Monday, April 9, 2012

Why is he holding an egg?

"Blessed is he who has found his work; let him ask no other blessedness." - Carlyle

"What magnificent fun to be engaged in work which can do so much for so many and where our personal contribution counts for so much.  Give your will, mind, and heart to each great cause in which you are involved.  Though we in this profession represent a diverse group, we are joined together in a calling of tremendous consequence.

"Very few in a lifetime are given the opportunity to make such a substantial difference to society. We are bestowed that role and accept the challenge.

"The immense good we do diminishes the agony of the long hours and disappointments.  There are peaks and valleys, but we remember most the peaks.  We glorify the high leaps.  We celebrate the barrier-breaking new horizons we make possible.  We love our work, and we are sustained and cheered in knowing how immense our contribution is.  We are truly the blessed, fortunate enough to be in this business.  We are the veritable soldiers of change."  
                                                Jerry Panas

To everyone who attended the "Invitation to Freedom" fundraiser on Saturday - please accept my gratitude for a wonderful evening.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Is Easter better than Christmas?

Growing up in an agnostic household, I considered Easter to be a minor holiday.  It sufficed as an excuse to eat candy and go to grandma's for dinner, but it was otherwise unremarkable.  The Easter bunny was a Santa wannabe - perhaps an apprentice to Santa, who was the head holiday honcho.

Make no mistake, I still thought Easter was great.  Any holiday in which the lead role was played by a bigger-than-life altruistic rabbit that delivered baskets of goodies while my sister and I weren't looking trumped the several holidays without such characters.  Easter may have been a shadow Christmas, but it was an improvement over St. Patrick's day, Valentine's day or even Halloween.

Now that I'm a bit older and I have come to a better understanding of the significance of the holidays, I wonder if Easter may not be better in some ways than Christmas as a celebration that can be enjoyed by people of all faiths.

Spring has long been recognized as a time of renewal and rebirth.  It is the time that Persephone returns from her stint as Queen of the Underworld, assuaging her mother's grief and allowing crops to grow once again.  In Egyptian mythology, it is the time that Osiris is reborn.  Many of the symbols that attend the Easter celebration are symbols of fertility and birth.

In my view, however, the Christian celebration of Easter is far more poignant than these other tales.  It is a celebration of the immortality of the spirit - and a demonstration that the spirit lives on, regardless of persecution, abandonment by friends and bodily death.

Holidays are an opportunity for all of us to reflect on the "higher truths."  They give us a chance to lift our heads above the mundane and give some thought to the themes we are creating in our own lives.  What with the intense advertising and expectation that accompanies Christmas, the holiday hardly allows time for reflection.  For this reason, I can't think of a better holiday to give serious thought to such themes as spiritual immortality and the chance at our own "rebirth" from our current condition into a better state than Easter.

Please join me April 7th at 6:30 at our new auditorium.  We will start the evening with snacks, followed by a gospel choir and a further exploration of the concepts I've started to discuss here; and we will end with a round of fundraising to benefit the renovations of our new building.  I promise you will have a great time listening to incredible music, seeing the new auditorium, being with your friends and hopefully learning a thing or two along the way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where we belong

This is a wonderful story about the history of Lafayette Square - the future home of our new church.  I love the fact that the people who built up this community and saved it from literal wreckage did so in the face of "reasons" that it wouldn't work.  There is a lesson here that constructive activities are not always recognized as valuable by "the powers that be" or by a middle-class-hold-onto-everything-very-carefully mindset. This history is part of the reason why it is such an honor to have the opportunity to be part of this special community.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The best Friday story ever

The Huffington Post today posted a story about what may be the greatest statement of appreciation of all time.  

Know that this is how I feel about you... and that's pretty sweet.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Time, Place, Form and... Event!

The Place:
The Missouri History Museum

The People:

The Event:

Mr. Barney Bradshaw, a speaker at the History museum, told several tales of heroism and sacrifice that are an integral part of St. Louis history, Ms. Kathy Jordan received an award from the "Stop the Killing" initiative for her help in bringing The Way to Happiness to the community, and everyone was given an opportunity to give a gift for the future of St. Louis - our new church building.

The Result:

The evening was a rave success.  Thank you to all who attended and gave gifts, and to all who worked to make the event happen as smoothly as it did.  What a marvelous way to kick off the new year!

"Goodness is the only investment that never fails."
- Henry David Thoreau

Monday, February 20, 2012

Oh, the piles of files

My apologies to Dr. Seuss

Oh, the funny things you see
     the many handwriting styles
the promo from 1973
     when handling the piles of files.

Madison can offer a keen eye
      and advice that's loaded with guile -
it's needed as the hours go by
     as you're handling the piles of files

     Here's Chuck, a member of Mensa
             who handles his work by the aisle
     I won't rhyme "Chuck;" it might offends ya,
             but he also works the piles of files.

           Winsome worked all day long
                    Headphones blaring different musical styles
           As she joyously sang along
                    And handled her piles of files.


 The "C's" are now in a good state
          and we ended the day in smiles;
 March 25th is the next date    
           To handle more piles of files.

A big "thank you" to the intrepid volunteers who attended the CF party last weekend.  You guys are awesome!  

If anyone would like to volunteer on the project, they should contact Madison Baird.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Man on fire

"Now, it's a funny darn thing.  What do you live for?  You live to help others."
                                                                                - L. Ron Hubbard

I'd like to acknowledge Barry Coziahr, who has been engaged in community outreach for the St. Louis Church of Scientology for nearly 20 years.  The church is now on the cusp of creating some very large positive change in St. Louis, and this is in no small part due to his initiative and activities.

Barry has been working intensively to get The Way to Happiness into the hands of the population of St. Louis.  He has helped get 50,000 of this very powerful booklet donated, printed and distribution begun.  This will be the largest distribution of this booklet ever in the state of Missouri.  The booklet has been so well received that the church was recently given this plaque from the Stop the Killing Initiative, which is distributing the booklets to help calm the raging sea of urban violence in St. Louis.  

As the copies are distributed, other like-minded groups have jumped on board to distribute even more copies.  Again, we've learned that there are many, many people who want to help - so far, mentoring groups, a juvenile detention center and a school have found out about this booklet via its distribution and have, in turn, requested their own booklets be made so that they may distribute them.  By the end of March, all 50,000 will be distributed and we'll be ready to do another 50,000.  

What will be the results of 20% of the population of St. Louis receiving this booklet and reading it?  What will happen when a number of community groups all work together under the banner of The Way to Happiness to promote a common message of peace and mutual understanding?  We are about to find out.

Thank you, Barry, for jumping on this project and bringing help and freedom to untold people.  This is precisely why we are making our Ideal org and you are leading the way. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Taking Scientology for Granted

Thank you to everyone that has reminded me to post a blog.  I'm glad that you enjoy them.  I will attempt to get back into a regular routine of blog posts soon.

In the meantime, I asked Dr. Everett Mobley to write a guest blog.  He writes a very amusing blog that covers a number of subjects and is consistently well-written.  He responded immediately with the below post, entitled, "Taking Scientology for Granted."  I hope you enjoy it.

Taking Scientology for Granted

“Not me!”, you say.  Well, maybe not… and maybe more than you realize.

Naturally, you appreciate your big wins, as do I.  Scientology restored my health, my marriage, and my career (to say nothing of eliminating 18 years of constant headaches). I am happy to “testify”, as they say in some other churches.

On the other hand, how many times in the past week have you talked about getting in better communicaton, or raising ARC?  How many times have you stopped to clear a word, knowing the importance of doing so, and having the technology to accomplish it?  Did you even have to think about it?

What percentage of the world at large would understand your conversation, or the concepts, or have the technology to apply it?

Perhaps you are so ingrained with these concepts that you don’t feel they are all that special: people understand these things, even if they don’t use the same terminology.  Really?  How about the second grade teacher in my town who gave the smartest girl in class a dictionary?  It seems she was constantly interrupting story time to ask what unfamiliar words mean.  The dictionary shut her right up so the less intelligent kids could get on with the business of accumulating one misunderstood word after another.

When Fran emails each week to ask how I have used the tech, I can always think of at least one definite application.  Heaven knows how many times I used the tech and didn’t even make a note of it – it’s second nature to me now… and possibly to you, too.

And yet, it is the merest accident that I ever found Scientology in the first place.  I was in a downward spiral on all my dynamics.  My own analysis found a lack of business administration technology as the “why”. By chance, I chose Sterling Management to pursue some education in that field.  There, I was confronted with the fact that my ruin was considerably deeper than my lack of business know-how.

I went directly from Sterling to do my Life Repair and found that my basic problems could all be handled, handled fully and handled permanently.  It was a happy accident indeed.

How did you find Scientology?  A friend? A relative? A search for truth? A happy accident?   Is that how we will salvage our planet?

Maybe you don’t personally need an Ideal Org, right here, right now.  There are a hell of a lot of people who do.  If you’ve forgotten how it felt to be one of them, try to remember it for a moment.  Is there enough money in the world to pay you to return to that state?  Not for me, there isn’t.

Putting an Ideal Org in St. Louis will not happen by accident --  you will do it on purpose, You will make Scientology easy to find for those people who need it so desperately, and whose accidents have not been so happy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Contemplata tradere

"Contemplata tradere" is a bit of Latin that I will translate for you at the end of this blog.

I would like to review our wins from 2011 and look forward to our goals of 2012.

Organizational structure

I started 2011 with an evaluation which examined the possible reasons why our church had been pinned at a certain size for a number of years.  The "why" found was somewhat surprising, and the handling took almost a year to put into place, and is now nearly done.

I thought that some of you would be very interested in what was found - if you aren't one of those people, go ahead and skip to the next section.

For years, the St. Louis church had maintained about 40 - 50 staff.  It would gradually gain to about 50, then shrink to 40, then back to 50, etc.  However, we know that to impact our society and clear the planet, many more staff than this will be needed.

The "why" discovered was that the executives and staff of the church considered that they were part of a full-full time organization - something which does not actually exist anywhere in policy.  The St. Louis church has for years considered itself a "full-full time org."  Those of you who have been on staff in the past will recognize this term - "full-full time."  What this meant was that the church has been open from 8:30 in the morning to 10:00 at night, and open on the weekends as well.  The staff of the church either worked this schedule, fitting in days off and study as could be arranged, or if they were unable to attend this schedule, they worked out entirely different schedules.  This lead to a madhouse of disorganization.

Ron says that a team "has a tendency to know what the other team members are doing and thinking, and coordinates thereby and therewith..." however, this coordination was impossible, as the members of the staff team were frequently covering for each other for needed time off and study.  No one was on the same schedule.  In fact, in the course of the investigation portion of this evaluation, I discovered that during the course of a week, I had up to 25 direct juniors at one time - an untenable position.

Once the problem was clearly seen, the solution became obvious - make the church function according to the policy which had been written about schedules - i.e., create a day and foundation organization.

After this discovery, we closely read existing policy regarding church schedules.  Originally, Churches of Scientology were open normal business hours - Monday through Friday 9 - 6.  Then, Ron had the bright idea of enabling the Church to service local people who worked during the day by starting a separate organization, called "the Foundation," which was open nights and weekends and staffed with a different group of people.  "Full-full time" isn't actually a word and isn't located anywhere in the policies about how a church functions.

The St. Louis Church of Scientology was founded after this pattern had already been established, but instead of forming two groups of staffs as Ron said to do, the executives of the church at that time just made up a schedule that dictated that the staffs work all the time.  While I admire their dedication, this is an unworkable solution to the degree that it does not conform with existing policy.

You can imagine the confusion that needed to be confronted and work that had to be done to enable the proper creation of two shifts of staff.  This is now nearly completed, and Matt Hanses, Kevin Forney, Amy Hanses and Barry Coziahr are providing excellent leadership to the night and weekend crew.

No amount of organization, however, is valid without a commensurate increase in production.  Did this organization better our reach into society and help us achieve the aims of Scientology?

Public outreach - Dianetics

More people completed the Dianetics Auditor course this year than in any previous year in the history of our church.  In fact, when I added up the completions, I discovered that we actually completed more Dianetics auditors this year than in the previous 10 years combined.

Dianetics auditing hours were also highest-ever this year.  We now have groups auditing in St. Louis who are auditing in 1 month more hours than used to be done all year in the entire St. Louis field.

Public outreach - the internet

This year, we released our new website,  If you haven't checked it out yet, do so.  It is a great resource for people who want to know what Scientology is and what our church in St. Louis does.

People are directed to the site via google ads and facebook ads.  They can now do personality tests via the site and schedule their own appointments to do the evaluations - all on-line.  Whenever someone sets an appointment, Myndi is immediately alerted via her phone.  Pretty high tech!  More importantly, dozens of people have now started Scientology services for the first time and have bought books as a result of this dissemination.

Matt Hanses sorted this out from a point of complete non-existence.  Within a few months, he has helped move the church's dissemination efforts into the new century, one reason among several that he was the obvious choice to be my foundation counterpart.

Helping our community  - resolving the dangerous environment 

Thanks in a large part to the donation of Way to Happiness educator kits by Kathy Jordan, Missouri leading the way in interest generated for getting The Way to Happiness programs being done in schools across the state.  In addition to this, and in cooperation with the "Stop the Killing" initiative, 50,000 copies of The Way to Happiness are now being distributed in St. Louis city with tremendous positive feedback.  This is the largest distribution of The Way to Happiness that has ever occurred in the Midwest, and once completed, will get The Way to Happiness into the hands of nearly 20% of the population of our city.  We are taking St. Louis off the list of the United States' most dangerous cities.

Central Files

A group of volunteers now arrives every few days to work on updating the files of the Church.  Madison Baird decided to take this project on and the group has made major headway in just a few months.  Eric Fischer joined staff a few weeks ago and has now taken on the hat of "Central Files Officer," ensuring that this huge undertaking receives the constant create it needs to get done.

Building fundraising

We passed two major milestones this year on our fundraising.  We paid for our designs and planning.  This is a major subproduct required for the completion of the building, and every one of our donors and volunteers deserve a big "bravo" for getting this done.

The rehabilitation of the entryway and auditorium of 2345 Lafayette were also completed this year - just in time for the Lafayette Square holiday tour.  1424 people toured through our new auditorium in 8 hours, many of whom said they would return for the grand opening.  We also passed our 600 holiday-themed Way to Happiness.

2012 goals

1.  Finish the fundraising for the renovations of our building.

2.  Finish updating the files of the church.

3.  Distribute The Way to Happiness to 20% of the population of St. Louis

4.  Triple the number of auditors and supervisors on post - starting with the return of Adam Heft as our new Class VI case supervisor.

I reserve the right to add more goals as I think of them!

"Contemplata Tredare"...

...means to pass on to others the things contemplated.  Saint Thomas Aquinas discussed this concept when he said, "Just as it is greater to illuminate something than merely to shed light, so it is greater to pass on to others what we have contemplated, than just to contemplate."  

It isn't enough to have our own personal gains and then "think happy thoughts" for others.  Rather, we must work to illuminate something outside of ourselves.  This is why our staff and volunteers continue to work to finish our new building and bring this technology to others as well as themselves.

Welcome to 2012, my friends.  I hope that this year is your best year ever.

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