Monday, June 26, 2006

Religious Freedom

Last week was the annual celebration of Religious Freedom Day in the US Congress.

In his address on the subject, Senator Rick Santorum said, "because freedom of religion embodies the freedoms of conscience, thought, and action, it is the lodestar of all other freedoms. Thus, a discussion of its status, challenges, and protection is not merely an event we accommodate, but a discussion we welcome and embrace."

I really agree with this.

In the Creed of the Church of Scientology, one of the first statements of belief is:

"That all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance."

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Scientology Churches Call for Unity in Eradicating World Drug Epidemic

Just as I was writing about the work Scientologists do in the field of drug education, the Church put this press release up on the Scientology Press Office site

"At a time when illegal drug trafficking generates as much money as the oil industry — upwards of $400 billion a year internationally — and America’s taxpayers now pay more than $100 billion as a consequence of illicit drug consumption, Scientologists are dramatically stepping up their two-decade-long efforts to tackle the spread of drug abuse at its source. Leaders of the Church of Scientology International’s “Say No to Drugs, Say Yes to Life” campaign are calling upon community leaders and concerned citizens to join initiatives organized in major cities around the world in observance of the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Monday, June 26." >> more

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

June 26th is the day marked by the United Nations for the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

I think it is really important for individuals and community groups to be involved in combatting the drug problem.

According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime web site, children and drugs is the theme of the 2006 campaign to be launched on 26 June, the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. This year's slogan is "drugs are not child's play".

Scientology churches are very active members of the anti-drug team, working in their communities to reach young people with the message that it's far better to say no to drugs.

The Church of Scientology International has an anti-drug web site that gives news about what Scientologists are doing to combat drugs. For example in the US and Canada there is a group called the Drug Free Marshals where kids are "sworn in" like the Deputy Marshals of the wild west. They get their Drug Free Marshals "badge" when they pledge to live a drug-free life and help their friends do so too.

In Australia and New Zealand this group is called "Drug-Free Ambassadors."

In England they are the "Drug-Free Kids."

Anyone of any faith is very welcome to start one of these groups and can contact the Scientology church nearest to where they live for information on how to do so.

There is more information on the Scientology anti-drug programs at the Scientology Press Office web site.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Scientologists Helping in the Community

The Scientology Effective Solutions web site has news about what Scientologists do to improve their communities. It says:

"Scientologists are actively engaged in helping those around them in many ways, from drug prevention programmes to blood drives, from emergency relief services with the Red Cross to Walk-a-thons sponsored by the March of Dimes. They collect holiday toys for foster children and donate food and clothing for families in need. Many contribute to initiatives to preserve or clean up their local environment."

A case in point is the Scientology Disaster Relief Team that is on the ground right now in Java to help the local authorities cope with the recent earthquake on the island. Today's news states that the World Bank says the impact of the quake was much worse than was first estimated and that it may even have caused more damage that the tsunami.

The Scientology Volunteer Ministers web site urges people who can help to contact the Volunteer Ministers coordinator.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Scientology DVDs give rare views of founder

There's a good article in the Toledo Blade on a set of DVDs of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard that were released by Mr. David Miscavige at the event that commemorated L. Ron Hubbard's birthday this year.

The lectures are called the Clearing Congress, and in them Ron gives news about breakthroughs in achieving the State of Clear (defined in the Scientology glossary as: "A Clear is a being who no longer has his own reactive mind. A Clear is an unaberrated person and is rational in that he forms the best possible solutions he can on the data he has and from his viewpoint. The Clear has no engrams which can be restimulated to throw out the correctness of computation by entering hidden and false data.")

At the event Mr. Miscavige showed the painstaking work that was done to restore the film - frame by frame - and examples of what it looked like before and after. If I hadn't seen the earlier version I wouldn't believe that these could possibly have been the same film.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Dianetics NASCAR Car

The news is full of the story of the Dianetics NASCAR today.

The story says:

"Kenton Gray, a 35-year-old Californian, will attempt to make the field for a late model race Saturday night at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. His No. 27 Ford Taurus will be sponsored by Bridge Publications, which publishes Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s bestseller 'Dianetics.'"

It quotes the driver as saying:

"'Dianetics is a book that helped me in many ways since I first read it many years ago,' Gray said in a statement. 'It helped me get better control over the obstacles I had to get through to reach goals I was passionate about. Its a great honor to have a sponsor relationship that’s so directly related to my making it this far.'"

Go Dianetics!

Monday, June 05, 2006

A Blog I Enjoy Reading

I really like the David Miscavige blogger blog.

It's been being updated with stories about various International Scientology events where Mr. Miscavige has been a speaker.

I always enjoy going to Scientology international events, and try to make it to all of them.

I think it's pretty unique in the Scientology religion to have events like this.

They aren't sermons. They are more like celebrations. But they are celebrations with a purpose.

Several times a year events are held to bring Scientologists from around the world up to date with the events occuring in our religion, inlcuding the opening of new Scientology missions and churches and the expansion of the social betterment activites we support. Mr. David Miscavige is master of ceremonies at some of these and it is always a treat to hear his speeches.

Some of his speeches have been excerpted and put online. Those I've found are:

The grand opening of the Church of Scientology of New York - Mr. Miscavige spoke of how the Scientology Volunteer Ministers of New York inspired the rest of the world with their dedication after 9/11 when they worked for weeks providing help to the rescue workers.

The grand opening of the Church of Scientology of San Franscicso. In this speech he spoke about the special role San Francisco had in the development of Scientology.

The grand opening of the Church of Scientology of Spain. On this site Mr. Miscavige's speech is in Spanish, and I'm afraid my Spanish just isn't good enough to try to summarize what he covers.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Scientologists Spearhead a "Brighter Future for Buffalo"

I find it very exciting what the Church of Scientology of Buffalo is doing. Located in the heart of the city they are mobilizing other community groups to bring life and pride back to the city.

Here's a story about one of the activities they have undertaken to do this:

Forging a brighter future for any American city requires many shoulders to the wheel, and putting their weight behind a better Buffalo Wednesday night were community officials, leaders and parishioners of several local churches, and more than 100 community activists and dedicated Buffalonians.

The event was the Church of Scientology’s "Brighter Future for Buffalo" Jazz Night, featuring "Taylor Made Jazz," a group known for its humanitarian benefit performances. The venue was the Church’s community hall on Virginia and Main. The inspiration for the effort came from Mayor Byron Brown who has, in the city’s promotional literature and ads, urged citizens to work together in building a brighter future for the city. And even soul impresario Isaac Hayes added his shoulder from Harlem by contributing an effective tool for bringing greater respect and peace to the community.

Hosting the event as part of its "Creating a Brighter Future for Buffalo" campaign, the Church of Scientology of Buffalo honored Mark Fuller, executive director of the Stop the Violence Coalition with the Rev. Mary Lou Reile "Brighter Future for Buffalo" Award. "We applaud this coalition for being out there every day, on the front lines, whenever and wherever needed," said Teresa Reger, president of the Church in Buffalo. "Because of their non-stop efforts to make this city a brighter, safer place, I can’t think of a more deserving group to be the first recipient of this ’Brighter Future for Buffalo’ Award."

I beleive this is what Mr. David Miscavige was referring to in his speach at the Grand Opening of the Church of Scientology of Buffalo -- reaching out to use the technology of L. Ron Hubbard to really improve things in the community.