Freedom Magazine - The Voice of the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles Freedom Magazine - The Voice of the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles
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LA’s Invincible Crusade
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Freedom Magazine, published by the Church of Scientology

Editorial by Pam Shannon

sk a dozen people in Los Angeles at random about their chief concerns for our society and odds are that most will put the future of today’s youth near the top of the list — education ranking first within that concern.

     All too often, however, the pain and suffering witnessed in the media or in the neighborhood involve young people — as victims, perpetrators or both. As important as children are in the game of life, it appears that the deck is sometimes stacked against them.

     But, as described in this issue, something can be done about the illiteracy, drugs, violence and poverty prevalent in our city, ruining the future of our youth.

     Scientologists are intimately involved in a broad range of actions to resolve these problems and thus build a brighter tomorrow. Their individual efforts stem from a belief in the importance of helping their fellows. The stated Aims of Scientology envision “A civilization without insanity, without criminals and without war, where the able can prosper and honest beings can have rights, and where man is free to rise to greater heights.” Obviously, such a society is unattainable when large segments of the population have, in effect, been excluded from the mainstream by illiteracy, poverty or other factors.

     Increasing numbers of Scientologists and non-Scientologists, utilizing landmark breakthroughs of humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard, are bringing literacy to youth and adults, freeing drug addicts from their chains, and helping to end the twin scourges of crime and violence.

     A prime example of these efforts is the World Literacy Crusade, founded in Compton in 1992. A “phoenix from the ashes” of the Los Angeles riots, the literacy crusade has since grown to cities across the United States and to Canada, Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Ghana.

     The program is one of several non-religious education efforts supported by the Church and Scientologists, among them the Hollywood Education and Literacy Project (H.E.L.P.), a community-based program established in 1996 which also uses Mr. Hubbard’s breakthroughs in education.

     The Church also conducts its own community outreach programs, through which Scientologists for 15 years have assisted the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, an organization responsible for the care of more than 70,000 children who have suffered neglect or abuse. Similarly, Scientologists have worked with foster parent associations throughout greater Los Angeles to brighten the lives of children through a variety of events and activities.

     These and other activities will be featured in upcoming editions of Freedom.

     Freedom also recognizes individuals who are pursuing effective solutions to improve the conditions of those around them. In this edition we inaugurate the Los Angeles Community Leadership Profile, in which we will feature individuals whose exemplary work is helping to improve the rights, freedoms and quality of life for Los Angeles citizens. Our first profile is of Marcine Shaw, currently a Compton city councilwoman, whose life and career has had a positive, lasting influence on Los Angeles and its surrounds.

     And as with any positive theme, there is an opposite side — wrongs that must be brought to light in order to right them. In addition to covering many positive efforts to help future Los Angeles generations, Freedom examines how a provenly lethal treatment has imperiled the lives of children in mental health facilities.

     In this edition, we also present information about the Church of Scientology itself.

     Meeting the challenges our community faces for the remainder of the year and indeed, well into the new millennium is going to require concerted work on the part of all Angelenos who care.

     I welcome your comments on the subjects discussed in this issue and look forward to hearing from you.

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