Scientology continues its “Education for life” and targeting the drug problem in Europe
For more than 30 years Scientology has been targeting the drug problem in Europe, more than 860 million people have received factual information on the negative effects of drugs
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM, January 5, 2023 – For more than 30 years now, inspired by the discoveries of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and under the vision of Scientology’s ecclesiastical leader Mr. David Miscavige, the Church has garnered the support of its members in community-wide programs which today form the largest non-governmental anti-drug campaign in the world. Through the Church’s efforts, over 860 million people have been reached with factual information about drugs through hand distribution of The Truth About Drugs booklet series, drug awareness events, media, Internet sites, mailings, billboards and educational videos and films. Over 25 million The Truth About Drugs booklets have been distributed in 22 languages to at-risk youth and in drug hotspots throughout the world. More than 3.4 million children around the world have pledged to be Drug-Free Marshals sending a positive message to their friends and communities.
In partnership with the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, an organization dedicated to providing factual education materials about drugs, the Church of Scientology sponsored and produced a 16-part series of award-winning public service announcements, as well as a new documentary created from over 200 interviews with former drug users.
With the above in mind, this is what Dr Christian Mirre, PhD. in Sciences, and a Doctorat d’Etat ès Sciences from the University of Marseille-Luminy had to say. He has been a long-term biologist at the French CNRS’s Section of Life Sciences, and for the last decade holds the position of representative of the Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe. He has organized symposiums on the subject of drugs in numerous universities and delivered lectures at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and participated at side events of the UN Human Rights Council speaking of the rights of children to a drug-free life and environments.
Dr. Mirre explained that “The semantics (the study of the meaning of words of a language) shows that there are two important word definitions that are integral parts of the children, youth even young men development: 1-The Education, which has two possible concepts based on the roots: educare (from Latin ) to train, shape and educere (from Latin ex-ducere, drive out, guide) These concepts, according to Bass et all (2004), allow a possible balance in the educational system. Education was born in Athens in the 5th century B.C. to meet the needs of the democratic political system of the city. 2-The Instruction (from Latin instruere, to assemble, to equip, built) is the teaching which is the shaping of minds through the transmission of knowledge and training.”
During his presentation, Mirre quoted the French humanist Victor Hugo (1802-1885) who wrote: “EDUCATION IS GIVEN BY THE FAMILY, INSTRUCTION IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE STATE”.
The research of Mirre explains how at the origin, some 100,000 years ago, when human beings were hunter-gatherers the children (boys and girls) were educating themselves freely and had a lot of data to learn from the wildlife and predators to survive. This was done mainly by imitation, Mirre explained. “observation, play and exploration”, and then by accompanying the adults. With the rise of agriculture 10,000 years ago followed by the industry, young children’s life changed, says Mirre, “becoming rapidly forced labourers educated to be good workers, following orders and supporting the family. Play and exploration had ended”.
In the Occidental World, if we refer to Ancient Greece, its philosophers and its pedagogy (from “paidos”: child and “agogos”: leader), points out Dr. Mirre, “education is the development of the ability to be oneself. It guides physically and intellectually the individual, the child and the adolescent in their behaviour towards the society in which they live, such as the respect of the common values, the rules of social fellowship, of the ethnic group and contributes to internalising the common culture”.
-Socrates (470?-399 B.C.) was using the “maieutics” (art to give birth to the mind) on the basis that every being has ideas and the instructor must help him to express them and thus to “know himself“.
-Plato (427-347 B.C.) created his school of philosophy in Athens: the “Academia“. He follows Socrates’ ideas of developing the “dialectique” and considered that education was inseparable from truth, beauty and goodness.
-His disciple Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) created the “Lycee” with the famous “Peripatos” teaching way similar to the previous ones and stressing education for peace and leisure.
After the age of 7, continues the research of Christian Mirre, “the boys were separated from the girls, educated and trained according to the “paideia” (education des enfants) to be the future political and administrative elites of the cities. They were taught grammar, rhetoric, dialectics, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music: the seven “liberal arts“. This teaching continued in the vast Roman Empire until its falling in 476 A.D. with the Barbarian invasions of the 5th and 6th centuries.
During the Middle Ages in Europe, Athenian secular education was progressively replaced by the religious one in Christian monasteries than in the churches of the great empire of Charlemagne (Carolus Magnus -742?-814), king of the Franks.
“In his legislative “Admonition generalis” (in 789)”, highlights the article, “is noted: “THE PRIESTS MAY DRAW TO THEM NOT ONLY THE CHILDREN OF SERVILE CONDITION BUT ALSO THE SONS OF FREE MEN. WE WANT SCHOOLS TO BE CREATED TO TEACH CHILDREN TO READ”.
According to the article of this experienced former CNRS researcher, “The Bible was used as peoples’ unifying element with the teaching of psalms, music, singing, calculation and grammar. This lasted until the Renaissance (1400-1600) with its social, cultural, artistic and educative transformations. From this time education was diverging in three ways with their specificities: -the humanism with Erasme of Rotterdam (1466?-1536) during the Renaissance. In his Declamatio de pueris statim ac liberaliter instituendis (“A declaration concerning the immediate and liberal training of children”-1529), he developed how to care for the intellectual, moral and religious education of children from the earliest age. Erasme was a great Peace activist in Europe and a friend of Thomas More (1478-1535) English catholic philosopher, humanist and politician, the author of Utopia (“Nowhere”-1516). -the Protestantism with Martin Luther (1483-1546) from Germany. He was followed by Comenius -Jan Amos Komansky- (1592-1670) from Moravia. Comenius was favourable to the rather anti-Christian rationalism of the Age of Enlightenment. He is considered the father of modern pedagogy. In his “Pansophia” (Universal wisdom), he noted that “Everything must be taught to everyone, regardless of wealth, religion or sex”. Jean Piaget in 1993 presented him as the “great spiritual ancestor of UNESCO“.
-the catholicism with Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) from Spain. A young nobleman early initiated into the life of knights. He was the founder of the religious order of Jesuits (Company of Jesus) in 1540. The success of his pedagogy from the Ratio ATQ Institutio Studiorum Societatis Iesu (“Studies of the Society of Jesus”), published in 1599, rapidly spread across Europe during the 16th century. Ignatius was the author of the famous sentence: Ite, inflammate omnia (“Go, set the world on fire”) speaking of spreading Christianity!.”
Today, the school plays a dual role in the instruction and socialisation of the pupils and students to facilitate their social integration (cultural, professional and collective).
If we refer to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (adopted in 2000), Chapter II, Freedoms, Article 14 – Right to education:
1. Everyone has the right to education and access to vocational and continuing training.
2. This right includes the possibility to receive free compulsory education.
3. The freedom to found educational establishments with due respect for democratic principles and the right of parents to ensure the education and teaching of their children in conformity with their religious, philosophical and pedagogical convictions shall be respected, in accordance with the national laws governing the exercise of such freedom and right.
Already in 1989, the Convention on the Rights of the Child of the United Nations defined the right of the child to education:
-in article 28, with a primary education compulsory and available free to all, a secondary one general and vocational, and a higher one accessible on the basis of capacity, all with regular attendance and reduction of drop-out rates.
-article 29 refers more to the development of the child’s personality, talents and abilities, the respect of the parents, national values, human rights and fundamental freedoms for a responsible social life.
If we consider more specifically the drug problem, article 33 of the above-mentioned Convention clearly precises the key role of the States in youth protection:
“States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislative, administrative, social and educational measures, to protect children from the illicit use of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances as defined in the relevant international treaties, and to prevent the use of children in the illicit production and trafficking of such substances.”
Adolescence comprised between ages 9 and 16 and ending around 22 years old is accompanied by a crucial period of physical and physiological changes and also the development of social and emotional habits important for the future mental well-being of the adult.
Being a transition period between childhood and adulthood adolescents are developing curiosity, risk-taking and challenge but without perceiving the distant risk, seeking new experiences, and searching for their identity often linked to protests and resistance to social rules. Becoming aware of the society in which they live, they often develop expectations, motivations and gender-specific ideals, explains Dr Mirre.
He makes a remark saying that “this is the time the family, the school and the community at large have to play an important protective role. And this is the time the adolescents are the most influenceable by their peers and thus vulnerable to the offer of drugs. Since the 1960-70ies and the spreading of recreational drug use popularized by the Beat Generation, the Hippie movement, in music and media, all aspects of society had been invaded by drugs with its fatal procession of miseries.”
Today in Europe some 22 million of aged 15-34 are reported to have used illicit drugs last year (EMCDDA European Drug Report 2022): cannabis (the most used), cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy), amphetamines, heroin and other opioids. The same Report adds:
“WE ARE ALSO SEEING MORE COMPLEXITY IN DRUG CONSUMPTION PATTERNS, WITH MEDICINAL PRODUCTS, NON-CONTROLLED NEW PSYCHOACTIVE SUBSTANCES AND SUBSTANCES SUCH AS KETAMINE AND GBL/GHB NOW ASSOCIATED WITH DRUG PROBLEMS IN SOME COUNTRIES OR AMONG SOME GROUPS”. [GBL is a sedative; GHB is a solvent used as “rape drug”]
The article published last December 2022 says that an important point regarding the medicinal drugs -often found in the familial pharmacy- is that: what is safe for an adult is not necessarily safe for youth, particularly for the psychotropic ones as the human brain continues to develop until around the thirties! This is the case of the psychoactive “smart drugs” (such as the methylphenidate/Ritalin) now used by the students to “increase their memory”, but without knowing their subsequent consequences on the brain and life.
Since 1960, a lot of documents had been written on the drug problem including Conventions, Strategies, Programs, and the protection of the youth. “In 2022”, said Mirre in his article, “the drug problem still exists not to say it is worsening with the decriminalization of their use. Obviously, there is no easy solution to the problem of drug use. But providing knowledge of the facts can make drug-related problems easier to start with if we refer to the basic purpose of education: “School is not about repairing all social evils. It is about repairing one: the evil of ignorance… [Schools] They do have it in their power to improve student knowledge and skills and to encourage the development of defensible values” is noted in the introduction of the UNODC Meeting “Hands-On” (Vienna September 2002).”
At a time when drugs are everywhere, in parks, in the streets, in shops, and in lobbies, drug prevention is more than ever an emergency matter. The youth (and many parents as well) need and even are requesting factual adequate and educative information to counter the false data used by the dealers, the bad friends, in media, networks, organisations, by politicians, all the ones having vested interests in the drug subject without caring of the youth health.
“When we are talking about the lives and futures of the next generation, prevention is better than cure,” said Yuri Fedotov, UNODC Executive Director (2010-2019). Indeed, the main solution is “Prevention”, starting with “primary prevention” at the earliest ages. But as for the other matters, this need to be a continuing teaching adapted all along to primary and secondary education to be fruitful. Providing these young people with the reality about drugs will allow them to be able to take an informed decision and be able when needed to reject the destructive offer.
“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance,” said the historian and philosopher William J. Durant (1885-1981) reinforcing the one of Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519): “IT IS IGNORANCE THAT BLINDS AND MISLEADS US. OPEN YOUR EYES, OH MISERABLE MORTALS”.
To contribute to tackling the drug problem and to contribute to this desirable drug prevention and education of the youth, a hundred Say No to Drugs associations and groups of volunteers across Europe with the Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe (FDFE) “are using the materials of The Truth About Drugs Program developed by Foundation for a Drug-Free World, having some 30 years of experience in drug prevention. This includes a series of 14 fact-filled booklets, providing straightforward truth in a non-judgmental way, a Documentary DVD and an Educator Guide, giving the needed right protective tools: the knowledge and understanding of the drug subject.” explained Mirre in the article.
“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world,” said President Nelson Mandela (1918-2013).
“So, strongly educated and empowered with factual scientific data and testimonies, aware of the drug reality and of its great power of alienation, the youth will not succumb to the false allegations of the active merchants of miseries. Thus, by keeping safe their health, mental power and freedom, the children and the youth will be able to realize their talents in a decent society,” concluded Dr Mirre, PhD. in Sciences, and a Doctorat d’Etat ès Sciences from the University of Marseille-Luminy had to say. He has been a long-term biologist at the French CNRS’s Section of Life Sciences.