Religious Influence in Society
Role of the Volunteer Minister
by L. Ron Hubbard



In 1973, Founder of Dianetics and Scientology L. Ron Hubbard conducted a sociological study in New York City and discovered a society that had dramatically worsened from the city he remembered years before. From this study he predicted where the culture was headed: rampant immorality, violence as sport, and ultimately, politics by terrorism.

Needed was a way to help others live their lives and build their futures. In answer, Mr. Hubbard drew the plans for a grassroots movement, one that would instill these values back into society and so halt the decline: the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Program.

We are today at a watershed of history and our actions today will decide whether the world goes up from here or continues to slide into some new dark age.

It is important to understand bad conditions don’t just happen. The cultural decay we see around us isn’t haphazard. It was caused. Unless one understands this he won’t be able to defend himself or reach out into the society with effectiveness.

A society is capable of surviving for thousands of years unless it is attacked from within or without by hostile forces. Where such an attack occurs, primary targets are its religious and national gods and heroes, its potential of leadership and the self-respect and integrity of its members.

“Religion is the first sense of community. Your sense of community occurs by reason of mutual experience with others.” Probably the most critical point of attack on a culture is its religious experience. Where one can destroy or undermine religious institutions then the entire fabric of the society can be quickly subverted or brought to ruin.

Religion is the first sense of community. Your sense of community occurs by reason of mutual experience with others. Where the religious sense of community and with it real trust and integrity can be destroyed, then that society is like a sandcastle unable to defend itself against the inexorable sea.

For the last hundred years or so religion has been beset with a relentless attack. You have been told it’s the “opiate of the masses,” that it’s unscientific, that it is primitive; in short, that it is a delusion.

But beneath all these attacks on organized religion there was a more fundamental target: the spirituality of Man, your own basic spiritual nature, self-respect and peace of mind. This black propaganda may have been so successful that maybe you no longer believe you have a spiritual nature but I assure you you do.

In fact, you don’t have a soul, you are your own soul. In other words, you are not this book, 1 your social security card, your body or your mind. You are you.

  1. 1. The Scientology Handbook, as this article was originally the introduction to that book.