaster areas is that more help is needed: Asian Disaster Relief Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers Updates
Artists have an impact on society. Do they impact it for better or worse? The Jive Aces have decided to make a difference by making a positive impact: Jive Aces Team up with Churches of Scientology to Say "NO" to Drugs
The latest update from India. Volunteer Ministers, Buddhist Monks and Rotary Club members work together in the recovery efforts: Asian Disaster Relief Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers Update -- India
15-year-old Max McFarlane tells his story: Asian Disaster Relief Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers Updates
Six weeks after the tsunami some Volunteer Ministers are sharing their experiences helping people in the disaster area: Asian Disaster Relief Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers Updates
One would assume that once the schools were open again in Sri Lanka, after the devastating tsunami, that the children could return. However, it was not quite that simple until the human rights relief team got busy: News from the Church of Scientology International Human Rights Office: Children Back to School Thanks to Relief Team's Donation
The Human Rights Director of the Church of Scientology International has just opened a "Human Rights News Forum" with the purpose "to be a resource and forum to unite and strengthen what all of us are doing to protect and guarantee human rights for all peoples of Earth, and to acknowledge those who are making a difference and support them in their work."
Announcement of the site: Church of Scientology International Announces the Launch of a New Human Rights Newsroom and Forum
You can find the new site here: Human Rights - Church of Scientology International
A Human Rights Relief team sent to Sri Lanka by the International Foundation for Human Rights and Tolerance with the support of Church of Scientology International is now reviewing the scene on the ground.: Human Rights Relief Team Now Fact Finding on the Ground
On Wednesday, Jan 26th, members of Churches of Scientology were among leaders of different faiths who joined the largest group of rabbis and other Jewish delegates to be granted audience by the Pope.
Read the full story here" Pope meets members of religious tolerance organization
Here is the story of two American VMs and what they have experienced while helping with disaster relief in Indonesia: American Volunteer Ministers Join International Teams in Indonesia
Here is an excellent interview with John Travolta: John Travolta tells Tiffany Rose how the modest heroism of New York's firefighters inspired him to make Ladder 49
More miracles occurring with Scientology assists. Over 4500 people trained on assists.
Despite the devastation of the tsunamis, hope is returning to Banda Aceh. Businesses are reopening; small shops are springing up; there are ten times more people at the market this week than last; produce is displayed and taxis are even returning to the city streets.
The Church of Scientology International is calling for more support and volunteers to help the thousands of people who still need help to get on with their lives and have hope for the future.
Here is a personal account from a Scientology Volunteer Minister of his experiences in Thailand in the first 12 days of the relief efforts: "12 Days of War" - A personal account of the Tsunami Relief Efforts by a Scientology Volunteer Minister
The Volunteer Ministers (VMs) have now trained 2,350 people to give assists. In Banda Aceh, Indonesia, the VMs and some of those they have trained are operating in refugee camps located around the city and in the neighboring villages. An additional team of VMs arrived in India from Britain, while a South African team flew into Madagascar, an area that has so far received relatively little attention in the relief effort.
Many of those who came to help in the aftermath of the tsunami are now pulling out. For example, four-fifths of the volunteer organizations that were operating in Banda Aceh ten days ago have left. The international media are departing as well. Notwithstanding, the need of help is still great as local communities face the major task of reconstruction.
As communities attempt to rebuild after the tsunami, the Volunteer Minister (VM) teams in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand are increasingly moving onto the next phase - helping in the process of reconstruction.
Around the world, members of the Scientology Volunteer Minister corps, known as VMs, heard the news of the disaster and began packing. Soon after the world heard the news of the disaster teams from the United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Europe and Taiwan were on their way to the hardest-hit spots in Asia to give assistance and help coordinate relief efforts. No strangers to this type of activity, Scientology Volunteer Ministers have, for more than a quarter century, crossed national, racial, political and religious boundaries in more than 150 countries to help people deal with sudden upheavals and restore order, dignity and happiness to their lives.
The challenge for relief workers is to provide help on a scale that is commensurate with the scope of the disaster. Because the number of people needing help is beyond what the Volunteer Ministers can deal with on a one-to-one basis, they have been training others. As relief workers, doctors and nurses witness the effectiveness of these simple techniques, there is an increasing demand for this training. So far, the VMs have trained more than 1200 people in the disaster areas on how to administer assists. One hospital is flying in a team of nurses to Aceh in Indonesia to be trained. The leader of a physical therapy association has requested training for his group, while many of the relatives of those injured in the disaster are also learning how to do Scientology assists.
The Volunteer Ministers are continuing to train others in how to administer assists, giving workshops on the subject in the areas affected by the disaster. In Indonesia, medical staffs have been so impressed with the results from assists that one hospital administrator has asked the VMs to train 300 nurses.
Assists are techniques developed by L. Ron Hubbard. They operate on the principle that one tends to withdraw mentally or spiritually from an injured area. Only by restoring communication with this area can one bring the spiritual element into healing, thereby greatly speeding the healing process. Assists are used to alleviate stress and physical aches and pains, or to orient a confused or distraught individual to his present environment.
The Scientology Volunteer Ministers use assists extensively to help those hurt both physically and spiritually in the disaster area. The results are quite miraculous : Asian Disaster Relief - Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) Update - Thursday 13 January 2005
Amidst relief efforts to help thousands of Indonesian people left homeless by the recent tsunamis, a Volunteer Minister received an unusual request: Asian Disaster Relief Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers Updates
More Volunteer Ministers continue to arrive at the disaster sites, with many more on their way. The VMs’ efforts are sincerely appreciated by the government, military and medical officials in whose countries they are operating: Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and India. ... more: Asian Disaster Relief - Scientology Volunteer Ministers (VMs) - Update Saturday 8 January 2005
The Volunteer Ministers’ relief work continues in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India. Hundreds of people, including government officials and members of other relief organizations, have contacted the VMs in order to work with them in helping those affected by the disaster.
Volunteer Ministers (VMs) are working with disaster relief services in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and India. Reports from Indonesia and Thailand: Asian Disaster Relief - Church of Scientology - Volunteer Ministers Update - Thursday 6 January 2005
The Church of Scientology International is calling for thousands of volunteers to help bring aid to the four major disaster areas of Indonesia, Thailand, India and Sri Lanka as part of ongoing relief efforts for victims of the worst Tsunami in recorded history. Hundreds of Volunteer Ministers have already been dispatched to these areas. Full story: Thousands Needed To Aid Disaster Victims Abroad - Church Leads "Something Can Be Done About It" Volunteer Ministry
Latest news of relief and recovery efforts from the disaster area: Asian Disaster Relief - Volunteer Ministers Update Tuesday 4 January 2005
Scientology Volunteer Ministers in South-East Asia are doing all they can to help the victims of the disaster. The International VM Hotline is receiving hundreds of calls from people offering help and donations.
To help call 1-800-435-7498 or (323) 960-1949 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the blessing of His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, Buddhist monks from Mysore, India are now enroute to Chennai, India with a team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers. They are bringing medical supplies, equipment and spiritual aid to those in need.
Here is a link to a page listing many disaster relief agencies who are accepting contributions to help those affected by the earthquake and tsunami of December 26th, 2004:
The page also contains a list of phone numbers if you are looking for information on relatives or family in the affected areas: