Britain’s Got Talent Semifinalists Reach Out With the Truth About Drugs

An article in the Chichester Observer previews this year’s “Summertime Swing” at Saint Hill, and the perennial stars of the festival—the Jive Aces—their music and their passion for helping kids live drug-free.

Britain’s Got Talent’s the Jive Aces are scheduled to perform in Chichester August 5 and the following afternoon at the 13th annual Summertime Swing charity concert at Saint Hill in East Grinstead. Featured in the Chichester Observer, band leader Ian Clarkson speaks about the Jive Aces’ 20th anniversary and his passion for reaching young people with the message ”you don’t have to take drugs to have fun.”

“Years and years ago, when I first started in music, everyone was dabbling in drugs,” Clarkson says. “People started moving on to cocaine and heroin, and the more drugs they used, the less and less they did, just sitting around at home, freaking each other out.”

He describes a good friend of his—a guitarist and songwriter—whose involvement with drugs wrecked his career and his life. “He lost his job, he wasn’t doing music anymore, and the last I heard of him, he was working for drug pushers,” he says.

The Jive Aces are all Scientologists and their drug prevention campaign, The Truth About Drugs, is supported by the Church of Scientology. The program educates children as young as 6 on the dangers of drugs and challenges them to remain drug-free.

Clarkson spoke of a young woman at a Jive Aces concert who admitted to abusing Ritalin, which she referred to as “kiddy coke.” She read the Truth About Drugs booklet that the band hands out. Two or three months later when he ran into her again, she told him she had ceased taking the drug.

“If you can get even just one or two people to change, it’s great,” says Clarkson, who feels artists have a responsibility to use their talent and prominence to uplift the community. “People listen to us. We have a responsibility to be a positive influence with what we say and do.”

The Church of Scientology and its members support the Foundation for a Drug-Free World, whose Truth About Drugs campaign is one of the world’s largest nongovernmental drug education and prevention initiatives. Thanks to this support, the Foundation provides—free of charge—drug education booklets, videos and educator guides to teachers, mentors and civic and community leaders.

According to the United Nations Office on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, “Every dollar spent on prevention can save governments up to ten dollars in later costs.”

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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