Hubbard from Pinellas to Russia

Source: St. Petersburg Times
Date: December 28, 1992

The Scientologists have been busy. In October they mailed to Clearwater area homes copies of The Way to Happiness, A Common-Sense Guide to Better Living. A cover letter said the booklet "helps develop respect for family and others and friendliness in the community."

A tiny message on the back cover of the booklet says, "This may be the first non-religious moral code based wholly on common sense. It was written by L. Ron Hubbard as an individual work and is not part of any religious doctrine." Hubbard was the founder of Scientology.

Then, just a week or so ago, copies of Word of Mouth Directory of Honest & Reliable Businesses were tossed on Clearwater area lawns. Many, but not all, of the businesses listed are owned or operated by Scientologists.

Clearwater residents aren't the only folks being treated to copies of The Way to Happiness. So are the Russians.

In Legacy, described as "the magazine of Author Services Inc., representing the literary, theatrical and musical works of L. Ron Hubbard," is a report that a Russian-language, leather-bound version of Way to Happiness "is the first LRH non-fiction book to be distributed to the Russian people. It is being presented to leading government officials, opinion leaders, VIPs and many Russian citizens to introduce them to LRH and his technology."

Also in Legacy is a story about the dedication earlier this year of L. Ron Hubbard Hall at Moscow State University, which features "a full library of all LRH's works" in various languages.

The current issue of the New Age Journal features an article by Don Lattin, who writes about religion and psychology for the San Francisco Chronicle, in which he takes a look at the spiritual revolution going on in Eastern Europe right along with the political and economic upheavals.

He writes: "Religious sects such as the Church of Scientology - along with, of course, countless Christian evangelists - are proselytizing like there's no tomorrow."

There's no better way to get people's attention, encourage a sale of property or perhaps stimulate government action than to mention Scientology.

Scientologists may have had no interest in the Baty Funeral Home or the spa in Safety Harbor, but mere rumors that they might buy those properties certainly got everybody's attention.

The same was true about the former Maas Brothers building in downtown Clearwater. Although Scientologists repeatedly said they had no interest in the property, some people didn't believe them and thus pushed the idea of the city acquiring the bayfront tract, which it did.

Remember the Time magazine cover story "Scientology, The Cult of Greed," in May 1991? Its author, Richard Behar, recently was honored by the Cult Awareness Network, which presented him with its Leo J. Ryan Award. The award is named for the congressman who was killed in Guyana 14 years ago before cult leader Jim Jones' mass suicide or massacre.

CAN said the Scientology issue of Time was one of its biggest-selling issues of 1991 and generated more letters than any other story that year except the Persian Gulf war.