lliteracy, drugs and crime are subjects of prime concern to many of our readers.
I have seen how these social problems connect to each other, like links in a chain. When a person cannot read or learn, life becomes a series of barriers which appear impossible to surmount. Doors of opportunity are closed to him, and he can begin to feel that everyone and everything is against him.
Weighed down by hopelessness, he “knows” there is nothing he can do to improve his lot. Sooner or later, hopelessness leads to drugs and alcohol to escape from life’s pain. And with substance abuse all too often comes crime — after all, he needs some way to pay for his addiction.
Despite many opinions to the contrary, there is hope. It has been demonstrated countless times that conditions can change.
In this issue, we report on effective community-based programs which are enabling people to become literate and dig their way out, to free themselves from the shackles of drugs, and to shut the door on a life of crime. These programs are flourishing in the Los Angeles area and Freedom is proud to highlight them for our readers.
The responses to our premiere edition — through letters, telephone calls and personal contacts — told us that readers want to know more about what the Church of Scientology is and what Scientologists do. This issue provides that information. And for those on the Internet, the Global Scientology Information Center is freely accessible, as you will learn in these pages, providing tens of thousands of pages of additional news and data simply by logging on.
Things have expanded tremendously since the world’s first Church of Scientology was established in Los Angeles by a small group of individuals in 1954. Today, there are more than 20 churches and missions of Scientology throughout Southern California and over 3,000 churches, missions and groups in more than 115 countries around the world. A listing of local Churches is included inside — you are invited to drop by and see for yourself why so many Angelinos from all walks of life call themselves Scientologists.
Freedom magazine itself is now in its 30th year of publication, with 17 editions published around the world in eight languages and its international editorial offices in the historic Hollywood Guaranty Building.
The cornerstone of our coverage has always been the support of human rights and individual freedom. In this issue, we present the story of a promising young actress whose life and career were ruined by drugs and electric shock in a local psychiatric ward by doctors who today must face the consequences of their actions in court.
I invite your comments and look forward to hearing from you.