Mark Pinchin—Knowing and Sharing the Truth About Drugs
With world attention on London Olympics, Scientologist leverages spotlight to focus attention on narcotics fight by distributing one million anti-drug booklets
Mark Pinchin, Director of Public Affairs at the Church of Scientology London, is a driving force behind the Church-supported drug education campaign that distributed of one million copies of The Truth About Drugs booklets throughout greater London during the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.
Pinchin partners with local officials, police, religious and community leaders and businesses, providing Truth About Drugs materials to drug education and criminal reform efforts.
“These groups work with children and young offenders and they need good materials,” says Pinchin. “One thing we repeatedly hear is that, unlike other drug education materials, ours are up-to-date, speak from experience, and are attractive to children and youth.”
Requests for information and materials are many and varied. Recently, a popular nightclub wanted to organize a workshop for its employees.
“Some of the staff had many years experience with clubbers taking drugs,” says Pinchin. “They could see we understood what we were talking about and, although they knew a lot already, they learned important information they didn’t know before. As they were setting up that night, we overheard a few of the bouncers comparing notes on what we’d said and what they’d seen—that so much crime is drug-related and the shootings and stabbings in clubs were almost always about drugs.”
“Even as a child, I had always wondered—why is it that people today have to worry about having to lock their houses or cars?” says Pinchin. “Why do they have to worry about having 200£ in their wallet? You didn’t have to worry like that 50, 60, 70 years ago. Something has changed. I’ve been told numerous times that at least 80 percent of crime is drug-related. That makes sense to me. It shows that what has changed is drugs, and we can have that kind of life again if we rid society of drugs.”
Determined to help youths in their efforts to grow up drug-free, Pinchin is gratified by the enthusiasm the campaign inspires in others. He describes the response to the distribution of one million booklets during the London 2012 Olympics as “phenomenal.”
“People know drugs are no good,” he says. “During the Olympics, nine out of 10 people would take the booklet and many would come back, comment on what they read and ask where they could find more information. People want to help improve their communities, and when they realize that a lot of what is wrong today comes from drug abuse, they see that drug education is the way forward.”
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 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.