Monday, June 28, 2010

Getting his life back: Haiti quake survivor who got prosthetic leg in New Haven is following new career path


By Amanda Pinto, Register Staff
apinto@newhavenregister.com

NEW HAVEN — Five months ago, Ralph Gedeon was lying trapped beneath a pile of rubble when the engineering college he attended in Port-au-Prince toppled in the 7.0 earthquake that hit the island nation.

His leg was crushed and several organs were failing when his father, after digging for a day and a half, rescued Gedeon from the tumbled remnants.

Miraculously, on Sunday, the earthquake survivor stood on two legs — one of them a prosthetic — and packed his bags as he prepared to leave the Sister Ann Virginie Grimes Rehabilitation Center on Chapel Street.

Gedeon’s progress is a miracle, and seeing him walk brings tears to the eyes of Dr. David Gibson, an orthopedic surgeon who teaches at the Yale School of Medicine and is affiliated with the Hospital of Saint Raphael.

“This is what you do it for,” he said. “It is really heartening to see him walk.”

But for Gedeon, who will now begin outpatient treatment in Rockland, N.Y., walking is only a part of his positive journey.



When he eventually returns to his home country, he will have a permanent prosthesis that will even allow him to play soccer, and he’ll have an engineering degree that will enable him to help others injured in the earthquake, said Ayal Lindeman, the emergency medical technician, nurse and Scientology volunteer minister who was on a mission in Haiti when he met Gedeon, 22.

Gedeon will also take classes at Rockland Community College, and will likely receive a scholarship from the International Society of Transport Aircraft Trading to continue studies in engineering, Lindeman said. He will switch his concentration from electrical to mechanical engineering so he can focus on creating and improving orthotics and prosthetics to help Haiti’s thousands of amputees, Lindeman said.

Gedeon has come quite a long way for a man who contemplated accepting death rather than enduring an amputation that could have left him shunned in Haiti, where amputees are degraded, Lindeman said.

After Gedeon was rescued, his father, Raphael Gedeon, told Lindeman ‘I love my son, but I cannot condemn him to this life.’ At that moment, Lindeman thought of the motto on the back of his mission jacket, ‘Something can be done;’ he called his friend Gibson and promised Ralph Gedeon a leg and a life.

Now Gedeon has had nine surgeries, his care has been provided at no cost by St. Raphael’s and a prosthetic donated by a manufacturer. He has been tutored, free of charge, in English.

He used a cane to walk from the rehabilitation center Sunday, but routinely lifted it as he waved and joked with the small crowd of well-wishers who gathered to see him off.

Of his ability to walk, Gedeon smiles and simply says, “We’re progressing.” “(I thought I would walk) because Ayal promised me, and second, I’ve seen people walking (on prosthetics) in the movies,” he said.

He said his leg, which is still healing, is a bit uncomfortable, but he was full of smiles and hugs for the group—which included Marie and Marc Roseme, housekeepers in the facility who are originally from Haiti— who bid him an emotional goodbye.

His father, who arrived in the U.S. Friday, said through a translator Sunday that he was at a loss for words for what his son has accomplished, and for the generosity bestowed upon him.

“I don’t have an expression that would fit,” he said. “Just thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.~~L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Scientology Volunteer Minister “Gave Me My Life” Says Haitian Earthquake Survivor

A good-looking young man in a t-shirt and sweat shorts walked down the street about half a mile from Yale University this weekend. Two things distinguished him from the thousands of other students living in this college town—the gentle Creole lilt to his voice and a prosthetic leg. Meet Ralph Mary Gedeon, 22, a Haitian engineering student who was buried alive when his school collapsed from the Haiti earthquake January 12, 2010.

It took more than one miracle to save Ralph Gedeon’s life that day. In fact it took several miracles that came in the persons of his father, Raphael Gedeon and a Scientology Volunteer Minister from Rockland County, New York.>>

What follows is an interesting story on how this Scientology program operated in Haiti and the difference it made to at least one man's life.

Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.~~L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion

Monday, June 21, 2010

What Time is It?



Do you ever get confused about what time it is? Ever wish you had more time? Ever start the day with an idea of what you wanted to accomplish and find the day is over and you didn't get there?

There is a Scientology book called Self Analysis by L. Ron Hubbard that has really simple exercises you can do to improve your time sense.

Anybody want more time?



Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.~~L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Scientology Churches Revive Historic Buildings




Foyer of the Church of Scientology on Queen Victoria Street,  London.

Foyer inside the Church of Scientology on Victoria Street, London.

When the new Church of Scientology of Pasadena opens its doors in the city’s historical core this summer, it will not only enable the Church to expand its service to the community, it will give back some of its cultural history. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the character of what was once a turn-of-the-century bicycle factory has been transformed into a unique blend of old and new, its four-story atrium and original fa├žade still intact. With attention also given to 21st century detail, the restored building will also be LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

The Church of Scientology International has been working for the past six years on a program to acquire new buildings for its regional Churches around the world. Launched in 2004 by Scientology ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige, the aim of the program is to establish each Church in premises ideally suited for its many and varied religious services as well as its community outreach activities. So far, 19 such ideal Churches have opened, eight of them in unique historic buildings, with more on the horizon.

Brussels branch of the Churches of Scientology for the European  Communities

The Brussels branch of the Churches of Scientology for the European Communities situation at Boulevard de Waterloo 100-103, is an early-20th-century structure fully renovated to serve the congregation and the community. It was dedicated 23 January 2010.

“These Churches have already been in their cities for many years and their buildings need to be large enough to accommodate all their activities including a chapel, rooms for the study of our theology and introductory courses for new people and individual spiritual counseling rooms,” said Church of Scientology International spokesman, Tommy Davis.

Far from a Sunday-only meeting place, Churches of Scientology hum with activity seven days a week. In addition to common congregational services such as weddings, funerals, naming ceremonies for newborn children and Sunday service, parishioners can study days and evenings as well as receive the religion’s unique form of one-on-one religious counseling, participate in the Scientology Purification Program (a precise and closely supervised religious regimen that addresses barriers to spiritual gain) and take part in community betterment planning and activities, sponsored and initiated by the Church.

In May the Nashville, Tennessee Church of Scientology historic building took top honors in the city’s 35th Annual Preservation Awards for meeting all safety standards while preserving the beauty and grace of the 1898 building, which opened last year. Built just two years after the famous Grand Ole Opry in a similar style, its features include red brick walls, original doors and hardwood floors, 14-foot ceilings and an unusual three-floor atrium crowned with a glass cupola.

Last January, the Church opened the Belgium branch of the Churches of Scientology of Europe, an 88,000 square-foot early 20th century historic structure in the heart of Brussels. In October 2009, the Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, DC completed renovation of its seven-story, 49,000-square-foot historic building by architect Appleton P. Clark, Jr., half a mile from the White House. And another historic Church property fully restored in 2009 is the 1926 Mediterranean Revival-style Fort Harrison building in Clearwater, Florida.

Inside  Brussels branch of the Churches of Scientology for Europe

The first floor hallway of the Brussels branch of the Churches of Scientology for Europe with study rooms, offices and the a Documentation Center which holds the written and recorded works of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Other cities with historic buildings now home to Scientology Churches include: San Francisco, California; London, England; Tampa, Florida; and Buffalo, New York. The Church has also acquired historic buildings that are in pre-construction stages in Detroit, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Oregon; Montreal, Canada; and Manchester, England.

“We take a lot of pride and care in adapting and rehabilitating our historic buildings,” said Davis. “The result is truly unique as these new Churches exemplify our religion and are dynamically practical and aesthetic, and enable us to practice the full range of Scientology services as laid out by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.”



Happiness and strength endure only in the absence of hate. To hate alone is the road to disaster. To love is the road to strength. To love in spite of all is the secret of greatness. And may very well be the greatest secret in this universe.~~L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion