Sunday, October 29, 2006

David Miscavige and the IAS Anniversary Event

I have to say David Miscavige outdid himself at the IAS (International Association of Scientologists) event.

I saw it last night and I was impressed!

First of all I've never seen a crowd like that. They are holding the event in a huge tent now that must seat about 10,000. It is really huge and was totally filled up.

Next, his intro speech just hit me where I live.

The event must have been about 3 hours long and I was riveted to it through the whole thing.

Here's just one example of how cool the event was.

There are three new IAS-sponsored Public Service Announcements for The Way to Happiness which you can watch online at www.twth.org

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

London Scientology Life Improvement Center

In addition to the new church on Victoria Street, the old Church on Tottenham Court Road has been totally refurbished and made into a Life Improvement Center.

Two years ago David Miscavige gave a briefing at L. Ron Hubbard's birthday event where he explained the emphasis on creating big churches with lots of room for public services. The whole point is to make every bit of LRH technology available to the community and make it very easy for people to avail themselves of this help.

It's something that is very important to me, personally, and I'm thrilled to see this happening. I'm also delighted that we've kept the Tottenham Court Road building, which is a great location.

Monday, October 23, 2006

David Miscavige Drives the Message Home about Scientology



"We are about to drive home the message 'This is Scientology ' like you have never seen," said David Miscavige , chairman of the Church of Scientology (sic.) [David Miscavige is actually the Chairman of the Board of Religious Technology Center.]

So reports Robert Booth on Saturday in the Sunday Times - a story that got picked up internationally.

And Sunday's grand opening was everything Mr. Miscavige promised.

The Scientology Press Office announces the news as follows:

With thousands of Scientologists, local residents and officials in attendance, the new Church of Scientology of London opened its doors.

Mr. David Miscavige , Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center and leader of the Scientology religion , stressed the historical importance of London. "This is the city L. Ron Hubbard himself [founder of the Scientology religion] selected as home to the first Scientology organization. This is also the city wherein he first defined the human spirit as an immortal being possessed of capabilities beyond anything predicted, and so arrived at the axiomatic truths on which the whole of Scientology is founded. Your early London organizations were also the original proving ground for the bulk of Mr. Hubbard’ s social betterment programs which are used to uplift neighborhoods just like this one."


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Church of Scientology opens new London HQ


The news of the Grand Opening is all over!

Here's one story from Associated Press:
It was rumoured Cruise would attend the ceremony but he did not show.

The Church of Scientology unveiled its new London headquarters today with a grand opening ceremony.

The religion, which counts Hollywood stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its followers, is expanding its British operation.

It has bought and refurbished the former home of the British and Foreign Bible Society, latterly the offices of BP, for its new HQ.

The five-storey Victorian building in the City of London is a stone's throw from St Paul's Cathedral and stands next door to an Anglican church, from where parishioners emerged after their Sunday service to watch the proceedings with some bemusement.

Several hundred Scientologists, including church dignitaries and assorted VIPs, braved the driving rain for the outdoor ceremony.

They listened to an address by Scientology leader David Miscavige, whose arrival was greeted with whoops and cheers from the crowd.

Mr Miscavige described the occasion as "momentous".

Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard chose London as home to the organisation's first offices.

Mr Miscavige said: "This day will go down in history. Of all the foreign lands where LRH lived and worked, he called England home.

"This is the city wherein he first defined the human spirit as an immortal being possessed of capabilities beyond anything predicted and so arrived at the axiomatic truths on which the whole of Scientology is founded."

Other speakers at the event included United Nations peace envoy Dr Iftikhar Ahmed Ayaz, who praised the faith and told the crowd: "It is my personal belief that this church can restore what this world has lately lost."

Kevin Hurley, divisional commander of the local Snow Hill police station welcomed the church to the City and said its members were "raising the spiritual wealth of society".

The ceremony began with a procession by the London Scottish Regimental Pipe and Drum Band and ended with an explosion of red, white and blue tickertape.

Afterwards the public were invited inside to discover more about the work of the Scientologists.

One room is devoted to the accomplishments of Hubbard - described as an explorer, writer, naval officer, humanitarian, artist and philosopher.

Video screens and exhibitions explain the various Scientology programmes, which include anti-drugs courses and a campaign against the perceived evils of psychiatry.

Among the guests who did attend was Hollywood actress Anne Archer, whose roles include Michael Douglas's wife in Fatal Attraction.

Archer was raised a Christian Scientist but joined the Church of Scientology in 1976 and credits it with turning her life around.

She said: "I met some people who I observed to be very sane and who said some very interesting things. I later found out they were Scientologists.

"At that time I had some problems in my life and I went for my first auditing.

"The change was so remarkable and so quick. I went from feeling utter despair to positivity within two weeks."

Archer conceded that Scientology has received a bad press but said: "All new ideas are criticised but we are doing remarkable things."

Friday, October 20, 2006

Beatiful Site and Beautiful Book on the Scientology Volunteer Ministers

I found out about this beautiful book and incredible story when I visited one of my favorite blogs today, the Scientology Volunteers blog on motime.com

I'm amazed I didn't run into this site earlier. I had to share it with anyone who visits my site!





Danish photographer and feature writer Thorsten Overgaard traveled 12,000 miles throughout South East Asia after the tsunami, a virtual fly-on-the-wall, documenting the day-to-day lives of the Scientology Tsunami Relief Team Volunteers. "After The Tsunami" presents in detail a behind-the-scenes look at relief work when everyday western people - from the a real estate agent from Germany to a student from Los Angeles - leave behind families, studies, careers and businesses to help strangers in crisis, whom they only know from media reports.

Overgaard gives a very personal message about the project here:

"The wrong thing to do is nothing."

That is a quote from L. Ron Hubbard that resonates as a profound truth for me and how I think and how I work.

My two biggest regrets in this life were (and are) that I didn't drive to Berlin the night the Berlin Wall fell and that I didn't go to New York after September 11. In both cases I had a strong urge to go, but something in me said, "be sensible."

We all carry an urge in us to reach out and do something as well as a voice urging us to be sensible and behave as if everything wrong is somebody else's problem.

In the instance of the tsunami in South East Asia my urge to reach out and help conquered all my fears of strange diseases, pictures in my mind of dead bodies floating in a sea of chaos and a generally low knowledge about Asia and the people living there.

496 Scientologists from all over the world as well had that strong urge to reach out and help their fellow men. Strong enough to have them arrive in Asia. To them the After The Tsunami project is dedicated.

As a volunteer from Los Angeles said "Home in LA they [asians] were just somebody living on the other side of the highway. I never talked to any, nor knew their problems in life. Now I know many people here with whom I have personal relations. People I have helped and who will be my friends for the rest of my life."

If you think about it for a while, isn't it strange that a person from LA travels to Asia to help? When in the middle of it, the answer to the question "What are we doing here?" is quite obvious. When in Asia, being able to help people in a crisis like this - there is no more important thing to do in life.

As Herbert, a real estate agent from Germany said after he had been in Sri Lanka for two months: "I left my real estate business just after New Year and came here. Both my wife and my partner in the real estate business understood and support me. My partner takes care of business while I'm here. He has to. As long as there is somebody here I can help, I'm staying."

Part of the story is that every single person on the Scientology Tsunami Relief Team have not only uprooted their life, income and whatever projects they were in the middle of at home. They have also paid the cost of their flight ticket themselves. And they continue to pay the costs of their daily expenses; approximately $26.00 per day that goes to a bed, some food, transportation and telephone cards necessary for internal communication between teams. >> continued



Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Wikipedia with ethics? It's About Time


Wikipedia founder plans better version

Better controls

By Nick Farrell: Wednesday 18 October 2006, 08:51

LARRY SANGER, One of the co-founders of Wikipedia, has spelt out his plans for a more reliable version of the online encyclopaedia.

Speaking to ZD Net, Sanger said that the rival site called Citizendium will user registration and editorial controls to govern user-submitted articles.

He said that while Wikipedia had grown and the articles are remarkably good given the system that is in place, there are a number of problems that needed to be resolved.

Sanger said that Citizendium will weed out trolls from posting obscenities or biased information. It is not clear if the Everywhere Girl will be allowed to exist in this new patch of cyber space or whether she will be killed off by some kid with a pseudo-penis fetish.

Citizendium will be a "fork" of the open-source code of Wikipedia. It will replicate the existing database of articles and then evolve.

Sanger said that the move will not kill off Wikipedia, but will try and create something better.

If you're like me you love Wikipedia for the accessibility of instant facts. Except when those facts are opinions and obscure the picture with people's peronal agendas.

So I am very happy to hear that Larry Sanger is back and he's got a real encyclopedia in mind.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Anti-Poverty Day

I saw this map on relgion4life.tblog.com:



This is a map of the populations of various countries living on $1 per day or less.

Green is 2-5%
Light Green is 6 - 20%
Yellow is 30-40%
Orange is 40-60%
Red is 60-80%

There are resources and there is technology to solve this, just as there are resources and technology to reverse the damage we are doing to our environment.

These are issues we need to address -- real, urgent human rights issues.







Monday, October 16, 2006

Muhammad Yunus took the risk and came on top


Thanks Creativexpressions blog for posting this great editorial on Muhammad Yunus' Nobel Peace Prize.

Here's someone who has not only made a huge difference to the lives of the individual people he's helped and the economy of the region, but he's set an example that can be used to reform the economic inequities that keep whole segments of the society in never-ending poverty.

There are so many people who would improve their lot if they only had a chance.

Case in point. Living in Los Angeles there are many undocumented workers in the area. Lot's of jokes and slander about Mexican workers who come to California to try to eek out a living here, when they can't support their families at home.

Yet these are hard-working men and women who are dedicated to helping their families.

I remember, years ago when I was in my 20s, I was working at a restaurant. I earned pretty good money in tips, and had no commitments so I could spend my money on whatever I liked.

One day I struck up a conversation with one of the men in the back - a dishwasher.

Do you know what he did with him money (and mind you he got no tips at all). He lived off of 20% of his earnings and sent the rest home to his family.

I found that so shocking.

I was slumming in the restaurant - between careers, sort of hanging out for lack of anything else to do. And here was this man really working hard to take responsibility for his family.

If we were to implement sane solutions such as Dr. Yunus' more broadly, we would not have "immigration problems," because we would make it possible for people in every country to thrive.

Our open border problem is only a problem because of financial inequity which we have the power to change.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mr. David Miscavige and the IAS


The IAS is the International Association of Scientologists.

David Miscavige is traditionally the keynote speaker at the IAS event - a celebration that is held at Saint Hill in the United Kingdom (L. Ron Hubbard's home during the late 1950s and early 1960s).

Mr. Miscavige is not only an inspiring leader, he is also a great speaker, and the IAS event is probably the Scientology event I enjoy most each year, because I am very passionate about the humanitarian activities of the Scientology religion, and these are featured at this event.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The truth about Scientology


Somebody put up a site with an excellent set of FAQs on Scientology.

Check it out: Scientology FAQ

Thursday, October 12, 2006

How Old are You?


I'm so old that...

Well, I'm not old enough to brag about how old I am, but I'm old enough to remember that Columbus Day used to be celebrated on October 12th --- before the age of long weekends.

Happy Columbus Day.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sunday, October 08, 2006

What is Scientology?



Since I get asked the question, "What is Scientology?" pretty frequently, I thought I'd post what the Church says on the Scientology News site.


What is Scientology?

Scientology :

is a religion which recognizes that man is basically good and offers tools anyone can use to become happier and more able as a person and to improve conditions in life for himself and others, and to gain a profound understanding of the Supreme Being and his relationship to the Divine. Developed by L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology technology provides exact principles and a practical technology for improving spiritual awareness, self-confidence, intelligence and ability.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

This is Scientology - presentation by David Miscavige



There is a wonderful presentation by Mr. David Miscavige called "This is Scientology."

It is an overview of the Scientology religion, and it is an excellent way to introduce someone to Scientology.

It can be purchased online and it an excerpt of the speech is online on the RTC web site.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Taking on the Drug Companies

I'm not usually one for big money class-action law suites. I find American big bucks claims pretty disgusting, actually. Even before I read Grishom.

But if these guys can take down big Pharma the way they blasted the tobacco industry, I wish them the best of luck.

Anyone who would seek to make money off of harming kids, creating "disabilities" so they can market drugs to "cure" them -- I'm all in favor of taking them down.

Here's a great publication by Citizens Commission on Human Rights to learn about the side effects of drugs.




Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Congratulations to George F. Smoot of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif., and John C. Mather of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. who have won the Nobel Prize in physics for measuring the oldest light in the heavens, a feat described as "one of the greatest discoveries of the century" that convinced skeptics of the big-bang theory of the universe's origin.

They will share the $1.4 million prize equally for their groundbreaking work.

The full story is on the Washington Post Online edition.