French Scientologists Mobilize Against Rising Drug Abuse
For more than 20 years, Scientologists have spearheaded drug education and prevention in France
Last week, thousands of fans attending a techno concert in Marseilles came away with something they would never expect to get there—a lesson in the dangers of drug abuse.
Robert Galibert, Scientologist and president of the Say No To Drugs, Say Yes to Life Association, seized the opportunity to reach thousands of youth by setting up a booth at the back of the concert hall and distributing nearly 4,000 Truth About Drugs booklets to the 7,000 concert attendees. Galibert and five other volunteers spent the entire night until 6 a.m. engaging young men and women in honest discussions about the dangers of drugs and drug abuse.
“They would look at us, their pupils dilated, and they knew that we knew why,” says Galibert, “but we were discussing this ‘man to man,’ no pretenses. The night was a succession of rich and constructive discussions marked by mutual respect and trust, and most of them thanked us warmly. Our message—we are not here to judge. We are providing information we know to be true. Everyone has to make their own life choices.”
Galibert’s mission is to reverse the drug abuse trends in France, where more than 5 million people have experimented with marijuana, 1.2 million use the drug regularly and more than 500,000 are addicted to drugs, according to France’s Inter-departmental Mission for the Fight against Drugs and Drug Addiction.
“Education is the answer to drug abuse, not punishment,” says Galibert, who uses Truth About Drugs educational resources in his activities. “By providing the facts about drugs to young people, they can make educated decisions to live healthy lives.”
Founded more than 20 years ago by actor Xavier Deluc, the initiative has been sponsored by the Church of Scientology since its inception.
Every weekend, Scientologists from Churches and Missions throughout the country set up booths to distribute thousands of copies of Truth About Drugs booklets.
In early 2012, Galibert led a team of French Scientologists on a five-day 319-km bicycle tour from Paris to Brussels to promote the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking and drug education and prevention. They met with mayors, aldermen, legislators, police, firefighters and educators, distributing Truth About Drugs booklets in towns along the way.
The Church of Scientology has published a new brochure, Scientology: How We Help—The Truth About Drugs, Creating a Drug-Free World, to meet requests for more information about the drug education and prevention initiative it supports. To learn more or to read a copy of the brochure, visit the Scientology website.
Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote, “The planet has hit a barrier which prevents any widespread social progress—drugs and other biochemical substances. These can put people into a condition which not only prohibits and destroys physical health but which can prevent any stable advancement in mental or spiritual well-being.”
The Church of Scientology supports the Truth About Drugs, one of the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education and prevention campaigns. It has been conclusively proven that when young people are provided with the truth about drugs—factual information on what drugs are and what they do—usage rates drop commensurately.