An inaugural walk down |
Several thousand people came together in Los Angeles to celebrate the grand opening of a new city street. And indeed that street was — and is — “new” in every sense of the word, a major feat of engineering and raw manpower. The name of the street:
mong those celebrating were city council members, representatives of the Mayor of Los Angeles and the Governor of California, Church officials and notable Scientologists such as John Travolta and Kirstie Alley.
This cooperative effort to honour
Ms. Chelsea Cochrane, the Los Angeles Mayor’s representative for Hollywood, conveyed Mayor Richard Riordan’s congratulations to “all those who have contributed to and made possible this new landmark for the City of Los Angeles honouring a man who has, already, helped the lives of millions of men, women and children —
But important as it is, this is just one of the many honours bestowed on Mr. Hubbard.
Consider this: To recognise the contributions of notable individuals to their communities, cities, states, countries or the world, officials sometimes issue proclamations. Men of great accomplishment may receive a few of these during their lifetimes, perhaps half a dozen. It is a rare honour.
Yet during the past year alone, Mr. Hubbard received 320 proclamations and recognitions from around the world. And 98 of these awards were from cities and states which also dedicated his birthday, March 13, as
And throughout the years, he has received more than 2,000 proclamations, awards and keys to cities, an astronomical number by any standard.
This, of course, raises a pertinent question: Why have so many honours been bestowed upon this man?
Perhaps the answer is best found in his own words: “I like to help others and count it as my greatest pleasure in life to see a person free himself of the shadows which darken his days.”
Although primarily known as the founder of Dianetics and Scientology, Mr. Hubbard’s lifetime of dedication to improve the human condition and provide workable methods for people to free themselves of these shadows has had far-reaching effects upon our civilisation and culture. His research and discoveries relating to the human mind and spirit form a broad philosophic foundation which has applicability to all aspects of existence. And, in particular, to the problems that currently threaten the very survival of our society — crime, drugs, illiteracy and the collapse of moral standards.
Today, because he recognised these problems and worked to find methods to resolve them, inner-city gang members are discovering the joys and rewards of education, hardcore drug addicts have freed themselves forever from despair, former criminals are leading lives of productivity and self-respect, and children the world over are following the non-religious moral code he authored.
In a society where millions of adults are unable to read simple directions, Mr. Hubbard’s developments in the field of education have particular significance. After noting that there was no actual technology of study, he created one. Today, an international organisation — Applied Scholastics — is dedicated to improving the quality of education through Mr. Hubbard’s study methods. It operates in more than 15 countries on six continents.
In the UK Mr. Hubbard’s study methods are used in several private schools, as well as in projects run by volunteers to provide tutoring to underprivileged youth.
In the United States, through programmes such as the World Literacy Crusade, hundreds of inner-city youth, gang members and homeless are now leading productive lives.
In South Africa, long before the walls of apartheid fell, a similar programme called Education Alive brought literacy to more than 1 1/2 million Africans.
Aboriginals in Australia, the unemployed in the boroughs of London, children in the drug-torn nation of Columbia, students in Mexico, in Zimbabwe, in Thailand, in Egypt and many other nations have benefited.
And what does this mean in human terms? Take the case of a formerly homeless man in the California city of Compton. After doing the programme, he returned to school and studied to become a nurse, and passed his accreditation examinations with exceptionally high scores. Today he is a valuable and contributing member of society.
Ending Drug Addiction
Recognising the vast social ramifications of drug abuse and its personal cost to millions, Mr. Hubbard developed revolutionary drug rehabilitation methods that have saved tens of thousands from the ravages of addiction.
These methods are administered today through Narconon, an international network of drug rehabilitation and drug education centres that operate in the United States and more than a dozen other countries.
Narconon has conducted successful drug education lectures in schools throughout Britain for many years, as well as providing rehabilitation services for addicts.
But to accomplish its mission, Narconon also goes where few dare — for example, into Mexico’s Ensenada State Prison, which contains some of the world’s most violent and incorrigible criminals.
The individual who established the project said that during the first week, the warden “would look at me with pity exuding out of his eyes because he said he knew he was looking at a dead man.”
Not only did the programme’s founder survive, but the programme helped dozens of inmates come off drugs, many with 10- to 20-year drug habits. And today, hundreds of others are on the waiting list to do the programme.
In nations around the world, thousands upon thousands of individuals whose lives were a living hell are finally drug-free and know that the Narconon goal, “new life without drugs,” can be achieved through the application of Mr. Hubbard’s methods.
Long concerned with the negative impact upon society of what has been called “the criminal mind,” Mr. Hubbard examined the root causes of criminality and devised methods by which criminals could be genuinely rehabilitated. These methods are today applied by Criminon, a criminal rehabilitation programme in more than 600 U.S. prisons and in other countries throughout the world.
In a world where building more prisons appears to be the only solution to the onslaught of crime and violence, Criminon is a beacon of hope.
A study of juvenile offenders in Alabama who completed only a part of the Criminon programme found recidivism declined to roughly 10 percent; in a comparable control group, the usual 80 percent were recidivist.
Criminon offers the first effective tool to reverse the revolving doors in our prisons. As the Supervising Detention Officer of the Los Angeles Juvenile Hall said after seeing the program in action: “Criminon is hope. It’s something that we’re lacking in today’s society.”
Reversing Moral Decay
In 1980, after noting the catastrophic effects of immorality upon the very foundations of our society, Mr. Hubbard penned a booklet entitled The Way to Happiness, a non-religious moral code consisting of 21 practical precepts that, if followed, lead to better living. The impact of this booklet far exceeds its size.
Today, under the auspices of The Way to Happiness Foundation, more than 53 million copies of the booklet have been distributed in 50 countries and 22 languages, often with dramatic results.
It has been utilised on urban battlefields, in community programmes, by police departments, and as the basis for the nationwide Making America Safe essay contest in hundreds of schools.
The comment of one English Department chairman of a middle school in Texas is typical of the hundreds received by teachers about their students. “Not only have their writing skills improved because of their enthusiasm for the contest,” he wrote, “their concept of what is right and good for one another has also been enhanced.”
Strong support for The Way to Happiness programme is helping create a sorely needed resurgence of morals in our society.
Mr. Hubbard’s concerns and social contributions went well beyond the obvious social ills. There was another arena in which he had a lasting impact: the arts. His view was that “a civilisation is only as great as its dreams, and its dreams are dreamed by artists.” Himself an accomplished artist in numerous fields, Mr. Hubbard thus worked to improve the lot of all who undertake artistic endeavours.
In 1983, he established “Writers of the Future,” a contest aimed at discovering and encouraging deserving amateur and aspiring writers. The field of speculative fiction was chosen not only for Mr. Hubbard’s love of and success within the genre, but for the freedom of imagination and expression which it allowed as “a herald of possibility.” Every year, competition winners have gone on to become successful published authors.
Hans Janitschek, President of the Society of Writers at the United Nations said, “
Recognising that to aid the artist is to aid cultural revitalisation, Mr. Hubbard also established a network of Church of Scientology Celebrity Centres — Scientology churches dedicated to assisting artists through the application of Dianetics and Scientology principles. More than one dozen exist around the world, in cities from Los Angeles to London to Paris.
And, finally, Mr. Hubbard studied the subject of art itself and his resulting codification of its principles have helped thousands embark on a more fulfilling life.
These are some of the many reasons Mr. Hubbard has friends in cities and villages in nations around the world, for this is a part of his legacy.
But there is even more: 3,200 Scientology churches, missions and groups exist today in 120 countries and bring new meaning and freedom to the lives of men, women and children from all walks of life.
If you would like to find out more about the legacy of