Amazing that the secular Way to Happiness now becomes a “Scientology Brochure.” Of course, it will be a Church activity until something blows up and then the church distances itself as far and as fast as it can (see Narconon generally, Applied Scholastics schools in Florida and Australia etc etc.)
I certainly do not object to distribution of The Way To Happiness, but this press release is laughable.
Scientology Brochure Tells What is Behind 50 Percent Drop in Colombia Crime
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 18, 2013
In 2004, the United Nations described the Colombian conflicts as, “the worst humanitarian crisis in the Western Hemisphere.” Less than a decade later, crime rates have dropped by 50 percent and Colombian tourism has increased to a level beyond any other Latin American nation. According to senior Colombian police officials, much of the credit for this change goes to The Way to Happiness, a nonreligious moral code based entirely on common sense, written by author, humanitarian and Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.
The grassroots movement that brought The Way to Happiness into the hands and homes of people throughout Colombia began with a well-known Colombian actor and comedian. To reach his entire country with the message of this booklet, he not only handed out copies at performances, he also created a unique showcase for its 21 precepts—a presentation he has performed for more than 150,000 civilians and military personnel.
Next, a colonel in the Colombian National Police joined the endeavor. He and his officers distributed copies of the booklet to tens of thousands in the northern coastal city of Cartegena. With the subsequent 27 percent drop in crime, Cartagena was declared the safest city in Colombia.
The movement continued to build momentum with Colombian police conducting The Way to Happiness seminars for three million people and handing out booklets to 20 percent of the population, helping reverse the crime and violence of an entire nation.
The Church of Scientology and its members are proud to share the tools for happier living contained in The Way to Happiness with all who work to build a better world. For more information, visit http://www.Scientology.org/thewaytohappiness.
Scientology: How We Help—The Way to Happiness, Creating a World of Honesty, Trust & Self-Respect is one of a series of brochures presented by the Church of Scientology International to meet requests for more information about the Scientology religion and its support of global humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs.
Press Contact: Karin Pouw
Tel: (323) 960-3500
First oddity – neither of the two people supposedly responsible for “turning around an entire nation” are NAMED? It cannot be only because their names are not David Miscavige, though it has become routine for him to be the ONLY name used in any church “PR” – he literally is the source of everything. When he does a ribbon cutting of an Idle Org his name is everywhere and there are numerous photos. When anyone else presides they are not given so much as a mention and of course no photos. So, typically the only people that get a mention are non-Scientologist officials and dignitaries…. So, why not mention the famous comedian (Andres Lopez) and army Colonel (Ricardo Prado)?
It must be because they are afraid of any media contacting them… But why?
Likely because they would not support the outrageous claims made in this release. I don't doubt the WTH is a good influence on people, and it certainly helps. But surely, if the WTH was truly recognized as the source of halving the crime rate in an entire country and increasing its tourism to astonishing new heights there would be SOME media attention? Or a mention at the United Nations or Interpol or somewhere (and you know if there was even a hint of such a thing, Miscavige would have been shouting it from the rooftops).
While this release claims to take credit for a remarkable 50% reduction in Colombian Crime, the only semi-specific that is given is that a program in Cartagena resulted in a 27% reduction in crime.
Hmmm, wonder what the FACTS are? Perhaps the change has something to do with the clamp down on the drug industry?
Following are just a few excerpts from Wikipedia [my emphasis added in bold]:
Since the establishment of the War on Drugs, the United States and European countries have provided financial, logistical, tactical and military aid to the government of Colombia in order to implement plans to combat the illegal drug trade. The most notable of these programs has been the Plan Colombia which also intended to combat organizations, such as the FARC guerrillas, who have controlled many coca-growing regions in Colombia over the past decades.
Despite Colombia having the dubious distinction of being the world leading producer of coca for many years those plans, slowly but surely, diminished the drug produced, to the extent that in 2010 the country reduced cocaine production by 60%, relative to the peak in 2000. The level of drug related violence was halved in the last 10 years…
How Much Change In Overall Violence?
Bogotá has gone to great lengths to change its crime rate and its image with increasing success after being considered in the mid-90s to be one of the most violent cities in the world. In 1993 there were 4,352 intentional homicides at a rate of 81 per 100,000 people; in 2007, Bogotá suffered 1,401 murders at a rate of 19 per 100,000 inhabitants. This success was the result of a participatory and integrated security policy, "Communidad Segura", that was first adopted in 1995 and continues to be enforced.
According to a 2011 article in The New York Times 'street muggings and thefts on public transportation have surged since 2007', leading certain commentators to declare a crisis of security in the city.
Cali As of 2006, there were 1,540 intentional homicides in the city and 1,726 overall when including the metropolitan area. The rates for the city and metropolitan area were 62 and 63 per 100,000 respectively. By 2011 this has increased to 71 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants, which has led certain commentators to declare a 'crisis of security' in Cali.
Between 1 January and 1 June 2011 there were 923 intentional homicides in the inner city of Cali, which is considered a 5% increase compared to 2010. According to Colombia's most influential weekly magazine, Semana, there are over 1,700 assassins working for various groups in the city.
Medellín was once known as the most violent city in the world, a result of an urban war set off by the drug cartels at the end of the 1980s. As the home of the Medellín Cartel funded by Pablo Escobar, the city was victim of the terror caused by the war between the organization headed by Escobar, and competing organizations such as "El Cartel del Valle". However, after the death of Escobar, crime rates in the city began to decrease.
There were 33% more murders in 2008 than 2007, with an increase from 654 to 871 violent deaths. This increased further by over 200% in 2009 to 2,899 violent deaths, or about 110 deaths per 100,000 people, 2.5 times the average homicide rate in Colombia and 20 times the average homicide rate in the United States for that same year.
The release claims credit for "Colombian tourism has increased to a level beyond any other Latin American nation."
Really? Come on Dave, this is ridiculous on its face!
According to a quick Google search, this claim is clearly a grand lie: Tourists visiting Colombia are less than 2 million per year. Peru is 2.7 million. Brazil is 5.4 million. And Mexico is 25 million. I suspect there are other countries that are also higher, but this is enough to prove the lie.
Does Anyone Read This Drivel?
I guess they are lucky nobody pays much attention to their PR releases. Maybe they think the recipients will buy this like the audiences at the Shermanspeak Miscavige events (likely this entire press release is based on some Miscavige hype event and of course, anything he utters is absolutely true no matter the facts).